Plan would coordinate east Alameda County conservation
The Sierra Club is taking part in the Eastern Alameda County Conservation Strategy (EACCS), a planning process intended to bring coordination to conservation efforts in eastern Alameda County.
For example, developers often pay conservation mitigation funds to make up for adverse impacts of their projects, but many of the funds generated by development in eastern Alameda County have been spent outside the county, according to Troy Rahmig, the conservation project manager of environmental consulting firm ICF Jones & Stokes, the environmental-consulting firm for the project. By assessing areas all across eastern Alameda County for their conservation values and establishing biological principles to guide conservation in the county, the EACCS should facilitate the spending of mitigation money in-county. In general, the Sierra Club supports spending of such funds close to the location of the damage being mitigated.
The Conservation Strategy will give voluntary guidance on how to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts on selected special-status species and sensitive habitats, and is intended to become the blueprint for all mitigation and conservation in the study area. It is different from the controversial Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) which include certain authorizations for harm to threatened or endangered species. ICF Jones & Stokes has completed or is working on several HCP studies overlapping or surrounding the EACCS study area.
Numerous local and state agencies are funding and participating in the EACCS. The Sierra Club is serving on its Users Advisory Group.
At a public meeting tentatively planned for September, the EACCS partners will present the draft conservation priorities and the draft Conservation Strategy document, and announce the next steps in approving them.
To review the draft documents and for updates, including the scheduling of the September public meeting, see the EACCS web site.
To help the Sierra Club monitor the Conservation Strategy document and speak out at public meetings, contact or call (510) 848-0800, ext. 312 or Tri-Valley Group chair Matt Morrison at (925) 413-6213 or by email to mattmorrisonus -at- gmail.com