Issuing permit for East Contra Costa HCP July 25, 2007. The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan is an example of a regional HCP.

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs)

A better way to help species

Harming Listed Species. Endangered and threatened species often occur on non-Federal land. (Private, corporate, state, local or tribal) Otherwise-lawful activities on this land can harm protected species or their habitat. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) calls that harm take and prohibits it.

HCPs are planning documents prepared by non-federal parties as part of an application for an incidental take permit. An HCP includes:

  1. An assessment of the likely impacts on protected species
  2. Measures that will be taken to monitor, minimize and mitigate for impacts
  3. An analysis of alternatives not chosen.

After the Service approves an HCP, we issue an incidental take permit. This allows the party to legally proceed with an activity that otherwise would result in unlawful take of a protected species.

Conservation Plans and Strategies

There are instances where developing an HCP is unnecessary because of the relatively low level of planned development that would typically justify the need for and adequately fund an HCP. Our office has worked with the local communities of East Alameda, and Santa Rosa to develop long-term programs intended to mitigate adverse impacts on protected species in balance with the needs of the communities affected. We are nearing completion on a similar effort in the Suisun Marsh.

Where to Start?

Contact the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, Conservation, Planning and Recovery Division to determine whether a contemplated activity is likely to require an incidental take permit and to begin the application process. (916) 414-6588 (Ask for the HCP coordinator)

Some Major HCPs Within Our Jurisdiction

Regional HCPs

HCP Name & Permit Holder Link Plan
East Contra Costa East Contra Costa HCP Link
Kern Water Bank Kern Water Bank HCP Link
(Select Wildlife & Vegetation,
Metropolitan Bakersfield
Metropolitan Bakersfield HCP Link (13.2 MB PDF)
San Bruno Mountain
San Joaquin County
Stanford University

Regional HCPs Under Development

HCP Name & Permit Holder Link Draft Plan Notice of Action Implemation Agreement
Butte County
PG&E PG&E Maintenance HCP Link
Placer County PG&E Maintenance HCP Link
Santa Clara Santa Clara HCP Link
Solano Solano Co. HCP Link
South Sacramento
Yolo So. Sacramento Co. HCP Link

For a complete list of HCPs across the country, visit our national Conservation Plans & Agreements Database.