Area: 540 acres
Location: Solano County, CA
Date Acquired: 2004
Acquisition Type: CNLM holds a conservation easement as well as a long-term agreement to protect the imperiled species and their habitats on the preserve. The preserve is owned by a private landowner.
Key Habitats: Vernal Pool, California Annual and Perennial Grassland and Alkaline Grassland.
Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), Dwarf Downingia(Downingia pusilla), Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), and Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
The Michael Remy Preserve is located in Solano County between the towns of Vacaville and Dixon, California. It is separated into two distinct preserves: the on-site preserve (North Preserve) near the intersection of Interstates 80 and 505 within the proposed North Village development area and in the northeast corner of the City of Vacaville and the off-site preserve (South Preserve) off Hay Road in Southern Solano County near Solano Land Trust’s Jepson Prairie Reserve and Travis Air Force Base.
The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) accepted conservation easements for the approximately 540-acre Preserve in July 2004. After the mitigation monitoring success criteria are met and the regulatory agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Regional Water Quality Control Board) approve that the project has met the permit requirements, CNLM will become responsible for the habitat management, maintenance, and biological monitoring of the Preserve in perpetuity.
The Remy Preserve contains nearly 100 acres of wetlands, primarily seasonal wetlands known as vernal pools. Vernal pools are found throughout California and other parts of the world where they form on soils characterized by impermeable subsurface soil layers such as claypans, hardpans, or cemented volcanic mud flows and basalt flows. These shallow soils cause rainfall to pond in localized small depressions, typically less than 1000 square feet in size, forming temporary wetlands that support a rich diversity of flora and fauna, most of which are only found in California. As much as 90%-95% of these habitats have been lost to
agriculture and urban development and many of those vernal pools that remain support species listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Vernal pools at the Remy Preserve support populations of the federally threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi). Aside from this federally protected species, the Remy Preserve supports wildlife such as loggerhead shrike, burrowing owl, Swainson’s hawk and a special-status plant species dwarf downingia (Downingia pusilla) has been documented at the North Preserve.
The landowners are currently responsible for management at the Preserve. Cattle grazing is used as the primary vegetation management tool. This reduces the dominance of non-native annual grasses including soft chess and annual ryegrass and improves habitat conditions for native wildflowers and vernal pool plants particularly those plants that grow at the edges of vernal pools where competition from exotic annual grasses is most intense. In addition, prescribed fire strategies may be used on the Preserve to decrease exotic weeds including the medusa-head and barbed goat grass.
When the Preserve is approved by the regulatory agencies that all the permit conditions have been fulfilled, CNLM will become the long-term managers of the Preserve. CNLM is currently performing biological surveys at the North Preserve. In addition, CNLM’s role, in perpetuity, is to monitor the Preserve and ensure that the terms of the conservation easement are maintained. The purpose of the conservation easements is to help ensure that the land will be retained in perpetuity in open space condition and to prevent any use of the Preserve that will impair or interfere with its conservation values.
Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this preserve, it is not open to the public.
For more information about Michael Remy Preserve or Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Cathy Little, Regional Preserve Manager at CLittle@cnlm.org or 760.731.7790 extension 209