IPAA submitted comments this week on the joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service draft revision to their Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook. The comments echo concerns acknowledged by the Services that the HCP process is too costly, inefficient, and results are uncertain. Unfortunately, the revisions to the HCP process as provided in the Draft HCP Handbook will further impede rather than improve the planning process. These revisions create a more complex and regimented process that will reduce flexibility in HCP development, contradict the definition of adaptive management defined by the Services, eliminate the potential for innovative new conservation tools that can be incorporated into HCPs, provide little or no additional benefit to subject species and their critical habitat, and result in less certainty for parties seeking voluntary conservation agreements. Read IPAA’s full comments HERE.