Central Valley Habitat Exchange


A New Solution for Saving Species, Benefitting Landowners

Today, Californians in the Central Valley are working to produce food for the nation while at the same time protecting and restoring California’s natural heritage.  The once vast lowland forests and marshes have given way to rich agricultural fields, but the value and importance of these natural communities is increasingly clear. Californians statewide are recognizing that we can pull together to create a verdant Central Valley rich in both healthy wildlife habitat and farm production.   


The Central Valley Habitat Exchange (Exchange) is a new initiative taking advantage of the emerging market of habitat credits by leveraging the habitat that willing land-owners can provide. The Exchange will facilitate investment in conservation and restoration of vital Central Valley habitat by promoting, monitoring and assisting in habitat transactions.


The Exchange strives to create a future where:

  • Landowners are compensated for sustainable management practices and restoration activities that result in measurable improvements to the environment. 
  • The Central Valley supports healthier streams, resilient floodplains and riparian corridors, resulting in more jobs, cost savings, and other societal benefits. 
  • Public and private investments in conservation in the Central Valley are accountable and transparent. 

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-13-237. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of grant recipient American Rivers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About this site

Better environmental outcomes can be achieved for lower cost when program strategies are clear and shared. This site strives to provide the public with simple, straight-forward access to information about this program.

Please let us know if the information you want isn't here, or if you have any questions.

News & Announcements

How healthy riparian forests benefit California ranchers

Riparian forests provide numerous benefits to ranchers and farmers in California. Evan Patrick of EDF describes how landowners are taking advantage of these services to improve outcomes for habitats and humans. More

New Program Pays Central Valley Farmers to Grow Wildlife Habitat

Critical habitat for wildlife has been reduced by drought, development and other pressures. Ann Hayden of the Environmental Defense Fund talks about incentives for landowners to help fill the void. More

Birds, snakes and butterflies: Farming for more than crops and cash

Scott Sellers of EDF describes the promise of wildlife-friendly farming after a recent visit to Davis Ranch. More

Interested In...

Learning More About the Central Valley Habitat Exchange?


Please contact:

  • Ann Hayden, Environmental Defense Fund     ahayden@edf.org                                                                 (415) 293-6086
  • John Cain, American Rivers   jcain@americanrivers.org                                                 (510) 809-8010


"The Exchange will create an economic incentive for growers and landowners, like myself, to maintain high quality wildlife habitat on our farms as well as to diversify our income beyond just farming."                                                                              -- John Brennan,                                       Knaggs Ranch