frequently asked questions

What are the regulations that guide development of the SEP-HCPp?
The primary state and federal regulations that guide development of the SEP-HCP include the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"), the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), and Chapter 83 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

The ESA defines the content of a habitat conservation plan and the criteria that must be met for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ("USFWS") to issue an incidental take permit.

NEPA requires that a major federal action, such as issuing an incidental take permit for a regional habitat conservation plan, also evaluate the impacts of that action on the human environment by preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS").

Chapter 83 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code regulates the development and implementation of a regional habitat conservation plan by local governments by (among other things) requiring landowner representation on the CAC, scientific review by the BAT, and establishing timelines for preserve acquisitions.

Information about these regulations and other guidance documents is posted on the DOCUMENTS page.

Will the SEP-HCP help the region access other grant funds for conservation?
It can! The USFWS awards grant funds for endangered species habitat protection that require an approved habitat conservation plan. Other opportunities may also be possible.

Bexar County and the City of San Antonio are identified as the primary partners in the SEP-HCP. Can other counties, cities, or the military become a partner, too?
There are many different options for other entities to become partners in the SEP-HCP effort, both during plan development and as the plan is implemented. Other jurisdictions are currently represented on the CAC and the Stakeholders Group, and the County and City continue to be open to all ideas for creating regional partnerships.

What options are being considered for preserve acquisitions?
All options are currently on the table, but fee-simple land purchases and the perpetual conservation easements are likely to be primary methods of aquiring preserve lands.

What area will the SEP-HCP cover, who will the permit applicant be, and what conservation strategies will be used?
These and other framing issues will be among the first decisions made during the development of the SEP-HCP. The primary partners will rely on recommendations from the CAC and BAT, as well as the USFWS, TPWD, and their consultant team to help answer these questions and create a conceptual framework for the conservation plan.

How much will the SEP-HCP cost local governments and the private sector?
The ESA requires that a habitat conservation plan identify and assure the funding that will be available to properly implement the conservation program. As the plan develops, the primary partners will review and assess a number of options for funding the SEP-HCP, including participation or mitigation fees from voluntary plan participants. The SEP-HCP consultant team includes a financial advisor to assist the primary partners with this important task and the financial impacts of any funding plan will be explored in the SEP-HCP and the EIS.