Portions of the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve are set aside as habitat mitigation areas for Swainson's Hawk, Burrowing Owl, and Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (VELB).
As areas of campus are developed under the 2003 UC Davis Long Range Development Plan, mitigation for loss of potential habitat will occur on Putah Creek Reserve lands designated for this purpose. Rather than mitigate off-campus, UC Davis has chosen to locate the mitigation areas on-campus, keeping the mitigation lands close to the campus for teaching use, creating an area for research on restored ecosystems, and providing a site contiguous with Putah Creek where Swainson's hawks are known to nest.
Russell Ranch Mitigation Concept Plan
In 1999, the Russell Ranch Mitigation Area Design Concept Committee was appointed. The Committee identified the following goals for the creation and management of the mitigation lands and the Russell Ranch:
- Fulfill the University’s legal and regulatory requirements for biological mitigation in response to development contemplated in the 1994 LRDP.
- Evaluate the efficacy and success of mitigation efforts in order to contribute to the greater body of knowledge about mitigation. That is, mitigation should not be done without evaluation, as is often the case. Important questions that should be addressed are whether mitigation works in the long-term, whether mitigation for a few species is compatible with natural habitat restoration, and how to address conflicts when dealing with multi-species mitigation.
- View implementation of the concept plan as part of a larger effort to improve habitat values on west campus lands, including the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, Russell Ranch, and field teaching and research lands.
- Design the Russell Ranch mitigation area to be used as an outdoor classroom for use by campus classes, faculty, and students.
- Engage the community in the creation and management of the mitigation area to the extent feasible and consistent with management of the area for wildlife and habitat values.
Teaching, Research and Class Use of the Russell Ranch Mitigation Area
Those interested in using the Russell Ranch Mitigation Area for teaching, research, and class use should visit the section of the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve website regarding academic use of the Reserve.
(PHOTO: Swainson's Hawk courtesy of Dan Streiffert (CC BY 2.0))