What is a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)?
A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a planning document designed to accommodate economic development to the extent possible by authorizing the limited and unintentional take of listed species when it occurs incidental to otherwise lawful activities. The plan is designed not only to help landowners and communities but also to provide long-term benefits to species and their habitats.
HCPs describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking, how those impacts will be minimized or mitigated, and how the conservation measures included in the plan will be funded.
If the Service finds an HCP meets the specified criteria, it issues an incidental take permit. This allows the permit holder to proceed with an activity that could otherwise result in the unlawful take of a listed species.