|Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Birds flying at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
|Location||Glenn and Colusa Counties, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Willows, California|
|Area||10,819 acres (43.78 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge|
The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex is part of the United States system of National Wildlife Refuges (NWR).It is located in northern California, in the valley of the Sacramento River.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
National Wildlife RefugeSystem is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the system has grown to over 562 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts encompassing more than 150,000,000 acres (607,028 km2).
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The Sacramento NWR Complex was created in an attempt to resolve the conflict between the needs of migrating birds using the Pacific Flyway, and those of agriculture.
Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate. Migration carries high costs in predation and mortality, including from hunting by humans, and is driven primarily by availability of food. It occurs mainly in the northern hemisphere, where birds are funneled on to specific routes by natural barriers such as the Mediterranean Sea or the Caribbean Sea.
The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to overwintering sites.
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.
The Sacramento NWR Complex headquarters and visitor center is located in the 10,819-acre Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge off of 99W, and features a wildlife exhibit, bookstore, and Discovery Room. Visitors can enjoy a six-mile auto tour with 3 viewing areas and two walking trails.
Before the arrival of European settlers in the 19th century, much of the Sacramento valley was taken up by seasonal wetlands and grasslands. By the beginning of the 20th century, much of this had been replaced by farmland, particularly for the growing of rice, and the rivers no longer create new wetlands because their flow is controlled by levees and irrigation schemes. Less than 10% of the original wetland area remains. Migrating birds have continued to use the area, and resting in the rice fields, consumed considerable quantities of the crop.
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it. Methods for rapidly assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae); however, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) families can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other herbs. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica. Grasslands are found in most ecoregions of the Earth. For example, there are five terrestrial ecoregion classifications (subdivisions) of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome (ecosystem), which is one of eight terrestrial ecozones.
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize.
In 1937, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, with the aid of the Civilian Conservation Corps, began the process of creating a refuge within dry, alkaline lands between the towns of Willows and Maxwell. This was the original Sacramento NWR. From the 1940s onward, additional refuges were created, so that the Sacramento NWR Complex now includes the following refuges, located between 80 and 145 kilometres (50 and 90 mi) north of the city of Sacramento:
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is an agency of the US federal government within the US Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of this agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner's death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 per month.
Willows is a city in and the county seat of Glenn County, California. The city is a home to regional government offices, including the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Motor Vehicles, the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the main offices of the Mendocino National Forest, which comprises about one million acres of Federal land located mostly in mountainous terrain west of Willows. The population was 6,166 at the 2010 census, down from 6,220 at the 2000 census.
Glenn County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,122. The county seat is Willows. It is located in the Sacramento Valley, in the northern part of the California Central Valley.
Colusa County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,419. The county seat is Colusa. It is in the Central Valley of California, northwest of the state capital, Sacramento.
The Delevan National Wildlife Refuge is one of six refuges in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the Sacramento Valley of central northern California.
The total area of the refuges is about 140 square kilometres (35,000 acres)s).
The water flows in the refuge have to be controlled artificially, and the vegetation has to be managed actively through irrigation and burning, to ensure that the wetlands remain productive, and provide adequate food and resting places for the birds. Between them, the refuges provide a range of habitats: seasonal marshes, uplands, permanent ponds, and riparian areas.
A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs. This form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps, which are dominated by trees, and mires, which are wetlands that have accumulated deposits of acidic peat.
The refuges are provided with facilities for visitors, though these have to be limited to avoid conflict with their primary purpose of conservation. The layout of the wetlands has been planned to allow visitors a good view of the birds while minimising the risk of disturbance to them. There is a visitor's center at the Sacramento NWR, and routes for car tours on the Sacramento and Colusa sites, though visitors are allowed to leave their cars only at selected sites. There are walking trails at both those sites and also at the Sacramento River site. Limited hunting is permitted on some of the sites.
