Compensatory Mitigation

Golden Eagle Soaring
Golden Eagle - Juan Lacruz

In general, the term “mitigation” refers to measures taken to lessen or offset adverse impacts from an action. Broadly speaking, mitigation includes: avoidance, minimization, rectification, reduction or elimination over time, and compensatory mitigation. Compensatory mitigation is mitigation that “compensates” for impacts that were not avoided or minimized.

Currently, the eagle nonpurposeful take regulations require all permittees to avoid and minimize impacts to eagles. Additional, compensatory mitigation has been required for:

The Service would like to establish consistent standards for when compensatory mitigation would be required under permits. The range of options is wide, but can be simplified into these approaches (one or more of which could be adopted):

  1. Require replacement mitigation for take that exceeds established take thresholds.
  2. Require compensatory mitigation for all authorized take. There could be some scaled level of compensatory mitigation for every permit, with minimal restrictions on how the money could be spent so long as it was for eagle conservation.
  3. Require compensatory mitigation under some predetermined circumstances for take that is within established thresholds but nevertheless may affect the long-term preservation of eagles (for example, when habitat is significantly degraded; for loss of a traditional communal roost; or if necessary to offset impacts to the local area eagle population).

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