Lower American River Bank Protection
Sacramento River Bank Protection
North Area Local Project
Natomas Levee Improvement Program
South Sacramento Streams Group
Folsom Joint Federal Project
American River Common Features
Anticipatory Erosion Control Program
Giant Garter Snake
Burrowing Owl
Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle
Swainson's Hawk
Vernal Pools
Lower American River Task Force
North Area Round Table
Levee Vegetation Symposium
California Levees Round Table
Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Collaborative

Project History

This information addresses the status of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency's (SAFCA) efforts to comply with the specific wetland and riparian habitat mitigation requirements of the North Area Local Project (NALP) pursuant to applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations. The NALP includes levee and channel improvements for Steelhead Creek, formerly the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal (NEMDC), Arcade Creek, Dry/Robla Creeks, and the Natomas Cross Canal. The project also consists of several borrow sites (ie.e. Wolf Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary), and ancillary facilities such as the Steelhead Creek Pumping Station. Restoration and enhancement of areas impacted by the NALP are amont the many environmental mitigation requirements that have been attached to the project purusant to a web of interdependent, and oftern overlapping, regulatory mechanisms. Specific project locations can be vieweb by clicking here. §NALP map§
Environmental Documents

NALP 404 Permit  (• 404 Permit 2001 Amendment)
• NALP Biological Opinion (• 2001 BO Amendment  • 1998 BO Amendment)

Wolf Ranch
The Wolf Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses approximately 60 acres of created wetland and upland habitats in northern Sacramento County. The area was purchased by SAFCA as a borrow site and was excavated for earthen fill material (approximately 800,000 cubic yards) for the North Area Local Project (NALP) levee improvements. Following borrow operations the site was graded and contoured to support the establishment of wetland and riparian habitats as mitigation for the NALP.  The site was initially know as ‘2L’ and was renamed in 2005 to honor the Wolf family who originally owned the property, and to reflect the sites wildlife habitat objective.  Prior to project implementation, much of the project area was classified as upland irrigated pasture lacking natural plant communities.
Native trees, shrubs, and rhizomatous herbaceous species were planted at prescribed densities beginning in 1996.  A portion of Wolf Ranch satisfies a requirement of the USFWS Biological Opinion (1-1-98-F-0109) to create 5.76 acres of constructed seasonal wetlands, as compensation for indirect impacts to 2.88 acres of degraded vernal pool habitat (2:1 ratio).   These habitats included: Palustrine Open Water, Perennial Emergent Marsh, Riparian Marsh, Mixed Riparian, and Oak Riparian all of which are performing well.

Hansen Ranch
SAFCA purchased a conservation easement on Hansen Ranch to minimize NALP-related impacts to species protected under the federal ESA.  The proposed conservation measures, in conjunction with other measures mandated by the 2001 Biological Opinion, will compensate for the impacts to vernal pool crustaceans through the preservation of habitat for these species on the Hansen Ranch.  The required conservation measures include the preservation of 3.74 acres of existing vernal pool habitat.

California annual grassland on the Hansen Ranch is managed to control the dominating influence of the non-native plants by altering the grassland biomass. 

The overall, long-term resource management goals for the Hansen Ranch, in conjunction with its flood control and passive recreation functions, are to preserve potential habitat for the federally protected vernal pool crustaceans and to conserve and enhance the overall biological diversity of the site.  Adaptive management will provide the basis for the long-term stewardship of the preserved vernal pools at Hansen Ranch, and is considered fundamental to the successful implementation of conservation measures.  Monitoring of vegetative conditions continues to be conducted.

