The Bureau of Land Management
WHAT WE DO
Fish, Wildlife & Botany Group
The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mining development and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.
The Fish, Wildlife and Botany Group provides national leadership for the BLM's Multiple Use mission by serving, enabling, and supporting the BLM organization, partners, and each other. We provide advice, guidance and information to protect, conserve, and improve fish, wildlife and botanical resources.
The BLM signed an Alternative Consultation Agreement (ACA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on March 3, 2004. The ACA was required under the joint counterpart regulations to the Endangered Species Act that the FWS and NMFS developed jointly with Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The joint counterpart regulation to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides alternative procedures that may be used to comply with the federal agency consultation responsibilities described in section 7 of the ESA. The new procedures allow the BLM to make “not likely to adversely affect” determinations without consulting with or obtaining written concurrence from the FWS or NMFS for proposed actions that support the National Fire Plan (NFP). The counterpart regulations were published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2003.
The counterpart regulations allow an accelerated approval process for projects that support the NFP. In addition, the resources that FWS and NMFS normally devote to reviewing requests for concurrence now will be available to focus on other, more complex, consultations, allowing them to complete those consultations more quickly and efficiently. The BLM’s biologists have much experience in identifying expected effects of proposed actions to endangered species. The counterpart regulations will be as equally protective of listed species as is the current process and the regulations allow agencies to use staff resources more effectively. Use of the counterpart regulations for NFP projects remains optional.
Fish, Wildlife, Botany & Special Status Species Program Review
of the BLM Fisheries, Wildlife, Botany, and Special Status Species (FWBSSS)
programs was completed in 2002. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine
if national policies and program direction are effectively being implemented
to meet the goals and objectives of the FWBSSS programs on BLM-administered
lands. Findings of the evaluation are based on a questionnaire administered
to over 800 employees with responsibilities and/or oversight in FWBSSS and
related programs, follow-up site visits with state and field offices to a
subset of offices, analysis of the BLM budget accounting system, and a survey
of public and private partners that have an active interest in the management
of FWBSSS resources on public lands.
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