Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
Southwest Region
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) approved an amendment in 2016 to the American Burying Beetle Industry Conservation Plan (ABB ICP). The plan, originally approved in 2014, provides the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma a streamlined Endangered Species Act (ESA) permitting process for activities that may impact the American burying beetle (ABB). The Service is also announcing the availability of the final environmental assessment on the amendment.

In the interest of providing industry with greater certainty while continuing to ensure the conservation of the American burying beetle, the Service amended the ABB ICP to extend it for three years (through May 20, 2019). In addition to extending the ABB ICP timeframe, the amendment: extends the construction period for permitted projects until May 20, 2025; extends operations and maintenance coverage for activities including maintenance of right-of-ways and repairing pipelines until May 20, 2039; and removes requirements that all projects must be completely located within the planning area. The amendment does not change the amount of take authorized under the 2014 ABB ICP and no additional acreage will be impacted.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Second Amendment to the Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing an amendment to the American Burying Beetle Industry Conservation Plan (ABB ICP). Originally approved in 2014 to provide the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma a streamlined Endangered Species Act (ESA) permitting process for activities that may impact the beetle, the plan was amended in 2016 to extend the enrollment period through May 20, 2019. The proposed amendment would provide industry with an additional five years to sign up under the ABB ICP. Applicants may apply for a permit until May 20, 2024, may submit IPPs for approval until May 20, 2027, and all construction related to IPPs must be completed by May 20, 2030. The five year extension is the only proposed change in the ABB ICP. The proposed amendment does not change the number of acres of take authorized under the 2014 ABB ICP, and no additional acreage will be impacted. Date-certain limits are identified to simplify permit tracking and provide certainty.

The deadline for applications for the existing ABB ICP is May 20, 2019, but current permit holders can continue to operate under the existing ICP and submit Individual Project Plans (IPP) until May 20, 2022. Permittees with existing ICP permits will not be automatically enrolled and must apply for an amendment to their permit to obtain coverage under the amended ICP.

During the 30-day public comment period, the Service is encouraging the public, industry and the scientific community to review and comment on the proposed amendment to the ABB ICP. To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or before close of business on April 15, 2019. For further information on how to obtain or review copies of these documents, or how to provide comments, see the Federal Register notice at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/index.html. Copies of the proposed ABB ICP amendment and related documents are provided below.


Total take (in acres) allowed under the ICP: 32,234
Current take (acres) issued through Individual Project Packages under the ICP: 5,255
Amended 2019: Industry Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment
Amended 2016: Industry Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment
You should utilize the Service's Eligibility Determination document below to help with deciding whether your project, or projects, may be eligible for an Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 10(a)(1)(B) permit under the ICP. The ICP is designed to cover oil and gas related activities that overlap with ABBs and their habitat within Oklahoma. If eligible, the Eligibility Determination document will inform you of the next steps.

Individual Project Packages (IPP)

Before project initiation, permittees are required to submit IPPs for Covered Activities occurring in the Planning Area. IPPs may be submitted at the same time as the ICP application and all IPPs must be submitted by May 20, 2022. Section 7.2.1 of the ICP provides additional information on IPPs. These IPPs must be approved by the Service for use under the issued Permit prior to initiation of Covered Activities.

Individual Project Package Checklist

Documents associated with the Individual Project Package:

Self-Certification Option for Individual Project Packages

For those Individual Project Packages that require no additional Service review, a self–certification option is available. If your project meets the following criteria, it is eligible for self-certification:

  • Assumed ABB presence for the entire project area
  • All habitat/soils impacted by the project are considered suitable for ABBs
  • All impacts are identified as permanent, as defined in the ICP
  • All mitigation is in accordance with the mitigation ratios in the ICP and is completed prior to habitat impacts
  • All project-specific impacts and mitigation must be described in the IPP and Annual Report
  • All applicable items identified in the IPP Checklist will be provided with your self-certification

Projects that meet the above criteria do not need further Service review and are eligible for self-certification.

If you have determined your project meets the self-certification requirements, please follow these steps:

  1. Review and complete the IPP checklist along with a complete IPP (above)
  2. Complete and sign the IPP self-certification letter
  3. Submit your complete IPP checklist, associated documents and self-certification letter to abb_icp@fws.gov with SELF CERTIFICATION in the subject line.
Additional documents related to the ICP

Information contained in the ICP is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of its development. It is possible that new scientific and commercial data will become available, which will result in relevant documents being updated on this website. The following documents reflect the Services latest guidance related to the ICP and ABBs.


Project Reviews

Endangered Species
•Species in Oklahoma (PDF)
•What species occur in my project area?
• Species of Concern (PDF)
• Species Fact Sheets

Critical Habitat
• What is it? (PDF)
• Critical Habitat Mapper

General Info:
• Plants and the ESA (PDF)
• Bald Eagle Information
• Wind Energy

Communication Towers
• Service Guidance on the Siting, Construction, Operation and Decommissioning of Communication Towers

• Approved Surveyors
• How to be a Surveyor (PDF)
How long is an animal
..survey valid?
• How long is a plant
..survey valid?

Additional Documents
• Endangered Species Act, Regulations, Handbook, etc.

Last updated: April 14, 2020
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.