Transcript for Wetlands Regained, segment 04 of 8


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Although wetland habitat continues to shrink, there is an opportunity to halt this trend and help meet the objectives of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

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Land on existing wildlife management areas is now being cultivated for ponds by the Fish and Wildlife Service. A proposal to add to these lands was announced in November, nineteen eighty-nine by Secretary of the Interior, Manual Luhan. The proposal is to acquire twenty-three thousand, five hundred acres of additional land from willing sellers in the northern Central Valley to be reclaimed for wetlands. This proposal grew out of deliberations over wildlife problems uncovered at Kesterson Reservoir and was developed jointly by the California Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Reclamation, and Fish and Wildlife Service. The proposal will allow the agencies to enhance over six thousand two hundred acres of existing wetlands, create four thousand five hundred acres of additional wetlands, and manage the remaining acreage as upland habitat and pasture for wildlife.

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Current public wildlife areas in the northern Central Valley are patches of habitat separated by mostly agricultural land. These protected lands include the Los Banos State Wildlife Area managed by the California Department of Fish and Game, the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Grasslands State Park managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, also managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Such unconnected habitats present problems for less mobile terrestrial wildlife. To protect species that depend on wetlands, it is important to have a large tract of land with suitable habitat and a reliable source of quality water. So to link these public wildlife areas, twenty-three thousand five hundred acres of private lands have been marked for habitat development and management. Managing these lands as a single parcel is the cornerstone of this wetlands effort called the San Joaquin Basin Action Plan.