Chapter 9. Coho Salmon Habitat Enhancement Leading To Preservation of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 6. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 9.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Coho
Salmon Habitat Enhancement Leading to Preservation Act or Coho HELP
As used in this chapter:
(a) "Account" means the Coho Salmon Recovery Account created in
subdivision (a) of Section 6954.
(b) "Coho salmon habitat enhancement project" or "project" means a
restoration project within a region described in an adopted state or
federal coho salmon recovery plan with the primary purpose of
accomplishing one or more of the following:
(1) Modification of existing water crossings for the purposes of
eliminating a barrier to fish passage. Modification includes the
removal of road crossings, replacement of culverts, or both.
(2) Restoration of eroded or denuded streambanks by utilizing
predominantly nonrock bioengineering practices and revegetating
stream corridors with native riparian species. Restoration shall be
focused on promoting tree establishment along the active channel and
on streambanks for the purposes of bank stabilization, bank
development, and live wood complexity.
(3) Wood placement that benefits naturally reproducing fish stocks
by creating or enhancing fish habitat, increasing stream complexity,
(c) "Coho salmon recovery plans" means the department's Recovery
Strategy for California Coho Salmon, the National Marine Fisheries
Service's Recovery Plan for the Evolutionary Significant Unit of
Central Coast Coho Salmon, the National Marine Fisheries Service's
Recovery Plan for the Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast
Evolutionary Significant Unit of Coho Salmon, or subsequently adopted
coho salmon recovery plans.
(d) "Fish passage guidelines" means the department's Coho Salmon
Stream Restoration Manual, the National Marine Fisheries Service,
Southwest Region, Guidelines for Salmonid Passage at Stream
Crossings, either of those documents as they may be subsequently
amended or updated, or salmonid fish passage project guidelines
subsequently adopted by the department, the National Marine Fisheries
Service, or both.
(e) "Project proponent" means a person, public agency, or
nonprofit organization seeking to implement a coho salmon habitat
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the director
shall approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement project if the
project will maintain existing levels of human health and safety
protection, including, but not limited to, flood protection, and
meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The project is consistent with fish passage guidelines and
coho salmon recovery plans.
(2) The primary project purpose is for voluntary restoration.
(3) The project is no larger than five acres or 500 linear feet in
size, measured by calculating the direct area of impact.
(4) Completion of all phases of the coho salmon habitat
enhancement project will not exceed five years.
(5) The project will not result in cumulative negative
environmental impacts that are significant when viewed in connection
with the effects of past, current, or probable future projects.
(b) The director's approval of a coho salmon habitat enhancement
project pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be in lieu of any other
permit, license, or other approval issued by the department,
including, but not limited to, those issued pursuant to Chapter 1.5
(commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3, Chapter 10 (commencing
with Section 1900) of Division 2, and Chapter 6 (commencing with
Section 1600) of Division 2.
(c) The director's approval of a coho salmon habitat enhancement
project pursuant to subdivision (a) shall constitute an action taken
by a regulatory agency, as authorized by state law, to ensure the
maintenance, restoration, or enhancement of a natural resource where
the regulatory process involves procedures for protection of the
(d) Within 60 days after the director receives a written request
to approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement project containing the
information required pursuant to subdivision (e), the director shall
determine whether substantial evidence exists that the coho salmon
habitat enhancement project is consistent with subdivision (a).
(e) A written request to approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement
project shall contain all of the following:
(1) The name, address, title, organization, telephone number, and
electronic mail address of the natural person or persons who will be
the main point of contact for the project proponent.
(2) A full description of the coho salmon habitat enhancement
project that includes the design criteria used for the project,
restoration or enhancement methods, an estimate of temporary
restoration or enhancement-related disturbance, project schedule, and
how the project will result in a net benefit to coho salmon and
other affected species.
(3) A map clearly identifying the project location and photographs
of the project site.
(4) An assessment of the project area that provides a description
of existing flora and fauna and the potential presence of sensitive
species or habitat.
(5) A description of environmental protection measures
incorporated into the project design, including, but not limited to,
measures to avoid and minimize impacts to water quality and
potentially present species protected by state law, so that no
potentially significant negative environmental impacts will result
from the project.
(6) Substantial evidence to support a conclusion that the project
meets the criteria set forth in this section. Substantial evidence
shall cite relevant design criteria and environmental protection
measures that are set forth in the fish passage guidelines and coho
salmon recovery plans.
(f) (1) If the director determines at any time that the project is
no longer consistent with subdivision (a), due to a material change
between the project as submitted and the project being implemented or
a change in environmental circumstances in the area of
implementation, the director shall notify the project proponent in
writing and project implementation shall be suspended or approval
pursuant to this chapter revoked. Written notice from the director
shall be delivered in person or by certified mail to the project
proponent and shall specify the reasons why ministerial approval of
the project was suspended or revoked. The approval for a project
shall not be revoked pursuant to this subdivision unless it has first
been suspended pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) Within 30 days of receipt of a notice of suspension, the
project proponent may file an objection with the director. Any
objection shall be in writing and state the reasons why the project
proponent objects to the suspension.
(3) The director shall revoke approval or lift the suspension of
project implementation within 30 days after the end of the objection
period in paragraph (2).
(a) The Coho Salmon Recovery Account is hereby created in the
Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
(b) The department may enter into an agreement to accept funds
from any public agency, person, business entity, or organization to
achieve the purposes of this chapter. The department shall deposit
any funds so received in the account. The funds received shall
supplement existing resources for projects and programs that enhance
the recovery of coho salmon.
(c) The department may impose a schedule of fees for projects,
based on the cost of a project, sufficient to recover all reasonable
administrative and implementation costs of the department relating to
the project, but not to exceed fees adopted by the department
pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1600) of Division 2
for standard lake or streambed alteration agreements for projects of
comparable cost. The department shall deposit fee revenues in the
(d) Moneys in the account shall be available to the department,
upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of
administering and implementing this chapter.
The department may adopt emergency regulations for the
implementation of this chapter. Emergency regulations adopted
pursuant to this section, any amendment thereto, or subsequent
adjustments to the regulations, shall be adopted by the department in
accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part
1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The adoption of
these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the
Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate
preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general
welfare. Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340)
of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, any
emergency regulations adopted by the department shall remain in
effect until revised by the department.
This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends