Rethinking Regional Habitat Conservation Plan Monitoring Programs: An Innovative Approach in San Diego, California

Greer, Keith A.; Rocks, Melanie Johnson
July 2006
Endangered Species Update;Jul-Sep2007, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p91
Academic Journal
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) have become a common, albeit still controversial, method for conserving endangered species at the regional level while balancing the social and economic needs of a region. Since 1982 when Congress first amended the Endangered Species Act to allow for HCPs, more than 400 HCPs have been implemented (USFWS 2005). Monitoring is a mandatory element of all HCPs (USFWS 1996) and is part of the implementation obligations. Without adequate and appropriate monitoring, the success of plans cannot be evaluated (Kareiva et al. 1999). This paper will focus on experiences in the review and revisions to the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) monitoring program. The MSCP, adopted in 1998, is a large and complex HCP covering portions 900 square miles (2330 km²) of San Diego County, California (Ogden 1996). We suggest that this process can serve as a model for other HCPs in the initial development and periodic review of monitoring programs.


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