Definition List of Section 7 Terms

Action Area - all areas to be affected directly or indirectly by the federal action and not merely the immediate area involved in the action.




Applicant - any person (an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or any other private entity; or any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the federal government, of any state, municipality, or political subdivision of a state; or any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States) who requires formal approval or authorization from a federal agency as a prerequisite to conducting the action.




Beneficial effects - are contemporaneous positive effects without any adverse effects to the species.




Critical Habitat - may be designated for listed species and consists of: (1) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (constituent elements) (a) essential to the conservation of the species and (b) which may require special management considerations of protection; and (2) specific areas outside the geographic area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the Act, upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.




Cumulative effects - are those effects of future state or private activities, not involving federal activities, that are reasonably certain to occur within the action area of the federal action subject to consultation.




Designated non-federal representative - the person, agency, or organization designated by the federal agency as its representative to conduct informal consultation or prepare a biological assessment.  The non-federal representative must be designated by giving written notice to the Service.




Destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat - a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably diminishes the value of critical habitat for both the survival and recovery of a listed species.  Such alterations include, but are not limited to, alterations adversely modifying any of those physical or biological features that were the basis for determining the habitat to be critical.




Direct effects - the direct or immediate effects of the action on the species or its habitat and include interrelated actions and interdependent actions.




Discountable effects - are those extremely unlikely to occur.  Based on best judgment, a person would not expect discountable effects to occur.




Early Consultation - a preliminary consultation requested by the federal agency on behalf of a prospective permit or license applicant prior to the filing of an application for a federal permit or license.




Formal consultation - a process between the Service and a federal agency or applicant that (1) determines whether a proposed federal action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat; (2) begins with a federal agency’s written request and submittal of a complete initiation package; and (3) concludes with the issuance of a biological opinion and incidental take statement by the Service.




Harass - actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering.




Harm - includes significant habitat modification or degradation that results in the death or injury to listed species by significantly impairing behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering.




Indirect effects - those effects that area caused by or will result from the proposed action and are later in time, but are still reasonably certain to occur.




Insignificant effects - relate to the size of the impact and should never reach the scale where take occurs.  Based on best judgment, a person would not be able to meaningfully measure, detect, or evaluate insignificant effects.




Interdependent actions - actions having no independent utility apart from the proposed action.




Interrelated actions - actions that are part of a larger action and depend on the larger action for their justification.




May affect - the appropriate conclusion when a proposed action may pose any effects on listed species or critical habitat.




Proposed species - any species of fish, wildlife, or plant that is proposed in the Federal Register to be listed under section 4 of the Act.







Last updated: August 20, 2013