Updated Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sensitive Species List for Nevada

NV IM-2018-003
Instruction Memorandum

In Reply Refer To:
6840 (9300) P

United States Department of the Interior
Nevada State Office
1340 Financial Boulevard
Reno, NV 89502-7147

November 22, 2017

EMS TRANSMISSION November 22, 2017
Instruction Memorandum No. NV-IM-2018-003
Expires: 9/30/2022

To: District and Field Office Managers, Nevada

From: Acting State Director

Subject: Updated Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sensitive Species List for Nevada

Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to replace expired IM-NV-2011- 059, Updated Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sensitive Species List for Nevada, which lists sensitive plant and animal species that occur on BLM administered lands in Nevada consistent with Manual Section 6840 and current WO-230 guidance.

Policy/Action: Attached is the BLM Sensitive Species List for Nevada. The list was developed using the criteria set forth in BLM Manual Section 6840, Special Status Species Management. It includes species listed or proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), and delisted species in the five years following their delisting. In 2015, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) settled a lawsuit on "candidate species;" species for whom listing under ESA is warranted but is precluded due to higher priorities. The lawsuit ended the category of "candidate species;" however, the USFWS has until 2020 to determine if those species are warranted or not warranted for listing. The species that were formerly referred to as "candidate species" have been retained on the BLM NV Sensitive Species List if the USFWS has not made a listing decision. Species appearing on the attached list will be managed as BLM sensitive, as described in BLM Manual Section 6840.

Timeframe: This list is effective immediately. For NEPA purposes, projects for which wildlife baseline evaluations have been completed and deemed acceptable by the BLM Field or District Manager are allowed to continue using the 2011 list. Having consistent Nevada guidance on where in the NEPA process projects may continue to use the 2011 list eliminates confusion and ensures proponents receive consistent guidance throughout Nevada.

Budget Impact: None.

Background: The BLM Manual Section 6840 (Manual) directs the BLM to manage BLM sensitive species and their habitats to minimize or eliminate threats affecting the status of the species or to improve the condition of the species' habitat.

The Manual describes the following criteria for BLM sensitive species:

"In compliance with existing laws, including the BLM multiple-use mission as specified in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the BLM shall designate BLM sensitive species. BLM also implements measures to conserve these species and their habitats, including ESA proposed critical habitat, to promote their conservation and reduce the likelihood and need for such species to be listed pursuant to the ESA. All federally designated candidate species, proposed species, and delisted species in the 5 years following their delisting shall be conserved as BLM sensitive species.

State Directors shall designate species within their respective states as BLM sensitive using the following criteria. For species inhabiting multiple states, State Directors shall coordinate with one another in the designation of BLM sensitive species so that species status is consistent across the species 'range on BLM administered lands' where appropriate.

Species designated as BLM sensitive must be native species found on BLM administered lands for which the BLM has the capability to significantly affect the conservation status of the species through management and either:

(1) There is information that a species has recently undergone, is undergoing, or is predicted to undergo a downward trend such that the viability of the species or a distinct population segment of the species is at risk across all or a significant portion of the species 'range, or

(2) The species depends on ecological refugia or specialized or unique habitats on BLM administered lands, and there is evidence that such areas are threatened ·with alteration such that the continued viability of the species in that area would be at risk."

This list does not replace the need to obtain a .. species list" from the USFWS for ESA compliance. Species lists are available on-line at https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/. Should the USFWS add species to the list of candidates, they are considered BLM sensitive if they occur or are likely to occur on BLM managed lands in Nevada.

This revised BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List updates the 2011 list and reflects the following changes:

  1. District occurrence information is updated;
  2. The list includes species that were formerly termed .. candidate species" by the USFWS. The USFWS no longer uses this term; consequently, species are not designated as such. The list continues to includes species listed or proposed as threatened or endangered, pursuant to the ESA, as amended, which occur or potentially occur on BLM managed public lands;
  3. Taxonomic information has been updated;
  4. Four species have been added because of outstanding petitions to list under the ESA of 1973 as amended: Arizona toad (Anaxyrus microscap/ws); Dixie Valley toad (Anaxyrus williamsi); monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), and Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia);
  5. Four state-protected species (Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva), Wall Canyon Sucker (Catostomus sp 1), Warner Sucker (Catostomus warnerensis) and Shasta Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea shastensis) were removed from the list because their habitat is either managed by California BLM or US Forest Service;
  6. Seven reptiles have been added because data strongly suggests populations are in decline, the species are all Species of Conservation Concern in the State Wildlife Action Plan, and are heavily collected for the commercial trade.

Coordination: The new list was coordinated with BLM Nevada biologists, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Nevada Natural Heritage Program, and the USFWS as appropriate, relative to the ESA, or management status of selected species.

Contact: For questions or comments, contact Sandra Brewer at (775)-861-6626 or sbrewer@blm.gov.

1. BLM Nevada Sensitive and Status Species List


United States Department of the Interior
Nevada State Office

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