South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan
The environmental review process for the SSHCP is anticipated to start in March or April of 2012. Notices and other related documents may be viewed at the Division of Environmental Review and Assessment (DERA) web site. Look for the “Major Projects” heading in the left-hand column and click on the appropriate link. The SSHCP Working Draft is availble for viewing.
The South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) is a regional approach to addressing issues related to urban development, habitat conservation and agricultural protection. The SSHCP will consolidate environmental efforts to protect and enhance wetlands (primarily vernal pools) and upland habitats to provide ecologically viable conservation areas. It will also minimize regulatory hurdles and streamline the permitting process for development projects. The SSHCP will cover 40 different species of plants and wildlife including 10 that are state or federally listed as threatened or endangered. The SSHCP will be an agreement between state/federal wildlife and wetland regulators and local jurisdictions, which will allow land owners to engage in the "incidental take" of listed species (i.e., to destroy or degrade habitat) in return for conservation commitments from local jurisdictions. The options for securing these commitments are currently being developed and will be identified prior to the adoption of the SSHCP. The geographic scope of the SSHCP includes U.S. Highway 50 to the north, Interstate 5 to the west, the Sacramento County line with El Dorado and Amador Counties to the east, and San Joaquin County to the south. The Study Area excludes the City of Sacramento, the City of Folsom and Folsom’s Sphere of Influence, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the Sacramento County community of Rancho Murieta. Sacramento County is partnering with the incorporated cities of Rancho Cordova, Galt, and Elk Grove as well as the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District and Sacramento County Water Agency to further advance the regional planning goals of the SSHCP.
SSHCP Goals and Objectives
Key Principles - Develop a Habitat Conservation Plan through a process that:
- Involves all stakeholders in the study area including developers, environmentalists, agriculturists and government agencies.
- Educates stakeholders regarding the importance of the plan, its components and its significance to them.
- Progresses in an efficient and expeditious manner through consensus building.
Stakeholder Goals - Create a Habitat Conservation Plan that:
- Ensures long-term viability to aid and enhance recovery of sensitive species in the study area by protecting an adequate quality and quantity of habitat in an integrated manner.
- Accommodates development in appropriate sites with fair and reasonable mitigation cost structure.
- Protects agricultural lands and operations from constraints associated with the plan’s implementation.
- Gains the trust of all stakeholders in the permitting process by providing certainty that their interests will be considered in a fair and predictable process.
- Relies on voluntary participation through incentives that make the HCP process preferable to the existing process.
- Provides a streamlined permitting process that reduces permitting cost to developers and taxpayers.
- Provides a comprehensive framework for use in linking plant and animal conservation with local land use programs, consistent with Sacramento County General Plan goals and policies.
|Streamlined Regulatory Compliance:
A single programmatic solution greatly reduces the complexity of meeting regulatory requirements.
|Eliminate Endangered Species Liability:
Landowners concerned about liability from endangered species' use of their lands can receive assurances under the HCP.
|Large scale conservation:
Effective landscape-scale conservation avoids postage stamp preserves that will not retain biological values over the long-term.
Communities with open space amenities attract businesses that provide jobs to maintain a strong economy.
Comprehensive regional mitigation plans reduce time spent, analysis carried out and discussions with regulatory agencies by developers to achieve individual project mitigation, which in turn reduces the cost to the developers.
|Varied Opportunities for Participation:
Landowners are offered opportunities to voluntarily sell land, obtain conservation easements, transfer development rights and participate in other programs.
|Multi-species and Habitat Protection:
Regional HCP's protect a broad diversity of species and habitats and encompass a large geographic areas.
Large preserves will protect view sheds and will provide buffers so that communities can maintain their distinctive identities.
Costs of achieving mitigation are documented, allowing developers to incorporate costs into early project planning and financing.
|Funding Opportunities: The HCP provides direct funds for conservation easements on agricultural lands that provides a source of income to landowners.
Will provide an effective means to protect and manage species and habitat resources.
|Present and Future Generations:|
The HCP will protect biological resources for future generations to enjoy.
|Unlisted Species Protection:
HCP's include mitigation for plant and wildlife species not yet federally listed any may prevent the need for future listing. If any of these species are listed in the future there will not be additional conservation needs.
Mitigation measures that do not meet their goals can be modified under the adaptive management program.
Sacramento County, Department of Water Resources
827 7th Street, Room 230
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone (916) 874-5369
Sacramento County Community Development Department
827 7th Street, Room 230
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone (916) 874-6141