Habitat Conservation Planning in California: Dealing with the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act contains very specific requirements for the development of "recovery plans" for species listed by the Federal Government as endangered. These plans must be highly focused on protecting the species in question and their provisions can often be detrimental both to other species sharing the same habitat and to the human activity. It is therefore in the best interests of everyone, both humans and potentially endangered species, to manage the environment in such a way that species do not become endangered in the first place. Often such management can be achieved by identifying habitats that are being disrupted and taking the appropriate steps to head off the need for listing individual species as threatened and endangered. Often, though, these steps require the cooperation of private landowners and government agencies in unprecedented and extraordinary ways. Goldzband has been a leader in California in forging this kind of cooperation, and will talk about the development of formal or de facto habitat conservation plans as a powerful tool for environmental management, as well as a much better paradigm for the interaction of agencies and the public than the existing command and control approach.

Goldzband, an alumnus of Pomona College '80, is the Director of the California Department of Conservation. This agency has a complex mission ranging from land resource protection to beverage container recycling, and Goldzband has been Secretary Doug Wheeler's choice to initiate and manage the complicated business of bringing stakeholders together to solve impending Endangered Species Act issues.

This lecture by Larry Goldzband is sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center as part of the series on Regional and Global Environmental Issues.