Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan


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Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan

  1. 1. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan California County Planning Commissioners Association Conference October 10, 2013
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6. Endangered Species Permitting  Business as Usual Permitting -
  7. 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. 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. 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. 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. 11. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan  50 Year Plan  Six Local Partners –  Two Wildlife Agencies  18 Plant and Wildlife Species
  12. 12. Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan  Reserve System of over 40,000 acres
  13. 13. Thank You  Questions? Ken Schreiber, Executive Officer, Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency Rob Eastwood, Principal Planner, County of Santa Clara