A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a federal plan under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that allows for the incidental take of federally listed species and habitat that results from growth and development.
A Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) is a state plan provided for under the state Natural Community Conservation Planning Act that allows for the incidental take of state listed species and habitat.
The Butte Regional Conservation Plan is a joint HCP/NCCP that will establish a coordinated process for permitting and mitigating the incidental take of threatened and endangered species in the Plan Area. This process creates an alternative to the current project-by-project approach. Rather than individually surveying, negotiating, and securing mitigation as typically occurs through project by project mitigation, once the BRCP is in place, project proponents will receive an endangered species act permit from city and county planning departments by simply paying a fee (in some cases, dedication of on-site mitigation can be an alternative to paying a fee).
The fees are collected by the BRCP "Implementing Entity" which will be BCAG. BCAG will use the fee money, as well as grants and any other funding sources established in the Plan, to purchase habitat lands or easements from willing sellers. Collected funds are also used for monitoring and any habitat enhancement or management actions and administration of the program.
Preparation of the BRCP has involved the public and other stakeholders throughout the region. Two rounds of public workshops have been held in 2007 and 2012 along with 47 Stakeholder Committee meetings and counting.
The activities covered by the BRCP will also be covered by the Regional General Permit to be issued by the US Army Corp of Engineers for wetland permitting associated with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, provided wetland impacts are below a certain threshold (likely to be approximately 1.5 acres).