Permit Coordination Program

The Marin RCD created an easier and faster way for landowners and ranchers to apply for permits for restoration projects.  The Marin Permit Coordination Program (PCP) is designed to help ranchers plan, permit, fund, and implement practices that will minimize impacts to wildlife and water quality. Marin RCD has operated the program for the past 13-years with considerable success; it has incentivized restoration projects throughout west Marin.  On June 13, 2018, the  Marin RCD Board of Directors adopted the third iteration of the Marin Permit Coordination Program.

The 2018 Marin Permit Coordination Program update has a life span of 10 years and a larger boundary than the previous programs. The new program includes some eastern Marin watersheds (including Novato Creek San Antonio Creek and Miller Creek). The updated program provides streamlined environmental review for 44 conservation practices that meet certain criteria including size limitations.  On annual basis, the RCD submits projects into the program for CEQA review, and then applies and pays for permits to assist landowners wanting to construct conservation projects.  See below for all potential NRCS conservation practices that can be implemented as projects.

The renewal and expansion of the program was made possible by the following organizations that recognized of the benefits of this program and the desire to continue and expand its impact: Marin Carbon Project, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, California Water Quality Control Board, Marin County, North Bay Watershed Association and an anonymous donor.

NRCS Practices Covered Under the PCP

ActivitiesDescriptionAssociated NRCS Practices*
Road Upgrade & DecommissionImprovements to an existing road network for the purpose of preventing erosion and protecting water quality that may include re-grading surfaces (e.g., out-sloping, crowning, in-sloping); construction of water bars, rolling dips, or critical dips; removal or addition of roadside ditches to assist with stormwater drainage; installation or repair of ditch relief culverts or critical culverts; removal of a screen or installation of a trash rack at a culvert inlet; construction of cross-road drains; and protection of ecologically sensitive, erosive, or potentially erosive sites.Access Road (560), Trails and Walkways (575), Structure for Water Control (587), Road Closure and Treatment (654)
Stream CrossingInstallation of a ford, bridge (channel spanning when feasible), or culvert crossing for people, livestock, equipment, or vehicles where necessary for access over an intermittent or perennial watercourse to protect water quality, habitat, and species and to facilitate healthy agricultural operations.Stream Crossing (578)
Operations ManagementAgricultural management practices to protect water quality, such as the amount (rate), source, orientation, collection, placement, and timing of plant nutrients, residue, and amendments on the soil surface year-round while limiting soil-disturbing activities to only those necessary to place nutrients, condition residue, and plant crops. Other practices address vegetation management with grazing and browsing animals and provide measures to control the movement of animals, people, and vehicles.Nutrient Management (590), Residue and Tillage Management/ Reduced Till (345), Residue and Tillage Management/ No Till (329), Fence (382), Heavy Use Area Protection (561), Roof and Covers (367), Roof Runoff Structure (558), Mulching (484), Soil Carbon Amendment (808), Residue and Tillage Management (345), Soil Carbon Amendment (808)
Manure ManagementInstallation of practices that improve management of manure, thereby resulting in improved water and/or air quality conditions. Actions include installation of manure/liquid separators, composting pads, techniques resulting in a reduction of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as conversion from dairy flush to scrape systems, and the proper transfer of liquid manure to avoid impacts on environmentally sensitive areas. Anaerobic Digester (366), Composting Facility (317), Waste Treatment (629), Waste Separation Facility (632), Waste Transfer (634), Waste Storage Facility (313),Anaerobic Digester (366)
Upland and Riparian Vegetation Management and PlantingPlant establishment to stabilize a disturbed area, reduce stormwater flow velocity and surface flow erosion, encourage infiltration, and enhance wildlife habitat. Actions may include planting a vegetative buffer along a field perimeter to filter runoff exiting the area; establishing native grasses, forbs, shrubs, or trees in disturbed or eroding areas; lightly re-grading and planting a vegetated barrier to collect and filter runoff; planting permanent vegetation at a pipe or underground outlet; establishing a dense line of vegetation to function as a windbreak/habitat enhancement/barrier to noise or to increase carbon storage capacity; establishing perennial or self-sustaining vegetation across fields used as rangeland; and replacing invasive species or potential disease-host plants with native species.Critical Area Planting (342), Prescribed Grazing (528), Range Planting (550), Hedgerow Planting (422), Riparian Herbaceous Cover (390), Riparian Forest Buffer (391), Vegetative Barrier (601), Forage & Biomass Planting (512), Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment and Renovation (380), Tree/Shrub Establishment (612), Conservation Cover (327), Wildlife Habitat Planting (420), Wildlife Habitat Planting (420), Tree-Shrub Site Preparation (490), Herbaceous Weed Treatment (315), Brush Management (314)
Waterway Vegetation and PlantingEstablishment of suitable vegetation to convey surface water at a non-erosive velocity using a broad and shallow cross section to a stable outlet or where environmentally sensitive areas need to be protected from sediment, other suspended solids, or dissolved contaminants in runoff. Grassed Waterway (412), Filter Strip (393)
Waterway StabilizationStabilization of a gully or downcutting channel by installing a structure to control the grade and/or stabilize the slope. Implementation may require some grading and installation of brush, erosion-control fabric, rock, or timber structures that do not impound water but rather allow water conveyance in a stable manner. Actions may include installing a rock weir to control and slow in-channel flow; adding rock to stabilize a gully draining towards a stream channel; lining an eroding swale or diversion ditch; rock armoring an eroding ditch; armoring below an outlet; installing an energy dissipater at a spillway or pipe outlet to a channel; and stabilizing and protecting streambanks through laying back the bank, bioengineering, or vegetated rock installation.Grade Stabilization Structure (410), Lined Waterway/Outlet (468)
Alternative Livestock Water SupplyActions to provide a dependable supply of water for livestock, including the collection system (e.g., pipeline, trench, appurtenances below ground). Implementation will require shallow digging/trenching for the removal/installation of piping and associated equipment. The practice may include the installation of an underground outlet to disperse concentrated runoff.Spring Development (574), Livestock Pipeline (516), Underground Outlet (620), Watering Facility (614), Pumping Plant (533)
Sediment BasinProtection of water quality through the installation of a basin with an engineered outlet designed to capture and detain sediment-laden runoff for a sufficient length of time to allow it to settle. Practice is used when physical conditions or land ownership preclude use of erosion control measures.Sediment Basin (350)
Aquatic Habitat ImprovementRestoration, enhancement, or maintenance of aquatic habitat by improving physical, chemical, or biological conditions of ponds, streams, and associated riparian zones. Practices may include controlling erosion; maintaining in-stream flows; restoring floodplain connectivity; ensuring up- and downstream passage; and enhancing in-stream habitat elements to increase complexity, such as large wood, rootwads, spawning gravels, headcut repairs, and pool and riffle habitat. Pond Restoration (378[R]), Stream Habitat Improvement/Management (395), Channel Bed Stabilization (584), Aquatic Organism Passage (396), Streambank Protection (580), Wetland Restoration (657), Wetland Restoration (657) , Restoration of Rare and Declining Natural Communities (643), USDA Low Impact Development (LID) Practices