New CEQA Statutory Exemption for Habitat Restoration Projects

By Erik Schmidt, Regulatory Specialist Law Provides for Initial 3-year Period with CDFW Oversight California continues to break new ground in efforts to accelerate critical habitat and ecosystem restoration projects with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Statutory Exemption for Restoration Projects (SERP). The exemption is a key part of the California Natural Resources Agency’s … Continue Reading »

Reducing Risks When Applying for Environmental Permits

By Myla Ablog, WRA Aquatic Resources Permitting Specialist Do you have a complex project? Are you concerned about navigating through the environmental permitting process? Would you like to reduce risks to your project schedule? One potential way to address these concerns is to attend a pre-application Interagency Meeting. Depending on the region in which your … Continue Reading »

Alameda’s Encinal Beach Provides Restored Dune Habitat and Recreation Enhancements

By Ariella Simke, Freelance Science Writer in collaboration with Leslie Lazarotti, Ellie Knecht, and Russell Prange Poking out from the coastline, Encinal Beach in Alameda is bringing awareness of sensitive coastal habitats to Bay Area visitors. The park is a local favorite, providing recreational opportunities and public beach access, and serving as one of the … Continue Reading »

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reissues Several Nationwide Permits

By Myla Ablog, WRA Aquatic Resources Permitting Specialist On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and the addition of four new NWPs. In addition, NWP general conditions and modified definitions were reissued for those 12 … Continue Reading »

Migratory Bird Treaty Act May No Longer Prohibit Incidental Take, But Don’t Forget State Regulations

By Patricia Valcarcel, Senior Biologist A final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 7, 2021, clearly stating there is no prohibition of incidental take (unintentional capture or killing) of birds under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This rule is a final decision after several years of uncertainty regarding federal protections … Continue Reading »

Restoration Project Planning: Efficient CDFW Permitting with the HRE Act

By Erik Schmidt, Regulatory Permitting Specialist WRA expects to soon submit its first project application to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for regulatory review through the innovative Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act (HRE Act), an alternative approval process for small-scale habitat restoration activities. Many types of commonly proposed restoration work may be … Continue Reading »

2019 WOTUS Rule Implemented Except in Colorado

By Myla Ablog, WRA, Inc., Aquatic Resources Permitting Specialist On June 22, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) implemented the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule (2019 Rule) that defines “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in all states except Colorado where a federal judge stayed the implementation. This is an … Continue Reading »

The Foothill Yellow-legged Frog: Status Update and Steps for Compliance

Updated June 11, 2020 (originally published September 13, 2018) By Brian Freiermuth, Wildlife Biologist Foothill Yellow-legged Frog Life History The foothill yellow-legged frog (FYLF), Rana boylii, is visually one of the more non-descript frogs in California, but it must gamble for survival. Although FYLF breed in relatively calm parts of streams, these areas are prone … Continue Reading »