Swainson's Hawk Ordinance


The Sacramento County Swainson’s Hawk Mitigation Program is one option applicants may use to mitigate for impacts to Swainson’s Hawk foraging habitat. During the environmental review process, the Office of Planning and Environmental Review (PER) determines if the project impacts Swainson’s Hawk foraging habitat. If impact is determined, PER will recommend several options for mitigation in the final document. The Swainson’s Hawk Mitigation program, administered by the PER, is one of those options.

The Swainson’s Hawk Mitigation Program, amended by the Board of Supervisors in December of 2009, provides the following voluntary means for mitigation of impacts to Swainson’s Hawk foraging habitat:

  • ​Projects with impacts less than 40 acres
    • Fee Option.   Have the option to pay the impact fee or may provide title or easement to suitable Swainson’s Hawk mitigation lands on a per-acre basis.
    • Impact Fee: Land + Endowment.  The total impact fee is $12,925 per acre of impact. Of that fee, $10,550 is for land/easement acquisition and $2,375 is for establishing an endowment to cover operations, monitoring and management of land p​urchased by the County.
    • Administrative Fee.  An administrative processing fee of $500 for each project.
  • Projects with impacts 40 acres and greater
    • Land/easement option only.  Applicants must provide title or easement to approved Swainson’s Hawk mitigation lands.
    •  Endowment Fee.  A per acre endowment fee must be paid by the applicant for projects delivering title or easement.  This fee is variable, based on parcel-specific data.  This fee cannot exceed $3,500 per acre impacted.
    • Administrative Fee.  An administrative processing fee of $500 for each project.

Information and Forms

See the Swainson's hawk Environmental Impacts and Issues document for general information to determine how mitigation impacts are assessed. 

The map of  Suggested Mitigation Areas ​​​provides an indication of where good Swainson's habitat may be found.  However, it is only a guide - there are lands outside of the green areas where Swainson's hawk impacts will be assessed and also lands outside the green area that are suitable as mitigation land.  The ultimate determination of impacts and mitigation​ land suitability is evaluated by the Office of Planning and Environmental Review.

To take advantage of the Swainson's Hawk Impact Mitigation Fee Program, you may submit the Swainson's Hawk Impact Mitigation Fee Form. If you are required, or opt, to dedicate land, then please complete the Swainson's Hawk Mitigation Program Request Approval of Proposed Mitigation Land form​.​


If you have any questions or would like to utilize the Swainson’s Hawk Program to satisfy mitigation requirements, please contact Todd Smith​, Principal Planner at 916-874-6918. Appointments are recommended prior to paying fees.

B​ackground Documents