November 28, 2023

Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation Policy

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the draft Endangered Species Act (ESA) Compensatory Mitigation Policy. The draft new policy is needed to implement recent Executive Office and Department of the Interior mitigation policies that necessitate a shift from project-by-project to landscape-scale approaches to planning and implementing compensatory mitigation. The draft new policy is also needed to improve consistency in the use of compensatory mitigation as recommended or required under the ESA. The draft ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy, if adopted, would cover permittee-responsible mitigation, conservation banking, in-lieu fee programs, and other third-party mitigation mechanisms, and would stress the need to hold all compensatory mitigation mechanisms to equivalent and effective standards. We request comments, information, and recommendations on the draft new policy from all interested parties.<<<Read More>>>