What Is It?
Farmers and landowners have been
unintentionally discouraged from installing voluntary conservation
and restoration projects on their property by the time-consuming
and costly process of acquiring multiple permits from local,
state and federal agencies. In order to reduce this barrier,
the RCD partnered with USDA Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the non-profit
Conservation in 1998 to develop the first Permit Coordination
Program in the nation.
The goal of Permit Coordination is to
offer “one-stop regulatory shopping” to land
managers seeking to implement conservation and restoration
practices on their land.
Grey Hayes with the Coastal
Training Program instructs RCD staff and partners in identifying
features of coastal chaparral species as part of a Threatened
and Endangered Plant training series.
How Does It Work?
Where watershed-wide Permit Coordination programs are in
place, farmers, ranchers, or landowners who plan to install specific
conservation practices are eligible to receive permits coverage
through the programmatic permits held by RCD and NRCS. The
RCD and NRCS assist in project design and monitor implementation
and maintenance of the conservation practices to ensure adherence
to the conditions of the permits. Provided the land manager follows
the design specifications and project conditions established by
NRCS or RCD in accordance with the Permit Coordination Program,
he or she will not need to secure individual permits, saving the
cooperating farmer, rancher, landowner or land manager both time
How do I know whether my project requires permitting?
You can assess whether your project might require permitting
by looking at the information and tables in the following brochures. If
your project requires permitting, you may be eligible for Permit
Coordination to obtain all necessary permits through this “one
stop” permitting program.
IS my project eligible for Permit
Before you begin your own conservation project,
contact the RCD or NRCS office
to find out if your project is eligible to receive coverage under
the Salinas Valley Watershed Permit Coordination Program or the Elkhorn
Slough Watershed Permit Coordination Program. In addition
to simplifying the permitting process, assistance
is available for project design, construction guidance and information
about cost-sharing programs.
Elkhorn Slough Watershed Permit Coordination Program (1998-2002)
This Program established in 1998 to reduce barriers
to agricultural resource conservation projects in the Elkhorn Slough
Watershed in northern Monterey County. The program streamlined
the permitting process for land managers working with the NRCS or
RCD on projects utilizing 10 approved conservation practices.
The Elkhorn Slough watershed-wide regulatory agreements
were valid for five years and expired in 2002/2003 Efforts are currently
underway to update and renew the agreements. The RCD’s goal
is to have a new Permit Coordination Program for the Elkhorn Slough
watershed up and running in 2006.
This picture illustrates the progression of stream protection work that was permitted
with the Elkhorn Slough Watershed Coordinated Permit Program.
The Salinas River Watershed Permit Coordination Program (2002-2007)
This program consists of watershed-based permits and agreements
covering 16 specific conservation practices in the Salinas River
watershed in Monterey County issued to the NRCS and the RCDMC by
federal, state and local regulatory agencies.
As of 2009, the RCD no longer has a current Permit Coordination Program available. However, the RCD is currently working with NRCS and regulatory agency personnel to develop a Permit Coordination Program for the entire Monterey County, which will hopefully be in place by 2011. In the meantime, a Safe Harbor Agreement for Monterey County is under review by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and should be effective before 2010 for interested landowners wanting to conduct conservation work on their lands. Please contact us for more information.