U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

Safe Harbor Agreements

Tulare Hill Safe Harbor Agreement site

Photo by Rick Kuyper, USFWS

The Safe Harbor Policy provides incentives for property owners to restore, enhance and maintain habitats for listed species.

Because many endangered and threatened species occur exclusively, or to a large extent, on non-Federally owned property, the involvement of non-Federal property owners in the conservation and recovery of listed species is critical to the eventual success of these efforts.

California Tiger Salamander Larva

Under the policy, the Services will provide participating property owners with technical assistance to develop Safe Harbor Agreements that manage habitat for listed species, and provide assurances that additional land, water, and/or natural resource use restrictions will not be imposed as a result of their voluntary conservation actions to benefit covered species.

When the property owner meets all the terms of the Agreement, the Services will authorize incidental taking of the covered species at a level that enables the property owner ultimately to return the enrolled property back to agreed upon baseline conditions.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company Tulare Hill Safe Harbor Agreement

Cattle entering Tulare Hill Safe Harbor site

Photo by Rick Kuyper, USFWS

In 2008, PG&E and the Service completed a safe harbor agreement for serpentine endemic species on Tulare Hill in Santa Clara County.

PG&E has been restoring and maintaining habitat for the Bay checkerspot butterfly, Metcalf Canyon jewelflower and Santa Clara Valley dudleya.Restoration will mainly involve controlling invasive non-native grasses with managed grazing.

Bay checkerspot butterfly

Photo by John Cleckler, USFWS

In addition, the agreement assures PG&E that the Service will not impose additional restrictions because of their voluntary conservation actions.

See agreement (PDF 1078KB) for more information.

Last updated: November 30, 2017