California Mitigation Requires an Ecosystem Based Metric and Credit ~ No Longer Business As Usual

If you need an ecosystem mitigation assessment to determine mitigation credit(s), then use the Habitat Institute’s Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols (CHAP). CHAP uses a habitat and biodiversity valuing system to determine baseline conditions, impacts, mitigation and future conditions. In so doing it addresses the recent changes made to the California Fish & Wildlife Code by Assembly Bill 2402 [Sept. 2012] and 2087 [Nov. 2017.]

State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is mandated to use an ecosystem based management approach to decision making for all resource management decisions [Assembly Bill 2402, Section 10, 703.3 9/25/2012]. Further, the California Assembly passed Bill 2087 [November 2017] defines mitigation metrics and mitigation credits. This later legislation amends California  Fish & Wildlife Code 1854 (e) as follows, “the department [CDFW] shall require the use of consistent metrics that incorporate both area and quality of habitat and other natural resource [values] to measure the net change resulting from the implementation of conservation actions and habitat enhancement actions.” and  also amends California Fish & Wildlife Code 1856 (a)  by stating under mitigation credit agreements, “conservation action or habitat enhancement actions…may be used to create mitigation credits that can be used to compensate for impacts to focal species and other species, habitat and other natural resources.”  By so doing, these changes link the mitigation metric to the mitigation credit to an ecosystem management approach.

Just IMAGINE if every day was Earth Day.

“We believe that every day is Earth Day at The Habitat Institute.”

A more sustainable natural world is in our near future for the State of California and our Nation.

The following legislation in the State of California – Has set fourth required elements for the identifying and using the best-available-science:

California’s Marine Life Management Act (pg. 6 of 112)

Assembly Bill 2087 Section 1853, Subsection (2)

Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) Required Elements of an RCIS, Subsection: Stressors and Pressures (pg. 3 of 8)

This legislation affirms that identifying and using the best-available-science is of high priority for the State of California. The Habitat Institute’s System For Assessing Habitat Value called Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols or CHAP has been reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences; and has proven scientific proof-of-concept for all of the following:

Impact and Mitigation

Cumulative Effects

Conservation Strategies

Flood-Risk Management

Ecosystem Restoration

Natural Resource Damage Assessments

Now is the time, in joining us to take affirmative action(s) that will defend your belief that “Every Day Is Earth Day”. We do this by educating ourselves and others through the best-available-science.

Happy Every Day Is Earth Day!

-Team Habitat

Image courtesy of

The Habitat Team is wishing you the BEST in 2019:

Let this coming year be filled with our robust conservation goals met, founded in science, and contentment that we are doing all we can to create knowledge to enhance, maintain and value earth’s natural habitats and their biodiversity through time.

The Habitat Team

South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project Funded for $177 million

THI’s scientific methodology Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols (CHAP) drives Congress to award $177 million to address sea-rise for our

South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project

THI’s wildlife habitat assessment of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline study evaluated 173 polygons. Baseline conditions that consisted of 16 different habitat types were determined to describe the 6,674 acres (2,700 ha) site. The number of fish and wildlife species associated with the project totaled 253, of which 51 were fish, 165 birds, 30 terrestrial mammals, 6 reptiles, and 1 marine mammal.

South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project:
THI’s CHAP approach of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project Funded by Congress for $177 million.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ECO-PCX – Recommends CHAP for 5TH Approval in California.

Scientific Federal Panel for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ECO-PCX Recommends CHAP for 5TH Approval – Prado Basin, California.

The Habitat Institute (THI) implemented Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols (CHAP) for this federal approval and recommendation in Prado Basin project, which is located near Chino Hills, California. This habitat assessment area includes a portion of the Santa Ana River, and was approximately 5,000 acres.

CHAP is a scientific habitat quality quantification tool that produces a functional metric founded on species, habitats and functions that occur or could occur at a site or area. CHAP is a multiple species approach that assess 100’s of species and habitat components and their functions concurrently. CHAPs database was well-developed in collaboration with over 700 ecological experts.

