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Save Our Species: The Intersection of Species Management and NEPA

Tuesday, August 25
12:30–1:10 PM PT
 | 3:30–4:10 PM ET

About the Session

Talk of species conservation brings romantic visions of bison roaming the western prairies and bald eagles soaring. However, the actions related to species management can constitute a federal action that needs to be analyzed under NEPA. So before that vision is realized, there is a planning team working hard to turn a reintroduction vision into reality. This session will look at three recent introduction or management efforts from federal land management agencies and highlight the unique aspects of a NEPA process for species management, as well as some of the challenges encountered:-Redwoods Condor Reintroduction Plan/EA – Some proposals for species reintroduction meet resistance from local businesses that may experience financial losses because of ESA compliance. This effort brought all stakeholders to the table prior to the start of the NEPA and continued through the planning process. The USFWS 10(j) rule allowed for reintroduction of condors as threatened, rather than endangered, and lessened the impact to stakeholders. -Nonnative Mountain Goat Management Plan / EIS – Species management isn’t always just restoring populations. Sometimes species management includes reducing populations in areas where they aren’t native, like the mountain goats brought to the Olympic Peninsula by hunters in the 1940s. Under the EIS, the NPS looked at multiple management actions, ultimately selecting an alternative that relocated as many goats as possible to the North Cascades, where they are native, and lethally removing they were unable to capture. Relocation efforts began in 2018.-Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale– This planning effort highlights the importance of public scoping. During the initial phase of public scoping, the issue was considered from larger ecosystem management perspective including management of moose. However, after scoping the issue was further narrowed to the question of whether to bring wolves into the park. However, the issue of an island ecosystem remained central to the planning process, including Island Ecosystem as an impact topic, streamlining the EIS. Wolf reintroduction began in 2018.


  • NEPA

About the Speaker


Rudi Byron

More information coming soon!

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