Tag Archives: HCP

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Nov. 19 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $11.5 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 12 funded projects will benefit fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

 

  • An $846,200 grant to the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority, to acquire in fee approximately 2,838 acres of land in the City of Hemet in western Riverside County. The sources of these funds are a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grant to the WCB and a WCB grant to the Authority.

 

  • A $1.8 million grant to the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District for a cooperative project with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the California Natural Resources Agency, to acquire in fee approximately 326 acres of wildlife habitat, including large areas of riparian and aquatic habitat, grasslands and oak woodlands near Simi Valley in Ventura County.

 

  • A $730,000 grant to the Inyo and Mono Counties Agricultural Commissioner’s Office for a cooperative project with U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), to control invasive perennial pepperweed on approximately 14 acres. This will enhance native habitat on approximately 10,000 acres of publicly owned land that is jointly managed by BLM, DWP and CDFW, north of Bishop, in Inyo and Mono counties.

 

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Celebrates 10 Years of Landmark Environmental Law

Media Contacts:
Dr. Brenda Johnson, Habitat Conservation Planning, (916) 653-0835
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

rolling hills and sparse oak woodland behind a field of poppies and native grasses
Hidden Falls Park near Auburn, CA. Loren Clark photo.
vernal pool in a green and yellow grassland under a cloudy sky
Vernal pool near Sheridan, CA. Loren Clark photo
Highway interchange under construction
Palm Drive Interchange, a NCCP project in southern California.
Tall, red-flowering shrub in dry rocky landscape and hills.
Petroglyph Trail in April. Bill Halvert photo

The Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) Act of 2003 is 10

Small reservoir with Mt. Diablo in a beautiful orange sunrise
Marsh Creek Reservoir in east Contra Costa County. Kristin McCleary photo

years old and the organizations that make it work commend its value and effectiveness. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and its partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and members of the California Habitat Conservation Planning Coalition, celebrate what they have accomplished since the Legislature passed the NCCP Act of 2003.

This environmental act is the only state law in the nation designed to actively protect ecosystems using a science-based, stakeholder-driven approach. Natural Community Conservation Plans balance the conservation and long-term management of diverse plant and animal species with compatible, economically beneficial land uses.

“These plans create ‘win-win’ situations by permanently protecting vast regions of habitat while streamlining the permitting process for carefully sited development and infrastructure projects,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “They also ensure the process is open to public input.”

To date, nine large, regional plans have been approved through the CDFW NCCP Program. Together they will permanently protect more than two million acres of wildlife habitat. More than one million acres have already been protected in reserves. Seventeen other plans that will protect millions of additional acres of habitat are now being prepared. These 26 plans specifically identify more than 700 species of plants and animals, and many unique natural communities, for conservation in perpetuity. CDFW has helped direct more than $254 million in federal funds to NCCP reserve land acquisition and more than $27 million for plan preparation. California has also provided nearly $12 million to help local organizations and agencies implement approved plans.

Information on the success of NCCPs in California and regional habitat conservation planning in general can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/nccp and www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/hcp-overview.html.

Wildlife Agencies, Water Authority Sign 55-year Habitat Conservation Agreement


Media Contacts:

Jane Hendron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(760) 431-9440 ext. 205

Jordan Traverso, California Department of Fish and Game
(916) 654-9937

Donna Nenow, San Diego County Water Authority
(858) 522-6707 Office, (858) 414-8168 Cell

Conservation plan protects endangered species; streamlined permitting benefits ratepayers

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the San Diego County Water Authority have entered into a long-term agreement that will help conserve San Diego County’s natural heritage for future generations while providing a more efficient endangered species permitting process for the Water Authority as it builds and maintains vital water supply infrastructure.

The Water Authority and the state and federal wildlife agencies signed an Implementing Agreement for a multiple species conservation plan, known as a Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP), that meets the requirements of the state’s Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and the federal Endangered Species Act.

The NCCP/HCP protects 63 plant and animal species and their habitats that may be adversely affected by the construction, operation, repair and maintenance of current and future Water Authority facilities. The 63 covered species include 26 plants, 13 birds, nine reptiles, eight mammals, five invertebrates and two amphibians.

Of the 63 covered species, 18 are currently listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the state and/or federal Endangered Species Acts. Concurrent with signing the agreement, each wildlife agency issued the Water Authority an incidental take permit that allows limited impacts to those listed species. If any of the 45 covered species currently not listed as endangered or threatened become listed as such in the future, those species will automatically be added to the respective permit.

The comprehensive NCCP/HCP conservation strategy spans roughly 992,000 acres where covered activities could potentially occur in San Diego County and a small portion of south-central Riverside County. The Water Authority already has assembled 705 acres of preserve land to compensate for future impacts and the NCCP/HCP contains provisions for adding more preserve lands.

“This is a great example of innovative and effective environmental planning,” said Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Carlsbad Office. “Our three agencies worked closely and collaboratively to find a way to comprehensively address potential endangered species impacts from the Water Authority’s projects and activities.”

“The assembly, management, and monitoring of the preserve established under the Water Authority’s NCCP will augment and enhance the other biological preserves established under other approved regional NCCPs and several other habitat conservation plans that are in progress,” said Ed Pert, South Coast Regional Manager for the Department of Fish and Game. “We worked collaboratively with the parties involved in the NCCP/HCP to ensure that habitat protection measures would also satisfy the Water Authority’s vital mission to provide the San Diego region with a safe and reliable water supply.”

“The big benefit for our ratepayers is that this plan will save time and money as we build and operate current and future projects,” said Ken Weinberg, Director of Water Resources for the San Diego County Water Authority. “This plan precludes the need to obtain individual federal or state endangered species permits for each of our activities or projects. It also simplifies future compliance with state and federal endangered species regulations. We are very grateful and appreciative for the wildlife agencies’ help and guidance through this process.”

The state’s Natural Community Conservation Planning program and federal Habitat Conservation Plan process promote coordination and cooperation among public agencies, landowners, and other interested parties to minimize conflicts during construction and other activities that may affect endangered or threatened species. The long-term goals of such habitat conservation plans are to provide for the recovery and persistence of populations of covered species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

A copy of the plan is available at: www.sdcwa.org/habitat-conservation.

# # #

The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Water Authority works through its 24 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to support the region’s $186 billion economy and the quality of life of 3.1 million residents.

The California Department of Fish and Game manages California‘s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.