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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    Conservation Issues Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan DRECP Background Information Federal and state agencies responsible for managing land and resources in California are preparing a landscape level conservation plan in order to expedite the siting and development of renewable energy facilities across California s desert ecoregion The purpose of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan or DRECP is to protect desert wildlife and wild lands while expediting renewable energy production Implicit to the success of the DRECP is the preservation of the ecological needs of desert plant species and vegetation communities The conservation of botanical resources is often under considered during project planning due to the abundant nature of plant material However the diversity of plant life and the proper functionality of their ecological processes are more important attributes for assessing the long term viability of plant populations than plant abundance Plants species and plant communities form the foundation for wildlife habitats while providing a sense of beauty to the landscape Equally important plants have an inherent value in and of themselves that we must respect through their conservation Ensuring that botanical information is fully considered and integrated into the desert conservation planning process is critical to the preservation of rare desert plant species and natural vegetation communities as well as the ecological and biological systems that rely on them Current Status On May 2 2011 CNPS released a draft of plant priority lists to several plant experts for additional information and corrections Additional plant information is being researched and will be added to the list in Fall 2011 On May 17 2011 CNPS attended the latest DRECP Stakeholders meeting The meeting notes and documents can be found here http www drecp org meetings index html On May 27 2011 CNPS added in the plant expert comments and returned its draft plant priority lists to the REAT Agencies for initial review CNPS continues to advocate for desert plant mapping and surveying These findings will be added in further drafts of the priority plant lists and covered species lists CNPS and the DRECP Process To assist the DRECP process CNPS will gather and prioritize information critical to the conservation of intact natural vegetation communities and rare plant populations within the desert planning area and will work to ensure this information is incorporated into the DRECP process This is information that would otherwise be under considered overlooked or ignored due to the lack of agency staff available to fully consider plant issues given the unprecedented pace and scale of the DRECP process There is also a tendency to respond toward the more broadly defined missions of other wildlife and wild lands conservation organizations yet it is the plants themselves that that provide the underlying habitat values necessary to support desert wildlife We will gather analyze and prioritize botanical information critical to the preservation of intact natural vegetation communities and rare plant populations provide this information to land use agencies conservation organizations and renewable energy developers and advocate to DRECP stakeholders for the

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/drecp.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    of the Manual State Natural Communities List MCV State Classification List Vegetation Sampling Classification Mapping Mapping Guidelines Field Forms Protocols Classification Map Reports Sampler Newsletters Alliances Associations Vegetation Resources Vegetation Program Initiatives Carrizo Plain NM Veg Project Grassland Initiative MCV Database Project N Sierra Foothills Veg Map S Sierra Foothills Veg Surveys Rare Plant Comm Initiative Contact Program Staff Conservation Program About the Program Actions Archives Statewide Initiatives Chapter Conservation Map Past Initiatives Comment Letters Legislation Tracker Why Conserve Rare Plants Conservation Resources Positions Policies California Native Plant Week Conservation Actions Archives Western Mojave Off Highway Vehicle WEMO In the September 28 2009 summary judgment order the Court held that 1 the decision tree that the Bureau of Land Management BLM used to designate Off Highway Vehicle OHV routes was flawed because it did not comply with regulations mandating that the BLM consider various minimization criteria when designating OHV routes 2 because the Plan authorizes numerous OHV routes that were not in existence in 1980 the Plan is inconsistent with the governing land use plan which limits OHV routes to those existing in 1980 3 the Environmental Impact Statement was flawed because it did not contain a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed action because all alternatives considered the same 5 098 mile OHV network and because its discussion of the no action alternative was incomplete and 4 the EIS was flawed in that its analysis of impacts on cultural resources certain biological resources and air quality is incomplete CNPS joined Center for Biological Diversity Sierra Club and other organizations