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 view our CHAP Primer here: