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Environmental Stewardship

The Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) has established and maintained a record of environmental stewardship for those resources affected by its facilities. TANC continues to provide an exemplary environmental record in its waterfowl conservation, wildlife management, fire suppression, fuels management, and access road erosion control efforts.

Waterfowl Habitat Management Plan

Since 1993, TANC has worked with the California Department of Fish and Game to successfully manage 1,213 acres of farming-friendly waterfowl habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This TANC-owned property is managed primarily for corn and wheat farming, but also includes three brood ponds, a seasonal wetland and several other water management and nesting habitat improvements to encourage the annual production of waterfowl to flight stage. TANC's tenant farmers routinely leave excess residual corn and wheat each year to ensure that returning waterfowl find adequate food and cover resources. Since 1998, the tenant farmers have left over 39 million pounds of waterfowl food from corn, wheat, and other grain crops. To date, this cooperative effort has helped raise more than 3,000 ducks to flight stage and provided habitat for thousands of additional Pacific Flyway migratory waterfowl. Implementation of TANC's Waterfowl Habitat Management Plan continues to be one of the best examples of farmer-friendly waterfowl management in the state.

Water Conservation

TANC owns 1,213 acres of mitigation lands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These lands are managed for corn, wheat, and other grains, and have supported an enduring model for farmer-friendly waterfowl management. During the 2015 drought, TANC participated in the Delta Lands Voluntary Water Conservation Program intended to conserve Delta surface water resources. In cooperation with other Delta diverters, TANC’s tenant farmer voluntarily shut off two siphons used to irrigate croplands and waterfowl habitat during the months of June through September 2015, resulting in an estimated savings of 25 percent of water that may otherwise have been rightfully diverted for other beneficial uses.

Wildfire Response Capabilities

TANC and the U.S. Forest Service have long recognized the potential dangers associated with wildfires near major transmission lines. Under a series of mutually beneficial agreements, TANC and the Modoc National Forest have cooperated in funding the construction, operation, maintenance, and fire-season staffing of a wildland fire station and fire engine in the northeast corner of California known regionally as “gasoline alley” because of the historic frequency and severity of wildfires that have occurred there. The engine has responded to an average of 8 to 10 fires every fire season since 1991, and serves as an important command and training center for joint fire response campaigns in this remote region. These facilities, equipment, and staff have, and continue to serve as first responders to fires that could threaten the reliability of three major transmission lines, between the Pacific Northwest and California that comprise the California-Oregon Intertie.

Wildfire Fuels Management and Risk Reduction

TANC and the Modoc and Shasta-Trinity National Forests have been cooperating for over 25 years on projects intended to reduce the buildup of vegetative fuels that could exacerbate wildfires near the California-Oregon Intertie. During that period, TANC has funded over 9,000 acres of vegetative fuel reductions near the Intertie through Forest-Service supervised under-burn, fuel break construction and maintenance, hand and mechanical removal, thinning, and mastication projects. Local vegetation management and hauling contractors are usually hired by the Forest Service to perform the work along with Forest Service staff. These fuels treatments have contributed over 28,000 tons of biomass to the local economy.

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