The Plumas Audubon Society has been awarded $100,000 for the Quincy Watershed Improvement Project (QWIP) by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. This project will complete the necessary planning and environmental compliance to implement a Watershed Improvement Plan in the upper Feather River watershed, near Quincy, California. QWIP will create a 665-acre fire break near the southern border of Quincy, north of the footprint of the Minerva fire on Forest Service lands and on American Valley Community Services District property. Initial planning which requires wildlife, archaeology, soils, hydrology, botany, and forestry surveys in addition to preparation of NEPA and CEQA documents is being completed in the summer/fall field season.
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
A nesting pair of Northern Goshawk was detected within the Quincy WIP project area. The nest, pictured to the right, consisted of four total Northern Goshawk, including two juveniles immediately south of downtown Quincy.
Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)
Spotted Owl was detected in the project area, though no nesting activity has been observed. Locating critical areas for these sensitive species allows us to use best practices while thinning fuels in those areas to ensure we are preserving nesting habitat while meeting the objective of fuel reduction.
In addition to wildlife surveys on the Quincy WIP, a full botanical survey was conducted to ensure that no threatened, endangered, or species of concern will be harmed, as well as to assess the threat of encouraging the spread of noxious weeds. PAS staff partnered up with Butterfly Botanicals’ Jim Battigin to survey the entire project area. Our main target species of concern were the Clustered Lady Slipper (Cypripedium fasciultum) and Large Lady Slipper orchids (C. montanum), as well as the locally endemic Quincy Lupine (Lupinus dalesiae). Neither Lady slipper species were encountered. Quincy Lupine, on the other hand, was rather abundant in drier areas in the project area. This beautiful yellow lupine species occurs only within a 20km radius of Quincy and actually thrives in disturbed areas under the right conditions. It is likely that this treatment will actually enhance its growth within the project area. Invasive weeds were uncommon but included Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) and other common invasives, such as Mullein (Verbascum sp.), Bulbous Bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) and Vetch (Vicia americana), however almost all encounters were confined to immediate roadside areas and the urban interface. In total about 150 species of plants were documented in the Boyles Ravine drainage.
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).
Photo by: Elizabeth Ramsey
Northern Goshawk Nest. Photo by: Elizabeth Ramsey
Quincy Lupine (Lupinus dalesiae). Photo by Ryan Thoni
Partners for this project include Feather River Resource Conservation District (FRRCD), American Valley Community Services District (AVCSD), Plumas National Forest (PNF) Plumas County Fire Safe Council, Plumas County, and private land owners. With support of $99,996.76 from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to complete this planning project, the QWIP will be ready for implementation in fall of 2020.