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HCP Public Meetings Summary: Hydraulic Project Approval and Wildlife Areas Habitat Conservation Plans

Category: Habitat - Habitat Conservation Plans

Date Published: July 2007

Number of Pages: 34

INTRODUCTION:

In late April and early May, 2007, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) held six public meetings throughout Washington state to introduce the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) development process for the Hydraulic Project Approval HCP and the Wildlife Areas HCP.

Background

An HCP is a management plan that provides long-term certainty of Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance while providing for conservation of species. WDFW is developing HCPs for land management activities occurring on state-owned and – managed Wildlife Areas and for activities authorized under the Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) program. WDFW began development of the HCPs in 2006. The HCPs are expected to take approximately six years to complete.

In 2006, WDFW interviewed stakeholders and tribal staff to identify public involvement and outreach needs for development of the HCP. The results of this needs assessment contributed to the development of strategies to foster collaboration throughout the HCP development process, including tribal government coordination, stakeholder involvement, and public meetings.1 WDFW is committed to conduct public outreach and stakeholder involvement activities to share information and provide multiple opportunities for input to those affected by the HCPs. These public meetings were the first step in the stakeholder and public involvement process for development of both HCPs.

Meeting Outreach

The public meetings were advertised by WDFW through fact sheets and reminder postcards mailed to the Department’s stakeholder database (approximately 1,400 contacts for the Wildlife Areas HCP and approximately 1,100 contacts for the Hydraulic Project Approval HCP). Stakeholders invited to attend the meetings included environmental and recreation interest groups; business and industry trade associations; federal, state, and local government agencies; public utility districts; irrigation districts; WDFW advisory committee and Wildlife Area citizen advisory group members; and other interested citizens. The meetings were also advertised on the Department’s Web site; by a general press release to area newspapers; and by email and newsletter outreach from several stakeholder interest groups.

Tribal governments were also informed of the public meetings, although WDFW is also discussing the HCPs separately with the tribes on a government-to-government basis.

Suggested Citation:
Jones & Stokes. 2007. HCP Public Meetings Summary. Hydraulic Project Approval and Wildlife Areas Habitat Conservation Plans. July. (J&S 06255.06.) Olympia, WA. Prepared for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.