Overview of the Endangered Species Act


Participants learn about the requirements and procedures for complying with the Endangered Species Act. The course reviews the history of the law, the Section 7 consultation process, and the Section 10 permit process.


Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its requirements and regulations
  • Understand the implications if ESA is violated
  • Know how to consult under Section 7 of ESA, formally and informally
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • Know how ESA affects tribes and the Tribal Consultation requirements


We tailor each workshop to meet the needs of the participants. The basic format of the interactive workshop includes the following components:

  • Reviewing the ESA
    Understand the rationale behind the passage of The Endangered Species Act of 1973, including the importance of species diversity and the history of lost species and habitat.
  • Violating ESA
    Learn the civil and criminal penalties for violating ESA.
  • Exploring the Section 7 Consultation Processes
    Learn what triggers ESA and the Section 7 Consultation process. Understand the differences between formal and informal consultation processes and when each applies.
  • Reviewing the Role of the USFWS and the NMFS
    Understand how the USFWS and NMFS are the “gatekeepers” for ESA. Learn about the responsibility of these agencies to prepare biological opinions indicating jeopardy or no jeopardy, and incidental take statements.
  • Understanding the Section 10 Permit Process
    Explore the issuance of incidental take permits, including requirements for mitigation. Review the requirements for habitat conservation plans.
  • Exploring Tribal Coordination and Experimental Populations
    Review how ESA coordination is handled with tribal governments. Learn about experimental populations and their designation as essential or nonessential.


Participants for this training generally include resource managers, environmental planners, agency decisionmakers, resource specialists, and others who need an overview of the ESA process.


Endangered Species Act Overview is an interactive workshop designed with both new and experienced resource managers in mind. For optimal learning, class size is limited to 30 participants.This 1- or 2-day workshop consists of a carefully designed combination of the following:

  • 80% Lecture
  • 20% Exercises


Participants receive a comprehensive workshop manual designed to support the instruction and to serve as an ongoing reference.