This 5TH approval and recommendation of CHAP by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ECO-PCX, has prompted their assertion that official Regional Approval for the entire West Coast is now in motion. THI’s CHAP approach has also undergone the National Academy of Sciences review process.


Scops Owl Monitoring


Scops Owl – June 2018

The Habitat Institute is excited to support The Global Owl Project (GLOW) for obtaining 30 GPS tags for observing and checking the progress on Scops owls in Europe. These Lotex PinPoint50 Swift GPS tags weigh only 2.7 grams. GLOW is a wonderful Worldwide project initiative program working towards conservation for the world’s owls.

GLOW’s Mission: This project is a long-term, worldwide project to advance foundational aspects of science and conservation for the world’s owls.

This support was made possible by a generous private donation.

SOUL VIBES feat. Sol Tribe a Benefit Event for The Habitat Institute

MAY 11TH | Santa Cruz, California USA | Sol Tribe

Please Join Us for SOUL VIBES a benefit event for

The Habitat Institute

Sol Tribe will be making a surprise appearance on their Spring Tour in Santa Cruz, California for this event. We are hoping you too will join our community of fellow artist and get behind this cause.

Our NATURAL systems are complex, interrelated, and ever-changing, and deeply spiritual. We need them, though it is humbling to admit that they do not need us. Because of mankind’s unprecedented relationship with nature and our ability to alter and degrade these natural habitats, we must align and attune ourselves to its protection.

Santa Cruz, is coming together to take a proactive step to raise awareness and to support our local nonprofit The Habitat Institute. Together we can further the development and implementation of sound ecology and continue to strive in sustaining our natural habitats and their fish and wildlife for the future.

We are hoping you’ll join us in this cause!

Here is a link (below) to one of THI’s accomplishments. Our San Francisco South Bay Restoration project. So, you can get the idea of the complexity involved in continuing these important strategic scientific efforts in supporting our fish and wildlife and their habitats for our future.

The wildlife habitat assessment of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline study evaluated 173 polygons. Baseline conditions that consisted of 16 different habitat types were determined to describe the 6,674 acres (2,700 ha) site. The number of fish and wildlife species associated with the project totaled 253, of which 51 were fish, 165 birds, 30 terrestrial mammals, 6 reptiles, and 1 marine mammal.

Our event website will go-live soon and we will reveal our confirmed local Santa Cruz artist, supporters and contributors for this cause…a cause worth fighting for


Please Note: Address of this event is not currently available to the public.

Tribute to Capt. Paul Ashley

We recently became aware that on September 6TH, 2017, a mentor, beloved colleague and our dear friend, Paul Ashley passed away after a quarter century battle with heart disease. Paul worked tirelessly for wildlife and their habitats for over 40 years. He was employed with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for 30 years, and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority for 10 years. The majority of his career was focused on habitat evaluations, as Paul was well versed in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Habitat Evaluations Procedures (HEP), and for a number of years he was an instructor of their courses. Paul was an exceptional field biologist and later in his career became a mentor of The Habitat Institute’s development of Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols (CHAP), and implementation for its use at the State and Federal regulatory level as an ecological health indicator metrics for natural resource conservation, restoration and mitigation. Additionally, Paul took part in a number of field assessments with the Institute’s Habitat Team(s). His desire for the details and the importance of science led him to play an inspiring leadership role at The Habitat Institute. Paul Ashley’s knowledge of resources in wildlife science and his passion for nature has undoubtedly influenced many conservation scientists, and his efforts and friendship will be sorely missed, and not be forgotten by his successors.

Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers (OFWIM)

The Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers (OFWIM) is a international nonprofit group. Formally established in 1993 was cofounded by The Habitat Institute’s Director and Chief Ecologist Mr. O’Neill. He was OFWIM’s second President.

OFWIM’s Mission: To promote the management and conservation of natural resources by facilitating technology and information exchange among managers of fish and wildlife information.

OFWIM’s Vision: To be a bridge between natural resource and technical disciplines to promote partnering, collaborations, sharing of ideas, and best management practices in order to effectively apply technology to information and data needs of natural resource management.