RESTORATION OF A DEGRADED STREAM THROUGH A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP: A CASE STUDY OF VOLUNTARY HABITAT CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE LANDS
|Rachel A Smith; Natural Resources Conservation Service; firstname.lastname@example.org; Jonathan Snapp-Cook, Teri Biancardi, Shea O’Keefe
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Partners for Fish and Wildlife are agencies which work with private landowners to address resource concerns by assisting with technical and financial assistance. Private lands have historically been overlooked for their potential contribution to landscape level conservation. In Temecula, California, these two agencies worked with a private homeowners association (HOA) with two ephemeral streams running through 400 acres of open space. One stream had dangerous 10-to-12-foot banks next to a trail and was incised into the floodplain. Both agencies provided technical and financial assistance to design and implement a restoration project on 1200 linear feet of stream that met the landowner’s goals. The NRCS guided the HOA using their 9-step conservation planning process allowing them to accomplish safe recreational access, riparian habitat restoration, and decreased erosion. At project implementation, the HOA had community backing, 14 federal, state, and local partners, and 5 required permits. This collaboration between public agencies and the private landowner addressed the HOA’s concerns and goals and shows that voluntary conservation on private lands is a viable approach to the conservation of natural resources.