in its suit against BLM The Court s 2009 Order RE Summary Judgment Motions found that defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA and the Federal Land Policy Management Act FLPMA in adopting the March 2006 Western Mojave management plan amendment 2006 ROD but that the defendants did not violate the Endangered Species Act After unsuccessful settlement talks the parties agreed to a briefing schedule for determining the appropriate remedy in this matter including the terms of a vacatur of the decision the terms of any remand and any injunctive relief during the remand period Court Orders 1 Within 60 days of this order the BLM should provide the Court4 with a detailed implementation plan for signing all open routes in the WEMO The signing should be completed within 180 days of the date of this order 2 Within 210 days of the Court s order the BLM shall update all BLM produced and available maps to include accurate and updated route information and as necessary include a notice in the form below in at least 20 point type on all maps pamphlets kiosks and other literature regarding WEMO OHV routes distributed by the BLM 3 Within 90 days of the Court s order the BLM shall provide the Court with a monitoring plan to determine a compliance with route closures and b whether new illegal routes are being created The monitoring plan should demonstrate that the effort

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/wemo.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    from the Field Funding and Support Rare Campaign About the Program Vegetation Program Services Manual of CA Vegetation The Online Manual 2009 2nd Edition of the Manual State Natural Communities List MCV State Classification List Vegetation Sampling Classification Mapping Mapping Guidelines Field Forms Protocols Classification Map Reports Sampler Newsletters Alliances Associations Vegetation Resources Vegetation Program Initiatives Carrizo Plain NM Veg Project Grassland Initiative MCV Database Project N Sierra Foothills Veg Map S Sierra Foothills Veg Surveys Rare Plant Comm Initiative Contact Program Staff Conservation Program About the Program Actions Archives Statewide Initiatives Chapter Conservation Map Past Initiatives Comment Letters Legislation Tracker Why Conserve Rare Plants Conservation Resources Positions Policies California Native Plant Week Conservation Actions Archives Southern California Forest Plans In 2005 the United States Forest Service revised the plans for the four Southern California national forests The plan revision largely ignored recommendations made by CNPS Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups in an alternative plan A Conservation Alternative Plan for Management of the Four Southern California National Forests PDF 4 3Mb that would have included protections necessary to safeguard the forests unique biological diversity include doc link above The Forest Service s refusal to consider the Conservation Alternative or any other approach to managing the four forests that would protect forest resources through meaningful management standards made it impossible for the agency to conduct the in depth assessment of the environmental trade offs of its preferred approach that NEPA requires The Forest Service s environmental impact statement EIS also showed that the agency did not take a hard look at the significant adverse impacts of the revised forest plans including impacts of expanding OHV use planning for virtually unfettered fuels reduction activities throughout the forests and opening up roadless areas to these and other damaging activities that

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/enforc-scforest_plans.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    and distribution and energy conservation will also be part of the solution Advocating for distributed renewable energy and energy conservation can help reduce impacts to California s desert flora by moving the current focus on renewable resources beyond utility scale generation What s more we cannot and must not endorse the siting of utility scale renewable energy projects on pristine desert lands as the first option especially when already disturbed alternative sites have been identified After nearly two years spent obtaining entitlements to build sites on public lands a BLM Right of Way to hook up to the grid getting in the Independent System Operator or ISO queue and to ensure they have a utility agency willing to buy their electrons a Power Purchasing Agreement or PPA the first utility scale renewable energy project applicants are finding the environmental review and permitting stage a significant hurdle Applicants proposing projects on BLM land can receive significant reimbursement of project development costs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act if they begin construction by December 2010 State and federal agencies reviewing applications are under great pressure from the applicants from the Governor in Sacramento and from the Secretary of the Interior in Washington D C to move these projects through the permitting stage in order to meet ambitious state and federal goals for renewable energy development Resources The links below provide information and materials for individuals and chapters to use when writing