The South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan is Here

August 6, 2019
Sacramento Bee Editorial Board
The Sacramento Bee

To say the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan has been a long time coming is a vast understatement.

Two decades after the seeds were first planted, the plan is finally ready for Sacramento County supervisors to consider on Wednesday. They should approve it.

Developers would get a simplified and predictable process for federal and state environmental permits. And conservation groups would get large, interconnected areas of protected habitat, open space and undeveloped farmland.

Years of push and pull among groups representing developers, farmers, environmental and conservation interests, plus state and federal agencies, has produced a fair deal that most can support. While the success of this very complex framework depends on implementation and enforcement, that by itself is something of a miracle.

The co-chair of ECOS’s Habitat 2020 committee, Sean Wirth, has had an important role in bringing this plan to fruition.

Read more here.

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SacRT to modernize light rail system, increase train frequency to Folsom

August 14, 2019
Emily Hamann
Sacramento Business Journal

“Sacramento Regional Transit District is in the beginning stages of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to upgrade its light rail system, which will include more frequent service to Folsom.

Most of SacRT’s current light rail cars are reaching the end of their useful life, and will start costing SacRT more money in maintenance and repair costs. So SacRT is upgrading to new low-floor cars. The doors on low-floor cars are level with the street, which eliminates the need for elevated platforms at light rail stops.

Most of the state funding for the project is directed toward upgrading the Folsom line, which is aimed at reducing traffic congested corridors. Some of the funding is also coming from the settlement of a lawsuit between Caltrans and the Environmental Council of Sacramento. The environmentalist group had sued Caltrans over a plan to add carpool lanes on Highway 50. As part of an out-of-court settlement, Caltrans agreed to pay $7 million toward improving the Gold Line, which parallels the freeway. “

Read the full article here.

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South American Subbasin Alternative Comments

July 25, 2019

Dear Mr. Eck:

As you are aware, ECOS and Habitat 2020 have been following the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority’s (Authority) development of the South American Subbasin Alternative (South American Alternative), and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) review and decision regarding its acceptability under the terms and requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The letter you received, dated July 17, 2019, from DWR’s Deputy Director Taryn Ravazzini, and the accompanying staff report, form a well-reasoned determination that the South American Alternative will not satisfy the requirements of SGMA. While the Authority is given thirty days to provide information to refute DWR’s findings, it seems that devoting time to this pursuit is not in the best interest of the Sacramento region and the Authority.

Ralph Propper and Rob Burness

Full letter here.

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