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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is engaging in a public process to explore expanding incentives for voluntary partnerships with private landowners and other land stewards to help conserve imperiled wildlife. This effort is part of our commitment to use innovative approaches to restore and protect the habitats for wildlife, improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and to strengthen local economies by preserving working lands.
Partners for Fish and Wildlife
We are requesting suggestions and input from the public on ways we can make existing conservation tools more effective, such as Habitat Conservation Plans, Safe Harbor Agreements, and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. We are also seeking input on how to improve incentives, such as pre-approved conservation credits, for landowners and others to take voluntary conservation actions beneficial to species that are candidates for addition to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, and for other at-risk species.
Potential ideas for improving incentives to landowners include establishing conservation “banks” for candidate and other at-risk species and the development of a new type of agreement that would provide landowners with assurances that conservation actions taken to benefit species prior to listing could be used to offset the adverse effects of activities carried out later, either before or after the species is listed.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to working with landowners to reverse species declines whenever possible. Early and effective actions to address threats to imperiled species, like voluntary habitat conservation plans, could lead the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that a species does not require the protections of the ESA.
View the News Release
Read the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Expanding Incentives for Voluntary Conservation Actions under the Endangered Species Act
To see what stakeholders are saying about this action, click here.
Written comments concerning voluntary incentives for conservation of at-risk species can be submitted by one of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R9–ES–2011–0099]; or
- U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS–R9–ES–2011–0099]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
The comment period has been extended for an additional 60 days and will close on July 13, 2012. 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.
View the News Release
View the Federal Register
Learn More About Candidate Conservation
New England Cottontail
Cottontail released after recorded
for tracking purposes in Rhode Island
Credit: Anne Schnell
An agreement between the
Service and the State of New Hampshire will help restore habitat on private and state-
owned lands for the New England cottontail, which was named a candidate for Endangered
Species Act protection in 2006. Learn more about the agreement.