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

Wright Solar Park Receives Federal Environmental Permit in Merced County

October 26, 2015

Media Contacts:
Sarah Swenty, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, (916)414-6606, sarah_swenty@fws.gov

Sacramento - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the issuance of an Endangered Species Act, Section 10(a)(1)(B) Incidental Take Permit to Wright Solar Park, LLC for their Wright Solar Park Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for a solar energy generating facility in Merced County.

The permit covers incidental take, associated with construction, operation, and decommissioning of a 200 megawatt solar facility, of three at-risk species. The permit also covers the HCP’s conservation activities on the 2,446-acre project site, on 285 acres of conserved land adjacent to the solar arrays that will be protected into perpetuity, and on 2,450 acres of conserved land in southwest Merced County, California, located approximately 5 miles south of the solar facility. The solar project is made up of multiple parcels located approximately 2.7 miles south of Santa Nella, 0.5 miles north of Los Banos Reservoir, west of Interstate 5, and south of Billy Wright Road.

An HCP describes the anticipated impacts on at-risk species associated with its covered activities, how those impacts will be minimized or mitigated, and how the HCP is to be funded. HCPs can apply to both listed and non-listed species including those that are candidates or have been proposed for listing. By protecting threatened and endangered species, as well as securing habitat for currently non-listed species, an HCP can provide for the long-term survival of at-risk species.

Three federally-listed species are covered by this HCP: the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard and San Joaquin kit fox, and the threatened Central California distinct population segment of the California tiger salamander.

Incorporating public input received earlier this year, when the draft HCP was available for review, the HCP has been revised to strengthened avoidance procedures for covered species and the site design modified to establish additional buffers to key habitat areas.

To request further information, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request is in reference to the Wright Solar Park LCC Habitat Conservation Plan.

U.S. Mail: 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825-1846.
In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call (916) 414-6600 to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off comments or view received comments at the above location.
Fax: Josh Emery or Mike Thomas, (916) 414-6600, Attn.: Wright Solar Park Habitat Conservation Plan.

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.

Last updated: December 1, 2017