The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has issued this Restoration Management Permit (RMP) pursuant to section 2081(a) of the Fish and Game Code to California State Parks Diablo Range District – Northern Region (Permittee). The Project will implement a vegetation treatment program throughout 7,510 acres of Mount Diablo State Park to reduce wildfire risk to the park and adjacent development, and to restore native plant communities through management of forest pathogens and invasive plant species. Vegetation treatments will enhance habitat conditions for Alameda whipsnake (AWS) by creating and maintaining gaps in areas of dense scrub, and by reducing the risk and severity of future fires. The Project is expected to benefit Alameda Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), referred to as the Covered Species. The Project is estimated to take up to three individuals of the Covered Species in the form of mortality of the Covered Species during implementation of the Project. CDFW has determined and expects that the Project will benefit, aid in the conservation of, and assist in the recovery of the Covered Species.
Permittee is undertaking the Project in the context of the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) Program Environmental Impact Report (Program EIR), which the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection certified in December 2019 (SCH No. 2019012052). The Program EIR evaluates the potential environmental effects of implementing qualifying vegetation treatments to reduce the risk of wildfire throughout the State Responsibility Area in California. It was designed for use by many state, special district, and local agencies to accelerate vegetation treatment project approvals by finding them to be within the scope of the Program EIR. In October 2023, Permittee, with the technical assistance of Ascent Environmental, Inc., prepared a Project-Specific Analysis (PSA) and Addendum to the CalVTP Program EIR for the Project. The PSA and Addendum evaluated whether the Project’s proposed treatments are consistent with the CalVTP Program EIR and concluded that they are. On October 31, 2023, Permittee, acting as lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.), approved the Project as described in that PSA and Addendum and made the following determinations, among others: the Program EIR sufficiently analyzes and addresses potential environmental impacts from the Project; the Project will not trigger any of the criteria requiring additional CEQA review pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15162; and the Project will not result in new significant impacts or a substantial increase in the severity of the significant environmental impacts identified in the Program EIR.