A Coarse Screening Process for Evaluation of the Effects of Land Management Activities on Salmon Spawning and Rearing Habitat in ESA Consultations
Spring, summer, and fall Chinook Salmon in the Snake River Basin have been listed as ‘endangered’ under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The ESA requires that activities authorized, funded, or carried out by federal agencies do not adversely modify critical habitat for listed species. The interim policy of NMFS is that the aggregate effect of all land use activities should result in improved habitat conditions and survival for the listed salmon species. The Coarse Screening Process provides objective, measurable criteria to evaluate the consistency of single and combined land management activities with these legal and policy goals. Although salmon populations are affected by a variety of activities throughout the migratory range of the listed salmon, the Coarse Screening Process focuses only on land management activities and their effect on salmon survival in spawning and rearing habitat.
The Coarse Screening Process relies on three sets of criteria. Biologically-based habitat standards are used to determine the need for improvement in habitat conditions. Land management standards are used to determine the consistency of activities with protection and improvement of habitat conditions and, in some cases, are contingent on habitat conditions. The screening process also requires that data exist for all land management and habitat conditions set as standards that can potentially be affected by single or combined activities. Under the screening process, activities are deemed consistent with ESA habitat policies only when all three sets of criteria are satisfied.
Rhodes, J.J., D.A. McCullough, and F.A. Espinosa Jr. 1994. A coarse screening process for evaluation of the effects of land. Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Technical Report 94-4. Portland, OR. 245p.