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Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan
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Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan

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  • 1. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan California County Planning Commissioners Association Conference October 10, 2013
  • 2. What is a Habitat Plan?  Programmatic Endangered Species Permitting Plan Regional Plan to conserve species & habitats in exchange for a permit to “take” threatened or endangered species  Endangered Species Act – Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) California Laws Endangered Species Act (CESA) – protecting threatened and endangered wildlife and plant species.
  • 3. Endangered Species Act  Activities that may affect individual species or their habitat are required to get permits from the Federal and State Wildlife Agencies U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service California Department of Fish & Wildlife  The Scope of the challenge: California is home to hundreds of listed species and any one area with some open land may have several species.
  • 4. Endangered Species Permitting The most likely activities that need permits are:  Activities that impact water and need federal (Corps) and/or State (Regional Board) permits  Large controversial projects  Projects in areas with known history of species presence  Many public projects have less location flexibility than private projects and are thus more likely to need permits (new bridge).
  • 5. Endangered Species Permitting  Business as Usual - Endangered Species Permitting:  No connection to General Plans, Capital Improvement Plans  Local Environmental review (CEQA) doesn’t provide ESA permits.  Uncertainty – when permits needed?  Very long & potentially costly permitting process  Habitat provided in exchange for ESA permits is fragmented, no regional connectivity.  Developers and Local agencies (Roads depts.) have long term habitat mitigation encumbrances.
  • 6. Endangered Species Permitting  Business as Usual Permitting -
  • 7. Why a Regional Habitat Plan?  Link Endangered Species Permitting to City and County General Plans and regional infrastructure needs.  Plan for purchase and preservation of best habitat in region – Regional Reserve System
  • 8. Why a Regional Habitat Plan?  Provide a systematic approach to issue endangered species permits.  Consolidate Wildlife and Wetland Permits  Remove uncertainty from process – Economic Development  Provide local control over process
  • 9. Permitting USFW Endangered Species Business as Usual -Four permit stops CDFG Endangered Species U.S. Army Corps Regional Board Wetlands Wetlands (coming) ? ? Goal – One permit stop Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan
  • 10. Costs of Doing a Habitat Conservation Plan  Time---can take 8 to 10 years  Complexity---Plan is really a long term permit and needs permit level of detail  Dollars---heavy science and detail requirements lead to substantial budget  Staff time---Plan development needs considerable input from various parts of government organization  Hard to sell development impact fees--- trigger objections/concerns/controversy  End Product---strong commitments to a complicated implementation process
  • 11. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan  50 Year Plan  Six Local Partners –  Two Wildlife Agencies  18 Plant and Wildlife Species
  • 12. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan  Reserve System of over 40,000 acres
  • 13. Thank You  Questions? Ken Schreiber, Executive Officer, Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency Rob Eastwood, Principal Planner, County of Santa Clara