ESA Consultation Process Overview
The following provides a high-level introduction to Biological Assessments and the process for developing and using them. The purpose of this section is to provide you with a broad orientation and overview. This, along with this site's
Helpful Hints and National BA Template and National BA Template Instructions, should provide you with the structure and assistance you need to help make your process of preparing Biological Assessments as efficient and straightforward as possible.
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A BA is the document that assesses the effects of projects on threatened and endangered (listed) species and critical habitat. If such species may be present in a project area, a biological assessment (BA) is prepared for the purpose of analyzing the potential effects of the project on listed species and critical habitat. A BA is created using best available scientific and commercial data. A BA can also include measures to minimize and avoid any identified effects as well as enhancements when reasonable. Before any project can move forward to construction, FHWA must complete consultation if a transportation project has the potential of effecting listed species and critical habitat.
Biological Assessments include: (1) information concerning all species listed and proposed for listing under the ESA; (2) designated and proposed critical habitat that may be present in the action area of the project; and (3) the evaluation of potential effects of the project on such species and habitat. In general, the BA includes:
A. Understand the Process . . .
B. Get Organized . . .
C. Write Your BA . . .
D. DOT/FHWA Review . . .
E. Consult with Services . . .
F. Concluding Consultation (Concurrence or BO) . . .
G. Re-initiating a Consultation . . .
H. Archive . . .