Biological Assessments

A Biological Assessment (BA) is a document prepared for the Section 7 process to determine whether a proposed activity under the authority of a Federal action agency is likely to adversely affect listed species, proposed species, or designated critical habitat. T he document is used to compile enough information about the activity or project and the species potentially affected to determine whether a proposal is likely to: (1) adversely affect listed species or designated critical habitat; (2) jeopardize the continued existence of species that are proposed for listing; or (3) adversely modify proposed critical habitat. The outcome of this biological assessment determines whether formal consultation or a conference is necessary. (50 CFR §402.02, 50 CFR §402.12). This determination is provided by USFWS in a document known as a Biological Opinion (BO).

A BA addresses all listed and proposed species in action area. It generally involves:

  • Onsite inspections
  • Analysis of likely effects:
  • Biological studies
  • Literature review
  • Expert opinion

The BA also describes cumulative effects and it helps determine need for formal Consultation.

BAs and BOs completed for FSA will be posted here in the future.