The Information, Planning and Conservation System

IPaC Overview

The true key to effective species conservation is to start as early as possible.  Every impact we can address during the design-phase of an action is an impact that won’t need to be mitigated later and, likely, at greater cost.

Watch a 30 minute video introduction to IPaCWatch the 30 Minute Overview of the IPaC Decision Support System

Our goal is for IPaC to:

  • Look at the Big Picture rather than a little piece.  IPaC helps us look at species health and conservation across the landscape, not just in your project area. The only way to ensure that measures you take will help the species is to look at it in context with the species' overall conservation needs.
  • Provide you as much information as possible up-front to aid project design, reduce your design costs by minimizing the potential for design changes, and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Be open, transparent, and consistent.  We want you to understand what a species needs and why. No one likes to be asked to do something without an explanation or to feel like they are being treated unfairly.
  • Ensure that any conservation measures you implement will make a real difference and that we are not just asking you to do them just for the sake of doing something.
  • Prevent the need to add new plants and animals to the list of endangered and threatened species. We can do this by laying out plans and beginning conservation efforts before they even reach the stage of becoming candidates for listing.

IPaC provides you up-front information to help reduce your design costs and environmental impacts and to ensure that measures you take contribute to the overall health of the species. To do this, IPaC provides you:

  • A Trust Resource List

    You can identify a proposed project's location and instantly receive a list of USFWS Trust Resources that may be affected by the project (i.e., a resource list). Resources include:

    • Threatened & Endangered Species (now available!)
    • Designated Critical Habitat Areas (now available!)
    • National Wildlife Refuges (now available!)
    • Migratory Birds (future)
    • Wetlands Conservation (future)
    • Invasive Species Issues (future)

    In addition, you have the option of selecting a project type and the activities that will be associated with that project to further refine the resource list.

  • Resource Information. (now available!)

    You can research how a project's actions may affect listed species by visiting links to resource information pages provided in the trust resource list. The list includes links to:

    • Species Ecological Information - important aspects of the species’ life history, threats, and conservation needs
    • National Wildlife Refuge profiles - background and contact information for any refuges in the vicinity of the proposed project.

    These resource information pages can highlight special needs, such as the timing of species surveys, so that work schedules can be mapped out as early as possible

  • Recommended USFWS Conservation Measures (CMs) that detail how you can avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts that may result from potential activities (partially completed)

  • Recovery plans, information that can be used for recovery planning, and specific recovery actions that can be undertaken to facilitate species conservation. (partially completed)

  • Local USFWS Office Contact information. (now available!)
    • When you coordinate with us early on, it can often facilitate and expedite the consultation process. Additionally, the system can notify the appropriate USFWS office who will be able to review the information provided and notify you of any unusual circumstances of which they are aware, but that the system did not identify. This is intended to reduce or eliminate surprises such as additional conservation issues being discovered during the consultation process.
  • A Report containing all this information that can be downloaded and printed. (partially completed)

IPaC will never replace our trained biological experts. It cannot perform complex biological analyses.  However, by handling routine tasks and providing some basic ecological information when you need it, it allows our biologists to focus on handling complex tasks that require their knowledge and expertise.

Last updated: November 16, 2011
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