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Habitat Conservation Plan

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The Board of County Commissioners did not re-establish the Habitat Conservation Plan Advisory Committee January 12, 2010. The discussion was Item 12.A. on the agenda.

Overview HCP Trees - picture of a forest
Habitat Conservation Plans are required by the United States Fish and Wildli fe Service (USFWS) when this agency considers issuance of a permit that will allow a "take" of a species. The Endangered Species Act defines a "take" of a threatened or endangered species as harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect any threatened or endangered species. Harm may include significant habitat modification where it actually kills or injures a listed species through impairment of essential behavior (e.g., feeding, nesting or reproduction). The USFWS issues incidental take permits that authorize the take of a listed species only when an applicant has minimized and or mitigated adverse impacts.

The USFWS states, "The purpose of the habitat conservation planning process associated with the [incidental take] permit is to ensure there is adequate minimizing and mitigation of the effects of the authorized incidental take." HCPs have been typically developed for single projects. The USFWS reports that HCPs appear to be evolving from these single projects to multiple projects covering larger areas in order to address "broad-based, landscape-level planning, utilized to achieve long-term biological and regulatory goals."

In the process of developing an HCP, the County would identify listed species habitat at risk from development activities and conversely potential habitat that could be protected or restored where development activities would be severely restricted or prohibited. The HCP would identify mitigation mechanisms that if implemented in the areas to be protected would compensate for those activities that would be allowed in the identified development areas.

On February 12, 2005, county staff provided the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) with information and recommendations for possible elements of a Comprehensive Wildlife and Listed Species Management Plan. One element was to appoint a formal Advisory Committee to evaluate the feasibility of a HCP. On April 26, 2005, the BCC adopted Resolution 2005-174 to form this committee and appointed the initial members on June 14, 2005.

You can also find published Public Documents by clicking here.

Content updated Date January 12, 2010

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