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

Public Input Sought on Conservation Plan for New Solar Project

August 02, 2017

Media Contact:
Veronica Davison, External Affairs, Phone: (916) 414-6671, Email: veronica_davison@fws.gov

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) seeks input on a study of the environmental impacts associated with implementation of the Lost Hills Solar Project Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for a proposed solar energy facility in Kern County, California. The draft HCP and associated draft Environmental Assessment are available for a 30-day public comment period, which ends September 1, 2017. The petitioner, CED Lost Hills Solar, LLC, requested a 45-year incidental take permit (pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act) for the federally endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica). Because issuance of an incidental take permit is a federal action, the Service will evaluate the impacts of both the project and a no-action alternative, in accordance with the National Environmental Protection Act.

If the permit is granted, the proposed HCP will preserve approximately 133 acres of species habitat and natural lands in western Kern County. The requested permit covers impacts to at-risk species associated with construction, operation, and decommission of a 20 megawatt solar facility. The permit also includes the HCP conservation actions for the project site. By protecting threatened and endangered species, as well as securing habitat for non-listed species, an HCP can provide for the long-term survival of these species, ensuring their existence for future generations.

The San Joaquin kit fox is the smallest fox in North America, with an average body length of 20 inches and weight of about five pounds. It is a member of the Canidae family which includes dogs, wolves and foxes. San Joaquin kit foxes use dens for temperature regulation, shelter from adverse weather, and protection from predators. They can breed when they are one year old and adult pairs stay together all year.

The Federal Register notice and associated documents are available at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento and at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2017–0034

Comments can be submitted via U.S. Mail or internet

  • Internet: http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2017–0034
  • U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery:
    Public Comments Processing
    Attn: FWS–R4–ES–2017–0034
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC
    5275 Leesburg Pike
    Falls Church, VA 22041–3803

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: November 10, 2017