Aquifer District Habitat Conservation Plan Approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department

For Immediate Release:  Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018
For more information, contact: Robin Gary, Senior Public Information and Education Coordinator at, 512-282-8441

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has finalized and issued a 20-year Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to implement the District’s Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Managed Groundwater Withdrawals from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. The HCP will safeguard the continued sustainable use of the aquifer and survival of the endangered salamanders, while the ITP will allow for continued managed pumping of the aquifer by District permittees.

“The approval of the District’s Habitat Conservation Plan and signing of the Incidental Take Permit from the USFWS is the result of many years of hard work from dedicated staff and stakeholders.  Over the years, the District has taken a proactive approach and has incorporated many of the measures described in the HCP in existing policies and programs,” stated Blayne Stansberry, District Board President.

The HCP was developed, refined, and reviewed through a rigorous public process over the last fifteen years and has benefitted from input and recommendations from stakeholders, subject experts, and advisory committee members.  With the HCP conservation measures in place and with the monitoring, adaptive management, and reporting programs described in the HCP, the District reasonably expects to be able to achieve the objectives of sustainably managing use of the Edwards Aquifer as a water supply, minimizing and mitigating the incidental take of the salamanders, ensuring their survival, and the avoidance of jeopardy.

Useful links:

BSEACD is a groundwater conservation district charged by the Texas Legislature to preserve, conserve, and protect the aquifers and groundwater resources within its jurisdiction, which includes parts of three Central Texas counties.  It is governed by a Board of five elected directors and staffed with hydrogeologists, groundwater regulatory compliance specialists, environmental educators, geospatial systems specialists, and administrative support personnel.