Development of compensation sites to preserve, enhance, restore or establish approximately 2,050 acres of native habitat ranging from ponds and wetlands to serpentine and annual grasslands and coastal oak.
Bioregional Habitat Restoration (BHR) is an innovative and comprehensive approach to mitigation in that it combines the impacts of several different WSIP construction projects into one suite of habitat improvement projects. This pooling of resources maximizes our ability to make significant, ecosystem-level improvements to habitat for rare and endangered species. On two watersheds the program includes the development of compensation sites to preserve, enhance, restore or establish approximately 2,050 acres of native habitat ranging from ponds and wetlands to serpentine and annual grasslands and coastal oak.
During a three-year plant establishment period the BHR includes the following:
For the Sunol Region, construction activities for the Bioregional Habitat Restoration projects are nearly complete. We will continue to monitor the success of these projects through 2024.
Goldfish Pond Restoration
The Goldfish Pond Restoration Project, located near the intersection of Felter and Calaveras roads in Milpitas, enhanced the grading around the existing Goldfish Pond, rebuilt embankments, and planted more than five acres of seasonal wetlands. As a result, we are now seeing the return of California tiger salamanders to the area.
San Antonio Creek Restoration
Our team restored and reconfigured a 1.8 mile reach of San Antonio Creek and a half mile of nearby Indian Creek. We constructed a new bridge to provide a year-round creek crossing, improved creek channel geometry to promote connection between channel and flood plain and stabilized stream banks with planting. We also established over 80 acres of oak savannah. We are managing over 300 acres of grasslands, riparian corridors and stock ponds to benefit California tiger salamanders and California red legged frogs.
Sheep Camp Creek Restoration
Our team restored approximately 5,000 feet of the existing Sheep Camp Creek, including pond and riparian restoration, to support special-status species, such as California tiger salamanders and California red-legged frogs. We stabilized the banks of Sheep Camp Creek, and repaired areas that have eroded. We made improvements to cattle ponds and spillways as well as planted native trees and vegetation. Since we use cattle to reduce the grasses and keep fire danger low, a key provision of this project was to allow for both cows and endangered species to safely share the site.
This project improved and enhanced sensitive riparian habitat by creating a cattle watering system—fences, wells, storage tanks, concrete pads, and approximately 7,800 linear feet of water pipe. It also created space for cattle management away from sensitive pond areas to improve the health of the watershed.
Peninsula Watershed projects are complete. We have restored native habitat around Homestead Pond, (a productive breeding area for the California red-legged Frog at the watershed’s southern end), and we have revived new wetlands along Upper Crystal Springs and San Andreas reservoirs.
Over a two-year period, 2016-2018, a total of approximately 72 acres of non-native trees will be removed from various sites in the Crystal Springs and San Andreas reservoir area. All trees slated for removal were identified by certified biologists. Subsequent plantings of about 180 acres of native grasses and oak woodlands will be followed by maintenance and up to 10 years of performance monitoring.