The MCRCD Land Stewardship Program mission is to provide professional, progressive, and sustainable long-term land management that is resilient to climate change and supports native ecosystems and the local community.

Willits Bypass Mitigation Lands

The Willits Bypass Mitigation Lands, located in Little Lake Valley, is the largest public wetlands restoration and mitigation project in the State of California. In 2015, we assumed long term management responsibility for the 2,087-acres of wet meadow, stream corridors, and oak woodlands. CalTrans created a non-wasting endowment through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation as a permanent source of funding for management and monitoring of mitigation lands. MCRCD, a signatory to the Endowment Agreement, signed a 10-year interim contract to provide necessary on-the-ground land management and monitoring services. Four staff members manage and monitor grazing impacts to listed species, ecosystem function, and overall biological diversity.

Our Willits Mitigation Lands Blog: recent posts

  • Week #05 Sand Bathing Otters
    River otters cover themselves with sand in order to establish their territory and groom their fur. It is a regular…
  • The Powerful Peregrine Falcon
    January 31, 2023 This time of the year in Little Lake Valley is a moment for the raptors to shine.…
  • Week #04 Western Fence Lizard
    Check out this footage from last summer of a male Western Fence Lizard basking in the sun and performing push-ups…

Our Willits Mitigation Lands Videos

Our team has created dozens of videos showing the diversity of life in Little Lake Valley’s Willits Wetlands. Please see our YouTube channel for the complete video collection.

Our Willits Mitigation Lands Gallery

Above is a sample of recent photos from the Little Lake Valley. See the complete gallery for more.

Habitat Mitigation Projects