The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Forestry are pleased to announce the state has received a $750,000 federal grant to explore feasibility of a Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned forests west of the Cascades.

The grant comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Paired with $250,000 in state matching funds, it will support the initiation phase of a possible Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

This process will enable ODFW and ODF to determine whether such a plan will meaningfully improve habitat used by threatened and endangered species while allowing for sustainable forest management.

“By focusing on protecting vital habitat used by threatened and endangered species, a Habitat Conservation Plan may be a more holistic and cost-effective way to ensure these species are protected. Through this process, we aim to find out whether a Habitat Conservation Plan is in the best interests of Oregonians,” said Cindy Kolomechuk, HCP project manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

With grant funding secured, ODFW and ODF are establishing a steering committee with state and federal agency representatives, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of State Lands, and Oregon State University.

From Across Oregon Patch: https://patch.com/oregon/across-or/state-receives-1m-explore-forest-habitat-conservation