Title: fish and wildlife service logo

507 FW 1
Sikes Act and Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans (INRMP)

Supersedes Director’s Order 135, 06/19/2001

Date: January 22, 2018

Series: Interagency Activities

Part 507: Cooperation with Other Federal Agencies

Originating Office: Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program

PDF Version

                                                                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

Overview

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

1.3 What is the objective of this chapter?

1.4 What is the authority for this chapter?

1.5 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

Policy

1.6 What is the Service’s overall policy on working with military installations?

1.7 How should a Regional Director document the delegation of signature authority for Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans if he/she chooses to do so?

Responsibilities

1.8 Who is responsible for the Sikes Act program?

 

OVERVIEW

 

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter:

 

A. Explains U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) policy for cooperating with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services on the implementation of the Sikes Act,

 

B. Provides an overview of the roles of the Service in administering the Sikes Act, and

 

C. Provides guidance on Service field office collaboration with installations and state agencies when preparing Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans (INRMP), including INRMP signature authorities. 

 

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This policy applies to all Service employees with responsibilities for natural resource conservation on military installations under the auspices of the Sikes Act.

 

1.3 What is the objective of this chapter? Our objective is to broadly establish the roles and responsibilities of Service employees when planning and engaging in conservation delivery activities under the auspices of the Sikes Act. This chapter provides an overview of how the Service engages with partners on the Sikes Act and addresses the signing of INRMPs, which demonstrate the mutual agreement among installations, state fish and wildlife agencies, and the Service.

 

1.4 What is the authority for this chapter? The authority for this chapter is the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670), as amended by P.L. 113-291.

 

1.5 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

 

A. Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) is a comprehensive plan that describes how a military installation with significant natural resources will manage those resources with consideration of military mission requirements, the environment, cultural resources, and recreational uses.

 

B. Military installation means any land or interest in land that the United States owns and the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department administers, except for the land under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers.

 

C. Review for Operation and Effect is a comprehensive, joint review that the parties to the INRMP conduct at least every 5 years to determine whether the INRMP needs to be updated or revised to continue to adequately address Sikes Act purposes and requirements.

 

D. The Sikes Act was passed by Congress to help protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and other natural resources that exist on military lands in the United States. It directs the Secretary of Defense to work with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (through the Director of the Service) and the heads of state fish and wildlife agencies to implement conservation and restoration programs for natural resources on military lands. The intent of the Sikes Act is to promote conservation while allowing military lands to continue to meet the needs of military operations.

 

POLICY

1.6 What is the Service’s overall policy on working with military installations?

 

A. The Service collaborates with DoD to implement the conservation and restoration program for natural resources on military lands. We work with all levels of DoD and the military services to seek out opportunities to establish new and improve existing conservation partnerships and further the goals of the Sikes Act. The Service Sikes Act program:

 

(1) Provides cooperative leadership and support to DoD in fish and wildlife conservation and the rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations;

 

(2) Promotes partnerships that further the shared conservation objectives of DoD, the Service, and the states; and

 

(3) Promotes the sustainable use of natural resources for recreational purposes, including hunting, fishing, trapping, and nonconsumptive uses.

 

B. The Service focuses collaborative efforts with DoD on the development and review of INRMPs. We cooperate with military installations and state fish and wildlife agencies to prepare these plans, which reflect mutual agreements concerning conservation, protection, and management of fish and wildlife resources on military installations.

 

(1) Regional Directors (or someone acting in that capacity) have the authority to sign INRMPs on behalf of the Service. A Regional Director may choose to delegate INRMP signature authority to Assistant Regional Directors (ARD) or Field Supervisors. Delegating signature authority often helps to reduce the administrative costs of processing new and revised INRMPs by minimizing unnecessary reviews.

 

(2) While a Regional Director’s delegation of signature authority to subordinates may increase efficiencies, in some cases the Regional Director may choose to personally sign the plan to ensure improved oversight and cross-programmatic coordination. Examples of the types of INRMPs a Regional Director may choose to continue to sign include: 

 

(a) The INRMP is the first one completed for an installation;

 

(b) More than one field office is responsible for an installation;

 

(c) There are environmental contaminant issues on the installation and coordination is required at the Regional level;

 

(d) Coordination of migratory bird issues is required at the Regional level;

 

(e) Refuge lands abut the installation, requiring Regional office review;

 

(f) Field offices have funding or workload issues that may preclude full Service coordination; or

 

(g) Legal issues preclude signature delegation.

 

(3) Guidance on the INRMP review and consultation processes is provided in the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Guidelines for Coordination on Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans,” which is available on the Service’s Sikes Act website.

 

1.7 How should a Regional Director document the delegation of signature authority for INRMPs if he/she chooses to do so?

 

A. If a Regional Director chooses to delegate the signature authority for an INRMP, staff should prepare a memorandum to the ARDs and Field Supervisors articulating the Regional policy.

 

B. The memorandum should include all cases where ARDs or Field Supervisors should elevate the review and approval of an INRMP. This may include elevating it from:

 

(1) The Field Supervisor to the ARD,

 

(2) The Field Supervisor to the Regional Director, or

 

(3) The ARD to the Regional Director.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

1.8 Who is responsible for the Sikes Act program? See Table 1-1.

 

                                                                        Table 1-1: Responsibilities for the Sikes Act Program

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

Ensuring effective Service collaboration with DoD in the implementation of the Sikes Act. 

B. The Assistant Director – Fish and Aquatic Conservation

(1) Providing oversight for the Service’s Sikes Act responsibilities;

 

(2) Coordinating with DoD on Sikes Act activities and programs;

 

(3) Establishing and maintaining cooperative agreements at the national level; and

 

(4) Responding to inquiries from within the Service, other agencies, the states, the public, and Congress about Sikes Act activities and INRMPs. 

C. The Assistant Director – Ecological Services

Coordinating with DoD on Endangered Species Act and critical habitat matters, and with other Service programs, when necessary, on INRMP reviews and approvals.

D. Regional Directors

(1) Ensuring effective coordination between the Service and military installations, and

 

(2) Reviewing and approving INRMPs or delegating that authority to ARDs or Field Supervisors when it is in the best interest of the Service to do so.

E. ARDs and

Field Supervisors

(1) Coordinating with military installations in their areas of responsibility on conservation programs;

 

(2) Working with installations and state agencies to develop, review, revise, and update INRMPs within the timeframe required by the Sikes Act; 

 

(3) Consulting with other Service programs as necessary; and 

 

(4) Approving INRMPs when the Regional Director has given them the authority to do so.

 

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Fish and Aquatic Conservation program. For more information about this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs.

 

 

 Directives Home

PPM Websites: Centralized Library of Servicewide Policies | PPM Services

Privacy, Disclaimer and Copyright Information | Information Quality Act

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior   | USA.gov   | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   | Accessibility   | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA