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Strategic Habitat Conservation in Idaho


The Service strives to apply the best available science in its planning and decision-making processes and as a tool to measure conservation success. The IFWO will apply the Service’s Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) approach to implement a science-based, adaptive process to our conservation efforts. The SHC process will employ all of the IFWO’s tools to conserve and protect healthy and sustainable ecological processes within the selected conservation areas.

  • Need

    MacFarlane's four o'clock / Credit: Mark Lowry / BLM

    Shrinking agency budgets require us to prioritize the most cost-effective and long-lasting conservation targets to be more effective. We need to focus our efforts at larger scales to successfully address conservation challenges such as changing land use and climate.

  • Focus

    Northern Idaho ground squirrel / Credit: Greg Burak / USFWS

    We are focusing our limited resources and capacity on areas of compelling conservation concern. In doing so, our aim is to target areas of sufficient size to better address ecosystem health; conserve “Priority Species” (e.g., greater sage-grouse, salmonids, mule deer); address the growing threats associated with climate change (e.g., drought, plant invasions, altered fire frequency); and growing and changing resource use: wind, solar, oil, and gas development, urbanization and a growing human population.

  • Approach

    Whitebark pine / Credit: USFWS

    1. Approach is flexible to allow for the consideration and adoption of the priorities of partners;

    2. Approach draws from existing conservation and management plans, (e.g., Recovery Plans, State Wildlife Action Plan, and Rapid Ecoregional Assessments, etc.), to identify and prioritize conservation actions;

    3. Encourage development of strong and supportive collaboration with partners; and

    4. Facilitate the pooling of resources to accomplish selected actions and monitoring efforts.

  • Strategy

    MacFarlane's four o'clock / Credit: Mark Lowry / BLM

    1) Strategic selection of high value landscapes to focus our collective efforts Priority Conservation Strategy);

    2) Prioritizing mutually beneficial conservation actions with partners in those conservation areas;

    3) Collaboratively implementing management actions; and

    4) Measuring success and adapting as needed.

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