Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Proposed Wind Project Developer Drafts Plan to Offset Ground-Disturbance Impacts to Three Listed Species, Public Comment Sought

June 2, 2020

Contact(s):

Meghan Snow, Meghan_Snow@fws.gov, 916-414-6671



SACRAMENTO, California – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment and draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Rooney Ranch Wind Repowering Project.

The draft HCP, prepared by Rooney Ranch Wind, LLC, covers the construction, operation and maintenance of seven new wind turbines and associated infrastructure proposed to be built within the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in Alameda County, California. If finalized, the permit would extend over a 36-year term, limited only to ground disturbance impacts to three listed species within the 582-acre project area.

The Service reviewed the draft HCP and analyzed the potential impacts of the project using the best available science. The draft HCP includes strategies to avoid, minimize, and offset potential effects of the construction, operation, and maintenance activities on the San Joaquin kit fox, California red-legged frog, and California tiger salamander (Central California distinct population segment). To mitigate for these impacts, the draft HCP proposes to permanently preserve approximately 50 acres of high-quality habitat. The applicant also proposes actions that aim to minimize the disturbance of wildlife, including temporarily fencing off areas where construction is taking place and limiting work hours when listed species would be most impacted. 

“Habitat conservation plans are a necessary part of an application for an incidental take permit under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act,” said Jennifer Norris, field supervisor for the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office. “The Service regularly works with industry to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering at-risk species found within their project area.” 

The draft Environmental Assessment covers the analysis for a Section 10 permit for take of terrestrial species; it does not include an analysis for an Eagle Permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A separate conservation plan and application process is required for such a permit.

The proposal published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2020. The publication opens a 30-day public comment period. The draft HCP, draft Environmental Assessment, and information on how to submit comments is available on www.regulations.gov by searching under the docket number FWS–R8–ES–2019–0116.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/Sacramento. Connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

 

                                                                                                                 -FWS-


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 www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.