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Contact

219 Perry Mayfield
Leander, TX, 78641
Phone: (512) 943-1921
Driving Directions

Gary Boyd
Environmental Program Coordinator
Phone: (512) 943-1921
[email protected]

Pct. 3 Commissioner
Valerie Covey
WCCF Board President
3010 Williams Drive, Ste. 153
Georgetown, TX 78628
Phone: (512) 943-3370 [email protected]

For Media Inquires:

Connie Watson
Public Information Officer
Phone: (512) 943-1663
[email protected]

 
The Future is Ours to Pass Along...

The Williamson County Conservation Foundation (WCCF) was established in December 2002 to provide for conservation of endangered species in Williamson County while helping to promote responsible development.

Williamson County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Rapid growth necessitates a regional approach to balancing development needs with the needs for conservation.

 
Texas Conservation Symposium 2019

The 5th Annual Texas Conservation Symposium will be January 10 and January 11, 2019 with a half-day program on Thursday and a full day's program on Friday.

A jointly sponsored event by Southwestern University and the Williamson County Conservation Foundation, once again registration, breaks and the Friday lunch will be provided thanks to the generous support of our many sponsors.

Also this year will be a Thursday evening social (details to come).

To register - which helps us get a count for breaks and lunch - please go to http://www.wilco.org/txconservationregistration.

For additional information, please call or email the WCCF at [email protected]

 
At the Park with Mark: Conservation!

Did you know that Williamson County is home to many interesting and rare animals, insects and land features? Well, it is! In this episode of “At the Park with Mark”, Preserve Steward Mark explores caves in the county, discusses conversation programs, and informs us on how Williamson County actively works to protect everyone and everything that calls Williamson County home!

 
What's Hot in Conservation News
Call for Abstracts and Instructions for Submission - Monday, September 30, 2019

Texas Conservation Symposium.

When: January 9-10, 2020

Where: Williamson County Georgetown Annex, 100 Wilco Way, Georgetown, Texas

Registration: The meeting is open to the public and registration is free.

For registration and to sign up for advanced information, go to: https://www.wilco.org/txconservation

Deadline for Submission of Titles and Abstracts: Friday November 15, 2019 at 11:55 pm

Send Titles and Abstracts to:  [email protected]

Format: Follow the format of the Sample Title and Abstract.

Student Awards: Monetary prizes will be presented for the best graduate and best undergraduate student presentations: $250 for first place, $150 for second place, $50 for third place.

Thursday Night Social: We will have a social gathering Thursday night.

You are invited to make a presentation at the Texas Conservation Symposium, to be held on Thursday and Friday, January 9-10, 2020 in Georgetown, TX.  Presentations are encouraged on topics related to conservation research, threatened and endangered species, species management, environmental dynamics, and regulation of threatened and endangered species in Texas.

All presentations will be oral, with 10 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers. The deadline for titles and abstracts is Friday, November 15, 2019 at 11:55 pm.  Please send title, authors, affiliation, and abstract (250 word maximum) to Ben Pierce at [email protected]. Please compose your title and abstract using the format in the sample abstract (attached).  

Prizes will be awarded for three best graduate and three best undergraduate student presentations: $250 for first place, $150 for second place, $50 for third place. To be eligible for prizes, student talks must be presented by a current undergraduate student or current graduate student. Student presentations may have nonstudent coauthors. Awards will be presented at the end of the symposium. Winners must be present to receive their awards.

The Texas Conservation Symposium is organized and hosted by the Williamson County Conservation Foundation and Southwestern University. The symposium is free and open to the public. This is an opportunity to present your research and conservation efforts to other researchers, conservation managers, and personnel from management and funding agencies.

 
ATTENTION! Golden-cheeked warbler participation fees - Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Williamson County Conservation Foundation Regional Habitat Conservation Plan, Section 6.2.2, Golden-cheeked warbler, contains the following language:

“The participation fee for take of golden-cheeked warbler habitat is $7,000/acre in the first year fees are charged and increasing by an estimated $500/acre each year as long as the mitigation credits last.” 

