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Permit Coordination / Partners in Restoration (PIR)

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The CRCD administers the Partners in Restoration (PIR) Permit Coordination Program. Under this program, the regulatory agencies have pre-approved a set of 18 conservation practices. As long as a landowner agrees to follow all the conditions of the program, individual permits to implement the approved practices are not required.

How the Permit Coordination Program Works for Landowners

  1. Landowner requests Assistance from the NRCS/CRCD
  2. NRCS/CRCD develops a conservation plan to meet landowner needs, enhance natural resources, and comply with Program permits
  3. Landowner signs Cooperator Agreement to implement and maintain conservation plan
  4. Project is covered by Program’s programmatic approvals and agreements. No individual permit applications needed!

The regulatory agencies that have provided authorization for the Santa Barbara Countywide Partners in Restoration Program include:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • NOAA Fisheries Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Types of Projects Covered

The following are brief descriptions of the types of projects that may qualify for coverage under the Santa Barbara Countywide Partners in Restoration Program. Note that in some cases, these types of projects may not require permits. Only projects that require permits would be carried out under the Program. All practices completed under this program must have a clear environmental benefit.

Access Road: Improvements to an existing road used for moving livestock, produce, and/or equipment, while controlling runoff to prevent erosion and maintain or improve water quality.


Critical Area Planting: Planting vegetation to restore degraded sites, and restore degraded areas following construction.


Channel Stabilization: Installation of instream structures, limited removal of sand or sediment that has caused the channel to become plugged, and channel reshaping will be used to stabilize channel beds undergoing damaging aggradation or degradation that cannot be reasonably controlled by upland practices alone.


Diversion: Upland practices constructed of an earthen vegetated channel across a slope used to break up concentrations of water on long slopes, reduce erosion from runoff, and divert water away from active gullies or critically eroding areas. These practices do not involve the diversion of water from a waterway or redirection of flow to a different waterway, and they do not result in a change in volume of flow or flow reduction to surface waters.


Filter Strip: A strip or area of vegetation for trapping sediment, organic matter, and other pollu-tants from runoff and wastewater.


Grade Stabilization Structure: A structure used to control the grade and prevent or stop head-cutting in a channel or to control gully erosion.


Grassed Waterway: A natural or constructed earthen channel or swale established with suitable vegetation for the stable movement of excessive runoff. Grassed waterways are usually installed on cultivated land and field ditches adjacent to cultivated land.Grassed waterways will not divert water out of the natural sub-watershed.


Irrigation System and Tailwater Recovery: Collection of excess surface and sub-surface irrigation water for re-use or sediment capture.


Limited Vegetation Removal, Clearing and Snagging: Minimizing flow blockages in streams or waterways. Used to remove debris which may accumu-late following a storm event, trash from illegal dumping, and removal of a limited amount of channel vegetation to prevent failure of a structure.


Pipeline: Water systems to improve livestock management and shift livestock to constructed water sources away from sensitive habitats.


Ponds: A water impoundment made by constructing an embankment or by excavating a pit or dugout, or used to restore existing ponds. Ponds serve to provide alternative sources of water for livestock, away from sensitive riparian areas, and to create habitat for targeted species.


Restoration and Management of Sensitive Habitats: Includes invasive species removal, and cross-fencing and stockwater developments as part of a prescribed grazing system designed to enhance native grasslands and prevent livestock impacts to riparian and wetland habitats.


Sediment Basin: A basin constructed to capture debris, sediment, sediment associated pollutants or high flows. Can be located adjacent to, but not within a stream.


Stream Bank Protection: Planted vegetation or natural structures to stabilize and protect streambanks against scour and erosion.


Stream Crossing: A stable area or structure constructed across a stream to provide access for people, livestock, equipment, or vehicles. Only applies to replacing or modifying existing crossings.


Stream Habitat Improvement and Management: Restore streambank and stream channel habitat and function. Includes removing steelhead trout passage barriers, adding habitat features for steelhead trout, and planting native riparian vegetation on streambanks.


Structure for Water Control: Water control structure or system, usually a culvert or pipe, to improve drainage or flow. Includes road culverts, pipe drop inlets and outlets, pump boxes, and stand pipes.


Underground Outlet: Sub-surface drainage pipeline and outlet to collect excess surface flow generated by farmland on steep slopes and carry it to a suitable outlet.


How To Participate in the Program

Contact us to find out if your project might be covered by the agencies’ pre-approvals and agreements under the program. We can ensure your project meets the program’s environmental protection and permit requirements, which can simplify the permit process and reduce costs – much simpler than getting permits on your own and paying all of the individual permit fees. Plus, the CRCD and NRCS can provide technical assistance for project design and planning, and information about other potential sources of funding that may reduce your project costs.