Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Habitat Conservation Planning & Permits

"Conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats on private lands is critical to maintaining our ecological biodiversity."

Through Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with non-Federal entities including private landowners, local and State governments, business, and others to conserve and protect listed and unlisted species and their habitats on non-Federal lands. Non-Federal entities who are planning activities that may harm or “take” endangered or threatened wildlife or fish species are required to obtain a permit under Section 10 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to provide protection from violating the Endangered Species Act.

Our office offers a variety of permits under Section 10 that can meet your specific project needs. The Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office promotes habitat conservation planning tools and implements a number of permitting programs that promote habitat conservation and enhancing the survival of listed species, including:

Conservation Banking

Conservation banks are permanently protected privately or publicly owned lands that are managed for endangered, threatened, and other at-risk species. A conservation bank is like a biological bank account. Instead of money, the bank owner has habitat or species credits to sell to other landowners or entities in need of a mitigation tool. For more information, view our fact sheet.[pdf] For information on developing a Conservation Bank, view our Guidance for the Establishment, Use, and Operation of Conservation Banks [pdf] and Federal Register Notice:[pdf] 68 FR 24753, May 8 2003.

Habitat Conservation Planning Grants

Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act offers grant opportunities for incidental take permit applicants to plan and develop their habitat conservation plan. You can pursue this grant opportunity with our office and your State resource agency contact.

Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants

Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act provides grant opportunities to incidental take permit holders to expand their conservation efforts by adding more area to their conserved lands. You can pursue this grant opportunity with our office and your State resource agency contact.

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants

Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act provides a grant opportunity to purchase lands or conservation easements that promote the recovery of federally listed species.

Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plans

Section 10(a)(1)(B) permits (also referred to as incidental take permits) help landowners legally proceed with activities that might otherwise result in the illegal impacts to a listed species. Incidental take permits provide exceptions to prohibited actions described in Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (Act). Section 9(a)(1) of the Act and Federal regulation pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act prohibit the take of endangered and threatened fish and wildlife species. A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a document that supports an incidental take permit application pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Endangered Species Act. For more information on HCPs, view our HCP page.

Plants and Habitat Conservation Plans

Section 9(a)(2)(B) makes it unlawful to remove and reduce to possession plants on lands under Federal jurisdiction; or remove, cut, dig up, damage, or destroy federally listed plants in any area in knowing violation of any law or regulation of any State. Although Section 9 specifically prohibits certain activities that directly damage or destroy plants, the definition of take does not apply to plants. Therefore, incidental take permits do not authorize the “take” of plants. However, Habitat Conservation Plans offer conservation benefits to plants and regulatory assurances to incidental take permit holders that include plants in their HCPs. In addition, the Service is required to evaluate whether their issuance of a permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) would jeopardize the continued existence of any listed plant species during their internal consultation process; therefore, the Service actively seeks to have conservation measures for plants included in HCPs.

If you have any questions regarding the habitat conservation plannning process in the Ventura Fish & Wildlife Office, please contact:

By phone: (805) 644-1766

By mail:
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, CA 93003

Last updated: May 14, 2013