District HCP Advisory Groups
Management Advisory Committee
Section 6 of the Review Draft of the District Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) details the roles of the plan participants, and includes, in Section 188.8.131.52, the development of a District HCP Management Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise and assist in the coordination of conservation activities affecting Covered Species at Barton Springs, and to monitor the implementation of the District HCP, both for the District and for the USFWS, as an additional measure of ensuring continued implementation of the HCP and compliance with the ITP.
Per the District HCP, the MAC will:
- Provide a forum for exchange of information relative to Covered Species;
- Provide advice on Covered Species management activities;
- Advise the District on priorities for conservation actions; and
- Provide input and recommendations, as warranted, on the development and implementation of actions through the adaptive management program.
The District Board of Directors met on November 15, 2012 and approved a range of interests to be represented on the MAC, and further tasked District staff with identifying potential candidates for MAC service.
While specific MAC details have yet to be finalized, the general expectations would be that members are able to commit to supporting the goals of the MAC as a volunteer (as outlined above) and can be available for 3-4 meetings in 2013-14 and annual meetings in the years following to accomplish the goals outlined above.
MAC Members (status: active):
- Kevin Connally, US FWS (Regulatory Agency)
- Cindy Loeffler, TPWD (Regulatory Agency)
- Chris Herrington, City of Austin (Protection)
- Jennifer Walker, Sierra Club (Protection)
- Bryan Brooks, Baylor University (Ecological Expert)
- Laurie Dries, City of Austin (Ecological Expert)
- Jason Biemer, City of Kyle (Groundwater Users, Public Water Supply)
- David Loftis, Centex Materials (Groundwater Users, Private Sector Permittees)
- Scott Nester (Private Property Interests)
- Christy Muse (Private Property Interests)
- Todd Voteller, GBRA (River Authority)
- Jon White, Travis County (County Government)
- Clif Ladd (At-Large)
- Karen Huber (At-Large)
Past Advisory Groups
The District utilized two advisory groups to assist in the preparation of the HCP: a Citizens Advisory Committee, and a Biological Advisory Team.
Citizens Advisory Committee
The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) was created to provide periodic input and critical review of the HCP as it was being prepared, and to evaluate the HCP once completed in draft form. The CAC was created in conformance with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §§ 83.015-83.016. At least 30% of the CAC were owners of unimproved land in the District. The recommendations of the CAC were advisory only, but it had an essential role as a forum for critical review of the HCP. As the District prepared the HCP with the help of a consultant team and other participants over two years, it asked the CAC to provide feedback and advice at various times during the process. Dr. Kent Butler chaired and facilitated the CAC.
The members of the CAC and their affiliations, if any, included:
- Ira Yates, Landowner
- Mark Zeppa, Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Co. (permittee)
- Carl Urban, Landowner
- John Noell, Landowner and permittee
- Jane Orr, Landowner and permittee
- Scott Nester, Landowner
- Ms. Jennifer Walker, Sierra Club
- Sarah Baker, SOS Alliance
- Ed Peacock, City of Austin
- Matt Wagner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Andrew Backus, Hays-Trinity GCD
Biological Advisory Team
The Biological Advisory Team (BAT) was created to provide biological and other scientific input and critical review of the HCP as it was being prepared, and to evaluate the HCP once completed in draft form. The BAT was created in conformance with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §§ 83.015-83.016. The recommendations of the BAT were advisory only, but it had a role in interpreting the results, findings, and conclusions of scientific studies conducted as a part of the HCP and in influencing the outcome of the permit application to the Service. As the District prepared the HCP with the help of a consultant team and other participants over two years, it asked the BAT to provide feedback and advice at various times during the process. By TPWD rule, the BAT was chaired by a TPWD senior staff member, and one member of the BAT must be selected by the Landowners Subcommittee of the CAC. For the District HCP, Dr. Wendy Gordon was the BAT Chair; Dr. Jack Sharp was the Landowners representative. Dr. Bryan Brooks, who also served on the BAT of the earlier HCP project and was a consultant to the District, was the principal liaison between the BAT and the HCP project team.
The members of the BAT and their affiliations included:
- Dr. Wendy Gordon, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, BAT Chair
- Dr. Jack Sharp, Jackson School of Geological Sciences, University of Texas
- Dr. Laurie Dries, City of Austin Watershed Protection
- Dr. Mary Poteet, Integrative Biology Department, University of Texas
- Dr. Lauren Ross, Glenrose Engineering
Dr. Bryan Brooks, Ecological Sciences, Baylor University