Western Riverside MSHCP Landscape Level Conservation

Habitat Conservation Plans Landscape Level Conservation in a
Rapidly Developing Rural-Urban
The Riverside County Experience
Large Landscape Conservation Conference
October 24, 2014
Preserving our open space heritage • Protecting our economy • Building our future
Why a Habitat Conservation Plan
Advanced Mitigation is provided for infrastructure
Needed infrastructure is able to be placed
Open space is not fragmented
Development is not fragmented
Habitat is not slowly strangled by cumulative edge effects
The most effective way to deal with thousands of parcels
Provides buy-in from diverse stakeholders
• Certainty in preservation
• Certainty in development
Habitat Conservation Plans
There are over 400
Habitat Conservation
Plans nationwide,
most are single
There are
Two dozen HCPs
completed In California
Western Riverside County
Regional Conservation Authority*
To establish a 500,000 acre habitat reserve to
protect, restore and enhance habitats for 146
species of native plants and animals in western
Riverside County, in order to support the placement
of needed infrastructure
*A Joint Powers Authority, administered by the County and Cities
History - Riverside County Integrated Project
• Initiated by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors
• Recognition that land use and infrastructure decisions were
driven by environmental issues, especially endangered and
threatened species rules
• Addresses environmental issues as a component of land use and
infrastructure planning
• Buy-in from diverse stakeholder groups; environmental,
development, infrastructure, homeowners and others in a
conservative county
• Three part integrated program the Riverside County Integrated
Project (RCIP)
• Transportation
• Land Use (General Plan)
• Habitat Conservation (MSHCP)
Multiple Species Habitat
Conservation Plan
•Linchpin to the Riverside County Integrated Project
•Adopted in June 2003
•Permits issued in June 2004
•Supported by all 18 Western Riverside County Cities
•Partners include: Caltrans, State Parks, Riverside County Transportation
Commission, Flood Control District, Parks and Open-Space District
“A plant to protect and sustain endangered and threatened animals and
plants, and their habitats in a comprehensive way, so local governments
can expedite the construction of infrastructure to support growthparticularly transportation facilities”
Address cumulative impacts to biological resources to
expedite infrastructure to serve growing region
Protect biological resources
Provide advanced mitigation for
infrastructure projects within the plan
Provide flexibility in Reserve Assembly – thousands of
parcels are affected
Provides local control of permitting process – Federal and
State permits grant authority to “take” species
What the MSHCP does
• Allows all covered public infrastructure projects to proceed
inside the Criteria Area
• Allows all public and private projects outside the Criteria Area
to proceed without delays associated with listed species
• Compliance with the Plan provides all species related
mitigation for project State CEQA documents
• Allows hiking, horseback riding and other recreation on
designated trails and designated areas
The Basics
• Seeks conservation of 500,000 acres
- 347,000 acres already conserved (PQP)
- 153,000 acres of Additional Reserve Lands (ARL) –
acquired from private property owners
• Covers “take” of 146 plant and animal species (33 are listed)
• Criteria Based – no hard line maps
- Conservation is described – as opposed to mapped to
allow flexibility
Public / Quasi-Public Conserved Lands
Funding Sources
• Shared acquisition: 2/3 Local, 1/3 State and Federal
• Local Funding
– Development mitigation fees
– Landfill tipping fees
– Infrastructure contribution – TUMF (5%), Measure A,
Flood Control (3%), other (5% or per acre fee)
– Other public facilities (libraries, parks, etc.)
– Participating Special Entities (i.e., Utilities)
• Federal Funding – Section 6 (HCP) only
– Western Riverside Plan has no Refuge or Conservancy
Management and monitoring stewardship is
occurring on over 400,000 acres currently
“To protect, restore and enhance habitats and the
populations of native plants and animals of
western Riverside County.”
Monitoring Program
A full time monitoring crew of biologists performs surveys throughout the year.
All 146 species have had focused surveys conducted by the Monitoring Program
or partnering agencies, and/or have been incidentally observed:
• 8 year monitoring cycle – some species more frequently (annual or more)
• A total of 141 of 146 species have been detected in the Conservation Area
• Focused surveys by Monitoring Program have detected 130 species
• Focused surveys have been conducted by partnering agencies for 3
additional species [e.g., SB flying squirrel (U.S. Forest Service)]
• Another 8 species have been detected incidentally
Spreading navarretia
Granite spiny lizard
Yellow-breasted chat
White tailed kite
Long-tailed weasel
Challenges - RCA Funding Trends
Totals Thru 10/09/2014
Funding Challenges
• Issues
- Required 100% Acquisitions must come first
- Have to stay in Rough Step $40,000,000
- Development Pressures
- Limited Funding Availability $20,000,000
• Lessons
$- Prioritize acquisitions
2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
- Look for other partners
- Be flexible within your priorities
- Use any opportunities to acquire “gems”
Other Lessons Learned
• Even with highly successful plans, subjective
interpretation of the plan will lead to conflict
- Most plans are written as compromises
• Revenue cycles may not be tied to plan requirements
• A criteria-based plan requires extensive
understanding of plan objectives
- Flexibility is critical
• Continuing to remind stakeholders why you made the
plan is a must do
- Newsletters, meetings
Local vs. Federal / State Funding
Acres Conserved
Total Acres Conserved 48,265
Funding Expended
* Total Funding Expended $456,885,894
*Donation Values Included
Totals Thru 10/9/2014
Additional Reserve Lands
Major Plan Successes
• Developed a comprehensive plan that ensures species
habitat, development and infrastructure are holistically
• Stewardship of the Reserve is taking place on over 400,000
acres in compliance with the MSHCP
• Acquired over 48,000 additional acres to date
• Another 6,000+ acres has been conditioned through the land
development process to come into the reserve
• Facilitated Permittee projects, while restoring habitat, by
using RCA properties for dozens of mitigation/restoration
Major Policy Successes
• Worked to provide a loan program for HCPs that support
– Loan program is now part of the Water Resources
Development Act (WRDA)
– Loan program language is currently in the Senate version
of the new Transportation Bill
• Federal Section 6 funding
– Funding continues for HCP acquisition and planning
Major Projects Expedited Under the MSHCP
New Metro link rail line
Two new freeways
Six major freeway widening projects
Five major highway widening projects
Over a dozen freeway and highway interchange projects
Major dam remediation
Five major power distribution projects
Water distribution projects
Dozens of local road improvements
Charles Landry, Executive Director
Western Riverside County
Regional Conservation Authority
[email protected]

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