Section 7 Consultation Step-by-Step
Step 1: Determine whether a listed or proposed species or designated or proposed critical habitat may be present within your project area.
A. Delineate your project's action area and request an Official Species List for your project action area in Information for Planning and Conservation (IPaC).
- Action area is the geographic area encompassing all the physical, chemical, and biological changes that will occur directly or indirectly from the proposed action. Action area is typically larger than the footprint of the project and its direct impacts.
- If no species or critical habitat is listed, conclude "no species present" and document your finding. No further consultation required.
- In fulfilling the requirements of section 7, we must use the best available scientific and commercial data. Thus, it is important that your administrative record describe the data you used and where you searched for the information.
B. If a listed/proposed species or critical habitat may be within your project area and your project is any of the following, view our Project-Specific Conservation Recommendations.
- Bridges/Culverts/In-stream Work
- Transmission Lines
- Communication Towers
- Oil and Natural Gas Activities
C. Go to the pertinent species information pages and cross-reference the species information with your knowledge of the project's action area.
- If suitable habitat is not present in the action area, conclude "species and critical habitat not present" and document your finding. No further consultation is required.
- If suitable habitat is present, and no other data indicate species or critical habitat are absent, conclude "species or critical habitat may be present" and proceed to Step 2.
Next (Step 2)