The Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan
Check out the Eagle Scout clean up to help rid the preserve of non-native bamboo and vinca.
A Community-Based Solution
On May 2, 1996, Travis County and the City of Austin were jointly issued a regional permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows incidental “take” of eight locally occurring federally-listed endangered species under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act. “Take” is the removal of occupied endangered species habitat or species displacement due to development of habitat areas. This community-based solution, referred to as the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan (“BCCP”), calls for the creation of a preserve system to protect these eight endangered species as well as 27 other species believed to be at risk. For a full copy of the plan you may download it here: BCCP Habitat Conservation Plan and Permit (8 Mb PDF file).
The BCCP is a 30 year regional permit that allows for incidental take outside of proposed preserve lands, and provides mitigation for new public schools, roads and infrastructure projects of the participating agencies (Travis County, the City of Austin, and the Lower Colorado River Authority . Landowners and developers may elect to participate in the BCCP to mitigate for development of endangered species habitat rather than mitigating directly through the USFWS.
To minimize and mitigate the impacts of take, the Permit Holders agreed to:
- assemble a minimum of 30,428 acres of endangered species habitat in western Travis County known as the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (“BCP”), and secure protection for a series of karst (cave) features and rare plants throughout Travis County;
- provide for ongoing maintenance, patrolling, and biological management of the preserved habitat; and
- conduct biological monitoring and research activities supporting the BCCP permit terms and conditions.
Status of BCP Land Acquisition: 30,428 acres of suitable endangered species habitat are required to be assembled and managed within twenty years of issuance of the Permit (i.e. by 2016). The BCCP Managing Partners (Travis County, the City of Austin, and the Lower Colorado River Authority), in cooperation with non-profit conservation organizations Travis Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy of Texas and private landowners, have already assembled more than 28,000 acres (or over 92%) of the permit acreage required total to date.
For more information about the BCCP, please contact Travis County Staff.
Last Modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 10:14 AM