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Past Projects of Cache Creek Conservancy

2008: South Bank Restoration, Phase I, 94B Site; 3-year project
Funded by the Rose Foundation
Three years ago, the Cache Creek Conservancy received a grant of $22,500 from the Rose Foundation to implement a restoration project on the south bank of Cache Creek immediately across the creek from the Nature Preserve. This project involved a major clean up of the site, including removal of large stands of arundo (Arundo donax or false bamboo). The site was burned in November of 2009 to further prepare it for planting. Over the next several months, plantings were done. Plants were irrigated by a drip system during the summer months. Weed control was necessary to prevent reinfestations and to allow the native plants to grow and spread. 

This project is environmentally beneficial in providing diversity of native riparian habitat, controlling non-native invasive species, stabilizing the creek channel, improving water quality, and contributing to the scenic beauty of the area. This project site is highly visible from County Road 94B as it crosses over Cache Creek. Travelers are now treated to the sight of a beautifully restored riparian area, rich in diversity of plantings. This restoration also complements other projects in the area, including the work done on the Cache Creek Nature Preserve directly across the creek to the north. 

Cache Creek Conservancy is honored to have received this grant from the Rose Foundation. Other funding for the project came from an existing Calfed grant for restoration work on the creek and administrative support from the Conservancy. A donation of plants was made by Teichert. Thanks to all who made this project a success.

    Before restoration - June 2008            After Restoration - September 2011

Riparian Habitat Restoration, Cache Creek, Lower Reach, Phase II
Funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board, February 2006 - December 2008

Prior to this grant the Conservancy completed Phase I with funding from WCB and Calfed which focused on the removal of tamarisk and Arundo along 12 miles of Cache Creek. Ultimately 1,100 acres were treated using a combination of manual, mechanical, and chemical means. Phase II carried forward the lessons learned in Phase I, using the most cost-effective and efficient means to remove invasive species.

Additional species were treated, primarily Ravenna grass (Saccharum ravennae) which has become more dominant in the Cache Creek watershed. Other invasive species noted and treated included purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and yellowflag iris (Iris pseudacorus).

The Conservancy also stepped up its involvement in the bio-control program under the leadership of USDA-Agricultural Research Service using the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) to defoliate tamarisk plants. Beetle populations have established and have migrated both upstream and downstream from one of the initial release sites.

Revegetation was done on two sites, the major one being on the grounds of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve and the other on a landowner property. In addition, natural recruitment is occurring in many areas along the creek where invasives have been removed.

Education and outreach activities continued and expanded with annual workshops held at the Nature Preserve, smaller meetings with groups to discuss our control methods, and numerous individual conversations with other project managers interested in our operations

The Cache Creek Conservancy was successful in implementing the “Riparian Habitat Restoration, Lower Cache Creek, Phase II” grant over the last three years. All of the landowners within our project area have signed agreements with us to do work on their property. We are fortunate to have access to all areas within the riparian corridor. We also collaborate with Yolo County and, in particular, with the Natural Resources staff to implement projects. All permitting is done through the County.

During this three year period we have controlled significant amounts of invasive plants throughout the entire project area, including some specific parcels that had not been treated in the past. Through our Project Manager John Watson, techniques and timing for chemical treatment have been refined to be most efficient and cost-effective. Our collaboration with USDA on the tamarisk leaf beetle bio-control project has provided us another viable option for controlling tamarisk.

The revegetation site on the Cache Creek Nature Preserve is doing well, with native plants and grasses established and growing. This will serve as a template of what we hope to do elsewhere along the creek under similar conditions.

Finally, we are grateful for the wonderful cooperative spirit and collaborative effort that exists in this region. Many agencies and individuals help us to accomplish our goals. The landowners in our project area have been very supportive of our efforts to improve the habitat along the creek. We appreciate the help and support we have had from others, and hope that we have also helped them in their efforts to remove invasive plants and restore natural areas.

Riparian Habitat Restoration Lower Reach, Cache Creek
Funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board, September 2001-September 2004
Funded by the California Bay Delta Authority, July 2002-May 2005

In September 2001, the Wildlife Conservation Board granted the Cache Creek Conservancy $595,000 over a three year period to remove and control tamarisk and Arundo donax along a 12 mile stretch of Cache Creek. The specific area started from County Road 85 and continued downstream approximately one mile west of the Interstate 5 freeway. To continue the support of this project, in July, 2002, CalFed granted the Conservancy $222,200.

The Conservancy’s proposal promised 300 acres within the riparian corridor would receive treatment, accomplish tamarisk and Arundo control and initiate re-vegetation with native plant species to help minimize erosion and improve wildlife habitat. Potential added benefits included improved water flows within the corridor and improved biological diversity.

Concurrent with the Conservancy’s efforts, the U.S.D.A. Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) initiated caged releases of tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) that had proven in its home setting, to be an effective tamarisk bio-control agent. ARS activities included monitoring of the riparian corridor for plant and animal species, remote sensing, and research on different strains of the beetle. Yolo County contributed water quality monitoring and project support to the program and Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District provided cash and “in-kind” service.

The Cache Creek Conservancy was successful in implementing the “Riparian Habitat Restoration” grant in the lower reach portion of Cache Creek. The Conservancy signed forty three out of forty four landowners to a ten year license agreement with Yolo County to remove tamarisk and arundo from a twelve mile stretch of Cache Creek.

During the three year project different techniques were utilized to remove invasives including mechanical, chemical and manual removal. The project started with a commitment to treat 300 acres but ended up treating about 1,100 acres.

Workshops for landowners and other interested parties were held on invasive removal and revegetation and were well attended. A lot of the information presented is being adapted to other parts of the watershed. Others in attendance have taken the information and modified it for their own areas.

The collaboration among different agencies in this project has been good. From Wildlife Conservation Board, CalFed, Yolo County Flood Control and USDA ARS, this joint effort has been successful on the 12 mile stretch of Cache Creek.


Before - August 12, 2002                          After – March 23, 2004