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

News Release

Plan Proposed to Reduce Time for Development Projects and Help Recover Endangered Species in Yuba and Sutter Counties

Public Input Sought at Two Meetings in January

December 15, 2014

Media Contact:
Sarah Swenty, (530)665-3310, sarah_swenty@fws.gov

Sacramento - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Yuba and Sutter Counties are working together to preserve endangered species and streamline development permitting. To do that, they plan to assess the environmental impacts of development of 35,000 acres within a 400,000-acre area of Yuba and Sutter Counties, California. This is a crucial step in creating the proposed Yuba-Sutter Regional Conservation Plan (YSRCP), which outlines strategies to avoid, minimize, and offset potential indirect effects to 18 imperiled plant and animal species expected to take place in the next 50 years. YSRCP will also create a 50,000-acre fully funded reserve system protected in perpetuity to benefit the covered species.

The YSRCP has tentatively identified 18 species to cover, however, this is a topic for which the Service is seeking public input. The public meetings are being held to receive comments on all aspects of the YSRCP, including Covered Activities and Covered Species.

This announcement, a formal Notice of Intent, opens a 45-day comment period on this notice and the proposed YSRCP that will close January 26, 2015. Two scoping meetings will be held on January 6, 2014 for the public to provide written input on the scope and content of the environmental impacts documents for YSRCP. The scoping meetings will be held at the Yuba County Government Center, 915 8th Street, Marysville CA 95901 in the Wheatland Room. The first meeting will be from 3 to 5 p.m., and the second meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. These meetings will be identical in format and content.

America's fish, wildlife, and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species 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 YSRCP will serve as a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the federal Endangered Species Act, and a Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) under the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. HCPs and NCCPs are federal and state plans that allow for a streamlined permitting process because conservation measures are laid out, agreed upon and implemented on a landscape scale that is most beneficial for the species involved, humans included.

With the proposed HCP/NCCP, Yuba and Sutter Counties, as well as the Cities of Yuba, Live Oak, and Wheatland, seek an incidental take permit for direct, indirect and cumulative effects to Covered Species within approximately 35,000 acres of land that provide suitable breeding, foraging, or movement habitat to the 18 HCP Covered Species under the jurisdiction of the applicants. To offset the project’s effects to these species, the YSRCP is proposing avoidance and minimization measures, and will also establish an approximate 50,000-acre fully funded reserve system protected in perpetuity with management and monitoring of high-quality breeding, foraging, and movement habitat to benefit the HCP/NCCP’s covered species.

Before those plans can be completed, an environmental impact statement and report must be prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. They will describe the underlying purpose and need of the YSRCP–for the Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue permits to the permit applicants, include an analysis of the effects of implementation of the YSRCP on the human environment, consider and evaluate a range of alternatives, and describe the existing environment that could be affected by approval and implementation of the it.

The Federal Register notice is available at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento.

Comments can be sent by U.S. Mail or facsimile to:
Mike Thomas, Habitat Conservation Planning Division
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office
2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605
Sacramento, California 95825
Fax: (916) 414-6713

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.

Last updated: December 1, 2017