At its December 8, 2010 regularly scheduled meeting, the WCCF board authorized the WCCF management to make adjustments, as needed and based on recommendations from the Adaptive Management Committee, to Golden-cheeked warbler participation fees as follows: tracts smaller than 200 acres - $9000 per acre; 200 to 700 acres - $7500 per acre and greater than 700 acres - $7000 per acre.

The revised Golden-cheeked warbler participation fees became effective September 1, 2014.

 
 
Learning about Salamanders

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued its final listing rule on the Georgetown and Salado salamanders on February 22, 2014, placing both species in the "threatened" category. In addition the US Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed 4(d) Special Rule. Section 4(d) of the ESA allows the USFWS to establish special regulations for threatened (not endangered) species, subspecies, and Distinct Population Segments. These "4(d) rules" take the place of the normal protections of the Endangered Species Act and may either increase or decrease the ESA's normal protections. The ESA specifies that 4(d) rules must be "necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species."

The proposed 4(d) rule is expected to follow exactly (or very closely) the City of Georgetown water quality ordinance approved by the City on 12/20/13. For information on how to follow the ordinance guidelines call the City of Georgetown City Code and Development Department or contact the WCCF.

 
Our Work

WCCF has established several important cave preserves. Four have been recognized as Karst Fauna Areas under the Williamson County Habitat Conservation Plan.

  • Twin Spring Preserve - karst invertebrates, Golden cheeked warbler and Georgetown salamander
  • Cobb's Cavern Preserve - karst invertebrates
  • Priscilla's Well Preserve - karst invertebrates
  • Karankawa Preserve - karst invertebrates

Two preserves form natural areas within Williamson County’s Southwest Regional Park - Millenium Preserve and Wilco Preserve. Two preserves in the southern part of the county provide additional karst habitat - Beck Preserve and Chaos Cave Preserve.  Also the WCCF manages several smaller preserve areas in various parts of the county. Most provide habitat for karst invertebrates.

To inquire about Williamson County's site-specific Leave No Trace training for preserve areas please send an email to [email protected]. Now only the Twin Springs Preserve is available for public access but plans are to provide access to the greatest extent possible using a "Leave No Trace for Williamson County Preserves" training.

 
How to Get Involved
Long term management of the Regional Habitat Conservation Plan provides numerous opportunities for public involvement, and the WCCF Board encourages the public to become actively involved in this process. Through public involvement, WCCF has created and manages a plan that works for the people of Williamson County. The WCCF board meets on the fourth Wednesday of alternative months at 9:00am at:

Williamson County Parks Office 
219 Perry Mayfield
Leander, TX 78641
Participation Application

or at other sites TBD. If an alternative site is used, notice of the meeting and directions will appear here.

The 2017 Meeting Schedule is as follows:

  1. February 22 (moved to March 6 due to quorum issues)
  2. April 26 Board and Annual meeting (rescheduled to May 3)
  3. June 28
  4. August 23
  5. October 25
  6. December 27 (will be rescheduled to accommodate Christmas Holidays)
 
Recreation and Learning Opportunities

TwinSprings2 - resized - map by Paul Mack 3-8-17636245989329829199

Twin Springs Preserve has marked pathways encompassing approximately 3.5 miles of natural trails through the county’s Twin Springs Preserve which is managed by the Williamson County Conservation Foundation . The preserve may be reached from the Russell Park trail-head for the Goodwater Trail, approximately 3.25 miles from the Russell Park trail-head to the Twin Springs loop.

Also, the WCCF recently added a small (about six cars) parking area off of County Road 262. A kiosk with preserve information leads to the pathway loop.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

The Twin Springs Preserve provides habitat for endangered and threatened species.  Access is by permit only. Permits are free but must be obtained by attending an approved training session, “Leave No Trace Principles for Williamson County Preserves.” Information on training sessions may be obtained by calling 512/943-1921 or by sending an email to [email protected].

TwinSprings2 - resized - map by Paul Mack 3-8-17636245887582497499