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The Value of Priority Habitat and Species Management Recommendations to Land Use Planning: A User Survey Summary

Category: Habitat - Land Use Planning

Date Published: July 2011

Number of Pages: 15

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife surveyed professional land use planners to identify the value they place on the Priority Habitat and Species (PHS) Management Recommendations. Results of a similar survey from 2003 (given to a similar group of users) were compared with current result. Overall use of PHS by this group increased dramatically between the survey periods. Problems with PHS identified in the earlier survey seemed to have been worked out. Specifically, respondents in 2003 pointed out that PHS did not provide adequate recommendations for conserving habitat in urban and suburban landscapes. Far fewer respondents expressed that same concern in the current survey. One reason for this change may be the recent release of a PHS publication that specifically addresses the management of wildlife in developing landscapes.

In addition to these more general questions, we asked a series of questions focused on two PHS publications. One was the recently released Landscape Planning for Washington's Wildlife: Managing for Biodiversity in Developing Areas. Some respondents said they have used this new publication. Most who have used it said they found it to have value for answering land use planning-related questions. The other publication we assessed through the survey was WDFW’s Management Recommendations for Washington’s Priority Habitats: Riparian. This older publication (published in 1997) is one that WDFW is looking into possibly updating. To assess if an update is warranted, we wanted to know who was using it. We also wanted to know what other publications were being used to addressed riparian habitat management. Most respondents said they still used the PHS riparian recommendations. Those that said they use other publications provided us with a wide range of titles.