Implementation Annual Meeting and Regular Meeting Board of Directors
June 1, 2022
Time and Location
Meeting to be held in-person and virtually via Zoom. Select here to attend the June 1, 2022 meeting via Zoom. Or call 1 (669) 900-6833, webinar ID 865 6877 4526
4:00 p.m. – Executive Session (closed)
5:00 p.m. – Public Session (open)
Meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. If you require special assistance to participate in the meeting, notify the Conservancy’s office at (916) 649-3331 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Executive Session (Closed to the Public)
Executive Session is scheduled.
Implementation Annual Meeting
Implementation Annual Meeting (Implementation Agreement §5.4)
A. Meeting notes minutes were contained in the June 2, 2021 Board of Directors meeting minutes agenda, previously made available to and approved by the Board.
B. Discussion of Annual Report. Concerns, comments, and/or recommendations.
C. City of Sacramento comments.
D. County of Sutter comments.
E. California Department of Fish and Wildlife comments.
F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comments.
G. Adjourn Implementation Annual Meeting.
Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors (Open to the Public)
1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors
The Board Chair will call the meeting to order if a quorum is present. Announcements by the Board Chair or Executive Director may be made at this time. Board members may make announcements at this time as well.
2. Public Comments
Opportunity for members of the public to address the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.
3. Approval of the minutes
*All items listed under the Consent Calendar, including minutes, are considered and acted upon by one Motion. Any Board member may request an item be removed for separate consideration.*
The Board Chair will request approval of the minutes and consent items of the Board of Directors meeting of April 6, 2022.
4. Conservancy investment policies
At its recent meeting, the Conservancy’s Finance Committee reviewed both of the Conservancy’s investment policies. This includes the Corporate Funds Investment Policy, and the Endowment Operations and Maintenance Fund and Supplemental Endowment Fund Investment Policy. Both policies were last reviewed in 2019.
As revised Endowment Operations and Maintenance Fund and Supplemental Endowment Fund Investment Policy is proposed with a few minor changes. The Finance Committee recommends the Board approve the changes to the Endowment Operations and Maintenance Fund and Supplemental Endowment Fund Investment Policy.
The Corporate Funds Investment Policy was also reviewed. The Finance Committee recommends no changes to it. It is presented to the Board for review.
5. Conservancy Finance Committee Charter
At its recent meeting, the Conservancy’s Finance Committee reviewed the Conservancy’s Finance Committee Charter. The charter was last reviewed in 2019.
The Finance Committee recommends no changes. It is presented to the Board for review.
6. Approval of employment agreement for Executive Director
The Board will report out from Executive Session regarding the approval of the employment agreement for the Executive Director.
7. Loan repayment proposal
The past few years the Conservancy has been in a land acquisition mode. As such, it has used borrowed funds to purchase some of its land acquisitions. As a result, the Conservancy has three outstanding loans:
- a line of credit with the City of Sacramento (2020) with a balance of $1,873,434;
- an inter-fund loan from the Conservancy’s Supplemental Endowment Fund to the Land Acquisition Fund (2020) with a balance of $1,400,000; and
- an inter-fund loan from the Conservancy’s Supplemental Endowment Fund to the Land Acquisition Fund (2022) with a balance of $3,013,075.
The City of Sacramento (City) collects all NBHCP mitigation fees within its jurisdiction. Before forwarding any collected mitigation fees to the Conservancy, the City deducts the Land Acquisition Fund portion of the mitigation fees and applies it to the outstanding line of credit it has extended to the Conservancy.
Management is recommending a similar situation with all available HCP mitigation fees received whereby the Land Acquisition Fund portion of the mitigation fees collected would be transferred to the Supplement Endowment Fund to repay the inter-fund loans. This is consistent with staff recommendation to the Board when it recommended using the inter-fund loans to pay for land acquisitions. The Conservancy needs to replace the Supplemental Endowment Funds so that the Fund can continue to grow for its stated purpose, which is to fund the last 200 acres of mitigation and for unforeseen circumstances.
The Finance Committee reviewed this proposal and recommends the Board approve the above-described loan repayment practice where inter-fund loans are repaid with future incoming mitigation fees until the two inter-fund loans are fully repaid.
8. Emergency well repair contingency
At the April 6, 2022 meeting the Board of Directors approved an emergency well repair contingency of $50,000. Since that meeting, Conservancy well pumps have suffered major issues resulting in a decreased ability to draw water. This item requests the Board authorize replenishing the $50,000 for emergency repairs on Conservancy groundwater wells should it be needed. Currently the well in need of repairs will total $27,534. This authorization expires at the August 3 Board meeting at which time it may be renewed or cancelled by Board of Directors action.
9. Ratification for Natomas Central Mutual Water Company to place groundwater well on Bolen South tract
This item requests that the Board authorize the Executive Director or Chief Financial Officer to execute and deliver all necessary documents and agreements to engage the NCMWC to install and use a groundwater monitoring well on the Conservancy’s Bolen South tract for the purpose of measuring groundwater levels. This is in an area where the Conservancy has multiple groundwater wells. State water authorities are now requiring more sophisticated groundwater monitoring information. Also, groundwater monitoring wells must be provided at a rate of one per three groundwater production wells.
