July 2015 - A final CHAP habitat assessment report for the San Francisco Bay South Shoreline project that addresses sea rise issues was submitted and accepted by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

May 2015 - Northwest Habitat Institute produces its first IBook, A Guide to Oregon and Washington Wetland Wildlife and their Habitats. Schools maybe able to receive a discount, please contact Tom at

April 2015 - Northwest Habitat Institute was accepted into Patagonia's 1% for the Planet program. PDF Announcement

February 2015 - NHI's Director will be presenting CHAP to the Natural Capital Symposium held at Stanford University. PDF Announcement

October 2014 - Southern California Association of Governments accepts and makes available to the public the Conservation Framework and Assessment. View Report

September 2014 - A final version of a Conservation Framework and Assessment Strategy that highlights the CHAP approach at multiple scales was submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments.

August 2014 - A final report that would update wildlife goals and objectives as part of the FERC process for the Cowlitz Falls, WA project was submitted to Lewis County PUD.

August 2014 - CHAP assessment was completed and submitted to Grand Ronde Tribes as part of a recent land acquisition.

August 2014 - Corps of Engineers begins 2 new projects using CHAP.

July 2014 - Corps of Engineers' Planning Center of Expertise begins an extensive review of the CHAP approach for regional approval.

June 2014 - Corps of Engineers restart Aliso Creek project using CHAP.

May 2014 - Corps of Engineers and City of Los Angeles have agreed to a $1 billion dollar habitat restoration project for the Los Angeles River. NHI did the baseline conditions and alternative scenarios using CHAP.

May 2014 - Grand Ronde Tribe has contracted with NHI to develop a CHAP evaluation of recently acquired land.

February 2014 – Specific Species Assessment Method (SAM) for the Oregon Chub that was done in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife assists with the delisting of the first fish species ever (Oregon Chub) in the United States.

February 2014 – A draft habitat evaluation for the San Francisco Bay South Shoreline project alternatives and a revised baseline condition reports were submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

December 2013 - Northwest Habitat Institute continues to maintain the Integrated Habitat and Biodiversity Information System or IBIS for the Columbia River Basin at no-cost to Bonneville Power Administration or Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

November 2013 - Ecology Review of Los Angeles River - The Panel found the Combined Habitat Assessment Protocol (CHAP) habitat analysis to be very impressive. Using the CHAP methodology, a comprehensive analysis of current conditions, future conditions without remediation and an evaluation of the alternatives have been conducted in a reasonable and defensible fashion. Assumptions are clearly laid out with respect to what the restoration would mean to the type and amount of habitat.

September 2013 - Southern California Association of Governments selects SAIC and the Northwest Habitat Institute to prepare a Regional Habitat Conservation Assessment Methodology and Database.

August 2013 - LIDAR Imagery: Bureau of Land Management enters into an Agreement with the Northwest Habitat Institute to process LIDAR imagery to help identify Special Habitats.

July 2013 - USACE calls for Environmental Services for Development of Combined Habitat Assessment Protocol for Projects within California, Arizona, Southern Nevada, Southwestern Utah, and Other Areas Served by the South Pacific Division
Solicitation Number: W912PL-12-S-0008.

June 2013 - Lewis County PUD is using the CHAP approach to determine baseline conditions at their Cowlitz Falls, Washington project.

June 2013 - Orange County Water District is using the CHAP approach to determine baseline conditions and alternative scenarios for Ecosystem Restoration project within the Prado Basin.

May 2013 - The USACE Center of Expertise has approved the Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols or CHAP method for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project in California.

April 2013 - The City of Portland selects ICF International and Northwest Habitat Institute as on-call environmental consultants.  

