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Signatory Agencies

This page contains select resources and agency updates shared by the “Signatory Agencies” related to Eco-Logical or landscape-scale initiatives. The “Signatory Agencies” are the eight agencies who developed and signed Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects (2006).

They included: the Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

These agencies:

  • Created a shared vision of how to integrate infrastructure development and ecosystem conservation to harmonize economic, environmental, and social needs and objectives.
  • Meet twice a year to share updates on their Eco-Logical and landscape-scale initiatives, identify opportunities to collaborate, and come to consensus on shared priorities.

Bureau of Land Management logo National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logo U.S. National Park Service logo U.S. Army Corps of Engineers logo U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration logo U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo U.S. Forest Service logo

Winter 2022

Bureau of Land Management Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2021-046 on Mitigation
This Instruction Memorandum (IM) reinstates the BLM’s Manual Section (MS-1794) and Handbook (H-1794-1). The Mitigation Manual and Handbook provide policy and guidance on implementing mitigation to address impacts to resources from public land uses. These policies direct the BLM to implement mitigation through a landscape-scale approach, utilize best management practices, maintain durability for mitigation measures, monitor mitigation measures for compliance and effectiveness, and adaptively manage mitigation measures, among several other policy provisions.

Memorandum between the Department of the Army (Civil Works) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultations
This memorandum describes how the agencies evaluate the effects of projects involving existing structures on listed species and designated critical habitat in Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations.

America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful is a decade-long challenge to pursue a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore 30 percent of the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend by 2030.

National Park Service Connected Conservation Webinar
Increasing wildlife habitat connectivity by conserving and restoring wildlife migration and movement pathways is a critical tool to combat the dual biodiversity and climate crises. In national park landscapes across the country, locally-driven collaborative conservation efforts are underway uniting state and federal land managers, Tribal Nations, private landowners, conservation organizations, and community members around a shared goal of conserving and restoring wildlife movement and migrations.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Final Rule: Reissuance and Modification of Nationwide Permits
Nationwide Permits (NWPs) authorize certain activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 that have no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. This December 27, 2021 Final Rule reissued 40 existing NWPs and issued one new NWP. More information on Nationwide Permits is available here.

EPA released the updated version of the agency’s environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators.

Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation Training
The USFWS National Conservation Training Center released a series of training videos regarding Section 7 consultation requirements, definitions, and process.

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacatur
EPA and USACE are in receipt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona’s August 30, 2021, order vacating and remanding the Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the case of Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In light of this order, the agencies have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”) nationwide and are interpreting “waters of the United States” consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime until further notice.

Summer 2021

International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management
The guidelines provide practitioners with the best available information concerning the conceptualization, planning, design, engineering, construction, and maintenance of NNBF to support resilience and flood risk reduction for coastlines, bays, and estuaries, as well as river and freshwater systems.

Birds of Conservation Concern
USFWS published the Birds of Conservation Concern 2021 List, which identifies the migratory and non-migratory bird species (beyond those already designated as federally threatened or endangered) that represent USFWS’s highest conservation priorities. The list is based on an assessment of several factors, including population abundance and trends, threats on breeding and nonbreeding grounds, and size of breeding and nonbreeding ranges.

Landscape Approach Data Portal
BLM’s Landscape Approach Data Portal is a one-stop source for geospatial data, maps, models and reports produced by BLM’s landscape initiatives including the: Assessment, Inventory & Monitoring (AIM) strategy; BLM National Data; Fire & Invasives Assessment (FIAT) program; Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG); Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (IRFMS); and Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs).

Winter 2021

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) Tool
IPaC is a project planning tool that streamlines the USFWS environmental review process. The tool helps practitioners identify USFWS managed resources and suggests conservation measures for projects. IPaC also includes the Consultation Package Builder (CPB), which is an interactive, step-by-step tool for preparing consultation packages that leverages USFWS data and recommendations, including conservation measures designed to help avoid or minimize effects to listed species.

National Park Service Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) Framework
NPS published the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD)—A Decision Framework for the 21st-century Natural Resource Manager report, which presents and explores management options that decision makers can consider when responding to ecosystems facing the potential for rapid, irreversible ecological change. In so doing, the report provides a framework that encourages natural resource managers to consider strategic, forward-looking actions, rather than structure management goals based on past conditions.

Summer 2020

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monarch Butterfly Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances
This nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) with an integrated Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) for monarch butterflies on energy and transportation lands provides participant agencies regulatory assurances that additional conservation measures will not be required if the monarch is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) if they voluntarily implement conservation measures. The Agreement was finalized in March 2020.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Habitat Focus Areas Story Map
This story map details how habitat focus areas (HFAs) improve ecosystems, benefit communities, and advance scientific management. NOAA HFAs are targeted places where NOAA focuses its programs and investments to address a high priority habitat issue by working with partners and communities. Additional information about HFAs can be found here:

Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of “Waters of the Unites States”
This final rule establishes the scope of navigable waters regulated under the Clean Water Act. There are twelve (12) categories of exclusions that are not considered waters of the United States (WOTUS). It was published in the Federal Register in April 2020, becoming effective June 2020.

Department of the Interior Implementation Progress Report for Secretarial Order 3362
This implementation progress report released August 2020 details the DOI’s approach, accomplishments, and future actions as it enters into the third year of implementation of Secretarial Order 3363, Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors. Through this Secretarial Order, the USGS, BLM, and USFWS have partnered with State wildlife agencies and funded numerous projects studying wildlife movement.

Winter 2020

Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Endangered Species Act Section 7 Mapper Version 2.0
This updated version of the mapper tool includes species and critical habitat updates as well as functionality improvements to assist Federal action agencies in identifying the ESA-listed species and critical habitat in their project action area.

Winter 2019

Bureau of Land Management National Seed Strategy
This document includes information on the work being done to address goals of the Seed Strategy, including growing and harvesting the seeds for different ecological purposes.

Bureau of Land Management Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2019-018 on Compensatory Mitigation
This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides guidance to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) relating to the imposition of offsite compensatory mitigation as a required condition to use the public lands. The BLM must not require compensatory mitigation from public land users. While the BLM will consider voluntary proposals for compensatory mitigation, and state-mandated compensatory mitigation, the BLM will not accept any monetary payment to mitigate the impacts of a proposed action. IM 2021-038 rescinded IM 2019-018.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Determination of Compensatory Mitigation Credits for the Removal of Obsolete Dams and Other Structures from Rivers and Streams
This document, released in September 2018, discusses the types of credits that can be generated from the removal of these structures. It provides more consistency to the field on the process.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mitigation Bank Credit Release Schedules and Equivalency in Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee Program Service Areas
This rule gives the USACE authority to approve credits for mitigation banks and ILF programs up front, if the bank is constructed and in accordance with the guidance. Equivalency is also discussed in the rule, which was released in February 2019.

Summer 2018

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Engineering with Nature
The Engineering with Nature Initiative enables more sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with water resources infrastructure.

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3362
Secretary Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362 improving habitat quality in western big-game winter range and migration. The Order asked Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus to identify priority areas or critical habitat for Elk, Mule Deer, and Pronghorn Antelope. All States identify transportation infrastructure as a key piece to protect habitats.

Winter 2018

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Training Course Guide
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) has a new training tool, an interactive course guide that breaks down courses into individual subject matters. If a user has a particular skillset, he or she can discover which courses fit the skillset they are looking for. The tool has a breakdown of what the courses addresses and who can benefit from it.

U.S. Department of the Interior “M-opinion” 37050
In December 2017, the DOI’s Office of the Solicitor issued “M-opinion” 37050 stating that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not prohibit incidental take.