What is RAMP? What is RAMP?

In 2008, a coalition of infrastructure and natural resource agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and academic researchers launched an effort to develop a more comprehensive approach to mitigating unavoidable biological resource impacts potentially caused by state infrastructure projects, such as roads and levees. This approach, called Regional Advance Mitigation Planning (RAMP), allows for natural resources to be protected or restored as compensatory mitigation before infrastructure projects are constructed, often years in advance.  

Regional Conservation. RAMP enables regional and local representatives from both infrastructure and natural resource agencies to come together to jointly evaluate potential environmental impacts from infrastructure projects proposed for a region, and at the same time ensure that planned mitigation for those impacts contributes to regional conservation priorities.

Advance Time Frame. The advance time frame allows strategic mitigation to be implemented and made functional before an infrastructure project's unavoidable impacts occur. Mitigating in advance allows for more efficient project approvals, more certainty to cost estimates, and takes advantage of conservation opportunities before important land is lost to conversion.

For more information, please see the General RAMP Fact Sheet and go to the "Request Information" tab above and fill out the form if you would like a copy of the draft RAMP Statewide Framework emailed to you.

Our Mission Our Mission

To serve as the RAMP Work Group's central location for formal agreements, work products, meeting information, and general mitigation and conservation banking information. 

News Blog News Blog

Sec. Jewell releases landscape-scale mitigation strategy

On April 10, 2014, US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a new federal strategy for implementing more effective large-scale mitigation on federal public lands. The strategy identifies four priorities: geospatial assessments, landscape-level strategies,increasing compensatory mitigation programs, and monitoring and evaluation. The plan emphasizes increasing certainty in mitigation, through clear protocols and advance mitigation planning. 

 

In the near future, the US Fish & Wildlife Service aims to carry out a multi-state comparison of existing compensatory mitigation programs, to inform a template document guiding landscape-scale mitigation. Other near-term policy deliverables include a chapter on landscape-scale mitigation in the Department Manual, proposed revisions to FWS mitigation banking and candidate species policy, a mitigation framework for Greater Sage Grouse conservation, and a technical reference on mitigation in solar energy zones. The new strategy was initially ordered by Secretary Jewell (Order 3330) in October 2013.

  – Read a press release.
  – Download the strategy (pdf).

2014 USDOT TIGER Grants support RAMP planning!

USDOT released its Notice of Funding Availability for TIGER grants. For the first time, planning for RAMP activities is eligible!  See the press release here:

http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/president-obama-dot-secretary-foxx-announce-600-million-sixth-round-tiger-funding

And the details for applying here:  http://www.dot.gov/tiger

Applications are due on April 28, 2014.

Federal Government Supports Water Quality Trading

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency have announced a new partnership to support market-based water quality trading in our nation's watersheds.  The new market would pair those who can improve water quality with those who have unavoidable impacts.  While the agencies participating in RAMP have never tried to quantify the demand or supply of California's water-quality market, many of the tools developed under RAMP could support the creation of a market-based approach.

The press release from December 2, 2013 has more information on the new partnership effort, and expect more activity in 2015.

For background, please access the U.S. EPA website on water quality trading (http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/trading.cfm)

Water Action Plan supports RAMP for Flood Control Projects

The Water Action Plan was released in late October 2013 by state officials as a draft document to avoid a future water crisis in the state. The plan aims to coordinate state agencies to carry out conservation, storage and water management activities over the next five years to prepare for drought, population growth and climate change. 

Section 8, entitled Improve Flood Protection, contains a recommendation that "The administration will convene a task force of federal, state, and local permitting and flood management agencies, to develop a programmatic regulatory permitting process to replace current site‐by‐site mitigation requirements and expedite permitting of critical flood system improvement projects. The effort to streamline and consolidate will also incorporate regional advanced mitigation as a means to expedite planning." (emphasis added)


Comment: To comment on the plan, email wateraction@water.ca.gov

More info: http://www.resources.ca.gov/docs/Final_Water_Action_Plan.pdf

San Jose Mercury News mentions RAMP

A recent article in San Jose Mercury News discusses a new federal approach to advance mitigation, and how it might be used in California.  See the November 8th article in the Opinion section of the paper.

The directive indentified in this article is a reference to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's first Secretarial Order, which calls for a Department-wide mitigation strategy.  The Order will ensure consistency and efficiency in the review and permitting of new energy and other infrastructure development projects, while also providing for the conservation and restoration of our nation's valuable resources.  A copy of the Order is available here.
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