Welcome to the CHAP Registry

The Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols or CHAP is an accounting and appraisal tool that is simple, yet scientifically advanced methodology used to measure habitat quality by evaluating biodiversity within a habitat type and/or structural condition. The outcome of a CHAP evaluation is a Habitat and Biodiversity (HAB) metric that gives a per acre value for each homogeneous polygon delineated. CHAP accounts for species-habitats-functions at a site that is also joined to a peer-review Integrated Habitat and Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) to create appraised “values” between site(s) and different management activities. CHAP history is:

  • 2004-2006 ~ 2 year collaborative effort with 11 resource agencies that included: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Bureau of Land Management, Oregon DEQ, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Dept. of State Lands, Federal Highway Administration, NOAA Fisheries Service, State Historic Preservation Office, U.S. EPA, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as part of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation mitigation requirements for their Bridge Replacement Program.
  • 2007-2009: Endorsed by the Oregon Governor’s Office for Assessing Mitigation; Endorsed and Used by: Oregon Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Fish and Game, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, and Bonneville Power Administration; Used by Corp of Engineers – Los Angeles District; Used to Assess Cumulative Impacts; Initial Concept Published in the National Academies of Science –Transportation Research
  • 2010 – to current: Received a Patent for the Method from the US Patent and Trademark Office – first of its kind ; Bonneville Power Administration and Oregon Fish and Wildlife are Using the Method to Evaluating over $140 million in Land Acquisitions; Ventura County, California and National Park Service evaluated the Method for Use in the Santa Monica Mountains; and Single Species Concept Published in the June Edition of American Fisheries.

The CHAP approach develops detailed habitat maps, documents current baseline conditions, tracks inherent habitat value, habitat composition and potential species at a site, allows for quick assessment of management strategies/actions, establishes a consistent method to assess multiple habitats and multiple species, and provides credit and debit values for a site. Please see the below maps to obtain an idea of the type and kind of information generated by a CHAP assessment.

For more information please contact Tom O'Neill at habitat@nwhi.org

Willamette Valley Projects

Green Island

NHI has worked in the Willamette Valley with ODFW, BPA, the Greenbelt Land Trust, The McKenzie River Trust, and the Trust for Public Lands to evaluate two sites for wildlife habitat mitigation purposes. The Green Island project resulted in the purchase of the ~1000 acres site by the McKenzie River Trust with partial funding from BPA. BPA also purchased a conservation easement from the McKenzie River Trust. Situated at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette River, this site has a high potential to restore native riparian forest and provide cold water refuge for native fish.

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Noble Farms

A conservation easement was purchased by the Greenbelt Land Trust at the Noble Farms Site as a prime location to restore native upland grasslands in the Willamette Valley. Fine-scale wildlife habitat assessments were done to develop a habitat valuation. Examples of maps produced follow.

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Bald Top Reference Site

NHI worked with ODFW to asses a reference site for grassland communities in the Willamette Valley. Bald Top is a site located within the Finley National Wildlife Refuge between Corvallis and Eugene Oregon. It is representative of the desired condition for "Oak Savannah" Habitat in the Valley.

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In the summer of 2010, Bonneville Power Administration and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sought an appraisal of the Zena, Trappist Abbey, and Wildish Properties as a potential mitigation sites to off-set losses that have already occurred because of hydro development in the Willamette Valley. The Zena Property lies about 15 miles west of Salem, Oregon in an area known as the Eola Hills and is approximately 1,476 acres in size.


Trappist Abbey

The Trappist Abbey site lies just outside Lafayette, Oregon in Yamhill county and is about 1,333 acres.



While the Wildish property is located in Lane County just outside Eugene, Oregon and is 1,236 acres.


Oregon Chub Recovery Crediting System Publication

Single Species Assessment

In conjunction with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, NHI has developed a recovery crediting approach that supports conservation banking for a single species, endangered Oregon chub, a small floodplain minnow. The abstract for this paper can be viewed using the link below.


Washington Projects

Hanaford Coal Mine Cumulative Impact Study

NHI worked with Jones and Stokes and Associates in 2005 to assess the cumulative effects of mining activities at the Hanaford Coal mine near Centralia, Washington. Using archived historic aerial imagery and future proposed mine conditions, an assessment of grond conditions in 1850, 1970, 2004 and 2015 were given.

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Yakima Valley Gravel Mine 404 Permitting

NHI has worked in the Yakima River Valley Washington to develop the wildlife assesment for a 404 permitting process to the on proposed gravel mine activities. Assessments were given using historical data and aerial imagery for 1850, 1927, 2005 and projected to 2022. This 404 permit was accepted by all Federal, State and local agencies that were involved.

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California Projects

Big Bear Lake

NHI has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a wildlife habitat assessment of Big Bear Lake in Southern California for the past two years. The coarse-scale assessment was conducted on approximately 10,000 acres surrounding Big Bear Lake to set the landscape and regional context of the project. Fine-scale analyses were then used to establish baseline values for 48 spatially explicit polygons identified by the project members as a having potential for management actions. Currently we are working to assess the effects of 12 management alternatives; Below are several example maps.

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