Dos Rios Ranch Floodplain Expansion and Ecosystem Restoration Project and Hidden Valley Ranch Mitigation Project

Updated on 2/4/2022: Project Cost and Project Status

Project Lead: River Partners

Potential Project Partners:
Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB); California Department of Water Resources (DWR); United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR); United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC); California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) (funding partners, technical assistance); Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB); National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); regulatory agencies; environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs); local municipalities; Reclamation District 2092 (project support and approvals); regional flood management agencies with mitigation needs that may be filled on the property

Short Project Description:
Project to restore flooding and transient floodwater storage to approximately 1,000 acres of historic floodplain, restore riparian habitats, and promote river physical processes of scour and deposition along 6 river miles. Remove levee maintenance obligations from State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC) and modify USACE O&M manual to allow breaching and other modification to the existing levees. Provide 191 acres of habitat mitigation for future regional SPFC environmental impacts.

Long Project Description:
River Partners owns the fee title for 2,100 acres of flood-prone farmlands at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers in Stanislaus County. The properties will be restored to multi-benefit wildlife habitat and transient floodwater storage areas through the re-establishment of native vegetation, grading, levee breaching, and other local improvements (such as fish screening surface diversions, permanently retiring riparian water rights, weed management, recreational development, and removing bank revetment). Currently, 600 acres are being restored, and planning is underway for the remaining acreage. All flood management activities require regulatory approval from local, state and federal agencies. While the property has been purchased, additional investment is needed to develop mitigation opportunities, address permitting needs, and remove levees from the federal project or otherwise modify the maintenance obligations.

Unique Project Characteristics:
This project is aligned with the goals and objectives of many overlapping conservation, recreation, local and regional planning efforts. The property is immediately adjacent to the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge and sits within the proposed boundary expansion area. The mitigation component has the potential to provide future mitigation to SPFC activities for the entire San Joaquin River watershed. Advanced mitigation planning will require substantial involvement from the regulatory agencies.

Project Status In-progress
Project Cost $40,000,000
Project Timeframe 1-5 years
Cost-sharing Varies: Costs for restoration may be eligible for funding from local, state or federal grant programs.
Multi-benefit Project Yes
Types of benefits The project would improve flood risk management, promote ecosystem functions, and promote multi-benefit projects.
Source of Project River Partners

Background Information:
Various technical reports and memos – please request from River Partners

Latitude:  37.591550094

Longitude: -121.15340796