A Cooperative Planning Effort

The Butte Regional Conservation Plan (BRCP) is being coordinated by the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) on behalf of:
Butte County  •  City of Chico
City of Oroville  •  City of Gridley
City of Biggs  •  Caltrans District 3
Western Canal Water District  •  Richvale Irrigation District 
Biggs West-Gridley Water District  •  Butte Water District
The BRCP is both a federal Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and a state Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP). It will provide streamlined state and federal endangered species act and wetlands permitting for transportation projects, land development and other covered activities over the 50 year term of the permits. It will also provide comprehensive species, wetlands and ecosystem conservation and contribute to the recovery of endangered species within the Plan Area.

THE PROBLEM
The current process of obtaining Endangered Species Act permits and implementing habitat mitigation is inefficient, resulting in uncertainty and unnecessary delays for project proponents at times resulting in ineffective habitat mitigatoin that provide insufficient long-term protection for the species they're trying to protect.

THE PROPOSED SOLUTIONS
The Butte Regional Conservation Plan aims to replace the existing problematic permitting process with a smarter, simper process. It would result in a coordinated regional approach to conservation and regulation that would benefit species and habitat conservation, wildlife agencies and project proponents alike.

THE BRCP: BALANCING GROWTH AND CONSERVATION
The BRCP is a win-win that helps ensure that growth and development of the cities and the County go forward in a timely and efficient manner while ensuring the conservation of species and habitats is accomplished in a more biologically sound fashion. Development activities, including housing, industrial parks, shopping centers, government buildings, schools, and infrastructure such as roads and bike paths contribute to our community and our economy, but they also have the potential to negatively affect wildlife and fish and their habitats.

The BRCP will allow project proponents to follow straightforward guidelines in the BRCP, pay a fee, receive approval and permits for endangered species impacts at the local level, and proceed with their projects.

WHAT WILL THE BUTTE REGIONAL CONSERVATION PLAN ACHIEVE?
The overarching purpose of the BRCP is to replace the existing "project-by-project" environmental permitting process for federal and state endangered and threatened species in Butte County, with a more certain, streamlined, and consistent process. This will allow for projects to go forward to construction with local approvals and little or no involvement of federal and state wildlife agencies.

The BRCP will ensure that all impacts on protected species are mitigated and will also contribute to the recovery of species and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend through a well-planned and managed system of conservation lands established primarily through conservation easements over 50-years. Additional benefits of the BRCP are the preservation of open space and ongoing farming and ranch economies in the Plan Area that will maintain much of the rural character and natural beauty of our landscape.

WHO DOES THIS APPLY TO?
Once adopted, the BRCP will primarily apply to two main groups: project proponents developing properties that affect lands containing habitat value, and land owners who voluntarily wish to sell a conservation easement on their land, or sell their land in fee title for conservation purposes.

The BRCP does not bring forth a new zoning requirement that will affect property owners, nor does it change protection requirements for species or habitat in the Plan Area.

For further information, see the BRCP Documents section above, and also our informational brochures below.

New BRCP 8-page informational brochure highlighting the main components of the Plan.

New BRCP 4-page informational brochure highlighting the benefits of the BRCP for the participating cities and county.

Background
More Information
What's New
The formal public draft BRCP and EIS/EIR documents were submitted to USFWS Regional Office for review and publishing of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in July 2015. It will take approximately 10-12 weeks for the Notice of Availability to be published in the Federal Register. Once this is complete, a 90-day public review period will commence and will be accompanied by public workshops. Stay tuned for workshop dates and locations.

The next BRCP Stakeholder Committee meeting is scheduled for January 2016 - exact date and time will be posted as we get closer. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the results of the 90-day public review period and public workshops and review an updated project schedule.

New
BRCP 8-page informational brochure highlighting the main components of the Plan.
New
BRCP 4-page informational brochure highlighting the benefits of the BRCP for the participating cities and county.

White Paper on Economic Effects of Regional Habitat Conservation Plans. Prepared by Economic & Planning Systems, Inc for California Habitat Conservation Planning Coalition. This paper evaluates the hypothesis that regional HCPs confer substantial economic benefits to the private sector.
Executive Summary

Transportation and Habitat Conservation Plans Document - Improving Planning and Project Delivery While Preserving Endangered Species. Prepared by the University of California Transportation Center, results show that time and cost savings are major benefits to transportation projects  permitted under regional HCPs.






Stakeholder Committee Meetings, Click to view
Public Workshops
The next round of BRCP public workshops will be held in conjunction with the release of the formal public draft BRCP and EIS/EIR in late 2015.


Butte Regional Conservation Plan - Balancing Growth and Conservation

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