McClellan officials transfer land to local community

  • Published
  • By Mary M. Hall
  • Western Region Public Affairs
In a ceremony, McClellan officials transferred the 314-acre Davis Global Communications Site, an annex of the former McClellan Air Force Base, to Yolo County, Calif, recently.

The property will be added to the 320-acre Yolo County Regional Grasslands Park, which is comprised of land the Air Force transferred to the County in 1973. The park has recreation uses and areas of protected habitats for threatened and endangered species, such as Swainson's hawk, tadpole shrimp, white-tailed kite, loggerhead shrike, Colusa grass and one of the only known populations of Solano grass.

McClellan, an air logistics center in Sacramento, and the associated Davis property closed in 2001 under Base Realignment and Closure law. The Air Force Real Property Agency is responsible for addressing environmental issues at the Davis site, and transferring the property to the local redevelopment authority, Yolo County.

Approximately 60 people attended the event with City of Davis, county, state, and federal officials. Phil Mook, AFRPA western region senior representative, emceed the event introducing representatives from all levels of government.

"As you will see this morning, to reach this point, it's been a total team effort," Mr. Mook said. "On behalf of the United States Air Force, I'd like to thank everyone who has had a hand in making this happen."

Congressman Mike Thompson, California 1st District, thanked the Air Force, noting the importance of the cleanup efforts to the successful early transfer of the site.

A small portion the site is undergoing further environmental cleanup by the Air Force. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund, the land can be transferred as an "early transfer" before the cleanup is finished with approval from the governor and assurances that the cleanup will be completed. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved the early transfer on Oct. 17.

The National Park Service serves as federal sponsor for the property transfer under a public benefit conveyance. David Siegenthaler, outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service, marshaled the transfer through its final stages. At the ceremony, he noted the importance of protecting and embracing local lands, such as the Grasslands Park, as well as the spectacularly unique lands found in many of our national parks.

Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada thanked the Air Force for its hard work and dedication and said the transfer marks a conservation opportunity, a public access opportunity and an education opportunity.