Significant protections are afforded to habitat and populations of a wide variety organisms under the Endangered Species Act (and numerous other legislation). Biome is highly skilled at identifying these resources and adept at navigating the various regulatory processes should Threatened, Endangered or Species of Special Concern populations are associated with a proposed development. A summary of the federal Imperiled Species permitting process is offered (here).
Impacts to resources protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are referred to as a “Take.” Take means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. Harassment has broad implications including land development activities in the vicinity of a protected resource. There are two primary means of obtaining take authorization under the ESA, which is referred to by the paragraph within the legislation in which they occur: Section 7 permitting and Section 10 permitting.
A Section 10 permit is authorization granted directly from the US Department of Interior to an entity considering the mitigation process presented by the applicant. The process of obtaining a Section 10 permit is very lengthy, complicated, and expensive and includes publishing a public notice of the proposed project in the Federal Register. Any land owner whose development plans are construed to constitute a take has the option to pursue a Section 10 permit for his property.
A Section-7 permit is an ESA take authorization granted not directly from the Department of the Interior, but through a regulatory instrument granted by another federal agency. The other federal agency must “consult” with the Service to satisfy the mitigation process and to develop the conditions that will be appended to the consulting agency’s permit instrument. An example of a Section-7 permit could be a project that also has wetland impacts authorized by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The ESA authorization can be promulgated through the Corps permit via consultation between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Corps. Therefore, a Section-7 permit (which is easier and much quicker than a Section-10 permit) is available to individual landowners if their development proposal includes other federal authorizations.