To help ensure that its policies are consistent, effective and transparent, and provide a level of certainty to all involved parties, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting public review of and comment on its Service-wide Mitigation Policy and its Endangered Species Act – Compensatory Mitigation Policy (ESA-CMP). These policies provide direction to Service employees on how to develop mitigation recommendations to offset the impacts of development activities on species or their habitats.
The review is part of a broader Service effort to re-evaluate several regulations and policies related to the Secretary of the Interior’s Order 3349 on American Energy Independence (March 29, 2017). The order directed bureaus to review policies to ensure consistency with directives in effect at the time Secretarial Order 3349 was issued.
The existing Mitigation Policy, which revised the long-standing 1981 Service Mitigation Policy, articulates general policy and principles intended to guide recommended mitigation across all Service programs. These principles were in turn stepped down into the ESA-CMP.
The Service is soliciting additional input regarding whether to retain or modify the mitigation goals or other policy direction articulated within our mitigation policies. Based on comments received, the Service will decide whether and how to revise the policies.
The notice is published in the Federal Register. Written comments and information concerning this proposal can be submitted by one of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to:
- Mitigation Policy at Docket No. [FWS–HQ–ES–2015–0126]
- ESA-CMP at Docket No. [FWS–HQ–ES–2015–0165]
- U. S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS–HQ–ES–2015–0126 or FWS–HQ–ES–2015–0165]; Division of Policy, Performance and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike – MS: BPHC Falls Church, VA 22041-3808.
The Service invites comments, information and recommendations from governmental agencies, Indian Tribes, the scientific community, industry groups, environmental interest groups and any other interested parties.
Comments must be received on or before January 5, 2018. The Service will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.
For more information, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/ecological-services/habitat-conservation/cp.html.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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