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Natural Community Conservation Planning Program

Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta-San Francisco Bay Estuary

The Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) program takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity. The NCCP program is one example of a CDFW program that is designed to facilitate the adaptation of wildlife to climate change. These plans build ecological resilience by creating landscape-scale interconnected reserve networks that are based on the major tenets of conservation biology, including representativeness, multiplicity, and redundancy of large habitat blocks and natural communities.

  • Facilitating Movement and Climate Change Adaptation
    NCCP reserve networks typically occupy hundreds of thousands of acres across the entire range of environmental gradients in a planning area, and because of this and their high level of connectivity, NCCP reserve systems readily provide for the natural movement of individual organisms, and species and habitat distributional shifts, in response to climate change. In addition, where possible, NCCP reserves and linkages also provide interconnections to large blocks of federal and other publicly-owned lands to help ensure that species and habitats on public lands have access to the broadest range of ecological gradients over which to adapt.
  • Adaptive Management to Address Uncertainty
    NCCPs acknowledge a high degree of scientific uncertainty and use conceptual predictive models to identify and resolve critical uncertainties, including effects of climate change, in an adaptive management framework that is regularly evaluated through regional effectiveness monitoring.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)

The Bay-Delta (Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta-San Francisco Bay Estuary) is a vital estuary ecosystem that sits at the crossroads of federal and state operated water delivery systems for the state. The Bay-Delta supports a $30 billion agricultural industry, provides drinking water for more than 20 million people, supports several threatened and endangered species, and is a popular recreational and commercial fishing industry.

The combination of decreased water availability and water restrictions to protect threatened and endangered species have already created a difficult and often tense political situation, one that will be exacerbated over time with future impacts associated with climate change.

The purpose of the BDCP is to create a stable regulatory framework to conserve and recover at-risk native species and natural communities in the Delta and provide reliable water supply to the state.

CDFW is involved in developing and recommending conservation actions that would restore these remnants of natural habitat and where possible expand habitat to mimic natural conditions to minimize future impacts associated with climate change and other stressors. When complete, the plan would be implemented over the next 50 years and is a long-term conservation strategy with an adaptive management framework that sets forth actions needed for a healthy Delta in the face of a changing climate.

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Desert wildflowers

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is a Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP), which will help provide for effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects. While the NCCP process has inherently always allowed for planning efforts in the face of uncertainties such as climate change, the DRECP is one of the first of its kind to explicitly identify and work to incorporate climate change adaptation research and goals. Specifically, the conservation actions within the climate change adaptation related actions will consider retention of representative natural communities and habitat types in a matrix with sufficient flexibility to accommodate anticipated climate change outcomes. CDFW is committed to a planning process that will result in a final plan that explicitly addresses climate change uncertainty and includes planning goals that identify and incorporate climate change adaptation research, management objectives, and/or policies as appropriate.