Environmental Resource Management
Protecting the Natural Environment
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has been active in Arizona since 1903 when work began on the Salt River Project. Seventy years later, with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the way those activities were carried out changed.
The Endangered Species Act, amended, Section 7, paragraph (a)(2), obligates consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service to "insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency . . . is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species . . . "
As a result of these consultations, Reclamation's Phoenix Area Office instituted mitigation to either minimize the impact of construction or to replace lost or damaged habitat resulting from its projects.
Section 7(a)(2) states that each agency shall use the best scientific and commercial data available. A frequent concern during many consultations is that there is a lack of good science about the ecology and habitat requirements of a particular species.
To help alleviate this problem, the Bureau of Reclamation can sometimes use its authorities to gather needed information as provided under Section 7(a)(1). Section 7(a)(1) is the introductory paragraph of the Endangered Species Act, Section 7. It states that federal agencies should carry out programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. In times of lean federal budgets and many fiscal demands, Reclamation finds this approach allows it to maximize the benefits of discretionary activities like this in carrying out its core mission of delivering water and power.
While many of these activities have been small in scope and funding, the benefits are significant. Information gathered through these activities can pave the way to making more informed decisions during the Section 7 consultation process and assist in conservation efforts and the overall battle against extinction.
Phoenix Area Office Contact:
Carol Evans, Biologist
NATIVE AQUATIC SPECIES OF THE GILA RIVER BASIN
Reclamation and the Fossil Creek Fish Barriers
Deer and Bighorn Sheep
CAP Mitigation History
August 12, 2013
Joseph J. Billerbeck - firstname.lastname@example.org