Final report as required by the Endangered Species Program, Texas: grant no. E-38-HP: endangered and threatened species conservation: habitat conservation planning for the development of the Edwards Aquifer Authority habitat conservation plan

Author Bob Hall (Edwards Aquifer Authority)
Year 2006
Description Summary of progress on development of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to protect the Comal and San Marcos spring ecosystems and mitigate any incidental take of listed species that would occur as a result of low spring flows, and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for description of the preferred alternative
Report Number Grant E-38-HP
Publisher Texas Parks & Wildlife
Location Comal Springs, San Marcos Springs, Atascosa County, Bexar County, Caldwell County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Hays County, Medina County, Uvalde County
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1) Inclusion of the results of additional biologic modeling and evaluation studies that were completed in 2003 and 2004. A revised Draft January 2004 HCP/EIS was completed and delivered to the Authority for internal review.

2) Holding a meeting with the USFWS staff on April 9, 2004 to discuss status of the HCP and to describe and discuss the concept of intensive management areas that would be developed on site to support the spring ecosystem species during periods of severe drought.

3) Holding a meeting with the Consultants on June 8, 2004 to discuss changes and revisions to the Draft January 2004 HCP/EIS. The changes and revisions were completed to the Draft January 2004 HCP/EIS by July 2004.

4) Reviewing the Draft July 2004 HCP/EIS by the Authority’s Research and Technology Committee and the Authority’s Board during meetings held in July, August and September 2004. Several amendments by Authority Board members were incorporated into the Draft July 2004 HCP/EIS.

5) Submitting the Draft July 2004 HCP/EIS, as Amended, to the USFWS, TPWD, other stakeholders and the general public for comment. Four public meetings were held by the Authority to receive public comments. These meetings were held in Victoria (November 1, 2004), New Braunfels (November 8, 2004), Uvalde (November 16, 2004), and San Antonio (November 17, 2004). In addition, a Biological Advisory Team meeting was also held on November 17, 2004 to discuss and receive comment and two facilitated meeting with major stakeholders were held February 9 and February 17, 2005.

6) Responding to comments on the Draft July 2004 HCP/EIS, as Amended. Withdrawal limits were removed from the document and the HCP was separated from the EIS. This was done because the issue of withdrawal limits are outside the control of the Authority and are not resolved at this time. Separating the HCP from the EIS was done to facilitate the review of the HCP. The EIS will be revisited, revised and included as either an integral part of the final HCP/EIS or as a stand alone document when the issues connected with withdrawal limits are resolved.

Task #4 is completed with this report.