The GCP is a master (umbrella document) plan which will enable NOAA Fisheries Service to expedite the regulatory and permitting process for administering Incidental Take Permits (ITP) and will provide necessary conservation measures to help recover listed Atlantic salmon.
Currently, it can take an applicant 1-2 years to prepare a Habitat Conservation Plan, in order to receive an ITP under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
To obtain an ITP through section 10 (a)(1)(B), the ESA requires that a conservation plan be developed to:
- Describe the anticipated take from the proposed action;
- Identify alternatives to those actions which can avoid or minimize anticipated take to the maximum extent practicable; and
- Determine how unavoidable take will be mitigated (The GCP applicant will likely be required to fund and implement mitigation measures as part of the conditions for permit issuance).
This GCP eliminates the need for individual Habitat Conservation Plans. By incorporating the necessary legal documents and statutory requirements upfront, it significantly streamlines and simplifies the ITP process; provided the applicant meets specific qualification requirements under the plan.