To conserve imperiled species and ecological communities.
For all projects
Consult with the state Natural Heritage Program and state fish and wildlife agencies (or a local equivalent for projects outside the United States) to determine whether species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, the state’s endangered species act, or species or ecological communities classified by NatureServe as GH (possibly extinct), G1 (critically imperiled), or G2 (imperiled) have been or are likely to be found on the project site because of the presence of suitable habitat and nearby occurrences (local equivalent standards for threatened and endangered species may be used by projects outside the U.S. if the site area is not covered by NatureServe data.) If the consultations are inconclusive and site conditions indicate that imperiled species or ecological communities could be present, using a qualified biologist, perform biological surveys using accepted methodologies during appropriate seasons to determine whether such species or communities occur or are likely to occur on the site.
Option 1. Sites without affected species or ecological community
The prerequisite is satisfied if the consultation and any necessary biological surveys determine that no such imperiled species or ecological communities have been found or have a high likelihood of occurring.
OPTION 2. Sites with affected species or ecological community: Habitat conservation plan
Comply with an approved habitat conservation plan under the Endangered Species Act (or a local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) for each identified species or ecological community.
OPTION 3. Sites with affected species or ecological community: Habitat conservation plan equivalent
Work with a qualified biologist, a conservation organization, or the appropriate national, state, or local agency to create and implement a conservation plan that includes the following actions:
- Identify and map the extent of the habitat and the appropriate buffer, not less than 100 feet (30 meters), according to best available scientific information.
- To the maximum extent practicable, protect the identified habitat and buffer in perpetuity by donating or selling the land or a conservation easement on the land to an accredited land trust, conservation organization, or relevant government agency.
- If on-site protection can be accomplished, analyze threats from development and develop a monitoring and management plan that eliminates or significantly reduces the threats.
- If any portion of the identified habitat and buffer cannot be protected in perpetuity, quantify the effects by acres (hectares) or number of plants and/or animals affected, and protect from development in perpetuity habitat of similar or better quality, on-site or off-site, by donating or selling a conservation easement on it to an accredited land trust, conservation organization or relevant government agency. The donation or easement must cover an amount of land equal to or larger than the area that cannot be protected.
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