NALP Annual Reports
 • 2010   • 2009   • 2008   • 2007   • 2006• 2005   • 2004

Hansen Ranch Vernal Pools Annual Reports
2010 • 2009 • 2008  • 2007  • 2006  • 2005  • 2004  • 2003 • 2002

Magpie Creek Diversion Channel (MCDC)
The Magpie Creek Diversion Channel (MCDC) was originally constructed in 1955 and 1956 by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the State of California as a flood control channel.  The purpose of the USACE project was to provide flood control to the local area by diverting flows away from the lower portion of Magpie Creek in to this constructed channel that was dominated by non-native vegetation with low habitat value.  During 2002, it was observed that the steep slope of the levee along the south side of the MCDC was eroding.  In an effort to improve the habitat quality and stabilize the upper portion of the left bank, SAFCA proposed this enhancement project. 

Annual Reports
2010   2009 •  2007/2008

Rio Linda Creek Conservation Area (RLCCA)

In the 1970s, a reach of Robla Creek between Dry Creek Road and the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail was relocated to facilitate the construction of the Bell Aqua housing development and three water ski lakes.  This channelized section of Robla Creek was restricted to a very narrow corridor that contained low-quality habitat and did not provide adequate room for flood flows.  In 1993, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) adopted a flood control program that would protect areas within the Natomas Basin, North Sacramento, Rio Linda and Elverta.  The project included the construction of a new Rio Linda Creek channel west of Dry Creek Road.  Much of the former Robla Creek channel alignment west of Dry Creek Road was filled and that area was used to accommodate the Robla Creek north levee.  The new channel was built as a sinuous, meandering channel with improved flood flow capabilities and increased habitat values.  

SAFCA established the Rio Linda Creek Conservation Area (RLCCA) in 2003 as part of the Lower Dry Creek and Robla Creek Levee Improvements Mitigation Project.  Specifically, on March 22, 2002 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a Biological Opinion (BO) and Incidental Take Statement, as amended April 19, 2002, describing the impacts of the Mitigation Project threatened and endangered species.  As of 2009, the USFWS confirmed that SAFCA has met the requirements of the BO.

Annual Reports     
2008 • 2007   2006  2005  •  2004

Garden Highway

The Garden Highway Re-vegetation and Beautification Project consisted of modifications to reinforce the existing Garden Highway levee.  The site is on the north side of the Garden Highway between Truxel Road and the City of Sacramento’s pump station at the terminus of Azusa Street.  Work included ground clearing, placing filler fabric and drain rock along the levee toe and constructing on the landside, and a small trench to carry surface runoff to a nearby, existing pump station.  The modifications were in response to reports of minor seepage along this levee reach during periods of high river stages.    The Goals of the Garden Highway Revegetation and Beautification Project include:

  • Use plants that provide screening from traffic.
  • Install plants that beautify the levee slope.
  • Use drought tolerant, native plant species.
  • Make use of species that are compatible with concerns of the local flood control districts.

The vegetation has not been irrigated since fall 2007 and plant establishment has been successful.

Hayer Dam
Hayer Dam was originally built mainly for agricultural purposes, and was a seasonal impediment to fish passage on Dry Creek.  The dam checked up water during the summer to provide for adjacent gravity diversion and storage structures.  The dam renovation completed by SAFCA removed the potential obstructive structure and maintained the water diversion.

The project area contains withdrawn critical habitat for the Central Valley Steelhead ESU (evolutionarily significant unit).  As such, the potential project habitat impacts have been evaluated using the analytical framework established by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries for assessing impacts to anadromous fish critical habitats for the purposes of obtaining a conference opinion, which includes consideration of essential habitat types and essential features of critical habitat for anadromous salmonid species.  The dewatering and excavation for this project were conducted in September 2004 during a period when neither adult upstream spawning migration nor juvenile out-migration was occurring.  The coffer dams were installed one at a time (upstream dam first) to allow any fish in the dewatering area to move out of the area.  After installation of both dams but before structural renovation began, all fish (regardless of species) remaining in the dewatered area were manually removed and released upstream.  Overall, the project will have long term benefits and is not likely to significantly affect salmonids due to lack of suitable habitat at the project site, the small amount of habitat disturbed, and the timing of the action outside the upstream spawning and out-migration periods.




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