Work Restrictions Near Active Nests

If an active nest is detected during the survey, either work will be suspended until the young have fledged/beginning of the nonbreeding season or the following will apply:

– An exclusionary buffer of 500 feet will be established around the nest and will be maintained between noise-generating project activities and nest’s location. Noise buffer distances may be modified in coordination with the USFWS Field Office based on project specific characteristics or a Project Proponent/Action Agency may choose to submit their own analysis and buffer recommendations for USFWS’s consideration. If sufficient buffers cannot be implemented, the proposed activities may lead to adverse effects, not to exceed the self-imposed take limit of injury or mortality of up to eight individuals and four nests annually. The local USFWS Field Office and Project Proponent will work together during the ESA Section 7(a)(2) Review Form process to ensure an individual project does not adversely affect a significant portion of an occupied pairs’ territory. The self-imposed take limit also requires no net loss of habitat through the protection measures and/or offsetting impacts with habitat restoration or enhancement.

– A Qualified Biologist will monitor the nest during construction for signs of adverse effects, including distress/disturbance. If adverse effects are detected, then the Qualified Biologist will have the authority to stop all construction activity near the nest. The USFWS-Approved Biologist will identify additional measures to protect the nest and will coordinate with the applicable USFWS Office regarding additional protection measures to avoid or minimize effects on the nesting birds. Construction may resume only with approval from USFWSApproved Biologist; AND

– The Qualified Biologist, in coordination with the USFWS-Approved Biologist, will continue to monitor the nest and will determine when young have fledged. Once the USFWSApproved Biologist has confirmed that the young have left the nest, the buffer and exclusion zone may be removed and construction activities in these areas may resume. OR

– If construction must occur in the buffer and exclusion zones, the appropriate USFWS Field Office will be contacted to determine what additional measures may be necessary to avoid and/or minimize effects to these species.