Qualifications of the Qualified Biologist and USFWS-Approved Biologist

Biological monitoring and construction oversight will be provided by biologists at two different experience levels, depending on the activity. These two levels are described in this measure, below. In general, the Qualified Biologist will complete many tasks across species for a Proposed Restoration Project, and the USFWS-Approved Biologist will only be required for specific tasks that require additional species expertise. In some cases, the Qualified Biologist(s) may work under the guidance, direction, or supervision of the USFWS-Approved Biologist. Unless otherwise indicated in Section, Guild- and Species-Specific Protection Measures, general site surveys and biological monitoring can be conducted by a Qualified Biologist. Because the qualifications for the USFWS-Approved Biologist exceed those for the Qualified Biologist, any activity indicated as appropriate for the Qualified Biologist may also be completed by a USFWS-Approved Biologist.

– Qualified Biologist: The Qualified Biologist is required to meet certain qualifications, as confirmed by the Project Proponent. Resume review by the USFWS is not required for the Qualified Biologist. Minimum qualifications for the Qualified Biologist include a bachelor’s degree in biological or environmental science, natural resources management, or related discipline; field experience in the habitat types that may occur at the project site; familiarity with the Covered Species (or closely related species) that may occur at the project site; and prior preconstruction survey, construction monitoring, or construction oversight experience (if and as relevant to the activity to be conducted).

– USFWS-Approved Biologist: For some Covered Species, additional qualifications may be required for biologists who would be responsible for species handling or relocation, or other activities (Section, Guild- and Species-Specific Protection Measures). These activities would be completed by the USFWS-Approved Biologist when required by the protection measures. Resume(s) for the USFWS-Approved Biologist(s) with experience in the identification of all life stages and ecology of the applicable Covered Species (or closely related species) and their critical habitat will be submitted to the USFWS Field Office for review and approval at least 30 days prior to any activity for which the protection measures indicate that a USFWS-Approved Biologist is required. Because species handling and relocation of some species for proposed restoration projects would be authorized by USFWS through issuance of the PBO and associated ITS, it may not be a requirement for the USFWS-Approved Biologist to hold a federal Section 10(a)(1)(A) Recovery Permit to implement this role on an approved project under this program. However, it is noted that some presence/absence surveys that may be performed by a USFWS-Approved Biologist may require that the person conducting those surveys hold a Section 10(a)(1)(A) Recovery Permit. For any surveys, securing/confirming necessary 10(a)(1)(A) permits and other authorizations should be coordinated with the respective USFWS Field Office or S7 Delegated Authority Program (DAP).