This report summarizes recommendations from a group of independent science advisors for the Yolo County Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP). This scientific input is provided early in the planning process, before preparation of a draft plan, to help ensure that the plan is developed using best available science. To ensure objectivity, the advisors operate independent of the Yolo County Habitat/Natural Community Conservation Plan Joint Powers Agency (JPA), its consultants, or any other entities involved in the NCCP/HCP. Our recommendations are advisory only and are not binding on NCCP/HCP participants.

In some cases our advice may extend beyond what was expected by the JPA, relative to the current scope of the NCCP/HCP. For example, although the JPA is not seeking permit coverage for aquatic species or flood-control projects through the plan, we offer recommendations concerning these issues (1) in case the plan is ever expanded to address them, (2) because even development projects in terrestrial habitats can affect aquatic species, and (3) because the plan has potential to contribute to the recovery of aquatic resources in coordination with other planning or regulatory mechanisms. For example, throughout this document we offer suggestions for where the NCCP/HCP may complement the goals of such other planning efforts as the County’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.

Our recommendations are organized by the following major topics: (1) the scope of the plan, (2) review of existing information, (3) conservation design approaches, (4) conservation analyses, and (5) adaptive management and monitoring.

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