What We Do
The purpose of the Washington County HCP Department is to implement and administer the provisions of the Habitat Conservation Plan. The HCP department is tasked with ensuring that the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is protected from activities that would adversely affect the desert tortoise or its habitat in order that the Reserve remains a viable sanctuary for the recovery of the desert tortoise in the Upper Virgin River Recovery unit. The purpose of this is to ensure the Reserve continues to serve as mitigation for the development of tortoise habitat outside the Reserve. We are responsible to administer the incidental take permit for desert tortoise throughout its habitat in Washington County. This includes ensuring properties located in tortoise take areas within the county, are surveyed for tortoise presence and any tortoises are removed prior to any construction activity. We are responsible for collection of impact fees assessed due to the creation of the HCP and to provide reports to the County Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service quarterly on our activities.
- Implement and manage the Habitat Conservation Plan for the County
- Coordinate Reserve Management with the other partners to the HCP
- Administer the County incidental take permit for the benefit of the tortoise and people
- Provide service to the public and property owners allowed under the take permit
- Facilitate the acquisition of private property currently included in the Reserve
- Provide education about the HCP, Reserve, the desert tortoise and the desert ecosystem to the public