One of the Conservancy’s rice farmers said recently about this year’s rice crop: “Just let it be over.” For sure, rice farmers up and down the Sacramento Valley have said that the 2010 rice crop is the most challenging they’ve ever experienced. The challenges are largely attributable to the Spring 2010 weather, which included unseasonally cool temperatures and late rain. Not only did rice farmers get in their fields late due to extended rain last spring, cool temperatures delayed plant maturity. Then, September and October weather was cooler than normal, which made for even more challenging conditions. Since the NBHCP requires that the Conservancy plant rice on 50 percent of its mitigation acres for the benefit of the giant garter snake, having a viable and healthy rice operation in the Natomas Basin is essential. We just hope that the post-harvest activities (reducing the fields of post-harvest rice straw especially) won’t get delayed so that we are forced into a late planting again next season. This is one for the record books!
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!