What is a Habitat Conservation Plan?

A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is part of a process outlined by Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act. Congress adopted Section 10 as a way to promote creative partnerships between public and private sectors and governmental agencies in the interest of species and habitat conservation. The HCP outlines what the landowner will do to minimize or mitigate the impact of its activities on federally protected species. In turn, federal wildlife agencies provide assurances to the landowner and issue incidental take permits. The landowner is required to prepare a HCP that sets forth the conservation measures the landowner will undertake.

What is a “take”?

The federal Endangered Species Act prohibits “taking” a wildlife species that is listed as threatened or endangered. “Taking” includes harming, harassing, or killing a wildlife species or, in some circumstances, destroying its habitat.

What is an Incidental Take Permit?

An ITP allows landowners, local governments, utility districts, institutions and other private and public entities to take federally protected species. The HCP process recognizes the impact of these land use activities and establishes a program to provide for a net benefit to the species.

What type of activities at Stanford could result in a take?

The potential Stanford activities that could result in a take are related to academic uses, general campus management and maintenance, redevelopment, future development and even the conservation programs.

What types of mitigation measures are included in a Habitat Conservation Plan?

Mitigation measures may take many forms, such as preservation of existing habitat, enhancement or restoration of a degraded or former habitat, creation of new habitat, establishment of buffer areas around existing habitat, modifications of land use practices, and restrictions on access.


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