The Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a 30-year plan to mitigate impacts from Pierce County Planning and Public Works' flood risk reduction maintenance and operations activities. The HCP is one of the documents needed to obtain an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Prepared under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the plan is designed to protect and contribute to the restoration of habitat in Pierce County for the covered species that may be affected by the maintenance and operation of the county's flood risk reduction system. Having the ITP would reduce long-term permitting time and costs for Pierce County, especially along county-owned levees and revetments. This would allow for faster responses to needs and issues along the river.
The HCP describes anticipated effects of proposed maintenance and operations activities along rivers and streams and how county staff and contractors will minimize or mitigate the impacts to habitat and species. Those activities could include: removing vegetation along levees for inspection and maintenance, flood fighting or other emergency work, culvert maintenance and other tasks. The HCP is not a species recovery plan, but it does contribute to the recovery of the species through minimization and mitigation of impacts. The HCP was recommended in the county's Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan.
The ITP allows Pierce County to conduct routine maintenance activities along segments of the Puyallup, White, Carbon and Nisqually rivers, that might result in incidental takes, without violating the ESA. If the HCP and ITP are approved, these takes would not require further consultation with NOAA or USFW for the covered activities and ensures the county's maintenance and operations activities are in compliance with ESA.
Stakeholders & Community
The county will seek input from stakeholders and the community as aspects of the plan are considered and developed.
Coordination with Services on the development of the plan and Environmental Assessment (EA)
Continue outreach and coordination with agencies, tribes and communities
Obtain resolution from the Pierce County Council to submit the ITP application to the Services
Publish draft NEPA document and HCP with public comment period
The Services will prepare a Biological Opinion and ITP
Public final NEPA document
Services issue ITP
Obtain ordinance from Pierce County Council for implementation and funding of the plan
Pierce County will begin implementing the HCP
Presentations about the HCP
Pierce County staff is available to provide presentations about the development of the HCP at local city council meetings and community meetings upon request. To request a presentation, please contact Angela Angove.