Consult with the state Natural Heritage Program and state fish and wildlife agencies (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) to determine if any of the following have been or are likely to be found on the project site because of the presence of suitable habitat and nearby occurrences:
- species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or the state’s endangered species act, or
- species or ecological communities classified by NatureServe as GH (possibly extinct), G1 (critically imperiled), or G2 (imperiled), or
- species listed as threatened or endangered specified under local equivalent standards (in areas outside the U.S.) that are not covered by NatureServe data.
If the consultations are inconclusive and site conditions indicate that imperiled species or ecological communities could be present, 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. Comply with the appropriate case or option below.
Case 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.
Case 2. Sites with Affected Species or Ecological Community
If the site has any affected species or ecological communities, meet either of the following two options.
- Option 1. Habitat Conservation Plan
- Comply with an approved habitat conservation plan under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) for each identified species or ecological community.
- Option 2. Habitat Conservation Plan Equivalent Work with a qualified biologist or ecologist, 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.
- 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.
- 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 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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