Public participation in the development and implementation of the Etowah Habitat Conservation Plan
MetadataShow full item record
The Etowah River is one of the most diverse river systems in the United States with 91 native fish species and numerous species of mussels known from the system. The Etowah River lies in the northern edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area, and therefore is in an area of intense development. Currently there are 15 species listed as federally or state threatened, endangered, or likely candidates (9 fishes, 5 mussels, and one aquatic insect). An interdisciplinary team of scientists, lawyers, educators and policy analysts has begun the process of developing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Etowah watershed, by involving both local government representatives and public stakeholders. Research on many HCPs around the United States has shown that public participation in the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan is one of the most important aspects in the outcome of the plan. The role of the Etowah River as a resource to those who live in the watershed makes public input particularly significant in the development of an HCP. The goals of those initiating the public participation component of the Etowah HCP are twofold: 1) In the short-term we wish to educate stakeholders and interested parties on background information in order to solicit involvement in the process and to effectively and appropriately incorporate the input into the Etowah HCP; 2) In the long term we wish to increase awareness and stewardship across the Etowah watershed.