WILDLIFE RESOURCES BURNED AREA ASSESSMENT
Mandatory Consultation Requirements (baseline data sources): Evaluation of
effects (direct, indirect and cumulative) to Threatened, Endangered, Sensitive,
and Proposed and agency listed wildlife species (TESP) from the wildfire. Species may include mammals,
birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. As a minimum, the following
sources are utilized to obtain baseline information for developing resource
issues, field inventory priorities, assess effects and develop emergency
- Local resource professionals and organizations with management responsibilities including: Agency biologists and resource specialists, USFWS, NMFS, State, County, Tribal, private scientific groups, research stations, representatives from area universities, other ESR team resource specialists.
- Resource Management Plans: Legislation for agency establishment and management direction, integrated (general) resource management plans, species recovery plans, Critical Habitat maps, vegetation inventories, Agency species management plans, current project NEPA documents, GIS data layers, wildlife habitat management plans, aerial photos, research projects.
- Literature: Federal legislation and policy direction, historical documents, Federal Registers, scientific publications, published text describing fauna, plant communities, habitat types and past management practices.
Data Requirements: Following cursory aerial reconnaissance and the
identification of potential wildlife resources at risk, field inventories are conducted to identify, map, collect data and
photograph fire related impacts to TESP species, including:
- Preliminary inventory of habitat affected, by species and to what extent
- Preliminary determination of which species may be in immediate danger of further population or habitat degradation
- Historical species specific special habitat locations (nests, aeries, critical riparian, etc.)
- Structural damage to wildlife habitat improvements
Data collection should include: Location of values at risk (map), locations of animal mortality and cause (if possible), what was affected (type and
quality of habitat, habitat components, structures), extent to which habitat
is affected (by burn severity), how much has been affected (acres by habitat
type and intensity, miles of riparian, nest locations, etc.).
Management Considerations: Species at risk are evaluated and make emergency stabilization and rehabilitation recommendations made within the assessment report.
Management considerations include:
Management considerations may include:
- Federal and state listed TESP species affected by the fire
- Agency requirements for Section 7 Consultation with USFWS and/or NMFS
- Habitat improvement repairs
- Recommendations for emergency rehabilitation, mortality surveys or fire effects monitoring
Specific Products: After completing field reconnaissance and data collection,
the assessor prepares a written analysis to include:
- Major considerations
- Emergency stabilization
- Burned area rehabilitation
- Written documentation of observations
- Background information describing fire area, burn severity acreage, impacted plant communities, historical land uses, TESP species in area
- Reconnaissance methodology and results:
- Survey methods and areas inventoried
- Description of direct, indirect and cumulative effects on wildlife
- Biological assessment for affected TESP species
- Assessment of effects on other agency listed species
- State or other lands habitat assessment (only if requested)
- Description of affected habitat improvement structures
- Structural repair and replacement needs
- Structural reconstruction needs
- TESP species list
- Consultation requirements
- Emergency stabilization treatments
- Discussion of effects of recommended burned area rehabilitation work to TESP species
- Monitoring of wildlife resources
- Emergency stabilization
- Treatment effectiveness
- Additional data collection required for Section 7 Consultation
- Burned area rehabilitation
- Monitoring needed to determine if any realistic burned area rehabilitation treatment is appropriate
- Restoration suggestions
- Mortality surveys
- Post fire effects monitoring
- Prescribed habitat recovery prescription
- Literature Reviewed
- Habitat by species, quality and intensity of effects
- Structural habitat improvements
- Locations of rehabilitation prescriptions
- Treatment Specifications
- Describe in detail emergency stabilization or burned are rehabilitation needs and site locations (e.g. emergency stabilization - recapture of recently released riparian brush rabbits, burned area rehabilitation - 30 acres of critical willow flycatcher habitat to be replanted with willows within the oak creek drainage, see map)
- Describe in detail emergency stabilization or burned are rehabilitation elements. This section must be detailed enough to justify needs and support cost estimates and commutability with unit approved land management plans.
- Design specifications: Detailed instructions and design plans for construction of rehabilitation structures, revegetation projects, mortality survey protocols and post-fire effects monitoring protocols.
- Obtain and provide design specifications from local agency technical guides, NRCS technical guides, agency handbooks, textbooks (e.g. specific species of willow, 01 stock, planted with one foot spacing in the spring of 1996, no irrigation required, no herbicide application required).
- Implementation standards- Document specific implementation standards. These usually include mortality or fire effects monitoring protocols, description of the structure to be replaced (2,000 gallon, fiberglass big game guzzler with passive drinker system):
- Describe in detail, specifications for other resource rehabilitation work to provide for the needs of TESP species.
- Cost Estimates: Provide detailed cost estimates for all prescribed rehabilitation measures supported by:
- Estimates obtained from 2-3 independent contractual sources
- Documented cost figures for similar project work obtained from local agency sources
- Estimates supported by cost guides from independent sources or other federal agencies
- Estimates based upon government wage rates and material costs (extra documentation required)
- Section 7 Consultation Documentation: Detailed record of consultation to date, including contacts, phone numbers, addresses, what was said, how information was acted upon, follow up items, recommendations to the agency for consultation continuation, additional data collection and analysis needed, statement of agency compliance.