What does the study mean to property owners?
The first phase of the study, the inventory phase, did not result in any recommendations for protection measures, regulations or other conservation programs, but in a map of habitat areas and an evaluation of mapped habitat areas. If a special habitat type was mapped on your property, it is possible that the area may later be recommended for protection measures or it may become eligible for non-regulatory conservation incentive programs. These recommendations were made during phase II of the study.
The SRHS may result in protection recommendations for some habitat areas within the study area and not others. There are no recommendations yet on any protection measures or on which areas might eventually be protected. During the inventory phase, property owners were able to provide valuable information on habitats in their neighborhoods, and help ensure the accuracy of features mapped on their properties.
Property owner and citizen input was essential throughout the SRHS process. Some of the information on the location of special habitat types came from people who live in the study area. Such information was verified by the consultants before being added to the inventory. In addition, a large number of property owners were asked for permission to allow the consulting scientists to access their property to collect field data. Ultimately, the entire community was asked to comment on which habitats should be protected and what protection mechanisms to use.