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Streamlining ESA Consultations Associated with Emergency Wildland Fires
Southwest Region, October 14, 2006
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Until our forests are returned to a natural fire-adapted structure and ecological process, we will continue to see unnaturally intense wildland fires in the future.  With that in mind, the AESO developed an Emergency Fire Documentation form for streamlining ESA consultations associated with emergency wildland fire consultations.  Instead of producing a biological assessment and evaluation (BAE), the action agency is given the option to fill out the expedited Emergency Fire Documentation form.  The intent of this form is to shorten the information documented in a standard BAE without compromising the requirements under section 7(a)(2) of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 402).  The form also prompts the action agency to track all suppression and rehabilitation actions through information documented by the incident command teams; such as the Incident Action Plan Summary, ICS-209 Summary, and GIS maps.  This information provides detailed daily accounts of equipment, personnel, timing, location, and frequency of actions that may affect threatened and endangered species within the action area.

Recently the AESO worked with the Sitgreaves National Forest (Forest) and completed the Emergency Fire Documentation form for the Sand Fire.  Timely completion of this form and subsequent biological opinion were improved with the emergency consultation documentation process for this wildland fire and coordination between AESO and the Forest.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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