Guide to Priority Plants and Animals


Northwest Habitat Institute, of Corvallis Oregon's CHAP Method is the first of its kind in determining a systematic habitat appraisal for the Willamette River Basin

Portland, OR – Oct 22, 2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. — COMBINED HABITAT ASSESSMENT PROTOCOLS was the procuring cause in settling a three decade discussion between Bonneville Power Administration, the federal power marketing agency and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The settlement requires BPA to protect 20,000 acres of wildlife habitat in the Willamette River basin through 2025.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed the $150 million contract Friday October 22, 2010. Stating;

"This agreement marks a landmark partnership between federal, state and local governments and organizations," Kulongoski said. "This agreement allows us to not just maintain the crown jewel of the Willamette Valley — but to restore and enhance habitat for many future generations of Oregonians."

Northwest Habitat Institute’s recently patent habitat appraisal and accounting technique was the only method used in determining a systematic habitat appraisal for this ongoing issue. This habitat assessment tool known as CHAP, employs a spatially based multi-purpose field inventory accounting tool that when applied to a site or area will generate an accurate appraised habitat value. The first method of it’s kind in integrating multi-species, habitat characteristics, including evaluation of invasive plants and other anthropogenic effects.

Contact Info:

Northwest Habitat Institute
Thomas A. O’Neill


The Northwest Habitat Institute has just added our Habitat Appraisal and Registry Page!

To learn more about the exciting work NHI is doing on habitat assessment and mitigation accounting systems please click the HAB Registry tab to the left or click on the link below.

HAB Appraisal and Registry Page

Wetland Wildlife Habitat Book  

A Guide to Oregon and Washington's Wetland Wildlife and their Habitats


This book is being given away free to schools and school districts through charitable donations. The printing and distribution of the book is supported by The Fred Meyer Foundation, Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Departments and Oregon and Washington Chapters of The Wildlife Society. This book would be excellent for environmental education and appropriate age levels are classes from middle to high school.

A Guide to Oregon and Washington's Wetland Wildlife and Their Habitats book is now being printed! Thanks to all those that have supported this project. School districts that are interested in obtaining copies of this book should download and fill out the following form and email this back to Andy Hackethorn at

Download Order Form Here*

*If you do not have Microsoft word to view this file, or you have any questions, please email or call Andy Hackethorn at or 541-753-2199

Sample Photo 1

Sample Photo 2

Sample Photo 3

Sample Photo 4

Sample Photo 5

Sample Photo 6

Sample Photo 7



Salmonid Protocols Book The Salmonid Field Protocols Handbook: Techniques for Assessing Status and Trends in Salmon and Trout Populations is now available

PHaCS The Pacific Northwest Habitat Classification System (PHaCS) Database is now available

VEMA The VEMA Vegetation Management Database is now available

Click Here to View the Latest Ecology Picture of the Week [
Link ]

Mission Statement

The Northwest Habitat Institute (NHI) is a non-profit scientific and educational organization. Our mission is to promote and facilitate the conservation of Pacific Northwest native species and habitats through:

  1. Development and dissemination of data-rich and verifiable information, maps, and tools; and
  2. Conducting habitat appraisals to determine nature's value of our land & water.

Mission Statement Specific objectives of the institute include developing products and tools that assist landowners and land managers conserve native species and habitats, developing and implementing inventorying and monitoring programs, and coordinating and facilitating activities (e.g., habitat restoration,land-use planning and management objectives) that promote the conservation and management of our natural resources.

Examples of work the NHI has conducted include:

  1. Developing and coordinating projects that increase the state of our knowledge about: The interactions and associations between our wildlife species and habitats, and the effects of land-use and management practices on our native species and habitats;
  2. Identifying and mapping land-use, land-cover, vegetation, and wildlife habitats of the Pacific Northwest as well as the distributions of Pacific Northwest wildlife species; and
  3. Developing and maintaining an interactive web site that will provide information to the public and natural resource managers about wildlife habitats and wildlife species' functions, distributions, and life-history characteristics.


The Northwest Habitat Institute is a nonprofit, tax-exempt scientific/educational organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. We are funded through:

  • Research grants,
  • The sale of our publications,
  • Contributions received from foundations, corporations, and individuals.

NHI welcomes supporting contributions of any size.