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Responsibilities of State and Local Governments
For Public Land Managers
Overview
According to the Oregon Senate Bill 533 and its corresponding Oregon Revised Statue (ORS 564), all non-federal public agencies are required to protect listed plants found on their lands.  The purpose of this bill is to facilitate the protection and conservation of Oregon’s threatened and endangered plants and their habitat.  More information about government agency responsibilities can be found in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 603-073-0090).  Any land action on Oregon non-federal public lands which results, or might result, in the taking of a threatened or endangered species requires either a permit or a consultation with staff at ODA.  In order to determine which option is the most appropriate, non-federal public land managers should contact Rebecca Currin for more information. 

Land Manager Responsibilities
If a land action is proposed on non-federal public lands, it is the land manager’s responsibility to take the following steps to ensure compliance with Oregon endangered species laws. If others engage in actions on public lands, it is the responsibility of the government agency managing those lands to ensure compliance.
  1. Determine, whether through survey, consultation with ODA staff, and/or Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center records if any listed species occur or are likely to occur on lands targeted for state action. Surveys must be conducted by a person with expertise in field botany, plant taxonomy, and biological conservation. Also, surveys must be conducted during the time of year when it is possible to identify any listed plants (usually when these plants are in flower and fruit).
  2. If listed species occur or are likely to occur on lands targeted for action, survey the project area and determine (before land action commences) if the proposed action has the potential to reduce the survival or recovery of the listed species.
  3. Initiate consultation process with ODA (see next section).


Consultation Process
Once it is determined that a listed species occurs or is likely to occur on lands targeted for state action, ODA will work with non-federal public land managers to protect that species. Land managers can ensure compliance with ORS 564 by following the steps listed below:

  1. Before the initiation of construction, submit survey results, along with an assessment of potential impacts (if any) to any listed plants identified on the property. This information should be submitted within 30 days of receiving the survey report. Send all correspondence to:

    Native Plant Conservation Program,
    Oregon Department of Agriculture
    Cordley 2082
    Oregon State University
    Corvallis, Oregon 97331

  2. ODA will notify the land manager of its findings within 45 days. One of three things may occur:

    a. If it is determined that project will have no impact to listed plants, and no additional information is needed, ODA will notify the land manager that the project may proceed.

    b. If additional information is needed, ODA will request submission of the needed information.

    c. If it is determined that the project will impact a listed plant, ODA may require a written evaluation of the land action, in relation to the population of the listed species.

  3. Once the written evaluation is submitted, ODA will review the document and return comments within 90 days. At this time ODA may recommend alternatives to proposed actions. A formal consultation and/or a permit may be required.

  4. After the initial consultation is completed, public land managers are required to evaluate population trends (including threats) of listed species on state-managed lands where ongoing actions may be in conflict with the provisions set forth in ORS 564.105 - 564.120, and reassess the number and locations of listed species on their lands. This information should be summarized in an annual written report and submitted to ODA by December 31 of each year.


Written Evaluation Requirements
If ODA requires a written evaluation of the proposed land action, the document should include the following species information:

  • Scientific name and authority
  • Common name
  • Historical and present distribution
  • Estimation of how much of known range of species is likely to be affected by current or proposed land action
  • Description of habitat of listed species at proposed site (include relative abundances of other plant species, soil characteristics, elevation, history of land actions, summary of current land uses, and ownership patterns of adjoining properties)
  • Qualitative/quantitative assessment of populations of listed species at site (number of individuals, age/stage structure, signs of disease or predation, pollinators, seed production, suspected present or past impacts of land actions past or present)
  • Evaluation of predicted effects of proposed land action and reasonable measures to minimize any potential adverse impacts.

Questions?
For more information abou the ODA listed plant consultation process, please contact Rebecca Currin.