Agenda 1. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS (10 min.) 2. PRESENTATIONS (45 min.) Review of November Meeting: What is the Yuba-Sutter NCCP/HCP? Role of the Advisory Committee Where we are in the NCCP/HCP process? Participants/Plan Area/Covered Species/Covered Activities Overview of NCCP/HCP Document Overview of Advisory Committee Schedule 3. DISCUSSION ITEMS (50 min.) Chapters 1-3 Other Items: Overview of Projected Impacts Overview of Conservation Strategies 4. PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS (15 min.) 5. NEXT MEETING
What is the Yuba-Sutter NCCP/HCP? Federal and state endangered species permit used to accommodate growth and ensure the protection and mitigation of covered species that are federally and state listed. Way to streamline the endangered species permitting process for future development.
Vocabulary ESA = federal Endangered Species Act HCP = Habitat Conservation Plan; defined in federal ESA and agency regulations CESA = California Endangered Species Act (part of CA Fish & Game Code) NCCP = Natural Community Conservation Plan; defined in the CA Fish & Code and state regulations; ties into CESA Take Permit/Authorization = ESA and/or CESA authorization to adversely affect a listed species
Regulatory Requirements Comply with the ESA and CESA by preparing an NCCP/HCP that fulfills the requirements of an HCP under Section 10 of the ESA and an NCCP under DFG Code ESA purpose: conserve ecosystems and species that depend on them Relevant sections: –Section 4: listing process (threatened and endangered species, critical habitat) –Section 7: federal agency consultation process –Section 9: prohibited acts (take) –Section 10: take permits
Elements of an HCP Goals and objectives Geographic coverage Covered species Biological goals and objectives Covered activities Permit duration Impacts on species Conservation measures Expected outcomes with measures Monitoring Adaptive management Assurances requested Amendment process Changed circumstances and remedial measures Unforeseen circumstances Alternatives to take
Elements of an NCCP Meet or help meet recovery Protect habitat on a landscape level Preserve ecological integrity Support sustainable populations Sustain movement Minimize and fully mitigate No jeopardy Adequate funding Independent science advisors Public participation Consistency with Planning Agreement
NCCP/HCP Similarities Similar planning process, with emphasis on scientific input and public participation Similar required components, including impact avoidance/minimization, monitoring, and adaptive management Similar approval criteria for take authorization
NCCP/HCP Differences Generally, more shalls in NCCP Guidelines than in HCP Guidelines Planning agreement required for NCCP; often used but not a requirement for HCPs Interim project review process required while NCCP is being prepared; review consistent with federal policy but not required for HCPs NCCPs typically must be regional in scale; HCPs can cover large or small areas
Role of the Advisory Committee Provide guidance and advise on what you perceive as workable and not workable with the NCCP/HCP Provide recommendations on how to make the NCCP/HCP as effective as possible
Where are we in the NCCP/HCP process? Completed land cover mapping Selected covered species Selected covered activities Prepared draft impact analysis Preparing draft conservation strategy Preparing conditions and requirements Preparing cost analysis Preparing for NEPA/CEQA process Approximately 2 years to complete process
Participants Sutter County Yuba County Yuba City Live Oak Wheatland Caltrans is a possible future participant Levee and reclamation districts opted out – Section 7 nexus Marysville has no plans for growth or funds to participate
Plan Area Land Cover 73% Agricultural 15% Natural Lands 5% Developed 2 % Aquatic
Covered Activities All actions that could result in take for which the permit will be applicable Limit covered activities to those under control of the Permittees General description of actions within the Plan Area Specific projects Ongoing operation and maintenance Restoration, habitat enhancement, and monitoring Excluded activities
Covered Activities Location: Occur within the plan area. Timing: Activity is scheduled to occur within the permit term. Impact: The activity has a reasonable potential for take. Participant: Discretionary authority over covered activities. Definition: Location, size, and other relevant aspects can be defined. Practicability: Consideration of schedule and cost. Covered Activities handout Table 1
Habitat and Species Relationships Importance of agricultural crops Importance of grasslands Importance of wetlands and riparian corridors Importance of vernal pool complexes Other habitat elements
