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  Consent-General Government   # 12.       
County Administrator  
Meeting Date: 12/07/2021  
Brief Title:    Adopt Resolution Supporting Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Funding Application
From: Jill Cook, Chief Deputy County Administrator, County Administrator's Office
Staff Contact: Elisa Sabatini, Manager of Natural Resources, County Administrator's Office, x5773

Subject
Adopt resolution in support of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project, Phase 2, funding application to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. (No general fund impact) (Cook/Sabatini)
Recommended Action
  1. Adopt a resolution in support of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project, Phase 2, funding application to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy; and
     
  2. Authorize the County Administrator, or his/her designee, to sign a letter of support for the Project. 
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Sustainable Environment
Flourishing Agriculture
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
Overview of Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat Restoration and Drainage Improvement Project

The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat & Drainage Improvement Project (“Project”), led by Ducks Unlimited, is supported by a diverse coalition of partners, including Yolo County, Yolo Basin Foundation, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  The Project is included in both the County's 2014 Yolo Bypass Drainage and Infrastructure Improvement Study and the 2020 Yolo Bypass Drainage and Infrastructure Improvement Study Update. 

The Project includes five (5) major improvements, identified as Project Components, that together are designed to enhance the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (“Department”) ability to manage wetland resources and agricultural operations within the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (“Wildlife Area”). The Project is identified as the top priority in Yolo County’s 2014 Yolo Bypass Drainage & Water Infrastructure Improvement Study and includes important components of the Yolo Bypass Regional Flood Management Plan process. Improvements resulting from the Project will allow the Department to expand the acreage of managed wetlands within the Wildlife Area, increase the productivity of existing wetlands, reduce on-site flooding from the South Davis Drain, and increase public access to the Wildlife Area.
 
Ducks Unlimited constructed Components 1, 3, and 5 in 2020, resulting in significant benefits to waterfowl and other terrestrial species in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The remaining two components of the Project are shovel ready and the total cost to construct these two components is approximately $5 million. Ducks Unlimited has secured $ 1 Million in Duck Stamp funding for the project, which Ducks Unlimited must use in 2022 or it will revert to the Duck Stamp fund. Ducks Unlimited also has applied for a $927,000 grant for this project from the Delta Conservancy, which is the subject of this Board action, and has requested the Wildlife Conservation Board reallocate $435,000 not used for components 1,3, and 5 to components 2 and 4. Ducks Unlimited needs to secure funding by January 15, 2022 and released a Request for Proposals by February 1, 2022 to ensure Ducks Unlimited can construct the project in 2022. 

Overview of Components 2 and 4 of the Project

Component 2: Green’s Lake Modifications
Green’s Lake functions as an irrigation reservoir located in the northeastern portion of the Wildlife Area. It includes a channel that extends south to the South Davis Drain. This Project Component will create operational flexibility by separating water drainage and supply infrastructure near the lake’s drainage channel. Diversion structures will maintain water levels in Green’s Lake when the South Davis Drain releases water into the Toe Drain. With these improvements, Wildlife Area farmers and wetlands managers will improve control of water flows. This improvement will ensure water levels in Green’s Lake can be maintained when the South Davis Drain releases water from the Wildlife Area following a storm event, or in the spring when managers are draining wetlands and farmers are flooding up rice fields.
 
Component 4: New Cross Canal Pump Station & Road Improvements
This Project Component will install a new water pump north of the Cross Canal in the eastern portion of the Wildlife Area. Inundation in this part of the Wildlife Area is difficult to manage due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. The new pump station will allow drawdown of rice fields and wetlands if there is minor flooding in March through June. This Project Component also includes roadway improvements to the west and north of the proposed new pump, which will increase access to the eastern portion of the Wildlife Area and will aid in separating Toe Drain flood waters from managed wetlands and rice fields.

Recommended Action
Staff recommends that the Board: 
  • Adopt the resolution in support of Ducks Unlimited's funding application to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy (Att. A), and
  • Authorize the County Administrator, or his/her designee, to sign a letter in support of the Project (Att. B). 
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
Staff have collaborated with Ducks Unlimited and the Yolo Basin Foundation on this item.

Fiscal Impact
No Fiscal Impact
Fiscal Impact (Expenditure)
Total cost of recommended action:    $  
Amount budgeted for expenditure:    $  
Additional expenditure authority needed:    $  
On-going commitment (annual cost):    $  
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
$0
Attachments
Att. A. Resolution
Att. B. Letter of Support

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Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Elisa Sabatini Elisa Sabatini 11/29/2021 10:55 AM
Phil Pogledich Phil Pogledich 12/01/2021 07:33 AM
Jill Perez jcook 12/01/2021 12:42 PM
Chad Rinde Chad Rinde 12/01/2021 01:13 PM
Joanne Van Hoosear Joanne Van Hoosear 12/01/2021 02:27 PM
Form Started By: Casey Liebler Started On: 11/22/2021 10:21 PM
Final Approval Date: 12/01/2021

    

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