What are HCPs

Habitat Conservation Plans, or HCPs, are prepared by individuals, companies, or public agencies under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) to mitigate for any "incidental take" of a listed species. An HCP provides comprehensive, long-term conservation measures for species listed as threatened or endangered, or species that could be listed in the future.

In exchange for implementation of an HCP, the federal government issues an "incidental take permit," which allows the HCP implementing party to continue otherwise lawful activities that may affect the covered species.