We use science and partnerships to make sure California’s agricultural lands are providing as much benefit as possible to the communities and wildlife that depend on them.
Farms and ranches make up almost half of the land area of California. In addition to providing food to sustain human communities and economies, these landscapes also contribute to ecosystem services such as water quality and availability, biodiversity conservation, and nutrient cycling. Working with partners to understand and manage agricultural systems to provide multiple benefits for humans and for wildlife is an essential part of our climate-smart strategy.
Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership
Even though California continues to be a haven for migratory birds, the state has seen a steep decline in habitat over the past 150 years. Less than 10% of the state’s original wetland habitat remains today, and the threat of losing more habitat persists.
The Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership is a collaboration among Audubon California, The Nature Conservancy, and Point Blue Conservation Science with the primary goal to protect the wetlands and agricultural lands that support migratory bird populations in California.
Learn more about this partnership by visiting the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership website.
Point Blue’s Partner Biologists work with local communities across California to enhance conservation on food-producing lands. They work hand-in-hand with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) conservationists and ranchers to implement practices that benefit soil, water, air, plants, and animals.
Partner Biologists provide value added delivery of wildlife conservation programs on working lands through Farm Bill and other federal and state funding programs. They actively participate with NRCS Field Conservationists, working lands producers, and other resource professionals in the development of ranch, farm, and forestry conservation plans, including resources assessments, conservation practice design, and implementation. In particular, they seek to expand the adoption of prescribed conservation management practices under NRCS Farm Bill habitat conservation programs. The Partner Biologists are also involved with assessment and monitoring of conservation practices that have been applied on working lands and provide technical assistance with the NRCS field conservationists to working lands producers. This partnership work happens in mountain meadows, forests, rangeland, and intensive agricultural habitats.
The Range-C Program provides blueprints for monitoring changes in carbon with commonly recommended rangeland management practices. In addition to supporting individual monitoring needs, the program aims to generate a nationwide dataset that will help scientifically assess changes in carbon across space and through time.
Rangeland Monitoring Network
Point Blue’s Rangeland Monitoring Network seeks to preserve the ecological value of rangelands and recommend conservation actions that enhance their function for people and wildlife. We do this by providing standardized yet flexible ways to capture key components of ecological function and offer landowners data they can use to make management decisions.
Since the inception of the Network in 2014, our biologists have collected information on birds, plants, and soils from over 500 unique locations on 100 ranches across the state. We use this information to help inform on-ranch adaptive management and also to contribute to science at scale.
The Network is open to participation by anyone managing or working on rangelands. Many of the sites we are monitoring are working rangelands where conservation practices are being implemented by private landowners/managers through the NRCS Conservation Planning process as part of our Rangeland Watershed Initiative. Explore our protocols and what we’re finding in the links below.
Point Blue, TomKat Ranch, and the TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation are creating regeneratively managed land that:
- produces healthy food;
- restores nature’s benefits, like soil carbon storage; and
- provides social and economic well-being for agricultural communities and urban residents.
Since 2010, Point Blue has served as the on-site science partner at TomKat Ranch, helping to inform management and measure the benefits of regenerative practices. Below are just some of the products and publications we have generated with support from, and in partnership with, TomKat Ranch.
Land Trust Partnerships
Land trusts are a key partner to advance climate-smart conservation on private lands throughout California. We partner with land trusts to identify and pilot climate-smart conservation tools, approaches, and strategies to ensure that existing and future protected lands are resilient to climate change.