Improving conditions for endangered species on private property

Since its passage in 1973, the Federal Endangered Species Act has successfully prevented many plant and animal species from becoming extinct. However, encouraging and rewarding good stewardship to promote species recovery has been more difficult. Sustainable Conservation works with private property owners to reward them for enhancing habitat and contributing to the recovery of endangered species.

 

Endangered California Red-Legged Frog
To many landowners, endangered species on private property represent an avoidable problem. Areas cleared of vegetation minimize the possibility that endangered species will take up residence. While landowners appreciate biological diversity, they consider the issue a business decision. By managing their land in this way, landowners can reduce the risk of land use restrictions and fines, and they can simplify some permitting processes. But, neither the species nor the landowner benefit from this type of management.

One goal of Landowner Assurances for Habitat Restoration is to improve habitat for endangered species on private property. This project provides legal protection from endangered species laws for landowners engaging in activities that provide a net gain for endangered species populations, either through Safe Harbor Agreements or a consultation process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With legal assurances in place, we are optimistic that landowners will go further to manage their property in ways that attract and benefit the recovery of endangered species.

Another goal of the project is to work with state and federal regulatory and non-regulatory agencies to help them recognize opportunities for working with landowners to support and encourage activities that benefit endangered species. Landowner Assurances offers legal protection for landowners who create endangered species habitat on their property, and assurance endangered species will not become extinct.

Target Species

During the project’s first phase, recovery efforts will focus on two California species: the California red-legged frog and the Valley elderberry longhorn beetle. These species have been chosen because both are frequently found living on private property, and their populations benefit from specific management efforts, such as creating new ponds and managing existing ponds. Recovery efforts by landowners can help the declining populations of both these species.

Highlights

Resources

Safe Harbor Agreements

From our blog

Annual Impact Report: Making Big Ideas Work

We’re pleased to announce the release of our annual impact report! This year’s digital report highlights the milestones Sustainable Conservation hit over the course of 2015. Every win for the Golden State last year was made possible by you.

Read more

Statewide Restoration Efforts Get New Tool

After months in production, and with the help of our partners, we’re pleased to share our Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act video, aiming to generate interest in the opportunity to accelerate approval for voluntary habitat restoration throughout California.

Read more

Commonwealth Club California Water Talk Podcast

Together with speakers from the State Water Resources Control Board, Almond Board of California, and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Ashley Boren discussed the future of California water at the Commonwealth Club.

Read more