Type, Section or Code
Class 7, 8; California Code of Regulations, title 14, sections 15307, 15308
Reasons for Exemption
This project is for the maintenance, restoration, and enhancement of the natural resources and environment within and adjacent to Humbug Valley and the Yellow/Humbug Creek watershed, ultimately for the overarching objective of protecting the environment. Beavers serve critical ecological roles as both ecosystem engineers and a keystone species; they are a virtually untapped resource in California’s fight against our greatest ecological threats: climate change, drought, wildfires, and habitat loss. The establishment of beavers within Humbug Valley is expected to ultimately result in the engineering of an extensive wetland complex that increases carbon sequestration, reduces downstream sediment transport and deposition, repairs channel incisions, reconnects the streams to their floodplain, increases riparian vegetation/habitat, and creates critical habitat for both wetland- and riparian-obligate species, as well as increases habitat complexity to provide suitable habitat necessary for multiple taxa, species, and life stages within. Further, the retention of water on the landscape is expected to increase groundwater recharge, improve summer baseflows, extend seasonal flows, and increase fuel moisture during wildfire season, effectively creating a green belt that can serve as wildfire buffers or breaks and provide refugia for wildlife.