Wastewater treatment plants need to be good neighbors to the
local community. That’s why in the 1970s, we decided to purchase
the property surrounding the treatment plant to develop a buffer
between treatment plant operations and its nearest neighbors.
This 2,150-acre expanse of open space minimizes the potential for
odor and other nuisances that could impact the surrounding
neighborhoods. However, the Bufferlands provides much more than a
This important nature area now provides hundreds of acres of high
quality wildlife habitat, farmland and open space in a rapidly
urbanizing area of California. Learn more about the incredible
diversity and natural treasures of the Bufferlands by checking
out the many resources we have posted here. Or better yet, join
us at one of the fun events and activities our
Bufferlands staff host throughout the year!
With a varied mix of upland and wetland habitats, the Bufferlands
is an important wildlife area, supporting more than 230 species
of birds, 25 species of native mammals and several native fish,
amphibians, and reptiles. The Bufferlands is also home to more
than 20 species of rare plants and animals, including several
threatened and endangered species such as Swainson’s hawk, vernal
pool fairy shrimp and giant garter snakes.
Habitat restoration and enhancement efforts on the Bufferlands
are ongoing. Through these efforts, the size of our riparian
forests has more than doubled, and native perennial grasses are
now an integral part of the landscape. Also, our staff continues
to work with the resident farmers to better structure
Bufferlands agricultural operations to benefit wildlife. For
example, cattle grazing is used to enhance areas for the western
burrowing owl, where vegetation would otherwise become too thick
for these small raptors to hunt.
The unique nature of the Bufferlands and its relationship with
the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant have gained
both local and worldwide attention. The Bufferlands has been
featured in print and video media as far away as Japan and has
hosted visiting natural resource managers from around the globe.
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