BIA To Honor Local Collaboration Model Between Business and Federal and State Agencies

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BIA To Honor Local Collaboration Model Between Business and Federal and State Agencies


BIA Baldy View Chapter President Ali Sahabi.

As an organization dedicated to bringing out the very best of what our industry can accomplish, our chapter felt it was right to honor the exceptional accomplishment of seemingly opposing groups working together for a common good.

The Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter will honor both industry and environmental regulators when it celebrates collaboration at its best at the association’s annual holiday gala next month in Pomona. Proceeds will benefit HomeAid, a leading nonprofit provider of housing for today’s homeless.

Vulcan Materials Company, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, will be honored along with representatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers– all of which worked together to create one of Southern California’s first and most successful habitat conservation areas.

The President’s Award will be presented to all three as a part of BIA Baldy View’s 2017 Annual Holiday Charity Gala to be held Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Sheraton Conference Center, 601 West McKinley Ave., in Pomona. For information, visit http://bit.ly/2iVEpYZ.

Vulcan worked with state and federal regulators to establish the Cajon Creek Conservation Area, which now covers 1,360 acres in Muscoy, California, and supports more than 45 special status species including the Santa Ana River woolly star, slender-horned spineflower, and the San Bernardino kangaroo rat. Since 1998, 50 area construction projects completed by government and private entities have benefitted from the ever-expanding mitigation bank, including Caltrans, the cities of Highland and Fontana, Metropolitan Water District, Hillwood Development, Regency Retail Group and BNSF Railway.

“This year’s President’s Award honors the spirit of collaboration – the idea of people from the public and private sectors teaming up for the benefit of local communities,” said BIA Baldy View President Ali Sahabi. “As an organization dedicated to bringing out the very best of what our industry can accomplish, our chapter felt it was right to honor the exceptional accomplishment of seemingly opposing groups working together for a common good.”

BIA Baldy View Chief Executive Officer Carlos Rodriguez emphasized the benefits that come from the blending of both industrial and conservation interests in shaping the future of the region.

“Vulcan provides much-needed aggregate that fuels the construction of new homes, buildings and infrastructure projects for our Baldy View region. That translates to jobs and a growing local economy,” Rodriguez said. “On the other hand, it is important to protect sensitive habitat and threatened species – to preserve nature as it was intended to be. The BIA praises Vulcan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Army Corps of Engineers for working together to accomplish something that allows for both outcomes, with universal benefits.”

The conservation area is composed of a network of large parcels within and immediately adjacent to Cajon Wash from Highland Avenue to Devore Road. As a conservation bank, it accepts funding from proposed construction projects to establish dedicated habitat area and permanently manage the survival of threatened species.

“Over the last 20 years, Vulcan has been working to conserve this rare and critical habitat,” said Michael Linton, Vulcan’s Western Division Vice President of Property and Land Development.

“Our successful collaboration with our resource agency partners has been invaluable to the success of these conservation efforts and it is a partnership we are very proud of. Vulcan looks forward to continuing this relationship and working together to further preserve and enhance this ecologically important watershed.”

“Conservation banking provides landowners with a straight-forward solution to offset impacts from development while furthering conservation and management of large blocks of habitat,” said Paul Souza, Regional Director for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. “We are proud of our 20-year partnership with Vulcan Materials on the Cajon Creek Conservation Bank.”

“For the buyer, or user of credits, Conservation and Mitigation Banking provides one-stop permit compliance, including habitat protection, long-term management, maintenance, and monitoring, and for the ecosystem it provides for the in-perpetuity protection and restoration of larger, more functional ecological systems,” said Leslie MacNair, Inland Deserts Regional Manager for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Our on-going partnership with Vulcan is a great example of what teamwork can achieve to add to conservation efforts in the region.”

“We need to work together to find solutions that will enhance opportunities for Californians to pursue the American Dream of homeownership,” said the BIA’s Sahabi, who is also president of the land planning and development firm Optimum Group LLC. “California is the second most expensive housing market in the nation behind Hawaii. The Cajon Creek Conservation Area facilitates the development process to ultimately drive down costs for the consumer. It serves as a model of effective collaboration between public and private entities can help create mutually beneficial solutions that enhance the affordability of housing in our state.”

ABOUT BIA BALDY VIEW CHAPTER

The mission of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter is to promote, advocate for and grow the home-building industry through member representation and community education at the local level. In addition, the Baldy View Chapter maintains a presence and influence on industry-related issues at regional, state and national levels. Visit http://www.BIAbuild.com.

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