Do you or someone you know have a project that requires compensatory mitigation for habitat impacts in southern California? Perhaps we can help!
The Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority (Habitat Authority) is a local government agency (Joint Powers Authority) that owns and manages the more than 3,800-acre Puente Hills Preserve in southeastern Los Angeles County. Our mission is to acquire, restore and manage open space in perpetuity with the primary purpose to protect biological diversity. We have also been successful in completing mitigation projects in varying habitat types over the last decade. Once such was cited in the Whittier Daily News on January 13, 2010.
The Habitat Authority has facilitated numerous mitigation projects, from impacts in both Orange and Los Angeles counties, on the Puente Hills Preserve and has worked successfully with public and private entities to restore more than 85 acres of habitat as mitigation, including coastal sage scrub, riparian and chaparral habitats including for listed species. These mitigation efforts were required for regulatory agency permits (e.g. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Section 7 permit, California Department of Fish and Game Streambed Alteration Agreement, 401 Water Quality certificates [RWQCB]) as well as to comply with CEQA mitigation measures.
We have many more acres available for habitat mitigation on the Preserve. In 2007, the Habitat Authority completed a Resource Management Plan (RMP) that identified over 1,000 acres of restoration priorities covering a variety of habitats including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, native grassland, oak and walnut woodland, and riparian. The RMP also includes a priority ranking (low to high) for each restoration site, restoration guidelines, and recommended plant palettes.
There are two different options for implementing mitigation with the Habitat Authority on the Puente Hills Preserve: 1) In-lieu Fee Mitigation (ILF) or 2) Permittee Implemented Mitigation (PIM).
In-Lieu Fee Mitigation:
This simple approach is for the Project Applicant that wants to pay once and not think about regulatory requirements until sign-off. With this option the Project Applicant pays the standard mitigation fee and also pays the Habitat Authority to implement the restoration including the annual monitoring and reporting. If you’d like to go this route, it would be important for us to look at any regulatory permits, environmental documents, etc., in order to develop an accurate cost estimate. For example, there may be fees associated with a conservation easement, long-term endowment, etc., if those things are being required by an agency.
Permittee Implemented Mitigation:
This approach is for the Project Applicant that wants more hands-on involvement in the process of achieving regulatory sign-off. The Project Applicant still pays the Habitat Authority the standard mitigation fee in this option but would hire and oversee the restoration, monitoring and reporting themselves.
Mitigation projects conducted within the Puente Hills Preserve are listed below and include information on the habitat type and acres restored, whether they were implemented as In-lieu fee mitigation (implemented by the Habitat Authority) or Permittee Implemented mitigation and when the obligations were met. The Habitat Authority has facilitated 88.5 acres of mitigation restoration (3.4 acres not shown in the chart below).
Please contact Lizette Longacre, Ecologist, at (562) 945-9003 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about habitat mitigation opportunities at the Puente Hills Preserve. We look forward to working with you to help you meet your project requirements and help us satisfy our agency’s mission.