Habitat Conservation
Pacific Region Ecological Services

Advance Project Planning

Helping Integrate Fish and Wildlife Conservation with Needed Infrastructure Development

Since the inception of the Advance Project Planning Program over 60 years ago, Service biologists have been helping to integrate fish and wildlife conservation with needed infrastructure development. The Program has lead responsibility to analyze the environmental impacts of federally licensed or funded projects on fish and wildlife and to recommend options that would minimize detrimental impacts and enhance benefits to trust resources. These reviews are conducted under several Federal statutes. The Program also has the lead responsibility to participate in large-scale land and water planning conducted or authorized by other Federal agencies.

The Advance Project Planning Program plays a central role in advancing energy, transportation, water, and restoration projects. We work with project proponents and other partners to develop projects that simultaneously meet economic development needs and conserve natural resources.

Examples include:

Energy Projects– the Service coordinates a growing number of projects authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with other bureaus in the Department of the Interior and other Departments. 
Transportation Planning - Transportation projects frequently traverse several watersheds and major portions of a landscape, and transportation planning provides us with opportunities to engage early and incorporate conservation actions into long-term transportation projects. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Service and the Department of Transportation helps Service biologists focus exclusively on critical transportation projects, in concert with the President’s Executive Order on Transportation Streamlining.

Hydropower Projects– These projects are large in scope, and have myriad landscape-level and larger effects on fish and wildlife species, watersheds, and communities. The Fish and Wildlife Service works with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and hydropower license applicants on instream flow, habitat conservation, fisheries, fish passage, and endangered species issues to minimize and mitigate impacts. The Service helps negotiate settlement agreements for projects that contain measures to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat. An important component of almost all relicensing agreements is ensuring consideration of fish passage in the final license.

In addition to addressing these priority projects, Advance Project Planning also provides targeted technical assistance for other types of projects that are important to local and State economies. For example, our biologists help local governments and State and Federal partners plan navigation and harbor construction projects that are important for economic development that also minimize adverse environmental effects; we help craft measures to protect coral reefs, which are particularly rich ecosystems and nurseries for many important commercial and recreational fisheries; and we partner with project sponsors and communities to plan flood control and beach nourishment projects that protect property, foster tourism, and conserve fish and wildlife habitat.

Visit our Field Sites
Most Advance Project Program activities within the Pacific Region are handled by our Fish and Wildlife field offices.  Please select an office below to access more detailed information about activities in your area. 

Last updated: May 23, 2008
Pacific Region Ecological Services
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