Placer County Approves Conservation Plan
The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the Placer County Conservation Program (PCCP) on September 1, 2020. Approvals from other participating entities in the PCCP including the City of Lincoln, the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority, and the Placer County Water Agency are forthcoming in 2020. The PCCP joins a growing list of other recently adopted Habitat Conservation Plans/Natural Community Conservation Plans (HCPs/NCCPs) including the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) and the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (YHCP/NCCP). HCP/NCCPs allow projects within the respective jurisdictions to apply for incidental take coverage for plant and wildlife species referenced in the plans and complete habitat mitigation for project-related impacts to sensitive biological communities such as oak woodland and aquatic resources according to set fee schedules. This streamlines the application process with resource agencies including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The HCP/NCCPs also allow for streamlined aquatic resource permitting, uniform implementation of standard avoidance and minimization measures, and mitigation through the use of pre-approved habitat in-lieu mitigation fees. All of these features allow project applicants conducting activities covered by HCP/NCCPs to experience shorter environmental permitting and application periods for project-related resource agency permits, more certainty regarding mitigation costs and shorter project planning timelines.
HELIX has extensive experience assisting clients with the preparation of project applications under the SSHCP and YHCP/NCCP and we have assisted clients with preparing environmental documentation for projects in Placer County that are consistent with future PCCP requirements. HELIX’s biologists and regulatory specialists have successfully completed project permit applications for both the SSHCP and YHCP/NCCP and have also assisted with environmental compliance requirements under the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (NBHCP), the Contra Costa Habitat Conservation Plan, and the San Joaquin County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan (SJMSCP).
If you have a project within the jurisdiction of one of these regional HCP/NCCPs, HELIX can assist with the preparation of HCP/NCCP applications, preparation of applications for impacts to waters of the U.S. and the State, 401 Water Quality Certifications, and the preparation of Streambed Alteration Agreement Notifications in the unique context of HCP/NCCP applications. HELIX has also prepared preserve summary reports for projects that wish to offset some mitigation fees through the dedication of land. A preserve summary report outlines the conservation values of proposed land dedications and summarizes how preservation of proposed conservation lands will further the goals and objectives of the respective regional HCP/NCCP.
As the PCCP moves toward implementation in the near future, HELIX’s extensive experience working in Placer County and the City of Lincoln will help facilitate projects in those jurisdictions that will be seeking coverage under the PCCP. If you have a project in any of these jurisdictions and need assistance with navigating the application process for any of these regional HCP/NCCPs, contact HELIX Group Managers David Bise (DavidB@helixepi.com), Kyrsten Shields (KyrstenS@helixepi.com), or Stephen Stringer (StephenS@helixepi.com). The team can also be reached via phone at 916-435-1202.