Often, the best way to conduct a plant search for a CEQA project is to visit the site itself, with two important caveats:

  1. You must have legal access to the location. Access to the project site may depend on ownership. Some projects on public lands may not require permission to visit the project site, but if there is any question regarding your right to enter the project area on public land, contact the lead agency for information on access, or contact the entity that manages the land. Most private lands will require permission from the landowner to access the land legally. In these cases, the lead agency may be able to provide contact information regarding access or be able to arrange a visit, otherwise a little detective work may be needed to find a contact. While many private lands are not fenced or signed, the lack of signs or fencing does not give you the right to enter the property without permission. Unless public access is explicitly clear, you’ll want to obtain written permission to enter private property. While you may not be able to set foot on the property, a roadside view may offer insight to vegetation types or species present on the project site.
  2. You have training in identifying plants, or are familiar with the local flora.  If you find something that you aren’t familiar with you can try to key the plant using the Jepson eFlora webpage. 

TipOrange poppy

Local CNPS chapters often maintain lists of locally rare flora and other plants of significance. Chapter members may also have information about or recent access to the property. If you aren’t in touch with your local chapter, you can look them up here.