Sweater Weather Sweater Weather
28 August 2022

Sweater Weather

And I quote….“It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed”, a valuable lesson I learned on one of our site visits with members of the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office and members of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The sheer coldness with high winds was not the best combination for someone who was dressed in pants and flannel. Lets just say that I could barely feel my fingers and face after this site visit. 


The Muzzy Ranch Conservation Bank includes approximately 1,288.5 acres of existing high quality vernal pool/grassland complex habitat covered by a conservation easement(CE). The bank was established to provide permanent conservation and management of several State and/or federally endangered species: San Joaquin Valley Orcutt grass (Orcuttia inaequalis), Bogg’s Lake hedge-hyssop (Gratiola heterosepala), delta green ground beetle (DGGB; Elaphrus viridis), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi), Conservancy fairy shrimp (Branchinecta conservatio), vernal pool fairy shrimp (Brachinecta lynchi), and California tiger salamander (CTS; Ambystoma californiense). During our site visit, we were guided with the help of Steve Foreman who is the consultant for the bank. Both him and his son had UTV’s(Utility Terrain Vehicle) for our group since the area was not walking distance nor was it vehicle friendly. As we reached one of the vernal pools, we had the opportunity to dip net which allowed us to see some of the endangered species that are being managed such as the California tiger salamander and vernal pool tadpole shrimp. We also saw multiple burrowing owl holes that were vacant or had remnants of burrowing owls as we proceeded throughout the parcels. As we returned back to our vehicles, I looked back and reflected at the parcel of land that houses such a complex habitat that not many have the opportunity to see. Despite freezing to my core, I can say that this site visit was well worth the hypothermia. 

* California Tiger Salamander (Larva Stage with fully developed gills and limbs)

* Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp


As I learned my lesson from my first site visit at Muzzy Ranch Conservation Bank, another opportunity appeared as I had a chance to visit another site which was the Sutter Basin Conservation Bank located in Sutter County that is approximately 10 miles south of Yuba City. With 429 acre, this parcel of land was established to provide mitigation for impacts to the Giant Garter Snake (GGS) and its habitat in the northeast central valley. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, we were unable to walk around the area. Rainfall caused the ground to become mushy which would cause potential hazards to us as well as detering the GGS due to the decrease in temperature. However, we were able to learn their maintenance process and their system of managing the parcel of land. The site contains six canals that range from different lengths and are drained separately to allow vegetation maintenance. By draining each canal separately, this helps the GGS relocate to another canal during the process. Once we were finished with the site visit, members of Westervelt Ecological Services generously gifted us some gear such as stickers, salmon figure flash drive, charging ports and hats. It was such an amazing site visit and there are still more visits to come.    


Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342