A Cooperative Planning Effort

The Butte Regional Conservation Plan (BRCP) is being coordinated by the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) on behalf of:

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 is a voluntary plan that will provide streamlined 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 BRCP will replace the existing environmental permitting process that is unpredictable, inconsistent, time consuming, costly, and results in ineffective conservation. The BRCP will:

  • Reduce the cost and increase the consistency of the state and federal permitting process
  • Provide certainty of regulatory costs and requirements
  • Provide local control by consolidating and streamlining environmental permitting under one locally controlled plan
  • Provide improved habitat preserves for species
  • Protect the right of private property owners -- conservation land acquisition will be through willing sellers only
More Information
What's New
The release of the formal public draft BRCP and EIS/EIR for the required 90-day public review period has been pushed back to late spring/summer 2015. This is due to the need for the Wildlife Agencies to conduct a final review of the draft Plan, followed by submitting the draft Plan to USFWS regional office for review prior to publishing the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The formal public draft BRCP and EIS/EIR were completed and submitted to the Wildlife Agencies in April 2014 for their review. BCAG staff continue to meet with Wildlife Agency staff on a weekly basis to work through final changes to the draft Plan.

Currently it is expected that final changes will be completed by the end of March 2015, followed by submission of the draft documents to the USFWS Regional Office for their final review and preparation of the Notice of Preparation which will be published in the Federal Register. This process is expected to take roughly six to ten weeks.

The next BRCP Stakeholder Committee meeting will be scheduled later in 2015 prior to initiation of the required 90-day public review period, exact date TBD. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the updated project schedule, review any final changes to the formal public draft BRCP, and provide detail on the forthcoming 90-day public review period.

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
Full Document

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.
Full Document

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 spring/summer 2015.

Butte Regional Conservation Plan - Balancing Growth and Conservation

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