Laws and Regulations

Authorities under which we provide assistance and guidance to support conservation:

Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the import, export, or taking of fish and wildlife and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered species; provides for adding species to and removing them from the list of threatened and endangered species, and for preparing and implementing plans for their recovery; provides for interagency cooperation to avoid take of listed species and for issuing permits for otherwise prohibited activities; provides for cooperation with States, including authorization of financial assistance; and implements the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Federal Power Act

The Federal Power Act provides that each license for hydropower projects issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission includes fish ways prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior or Commerce, and that conditions for the protection, mitigation and enhancement of fish and wildlife based on recommendations of the Service and other agencies.

Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act)

Section 404 (m) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) authorizes the Service to comment on permit applications submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters of the United States. Section 208(i) authorizes the Service to provide technical assistance to States in developing management practices as part of its water pollution control programs and to continue with the National Wetlands Inventory. Section 320 authorizes the establishment of a State/Federal cooperative program to nominate estuaries of national significance and to develop and implement management plans to restore and maintain the biological and chemical integrity of estuarine waters.

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act

The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act directs the Service to investigate and report on proposed Federal actions that affect any stream or other body of water and to provide recommendations to minimize impacts on fish and wildlife resources.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 implements four international treaties that affect migratory birds common to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. Establishes Federal responsibility for protection and management of migratory and non-game birds, including the establishment of season length, bag limits, and other hunting regulations, and the issuance of permits to band, possess or otherwise make use of migratory birds.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) provides that the Service examine the environmental impacts, incorporate environmental information, and use public participation in the planning and implementation of all actions; integrate NEPA with other planning requirements; prepare NEPA documents to facilitate better environmental decision making; and review Federal agency environmental plans and documents when the Service has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impacts involved.