United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 01, 2023
Except as hereafter stated in subsection (h) of this section, whenever the waters of any stream or other body of water are proposed or authorized to be impounded, diverted, the channel deepened, or the stream or other body of water otherwise controlled or modified for any purpose whatever, including navigation and drainage, by any department or agency of the United States, or by any public or private agency under Federal permit or license, such department or agency first shall consult with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, and with the head of the agency exercising administration over the wildlife resources of the particular State wherein the impoundment, diversion, or other control facility is to be constructed, with a view to the conservation of wildlife resources by preventing loss of and damage to such resources as well as providing for the development and improvement thereof in connection with such water-resource development.
In furtherance of such purposes, the reports and recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior on the wildlife aspects of such projects, and any report of the head of the State agency exercising administration over the wildlife resources of the State, based on surveys and investigations conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and such State agency for the purpose of determining the possible damage to wildlife resources and for the purpose of determining means and measures that should be adopted to prevent the loss of or damage to such wildlife resources, as well as to provide concurrently for the development and improvement of such resources, shall be made an integral part of any report prepared or submitted by any agency of the Federal Government responsible for engineering surveys and construction of such projects when such reports are presented to the Congress or to any agency or person having the authority or the power, by administrative action or otherwise, (1) to authorize the construction of water-resource development projects or (2) to approve a report on the modification or supplementation of plans for previously authorized projects, to which this Act applies. Recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior shall be as specific as is practicable with respect to features recommended for wildlife conservation and development, lands to be utilized or acquired for such purposes, the results expected, and shall describe the damage to wildlife attributable to the project and the measures proposed for mitigating or compensating for these damages. The reporting officers in project reports of the Federal agencies shall give full consideration to the report and recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior and to any report of the State agency on the wildlife aspects of such projects, and the project plan shall include such justifiable means and measures for wildlife purposes as the reporting agency finds should be adopted to obtain maximum overall project benefits.
Federal agencies authorized to construct or operate water-control projects are authorized to modify or add to the structures and operations of such projects, the construction of which has not been substantially completed on the date of enactment of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and to acquire lands in accordance with section 663 of this title, in order to accommodate the means and measures for such conservation of wildlife resources as an integral part of such projects: Provided, That for projects authorized by a specific Act of Congress before the date of enactment of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (1) such modification or land acquisition shall be compatible with the purposes for which the project was authorized; (2) the cost of such modifications or land acquisition, as means and measures to prevent loss of and damage to wildlife resources to the extent justifiable, shall be an integral part of the cost of such projects; and (3) the cost of such modifications or land acquisition for the development or improvement of wildlife resources may be included to the extent justifiable, and an appropriate share of the cost of any project may be allocated for this purpose with a finding as to the part of such allocated cost, if any, to be reimbursed by non-Federal interests.
The cost of planning for and the construction or installation and maintenance of such means and measures adopted to carry out the conservation purposes of this section shall constitute an integral part of the cost of such projects: Provided, That such cost attributable to the development and improvement of wildlife shall not extend beyond that necessary for (1) land acquisition, (2) facilities as specifically recommended in water resource project reports, (3) modification of the project, and (4) modification of project operations, but shall not include the operation of wildlife facilities.
In the case of construction by a Federal agency, that agency is authorized to transfer to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, out of appropriations or other funds made available for investigations, engineering, or construction, such funds as may be necessary to conduct all or part of the investigations required to carry out the purposes of this section.
In addition to other requirements, there shall be included in any report submitted to Congress supporting a recommendation for authorization of any new project for the control or use of water as described herein (including any new division of such project or new supplemental works on such project) an estimation of the wildlife benefits or losses to be derived therefrom including benefits to be derived from measures recommended specifically for the development and improvement of wildlife resources, the cost of providing wildlife benefits (including the cost of additional facilities to be installed or lands to be acquired specifically for that particular phase of wildlife conservation relating to the development and improvement of wildlife), the part of the cost of joint-use facilities allocated to wildlife, and the part of such costs, if any, to be reimbursed by non-Federal interests.
The provisions of this section shall be applicable with respect to any project for the control or use of water as prescribed herein, or any unit of such project authorized before or after the date of enactment of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act for planning or construction, but shall not be applicable to any project or unit thereof authorized before the date of enactment of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act if the construction of the particular project or unit thereof has been substantially completed. A project or unit thereof shall be considered to be substantially completed when sixty percent or more of the estimated construction cost has been obligated for expenditure.
The provisions of this Act shall not be applicable to those projects for the impoundment of water where the maximum surface area of such impoundments is less than ten acres, nor to activities for or in connection with programs primarily for land management and use carried out by Federal agencies with respect to Federal lands under their jurisdiction.