SUP Guidelines

The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge has established the following regulations to safeguard wildlife and to support wildlife-dependent activities that further wildlife-conservation efforts.

Special Use Permit Conditions for the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge:

All Refuge regulations must be adhered to. Unless an activity is permitted, it is prohibited. Violation of a regulation may result in cancellation of the Special Use Permit (SUP) and prosecution. All field personnel must read, understand, and agree to the General Conditions and Special Conditions of this permit.

1. Authorization is given to _____ and _____ to conduct research on _____ as described in attached proposal. Activities shall minimize disturbance of wildlife and their habitats to the extent possible.
2. The primary researcher is _____. In addition, _____ is authorized to conduct work independently under the direction of _____. Visitation by other individuals not on this SUP is prohibited without permission from the Refuge Manager. The permittee is responsible for ensuring that all persons working on the project adhere to the permit conditions and study proposal. All field assistants are to be coordinated by the permittee and should carry a copy of the permit while they are working on the Refuge
3. While on the Refuge, place a placard on the dash of the vehicle that states your name, contact number, and activity.
4. For safety reasons, all researchers should have a cell phone and GPS in their possession, and/or work in pairs.
5. Visitation to study sites shall be during daylight hours. Overnight camping is not permitted on the Refuge. Space for researchers may be available at a Refuge facility. However, prior arrangements for you and any guests must be made with the Refuge Manager. Additionally, the Refuge may need to modify housing arrangements during the season to accommodate other groups. While utilizing lodging and other facilities on Refuge property, reasonable care will be given to the normal upkeep of such facilities. Facilities will be left in an orderly and clean condition. Aside from requisite perishable or expendable supplies, no materials will be removed from Refuge facilities. Professional behavior and conduct is expected at all times while on the Refuge or while in Refuge facilities.
6. Gate keys and lock combinations will be issued for appropriate access. The keys should not be given to unauthorized persons for any purpose. Keys must be returned at the end of the permitted activity.
7. Vehicles should use established roads only. No new roads or trails will be established as part of this project. Avoid driving on unimproved roads during/after wet weather; allow at least 1 day of drying for each 1” of rain received. During such conditions, hiking to research site(s) will be required. Regardless of rain conditions, should rutting of roads occur while driving you should park your vehicle and hike. To prevent grass fires avoid parking in tall grass and refrain from any outdoor activity creating a spark or flame, including smoking. In times of increased fire danger other restrictions may apply. Park in a manner that allows other vehicles to pass.
8. Temporary markings may be placed in the field as required for completion of the research protocol. At the conclusion of the activity, all temporary and permanent markers (rebar, flagging, tags, etc.) will be removed from study sites unless otherwise directed by the Refuge Manager.
9. Research activities by others, and Refuge management activities may be occurring at the same location and time as the proposed Research. Refuge Management activities take priority over all outside research. Land management activities, such as hunting or prescribed burning, may preclude researcher access to a tract or suite of tracts for a given time. Therefore, all access must be regularly coordinated with Scott Rowin, Refuge Biologist.
10. All field researchers must have appropriate State and Federal permits and authorizations for the proposed work. Activities under this special use permit do not fall under the Refuge’s permits.
11. An annual report is required and must be submitted prior to December 01, 2012 describing the progress and status of all research conducted on the Refuge. The annual report should include a summary of all activities conducted on the Refuge, methods followed, data analyses, conclusions or results obtained, and a copy of relevant GIS data. Refuge staff will not modify reports received unless the project involved Refuge staff participation or unless requested to do so by the principal investigator responsible for the report.
12. Once the proposed project is complete, a final report must also be submitted. A copy of the master’s thesis or similar document may suffice for the final report. Copies of any other publications based on data from this project shall be submitted to the Refuge Manager when available.
13. Data gathered on the Refuge as a result of this project is co-owned by the Refuge and may be used by the Refuge at its sole discretion without the permitee’s permission. Copies of all raw data (e.g., field data sheets, field notes, lab reports, drawings, maps, literature reviews/bibliographies, databases/spreadsheets, etc.), GIS data with associated metadata, photos and negatives, video and audio tapes created during research activities, draft reports, and interim reports may be requested by the Refuge and are to be provided when requested unless another mutually agreed upon timeframe is specified.
14. Requests for significant changes may necessitate re-evaluation of the permit conditions or development of a revised proposal.
15. The permittee and persons working on the project agree to keep the specific location of sensitive Refuge resources confidential. Sensitive resources include threatened and endangered species, rare species, cultural resources, and caves or other karst features.
16. This permit does not authorize any entry upon or activities within any lands not under the jurisdiction of the Refuge. Such activities must be coordinated and authorized prior to entry through the respective agency or owner.
17. No chemicals are to be used within the Refuge. Unless specifically authorized, no disturbance to a site, the ground, plants, or animals is authorized within the Refuge. This includes removal or introduction of plants, animals, or materials (e.g., rocks, fossils) from or into the Refuge. All trash must be removed.
18. Unless otherwise agreed upon, the permittee will provide all resources need to complete the study, including equipment and staff.
19. As a general rule, permits will expire at end of the calendar year following the date of issuance. The expiration date will depend on the length of the project, date of submittal, and review by Refuge staff. Renewal will be contingent upon satisfactory completion of project deliverables. Nothing in this permit shall be construed as granting any exclusive research privileges or automatic right to continue, extend, or renew this or any other line of research under new permit(s).

Initials of each permittee: ________, ________, ________