Recovery Credit System

Proof of Concept

RCS Proof of Concept Third Party Evaluation

Executive Summary
Evaluation Report

Background

The purpose of the Recovery Credit System for Golden Cheeked Warblers was to create a means for quantifying off-site endangered species conservation efforts funded by the U.S. Army at Fort Hood. Development of initial criteria for creating and managing the Recovery Credit System resulted in a three-year pilot or “proof-of-concept” project on a portion of the species’ range on private lands adjacent to Fort Hood.

The proof-of-concept pilot project seeks to demonstrate a working Recovery Credit System that can be successfully replicated for threatened and endangered species at other sites around the country. Modeled after the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (USDA-NRCS) Conservation Reserve Program, in which private landowners voluntarily participate in a conservation program in exchange for technical guidance and cost share assistance, the Recovery Credit System establishes performance term contracts and habitat conservation incentives for participating landowners.

Since July 2006, four bid rounds have been conducted resulting in the completion of eleven landowner contracts. The total investment for implementation of the Recovery Credit System is $1,116,500 including the landowner’s cost share of $151,613. The contract terms range from 10 to 25 years and encompass a total of 7158 acres, 1174 acres of which are golden-cheeked warbler habitat resulting in 67.51 credits. Seven of the contracts received funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Army and four were funded by USDA-NRCS, while the upcoming fifth bid round will be funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

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