Washington Forest Protection Association

Northern Spotted Owl Conservation in Washington State

Map of Habitat Conservation Plans set up by State and Private Forest Landowners in Washington State

How are the Northern Spotted Owls Protected?

Habitat Conservation Plans

Individual conservation plans are encouraged under the Endangered Species Act. The federal government realizes that conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species will require cooperation and participation from all land managers. A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a long-term, 50- to 100-year land management plan that is designed to protect threatened and endangered plant and animal species and their habitats. This provision of the ESA was signed into law and encouraged by President Clinton. All plans have an ongoing adaptive management and monitoring requirement to ensure the goal of protecting the species and its habitat are being met. HCPs were developed in Washington State on nearly 2 million acres of state and private lands to provide conservation plans for the Northern Spotted Owl.


  • Total Forestland
  • Habitat Conservation Plans

Owl Sites

Facts & Figures

1.9 million acres

State and private landowners developed conservation management plans for the spotted owl which were approved by the federal government.

State and private habitat conservation plans

In concert with the Northwest Forest Plan, HCPs offer the opportunity to develop landscape scale approaches to Northern Spotted Owl habitat conservation rather than focusing on individual owl sites.

Non-federal contribution to owl conservation

State and private lands contribute to owl conservation by providing dispersal habitat which allows owls connectivity across their range.