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An occasional feature of BLM California's News.bytes

Spotlight on Partners: Cosumnes River Preserve

To understand the unusual partnership at the Cosumnes River Preserve near Sacramento, you need to consider an ownership map.  With each partner or owner a different color, the map looks like a patchwork quilt, with the Preserve stitched together in colorful mosaic. (text continues below)

Birds take flight against a sunrise at Cosumnes River Preserve 
Birds take flight at sunrise over Cosumnes River Preserve (BLM photos by Jim Pickering except where noted)

It may look disorganized, but the opposite is true – it is built on shared responsibility, trust, and a long-term vision for preserving one of California's last undammed rivers, critical habitat for migrating birds, and one of the last remnant intact oak woodland forests in the Central Valley.

The project began in 1984 with acquisition of a key part of the forest by The Nature Conservancy (TNC); in 1987, Ducks Unlimited acquired additional lands and the two created the Cosumnes River Preserve.  BLM, the California Departments of Fish and Game and Water Resources, and Sacramento County all joined and added land, reaching the current acreage of 46,000 acres.

BLM provides the Preserve Manager and a small staff, as well as support from its nearby Folsom Field Office.  TNC does much of the tours for schoolchildren and operates the Visitor Center, and the other agencies provide funding and technical support.

The best part for the public is the Preserve operates seamlessly, with all agencies working cooperatively in a unique partnership that is serving as a model for the rest of the State and the Nation.

sandhill cranes in the wetlands at Cosumnes River Preserve
Sandhill cranes take to the water at Cosumnes River Preserve...

Sandhill cranes swarm on and above a patch of farmed land on the Preserve
...and swarm on and above a patch of farmed land on the Preserve.

A young visitor views birds at Cosumnes through binoculars 
A young visitor views birds at Cosumnes through binoculars (BLM photo: Dave Christy)

winter fog shrouds seasonal wetlands at Cosumnes
Winter fog shrouds seasonal wetlands at Cosumnes

more wildlife at Cosumnes: a deer and what looks like wild turkeys
More wildlife at the Preserve

Volunteers plant young trees in a marked field
Volunteers have contributed many hours of labor over the years. Here, a group plants young trees in a marked field.

Blue flowers bloom on a banking above a waterway on the Preserve
Many varieties of plants also grow on the Preserve (BLM photo: Leah Ward)

A boardwalk for accessible views of the Preserve
A boardwalk for accessible views of the Preserve  (BLM photo: Leah Ward)

Related links:

Cosumnes River Preserve (BLM-California, Folsom Field Office)

In the Field - a video visit with Cosumnes River Preserve manager Harry McQuillen 

Cosumnes River Preserve organization (partner website)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 365

Last updated: 01-14-2009