The Kaua‘i Seabird Habitat Conservation Program (KSHCP) project is a joint effort of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources - Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR-DOFAW) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), administered through the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawai‘i. With funding from the federal section 6 grant program, DLNR-DOFAW is preparing the KSHCP to provide interested businesses and agencies with a way to attain legal authorization and coverage for unavoidable incidental take of endangered and threatened seabirds due to light attraction (and other utilities) and to achieve net conservation benefits for Kaua'i’s endangered and threatened seabirds.
The image on the right, "e huliamahi kakou i ka punanaola", by Paul Chang is interpreted as: "let's join together and cooperate to protect the nest of life". Native wildlife is likened to a nest that we humans
hold in our cupped hands -our choice to care for habitats and species. Fires of ancestry glow in the background as a symbol of the connection to Hawaii's ancient and vital heritage and culture.
The central benefit to participating businesses and agencies will be obtaining legal coverage for existing facilities and planned projects under the KSHCP through participation in a streamlined, and cost-saving permitting process.
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) are voluntary and are applicable when a non-federal entity/facility causes “take” impacts to endangered and threatened species. The HCP will enable participants to achieve legal authorization for incidental take and provide an island-wide framework for avoiding and minimizing the causes of incidental take on Kaua‘i: primarily outdoor lights and overhead utilities. participation in the HCP will also address the long-term funding, implementation, and monitoring of mitigation actions required to restore and protect seabird populations on Kaua‘i, thus fostering recovery of listed species.
The KSHCP will lay out avoidance, minimization, and mitigation actions that participants would agree to implement as a requirement of coverage. Unavoidable take will be mitigated using fees paid to join the KSHCP. These fees will be used to implement, monitor, and adaptively manage mitigation projects designed to enhance populations of Newell’s shearwater, Hawaiian petrel, and band-rumped storm petrel. Many other native wildlife and plant species would also benefit from conservation actions helping to provide a rich natural heritage for future generations.