Plan & Benefits
- Preserve areas allow for the orderly and timely use of habitat lands for vital regional projects such as county roads, major state highways, and improvements to regional interstate highways.
- A mitigation bank of karst and bird habitat allows landowners to have a pre-approved method for use of habitat that otherwise cannot be avoided - such as for city governments, schools, and private landowner projects - through a regionally cooperative and unified approach.
- The foundation manages preserves in accordance with uniform habitat management practices and regulations. Individual plans are as uniform or as cost-effective and require extended research and approval periods. The foundation's Habitat Conservation Plan provides for timely (generally less than 60 days) approvals for participation, much shorter than the 18-month to 2-year time frame for individual plan approval.
Through participation in the Williamson County Conservation Foundation's (WCCF's) plan, governmental entities including cities and school districts, landowners and developers can navigate the requirements of the Endangered Species Act in a more expedient manner. Prior to the establishment of the WCCF's plan, all entities impacting endangered species needed to obtain an individual 10(a) permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The WCCF offers a simplified option to comply with the Endangered Species Act through voluntary participation in the WCCF.
Under the plan, businesses, schools and local governments benefit from a streamlined "conservation bank" approach to Endangered Species Act permitting.
Processing times are shortened, costs controlled and predictability increased. Activities under the plan also help prevent other species from becoming listed as endangered in the future. At the same time, the plan honors the county's tradition of good land stewardship. WCCF and its partners are providing leadership in regional planning for endangered species conservation.