Pima County recently released their 2021 MSCP Annual Report. The MSCP – or Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan – is an integral part of the larger Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. According to a recent e-update from Pima County:
“Each calendar year, County staff put together a report on implementation of the Pima County Multi-species Conservation Plan (MSCP). The MSCP covers 44 wildlife and plant species by prioritizing conservation of their habitats. At the same time, the plan provides a streamlined avenue for managers of ground-disturbing projects, both private and County-led, to comply with the federal Endangered Species Act on lands in unincorporated Pima County. The MSCP is a major part of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
The report consists of two main documents: the main body of the report and the report appendices.
- A total of 411 private projects have been authorized to receive coverage under the MSCP since it was initiated in 2016; 224 of these projects have been mitigated to date.
- The Regional Flood Control District reported that 95.6% of applicants avoided impacting regulated riparian habitat.
- Fourteen buffelgrass letters were issued to private property owners in 2021 by Pima County Department of Environmental Quality.
- Pima County staff, contractors, and volunteers mechanically removed or chemically treated approximately 4,942 acres of buffelgrass and other invasive plant species on County Conservation Lands and right-of-ways.
- The new MSCP-compliant management plan for the Cienega Creek Corridor was updated to include new areas and actions.
- Major fencing projects in the Edgar Canyon riparian area on M Diamond Ranch and along the Santa Cruz River were completed to protect species and stream health.
- Monitoring and analyses were completed on multiple MSCP species, including Sonoran desert tortoise, lowland leopard frogs, multiple bat species, Gila topminnow, and several species of talussnails.
- The first MSCP analyses of climate and land-use change were completed.
All MSCP-related reports, plans, and monitoring protocols are available online.
Thank you for supporting the Coalition’s ongoing partnership with Pima County to advise as needed on the implementation of the MSCP and help keep the public informed about the progress of this important conservation plan!