Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan

May 15, 2020

Contact(s):

Jane Hendron, Jane_Hendron@fws.gov, 760-207-4997
Brendon Biggs, bbiggs@dpw.sbcounty.gov, 909-387-7906
Daniel Cozad, DCozad@sbvwcd.org, 909-793-2503



Carlsbad, California - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the release of a final environmental impact statement (EIS) and habitat conservation plan for the Upper Santa Ana River Wash in southwestern San Bernardino County, California.

The Wash Plan will address a variety of economic, infrastructure and recreation activities over the next 30 years while providing for the conservation needs of several endangered species.

The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and San Bernardino County Flood Control District are the two permittees under the proposed Wash Plan. Other cooperating agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, East Valley Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, the Cities of Highland and Redlands and Robertson’s Ready-Mix and Cemex, Inc.

“Release of the final EIS is an important milestone in our cooperative effort to balance wildlife conservation with support for vital infrastructure and economic development in southwestern San Bernardino County,” said Paul Souza, regional director for the Service. “The Wash Plan reflects our commitment to building trusted relationships with partners to achieve conservation.”

“On behalf of the Water Conservation District and the Wash Plan Task Force, we are overwhelmingly pleased to pass this important milestone in the completion of the Wash Habitat Conservation Plan,” said Daniel Cozad, general manager for the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District. “The countless hours developing the Wash Plan, incorporating the public’s recommendations, and working closely with our federal partners at the Service and BLM have paid off for the habitat in the Santa Ana River Wash and its surrounding communities. We congratulate all the staff who worked tirelessly during an unprecedented pandemic to keep this effort on track.”

The Wash Plan encompasses 4,892 acres and proposes coverage for water conservation, aggregate mining and recreation and other infrastructure and public services. Conservation actions to benefit the federally endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat, slender-horned spineflower, Santa Ana River woolly-star and the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher include habitat restoration and monitoring.

“On behalf of the San Bernardino County Flood Control District, we wish to thank San Bernardino Valley Conservation District and all the participating agencies on this collaborative effort. Without the hard work and dedication of the participating agencies, the Wash Plan would not have been completed,” said Brendon Biggs, interim director for San Bernardino Department of Public Works. “The Wash Plan serves as an example of how multiple agencies can come together to work towards meeting their respective goals while simultaneously seeking to enhance local waters, habitat, and surrounding communities. We look forward to continue to work with the Wash Plan participating agencies in the upcoming months.”

The EIS and other documents related to the Wash Plan are available online at the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and the Service’s Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office websites.

The Service anticipates completing a Record of Decision in the coming months.

 

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/cno or 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.