Regional Conservation Investment Strategy

Regional Conservation Investment Strategy

Overview

The Regional Transportation Commission, in coordination with the Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District, is developing a Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS). The RCIS will identify environmental conservation priorities and link potential environmental mitigation for proposed transportation projects to high-priority conservation projects.

The Santa Cruz County RCIS will be reviewed and approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Once finalized, the Santa Cruz County RCIS can then help expedite delivery of transportation projects by facilitating regional advance mitigation planning: a process in which the environmental mitigation for impacts from multiple projects can be pooled and conducted in advance, resulting in larger conservation projects that have greater benefits, and potential mitigation for transportation projects is identified in advance of final project design.

Project Description

AB 2087 (2016) establishes a conservation planning tool called a Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) to promote the conservation of species, habitats, and other natural resources. Development of the RCIS includes a description of the environmental setting, identification of focal species and sensitive species, evaluation of conservation priorities and potential environmental mitigation needs for transportation projects, and selection of conservation implementation and advanced mitigation strategies. Preparation of an RCIS requires coordination with environmental resource agencies and outreach to solicit and encourage public input consistent with the RCIS Guidelines developed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Project Schedule

Winter 2020 Existing Conditions Report
Spring 2020 Draft Focal Species & Sensitive Habitat Identification & Draft Transportation Needs Assessment
Summer 2020 Draft Climate Vulnerability Assessment
Fall/Winter 2020 Draft Conservation Strategy & Priorities
Spring 2021 Draft Implementation Strategies
Summer 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
December 2021 Final Regional Conservation Strategy

What’s New

Contact us at: rcis_santacruzcounty@sccrtc.org

Contact

Grace Blakeslee
Senior Transportation Planner
831-460-3219
gblakeslee@sccrtc.org