Over 300 species of birds and mammals use the refuges, not all of them migratory. Among those most likely to be seen by visitors (depending on season) are:
The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex boasts a diverse flora, even though large amounts of the historic wetland has been destroyed. Among the diverse wildflowers present is the yellow mariposa lily, Calochortus luteus .
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a 12,459-acre (5,042 ha) National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in the central part of the U.S. state of Montana. It lies in northern Cascade County, 12 mi (19 km) north of the city of Great Falls, Montana. Benton Lake NWR includes shortgrass prairie and seasonal wetlands, and is nearly surrounded by the Highwood Mountains to the east, Big Belt Mountains to the south, and the Rocky Mountains to the west. Benton Lake NWR is on the western edge of the northern Great Plains and much of the shallow lake is a 6,000-acre (2,400 ha) wetland.
Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,551-acre (6,293 ha) National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Montana. The refuge is 7 mi (11 km) northeast of Malta, Montana in the Milk River Valley and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge is located in the U.S. state of North Dakota. Arrowwood NWR is a part of the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge parallels 16 miles (27 km) of the James River and is a mixture of wetlands, forest and prairie. Efforts to ensure the refuge continues to provide prime nesting habitat for waterfowl include prescribed fire, haying, crop cultivation and livestock grazing. The refuge has forests with oak and hackberry which are uncommon on the prairie. It is believed that the name for the refuge is derived from Native American naming for arrow wood, as the wood in the forest was prized for the making of arrows.
The boreal forest or taiga of the North American continent stretches through a majority of Canada and most of central Alaska, extending spottily into the beginning of the Rocky Mountain range in Northern Montana and into New England and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This habitat extends as far north as the tree line and discontinues in mixed deciduous-coniferous forests to the south. The "taiga", as it is called there, of Eurasia occupies a similar range on those continents. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the boreal forest covers 2.3 million square miles, a larger area than the remaining Brazilian Amazon rain forest. Although it is largely forest, the boreal forests include a network of lakes, river valleys, wetlands, peat lands and semi-open tundra.
Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge was created on October 12, 2004, the 545th National Wildlife Refuge in the United States. Its creation was the result of cooperation between at least 30 agencies or governmental entities. The creation of the refuge was spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy, and the initial endowment of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) of land was donated by the Conservancy. In light of its planned final size of 37,756 acres (153 km2), it is described by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as "the largest tallgrass prairie and wetland restoration project in U.S. history."
The fauna of Toronto include a variety of different species that have adapted to the urban environment, its parks, its ravine system, and the creeks and rivers that run throughout Toronto. Many other animals from outside the city limits have been known to straddle inside on from time to time.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex is located in the northern San Joaquin Valley, within Merced County and Stanislaus County of California. The complex, with four federal National Wildlife Refuges, is managed by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service.
Shollenberger Park is a 165-acre (0.67 km2) wetland park located in Petaluma, California. Together with the 80-acre (320,000 m2) Alman Marsh, and 260-acre (1.1 km2) Ellis Creek which opened to the public in July 2009, a total of 505 acres (2.04 km2) are accessible to the public. The entirety is referred to as the "Petaluma Wetlands".
The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge protects wildlife habitat along 30 miles (50 km) of the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California, including the last un-channeled section before the river enters Mexico. The Imperial Refuge Wilderness, a federally designated, 15,056-acre (60.93 km2), wilderness area is protected within the refuge. It also surrounds the Picacho State Recreation Area. This section of the Colorado River is popular for boating, hiking, fishing, camping, exploring old mining camps and wildlife watching.
Abbotts Lagoon is a two-stage lagoon on the northwestern coast of the Point Reyes National Seashore, southwest of Tomales Point. The upper lagoon is a fresh water impoundment which overflows into a lower brackish level with occasional winter tidal exchange. The eastern shore of the lagoon is covered with old growth northern coastal scrub including coyote bush, yellow bush lupine, sword fern and California blackberry.