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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Oregon / Washington

Consultation

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires in Section 7 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) when land use planning to ensure the Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) does not jeopardize the recovery of threatened and endangered species or adversely modify their critical habitats. The FWS and NMFS, collectively referred to as "the Services," participated in early coordination with the BLM to increase cooperation and avoid a potential jeopardy or adverse modification determination.

To accomplish this work, officially known as a "consultation," the BLM and the Services worked closely during the planning process, during the preparation of Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), and during the preparation of Biological Assessments (BAs). This consultation process has occurred in parallel with the evaluation of RMP alternatives and the Proposed RMP.

The information in the BAs was used by the Services to determine effects of the Proposed RMP on threatened and endangered species and their critical habitats. You can download the BAs below.

The Services have each completed their analyses and have documented their results in Biological Opinions (BiOp) for aquatic and terrestrial species and critical habitat under their respective jurisdictions. The BLM received "no jeopardy" opinions from both the FWS and the NMFS during the ESA consultation process, which means that fish, water, and wildlife are adequately protected under this plan.

For a copy of the FWS opinion, please contact Elizabeth Materna at Elizabeth_Materna@fws.gov, or 503-231-6912.

For a copy of the NMFS opinion, please go to the NOAA Public Consultation Tracking System. Please select "West Coast Region" and "2016" to find the most recent Biological Opinions.

The RMP was developed in collaboration with the Services to ensure that the BLM was meeting its legal requirements. The first of these meetings occurred in September 2012. The organizational structure for the consultation was finalized in an ESA Consultation Agreement, which outlines the agreements made between the BLM, the FWS, and NMFS and signed June 18, 2013. The U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also participated in the meetings to provide insight, and to integrate the work of this consultation effort with those aspects of the RMPs revision process that directly involves them.

For more information, the signed ESA Consultation Agreement is available to be read here (PDF). To learn more about the intersection between the NEPA planning and ESA Consultation processes, check out the Integrated NEPA and ESA Timeline (PDF).

Below are the comments received from our federal consulting agencies on the Draft RMP/EIS, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Responses to substantive comments included in these letters will be published in the BLM's Proposed RMP/Final EIS.

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