Covered Species Purpose: Identify species for which the Plan participants will need take coverage Range: Species in the geographic range Status: Listed species; non-listed species with the potential for listing; and other important species Impact: Species affected by the project (take?) Data: Are data sufficient to evaluate impacts and develop conservation measures? Plus: Natural communities – which are essential to protect wildlife resources and allow for appropriate growth Covered Species and Communities handout Table 2
Covered Species 18 Species –14 Wildlife Species –4 Plant Species
Chapter 1. Introduction –Overview –Scope –Regulatory Setting –Groups Involved –Organization Chapter 2. Land Use and Covered Activities –Land Use –Covered Activities and Projects –Project and Activities Not Covered Chapter 3. Physical and Biological Resources –Data Collection –Setting (Physical Characteristics, Veg. Communities, Covered Species)
Overview of NCCP/HCP Document Chapter 4. Impact Assessment and Levels of Take Chapter 5. Conservation Strategy Chapter 6. Conditions on Covered Activities Chapter 7. Monitoring and Adaptive Management Program Chapter 8. Plan Implementation Chapter 9. Funding Chapter 10. Assurances Chapter 11. Alternatives to Take
Percentage Estimates by Jurisdiction by Sensitive Land-cover Types Sutter County Yuba County City of Yuba City City of Live Oak Wheatland Transportation projects
Impact Discussion Are there areas identified for growth that are of particular concern? Thoughts about timeframe for growth? Thoughts about variation in growth slated for participants? Other comments or thoughts?
Overview of Conservation Strategy Principles of Conservation Biology –Reserve design: size, shape, composition, buffers, spatial relationships, management, appropriate uses (e.g., recreation) –Connectivity (corridors, barriers, species specific, movement, gene flow) Specific ecological requirements of species –Specific habitat and microhabitat requirements (breeding, feeding, spawning, nesting) –Movement capabilities and requirements (migration) –Minimum viable population size (demography) –Population structure, genetic variation, and gene flow
Biological Landscape Biological Landscape Conservation Strategy Process Collect Biological Data Determine Target Species and Habitats Extrapolate Across Plan Area with Models Identify Existing Preserves And GAPs in Habitat Protection Priority Conservation Areas Cornerstone Preserves Acquisitions, Easements, Incentives, Monitoring, Management Acquisitions, Easements, Incentives, Monitoring, Management Conservation Strategy Covered Activities
Current Phase Mostly Complete Biological Landscape Biological Landscape Where are we in the conservation strategy development? Collect Biological Data Determine Target Species and Habitats Extrapolate Across Plan Area with Models Identify Existing Preserves And GAPs in Habitat Protection Priority Conservation Areas Cornerstone Preserves Acquisitions, Easements, Incentives, Monitoring, Management Acquisitions, Easements, Incentives, Monitoring, Management Conservation Strategy Covered Activities
Habitat TypesType 1Type 2Type 3Type 4 Riparian Scrub 25%12%3%61% Riparian Forest 25%10%3%62% Fresh Emergent Wetland 17%46%0%36% Riverine 12%1% 86% Annual Grassland 7%1% 90% Lacustrine 4%5%0%91% Barren and Disturbed Lands 3%7%0%89% Vernal Pool Complex 0%1%0%99% Blue Oak Savanna Woodland 0%3%0%97% Valley oak Savanna Woodland 0% 2%98% Initial Results of GAP Analysis Moderately Well Protected Poorly Protected
Initial Results of GAP Analysis (cont.) Results have also been analyzed by each CPU Have also been conducted for modeled species Gap analysis being used to develop and prioritize goals and objectives Conservation strategy will include criteria for each CPU to acquire, enhance, and/or restore habitat to meet conservation goals
Conservation Strategy Approach Primarily easements from willing landowners Focus on key species that meet multiple objectives: –Swainsons hawk –Giant garter snake –Grasslands/vernal pool complexes Focus on key communities: –Riparian corridors –Agriculture Rice and its associated water supply Row crops supporting foraging and nesting –Grasslands
Conservation Strategy Discussion Framework of easements seem workable? Thoughts about Conservation Planning Units? Thoughts about where conservation should occur? Other comments and thoughts?
Public Communications Comments from the public?
Next Meeting Recommended agenda items: –Comments on first several chapters – covered activities/species –Additional impact discussion –Additional conservation strategy discussion –Next steps