Habitat Conservation Plan for Yolo County released to public

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By VERONICA DAVISON/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the Notice of Availability for the Final Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) prepared by the Yolo Habitat Conservancy, Yolo County, and the cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland. The Final HCP, NCCP and environmental documents released on Monday cover future permitting of urban development, transportation and infrastructure activities within Yolo County.

The Final HCP proposes strategies to avoid, minimize, and offset potential direct, indirect and cumulative effects of development, public service, agricultural, and conservation strategy implementation activities on 12 species—some of which are federally listed as threatened or endangered.  The proposed activities will be located within a 654,723 acre plan area in Yolo County (653,549 acres) and on the south side of Putah Creek in Solano County (1,174 acres).

The Final Yolo HCP and NCCP will streamline and expedite the process for authorizing covered projects and activities, and allow local governments to process projects directly. It also balances the need for new urban growth and infrastructure with the need to conserve natural landscapes, aquatic resources, and native wildlife and plant species in Yolo County.

Habitat conservation plans ensure there is adequate minimizing and mitigating of the effects non-federal activities have on threatened and endangered species, as required under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies, and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering species at risk. Habitat conservation plans provide a roadmap for species recovery that is essential to protecting ecosystems that benefit society as a whole.

This announcement opens a 30-day public inspection period on the Final HCP and NCCP that will close May 30. The Federal Register Notice, Final HCP, NCCP and Environmental Impact Statement and joint Environmental Impact Report are available at www.fws.gov/sacramento.

For more information about the species proposed for coverage by the HCP visit 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 their work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/Sacramento. Connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

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