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Bio Matrix

On January 20, 2012, the Nebraska Division, Nebraska Department of Roads, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) successfully finalized a programmatic agreement (PA) that satisfies Endangered Species Act and Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act compliance for the overall federal-aid transportation program in Nebraska. This was part of an ongoing effort among the agencies to streamline the biological review process required for every project, while still providing the necessary protections for species and their habitats. The programmatic agreement provides an up-front concurrence for the majority of the program by applying agreed-to standardized effect determinations based on activity type and habitat characteristics, and by utilizing standardized conservation conditions to be implemented at the project level.

In the fall of 2012, the signatory agencies completed a random sample review of projects assessed for species concerns using the PA and associated matrix tools. Based on this first review, the signatory agencies determined the tools were working as planned, and the Nebraska Department of Roads was successfully implementing the terms of the agreement. In September of 2013, another review was conducted, and based on the September 2013 review, the PA and tools are still working as designed. Furthermore the PA and tools are providing program efficiencies for all agencies, while still providing the needed protections for protected species. Based on the 2013 review, for the period of July 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013:

Total # of Projects Reviewed Using Matrix PA and tools = 129

# of Projects Approved without further consultation with USFWS/Nebraska Game & Parks = 105 (81%)

# of Projects Needing Further Consultation with USFWS/Nebraska Game & Parks = 24 (19%)

(For more information see attached file)

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