letters on behalf of CNPS including a template letter CNPS Renewable Energy Template Letter Word 38k This letter explains CNPS support for properly planned renewable energy in California and includes an attachment titled 10 Recommendations for the Siting and Development of Renewable Energy Projects CNPS Renewable Energy Talking Points PDF 312k A stand alone version of the 10 Recommendations attachment to the CNPS Renewable Energy Template Letter DRECP The California Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan DRECP is intended to evaluate the cumulative impacts of renewable energy development in the desert and plan for the conservation of desert flora and fauna Click here for more information about how the plan is being developed and by whom CNPS submitted written comments PDF 1 1M during the scoping phase of the DRECP and joined a coalition of conservation groups as co signators to a memo outlining criteria to be employed when siting desert projects In addition the Desert Coalition also submitted combined comments on the DRECP process PDF 90k Desert Coalition and Preferred Siting Criteria CNPS is participating in a coalition composed of plant and wildlife experts and concerned environmental organizations formed to address impacts to desert flora and fauna by renewable energy projects proposed for the desert Members of the coalition have been working to suggest alternative sites as one solution to reduce cumulative impacts resulting from projects currently proposed for pristine undisturbed sites Recently a memorandum suggesting preferred criteria for siting renewable energy projects was developed and jointly signed by members of the coalition Click here to view the memorandum PDF

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/desert.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Timber Harvest Plans - California Native Plant Society
    Native Plants Calscape Native Plant Database Native Plant Garden Signs Three P s of Native Gardening CNPS Landscaper Certification Planning Your Garden Getting Started Habitat Gardening School Gardens Patio Gardens Sample Garden Plans Ditch Your Lawn Where to Buy Natives Events Calendar Identifying Native Plants Propagation Native Plant Resources For Your Home Garden Arboretums Botanic Gardens Invasive Weeds Pest Mgmt Invasive Weeds Managing Pests Native Plant Lists Horticultural Research Gardening Blog About the Program Rare Plant Inventory Lichens of Conservation Concern Rare Plant Ranking System Ranks 2A and 2B Rare Plant Data Status Review Process Rare Plant Forums Rare Plant Status Review Rare Plant Phenology Rare Plant Photos Locally Rare Plants Botanical Survey Guidelines Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Background and Results Volunteer Signup RPTH Event Calendar Critical Rare Plant Data Needs Data Collection Reporting Annual RPTH Award Winners Stories from the Field Funding and Support Rare Campaign About the Program Vegetation Program Services Manual of CA Vegetation The Online Manual 2009 2nd Edition of the Manual State Natural Communities List MCV State Classification List Vegetation Sampling Classification Mapping Mapping Guidelines Field Forms Protocols Classification Map Reports Sampler Newsletters Alliances Associations Vegetation Resources Vegetation Program Initiatives Carrizo Plain NM Veg Project Grassland Initiative MCV Database Project N Sierra Foothills Veg Map S Sierra Foothills Veg Surveys Rare Plant Comm Initiative Contact Program Staff Conservation Program About the Program Actions Archives Statewide Initiatives Chapter Conservation Map Past Initiatives Comment Letters Legislation Tracker Why Conserve Rare Plants Conservation Resources Positions Policies California Native Plant Week Forestry Program Timber Harvest Plans Background Cal Fire has recently approved a timber harvest plan THP that does not require the applicant to survey for a CNPS List 2 3 plant Erythronium hendersonii as recommended by CA DFG A second THP has similar issues with a CNPS List

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/forestry/thp.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    to forbid the EIR consultant to talk to the applicant to prevent any such conflicts not L A County As evidenced by the first EIR prepared by Impact Sciences for Newhall on this project the courts through the EIR out as insufficient in meeting minimum standards under CEQA Did you know that the L A County planner position for this project paid for entirely by Newhall Land and Farming Company That sounds like a situation with great potential for bias in favor of Newhall Now Newhall and their consultants are back with their Additional Analysis to try to satisfy the judge What type of document is a Additional Analysis There is no such thing in CEQA The judge specifically identified a number of issues that were not properly assessed to which Newhall and Impact Sciences are taking very narrow views on how to address them and keeping many of their analyses to the bare minimum to try to get by CNPS submitted detailed comments on the Notice of Preparation for the Additional Analysis which Newhall and Impact Sciences basically ignored Impact Sciences claims that the building of 5 100 acres near the Ventura County line with houses roads industrial and commercial