California Department of Fish and Game Signs Coachella Valley NCCP Permit

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California Department of Fish and Game Signs Coachella Valley NCCP PermitThe Department of Fish and Game (DFG) signed the permit for the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) on Sept. 9. The plan covers more than 1.1 million acres, 27 species and the habitats and ecological processes on which those species depend.

“This is a great example of how effective species conservation and planned development can be achieved together,” said DFG Director Donald Koch. “These types of planning efforts are important to the future of our state and its fish and wildlife resources.”

The permit provides take authorization for development projects and transportation projects in the Coachella Valley and the surrounding deserts and mountains, while at the same time conserving more than 700,000 acres.

The issuance of the permit was applauded by the chairman of the local jurisdiction responsible for implementation.

“I am delighted that the California Department of Fish and Game has joined the Coachella Valley in a commitment to long-term environmental protection by issuing the final permit,” said Richard Kite, Rancho Mirage City Councilman and Chairman of the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission. “We look forward to a positive and cooperative relationship with DFG to ensure the conservation of our rich natural heritage as well as prosperity for our region.”

fringe-toed lizardDFG’s NCCP program is an unprecedented effort by the state and numerous private and public partners that takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity. An NCCP identifies and provides for the regional or areawide protection of plants, animals and their habitats, while allowing compatible and appropriate economic activity.

The NCCP program is a cooperative effort to protect habitats and species. The program, which began in 1991 under the state’s Natural Community Conservation Planning Act, is broader in its orientation and objectives than the California and Federal Endangered Species Acts. These laws are designed to identify and protect individual species that have already declined in number significantly.

The primary objective of the NCCP program is to conserve natural communities at the ecosystem scale while accommodating planned growth and development. The program seeks to anticipate and prevent conflicts between wildlife and habitat conservation and land use coversions by focusing on the long-term stability of wildlife and plant communities and including key interests in the process.