Deadline to apply for Drought Relief Waterbird Program fast approaching

Deadline to apply for Drought Relief Waterbird Program fast approaching

You have less than one week to apply for a special program to help wildlife endure the drought. The California rice industry has teamed up with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to fund a special $8 million Drought Relief Waterbird Program. This program seeks to create waterbird habitat through the operation of groundwater wells to winter flood rice fields for migratory birds. The program will be rolled out on an expedited timeframe, given the rice harvest schedule this year.  

The program is currently soliciting applications through the California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation and the application period will close September 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm. 

Key Details:

  • Flooding period will be from November 1, 2021 though January 31, 2022. 
    • Flood and Maintenance or One-time Flood. 
    • Required water depths between 2-8 inches.
    • Flooding must be done with groundwater.
  • Any combination of the following post-harvest treatments are acceptable: 

Bale, Burn, Chop, No Treatment, Roll, Single Disc or Chisel pass, Stomp.

  • Areas within a five miles radius from Sacramento Metro and Beale Airports are ineligible for this program. 

For more details on the program visit the website. For technical questions, reach out to Luke Matthews, CRC’s Wildlife Programs Manager at or (916) 607-8988.

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BirdReturns Late Summer Farmlands Opportunity

BirdReturns Late Summer Farmlands Opportunity

Seeking farmers: Get paid to provide habitat 

The Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership (Audubon California, The Nature Conservancy, and Point Blue Conservation Science), in collaboration with the California Rice Commission and the Delta Conservancy, and with funding from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, is now accepting online bids for the BirdReturns-Late Summer Farmlands Habitat Program. This program offers farmers and landowners in the Sacramento Valley an opportunity to receive financial compensation for providing a few weeks of ponded or shallow flooded habitat for migratory birds.