The South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan is Here

By the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board
August 6, 2019
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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Save the Pond at the Old Arena Site!

Sleep Train Arena Pond

August 2019

In August 2019, Christy Berger of Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue presented to Habitat 2020 on an active wildlife habitat that has been discovered the Sleep Train Arena property in Natomas. At this time, the property is owned by the owners of the Sacramento Kings professional basketball team.

Here’s a summary from Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue’s website:

We were stunned when we first viewed the huge numbers of herons and egrets nesting at the pond, and overjoyed that they were nesting in a much better site than in a city neighborhood like many other nesting colonies, and are safe from cars and people. But they may not be safe for long if the property owners fail to preserve the pond. Below are some views of the pond and the wildlife that call it home (there are more than just herons and egrets!) You will notice some concrete structures and rebar. We found out that this site is an unfinished baseball stadium built in 1990. Because of the high water table in North Natomas, the excavated area filled in and over the years with trees and other foliage, creating nice wetland habitat.

Learn more

Click here to visit the website of Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue. There you can learn more about the birds living at the old arena site and why the plans for this property should include preservation of this habitat chosen by the birds themselves, rather than further destruction of their habitat opportunities.

December 2019

On December 9th, ECOS/Habitat 2020 partnered with Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue to submit comments to the city regarding the Arco Arena Reuse Plan. Click here to view the letter.

Sign up here for email updates on the pond.

Photos by J. Roberson Photography

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ECOS comments on Elk Grove Hospital NOP

On June 27, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020 and the Friends of Stones Lakes National Wildlife Refuge submitted a letter in response to the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for Northstate University Medical Center, planned for the outer edges of the City of Elk Grove, south of Sacramento.

Our concerns include: an increase in bird collisions, helicopter flight impacts on migratory birds in surrounding roosting and foraging habitat, lighting impacts, building a hospital in a floodplain, surface water runoff, cumulative impacts, compliance with our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, growth inducement and more.

Click here to read the letter in full.

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