USFWS Awards RCA Grant Funding to Acquire Habitat in Riverside County

Nov 1, 2022 | MSHCP, News

Existing MSHCP Land Toscana

The coastal California gnatcatcher, San Jacinto Valley crownscale, western spadefoot toad, spreading navarretia, Stephens’ kangaroo rat, and other endangered and threatened native animals and plants soon may have more protected habitat in Riverside County. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service announced the RCA will receive a $4.4 million grant from the Section 6 Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. As part of the grant award, the California Wildlife Conservation Board awarded $2.3 million to the RCA in matching funds, bringing the total grant award to $6.7 million.

“Receiving this grant shows that we are getting things done in western Riverside County,” said RCA Chair and Lake Elsinore Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Johnson. “This type of collaboration and support from our federal and state partners will help us reach our land conservation goals, which benefits our residents, our environment, and our economy,” she said.

The grant will be used to acquire land that will support species like the San Jacinto Valley crownscale, a small plant with grayish leaves that is able to draw salt from the soil, causing it to glow in the sunlight. This endangered plant grows only in Riverside County.

In all, the funds will allow RCA to negotiate the acquisition of up to 737 acres of land for its MSHCP.

30X30 Event Board with Signatures
B-Canyon Landscapte Image
Walker Canyon -California gnatcatcher
The funds will further the mission of the federal “America the Beautiful” initiative and California’s 30X30 plan, efforts to conserve 30% of lands and waters across the state and nation by 2030. Purchasing sensitive lands will protect them from development while addressing climate change, promoting biodiversity, enhancing public health, and increasing equitable access to open space for residents.