Project History

The multi-faceted research project described in our final report contains some stand-alone subprojects that were begun and completed between 2001 and 2006 and entirely supported by the current agreement, but much of it represents a continuation of a longer-term cooperative land management, monitoring, adaptive management, and research program carried on by an evolving coalition led by The Nature Conservancy, BLM, CDFG, and to a lesser extent many of their partners in the Cosumnes River Preserve; and has involved multiple research partners beyond those (UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and PRBO Conservation Science) represented in this report. Some of the findings are derived from theses begun before the agreement became active, but that received some assistance from the investigators in their later stages. Some (e.g., PRBO’s work) have had multiple sponsors. In addition, there was a considerable time-gap (from institutional causes) between approval of the California Bay-Delta Authority (CALFED)-sponsored portion of the project and its actual formal launching-;, and some investigators, to maintain continuity of the field record, commenced the proposed research under other funding.

To do justice to the entirety of the program and make the context of particular subprojects clear, we have reported on the results of all of the activities described in the CALFED 2001 proposal, even though some of those were actually partially done before the official beginning of the project and/or with outside sponsorship. The delays and staggered start did, however, permit us to extend the environmental and research record for an extra year at no net cost to CALFED/CDBA.

While not timed exactly as originally proposed, the project evolved in phases.

Phase 1

The Cosumnes Research Group's collaborative study of the watersheds began almost five years ago, in July of 1998 with a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to UCD. This start-up grant made possible the collection of baseline data and the development of a research design that became the foundation for all subsequent investigations at the Cosumnes. The Packard funded work was then continued and expanded under a grant from CALFED/CBDA from January 2000 to December of 2002.

Research and monitoring efforts were directed to five broad areas: hydrology, geomorphology, water quality, aquatic resources and data management. Further description of research projects, as well as project findings, can be accessed from our CRG Phase 1 Project Archive.

Phase 2

Beginning in January of 2001, a second, overlapping phase of study was begun, funded entirely by the California Bay-Delta Authority Ecosystem Restoration Program.

For this current phase, our focus was extended to include: patterns of restoration success, groundwater and vegetation interaction, linking aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, bird populations as indicators of ecosystem integrity, and data management for ecosystem monitoring.