Good Neighbor Checklist
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) is the home of numerous habitat restoration efforts. Many Delta farmers are concerned that habitat lands could harm nearby agriculture in various ways. They would like assurance that entities that establish and manage habitat projects will consult with their neighbors and find ways to avoid impacts and resolve problems if they arise.
Restoration project managers can use the following checklist to ensure that they comprehensively consider and examine the impacts of their project on neighbors, and vice versa. The checklist is based on a discussion paper, "Agricultural and Land Stewardship Strategies" (see https://agriculturallandstewardship.water.ca.gov), which identifies a menu of mitigation measures and enhancements for the Delta. The measures described in the discussion paper, called Strategies, are referenced in the checklist.
- Have project proponents consulted with all neighboring landowners and operators about the project and its potential impacts? (See Strategy E1.1, which recommends involvement of landowners in project planning.)
- Have project proponents designated a local contact person to meet with neighboring landowners and discuss any issues of concern? (See Strategy D5.1, which suggests establishment of a public advisor position to help the public work with government agencies.)
- Will the project need access through other properties? If so, have access agreements been obtained?
- Does the management plan for the project provide for an on-site patrol or manager to deter trespass and vandalism? (See Strategy A4.3, which suggests the hiring of game wardens, sheriff's deputies, or private security guards.)
- Will the project increase the presence of vegetation susceptible to fire? (If yes, see Strategy A4.3.)
- Will the project discontinue maintenance of flood control features, involve prolonged or repeated flooding of previously dry land, or affect wind fetch across waterways? (If yes, see Strategy A1, which discusses flood protection improvements, and Strategy E1.3.2, which discusses drainage and seepage.)
- As a result of the project, are species on the project site expected to increase markedly in abundance and move from the site to neighboring lands or waterways? If yes, which species? (And see Strategy A4.2, which suggests ways to protect landowners from liability under endangered species laws.)
- Is it reasonably possible that species in the project area could damage crops or promote the growth of weeds or diseases on neighboring farms? (If yes, see Strategy A3, which suggests ways to control weeds, and Strategy A4.1, which suggests the use of buffer zones and mechanisms for compensation for crop damages.)
- Will the project disturb utilities, roads, bridges, or other infrastructure that serve agricultural uses? (If yes, see Strategy D3, which suggests improvements to transportation infrastructure.)
- Will the project fragment or isolate farmland? (If yes, see Strategy E1.1, which encourages collaborative project planning.)
- Do domestic or feral animals or livestock occur on lands neighboring the project? (If yes, see Strategy A4.1, which suggests the use of buffer zones.)
- Do neighboring farms use chemicals as fertilizer, or to control weeds or crop pests? (If yes, see Strategy A4.1, which suggests the use of buffer zones.)