Regulatory Assurances

View a list of Programs and Tools Which Could Provide Regulatory Assurance to a Landowner

A regulatory assurance is a Federal- or State-approved formal and legally binding agreement between the agency involved and the landowner which states that if a landowner voluntarily aids in conservation of a species, the landowner will not be required to undertake any additional or different management activities while the contract is active if the species is listed or otherwise additionally protected. Relevant agreements include:

  • Safe Harbor Agreements (including an Incidental Take permit) for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed or threatened species
  • Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) for species that are not listed in or considered threated by the ESA, but are rare and could become candidates to be listed. This agreement stands should the species become listed and will automatically generate an enhancement of survival permit for the landowner
  • Habitat Conservation Plans required for incidental take permits

Note: an incidental take permit authorizes incidental take of an ESA protected species (which is otherwise illegal) for the holder of the permit so that the permittee can proceed with operations as normal. A conservation plan that minimizes harm to species during the project is usually required for a permit.

Programs and Tools Which Could Provide Regulatory Assurance to a Landowner

Click on a program below to learn more

  • Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) - US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances are a tool for non-Federal private landowners who voluntarily take measures to stabilize and restore populations of rare or candidate species before they are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Landowners participate in identifying threats to these species, by taking part in conservation activities specific to the species, and by improving and maintaining critical habitat. This formal agreement between the landowner and US Fish and Wildlife Service guarantees that if the CCAA if fulfilled, the landowner will... Read More →
  • Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Incidental Take Permits - US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Incidental Take Federally listed and threatened endangered species often rely on critical habitat found on private land. The population and habitat needs of one of these species may be juxtaposed with economic development and other legal activities on a landowner’s property. In these situations, “incidental take” of a protected species can occur.  Incidental take without an approved permit from USFWS is subject to penalty under the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act provides a mechanism by which landowners can minimize and... Read More →
  • Safe Harbor Agreements (SHA) - US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Texas is home to many endangered federally listed species which are legally protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Over one-third of the 564 plant and animal species listed as threatened or endangered in the United States use wetland habitats, according to the Texas General Land Office.  Many of these species rely on habitat found on privately owned land. A Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) are a tool for private landowner whom would like to aid in the recovery of a listed or... Read More →

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