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Supervisors to consider adopting Placer County Conservation Program

AUBURN, Calif. – The Placer County Board of Supervisors will consider adopting the Placer County Conservation Program at their upcoming board meeting Aug. 25.

The PCCP covers more than 260,000 acres of western Placer County and Lincoln. Within the plan area, roughly 47,000 acres would become part of an interconnected reserve system to more effectively protect covered fish and wildlife species and their habitat.

Among nation’s first

The PCCP would be among the first habitat conservation plans in the country to integrate endangered-species and aquatic-resource permitting and conservation into one locally managed and streamlined process.

The Placer County Planning Commission on July 9 unanimously recommended adoption of the PCCP.

The staff report for the board hearing has been released in advance of the hearing to allow interested persons additional time to review the PCCP’s many components. The report is available online at https://www.placer.ca.gov/3362/Placer-County-Conservation-Program.

Many of the related PCCP documents, including the final environmental impact report, the Habitat Conservation Plan / Natural Community Conservation Plan, the Western Placer County Aquatic Resources Program and Cultural Resources Management Plan were provided previously in May.

Subsequent adoption hearings are planned to be held by the Lincoln City Council, Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors and South Placer Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors as additional PCCP plan partners.

Streamline processes

The PCCP also would streamline development permitting processes. Under the federal Endangered Species Act and California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act, the PCCP will be able to extend state and federal permit coverage to proposed covered public infrastructure and private development projects. Under the related Aquatic Resources Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Regional Water Quality Control Board would implement an abbreviated programmatic permitting process for certain qualifying projects under Sections 401/404 of the federal Clean Water Act.

Property owners or project sponsors required to mitigate species and habitat impacts under the PCCP would either dedicate land to the reserve system or pay fees to support free-market easement or property acquisitions. The PCCP would be managed by a joint powers authority including Placer County and Lincoln that would hold title to conservation easements or fee title to preserved lands. The JPA would also oversee cooperative agreements with other entities that would own or manage preserves or conservation easements as part of the PCCP reserve system.