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

Final Western Placer County Habitat Conservation Plan Balances Conservation and Community Growth

Plan achieves unprecedented levels of federal, state and county-level coordination

May 21, 2020

Media Contact:
Meghan Snow, Phone: (916) 414-6671, Email: Meghan_Snow@fws.gov

SACRAMENTO, Calif - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the availability of a final environmental impact statement and environmental impact report for the Western Placer County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP). The final plans and environmental documents cover future permitting of urban, suburban and rural development and transportation and infrastructure projects in western Placer County, California.

This HCP is one of the first to use a new, coordinated process that achieves an unprecedented level of integration and streamlining of federal (Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act), state (California Endangered Species Act and Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements) and county-level permitting needs.

The final HCP includes strategies to avoid, minimize and offset the impacts of development, infrastructure and regional public programs on 14 species, some of which are federally listed as threatened or endangered. The proposed activities will occur within the 260,000-acre plan area in western Placer County and a portion of Sutter County.

“With this plan in place, Placer County will be able to meet the needs of a growing population while preserving its agricultural lands and wildlife habitat for a number of species, including giant garter snakes and vernal pool fairy shrimp,” said Jennifer Norris, field supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office.

Prepared by Placer County, the City of Lincoln, Placer County Water Agency, South Placer Regional Transportation Authority and Placer Conservation Authority, the final plans are part of the Placer County Conservation Program. The program is an example of successful collaboration among federal, state and local government agencies to balance development and conservation needs during the next 50 years. The HCP will provide the county with greater control over issuing permits for development while protecting unique features of the county, including open space, thriving agriculture and diverse wildlife.

HCPs are voluntary agreements that ensure the effects of non-federal activities on threatened and endangered species are adequately minimized or mitigated, per Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders in its ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering at-risk species.

A notice of availability for the plans will publish in the Federal Register on May 22, 2020, and a record of decision will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the publication date. The Federal Register notice, final HCP, final NCCP, environmental impact statement and environmental impact report can be found tomorrow at www.fws.gov/sacramento.

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.

-FWS-

Last updated: May 21, 2020