Saturday, November 5, 2011

Acronym pair in geography and conservation biology: HCP/NCCP

In the term HCP/NCCP the acronym HCP stands for Habitat Conservation Plan and the acronym NCCP stands for Natural Community Conservation Plan [1-3]. Two plans for a unifying concept.  These plans provide a framework to protect natural resources in eastern Contra Costa County and eastern Almeda County in California. The promise is the coexistence of endangered species, wetlands and ecosystems next to urban landscapes. The goal is interconnected open space, accounting for the island extinction principle of conservation biology teaching that large preserves help species more than small ones, linked preserves better than separated ones, and broad preserves better than skinny ones [1].

Interconnected open space also makes parks, preserves, study areas, landmarks and trails better accessible for people by providing entry points close to their neighborhoods. It offers diverse routing options and less motorized activity to reach recreation hot-spots or serene and tranquil retreats. The envisioned parkland east of the buzzling Bay Area will fuse wilderness areas, newly acquired acres and existing parks such as the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Mt. Diablo State Park, Los Vaqueros Reservoir and the Sunol/Ohlone Regional Wilderness. Open space networking does not have to stop there, but may continue south to Henry W. Coe State Park—maybe even to Pinnacles National Monument one day. HCP/NCCP is an exciting and pioneering showcase of wilderness planning and regrowth.

Keywords: natural habitats, ecology, recreation, East Bay Regional Parks

References and more to explore
[1] John Hart: Planned Wilderness. A Big Deal for East Bay Open Space. Bay Nature October-December 2011, 11 (4), pp. 16-19, 28 [].
[2] East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy:
[3] NCCP Plan Summary - East Contra Costa County:

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