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Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook

The Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (Handbook) was finalized in November, 1996, providing the first comprehensive HCP program guidance.  An addendum to the Handbook, released June 1, 2000, supplements information in the Handbook and provides additional guidance in the areas of biological goals and objectives, adaptive management, monitoring, permit duration, and public participation. Nothing in the Handbook or addendum is intended to supersede or alter any aspect of Federal law or regulation pertaining to the conservation of threatened or endangered species.

  • Cover Page, Table of Contents, Preface
  • Chapter 1  The ESA and incidental take permits
  • Chapter 2   Overview of FWS and NMFS roles
  • Chapter 3   Pre-application coordination and HCP development
  • Chapters 4-5  Treatment of unlisted species / environmental analysis and documentation
  • Chapter 6   Application requirements and processing procedure
  • Chapters 7-8   Issuance criteria for incidental take permits / definitions
  • Appendix 1   Announcement of implementation of Incidental Take Permit  provision of the ESA, from the Federal Register
  • Appendix 2   Reference list of publications on HCPs and Conservation Biology
  • Appendix 3  Example of an HCP Memorandum of Understanding
  • Appendix 4  “Template” implementing agreement
  • Appendix 5  FWS guidance on addressing migratory birds and eagles
  • Appendix 6  FWS guidance on integrating HCPs with National Wildlife Refuges
  • Appendix 7  Safe Harbor Policy
  • Appendix 8  Example of an integrated HCP/EA
  • Appendix 9   (incomplete)
  • Appendix 10  General permit conditions (from CFR)
  • Appendix 11  Endangered and threatened species permit conditions (from CFR)
  • Appendix 12   FWS and NMFS Regional Offices
  • Appendix 13  (not currently available on-line)
  • Appendix 14   (not currently available on-line)
  • Appendix 15   FWS Federal fish and wildlife permit
  • Appendix 16   Examples of received applications and NEPA document availability notices from the Federal Register
  • Appendix 17   Examples of issued Incidental Take Permits
  • Appendix 18   “Template” Federal Register Notice of Permit Issuance
  • Addendum (Executive Summary) [84KB]
  • Addendum (Questions and Answers) [125KB]


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Last updated: April 14, 2015