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Completion of Williamson County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan Celebtated
Southwest Region, October 29, 2008
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Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Williamson County elected officials, and others celebrate issuance of the permit for the Williamson County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and a certificate recognizing the first participant.  Photo by Gary Boyd, Williamson County Conservation Foundation.
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Williamson County elected officials, and others celebrate issuance of the permit for the Williamson County Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and a certificate recognizing the first participant. Photo by Gary Boyd, Williamson County Conservation Foundation. - Photo Credit: n/a

 

An event to celebrate the completion of the Williamson County, Texas Regional Habitat Conservation Plan was hosted by Williamson County on October 29, 2008 at the Beck’s Cave Preserve and Brush Creek MUD Community Center.  The event included remarks by Cngressman John Carter, County Commissioner Lisa Birkman, WCCF Board President, County Judge Dan A Gattis, former Commissioner David Hays, Regional Director Dr. Benjamin N. Tuggle, and Developer Bob Wunch.  Judge Gattis read a proclamation proclaiming October 30 as Regional Habitat Conservation Day, Dr. Tuggle presented the permit to Williamson County, and Commissioner Birkman presented a certificate recognizing the first participation in the Plan to Mr. Wunch  The event also included a visit to the opening of a cave located nearby in the preserve which contains the Bone Cave harvestman, one of the listed cave invertebrates covered in the plan.  A reception followed the cave visit. 

The permit for Williamson County is a 30-year incidental take permit and will implement conservation measures to minimize and mitigate for incidental take of four federally listed species.  The proposed take would occur as a result of road construction, maintenance, and improvement projects; utility construction and maintenance; school development and construction; public or private construction and development; and land clearing within western Williamson County, Texas. 

The Plan includes authorization of up to 6,000 acres of impacts to golden-cheeked warbler habitat that would be mitigated by purchase of credits in a conservation bank and creation of other preserves.  Up to 4,267 acres of black-capped vireo habitat could be impacted and would be mitigated by restoration, and enhancement of species habitat. Impacts to a total of 210 caves occupied by the Bone Cave harvestman and/or Coffin Cave mold beetle would be mitigated by meeting the recovery criteria for both species in the County by acquiring and managing a minimum of three karst fauna areas in each of the karst fauna regions occupied by the both species. 


Contact Info: Bill Seawell, 512 490-0057, bill_seawell@fws.gov



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