Conservation Planning

Conservation planning involves the development of measures to guide long-term management of species and their habitats within the constraints posed by different types of land and resource use. The goals of a conservation planning document may include:

  • incorporating human land uses while avoiding harm to resources;
  • preserving, enhancing, or restoring habitats;
  • aiding the recovery of sensitive species;
  • restoring natural hydrologic and geomorphic processes;
  • mitigating impacts on biological resources; or
  • integrating ecological principles into other land use objectives.

For a plan to succeed, the regional interplay of ecological, physical, and human factors must be well understood. In addition, the needs and concerns of multiple stakeholders must be balanced and addressed in a collaborative manner that achieves maximum benefits. H. T. Harvey & Associates’ senior team leaders guide planning efforts by articulating challenges and opportunities, connecting the efforts and ideas of various stakeholders, and grounding proposed solutions in sound science. Working from this foundation, our in-house technical experts, including restoration planners and biologists, wildland managers, wetland and plant ecologists, permitting specialists, wildlife and fisheries ecologists, taxonomists, and landscape architects, seamlessly prepare effective management planning documents and assist in their implementation.

Our recent conservation planning efforts have included:

  • developing a large-scale Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Feather River region for the California Department of Water Resources;
  • helping the State of California develop a strategy for systematically incorporating ecosystem enhancements into the Central Valley’s flood protection system;
  • expertly implementing conservation and management plans (including monitoring and managing grazing practices, invasive plants, and habitats) in rangelands, vernal pool complexes, wildlands, forest preserves, and other open spaces;
  • assessing whether proposed conservation sites in Kaua‘i can provide high-quality habitat for special-status Hawaiian seabirds;
  • identifying and characterizing suitable conservation habitat for the rare Hawaiian hoary bat; and
  • working with Defenders of Wildlife to establish biodiversity conservation planning programs in other states

Conservation planning is intricately tied to the requirements and goals of regulatory agencies and environmental laws and policies. For example, HCPs and NCCPs often address regional sets of impacts on various biological resources. Developing these plans may involve:

  • Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 10 Habitat Conservation Planning or ESA Section 7 consultation with USFWS and/or NMFS, and the equivalent state ESA processes;
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), or Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) compliance;
  • endangered species surveys and monitoring; or
  • mitigation planning and monitoring.

H. T. Harvey & Associates has prepared thousands of compliance documents, technical studies, permit applications, and mitigation and monitoring plans, and we can expertly navigate the required consultation and planning processes.

More information about our land management services can be found here.

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