Frequently Asked QuestionsQ. What is an HCP?
A. A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a document that will allow State and Federal agencies to issue Incidental Take Permits to local agencies to allow impacts to endangered species. An Incidental Take Permit allows a project to directly impact endangered species as long as mitigation identified in the HCP is provided. The HCP looks at habitat resources on a countywide basis and identifies large contiguous areas of land for conservation and mitigation measures to mitigate for these impacts. This results in development activities experiencing less delay and unpredictability due to the environmental process, and results in improved habitat and species protection through the development of large interconnected preserves.
Q. Why is the project necessary?
A. In the absence of an HCP/NCCP, landowners have to negotiate individually with federal and state regulators to mitigate for habitat loss. The current process typically requires lengthy negotiations between the landowner and the regulators, costing both parties considerable time and money. Furthermore, the current process is often not beneficial to wildlife and can result in fragmented habitats that are difficult to manage efficiently and are often not large enough to provide long-term species protection.
Q. How will the Butte Regional Conservation Plan reduce the cost of regulatory compliance?
A. The BRCP will shorten the time frame for permit acquisition, which will allow developers to avoid paying interest on land loans while awaiting authorization. The one-time mitigation will be less costly than the cost of cumulative permits, including vernal pool and Swainson's hawk permits and CEQA and NEPA take permits. Participation will ensure against additional costs as a result of future listings.
Q. How much will the BRCP charge and what is the basis for the cost?
A. Mitigation options will be finalized as the BRCP is developed over the next 1.5 years; to view the draft mitigation fee structure, see Chapter 8 under BRCP Documents. Through the economic analysis, a mitigation structure will be finalized that takes into account the amount of land needed to create preserves and the costs associated with managing those preserves in perpetuity.
Q. How long will the BRCP take to prepare?
A. The goal is to have the BRCP approved and permitted in late 2013/early 2014
Q. What is the Plan Area for the BRCP?
A. Click here for a pdf map of the Plan Area.
Q. Will the Public be involved in the planning process?
A. Preparation of the BRCP will involve the public and other stakeholders throughout the region interested in the region's future growth and protection of natural resources. This website will provide updated information on the BRCP process and status, including public meetings. Public comments are also welcome via the Contact Us section of this website.