A PROGRAMMATIC SECTION 7 CONSULTATION TO RESTORE HABITAT CONNECTIVITY AND ACHIEVE RECOVERY FOR A FEDERALLY THREATENED SPECIES: PREBLE’S MEADOW JUMPING MOUSE
- Author(s): Wostl, Roland
- et al.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have recently completed a programmatic consultation under section 7 consultation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The consultation addresses all currently known transportation projects anticipated to affect Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) in the Monument Creek watershed, El Paso County, Colorado. It establishes a mitigation process largely divorced from individual projects. Instead of compensating for impacts to habitat with conventional mitigation methods of replacing, restoring or creating habitat based on ratios, programmatic conservation commitments focus on promoting recovery of a listed species. Also, by establishing protocols for developing subsequent projects and site-specific biological assessments, the programmatic process provides a framework for developing highway projects along predictable schedules.