The Yolo County Central Landfill (YCCL) is required to acquire conservation easements to mitigate the impact of the landfill’s Soil Borrow Site Project on Swainson’s Hawk foraging habitat and agricultural land. County staff have identified potential mitigation sites and are working with the property owners to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. The purchase agreements are anticipated to be submitted for board approval and executed in the FY 2021/22.
The Sanitation Enterprise Fund for FY 2021/22 budget includes $1,400,000 for the acquisition of conservation easements. The attached budget resolution increases the capital assets portion of the Sanitation Enterprise Fund by $385,000 through the use of Sanitation Enterprise Fund Balance ($285,000) and Agricultural Conservation Easement Fund ($100,000).
The YCCL soil borrow site is a 243.4-acre portion of a 323-acre property directly west of the YCCL. The property was acquired in 2013 to provide a potential source for soil for landfill construction, landfill closure, intermediate and daily cover soil needed for operation. These activities are required to ensure continued compliance with State requirements.
As part of required mitigation measures, the County must mitigate the impact on agricultural land and Swainson’s Hawk habitat. In order to mitigate for the impact on agricultural land, the County may purchase and dedicate a conservation easement or pay an in-lieu fee, according to the Agricultural Conservation and Mitigation Program Ordinance. In order to mitigate the loss of Swainson’s Hawk habitat, the County may purchase shares in an appropriate mitigation bank, make a payment to the Swainson’s hawk mitigation fee program if it is still in effect, or purchase comparable raptor foraging area in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at a ratio of 1:1 (1 acre conserved for every acre that is lost).