FINAL USFW MITIGATION POLICY
On November 21, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final notice of the Service’s Mitigation Policy, which has been a guide for recommendations on mitigating adverse impacts of water and land developments on fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats since 1981. The revisions set forth are motivated by changes in conservation challenges and practices since 1981, including accelerating loss of habitats, effects of climate change, and advances in conservation science.
This Policy provides a framework for applying a landscape-scale approach to achieve, through application of the mitigation hierarchy, a net gain in conservation outcomes, or at a minimum, no net loss of resources and their values, services, and functions resulting from proposed actions.
Primary intent of the USFWS revised Mitigation Policy is to apply mitigation in a strategic manner that ensures a more efficient, effective, and consistent framework be utilized in activities on which conservation science is based. It is intended to serve as a single umbrella policy under which the Service may issue more detailed policies or guidance documents covering specific activities in the future.
The Institute’s Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols or CHAP may be utilized more so than the Service’s other approaches because of CHAP’s unique ability to address key aspect of the federal framework, including addressing values, services, and functions; resilience of resources in the face of climate change; and mitigation effectiveness, durability, transparency, and consistency.
This Policy is effective on November 21, 2016.