Endangered Species and Habitat Protection

Rincon’s Tribal Resource Conservation Management Plan (TRCMP) was prepared to preserve the riparian habitats of the Reservation for future generations. The TRCMP covers three endangered species, including arroyo toad and two riparian bird species (Least Bell’s vireo and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher). designates an area within the reservation as a Preserve for the Arroyo toad, and addresses a broad range of Covered Activities throughout the reservation that allow for economic growth on the Reservation while at the same time protecting the natural communities that form a spiritual, cultural, and economic foundation of the community. The Plan further provides the opportunity for the Rincon Tribe to contribute to regional conservation goals while ensuring sovereign control of Rincon lands.

The TRCMP provides a streamlined approach to addressing the conservation needs of Covered Species. The TRCMP ensures that activities covered by the TRCMP satisfy the regulatory requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) while at the same time supporting reasonable development within the Plan Area. The TRCMP also serves to resolve longstanding disagreements between the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS) and Rincon regarding application of the ESA to Rincon’s lands. The TRCMP sets forth a uniform and systematic conservation strategy that ensures that impacts on Covered Species and their habitats from activities covered by the Plan are avoided and minimized. The Plan will be in effect for a period of 25 years and may be renewed at the end of 25 years.

Arroyo toad populations are localized and face a variety of threats. An estimated 75% of the historical habitat of the species has been destroyed and many of the remaining populations are threatened. There is a significant arroyo toad population occurring on the reservation along the San Luis Rey River and along Paradise Creek. In-stream breeding habitat and upland burrowing and foraging habitat are both important to the species in this area.

Potentially suitable habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher includes areas mapped as riparian habitat within the Reservation. This includes a smaller patch along Paradise Creek and larger blocks of habitat along the San Luis Rey within the Mowry property and up one of its tributaries. A 100 foot buffer around the riparian habitat has been included to identify an area needed to minimize indirect effects for riparian habitat. There is a total of 45.1 acres of riparian habitat and 38.7 acres of riparian habitat buffer within the TRCMP Area. Go back

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