Now that the habitat conservation plans (HCPs) are being more actively used by private and public project proponents in the “Permit Areas,” the Conservancy steps up its advancement of implementation of the HCPs. That includes constructing additional managed marsh complexes, largely for the benefit of the Giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) and Pacific pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata; also known as the Northwestern pond turtle).
Since advancing HCP implementation, the Conservancy engages with restoration ecologists, landscape architects, civil engineers, wildlife biologists, botanists and many others in developing plans for these structures. The HCPs also have specific criteria as to where they can be located as well as certain design elements that must be followed. While most of the illustrations prepared in this preliminary work would seem boring to most (in that they are engineering specifications, survey data, detailed elevation measurements, etc.), the preliminary design illustrations are fascinating.
Here is one preliminary design for the Conservancy’s next planned managed marsh project. It acknowledges certain soil constraints, elevation differentials and includes a few opportunistic features that are intended to benefit the HCPs’ Covered Species. We use it as a “thought starter” where we look for anticipated additional constraints as well as opportunities to enhance the project so more value is achieved by its construction and operation.
We hope you agree it’s exciting and beautiful.