Safe Harbor Agreements

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

More Info

Safe Harbor Agreements

From our blog

Lundberg Family Farms Receives 2018 CA Leopold Conservation Award

The votes have been tallied, and thanks to our esteemed panel of judges, we’re pleased to announce that this year’s California Leopold Conservation Award recipient is Lundberg Family Farms. Pioneering Excellence Begun in 1937, Lundberg Family Farms is a multi-generation organic rice farm and innovative rice products processor. The family’s proven commitment to sustainable farming…

Read more

Proposition 3 Gets Our Vote

On November 6, Californians will go to the ballot box to vote on a raft of state propositions – 11 in total – from homelessness prevention, to improving children’s hospitals statewide, to establishing a permanent daylight savings time (that’s right, no more switching our clocks twice a year). One proposition in particular that’s important to…

Read more

San Francisco Chronicle Letter to Editor

Salmon photo courtesy of the National Marine Fisheries Service/Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Sustainable Conservation recently submitted a San Francisco Chronicle letter to the editor in response to its story, “Marin County ghost town cleared away to save Lagunitas Creek’s coho salmon.” We wanted to educate readers about the population and habitat struggles many of the state’s hundreds…

Read more