Department of Agriculture / Department of the Interior

Forest Service / Bureau of Land Management

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Interagency - Pacific Northwest

Oregon - Washington State

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Interagency Special Status /
Sensitive Species Program (ISSSSP)

Conservation Planning Documents

[ Photograph ] Tetraphis Geniculata BryophyteThis section includes documents that provide guidance for the conservation of Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management Special Status Species and Region 6 Forest Service Sensitive Species.

The Bureau of Land Management Manual (Section 6840) and the Forest Service Manual (2670) directs the agencies to work cooperatively with other agencies, organizations, governments and interested parties for the conservation of plants and animals and their habitats to reduce, mitigate, and possibly eliminate the need for their identification as a special status/sensitive species. Cooperative efforts are important for conservation based on an ecosystem management approach and will improve efficiency by combining efforts and fostering better working relationships. Stabilizing and improving habitat conditions before a species is listed allows for better species conservation and other resource management flexibility, reduces conflicts, and reduces the cost of conservation.

Species Fact Sheets

Species Fact Sheets typically contain condensed information regarding the species’ biology and ecology including known habitat attributes, and range and distribution descriptions. The main intent of the species fact sheets has been to succinctly compile known information about the species for distribution to field biologists/botanists on a Forest or District for their use in project evaluations. These fact sheets may not contain the in-depth information to make them useful throughout the Region/State. They are informational documents, and do not represent any decisions by the Agencies.

Conservation Assessments

Conservation Assessments, like Species Fact Sheet, capture and condense all of the known information about the biology and ecology of a species. However, they tend to be more comprehensive and more in depth than Species Fact Sheet. They include taxonomic, range, distribution, and habitat descriptions, but may also contain key information regarding potential items to consider when managing a species site. In addition, they often identify important inventory, research, and monitoring information that may be relevant for further understanding of the species or for adaptive management purposes. Often, Conservation Assessments provide information on the entire range of the species. Conservation Assessments are not decision documents, but are useful tools to aide biologists and botanists in evaluating project impacts, determining future informational needs, and working with managers on recommendations regarding site management.

Conservation Strategies

Conservation Strategies contain all of the information included in a Conservation Assessment, but provide information on how and when to manage a site. Strategies address how to manage the species and/or habitat to maintain viability or persistence of the species. They describe how individual sites/populations should be managed, and can also identify which sites/populations are needed to meet the viability, persistence, or conservation goal for the species. These documents typically cover either a significant portion or the entire range of the species, and may be created by one field unit, one agency, or be interagency in nature, but agreed upon by all units the Strategy covers. Conservation Strategies likely need to go through the National Environmental Policy Act process to be fully considered and implemented, depending upon the scale and specificity of the Strategy, and should be coordinated with BLM State/Forest Service Regional Office planning and conservation leads.

Conservation Agreements

Conservation Agreements outline procedural assurance necessary to reduce, eliminate, or mitigate specific threats. Agreements are usually Memorandums of Understanding agreed upon by federal agencies (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA Fisheries) and may include States and private entities. They are typically broad-scale, giving general guidance on how to manage for a species. The objective of Conservation Agreements is to identify management that will avoid a trend towards listing under the Endangered Species Act. Agreements are typically voluntary, non-binding documents that may be cancelled at any time.

Candidate Species Assessments and Listing Priority Assignments

Candidate Species Assessments and Listing Priority Assignments are conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Candidate species are plants and animals for which the Service has sufficient information on their biological status and threats to propose them as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but for which development of a listing regulation is precluded by other higher priority listing activities.

The Candidate Conservation Program provides a means for conserving these species. Early conservation preserves management options, minimizes the cost of recovery, and reduces the potential for restrictive land use policies in the future. Effective candidate conservation may reverse the species' decline, ultimately eliminating the need for ESA protection.

This section includes the species assessments completed for Candidate species, but additional species information may be found at http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/StateListing.do?state=all&status=candidate.