Watershead, Summer 2003
The River
Management Plan
Newhall Ranch

Restoration Funding Sought
for Hedrick Ranch Nature Area

FSCR became stewards of the Hedrick Ranch Nature Area (HRNA) in 2001 after acquistion of the 220-acre floodplain property by the California State Coastal Conservancy (see map). The acquisition by the Conservancy was the first under its Santa Clara River Parkway project, which will eventually protect over 6,000 acres of river floodplain and terrace lands. With the HRNA Management and Restoration Plan now complete, FSCR has begun working with the Southern Califonia Wetlands Recovery Project (SCWRP) and other potential funders to acquire necessary funding for the highest priority restoration tasks.

The HRNA Management and Restoration Plan includes multiple elements covering invasive and alien plant control, wetlands enhancement, riparian enhancement, upland revegetation, wildlife habitat enhancement, sediment management, and long-term monitoring and maintenance. Sandy Hedrick, who manages the adjacent Valley View Ranch and heads the FSCR's HRNA Steering Committee, will work with the Committee and environmental consultants in defining specific restoration tasks, acquiring grant funds, and overseeing the restoration work.

The current plan calls for installation of approximately 1,000 feet of biotechnical bank protection to preclude washout of newly-planted vegetation, such as willows and cottonwoods, which could otherwise be lost to flooding. Some elements of the plan will require permits from federal and state agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Fish and Game. Some delays are anticipated in starting work elements for which permits are required. Development of public access facilities - parking areas, a kiosk, and nature trails - are included as tasks under current project planning with the SCWRP.

A volunteer program is planned for the near future to carry out some of the early weed eradication efforts. It is hoped that volunteers will also be available to do much of the planting as well as monitoring and maintenance work on the property.

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