New England Field Office
Conserving the Nature of New England



Endangered Species Consultation
Consultations with Federal Agencies (Section 7)

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all Federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to management of Federal lands as well as other Federal actions that may affect listed species, such as Federal approval of private activities through the issuance of Federal permits, licenses, or other actions.

The New England Field office routinely consults on projects that require federal authorization or funding including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency, projects that require Clean Water Act authorization from the US Army Corps of Engineers and projects that are funded through the Federal Aviation Administration.

Due to an increasingly heavy workload, the New England Field Office has provided the following procedure and guidelines to assist the public in determining whether a Section 7 consultation is needed and how to avoid or minimize adverse effects for specific projects. Procedure for Projects with Federal Involvement (authorization, funding or carrying out the action)

The preceding link will assist a potential project applicant in determining whether technical assistance or a Section 7 consultation is necessary. Fireworks Permits Guidelines and Beach Management Guidelines The Fish and Wildlife Service has developed specific guidelines to avoid adverse impacts to piping plovers from activities occurring on or near piping plover breeding habitat. Applicants for U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Event Permits for fireworks should review the Fireworks Guidelines (30 KB) in order to avoid adverse impacts to piping plovers and contact this office for further consultation.

Beach managers and property owners wishing to avoid adversely impacting piping plovers from recreational activity occurring on their beaches, should consult the Beach Management Guidelines (64 KB) as well as contact this office for additional information.

Telecommunications Towers The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has determined that individual project review for certain types of activities associated with telecommunication towers is not required. We are not aware of adverse impacts to listed or proposed species from maintenance or co-location on existing communication towers in New England; therefore, there is no need to contact this office for technical assistance or a Section 7 consultation for these activities.

Please print the following letter for telecommunications projects (268 KB) as documentation of "no effect" for a project meeting the following criteria:

  • the re-licensing of existing telecommunication facilities;
  • audits of existing facilities associated with acquisition;
  • routine maintenance of existing tower sites, such as painting, antenna or panel replacement, upgrading of existing equipment, etc.;
  • co-location of new antenna facilities on/in existing structures;
  • repair or replacement of existing towers and/or equipment, provided such activities do not significantly increase the existing tower mass and height, or require the addition of guy wires.

For recommendations on new telecommunication tower siting, construction, operation, and decommissioning, please also refer to the Service's Interim Guidelines. Additional information can be found on our Division of Migratory Bird Management website.

Routine Highway Maintenance Projects The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that individual project review for certain types of activities associated with routine highway maintenance and upgrade activities is not required. We have evaluated our review process for highway maintenance projects and believe that individual correspondence with this office is not required for the following types of actions on existing roadways:

  • resurfacing projects;intersection improvements,
  • including the construction of traffic signals;
  • routine maintenance and installation of guard rails.

You may wish to print the following letter specific to highway projects (146 KB) indicating "no effect" on federally listed threatened or endangered species for your files.


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Last updated: January 22, 2014