River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

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Stanislaus River Projects

River Partners has restored over 100 acres on the Stanislaus River and worked with Stillwater Sciences, California Waterfowl Asscoaition, the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge, California Department of Corrections, US Army Corps of Engineers, Stanislaus River Parksand EDAW, Inc.

The Buffington project restored and enhanced approximately 53 acres of riparian habitat on the Buffington unit of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), along the Stanislaus River between river miles 2.1L-5.5L.  The primary goal of this plan is to increase and improve riparian habitat at a key reintroduction site for captive-bred riparian brush rabbits, in cooperation with the Endangered Species Recovery Program and US Fish and Wildlife Service, while simultaneously providing multi-species benefits.  Habitat restoration strategies include creating a network of dense riparian thickets -- the habitat structure most preferred by brush rabbits -- and high-ground flood refugia for survival of flood events for the brush rabbit and other terrestrial species.  Other wildlife targets include federal- and state-listed endangered species such as the San Joaquin “riparian” woodrat, valley elderberry longhorn beetle, Least Bell’s Vireo and other Neotropical migrant songbirds, year-round resident and wintering migrant songbirds, and California Quail.

Funding for this 53-acre riparian restoration project was awarded to River Partners by the US Fish and Wildlife Service through a CalFed grant administered by the California Bay-Delta authority.

The McHenry Park Project involved the California Department of Corrections, US Army Corps of Engineers, Stanislaus River Parks, and EDAW, with River Partners to restore and enhance approximately 31.7 acres of the McHenry Avenue Recreation Area (“C” Lot). This project is part of the statewide mitigation program of the California Department of Corrections Statewide Electrified Fence Project. The McHenry Avenue Recreation Area (“C” Lot), part of the Stanislaus River Parks, is located along the Stanislaus River, downstream of the New Melones Dam, near the town of Escalon (Stanislaus County).  The site contains a successful elderberry mitigation site, but the surrounding area is dominated by invasive non-native plant species. The goals of this project are to enhance the riparian areas and convert the surrounding fallow areas to a more natural state providing benefits to riparian dependent species. Restoration will reduce forest fragmentation, increase vegetative cover, and create benefits to terrestrial species within a relatively short time.

The Mohler Tract project began in 1999, in cooperation with the California Waterfowl Association and the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge. The 35-acre parcel occupies flood-prone property along the lower Stanislaus River (River mile 12.3 R) near Ripon, California (San Joaquin County). The project goals for the Mohler Tract are to convert the site to a more natural state providing benefits to riparian dependent species. This riparian restoration plan represents the next step toward restoring the site. It describes current and past conditions, and evaluates the management alternatives to restore the site. 

California Waterfowl Association, Mohler Tract on the Stanislaus River

Mohler Tract on the Stanislaus River
Mohler Tract on the Stanislaus River

As planned, the plant community design of the Mohler Tract consists of five different communities. Each community contains a variety of species placed to provide important structural characteristics within the site.  The site will be planted with an approximate total of 7,013 riparian plants.   The Mohler Tract provides an opportunity to restore habitat and natural processes along the Stanislaus River.