California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project Planning Horizons

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					California Essential Habitat
Connectivity Project:
Planning Horizons Meeting
April 7, 2010



Monica D. Parisi
California Department of Fish and Game

Amy L. Pettler
California Department of Transportation
Collaborators
Products
           statewide wildlife habitat
           connectivity map and
           model
           assessment of the
           biological value of
           identified connectivity
           areas
           strategic plan to
           supplement the map and
           help end users interpret it
Project Goals
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

complies or is consistent with recent legislation

       AB 2785 (2008) requires CDFG to map essential
       wildlife corridors and habitat linkages

       SB 85 (2007) requires CDFG to develop vegetation
       mapping standards and report on wildlife corridors
       in the state
 Produce a statewide assessment of
 essential habitat connectivity that:
complies or is consistent with recent legislation

  Section 6001 of the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient
  Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005
  requires that environmental resource impacts be
  considered in the transportation planning process.

  Avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures must be
  identified.
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:
                         for CDFG, will help
                         expand the State Wildlife
                         Action Plan

                         Connectivity is identified
                         as a key action both
                         statewide and in 4 of 8
                         terrestrial ecoregions, but
                         there is no map of key
                         linkages and no list of
                         priorities.
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

                         for Caltrans and regional
                         transportation agencies,
                         will inform policy and
                         provide standardized
                         data for integrating
                         transportation planning
                         with connectivity planning
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

                         for all entities that
                         acquire or regulate or
                         influence wildlife habitat
                         across the state, serves
                         as both a product and a
                         process for strategic
                         planning
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

                     builds upon earlier efforts

                         Missing Linkages (2001)
                         invited experts to identify
                         linkages at risk in a
                         workshop setting.
                         However, linkages were
                         not prioritized and some
                         were found to be missing.
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

                        is transparent
                        scientifically-defensible
                        and repeatable
Produce a statewide assessment of
essential habitat connectivity that:

                       provides a methodology
                       for connectivity analysis
                       at finer scales than
                       statewide
Approach and Results
Biological Values Matrix
Biological Values Matrix
October, 2008 – Team Meeting #1
– “Kick-off” Meeting
Agency representatives provided overview and
  addressed their respective priorities for the
  project.

Consultants presented a summary of possible
  modeling approaches.

Participants identified priority issues in 4 different
  breakout sessions – land managers,
  transportation planners, regulators, and
  conservation scientists/planners.
Biological Values Matrix
January, 2009 – Team Meeting #2 – First
Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group
 Participants were asked to review technical
 materials provided by consultants and come
 prepared to make several key decisions.
1) Define the analysis
  area.
Analysis area will be
  the State of California
  plus a flexible buffer
  into adjacent states.
2) Define the wildland
  blocks or areas to
  be connected - a.k.a.
  Natural Landscape
  Blocks (NLBs) or
  “blobs”.


                          Note: Graphic is for display purposes only.
Use areas of high
  ecological integrity.

Use 6,000 acre minimum to
  start.

Use a relatively fine
  resolution (100m pixel).

                             Note: Graphic is for display purposes only.
Use statewide and readily
  available data sets as
  model inputs:

  road density
  indices of species rarity
  critical habitat for listed species
  wetlands
  conservation status of lands
  impervious surfaces
  urban and agricultural land
In the end, Natural
   Landscape Blocks were
   defined using Ecological
   Condition Index (ECI;
   Davis et al. 2003, 2006)
    Land conversion
    Residential housing impacts
    Road effects
    Forest structure (where
      applicable)
ECI modified slightly using:
Conservation Status (GAP 1 & 2)

High Biological Value

    Essential and designated
    critical habitat

    Wetlands/vernal pools

    “Hotspots” for amphibians,
    reptiles, mammals and plants

    Areas of Critical Biological
    Concern (ACEC)
HBV modifiers applied
 differently according to
 region.
In the end, 850 Natural
   Landscape Blocks of
   2,000 to 3.7 million acres
   were identified.




                           Note: Maps are in draft form and for display purposes only.
3) Define the linkage
  polygons – a.k.a.
  “sticks” to connect the
  “blobs”.
Use a least-cost corridor method
  of connecting wildland blocks.

Use the centroid of each wildland
  block as a corridor terminus.

Use an inverse of ecological
  integrity as the resistance
  surface (alternative would be
  to define by focal species).

Add buffered river corridors
  where they are not already
  included.
In the end, 192 linkage
    polygons were modeled
    using this method. Rule sets
    were established for which
    blocks to connect using
    nearest neighbor and
    network analyses.