10. Biological effectiveness monitoring – contract extension
Background. Biological Effectiveness Monitoring is required in the HCPs. Four years ago, the Board of Directors initiated a request for proposal (RFP) process to obtain information and pricing about qualified biological monitoring contractors to ensure the Conservancy remains in compliance with the HCP requirements.
History. The firm of ICF International was awarded the biological monitoring contract by the Board at that time. While ICF manages the biological monitoring and reporting, it subcontracts with the U.S. Geological Survey and James Estep to conduct certain species monitoring. Approximately one-half of the contract amount is designated to the U.S. Geological Survey for Giant garter snake monitoring.
Structure. The monitoring process is guided by a document known as the biological effectiveness monitoring program document (the BEMP). The BEMP, when amended, must be approved by the Wildlife Agencies. The Conservancy believes that sufficient monitoring has now been conducted to allow some of the monitoring requirements to be regarded as “completed,” allowing for an amendment to the BEMP that will reduce monitoring costs going forward. To get the program document approved by the relevant federal and State authorities, it must be solidly science-based, and the authorities must agree that the new level of biological monitoring resulting from an amendment to the BEMP will be capable of demonstrating successful mitigation of impacts to Covered Species caused by development in the Natomas Basin.
Proposal. To successfully achieve a reduction in the level of monitoring required under the HCPs with the approval of the federal and state Wildlife Agencies, changes to the BEMP must be based in good science and supported by the data and information collected to date under the monitoring program. Conservancy management believes that given this opportunity to lower costs and yet still retain the confidence of the federal and State Wildlife Agencies (by demonstrating continuing compliance with the Biological Opinion, the NBHCP, and other relevant documents that support the HCPs), the biological monitoring contract between the Conservancy and ICF International should be extended for a period of two years.
Justification for this request comes as follows:
- there has been a substantial expansion of Conservancy mitigation land holdings. Incorporation of these lands into the monitoring program ensures that baseline data for these lands is obtained prior to revising the monitoring protocols contained in the BEMP and will likely help the Conservancy makes its case, and
- the BEMP is a complex, exact and detailed document that has successfully ensured that the Conservancy has remained in compliance with the monitoring requirements outlined in the NBHCP and related documents. Using a new contractor that is unfamiliar with the BEMP, the data that has been collected using the BEMP, and potentially the NBHCP and related documents themselves would likely result in greater expense and greater risk of an unsuccessful outcome, which could jeopardize the effort to reduce monitoring costs and yet still maintain the integrity of the Conservancy’s biological effectiveness monitoring program.
For these reasons and others, Conservancy management requests the Board of Directors approve:
- offering to ICF International a two-year extension on its current five-year biological effectiveness monitoring contract,
- requesting ICF International assist the Conservancy in revising the BEMP document in a way that achieves cost reductions while maintaining compliance with with the HCPs and the documents,
- that the costs contained in the existing biological monitoring contract between the Conservancy and ICF International not be increased by ICF International (allowing, however, for the per-acre additional costs provided for in the agreement for additional mitigation lands added to the biological monitoring by the Conservancy), and
- the Conservancy’s Executive Director or Chief Financial Officer be authorized to execute and deliver the two-year extension if approved by the Board of Directors and ICF International.
11. SSMP documents for AKT, Elverta and Lauppe North
The Board has been apprised of the fact that with the acquisition of new mitigation land, the Conservancy is required to prepare Site-Specific Management Plans (SSMPs) on each property. All SSMPs must receive approval from the NBHCP Technical Advisory Committee or in writing from the State and federal Wildlife Agencies.
This item requests the Board of Directors authorize an amount of $59,984 for the preparation of SSMPs for the Conservancy’s AKT, Elverta, and Lauppe North properties, the Conservancy’s newest acquisitions. The item also requests the Board authorize the Conservancy’s Executive Director or Chief Financial Officer to execute and deliver contracts that engage consulting services to conduct the mapping, engineering, design, biological compliance work and overall preparation of the above-referenced SSMPs.
12. Approval of insurance renewals
John Bolce and Amy Callahan with LP Insurance will review with the Board the Conservancy’s soon-to-renew insurance policies. The Conservancy presently holds the following polices: Directors and Officers, employee practices liability, crime, pollution, workers’ compensation, flood, cyber, umbrella, package policy includes: general liability, property, auto, and inland marine.
The Conservancy’s Finance Committee reviewed and recommends the Board approve the above-listed insurance policies and their coverage limits.
13. City of Sacramento report
Report from the City of Sacramento regarding HCP-related activity and other topics.
14. County of Sutter Report
Report from the County of Sutter regarding HCP-related activity and other topics.
15. Financial statement review
A financial statement will be provided for the period ended April 30, 2022 (unaudited). Additional financial information will be provided.
16. Biological Effectiveness Monitoring Report for 2021
The Conservancy’s annual biological monitoring report will be presented by the Conservancy’s biological monitoring contractor, ICF International. Doug Leslie and biological monitoring team will deliver the 2021 Biological Effectiveness Monitoring report and entertain questions Board members and Parties to the HCPs may have.
18. Adjournment of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors
Official adjournment of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors.
Upcoming Regular Meetings
- August 3, 2022
- October 5, 2022
- December 7, 2022