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California Heartland

 


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  Season 8 - Episode 808
 

A Refuge for Wildlife

A Refuge for Wildlife

A Refuge for Wildlife

A Refuge for Wildlife

A Refuge for Wildlife

  A Refuge for Wildlife

Down in the Sacramento Valley, just outside Corning in Tehama county lies a wetlands wildlife oasis. The Paskenta band of Nomlaki Native Americans purchased close to nine hundred acres of former pasture to preserve it as a wetlands. Everett Freeman is the Tribal chairman of the Paskenta band of Nomlaki Native Americans, the tribe that owns this land, "Tehama county is our aboriginal territory. This is where my grandfather's folks came from."

Wetlands and grasslands once covered most of California's broad valleys. They provided a winter haven for millions of waterfowl migrating along the Pacific flyway. Today, many wetlands have been drained and covered by development, leaving birds to rely on farmland and the occasional wildlife refuge to rest their weary wings. In essence, the Paskenta band is turning the clock back to recapture the lost habitat. But in order for the restoration to benefit the tribe it needs to be economically viable. The Rolling Hills casino is the tribe's main source of income, but they're looking for other ways to sustain themselves.

Like the rest of the tribes in California here we're hoping we don't have to be dependent on gaming we hope we can bring in other economic developments and get away from gaming if that's possible and that's one of our goals, Everett explains.

And that's where Brad Henman comes in. He leases out land for the Clear Creek Sports Club, a hunting lodge he maintains on the reservation. To attract ducks and geese, game birds such as pheasants, deer, turkey and the predators that follow require different habitats and different types of food. Of course, the real key to creating wetlands is water, a resource that's part of the tribe's history. A modern irrigation system provides water when rain isn't enough. This wetlands restoration is a relatively new project, but ultimately, the Paskenta people hope it creates a lasting place that birds and other wildlife can call home.

 

 

 

 
   

 

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