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Prelisting Conservation Policy

Southern Idaho ground squirrel. Credit: Dennis Mackey, USFWS

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a draft policy to provide incentives for landowners to conserve candidate species, which are not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed policy provides a mechanism for landowners, government agencies, and others to obtain credits for current conservation efforts benefitting declining species. These conservation credits can be redeemed later or sold to a third party to offset or mitigate detrimental actions to a species if it later gains ESA protection. Credits can be earned only before a species becomes listed and only for actions that are not mandated by federal, state, or local law. This proposed policy will help us further our efforts to protect species and their ecosystems to prevent their further decline and ultimately the need to list them under the ESA.

The Service anticipates finalizing the policy in early 2016.

Read the news release  

View the proposed policy

Get answers to frequently asked questions  

Last updated: September 7, 2016