Clark County's Short-Term Desert Tortoise Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) was a landmark mitigation agreement developed by The Nature Conservancy and other conservation partners to assure the preservation of the desert tortoise while allowing development in the Las Vegas Valley to continue.
Clark County's Las Vegas Valley
The Las Vegas Valley provides crucial habitat for the desert tortoise, but had been facing powerful development pressure from Las Vegas, which was one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States for many years.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Formally approved by the USFWS in August 1991, the HCP permitted 22,352 acres of development to occur in the Las Vegas Valley in exchange for the establishment of a 400,000-acre desert tortoise preserve. Earlier, in a related action, the Conservancy helped settle a major lawsuit over the listing of the species, which has resulted in over $1 million being allocated to desert tortoise research.