U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Approves Habitat Conservation Plan

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On February 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it had approved a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and incidental take permit (ITP) for the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program.  In addition to providing water to agricultural, industrial, and recreational water users, the Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for more than 2 million people.  The HCP and ITP cover general activities related to the Edwards Aquifer and associated river systems, including the regulation and production of groundwater for irrigation and livestock purposes, the use of in-stream flows for recreational uses, and other operational and maintenance activities.  The species covered by the HCP and ITP include the fountain darter, San Marcos salamander, Texas wild rice, Texas blind salamander, Peck's cave amphipod, San Marcos gambusia, Cornal Springs dryopid beetle, and the Cornal Springs riffle beetle.