About this Collection

The purpose of these documents is to provide recommendations for standardizing and streamlining Endangered Species Action (ESA) section 7 consultations for listed plant species and their designated critical habitats. These documents are not formal guidance on how to analyze and mitigate potential effects to plant species; rather, it is intended to be a resource for practitioners conducting section 7 consultations involving plants in New Mexico.

The main document outlines the responsibilities of action agencies under the Act, information needed to analyze effects to plants, and an analysis method and considerations for reaching biologically sound and defensible effects determinations and as needed, designing effective conservation measures and/or preparing biological evaluations or assessments. Action agency biologists or their designated representatives can apply these recommendations to reach section 7 effects determinations, document their rationales, and solicit technical assistance, concurrence, or a biological opinion from New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO). Although primarily targeted toward action agency staff, other groups participating in the consultation process should find these recommendations helpful for conserving and recovering plant species.

These recommendations were developed based on the best available information and in coordination with agency partners. This is not new guidance, policy, or regulation; it is simply a synthesis of information to assist section 7 practitioners in achieving conservation of Federally listed plants in New Mexico. Additionally, these recommendations should not be assumed to satisfy the expectations of any other entity and nothing in this document supersedes applicable laws, regulations, policy, and/or formal orders. While we believe this document to contain timely and accurate information compiled from reliable sources, we make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this document. We encourage application of our standards and recommendations, as we believe that they will streamline, and enhance conservation outcomes from, the section 7 consultation process. Conservation is a constantly evolving practice, and we intend to revise this document as new information becomes available and as regulations and policies change. If you notice any errors or omissions or become aware of existing or new relevant information, we encourage you to notify us at nmesfo@fws.gov. Additionally, we are available to talk about these resources with anyone who is interested; you may contact us at nmesfo@fws.gov.

Documents included in this collection are our (1) recommendations for ESA Section 7 Section 7
Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

Learn more about Section 7
Consultations involving plants in New Mexico and (2) our office’s minimum standards for botanical surveys for target plant species (including proposed and candidate species). Also included in this collection are summaries of federally listed plant species' biology and their range and habitat (Appendix A); an evaluation of each species’ spatial vulnerability based on the sensitivity of its reproductive, demographic, and habitat traits (Appendix B) and a literature review of papers summarizing the impacts of different activities on plants (Appendix C). A downloadable Zotero library of Section 7 botany literature references is available here