Mitigation Projects

Great Valley Conservation Bank

In early 2006, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approached Wildlands about the acquisition of an important wetland resource in eastern Merced County, known as the Flynn Ranch. The vernal pool wetlands of Merced County, California, are a rapidly diminishing resource, regularly being converted by residential, commercial, and agricultural development. The Flynn Ranch was widely noted for having a great diversity and abundance of branchiopods and amphibians, especially the federally endangered vernal pool tadpole shrimp, the federally threatened California tiger salamander, and the western spadefoot toad, a California Species of Concern. It is located in a USFWS “Priority 1” recovery action area because of the rarity of the resources and increasing development pressure in Merced County.

Wildlands, working with USFWS, was able to act quickly to acquire the property from an agricultural development company and established the Great Valley Conservation Bank at Flynn Ranch, ultimately preventing the destruction of a landmark property. The Bank has over 117 acres of vernal pool wetlands and 950 acres of grasslands, resulting in a wetland density of approximately 11 percent, considered excellent for vernal pool wetland complex. The Bank was approved by USFWS on January 18, 2007 and currently offers vernal pool preservation, California tiger salamander and San Joaquin kit fox conservation credits.

Species Habitats Present On-site

California Tiger Salamander
  • Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi)
  • California Tiger Salamander (Abystoma californiense)
  • Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp (Lepidurus packardi)
  • San Joaquin Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica)
  • Western Spadefoot Toad (Spea hammondii)
  • Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
  • Spiny-sepaled button-celery (Eryngium spinosepalum)
  • Greene’s tuctoria (Tuctoria greenei)
  • Succulent owl’s-clover (Castilleja campestris)

1,067 acres

Location: Merced County, California

Mitigation Types

  • California Tiger Salamander
  • San Joaquin Kit Fox
  • Vernal Pool Preservation

Service Area

- The CTS service area is based on the southern portion of the Central Valley California Tiger Salamander subpopulation as defined by Shaffer et al. (2004).

- The kit fox service area encompasses a portion of the SJKF historic distribution on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley and portions of the known occupied habitat lands of the central and western areas of the San Joaquin Valley.

- The vernal pool service area is based on the Southern Sierra Foothills Vernal Pool Region as defined by Keeler-Wolfe et al. (1998).

Approving Agencies

  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife (in process)

For additional information on the Great Valley Conservation Bank, please contact Julie Maddox at (916) 435-3555 or