News Release

NOI Published and Scoping Meetings Scheduled for the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan

Plan to Help Offset Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species

November 04, 2013

Media Contacts:
Sarah Swenty, Sarah_Swenty@fws.gov, (530) 665-3310

Sacramento – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Sacramento County announce a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the proposed South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The Service and the HCP permit-applicants intend to work together to preserve endangered species and to streamline the existing development-permitting process. To do that, a habitat conservation plan will be prepared for a 374,000-acre area of south Sacramento County, California. The HCP is being prepared to preserve natural lands in Sacramento County and protect habitat for 30 special-status plant and animal species, including seven federally listed species.

This announcement opens a 45-day comment period on the NOI. All comments should be received by December 19, 2013.

Two scoping meetings will be held for the public and agencies to provide input on the scope and content of the EIS/EIR. The first scoping meetings will be held Wednesday, November 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Anthony Pescetti Community Room, Galt Police Facility, 455 Industrial Drive, Galt, CA 95632. The second scoping meeting will be held Thursday November 21, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Large Conference Room 202, Second Floor, 1400 Tenth Street, Sacramento, California, 95814.

The Notice of Intent was published today and is available for review in the Federal Register and on the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/. The California Environmental Quality Act’s Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the EIS/EIR was also released today and is available for review at http://www.per.saccounty.net/EnvironmentalDocuments/Pages/SearchPublicNotices.aspx.

America’s fish, wildlife, and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. Together with the local community, the state and federal agencies are working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species.

The HCP is being prepared to support compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act. The HCP will also provide the basis for an Incidental Take Permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the basis for streamlining U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits under the Clean Water Act.

The EIS/EIR will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIS/EIR will describe the underlying purposes, needs, and objectives for developing, approving and implementing a HCP in south Sacramento County; will identify alternatives, including the proposed HCP; describe the existing environment conditions that could be affected by each alternative; and will analyze the potential effects of each alternative on the environment.

To submit written comments, please use one of the following methods and note that your comment is in reference to the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP):

  • U.S. Mail: Nina Bicknese, Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825.
  • Fax: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 916-414-6713, Attn: Nina Bicknese.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

Editors: photos to support this story are available on our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw.