Northern California’s waterfowl-rich Gray Lodge Wildlife Area could soon be getting a $52 million habitat restoration project. Here’s more from Ducks Unlimited:
The more than 100,000 birders and hunters who visit this unique state-managed wildlife area each year will continue to enjoy these spectacular sights in perpetuity thanks to a $52 million Ducks Unlimited infrastructure project scheduled to wrap up in winter 2023, weather permitting. Ducks Unlimited has overseen design and construction of 5 1/2 miles of upgrades to the canals that ship water from the Thermalito Afterbay reservoir north of Gray Lodge to the wildlife area.
The project also included replacing four county road bridges, seven large water control structures, three farm bridges and 45 structures that move water into farm fields. Along with shoring up Gray Lodge’s water supply, the project will protect and provide habitat for the endangered garter snake, which lives in and around Gray Lodge’s 9,100 acres. Ducks Unlimited’s partners on the Gray Lodge Water Supply Improvement Project included the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Biggs West Gridley Water District.
Vince Thompson, a senior engineer at Ducks Unlimited who oversaw the work, said it compliments a decade of projects when Ducks Unlimited overhauled much of the water-delivery system inside the wildlife area itself. Those improvements gave the property’s managers more flexibility on when and how they flood and dry out particular wetland units, Thompson said.