development and eventually 70 000 residents will not have a significant impact on the biological resources of Ventura County but they fail to provide any substantial evidence to support their claims just their opinions As an example of how we believe Newhall Impact Sciences and L A County have utterly failed to comply adequately with CEQA again they never once mentioned that the endangered San Fernando Valley Spineflower has been found in the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan Area In addition Newhall refuses to let any independent biologists or agency biologists onto the property Do you think they can be trusted This project would have tremendous impacts on the biological resources of the region including loss of rare upland habitats and the Santa Clara River and would significantly increase traffic on State Route 126 Please send letters to the L A County Board of Supervisors to oppose this project We don t need it it will seriously impact our native plants it will degrade the human environment and it will not provide any benefit to society only money in the pockets of the developer January 2002 The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors postponed their hearing on the huge urban sprawl project proposed by Newhall Land and Farming Company in part to give them time to review the legal aspects of two recent court cases that have bearing on the Newhall Development project The Friends of the Santa Clara River which CNPS is a member recently won a lawsuit on water availability for the development which could present difficulties for Newhall Newhall had been clearing land on portions of the development site under the name of agricultural practices however they failed to obtain the required grading permits from the County who were forced to issue a cease and desist order on Newhall at the urging of the CDFG The additional analysis Impact Sciences did on behalf of Newhall for L A County never bothered to mention that the San Fernando Valley Spineflower has been found on the ranch and on Magic Mountain property Why not Are they trying to hide something It is CNPS s opinion that the impact assessment was entirely inadequate and did not fairly or truthfully assess potential project related impacts to the environment Your lives and lifestyle WILL be adversely affected by this project if it is approved Ventura County is fighting this project because of the impacts it will have on the citizens of Ventura County Below are some aerial photographs of the Grapevine Mesa portion of Newhall Ranch taken by CNPS to document the destruction of San Fernando Valley Spineflower and natural habitats with aerial photography from AirPhotoUSA before the grading occurred September 2002 A decision on the massive Newhall Ranch development in the Santa Clara River Valley on the east end of the Santa Susana Mountains just east of Ventura County has been delayed again by Los Angeles County Newhall Land Farming Company Newhall is in trouble Newhall is being investigated for criminal and civil violations of CESA because they illegally graded areas that had supported the endangered San Fernando Valley Spineflower SFVS Chorizanthe parryi var fernandina which was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered at the Ahmanson Ranch site in 1999 see rare plant article on Page 3 Around the same time or a little earlier a specimen showed up for identification at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden but lacking locality data Where did it come from The botanist who submitted the specimen for identification isn t telling because her client has forbidden her from doing so She submitted a specimen for identification to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in 2000 from the Castaic area but was prohibited from disclosing the exact location by her client Newhall This is a common and routine practice by Newhall forbidding all their botanists working for them from disclosing any of their survey findings Was the specimen from the Newhall Ranch The botanist who found it won t tell because she is forbidden to do so by a confidentiality agreement required by their client Why would Newhall or any client require such a gag I can think of only one reason so they can hide the information from the permitting and regulatory agencies during the environmental review process Of course this would be fraud but how would anyone find out The EIRs prepared by Newhall on their project NEVER reported the occurrence of SFVS on their project site even though Newhall admitted it was present on Grapevine Mesa on 6 June 2000 when Mark Subbotin of Newhall faxed a map to Diana Hickson of Calif Dept of Fish Game CDFG During their search under a search warrant CDFG found numerous populations of SFVS on Newhall s development site specifically on Grapevine and Airport

