Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
Southwest Region

Project Reviews in Oklahoma

Project reviews in Oklahoma are typically in one of two forms; those that have a federal nexus (where a federal agency funds, authorizes, or carries out the program or project) and those that do not have a federal nexus. For those projects where a federal nexus exists, the federal action agency is responsible using the following instructions for reviewing and submitting project requests to the Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office (OKESFO), unless they have formally designated a non-federal representative. All final determinations must be approved by the federal action agency. If your project does not have a federal nexus, the following instructions will allow you to determine if further coordination with the OKESFO may be necessary.

For wind energy projects additional review will be necessary to evaluate the project’s potential impacts. Until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalizes wind guidelines, follow these project review steps and submit the project information to this office for review regardless of the outcome in the species conclusions table. For additional information on wind energy, please visit the following link.

For communication tower projects follow the self certification procedure.

For Actions with No Impacts to Federally-listed Species or other Federal Trust Resources - Please review and use this letter as blanket clearance for certain projects which, in most cases, the Service believes will have no impact on federally-listed species or other trust resources. If your actions fall under the actions described in this letter, then print this letter for your records and do not continue with the project review.

For all other project types, the following steps will allow you to conduct a review of a project’s potential impacts on federally listed threatened and endangered species, federal candidate species, and federally designated critical habitat. At the end of this review process you will be able to: (1) certify that you have completed required coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended (ESA); and (2) expedite additional review by the Service.

These steps also provide information for your project review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, 83 Stat. 852), as amended (NEPA) for federally listed species. However, these steps do not address other requirements under NEPA (i.e., wetlands, floodplains, and other important environmental resources). Compliance with NEPA is a separate process, that completed alone, does not ensure compliance with the ESA. The Federal action agency, not the Service, must ensure that all of the requirements necessary to comply with NEPA are met. Additional information regarding compliance with NEPA and other environmental statutes can be found here.

Please note that these project review steps do not currently cover the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 54 Stat. 250) , as amended, or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 U.S.C. 703-712; Ch. 128; July 13, 1918; 40 Stat. 755). Additional guidance for the BGEPA is located here, and for the MBTA is located here. However, if you have any information regarding your project’s impacts to bald and golden eagles or migratory birds, please include them in your project review package.

During the review process, you will be instructed to complete a "species conclusion table" and add information and documents which will be included in your “project review package.” Once you complete the review process, you may be required to submit the project review package to this office. We prefer that you submit project review packages electronically to OKProjectReview@fws.gov. Please note that any single email, including attachments, must be smaller than 25 MB. If a single email would be larger than 25 MB, please spread out multiple attachments among several emails (use the same subject name and project reference in all emails related to an individual project). If this is not practical, please mail a hard copy or DVD containing the project review package to our office:

US Fish & Wildlife Service
Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
9014 East 21st St.
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74129

All project reviews will receive a return receipt to inform you that your project has been successfully submitted.

Maintain a complete copy of the project review package since it will become an integral part of your official record of compliance. Upon receipt of your project review package, please allow the OKESFO 30 days to review the information provided and respond, if necessary.

To begin project review proceed to Step 1.

Project Reviews

Endangered Species
•Species in Oklahoma (PDF)
•What species occur in my project area?
• Species of Concern (PDF)
• Species Fact Sheets

Critical Habitat
• What is it? (PDF)
• Critical Habitat Mapper

General Info:
• Plants and the ESA (PDF)
• Bald Eagle Information
• Wind Energy

Communication Towers
• Service Guidance on the Siting, Construction, Operation and Decommissioning of Communication Towers

• Approved Surveyors
• How to be a Surveyor (PDF)
How long is an animal
..survey valid?
• How long is a plant
..survey valid?

Additional Documents
• BEST Management Practices, Species Watershed Maps, Endangered Species Act, Regulations, etc.

Last updated: April 24, 2014
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.