SDE Feature Class
environment, solar, biota, renewable energy, Interim Mitigation Strategy, California, Mitigation Target Areas, SB 34
To display Mitigation Target Areas for the Interim Mitigation Strategy.
Mitigation Target Areas (MTA) were developed by the California Department of Fish and Game for the Interim Mitigation Strategy (IMS). The MTAs are an identification of generalized target sub-areas for initial priority acquisition under the IMS. The MTAs were developed through collaboration between desert land trust experts, BLM, and CDFG biologists. These sub-areas were known to contain high-quality habitat with parcels that may potentially be available for acquisition under the provisions of SB 34. The selected MTAs are intended only for habitat acquisition under the provisions of SB 34 and do not necessarily correspond with mitigation areas yet to be defined after more detailed analyses under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Conservation Strategy. However, it is anticipated that the DRECP Conservation Strategy conservation areas will include portions of the areas designated here as IMS MTAs. The MTAs were developed using ArcGIS 9.3. The sub-regions were selected using 25 square mile hexagons (one of the methods used to display composite spatial data by CDFG - e.g., Bird Species of Special Concern data (WFO 2008)). To identify appropriate MTAs within these sub-regions, the areas were further refined using a standardized, sequential comparison with a series of GIS data layers to select the hexagons with the highest conservation value. The process included examination of the following data: Hexagons that intersected at least one of the following GIS layers were retained: 1. Areas of Conservation Emphasis II (ACE II) - The DRECP includes portions of the ACE II ecoregions: Mojave, Sonoran, and Colorado Deserts, Sierra Nevada, and Southern California Mountains and Valleys. Areas with the highest biological value were retained. 2. California Essential Connectivity Areas (CEHC). 3. Potentially available lands for conservation - hexagons with unclassified or State-owned lands in BLM's Federal and State Surface Estate layer were retained. 4. Mohave ground squirrel core areas and corridors. 5. Active Bighorn sheep range. 6. California Condor final critical habitat and historic range. 7. Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP) 8. BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), Desert Wildlife Management Areas (DWMA). 9. BLM Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMA): dunes and playas, dry wash woodlands, bighorn sheep, and multiple-species. 10. USFWS Critical Wildlife Habitat: arroyo toad (USFWS 2005), California condor (1974), Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (USFWS 1980), desert tortoise (USFWS 1994), and Penisular big horn sheep (USFWS 2009) 11. TNC Ecologically Essential Habitat - Ecologically Essential and Ecologically Intact areas were retained. 12. Biological input from CDFG and USFWS staff. Hexagons were dropped that overlapped entirely with the following: 13. Fully protected lands (Black and Veatch 2008). 14. Military lands; hexagons were cropped at military land boundaries 15. CDFG owned lands Hexagons were also examined against known proposed renewable energy projects. Depending on the area, hexagons were dropped if they overlapped more than 50% with proposed solar projects, BLM Solar Energy Zones, and proposed wind energy projects. Due to the scale size of the hexagons i.e. 25 square miles, some hexagons were retained even though they had more than a 50% renewable energy project footprint if there were no other options to maintain connectivity or reduce fragmentation for target CESA Listed and Candidate Species. Acquisition immediately adjacent to renewable energy projects may be appropriate in some cases, and will be approved by CDFG on a case-by-case basis. The following layers were examined: 16. Solar Energy Study Areas for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM 2009). 17. Renewable Energy Project Applications in California (BLM 2010). 18. Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) (CEC 2010). 19. Solar Projects (CEC 2010). 20. Wind Projects (CEC 2010). 21. Department of Fish and Game Renewable Energy Project Applications (CCDFG 2010). Within the resulting areas, individual parcels will be evaluated for potential value as mitigation for target CESA Listed and Candidate Species. Acquisition/restoration/enhancement areas will be further refined and prioritized for desert tortoise using the USFWS's desert tortoise spatial decision support system.
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