Habitat Conservation Plans and Climate Change: Recommendations for Policy
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The Center has released a report, coauthored by Center Director Melinda Taylor and Professor Holly Doremus of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, that makes policy recommendations to address the impacts of climate change on endangered species. The report focuses on habitat conservation plans, a tool used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to protect habitat for rare species on private land. Over 670 habitat conservation plans have been approved by the Services, and the plans cover more than 47 million acres of land across the United States. Professors Taylor and Doremus note that most scientists agree that climate change is likely to affect habitat for many species. The Services should consider policy options for adapting habitat conservation plans to ensure that the habitat protected continues to benefit the species the plans were designed to accommodate.