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Habitat Conservation Plans and Climate Change: Recommendations for Policy

September 2015

Citation: 45 ELR 10863

Issue: 9

Author: Melinda Taylor and Holly Doremus

Habitat conservation plans (HCPs) are critical tools for managing species and their habitats. Climate change poses special challenges for successful habitat conservation planning, but there are several steps to take to address these challenges. Key provisions in government regulations and guidance are at odds with considering climate change in HCPs, and revisions are recommended, including reliance on adaptive management. By looking to these recommended best practices, habitat conservation planning can be strengthened not only to address climate change, but to better reflect the changing context and environment in which HCPs must be implemented.

Melinda Taylor is Senior Lecturer and Executive Director at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business of the University of Texas at Austin. Holly Doremus is James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation and Co- Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.

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