The Project includes the urban development of up to 14,200 acres of Natural Lands or 33,400 acres of Open Lands within the 261,120-acre Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan (MBHCP) area, as defined in Figure 2 of the MBHCP, dated April 1994. The Project as defined in the ITP is specifically conditioned by the MBHCP, associated Implementation/Management Agreement dated August 15, 1994, and a federal incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the federal Endangered Species Act issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on August 24, 1994. The 14,200 acres of Natural Lands or 33,400 acres of Open Lands that can be developed includes all MBHCP authorized development since 1994; as a result, only a portion of the development acreage contemplated in the 1994 MBHCP remains; as of December 31, 2012, there were 3,116.67 acres converted from Natural Lands to Urban Development, and 18,405.5 acres converted from Open Land to Urban Development. The ITP specifically authorizes development as contemplated in the MBHCP from the time of issuance of the ITP to ITP expiration in 2019.
The Project will cause permanent impacts to up to 14,200 acres of habitat for Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), San Joaquin antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni), and Bakersfield cactus (Opuntia basilaris var treleasei) (Covered Species). The Project is expected to result in incidental take of San Joaquin kit fox and San Joaquin antelope squirrel, which are designated threatened species, and Tipton kangaroo rat and referenced above as issued by CDFW authorizes incidental take of Covered Species subject to various terms and conditions, including the requirement that all authorized impacts are fully mitigated.