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About Us

The mission of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy is to conserve natural and working landscapes, and the species on which they depend, by working with local communities and conservation partners to coordinate mitigation and implement regional habitat conservation.

The Yolo Habitat Conservancy is a joint powers agency comprised of the County of Yolo and the cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, and Woodland.

The Yolo Habitat Conservancy has prepared the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (Yolo HCP/NCCP), a model conservation plan to provide Endangered Species Act permits and associated mitigation for infrastructure (e.g. roads, bridges, and levees) and development activities (e.g. agricultural facilities, housing, and commercial buildings), identified for construction over the next 50 years in Yolo County. The Yolo Habitat Conservancy is also developing a voluntary, non-regulatory, Yolo Regional Conservation Investment Strategy/Local Conservation Plan (RCIS/LCP) that will provide a framework for the conservation of natural communities and certain sensitive species not covered by the Yolo HCP/NCCP.

Staff, Boards, and Committees

Staff, Boards and Committees

Yolo Habitat Conservancy Staff
Elisa Sabatini

Executive Director

(530) 666-8150

Charlie Tschudin

Natural Resources Planner

(530) 666-8850

Yolo Habitat Conservancy Board

The County of Yolo and the incorporated cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, and Woodland formed the Joint Powers Agency (now the Yolo Habitat Conservancy or YHC) in 2002 to oversee the development of a regional conservation plan for Yolo County. The YHC Board of Directors consists of elected representatives from the county and each of the four cities along with one representative from the University of California, Davis. Board members are appointed by their representative agency to serve on the Yolo Habitat Conservancy Board and do not receive financial compensation for their service as a board member. The board has two primary functions: (1) to assist in the planning, preparation, and subsequent administration of the Yolo HCP/NCCP and the Yolo Local Conservation Strategy; and (2) to facilitate acquisition of conservation easements to mitigate adverse effects on Swainson’s hawk’s habitat during the planning process.


In 2005, the YHC entered into a Planning Agreement with the CDFW and the USFWS, pursuant to the NCCPA that defined the initial scope of the program as well as the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the development of the HCP/NCCP.

Meeting materials including the meeting calendar, agendas, and meeting minutes can be found on the Meetings Page.


Will Arnold

Gary Sandy, Chair

Lucas Frerichs

Verna Sulpizio Hull

Richard Casavecchia

Victoria Fernandez

Mabel Salon


City of Davis Mayor

Yolo County Supervisor

Yolo County Supervisor

City of West Sacramento Councilmember

City of Winters Councilmember

City of Woodland Councilmember

UC Davis Loval Gov. Relations Manager


August 2018

January 2020

January 2023

January 2023

January 2023

January 2021

August 2022

Board Members:
Advisory Committee

In 2004, the YHC created the Advisory Committee to provide public input and expert advice during the development of the Yolo HCP/NCCP and the Yolo Local Conservation Plan. The Advisory Committee consists of representatives of the primary groups with an interest in the plan, including YHC member agency staff, landowners, the agricultural community, conservation organizations, citizens’ groups, and land developers. The YHC Board appointed members based on their expertise and interest in Yolo HCP/NCCP planning efforts. YHC Board, member agency, and wildlife agency liaisons also attend the Advisory Committee meetings. 


During the planning of the Yolo HCP/NCCP, the group held open meetings on a regular basis to review relevant materials and documents; evaluate and synthesize ideas, data, and information; and discuss and resolve complex issues related to the planning process. The Advisory Committee provided recommendations to the YHC Board on a range of matters pertinent to the HCP/NCCP and the Local Conservation Strategy.

The Advisory Committee established to assist in the development of the Yolo HCP/NCCP ceased to exist in this capacity once the Yolo HCP/NCCP was in its final form. It is anticipated that a new Advisory Committee will be established in 2019 to help guide implementation of the Yolo HCP/NCCP and Local Conservation Plan.

Science and Technical Advisory Committee

The biologists and other planners of the Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) provide scientific and technical guidance to the YHC on the selection of proposed conservation easement properties and mitigation receiving sites (e.g. regarding species biology, species habitat requirements, and habitat restoration actions). The STAC may also advise the YHC on other issues as requested by the Executive Director, such as site-specific management and monitoring plans, habitat management and/or enhancement opportunities, and easements that benefit covered species eligible for grants.

STAC Members:

  • Jim Estep, Chair, Estep Environmental

  • Melanie Truan, UC Davis

  • Ed Whisler, Edward D. Whisler Biological

  • Eric Hansen, Consulting Biologist

  • Patrick Reynolds, Hedgerow Farms

Valley elderberry longhorn beetle
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