In formulating its biological opinion, any reasonable and prudent alternatives, and any reasonable and prudent measures, the Service will use the best scientific and commercial data available [50 C.F.R. 402.14(g)(8)].


FIGURE 1-1 Consultation process under ESA Section 7 for a federal action that potentially could affect a listed species or critical habitat. If the agency determines that the action “may affect” the listed species or critical habitat, it has two options: (1) determine whether the action is “likely to adversely affect” or (2) go directly to formal consultation with the appropriate Service. Abbreviations: FWS, Fish and Wildlife Service; NMFS, National Marine Fisheries Service; RPA, Reasonable and Prudent Action; RPM, Reasonable and Prudent Measure.

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