*Application Deadline Ended on November 30th*

The Rice Levee and Ag Corridors pays rice farmers to provide waterfowl nesting habitat on the levees, in planted rice fields, during the spring and summer. To be eligible for this program farmers must be willing to forgo reconstructing their rice levees in the spring before planting. The construction of levees in the spring eliminates vegetation and provides little to no nesting cover for local breeding pheasants and waterfowl. Previous studies have shown that fields with fall constructed levees provide better nesting cover and produce significantly more birds. Funding for this program is provided by the new Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program, which is run by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and is implemented by California Waterfowl. The objective of this program is to improve conditions for local breeding waterfowl, pheasants, and other upland nesting birds. California Waterfowl has been working with the Department and other organizations to design and establish this program. 




To participate in this program, rice levees must be reconstructed before January 1st or left from previous growing season. Enrolled levees must be left undisturbed until July 15th. If fields enrolled in the program do not get planted in the spring, they may still be eligible for enrollment in the Fallow Field Program.

Landowners must allow monitoring on levees of any enrolled fields. CWA & USGS staff will regularly monitor enrolled fields for nesting activity from April 1st to July 15th. Monitoring will be done in a way that does not impact the crop, such as walking the levees and marking active nests every three weeks. All active nests will be checked once a week. 

Payments will be made shortly after July 15th if program requirements have been met.


You tell us what it will cost for you to provide more habitat in your fields. Bids for this program must be submitted as a cost per linear foot of levee.


Applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee that is made up of biolgists from the CWA and representatives from each of the following Department Programs: Waterfowl, Upland and Small Game, Wetland Conservation Program, and the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program. After the solicitation closes, all applications will be evaluated and scored based on the following ranking categories:

1. The proximate water sources within 1/2 mile and adjacent crop types.

2. Condition of levees.

3. Participation in other conservation programs.

4. Proximity to Perpetuality Protected Properties. 

The committee will conduct an additional assessment of the costs of each application and determine if they are reasonable and worth awarding given the expected habitat benefits that will be provided by each bid.

All bids that are more than 1.5 times the bidding average for specific practice will be disqualified. Additionally, bids may be rejected that are determined to unreasonably priced, even if they are within 1.5 times the average of all bids.

Applicants will be notified of their status by December 8, 2023. 

If you have questions, please contact Jason Coslovich at (408)644-3525 or jcoslovich@calwaterfowl.org. 


Applications for the 2024 Season will be open from September 25 – November 30, 2023.