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About Us

A California Non Profit Corporation  EIN 55 0862131


The Burrowing Owl Preservation Society was created to educate the public and support burrowing owl conservation efforts. 

The Institute for Bird Populations’ (IBP) 2007 California state wide census demonstrated a decline of 11%   (since the 1993 census) of burrowing owl breeding pairs.  See the link to the IBP volume 10 for the complete census. . In Northern California, Burrowing Owls are a resident native grassland dependent species. Burrowing owl habitat is being destroyed as grasslands are disked and paved for human housing, shopping malls and roads. And, even as agricultural land is planted to orchards.

Education is the corner stone in building public support for Burrowing Owl conservation efforts. BOPS was incorporated as an educational public non-profit 501© (3) as a vehicle to build broad based community support for the over-arching goal of increasing the Burrowing Owl population

It is estimated that the majority of the remaining Burrowing Owl population is on private land. This fact makes partnerships with private land owners essential.

California cities issue building permits daily which converts hundreds of acres of Burrowing Owl habitat into other uses. City officials have broad discretionary authority under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process of mitigating for taken habitat. Participation in CEQA and educating citizens and elected officials on mitigation requirements is essential.


Increase the Burrowing Owl population through education and research and protection and enhancement of grassland habitat.


           Advocate for people—burrowing owl compatibility

  • Private and public landholders survey land for burrowing owls
  • Private and public landholders assess land for potential burrowing owl habitat
  • Landholders enhance the land to support burrowing owls
  • Local governments encourage and support landholders to assess and enhance land for burrowing owl habitat
  • Develop and disseminate burrowing owl curriculum for all educational levels
  • Support burrowing owl research
  • Build financial resources to further goals


A. Develop a service-learning education program.

B. Develop educational materials

C. Promote learning through  Burrowing Owl art

D. Develop Volunteer Corps

E. Provide community education via presentations at community venues such as libraries, schools, “eco-tainment” festivals and community fairs.

F. Outreach to Colleges and Universities to offer support for Burrowing Owl researchers

G. Promote communication of Burrowing Owl issues and events via an electronic newsletter, web site, public display of Burrowing Owl art collection, participation in the California Burrowing Owl Consortium and participation in HCP/NCCP processes

H. Obtain maximum habitat mitigation through participation in lead agencies permitting and California Environmental Quality Act process.

I. Offer installation of human built burrows to landowners


BOPS has received grants from the Ruffie Pease Foundation, Flying Wild (California Department of Fish and Game) and the Yolo Community Foundation. Additional funding comes as in-kind services and goods, donations and sales of burrowing owl related merchandise.

Board of Directors

The Society is governed by a three-member Board of Director; President, Secretary/Treasurer and Education Director. Since its inception the Society’s Board members have volunteered to carry out the duties of: day to day operations, long term planning, community outreach, fund raising, curriculum development, school and group burrow installations,  management, public outreach and volunteer docent program coordination.

Catherine Portman, President      Environmental activist

Janet Foley, DVM, PhD

Sandra Menzel

Pam Nieberg, Secretary/Treasurer  Laboratory Scientists, animal rehabilitator

Program Summary

Our accomplishments  include:

Local service, Interstate and National conservation organization partnerships to enhance a private 40 acre ranch with 32  artificial burrows in preparation for release of rehabilitated burrowing owls.

Assess suitability of private property for artificial burrow installation

Monitor known Burrowing Owl sites

Network with raptor rehabilitators to determine release sites for recovered Burrowing Owls

State wide participation in the CEQA process to assure maximum habitat mitigation

Coach Citizens to participate in their local CEQA process

Educational presentations on Burrowing Owl biology and plight to schools, local interest groups and public at large

Drafted and initiated field testing of an educational curriculum that correlates with State standards

Organized elementary student outings to install artificial burrows

Established a library of published Burrowing Owl research and educational multimedia

Participate in Yolo County Parks, Recreation and Wildlife Committee to advocate for  Burrowing Owls on County lands

Participate in Yolo County Habitat Conservation Plan process to advocate for Burrowing Owls as habitat is taken for development

BOPS Directors:

 Catherine Portman

 Sandra Menzel

Pam Nieberg

Janet Foley, DVM, PhD

14841 CR91 B     Woodland, CA     95695