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Development of a Safe Harbor Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl

Development of a Safe Harbor Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl

Client: Mankowski Environmental

Case Study: Peak worked with a team of wildlife biologists to produce a Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for landowners to conserve northern spotted owl habitat. Under contract with Mankowski Environmental Peak’s role was to edit, research, and format an SHA to enhance the conservation of the northern spotted owl. This agreement between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources gives forest landowners the option to voluntarily grow trees on their lands longer to provide habitat conducive to the northern spotted owl’s recovery. In exchange, the agreement provides regulatory assurances that the landowner may harvest the trees when the agreement ends. 

Impact: As a voluntary conservation tool for private landowners, SHAs help to support the recovery of plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The result of this effort was SB 5390 which was passed into law with the signature of the Governor of Washington State in 2023. 

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