U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Threatened & Endangered Species Team (TEST)

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Photo by Steven George

Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(1)

What is Sec 7a1 Conservation?

Section 2(c)(1) of the ESA declares that it is “…the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this Act.” The primary mechanism for implementing this policy is identified under section 7(a)(1) of the ESA, titled “Interagency Cooperation,” which obligates all Federal agencies and provides them the authority to reasonably modify their actions and conduct their missions in a manner that assists in the conservation (i.e., recovery) of species listed as endangered or threatened. Section 7, therefore, provides a mechanism to share the responsibility and cost of listed species recovery among all Federal agencies.


  • Allows USACE to be proactive in consultation and conservation processes rather than reactionary
  • Reduces surprises and conflicts
  • Listed species needs and potential conflicts considered early in action agency planning and budgetary processes
  • We commit to actions we would be predisposed to undertake anyway under 7(a)(2)
  • Reduce future 7(a)(2) consultations
  • Increases likelihood of species recovery.


2018 Mar USFWS ESA Implementation Framework

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Southeast Region. Version 2.0, 7 March 2018. Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(1) Southeast Region Implementation Framework: Promoting Conservation through Interagency Cooperation, 38 p. (PDF)

2014 Feb USFWS Integrated Process Review
2018 Jan USFWS Guide for Federal Compliance
ARD 7(a)(1) Guidance Memo

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Northeast Region. N.D. Regional Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(1) Guidance Memo, 2 p. (PDF)

Conservation Plans:

2012 July 9 USMC 7a1 plan

U.S. Marine Corps/Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. July 2012. Programmatic biological assessment: Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) recovery and sustainment program (FOUO)

2003 Sep Camp Shelby Burrowing Crayfish

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Mississippi Valley Division. 2014. Conservation plan for the interior least tern, pallid sturgeon, and fat pocketbook mussel in the lower Mississippi River (Endangered Species Act, Section 7(a)(1)), 100 p. Conservation plan (PDF)


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Omaha District. October 2017. Conservation plan for the pallid sturgeon, interior least tern, northern great plains piping plover, gray bat, Indiana bat, and northern long-eared bat in the Missouri River mainstem and associated tributary projects (Endangered Species Act, Section 7(a)(1)), 13 p.Conservation plan (PDF)

Memphis District Conservation plan

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Memphis District. nd. Conservation plan for the endangered fat pocketbook mussel in the St. Francis River basin, 14 p. Conservation plan (PDF)