BUTTE CREEK PRESERVATION AREA CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT
Who entered into the Conservation Easement agreement?
The Easement was entered into between Butte Creek Farms and the Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust.
When was the Conservation Easement completed?
The agreement was signed on October 8th, 2014.
What is a Conservation Easement agreement?
A land protection agreement (conservation easement) is a voluntary legal agreement a landowner makes to restrict the amount and type of future development and potential use, while protecting the agricultural productive capacity of the property. The landowner maintains the title to the property, but transfers certain property rights, such as the right to subdivide, to a nonprofit conservation organization such as the Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust. The easement enables the land to remain as riparian habitat in perpetuity by preventing and correcting uses of the property that would diminish or impair the habitat conservation values.
Where is the Butte Creek Preservation Area located?
The site is located within Butte Creek Farms lands approximately 5.7 miles from the town of Colusa. Lower Butte Creek runs along the eastern boundary of the Preservation Area.
How many acres are included in the Agricultural Conservation Easement agreement?
The site consists of 2.35 acres of mature riparian forest along a historically unmodified stretch of Butte Creek, which supports many aquatic functions. The site itself is relatively flat, forested land that slopes gently toward the creek to the east. A shallow drainage swale cuts through the site from the southwest to the creek to the east.
Why types of conservation values are being protected?
The site encompasses riparian and streambank habitat which supports many aquatic functions, including groundwater recharge/discharge, fish habitat, sediment retention, nutrient removal/retention, streambank stabilization, wildlife habitat, recreation, and scenic values. The site also allows for flood overflow during flood years and contains a shallow drainage swale that allows for drainage of excess water from surrounding upland areas. Recreational hunting and fishing is allowed on surrounding lands and the channel of Butte Creek.
Why is protection of riparian habitat important?
Many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians depend on California’s riparian habitats. Riparian forests provide critical wildlife habitat for migratory songbirds, waterfowl, Chinook salmon, steelhead, and a host of other species. Riparian corridors are highly favorable for wildlife because they provide ample water, dense plant cover, predator protection, shade, breeding nesting areas, and food sources. Healthy riparian areas also improve water quality, reduce erosion, and attract beneficial insects. Riparian areas can also provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, boating, fishing and hunting, which can bring tourism dollars into the local economy.
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