A letter to the District Ranger for the Sequoia National Forest regarding LWCF nomination for the Fay Creek Ranch Acquisition:
September 14, 2021
Mr. Alfred Watson, District Ranger
Sequoia National Forest
P.O. Box 9/11380 Kernville Road
Kernville, CA 93238
RE: Sequoia National Forest: LWCF Nomination for Fay Creek Ranch Acquisition
Dear Mr. Watson:
On behalf of the California Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, I am writing to express our strong support for Sequoia National Forest’s request for FT23 LWCF funding for their acquisition of the Fay Creek Ranch (also known as Quarter Circle 5 Ranch) for addition to the Forest.
This acquisition should be a high priority for federal funding for several reasons. First, the ranch contains two trailheads leading up from the South Fork Kern Valley to the Kern Plateau. Those trailheads were used by the local Native American tribe, the Tubatulabal, for centuries. More recently, they provided access for hunters and other visitors until about 2000, when the current owner of the ranch foreclosed access. This acquisition will reopen that access and allow the Tubatulabal to regain access to this rich part of their heritage.
Acquisition of the Fay Creek Ranch will also consolidate protected lands in the area. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of public and other conserved land, including Sequoia National Forest, BLM’s Cyrus Canyon ACEC, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Canebrake Ecological Preserve, and the Hanning Flat property owned and managed by the Kern River Valley Heritage Foundation. The Audubon Society’s Kern River Preserve, which is part of a globally-important bird area, is nearby as well. Fay Creek Ranch is the 2,300-acre hole in the doughnut.
Conservation of the ranch and its abundant water resources, including numerous springs and the perennial Fay Creek, will also bolster efforts to protect upper watersheds in the Southern Sierra Nevada in this era of climate change and declining snowpack. Not only does Fay Creek itself provide a riparian lifeline for coldwater fish and wildlife, but the entire ranch serves as an important wildlife corridor linking the valley floor with the cooler, wetter plateau.
In the absence of funding, the ranch will be sold for development, eliminating the opportunity to create an unbroken expanse of protected land in the South Fork Valley, increasing fire risk, and continuing to block a key recreation access point.
Thank you for consideration of this request for funding.
Very truly yours,
Co-Chair & Policy Lead, California Chapter
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
View the official letter here: