The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that an Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) permit must not result in an action that would jeopardize the continued existence of any ESA-protected species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. Some activities which are authorized/verified by a Corps permit might have the potential to directly or indirectly affect protected species and/or designated critical habitat.
Information regarding the potential for ESA-protected species or designated critical habitats to be in a given project area, and species habitat description information, can be found by visiting each state’s USFWS Ecological Service Office (ESO) website. The direct links are provided below:
USFWS Arkansas ESO: https://www.fws.gov/arkansas-es/#
USFWS Louisiana ESO: https://www.fws.gov/southeast/lafayette/
USFWS Mississippi ESO: https://www.fws.gov/mississippies/
To help ensure that Corps permitted projects do not contribute to further endangerment of a species, the Corps may need to conduct Section 7 consultation with the USFWS, and, through consultation with the USFWS, may require modification of the project plans or may condition a permit where protected species/habitats may be adversely affected (in order to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of adverse impacts from the regulated activities). Failure to comply with the ESA can lead to civil and criminal penalties. Please note: An applicant or prospective permittee cannot perform Section 7 consultation with the USFWS on behalf of the Vicksburg District Regulatory Office. An applicant or prospective permittee, can, however engage in early coordination with the USFWS and provide that information to our office to aid in our assessment of the likelihood for adverse effects and the need for the Corps to undertake Section 7 actions.
If you have a project that is located in an area that may include one or more species or habitats which are ESA-protected, a threatened and endangered species survey might be required. Any survey for endangered or threatened species should be completed by a qualified, professional biologist and must comply with the provisions of the ESA. If you are required to survey for an ESA-protected species/habitat, coordination with your Corps Project Manager and the appropriate USFWS Field Office should be undertaken beforehand to ensure the survey protocol and scope is appropriate in the context of the proposed regulated activities and that the survey plan is approved, in writing, from both the Corps and USFWS prior to undertaking the survey.
ESA Delisting of the Louisiana Black Bear
Although ESA Section 7 consultation is no longer required for the Louisiana black bear (which has been delisted due to recovery), applicants and prospective permittees are advised that the Louisiana black bear is still protected under State of Louisiana law, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will continue to actively manage this subspecies. To learn more about continuing Louisiana black bear protection and habitat conservation opportunities, including voluntary conservation considerations, the USFWS and LDWF have provided a Louisiana black bear "Post-Delisting Conservation Considerations” white paper.