An additional 552 “road
  mitigation sticks” and 31
  “inter-state sticks” were
  identified but not modeled.
                           Note: Maps are in draft form and for display purposes only.
Biological Values Matrix
October, 2009 – Team Meeting # 3 –
Second Meeting of the Technical Advisory
Group
 Participants were presented with draft results and invited to
 comment.

 Results were compared with statewide and regional data layers of
 conservation priority.

 Biological (e.g. # of sensitive species) and non-biological (e.g. area)
 characteristics were identified as metrics for each Natural
 Landscape Block and linkage polygon.

 An outline of the Strategic Plan was presented.
Examples of Statewide
  Comparisons


Existing Conservation Network and
    Other Major Landholders –
    captures 76% of protected lands

Missing Linkages (2001) – many
   arrows not captured (condition vs.
   protected status)

Network of Natural Community
   Conservation Plans (NCCPs) and
   Habitat Conservation Plans
   (HCPs)

The Nature Conservancy Ecological
   Priorities
Example of Regional
  Comparison



Regional Conservation Network
  for Central Valley Ecoregion
  (Huber et al., in press) –
  captures 63% of combined
  core reserves and corridors
  (reserves smaller and more
  fragmented than those
  captured by statewide
  analysis)
Example of Local
  Comparison




South Coast Missing Linkages –
  captures 81% of designed
  missing linkages
February, 2010 – Final Team Meeting
 Present final products and strategic plan – both
 living documents!

 Roll out the data.

 Begin strategizing outreach efforts.
Strategic Plan
Methodology for statewide analysis
Comparisons at various scales
Frameworks for how to conduct regional and local scale
   analyses
Framework for road mitigation
Strategy for integration with conservation and infrastructure
   planning
Plan for data distribution
Strategy for use in conservation planning includes:
Land acquisition through Wildlife   Use with Areas of Conservation
Conservation Board                  Emphasis (ACE) II for Prioritization


Conservation and mitigation banks   Use for strategic siting
and mitigation planning

Natural Community Conservation      Facilitate connectivity of reserves
Plans (NCCPs) and Habitat           within and across planning boundaries
Conservation Plans (HCPs)

Climate Change Adaptation           Use as a base layer and enhance with
                                    further analysis. Connectivity is a
Planning                            primary strategy for accommodating
                                    shifts in species ranges
How does this apply to planning?
Strategy for use in Transportation planning includes:
  State Planning                         Data Layer              (CIB, Blueprint Planning, Regional Advance
  Regional Planning                      Mitigation Efforts, Conservation and Mitigation Bank)

                                         Framework for Regional Level
                                         Analysis
                                                SB 375 Sustainable Community Strategies
                                                Blueprint Planning and Scenario Planning

  System Planning
  Goods Movement
                                         Framework for Local Level Analysis

  PID Planning                           Inform Programming, alternatives and
  Community                              mitigation estimates
                                         Community Outreach


  Intelligent Transportation System      Safety and Roadkill
  Project Delivery (IGR – CEQA Review)   Evaluation of the issue in CEQA,
                                         design, mitigation

  Climate Change                         Adaptation Strategies
Road Fragmentation
 850 Natural
 Landscape Blocks
 744 pairs within CA
 552 of them separated
 only by a road
Chapter 6: Framework for Considering
Roads in the Essential Habitat Connectivity
Network

  Overview of impact of roads
  Where to mitigate or enhance
  Types of mitigation (underpasses, overpasses,
  culverts, fencing, etc.)
  Guidelines for crossing structures
    Number, spacing, adjacent habitat, monitoring,
    etc.
Why are there many different
solutions?
 Different species
 Multiple resource
 needs/access
 Predator/Prey
 Topography
 Water
 Size
 Substrate
 Fencing
 Lighting
Chapter 7:
Legislative Framework for Assuring Connectivity and
Integration into Existing Efforts
  Assembly Bill 2785
  SAFETEA-LU Section 6001
  NCCP Act of 2004
  CEQA – “interfere substantially with the movement of any
  native resident or migratory fish or wildlife species or with
  established native resident or migratory wildlife corridors, or
  impede the use of native wildlife nursery sites.
  CESA – fully mitigate for species that benefit from large
  connected areas.
  NEPA – Alternative analysis
  FESA – habitat use for different life cycle activities
Partnering and Collaboration
 Coordinated use of data for conservation
 planning
 Integrated implementation of habitat
 connectivity improvements
 Coordination in land use, transportation
 and conservation planning
California Essential Habitat
Connectivity Project
Project and meeting materials
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/env/bio/program_efforts.htm

Conservation planning
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/conplan

Data distribution
http://bios.dfg.ca.gov
Wildlife Crossing Guidance Manual -
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/env/bio/wildlife_crossings.htm
Questions?
Comments?
Feedback?