CCA/A- This Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) and Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the Texas Hornshell and other Covered Species represents a collaborative effort between the FWS and the Center of Excellence (CEHMM). The CCA/A is a voluntary agreement administered by CEHMM. Certificates of Inclusion (CIs) and Certificates of Participation (CPs) will be used by CEHMM pursuant to this CCA/A in order to facilitate voluntary cooperation of the oil and gas operators, solid minerals mining companies, water withdrawers, agriculture and ranching, Carlsbad Irrigation District, and other interested stakeholders, thereby providing conservation benefits to the Texas Hornshell and other Covered Species (Rio Grande River Cooter, Gray Redhorse, Blue Sucker, and Pecos Springsnail). Although the Texas Hornshell is the only current candidate species, the additional species listed above are being considered due to their declining statuses. When fully implemented, it will provide guidance for the conservation and management of these species and their habitat by reducing or eliminating threats to the species. Participants will implement Conservation Measures and contribute funding or provide in-kind services for conservation as part of their CIs or CPs. The Conservation Measures implemented by Participants would consist of avoidance and minimization measures, and conservation of habitat to preclude or reduce threats to the Covered Species.
The most significant benefit of this CCA is that it will guide and provide funding for Conservation Actions (e.g., revegetation with native species along rivers, land or water acquisition, etc.) for the Covered Species in order to improve the status of these species within New Mexico and Texas. Conservation Actions are actions that preclude or reduce threats to the Covered Species, including mitigation measures, which are implemented or funded by Participants. In comparison to well-intentioned but uncoordinated conservation efforts, this CCA, together with the CEHMM CCAA, provides a comprehensive and strategic landscape level approach to address the conservation needs of the Covered Species.
Purpose of CCA/A
- Guide and provide funding for Conservation Actions (e.g., revegetation with native species along rivers, land or water acquisition, etc.) for the Covered Species in order to improve the status of these species within New Mexico and Texas;
- Develop, coordinate, and implement Conservation Measures to reduce or eliminate potential threats to the Covered Species in New Mexico and Texas;
- Maintain viable populations of the Covered Species in Occupied Habitat;
- Support ongoing efforts to re-establish populations of the Covered Species in currently unoccupied but historic, suitable habitats (i.e., Delaware River);
- Serve as a landscape-scale umbrella document for Conservation Measures implemented by CEHMM and Participants;
- Encourage development and protection of suitable habitat for Covered Species by giving Participants incentives to implement specific Conservation Measures (as described in their CP);
- Provide Participants a high degree of certainty for the duration of this CCA that additional Conservation Measures above and beyond those contained in the agreement will not be required and that additional land, water, or resource use limitations will not be imposed upon them should one or more of the Covered Species become listed in the future, so long as Participants properly implement their CPs; and
- Allow industrial and agricultural development to continue while protecting and improving habitat conditions for the Covered Species.
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