PG&E has a long history of managing lands and waters in a responsible and environmentally sensitive manner. Our vast network of pipes and wires can traverse unique and sensitive habitat. PG&E has an obligation to protect these resources while we perform our operations and meet our customers' expectations regarding reliability and service.
Partners in Land Stewardship
PG&E is working in close cooperation with the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council to permanently protect more than 140,000 acres of watershed lands associated with our hydroelectric system and the 655-acre Carizzo Plains in San Luis Obispo County. The Stewardship Council also administers a grant-making program to fund organizations that connect California's youth with the outdoors.
Working Together to Protect Species
Through an innovative Avian Protection Plan, PG&E is working with groups like the Ventana Wildlife Society to reduce the risk that overhead wires and electrical equipment pose to birds, such as the California condor and bald eagles. PG&E adopted this voluntary, proactive plan when the company's related agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expired.
PG&E has partnered with the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission to help grape growers in San Joaquin County keep birds safe around our power lines while maintaining sustainable farming practices. With a charitable grant from PG&E, the program provided funding for stand-alone "nest boxes" to growers in Lodi, California. Mounted on dedicated poles, the sturdy plastic nest boxes provide a new, safe home for the owls.
PG&E is also taking steps to permanently protect high-quality habitat for the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle to meet our compliance obligations under the federal Endangered Species Act. To date, to compensate for impacts to beetle habitat elsewhere, we have permanently protected more than 975 acres of high-quality beetle habitat, working in partnership with groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land and other organizations.
Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species
Quagga and zebra mussels are harmful, invasive mollusks that have been recently discovered in California waters. The further spread of quagga and/or zebra mussels in California waters could pose significant environmental and economic challenges. These mussels can cause a shift in native species and disrupt the ecological balance of entire bodies of water. For more information, visit our Quagga/Zebra Mussel Prevention Program information page.
Wildlife at Work
Along a rural stretch in Middletown, California, lies a former landfill operated by Geothermal, Inc. to dispose of waste from nearby geothermal exploration and energy production activities. PG&E was one of 17 companies to use the landfill. After Geothermal, Inc. went bankrupt in the late 1980s, PG&E acquired the property and led the effort to close the landfill.
Over the past decade, PG&E has worked to close the landfill in compliance with California Regional Water Quality Control Board regulations and restore the site's natural areas and wildlife habitat. The closed landfill comprises a 40-acre area of the property; this left the remaining 420 acres of the property—comprised of rolling hills with native oaks, wetlands, ponds and open fields—available for wildlife habitat.
The Wildlife Habitat Council awarded PG&E a "Wildlife at Work" certification for the property in recognition of our wildlife enhancement efforts. For example, logs from removed trees were given a second life and arranged into brush piles to enhance habitat for ground- and shrub-nesting birds, as well as reptiles and small mammals. We also created two ponds that have naturally vegetated and are used as habitat by amphibians, birds and other wildlife.
PG&E is also working with the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture to promote yourwetlands.org, an informational Web site aimed at educating the public about the importance of protecting, restoring and enhancing wetlands.
Taking an Innovative, Regional Approach
We have also pursued innovative ways to comply with state and federal endangered species and habitat protection requirements. For example, PG&E gained regulatory approval for an Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) developed for the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, visit our Habitat Conservation Plan information page.
We finalized our second "safe harbor" agreement, which enables PG&E crews to safely maintain and operate important transmission lines in Contra Costa County while enhancing habitat for three species that are found nowhere else in the world: the Lange's metalmark butterfly, the Antioch Dunes evening primrose and the Contra Costa wallflower. The voluntary agreement is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for PG&E property adjacent to the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.
Land Stewardship at Diablo Canyon
PG&E's Diablo Canyon Power Plant is located on one of the most scenic coastlines in the country. The plant is surrounded by roughly 12,000 acres of land that is managed by PG&E and serves as a home to many species of plant and animal wildlife, including the American peregrine falcon; nearshore marine habitats support several marine wildlife species, including the brown pelican, southern sea otter and northern elephant seal.
PG&E's active stewardship of this natural resource includes livestock grazing, which has resulted in a healthier rangeland habitat that sustains native plant species while reducing invasive plant species. PG&E also allows scientists and others to explore the area’s habitat and ecology. This includes archaeology students from nearby California Polytechnic State University, who, in partnership with PG&E, are engaged in a multi-year research project focused on the prehistory of the Pecho Coast.
The property also includes two scenic trails that are open to the public—the 3.3-mile Point Buchon Trail and 3.75-mile Pecho Coast Trail. As part of our broader effort to promote environmental education, docent naturalists, which include plant employees, lead groups along Pecho Coast Trail and provide information about the location’s history, cultural resources and biological diversity.
Providing Outdoor Recreation
From camping and picnicking to fishing and boating, we have many public recreational facilities available for you and your family to enjoy. For a complete listing of locations and amenities, visit our Recreation Areas information page.