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/newhall_ranch.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    Mapping Mapping Guidelines Field Forms Protocols Classification Map Reports Sampler Newsletters Alliances Associations Vegetation Resources Vegetation Program Initiatives Carrizo Plain NM Veg Project Grassland Initiative MCV Database Project N Sierra Foothills Veg Map S Sierra Foothills Veg Surveys Rare Plant Comm Initiative Contact Program Staff Conservation Program About the Program Actions Archives Statewide Initiatives Chapter Conservation Map Past Initiatives Comment Letters Legislation Tracker Why Conserve Rare Plants Conservation Resources Positions Policies California Native Plant Week Conservation Program Enviros and UC Merced Reach a Win Win Accord Beginning in 2005 CNPS along with Butte Environmental Council Defenders of Wildlife Protect Our Water San Joaquin Raptor Wildlife Rescue Center San Joaquin Valley Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy held meetings with the University of California and the regulatory agencies to discuss conservation issues related to the Merced campus These meetings resulted in a stronger conservation strategy and a smaller campus On Friday October 5 2007 the University issued a press release announcing the reduction of their footprint and the intention to start the environmental review process over Much of the proposed campus location will be permanently protected by a conservation easement More easements to protect vernal pools and to contain sprawl are also expected as the new campus plan unfolds The agreed upon reduced footprint will protect an additional 670 acres of pristine vernal pool habitat that would have been destroyed by the current plan Many additional occurrences of threatened and endangered plants and animals will also be conserved by the reduced footprint CNPS applauds the University of California for coming to the table with a willingness to work out a compromise that works both for the environment and for the campus The UC s announcement marks the beginning of a new public process for the campus expansion Previous permit applications will be

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/ucmerced.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Conservation - California Native Plant Society
    the Big Grizzly Research Natural Area by the Forest Service Adjacent stands of similar black oak woodlands are slated for conversion to tree farms Much of the Larson project area is predominately oak woodland forest especially black oak Quercus kelloggii Montane hardwood black oak dominated forest community in the Larson Project area These forests will be aerially sprayed with herbicides bulldozed burned and replanted with even aged uniform pine tree seedlings then re sprayed The loss of black oak from brown and burn intensive forestry regimes such as this has contributed to severe declines in wildlife diversity throughout the Sierra Nevada The Forest Service plans to use herbicides to kill native hardwoods and montane chaparral species to accelerate the growth of tree plantations for timber production The agency also claims herbicides are essential to reduce fire hazard The need for herbicides to accomplish these objectives is disputed widely by the public including CNPS Type conversion from oak woodlands to conifer plantations as proposed violates the Sierra Framework which requires protection of oaks Ironically state and federal agencies are pouring funds into Sudden Oak Death research to protect oaks while the Stanislaus National Forest plans to intentionally kill oaks to grow conifers for timber The plan to convert 4 000 acres of native montane oak and early successional forest to commercial conifer plantations calls for ground based spraying of the herbicide triclopyr followed by bulldozing the sprayed brush burning the crushed plants and dense planting of conifers Further spraying is proposed one year after planting three years after planting and in the fifth sixth and eighth years after planting to kill competing native wildflowers shrubs and non commercial tree species Under the proposal several rare endemic plants that the Forest Service is required to protect under the agency s Sensitive Plant Program will not be protected from aerial herbicide applications Other rare plant populations may be harmed from drifting chemicals and ground based spraying in areas where no recent surveys have been conducted to determine whether rare plants are present Sensitive is a term used by the USFS to designate plant species that are considered valid candidates for federal threatened or endangered classification under the Endangered Species Act The USFS is mandated to avoid or minimize impacts to these species and to implement management objectives for sensitive plant populations and their habitats Entire populations of the narrow endemic Clarkia australis may be directly impacted by the Larson Project The 5 endemic List 1B species known to occur within the proposed spray areas are Clarkia australis Small s southern clarkia Mimulus filicaulis Slender stemmed monkeyflower Mimulus pulchellus Pansy monkeyflower Eriophyllum congdonii Congdon s woolly sunflower Eriophyllum nubigenum Yosemite woolly sunflower Of particular concern are potential impacts to Clarkia bees Monica Geber of Cornell University and Martha Groom at the University of Washington have studied the close relationship between the native solitary bees that are Clarkia specialists and the reproductive success of Clarkia According to Dr Geber who has been exploring these interactions

    Original URL path: http://cnps.org/cnps/conservation/forestry/larson.php (2016-04-26)
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