Section and Handbook to ensure that it conforms to Neodymium Magnets revised mitigation guidance. Although the requirements for minerals and mineral withdrawals are legally mandated under the mining and mineral leasing laws in sections 9(a) and 15(2) of the WSRA, Manual 6400 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify discretionary decision-space. Ensuring consistency with the Neodymium Magnets Mitigation Manual will foster greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce 38 permitting/authorizations times. Success will be measured in terms of complying with the WSRA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses. Neodymium Magnets Manual 6280 – Management of National Scenic and Historic Trails and Trails under Study or Recommended as Suitable for Congressional Designation (09/14/2012) Manual 6280 provides guidance for managing trails under study, trails recommended as suitable, and congressionally designated National Scenic and Historic Trails to fulfill the requirements of the National Trails System Act (NTSA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Manual 6280 identifies mitigation as one way to address substantial interference with the natural and purposes for which a National Trail is designated. Manual 6280 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to the Neodymium Magnets Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure it conforms to the Neodymium Magnets revised mitigation guidance. Although many of the requirements are legally mandated under the National Trails System Act, Manual 6280 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify any discretionary decision-space to reduce or eliminate burdens. Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency with the Neodymium Magnets Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations time. Success will be measured in terms of complying with the NTSA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses. FWS iv. Compensatory Mitigation for Impacts to Migratory Bird Habitat The FWS has the authority to recommend, but not require, mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat under several Federal authorities. Pursuant to a Memoranda of Understanding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), implementing EO13186 (January 10, 2001), FWS evaluates the impacts of FERC-licensed interstate pipelines to migratory bird habitat. The FWS is developing Service-wide guidance to ensure the bureau is consistent, fair and objective, appropriately characterizes the voluntary nature of compensatory mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat, and demonstrates a reasonable nexus between anticipated impacts and recommended mitigation. The FWS anticipates it will take 3 months to finalize the guidance. Guidance will result in timely and practicable licensing decisions, while providing for the conservation of migratory Birds of Conservation Concern. 39 Success will be measured by timely issuance of licenses that contain appropriate recommendations that do not impose burdensome costs to developers. The FWS Regional and Field Offices will provide informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to educate and remind staff of policy. v. Mitigation Actions – Regulations and Policy Governing Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) The CCAAs are developed to encourage voluntary conservation efforts to benefit species that are candidates for listing by providing the regulatory assurance that take associated with implementing an approved candidate conservation agreement will be permitted under section 10(a)(1)(A) for the Endangered Species Act if the species is ultimately listed, and that no additional mitigation requirements will be imposed. Recent revisions to the CCAA regulations and policy and the adoption of “net conservation benefit” as an issuance standard has been perceived by some to impose an unnecessary, ambiguous, and burdensome standard that will discourage voluntary conservation. There are also concerns with the preamble language that suggested that CCAAs may not be appropriate vehicles for permitting take of listed species resulting from oil and gas development activities. The FWS will solicit public review and comment on the need and basis for a revision of the CCAA regulation and associated policy for the purpose of evaluating whether it should maintain or revise the current regulation and policy or reinstate the former ones. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comments. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the regulation and policy. The anticipated benefits will be ensuring the CCAA standard is clear and encourages stakeholder participation in voluntary conservation of candidate and other at-risk species. Success will be measured by FWS providing timely assistance to developers if they seek a CCAA. The FWS Headquarters will provide Regional and Field Offices with informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the regulation and policy review. vi. Mitigation Actions – FWS Mitigation Policy In 2016, FWS finalized revisions to its 1981 Mitigation Policy, which guides FWS recommendations on mitigating the adverse impacts of land and water development on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. 40 Some stakeholders believe the revised policy’s mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority. The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating the policy. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy. The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats. Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process. The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review. vii. FWS ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy In 2016, FWS finalized its ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP), which steps down and implements the 2016 revised the FWS Mitigation Policy (including the mitigation planning goal). The CMP was established to improve consistency and effectiveness in the use of compensatory mitigation. Its primary intent is to provide FWS staff with direction and guidance in the planning and implementation of compensatory mitigation. Some stakeholders believe the mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority. The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating whether it should modify the policy. Additional legal review will be undertaken after comments are reviewed. The FWS anticipates that it will take three months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy. The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats. Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process. 41 The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review. viii. Interim Guidance on Implementing the Final ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy This document provides interim guidance for implementing the Service’s CMP. The guidance provides operational detail on the

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