California Native Plant Society

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Policy Regarding Mitigation of Impacts to Rare and Endangered Plants

Adopted by the CNPS Board of Directors: June 6, 1987

The policy of the California Native Plant Society is that all potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to rare, threatened, or endangered plants and their habitats must be assessed and that appropriate measures be implemented to prevent such impacts resulting from projects. The policy of the Society is also that environmental documents and mitigation plans be based on complete, accurate and current scientific information. Viability of rare, threatened, or endangered plants and their habitats takes precedence over economic or political expediency. Because of the tremendous diversity of rare plant habitats in California, and the dependence of rare plants on their local habitats, it is imperative that mitigation measures be developed on a site specific basis. Local environmental conditions, species biology, land use patterns and other factors must be incorporated into the design of mitigation plans.

The goals of this policy are to prevent the decline of rare plants and their habitats and to ensure that effective rare plant preservation measures are implemented.

Of the mitigation measures listed in the California Environmental Quality Act, the Society fully endorses only that of avoiding the impact. Measures to minimize, to rectify, or to reduce or eliminate the impact over time are recognized by the Society as partial mitigation. The Society does not recognize off-site compensation as mitigation.

Guidelines for project review and evaluation of mitigation proposals are available from the California Native Plant Society. The Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee will revise the guidelines periodically so that they are easily used with the California Environmental Quality Act and other current legislation.


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