The web of life on Earth
Bracken Bat Cave Update
Talks Begin on a Possible Solution
August 26, 2013
Our efforts to protect the bats of Bracken Cave from a proposed housing development are showing early hints of progress. Since the successful City Hall meeting in San Antonio on May 29th, Bat Conservation International and representatives of Galo Properties have begun discussing options for the proposed Crescent Hills subdivision. Both parties are eager to find win-win solutions, and the possibility of purchasing and protecting the 1,550-acre tract is high on the list.
Acquiring this property would not only protect the flight path of millions of bats at Bracken and minimize the potential for human-bat interactions, it would also conserve a habitat of the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler and add to the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. Combining Galo's property with the Bracken Cave Preserve and other protected lands in the area would create nearly 5,000 acres of contiguous park and preserve land.
But we still have a long way to go. One major challenge: a combination of public and private investment will be required to raise sufficient funds for the purchase.
What can you do? Donate to BCI and urge City, County and State officials to help us protect this important landscape.
Be sure to watch this WOAI-TV report and check out our website, Facebook page, and Twitter (@Batconintl) for updates on how you can help. And don't forget to share, share, share! Thank you for your continued support in protecting the Bracken Cave bats.
Andrew Walker, Executive Director, Bat Conservation International
Update on the Crescent Hills Development
Proposed subdivision threatening the Bracken Bat Cave/Preserve
June 8, 2013
After a very successful rally at City Hall on May 29th, we have heard nothing positive from San Antonio’s Mayor or City Council.
While City and SAWS officials are still denying that they can take any action, someone heard our concerns and has taken a decisive step in addressing this mess. This week Representative Lyle Larson filed HB 36 relating to a moratorium on development of land located near the state’s largest Mexican free-tailed bat population. Read more in this Express News article.
You can call Governor Perry’s office at (800) 843-5789 or send an e-mail to let them know that you support passage of HB 36 during the special session. We will keep you posted on other actions needed to make sure that a high density housing development is not permitted to despoil our Texas treasures.
Bracken Bat Cave, and its fragile bats, are being threatened by a proposed high-density 1,500-acre subdivision to the immediate south of the reserve. The Crescent Hills development will put 3,800 homes in the twice-daily flight path of millions of bats.
The development also lies within the sensitive Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and puts at risk the many millions of public dollars that have been invested in protecting the area. But Bracken Cave could be saved if:
- San Antonio Water Systems would rescind its utility service agreement with the developer,
- The City of San Antonio would enforce its environmental regulations instead of relinquishing control to the virtually powerless County of Comal.
The Sierra Club urges you to:
- Contact the Mayor and your City Council Representative to voice your concerns
- Sign this online petition
For additional information, visit Bat Conservation International's webpage. Also, read Greg Harman's blog post, Bat Attack! Why Saving Humanity Means Saving Mexican Free-Tailed Bats.
Southern Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan
Bexar County and the City of San Antonio have begun a regional planning effort to balance the conservation needs of rare plants and animals with the demand for economic growth and development. The Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan (or "SEP-HCP") will allow the County and City to obtain a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) that will establish a locally controlled, simplified process for complying with the Endangered Species Act. The SEP-HCP will also create a coordinated regional conservation program to protect sensitive natural resources in south central Texas, including Bexar, Medina, Bandera, Kerr, and Kendall counties.
The Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan (SEP-HCP) website is up and running. The website will be the primary portal for information about the status of the project, including project updates, meeting announcements and materials, draft documents, and other information. The website also includes contact information for the project team and a form to sign up for email notices of important SEP-HCP events.