Bakersfield Cactus Beard Ranch Population Expansion Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Planning (CDFW)
Document Title
Bakersfield Cactus Beard Ranch Population Expansion Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is issuing a permit to The Nature Conservancy [Permit No. 2081(a)-21-019-RP] pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 2081(a) for a project to expand and establish Bakersfield cactus into unoccupied areas within its current range. The Project includes collecting and preparing pads of Bakersfield cactus and transplanting the pads into 39 acres of unoccupied habitat on Beard Ranch, a property owned by The Nature Conservancy. In January 2022, up to 100 pads will be collected from up to three CNDDB EOs. Only one terminal pad will be collected from each plant or clump that contains at least 20 pads. Each recipient site where the pads will be planted will be cleared of all vegetation via mechanical methods to reduce competition, and a small hole will be excavated for each pad. Immediately after pad collection, 30-50 of the pads will be placed on the ground at each recipient site for about two weeks until the cut ends are callused over. In January/February 2022, plants will be placed directly in the ground into the prepared holes, watered immediately, and rocks will be placed around plants to increase plant vigor. All planting will occur within newly created pastures that have exclusionary fencing around the perimeter and these pastures will remain ungrazed until plants become well-established (approximately two years). Following the two-year establishment period, cattle will be allowed to seasonally graze the pasture and are expected to effectively reduce non-native weed competition with Bakersfield cactus. Data on the survival, number of pads, and the overall health of each cactus will be monitored annually in the fall for five years.

Contact Information

Raffica La Rosa
Agency Name
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Job Title
Senior Environmental Scientist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Zachary Principe
Agency Name
The Nature Conservancy
Job Title
Principal Investigator
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Southern California
Other Location Info
Collection of plant material for the Project will occur northeast of Caliente, California in Kern County along Caliente Creek on Beard Ranch and Tollhouse Ranch (California Natural Diversity Database [CNDDB] element occurrences [EO] 23, 24, and 69; all in the vicinity of [35.300155, -118.595562]). Pads will be transferred to and planted at the recipient sites at Beard Ranch.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Sections 15306 and 15307, Classes 6 and 7
Reasons for Exemption
The Project will facilitate the recovery of the California endangered Bakersfield cactus by attempting to establish additional self-sustaining populations of the species within its historic range and is being undertaken as a research project that will consist of experimental management activities and scientific reporting of results. The activities are expected to have a net conservation benefit and are not expected to result in a serious or major disturbance to any environmental resource. The permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the Project includes measures to ensure that existing populations of Bakersfield cactus are not impacted, and that reintroduced populations are adequately protected.


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