Habitat Conservation Planning
The Coalition has been involved with the development of three Habitat Conservation Plans: 1) Pima County’s Multi-Species Conservation Plan, 2) the Town of Marana’s Habitat Conservation Plan, and 3) the City of Tucson’s Greater Southlands and Avra Valley Habitat Conservation Plans.
Pima County’s Multi-Species Conservation Plan
Pima County began developing its Multi-Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) concurrently with the adoption of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) in 1998. The MSCP is specifically designed to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to endangered species from development through specific conservation measures. After 18 years of development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially approved the MSCP in May 2016. On September 6, 2016, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved the Implementation Agreement for the MSCP, thus officially starting the clock on the 30-year Incidental Take Permit that the MSCP is part of. The MSCP went through various permutations over the years and has the input of key stakeholders, scientists, citizens, and others. The Coalition was involved through membership on the Science Technical Advisory Team, the Implementing Agreement Committee, and the Steering Committee.
The Coalition has been involved with the development of the MSCP every step of the way, providing extensive technical comments and attending countless meetings with County staff, and always advocating for the most robust conservation measures to protect our most vulnerable Sonoran Desert wildlife species.
We reviewed all seven official Draft MSCPs, providing extensive technical comments and attending countless meetings with County staff. We also provided input on the innovative Monitoring and Management Plan that was developed alongside the MSCP. For more information on the species covered under the MSCP, the Final MSCP document, and a large number of reports and technical documents, visit Pima County’s MSCP website. We are excited to continue working with Pima County on the implementation, monitoring, and management of the MSCP in the years ahead and we want to thank you for all your support through this extensive process!
Town of Marana’s Habitat Conservation Plan
The Town of Marana began to develop its Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in 2003. Coalition staff and member group representatives served on Marana’s Stakeholder Working Group and Technical Biology Team since their inception, providing input on covered species, covered activities, and HCP implementation. Marana submitted a Final Draft HCP to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with their Incidental Take Permit application in December 2009. Since then, further revisions to the HCP have been made with advisory group input, including the addition of two new covered species, the western yellow bat and the western red bat. The Coalition will continue to provide detailed technical comments and stakeholder input as requested by the Town of Marana.
The Coalition has been involved in the development of other Habitat Conservation Plans around the region, providing invaluable input and recommendations into the development of these important plans.
City of Tucson’s Habitat Conservation Plans
The City of Tucson has developed two separate HCPs, one for the Greater Southlands area and one for Tucson Water-owned lands in Avra Valley. Coalition staff and member group representatives have served on the City’s HCP Technical Advisory Committee and Resource Planning Advisory Committee. The Southlands HCP is still in draft form with completion expected at an undetermined date. The Avra Valley HCP was submitted to the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service in 2014 but the Service had to put review of the HCP on hold due to competing priorities. The City of Tucson recently reported that the review process is now moving forward, with a planned approval date in early 2018.