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 #07 Quail in the Valley
    This male finds a high perch where he can broadcast his call last summer. During the fall and winter quail…
  • Willits Mitigation Land Tour and Nature Walk March 9, 2024
    Meet at County Museum in Willits at 9 am. RSVP required. Contact information: or text 707-841-7172
  • California Quail
    February 22, 2024 The California Quail (Callipipla californica) is a common bird resident of the Willits Bypass Mitigation Lands. It…

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