ESA and Private Landowners
Consultation | Recovery | Working with Landowners
Working with States |Candidate Conservation
Project Review Requests
Any non-federal activities that will result in the ‘take” of a threatened or endangered species requires an incidental take permit under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The term "take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
Habitat Conservation Plans
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues incidental take permits to private landowners provided an approved Habitat Conservation Plan is developed. Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) are a tool for conserving listed, proposed, and candidate species by ensuring that authorized take is kept to a minimum and/or that mitigation occurs. CBFO biologists provide technical assistance that, in some cases, can modify the project to avoid take. If take is likely, then a permit and HCP will be needed.
HCPs developed by the Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Port HCP - Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus)
HCP - bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
- State of Maryland forestry HCP - Delmarva fox squirrel
- State of Delaware HCP - Delmarva fox squirrel and bald eagle
Safe Harbor Agreements
For private landowners who are interested in managing or improving their property in a way that may benefit threatened or endangered species, Safe Harbor Agreements give assurances to participants that an increase in the species' population will not result in additional regulatory restrictions. Safe Harbor Agreements are:
- Voluntary agreements for recovering listed species.
- Open to states, businesses, individuals—any non-Federal landowner.
- Encourages landowners to improve conditions for listed species on their land by removing fear of subsequent restrictions on land use.
- Can create long-term benefits for species extending beyond period of agreement
Learn more on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species web page.