Habitat Conservation Plans and the Endangered Species Act

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: LAW, POLICY, AND PERSPECTIVES, p. 220, Donald C. Baur, William Robert Irvin, eds., 2010

26 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2011 Last revised: 28 Feb 2015

See all articles by Douglas P. Wheeler

Douglas P. Wheeler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan Rowberry

Georgia State University - College of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Today, landowners and cooperating governments – federal, state, and local – increasingly rely on a unique conservation planning tool, habitat conservation plans (HCPs), to accommodate land development and the strict species and habitat protection requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon. This chapter outlines the history and development of HCPs, analyzes how HCPs incorporate current principles of adaptive management, discusses HCP compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and describes the emerging trend of Multiple-Species HCPs (MSHCPs) using the Western Riverside County MSCHP as a case study. We suggest that the statutory authority for HCPs be augmented in five ways: (1) Development of a reliable federal financing mechanism that would enable sponsors of “mature” HCPs to complete land acquisition while land prices are low; (2) Integration of ESA permitting requirements with other federal environmental mandates (e.g. section 404 permits, air quality permits); (3) Integration of ESA permitting requirements with state environmental requirements and consolidation of overlapping state and federal requirements; (4) Inclusion of provisions dealing with adaptive management that allow for unforeseen consequences of global phenomena like climate change; (5) Codification of the “No Surprises” Rule and the Incidental Take Permit Revocation Rule.

Keywords: Endangered Species Act, Habitat Conservation Plans, Environmental Law, Environment, Incidental Take, National Environmental Policy Act, Western Riverside County, Multiple-Species Habitat Conservation Plans, Adaptive Management, No Surprises Rule

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Douglas P. and Rowberry, Ryan Max, Habitat Conservation Plans and the Endangered Species Act (2010). ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: LAW, POLICY, AND PERSPECTIVES, p. 220, Donald C. Baur, William Robert Irvin, eds., 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1927477

Douglas P. Wheeler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan Max Rowberry (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

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