Granite Bay Golf Club Re-Certified As Signature Sanctuary

View from the 18th Tee

GRANITE BAY, CA – Audubon International announces that Granite Bay Golf Club has been recognized for continued sustainable management of natural resources and has been awarded re-certification as a “Certified Signature Sanctuary.” Granite Bay Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones II and Kyle Phillips, was the first private golf course to become certified by Audubon International in California.   

“To become re-certified, Signature Program members must demonstrate their continued commitment to the Principles for Sustainable Resource Management as outlined in their site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP). This plan addresses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and the adoption of green building products and procedures,” said Nancy Richardson, Signature Program Director for Audubon International, during the required staff visit to the property.

Providing habitat for nearly 200 species of birds including the acorn woodpecker, Granite Bay is set on gently rolling topography amidst grasslands, mature oaks, rock strewn wetlands, natural lakes, and dramatic granite outcroppings. It is an 18-hole facility located on 145 acres south of East Roseville Parkway in Placer County, California. Oak woodlands, consisting predominately of massive native blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) and interior live oak trees (Quercus wizlizeii), dot the natural landscape. 

 The golf club began construction August 1993 and opened in late 1994.  It was registered in the Audubon International Signature Program on March 10, 1993 and was certified on May 1, 1998 as only the ninth Signature Sanctuary in the world.  The Signature Program provides environmental planning assistance to new facilities and developments. This program helps landowners design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved. 

Over the past seventeen years, Granite Bay has gone through management changes, infrastructure additions, and major renovations but has maintained a commitment to the environment.  

“Through the ups and downs of an ever changing industry, the one constant for us here at Granite Bay has been our commitment to environmental stewardship that began with Audubon International almost twenty years ago,” stated Matt Dillon, superintendent at Granite Bay Golf Club. “Audubon International has truly been a partner in these endeavors and the relationship we have forged is valuable, and one we look forward to maintaining for many years to come.“

For the past several years, the historic drought (now in its fourth year) has been the main focus of their environmental practices, as California has seen annual records of lowest precipitation, lowest accumulated snowfalls as well as records for highest temperatures.  In addition to these records, the local water district imposed a 25% conservation reduction in 2014 and a 36% conservation reduction in 2015.  

To address water conservation, Dillon, a certified superintendent (CGCS), created the Granite Bay Golf Club Drought Contingency Plan: a 25 page document covering Granite Bay’s site assessment, best management practices, tracking procedures, written responses to the district’s drought stage requirements and a proposed Alternate Means of Compliance (AMC). This AMC, an important document, was the first of its kind in northern California. It focused on water budgeting, (as well as other methods) to determine a baseline water amount for any given property.  

The San Juan Water District which serves the community of Granite Bay, is required by the State of CA to conserve 36% from a 2013 baseline. Granite Bay Golf Club’s non-potable irrigation water will meet that conservation goal by the end of 2015 and the combined potable meters on the property are on track to exceed that requirement.

To learn more about Granite Bay Golf Club, go to

CONTACT: Nancy Richardson, Director, Signature Program 
270) 869-9419 |

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