2150 River Plaza Drive, Suite 460
Sacramento, CA 95833

Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

December 7, 2016

4:00 p.m.
(Meeting in 1st floor Large Conference room.)

Upcoming Regular Meetings

  • February 1, 2017
  • March 1, 2017
  • April 5, 2017

Call to order

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.

Public comment

2. Public Comments

Opportunity for members of the public to address the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.

Action by consent

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 of the Board of Directors meeting on October 5, 2016.

Download the October 5, 2016 Minutes (PDF, 566 KB)

Action by consent

4. January 4, 2017 Board meeting cancellation

This item request cancellation of the scheduled January 4, 2017 Board of Directors meeting.

Action by consent

5. Charter and Policy review and update

The Compensation and Governance Committee has studied and reviewed the following charters and policy documents:

–Employee Handbook
–Land Dedication Checklist
–Audit Committee Charter
–Internal Financial Controls Policy

Minor updates and improvements have been made to the noted items and are submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.  The Committee continues its work on other policy updates and will submit recommendations to the Board for those updates in the coming months.  If the Bylaws are approved they will be submitted to the Wildlife Agencies for approval.

Download the Bylaws (PDF, 197 KB)
Download the Employee Handbook (PDF, 324 KB)
Download the Land Dedication Checklist (PDF, 183 KB)
Download the Audit Committee Charter (PDF, 78 KB)
Download the Internal Financial Controls Policy (PDF, 116 KB)

Action by consent

6. Close American Century Investment Account

Staff recommends and the Finance Committee concurs that the Conservancy’s account(s) at American Century Funds be closed.

Action by consent

7. Diesel pump conversion to propane

Due to requirements put in place by the Feather River Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board, Conservancy staff requests that the Board authorize the purchase and installation of a propane well pump on the Conservancy’s Bolen South tract for compliance with air quality standards.  The cost of the propane pump will be $16,528 plus 10% for estimated taxes and contagious.

Download the Propane pump info (PDF, 348 KB)

Action item

8. Rice farming lease analysis

Conservancy staff has been asked to refresh the Board’s understanding of the rice leasing practices as they apply to the Conservancy mitigation land allocated to rice production. Staff will review this with the Board and entertain questions that may arise. The Board will be briefed  about leasing /farming cost models.

The Board may authorize staff to engage the services of an independent analyst to compare and contrast Conservancy rice farm leases to the market. The Board Audit Committee would be tasked with oversight on this research effort and report back to the Board when completed.

Download the Rice Lease Rent Payment Section (PDF, 1 MB)

Action item

9. 2017 NBHCP Finance Model update and 2017 budget

The proposed 2017 Conservancy budget is presented to the Board for adoption. A draft of the 2017 Conservancy budget was shared with the Board at the October 2016 Board of Directors meetings for review and discussion.

The Conservancy draft 2017 budget is integrated with the NBHCP Finance Model, so that the document submitted for action is one document. The consolidation of the two documents was introduced in 2007 with the intention of reducing the chance of differing budget numbers and because of the consistency it afforded.

The matter of reserves for property taxes has been a substantial issue for the NBHCP Finance Model calculation over the last several years. This year, the Conservancy made no change in the following assumptions with respect to the Williamson Act’s impact on Conservancy-held property:

  1. The State of California’s Williamson Act subventions to counties remains unfunded or largely unfunded in this and next years’ State budgets.
  2. Counties with which the Conservancy has Williamson Act contracts (Sacramento and Sutter) make no additional change to existing contracts.
  3. Counties permit no newly-acquired properties to be enrolled in Williamson Act contracts and to enjoy the property tax benefits such participation affords.
  4. All new properties acquired by the Conservancy for HCP mitigation purposes enjoy no Williamson Act property tax protection and are assessed at their full value at the time of acquisition.
  5. Sutter County’s Williamson Act contracts are reduced by 10 percent.

The 2017 Conservancy Budget and NBHCP Finance Model is now submitted for Board acceptance as is a request to the City of Sacramento to adopt the Finance Model’s indicated fee as follows:

  • Decreasing the NBHCP fee to $31,600 per developed acre, down from $32,259 in 2016.
  • Decreasing the NBHCP fee with land dedication to $20,350, down from $21,009 in 2016.

The fee is substantially influenced by land prices. The recommended fee, as proposed by Conservancy staff, is supported by work done by Stephen Harrington, MAI, updated for 2017. Harrington estimates the range for mitigation land acquisition in 2017 is $17,500 to $23,500 per acre.

The price estimate for future-acquired mitigation land is based on an assumption contained in the NBHCP Finance Model. The NBHCP requires that the Conservancy purchase mitigation land within 12 months of demand. There are no exceptions or extensions provided for. So, the Conservancy’s estimate for mitigation land acquisition costs are based on a “looking forward” methodology, while appraisal valuations are typically based on recent historical valuations.

This item requests:

  1. approval of the proposed 2017 Conservancy Budget,
  2. acceptance of the 2017 NBHCP Finance Model recalculation, and
  3. adoption of a resolution to be submitted to the City of Sacramento requesting the above noted NBHCP fee adjust adjustments (see attached resolution).

This item anticipates that should Sutter County express an interest in initiating its use of the NBHCP’s Incidental Take Permit acres, an identical resolution is approved for it as well, changing out only the City of Sacramento references to County of Sutter references.

Download the 2017 NBHCP Finance Model (PDF. 631 KB)
Download the NBHCP Fee Resolution (PDF, 44 KB)


10. Financial statement review

A financial statement will be provided for the period ended October 31, 2016 (unaudited). Additional financial information will be provided.

Download the October 31, 2016 Financial Statements (PDF, 2 MB)


11. SAFCA Contracts Update

This item is a follow up to the Board regarding SAFCA contracts and their funding.


12. Resolutions of Sills Tract Easement (Survey)

At Board member request this follows up on the final recordation of the Sills Easement and an explanation of the status of the Conservancy’s real property interest there.


13. Atkinson Tract acreage

After the completion of the SAFCA NLIP work on and near the Conservancy’s Atkinson Tract and the subsequent filing of the Record of Survey by SAFCA, the Conservancy worked with Baker Williams Engineering Group to verify the Conservancy’s acreage of the Atkinson tract.  Staff will brief the Board on the status of this filing and the adjustments made to Conservancy land holdings.


14. Revised and Updated HCP Handbook

Staff will brief the Board on the updated and revised HCP Handbook, used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to guide their respective staff on HCP creation and implementation. The new handbook signals the direction the USFWS and NMFS intends to go in their oversight of HCPs. Conservancy staff will brief the Board on this issue and entertain any questions that arise.

Download the HCP Handbook (PDF, 1 MB)


15. Guest speaker on rice industry economics

One or more guest speakers have been invited to address the subject rice industry economics. Given historically low commodity prices, including for rice, price pressures on California rice growers has become especially challenging. The guest speaker(s) will address this topic and entertain any Board member questions.

Exective Report

16. Executive Director’s Report

Various matters for Board members’ general information will be presented by the Conservancy’s Executive Director.

Download the Ex Director’s Report (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Executive Session

17. Executive Session

No Executive session is scheduled.


18. Adjournment

Official adjournment of the meeting.