A copy of the Caltrans Madera Pools Mitigation Bank prospectus is available online at the following location https://ribits.ops.usace.army.mil/ords/f?p=107:10:::NO::P10_BANK_ID:5698. Hard copies are available upon request. Please contact Ms. Kim Erickson, Kerickson@westervelt.com
AUTHORITY: This prospectus is being evaluated under 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 332.8.
SPONSOR: Caltrans, Attn: David Johnson, Environmental Planning District 6, Central Region Biology Branch, 855 M Street, Suite 200, Fresno, CA 93721. (559) 445-6462 or David.M.Johnson@dot.ca.gov
LOCATION: The approximately 197-acre site is located on the east side of the State Route 41, south of Avenue 15 and north of Avenue 12 in unincorporated Madera County, Section 28, Township 11 South, Range 20 East, Latitude 36°56'55"N, Longitude 119°47'21"W, Madera County, California, and can be seen on the Lanes Bridge USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The prospective Sponsor proposes to establish an approximately 197-acre mitigation and conservation bank containing approximately 19 acres of wetlands composed of 3 acres of preserved wetland (seasonal pool and vernal pool and swale), 1 acre of rehabilitated wetland (vernal pool and swale), 11 acres of re-established wetland (vernal pool and swale) and 4 acres of established wetland (vernal pool). The bank sponsor also is proposing 18 acres of Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp Habitat, 197 acres of San Joaquin Kit Fox, Swainson’s hawk and Avian Foraging Habitat. Caltrans, began working on the bank in 2005. Construction of the site was completed in 2010. Monitoring activities commenced in 2010 and the bank sponsor has been monitoring annually since 2010. The attached drawings provide additional details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 19 acres of aquatic resources within the proposed bank site. The site is characterized by non-native annual grassland with seasonal wetlands including vernal pools and swales. These vegetation communities provide suitable habitat for a variety of special-status species, most notably vernal pool fairy shrimp, California tiger salamander, San Joaquin kit fox, Swainson’s hawk, tricolored blackbird, western spadefoot and a variety of special-status plants.
Various permits and authorizations were obtained prior to construction of the restoration activities including a Department of the Army permit, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, a lake and streambed alteration agreement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and water quality certification from the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: The Interagency Review Team responsible for the review and approval of the proposed mitigation bank include representatives from the Corps U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed Bank may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for proposed activities authorized by the Corps, prior to construction.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed Bank will not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the prospective Sponsor and our preliminary review.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the sponsor and our preliminary review.
EVALUATION FACTORS: The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed Bank. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors. Comments are used in the evaluation of the proposed Bank per 33 CFR Part 332.8 and in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2004-00124 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before May 30, 2020.
Marc Fugler, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Regulatory Division, Enforcement/Special Projects Branch
Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the Sponsor or the Corps' project manager Mr. Marc Fugler at the email listed above.
Attachments: 3 drawings