Looking at the adjacent photo, you might see a lot of things I don’t. As a habitat land manager, and one charged with keeping things safe, I saw something you might not. When I happened on this scene on the Conservancy’s North Basin Reserve Area in Sutter County, I realized that someone had been living in this cluster of shrubs and tree branches. Probably fairly recently, judging from the accumulated debris. I almost didn’t want to stick my head inside out of fear I’d be injured, but I did it anyway. The amount of litter, refuse and assorted debris was pretty impressive. And clearly not healthy. The person who inhabited this area probably was unaware that during winter rains, this area floods pretty deeply and pretty suddenly. Conservancy field crews do not like cleaning out stuff like this. They haven’t said as much, but I suspect they think what I think. That this is smelly work that likely comes with a significant risk of potentially unhealthy outcomes. But in the end, we all buckle down and do our job. It’s cleaned out now.
We are so pleased to see one of the NBHCP’s “Covered Species,” the Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), back on Conservancy property! Going back 15 years, the owl used to be seen frequently on Conservancy mitigation lands. At the time, we documented too-common depredation of them by dogs from nearby residential… Continue Reading They’re back!