The Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was first developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the early 1970s as a means of making wildlife habitat decisions on large projects cost-effective. It objectively and systematically evaluates and predicts the suitability of changing habitats for species and communities using basic ecological principles.
HEP is important for quantifying the effects of alternative management plans over time. For example, using habitat evaluation procedures SER can help you compare the effects of not impacting your land to the effects of logging, mining, or grazing. HEP can be used in project planning, habitat management, mitigation, and environmental impact assessment by providing information about the relative value of different habitats at the same point in time, and about the relative value of the same area at future points in time.