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Oak Woodland Preservation Program

Administrating Agency: Resources Agency
Bond: Proposition 84
Department Name: Wildlife Conservation Board
Bond Statute: 75055(d)(2)
Implementing Statute: Fish and Game Code, Section 1360, Division 2, Chapter 4

  • Front-end
  • In-Progress
  • Follow-up

Funding under this section will be allocated for preservation of oak woodlands pursuant to the Oak Woodlands Conservation Act of 2001. The Act authorizes the WCB to purchase oak woodland conservation easements and provide grants for land improvements and restoration efforts. The Act requires that priority be given to grants that result in the purchase of oak woodland conservation easements. The Oak Woodlands Conservation Program offers landowners, conservation organizations, cities and counties, an opportunity to obtain funding for projects designed to conserve and restore California’s oak woodlands. Goals of the program are to:

Special requirements:

  • Projects will be reviewed for funding consideration after the County or City has prepared an Oak Woodlands Management Plan;
  • All projects must be certified by the County or City as being consistent with the locally approved Oak Woodlands Management Plan.

Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. To qualify for funding, applications must be submitted at least four months in advance of the scheduled Board meeting. Upon receipt of a proposed project and application, WCB will review the application for compliance with program requirements. If the proposed project meets the program requirements, is consistent with and compliments the program guidelines and selection criteria, and sufficient money exists to fund the request, the project may be scheduled for Board consideration. Applicants will be notified as to when the project will be considered by the Board.

ts considered for funding under the Oak Woodland Conservation Program are required to submit a grant application requesting funds to facilitate the acquisition, restoration, education or public outreach efforts of a project designed to compliment the purpose of the Oak Woodland Conservation program. Eligible applicants include local governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and special districts. Consistent with the enabling legislation, 80 percent of the funds are awarded for grants to purchase conservation easements and the remaining 20 percent can be used to fund public education and outreach efforts communicating the social, economic, agricultural, and biological benefits of strategies to conserve oak woodland habitat. Under this program, fee acquisitions are not eligible for funding.

Grants are awarded only in counties that have adopted an Oak Woodland Management Plan. Proposed projects that meet eligibility requirements and sufficiently address the selection criteria will be presented to the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) for funding consideration. If the WCB approves the proposed project, appropriate documents for the acquisition or restoration project will be finalized and the applicant will be provided a notice to proceed with the project. In the case of acquisitions escrow instructions concerning disbursement of funds will be developed by the WCB. On non-acquisition projects billing invoices are accepted from the grantee on a monthly basis. To ensure compliance with project agreements, ten (10) percent of each billing is withheld until the project is completed and all parties to the agreement are satisfied with the final product. Upon final approval of the completed project, the grantee must request a final payment to collect the withheld funds.
k Woodland Conservation Program is designed to support voluntary, long-term private stewardship of oak woodlands, provide incentives to protect and encourage farming and ranching operations that protect healthy oak woodlands, and encourage local land use planning that is consistent wit the preservation of oak woodlands.

All conservation easements must be recorded upon the close of escrow and a copy of the recorded document provided to WCB. Commencing one year after the close of escrow, the grantee is required to conduct an annual site visit and monitor compliance with the terms and conditions of the WCB Grant agreement and conservation easement. The Grantee is further required to conduct the monitoring consistent with approved monitoring protocols. Upon completion of the monitoring visit, Grantees are required to submit an annual monitoring report to WCB. No less than once every three years, WCB staff will conduct a site visit to verify the grantees annual monitoring reports.

Restoration projects are monitored on an annual basis for compliance with the terms and conditions of the long-term grant agreement. Consistent with the terms of the grant agreement, the grantee is required to prepare an annual report to WCB.