San Francisco’s Habitat Conservation Plan
Ensuring San Franciscos Habitat Conservation
Plan for land use and operations in the Alameda Creek watershed is adequately
protective of endangered species
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is preparing a Habitat Conservation Plan for their projects, maintenance and operations on nearly 50,000 acres they manage in the upper Alameda Creek watershed. The HCP will be a long-term plan for land use and biological resources on SFPUC lands; it will cover not only water diversions and reservoir management, but also vegetation and pond management, cattle grazing, roads, and lease activities such as nurseries and the golf course. The HCP will result in a federal permit allowing the SFPUC to legally "take" or harm endangered species, in exchange for conservation measures intended to protect the species and their habitats.
The HCP will provide conservation measures and legal coverage for the SFPUC under the Endangered Species Act for lawful "take" of 12 special-status wildlife species (Callippe Silverspot Butterfly, California Tiger Salamander, California Red-legged Frog, Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Alameda Whipsnake, Western Pond Turtle, Tricolored Blackbird, Western Burrowing Owl, Townsend's Big-eared Bat, Central California Coast Steelhead Trout, Pacific Lamprey and Fall-run Chinook Salmon) and 5 plant species (Round-Leaved Filaree, Fragrant Fritillary, Congdon's Tarplant, Hospital Canyon Larkspur and Most Beautiful Jewel-flower).
As of May 2012 the SFPUC has published preliminary draft HCP chapters on Covered Activities, Physical and Biological Resources, Impacts Analysis, Conservation Strategy, Implementation and Funding, Assurances, and Alternatives, as well as an overview of fish issues in the HCP. The public draft of the HCP is likely to be released in 2013. There will be a series of public workshops and a 90-day public comment period after the draft HCP is released; there will be a draft Environmental Impact Report prepared and independent outside review of portions of the HCP. The final HCP is currently scheduled for 2013. The San Francisco Planning Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service will be conducting the environmental review process and will determine the scope and focus of the joint Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report.
Take Action: Tell the SFPUC to ensure that mitigations for their land use and operations in the Alameda Creek watershed are adequately protective of endangered species.