The Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) formed in 2004 to achieve one of America’s most ambitious environmental efforts, the Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). The Plan protects 146 native species of plants, birds, and animals, and preserves a half-million acres of their habitats.
RCA grew from the need for a comprehensive plan for Western Riverside County’s future. The region saw one of the nation’s fastest growth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, coupled with challenges of traffic congestion, and the listings of species as threatened or endangered. An added factor were the many different habitats, each with its own many varieties of plant, bird, and animal life.
The challenges led to a vision for a unified plan to protect the environment, while providing for economic growth. The Riverside County Integrated Project was launched in 1999 to achieve that vision.
Protecting multiple species and setting aside their habitat allows development and transportation projects required for a vibrant economy, without sacrificing Western Riverside County’s environment and quality of life.
Acquiring reserve lands is RCA’s core activity. RCA also:
- Manages the lands it acquires to ensure animals and plants thrive
- Monitors “habitat loss” and the behavior and welfare of protected plants and animals
- Reviews applications for infrastructure or development projects
- Publishes an annual report.
Local Development Mitigation Fees (LDMF) and other funding sources (tipping fees, public project and participating special entity fees) pay for RCA’s core activities.