Wildlife

Wildlife at the Watershed

The Los Vaqueros Watershed protects nearly 20,000 acres of wildlife habitat in eastern Contra Costa County and a portion of Alameda County. The unique property is home to many protected species, including the Alameda whipsnake, California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog and the San Joaquin kit fox. The watershed occupies a unique biogeographical transition zone between coastal and interior habitats, between lowland grasslands and higher elevation woodland and chaparral habitats, and also between southern and northern elements of the Coast Ranges flora. 

For Your Safety

Natural hazards exist in the Los Vaqueros Watershed. The watershed is home to rattlesnakes, mountain lions and ticks. Incidents are rare, but can be serious. For your safety, always hike with a partner. Use caution and common sense. Watch children closely at all times. Emergency call boxes are located throughout the watershed.

Environmental Compliance and Stewardship

One of the major challenges during planning and construction was a continually shifting regulatory environment. Each change in Delta requirements called for new sets of analyses of project operations. In addition, in the project area, there was a continually growing list of threatened and endangered species, as well as candidate species for future listings.

We addressed these challenges through a dedicated use of resources. For instance, the District's staff includes experts in Delta water issues and computer modeling, a tool being relied on more heavily in planning California's water future. More than 200 studies were conducted to describe alternatives for operation of the Los Vaqueros Project during long-term hydrologic cycles.

The Los Vaqueros Project represents a well cataloged approach to succeeding in developing a major water project. This approach includes maintaining high environmental standards, open communication with agencies and the public, and thorough and complete environmental permitting documentation.