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Jurisdiction over endangered species' habitat: the impacts of people and property on recovery planning

Hatch, Leila, Uriarte, María, Fink, Daniel, Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura, Allen, Richard G., Webb, Colleen, Zamudio, Kelly, Power, Alison
Ecological applications 2002 v.12 no.3 pp. 690-700
databases, endangered species, habitats, landowners, planning, public lands
Coordinating management among multiple landowners and jurisdictional agencies is one of the greatest challenges confronting conservation planning. In this study, we assessed the impacts on recovery progress of the people and property involved in recovery plan development and implementation. We compared indices of recovery progress among endangered species whose primary habitat falls into one of four federal jurisdiction categories: nonfederal land only, <50% federal land, >50% but not all federal land, and all federal land. Species found exclusively on federal land are more likely to be improving in status. This may result from the fact that overall implementation of recovery tasks is lower among species occurring exclusively on nonfederal lands. Revision status, the existence of a centralized database, the designation of a person or committee to coordinate plan implementation, the parties involved in drafting the plan, and those designated as responsible for implementing recovery tasks are also significant factors in determining recovery plan implementation. Specifically, diversity of recovery team membership and the average number of participants increase with increasing federal jurisdiction, and tasks are more likely to be completed when more parties are involved in developing recovery plans. However, fewer recovery tasks are completed as the number of parties involved in implementation increases, suggesting that species on federal lands may benefit from less division of labor among agencies. Differences in drafting plans and administering their implementation appear to be stronger determinants of the observed variation in recovery success than differences in the kinds of threats facing species and their habitats.