Habitat portion of Riverside County’s comprehensive plan approved

Riverside County’s landmark Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan received federal and state approval this week. The plan, one part of the comprehensive Riverside County Integrated Project — AKA, “The Blueprint for Tomorrow” — sets in motion the county’s ability to better plan and manage expected growth while preserving much needed species habitat and open space:

The (species) plan calls for creating a 500,000-acre reserve system that would protect 146 species, from majestic bald eagles to delicate butterflies and tiny kangaroo rats. The county already has purchased about 370,000 acres and will need to buy the remaining land from willing sellers, leaving about 130,000 acres yet to be acquired.

The plan’s total cost over 75 years is estimated at $2 billion and relies heavily on future state and federal funding. The county will pay about $1 billion, more than half of which will come developer fees…

…The county’s growth plan has been heralded as one of the nation’s most ambitious because it looks at not only species protection, but also (where) new homes and roads should be built.

“The (wildlife) component is one part of the most ambitious planning processes being undertaken in Southern California,” said Jane Hendron, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – June 23, 2004

Initiated in 1999, the RCIP involves 3 major areas of planning, each area separate yet integrated into one overall plan:

  • Habitat Conservation
  • Transportation
  • Housing

Instead of the typical planning process of “independent planning and independent mitigating,” the RCIP process will maximize the ability to dependently plan and dependently mitigate, thereby streamlining — and balancing — the overall planning process, and thus, better protect — and better preserve — habitat and open space while still providing for future transportation, housing, and economic growth.


Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise (PE-20040623), County of Riverside – RCIP

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Removed outdated links to newspaper article and RCIP website; updated Related content with current links to County of Riverside planning umbrella agency (TMLA) and MSHCP Executive Summary (overview).

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