Skip to content

Protecting Native Wildlands Through the Natural Community Conservation Plan

PictureBommer Canyon in the City of Irvine, protected by the NCCP/HCP

​The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are made up of a collection of 25 distinct biological and geological treasures on more than 40,000 acres of land in Orange County. When discussing the Landmarks, we often say these lands are protected, but how exactly are these lands protected?
 
One initiative that protects much of the lands that make up the Landmarks is the Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP). Under the coordination of the Natural Communities Coalition (NCC), an Irvine-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the NCCP/HCP provides local governments, land managers and private landowners with a framework for protecting biological diversity on the land with a focus on ecosystem health and long-term stewardship planning.  Established in 1996, the NCCP/HCP uses information gained from research and monitoring to inform restoration and preservation strategies that will ensure the health of critical native habitats and natural processes.

The Landmarks are a biodiversity hotspot, made up of important natural habitats that support a large concentration of different plant and animal species. In fact, there are such a wide variety of plant and animal species throughout the Landmarks that the area is considered as biodiverse as a rainforest. The primary habitats on the Landmarks are coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, native grassland, chaparral, and riparian communities.  All of these systems are interconnected and mutually support each other, which is why the wholistic approach of the NCCP/HCP is so essential. 
 
Irvine Ranch Conservancy works closely with landowners and land management partners including OC Parks, the City of Irvine, and the City of Newport Beach, as well as the Natural Communities Coalition, to help fulfill the initiatives of the NCCP/HCP and steward these lands to the highest possible standards, ensuring they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
 
For up-to-date information about NCCP/HCP projects and initiatives, sign-up for the NCC newsletter at occonservation.org. To learn more about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org