Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bear Creek conservation project begins

From the Pacific Forest Trust:
We did it! This week marks the Pacific Forest Trust's and Roseburg Resources' successful completion of our working forest conservation easement on the 8,230-acre Bear Creek Working Forest in Siskiyou and Shasta counties. Approved by California's Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) last December, the $7.8 million easement officially closed yesterday.

"We are thrilled and so grateful to the Wildlife Conservation Board for investing in this important project," said PFT co-CEO Connie Best, the project's chief architect, who counted the Bella Vista, Morgan Family, S.J. Bechtel and National Fish and Wildlife foundations and Mary A. Crocker Trust among the supporters of our broader work in the Klamath-Cascade Region. "Bear Creek is emblematic of the landscape-scale conservation progress we can make in this key watershed region. Public-private partnerships are making it possible."

Rare Pacific Fishers, Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawk, Fall River Rainbow Trout and more than 180 other species will have assured habitat including riparian areas, mature forests, aspen groves, montane chaparral and wet meadows. The easement will strengthen protection of more than 50 miles of waterways providing drinking and irrigation water to millions further south. The land will remain in private ownership, a productive contributor to county tax rolls. All these benefits and more come from investing in stewardship and forest operation of Roseburg Resources—the second largest employer in a county where jobs are hard to come by, even when the economy is on even-keel.

"It is a great outcome when County Supervisors, a business, and conservationists can develop a project that's good for jobs and helps protect our forests and species," said Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Game and the Wildlife Conservation Board's chairman.
[HT: Bruce Ross]

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