Development and clean energy production are ever-present needs in California. But we must balance those needs with equally pressing concerns of species and habitat protection. At CNPS, we believe in using best available science to guide planning and development decisions. It’s possible to find development space that doesn’t damage important habitat, and this often requires working together as scientists, conservationists, and planners. That’s why the CNPS conservation team is involved in a number of regional planning efforts now under way.
Types of planning
Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP)
NCCPs and HCPs are planning tools that provide opportunities to identify important plant areas, often related to sensitive wildlife habitat, and to conserve them through easements and acquisitions over time. CNPS is currently focused on work in Placer County, Santa Clara Valley, Butte County, San Diego County, Coachella Valley, Kern County, and other Southern California locations.
Regional Conservation Assessment (RCA)
RCAs inform conservation priorities and provide data in support of ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, water conservation, and preservation of agricultural lands. RCAs help build the information needed to create Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCIS), which will define lands of least and greatest conservation value. CNPS is now contributing to RCA efforts in the Mojave and Modoc Plateau in partnership with California’s Biodiversity and Strategic Growth Councils.
Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCIS)
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, an RCIS establishes biological goals and objectives at the species level and describes conservation actions and habitat enhancement actions that, if implemented, will contribute to those goals and objectives. CNPS is currently focused on RCIS projects in development for Antelope Valley (LA County), Yolo County, portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, parts of San Bernardino County, and in the Sacramento Valley.
From the Blog
Just as we take a breather from the recent Centennial development decision, another leapfrog mega-development is threatening precious Southern California habitat – this time at the southern border of Joshua Tree National Park.
The decisions we make here in California strongly influence how we as 21st century citizens will address the very real challenges of climate change and a growing population.
CNPS Conservation Program intern and Stanford University student Fiona O'Keeffe shares her observations on forestry, fire, and collaboration.