Another Successful Year at Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve


The California Deer Association provides funding each year for projects throughout the State. Dollars raised at banquets throughout California provide funding for research, habitat improvement for deer and other wildlife, education programs, and purchase of lands and easements with other partners in key deer ranges.

Since 2004, CDA has provided funding for both projects and youth hunting and fishing programs at the Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve. The Reserve was purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2000, then was purchased from TNC by the State Wildlife Conservation Board, and turned over to the California Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife) for management.

In the first five years, CDA dollars were used to improve habitat throughout the Reserve. The most important projects were water developments. Today there are over forty springs and wildlife "drinkers" on the Reserve, providing year-round water, even in these drought years.

The key to enhancing wildlife populations is enhancing food, water, and cover. When habitat is protected from degradation, wildlife populations will recover over time. Many of our public lands are managed for multiple uses—timber, mining, livestock grazing, and even heavy recreational use can take a toll on habitat quality. The work that has been completed on the CDLO Ecological Reserve over the last 12 years has shown that habitat management works to create thriving wildlife populations. Water development, protection from overgrazing, native grass planting, and providing brush piles for cover have enhanced the area for deer, wild turkeys, quail, rabbits, and other game and non-game wildlife species.

CDA is our main sponsor for youth hunting and fishing programs. Each year 30 youth hunters are drawn for deer, turkey, and wild pig hunts on the Reserve. The deer hunts have had 100% success rate, while turkey and pig hunts have had about a 70% success rate. As well as a great hunting opportunity, volunteers make sure that every young hunter learns about wildlife management and hunter ethics.

As long as funding is provided by conservation organizations like CDA, habitat and wildlife populations on the Reserve will continue to provide quality outdoor experiences for our youth. Thanks to CDA, and thanks to the many volunteers who make it all possible.