The cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Water District have initiated a collaborative process to prepare and implement a Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) for the Santa Clara Valley. These Local Partners, in association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, stakeholder groups and the general public will develop a long-range plan to protect and enhance ecological diversity and function within a large section of Santa Clara County, while allowing for currently planned development and growth. The Plan will provide a framework for the protection of natural resources while streamlining and improving the environmental permitting process for both private and public development including activities such as road, water, and other infrastructure construction and maintenance work. The plan will create a number of new habitat reserves that will be larger in scale and more ecologically valuable than the fragmented, piecemeal habitats currently yielded by mitigating projects on an individual basis.
Objectives of the Santa Clara Valley HCP/NCCP include:
- Conserving natural biological communities at the ecosystem scale by agreeing as a region on essential habitat for the protection of certain endangered and threatened species, and proactively preserving that habitat to both mitigate for the environmental impacts of development and enhance and restore the natural communities that support endangered plants and animals.
- Accommodating land uses compatible with local General Plans by streamlining the permitting process and allowing public and private development and operations/maintenance projects requiring permits from state and federal agencies to proceed without the costly and time-consuming delays associated with negotiating endangered species issues on a project-by-project basis.
- Facilitating the provision of water supply and flood protection by preserving and enhancing watersheds and by meeting state and federal habitat requirements for contracts to import water from outside the County.
- Providing a process with extensive and numerous opportunities for public involvement throughout development and implementation of the HCP/NCCP.
Preparation of this website was funded in part from Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (Section 6) Planning Grants administered by the California Department of Fish and Game through Agreement # P0630005. The Agreement, which is for use of $448,305 of Federal funding, is for several work products including this website.