While the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system, or BCP, is the more visible side of the regional effort to conserve endangered species and their habitat, the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan or BCCP, is the habitat conservation plan that established the preserve system and how it would be funded and organized. This plan serves as the basis for our federal permit.
In addition to naming the City of Austin and Travis County as permit holders, the BCCP created the Coordinating Committee as the governing body. The BCCP also authorized the Coordinating Committee to create advisory committees as it deemed necessary to provide support; which it did by creating the Scientific Advisory Committee and Citizens Advisory Committees.
A group of land managers representing the BCP properties also meet periodically to discuss their current activities and share information about land management successes and research results. The Land Management subcommittee is also responsible for writing updates to the BCP Land Management Plan.
Governing the implementation of the BCCP is the Coordinating Committee, created by the Interlocal Agreement that was signed by officials of the City of Austin and Travis County in August of 1995 and is Appendix A of the HCP. The Coordinating Committee is comprised of two voting members-one appointed by Travis County from the Commissioners Court and one appointed by the City of Austin from the City Council-and one ex-officio member appointed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as well as a secretary. The Coordinating Committee meets on a quarterly basis or more often if request by a committee member (click here for current schedule of meetings). The Interlocal Agreement also gave the Coordinating Committee authority to establish advisory groups as appropriate, which it did in creating the Scientific Advisory Committee and Citizens Advisory Committee.
Five individuals representing expertise in various scientific fields associated with endangered species conservation make up the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC reviews and makes recommendations on issues specifically concerning the research on and management of endangered species and species of concern listed in the BCCP and their habitat. This committee meets quarterly or more often if requested by its members. Members are appointed by the Coordinating Committee and serve 2-year terms.
Eleven individuals representing community interests such as environmental conservation, business, private land ownership, and recreation make up the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC focuses on issues of access and recreation and other issues brought up to its members. Members are appointed by the Coordinating Committee and serve 2-year terms. Similar to the SAC, the CAC meets quarterly or more often if requested by its members.
Inquiries for participation certificates by landowners are directed to Travis County Environmental Specialist and BCCP Coordinator. The City of Austin's BCP staff responds to inquiries about permits for infrastructure development and maintenance. Click here to download a BCCP Infrastructure Application.