Habitat Management Plans
What is a habitat management plan?
Habitat management plans (HMPs) are plans designed by cities, developments, or government agencies to maintain and protect habitat, especially in urban areas. Many states and cities require these plans by law, especially when a river is concerned. A city mandate in Spokane requires HMPs in any new development, and with current high growth levels in the county, these plans are more important than ever.
Habitat management plans include an assessment of impact on habitat or conservation area, effects on wildlife, effects on human health, mitigation efforts, and progress reports or predictions. Plans differ greatly depending on the location and ownership of the land.
Spokane County faces increasing pressure from development, especially threatening the conservation of critical habitats and species along the Spokane River corridor. Our research focuses on assessing current and past habitat management plans and conservation techniques promised in development proposals.
We created an evaluation rubric to consistently examine habitat management plans and determine both their successes and shortcomings. Our online platform displays this rubric, along with information regarding legal obligations of the city and a comprehensive map of existing habitat management plans for effective communication to the public.
In order to enhance the qualities of life for all organisms that live and interact with the Spokane River and surrounding ecosystems, it is important that developers are held accountable to their habitat management plans. We aim to increase public awareness and encourage all to participate in maintaining healthy ecosystems in the Spokane area.
We invite you to read, assess and critique the HMPs in the areas where you live, work, and play. Thank you for supporting Spokane’s efforts to preserve the places we call home.