Welcome to the Wetland Project!

A collaborative effort to understand the complexities of wetlands in a working landscape

Landowners and managers are the stewards of hundreds of small wetlands scattered throughout the oak woodlands of the Sierra foothills in California. These wetlands are home to numerous animals and plants, and they provide some green feed for livestock throughout the year. This project seeks to understand how people manage these wetlands, and how this management is influenced by drought, water prices, government incentive programs, wildlife, the recently-arrived West Nile Virus, and broader beliefs about how land should be used. We want to learn what these wetlands tell us about how the water cycle functions – among aquifers, soil, surface water, irrigation and the atmosphere – and how this cycle may change over the next 50 years. We want to understand how changes in wetlands have influenced wildlife that depend on them, notably a secretive wetland bird the Black Rail, and the mosquitos living in them that may carry West Nile Virus. Finally, we hope to find ways that landowners and managers can benefit from the “ecosystem services” or assets to society that come from small wetlands.

Wetland in a workign landscape

Last updated on March 16, 2012. Site Created by Diivanand Ramalingam. Banner created by Maybellene Gamboa.