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Simplified Permitting to Accelerate Restoration

The Problem

Two-thirds of assessed waterways in California are impaired by pollutants. A staggering 90-95 percent of the state’s streamside, or riparian, forest has been removed. Ten species of salmon and steelhead are now listed as threatened or endangered, and Central Coast Coho salmon and Southern California Steelhead populations are barely hanging on.

Many ranchers, farmers and other rural landowners want to restore their land and the waterways that flow through their properties; however, the process of obtaining permits to do so is complicated and time-consuming. As a result, many landowners forgo opportunities to restore the natural resources under their care. Even government land management agencies often have difficulty with permitting for similar reasons.

Our Solution – Simplified Permitting Accelerates Habitat Restoration

Successful restoration benefits everyone – the environment, the community and the landowner. Sustainable Conservation now works with regulatory agencies on a statewide basis to unite resource needs with local implementation of conservation for voluntary stream, riparian, and wetlands restoration and erosion control efforts. Here is a list of existing statewide/regional programmatic permits. We assist agencies with developing simplified regulatory approaches that eliminate the need for individual project permits. By creating pre-written or “programmatic” permits that apply to a variety of common types of restoration projects, significant time and money can be saved without sacrificing environmental protection. With complex permitting no longer a disincentive, and technical and funding assistance available from government and local partners, property owners can get projects planned, designed and completed more efficiently.

To learn more about our past work with local approaches to permit efficiency see our Partners in Restoration page.

After developing an extensive report on advancing restoration in California, we shifted from working on a county-by-county basis, through our Partners in Restoration program, to the statewide approach detailed above.