Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Environmental Review Tool

The Department’s Environmental Review Tool (ERT) provides a special status species list for Phase I Environmental Compliance and NEPA documents. It also provides information and guideline links for incorporating wildlife conservation into project planning. This information can be used to guide preliminary decisions and assessments of proposed land and water development, land management, and conservation projects.

Conservation Opportunity Areas (COA) will now be included in all project reviews using the ERT. COAs will be listed under the ERT report section “Special Areas” along with other features on the landscape that provide conservation opportunities (i.e. wildlife corridors, important bird areas, etc.) to be considered by project proponents. The report will include a link to the COA webpage so users can learn more about the specific COA profile(s) and opportunities to implement the Department’s recommended conservation actions for COAs.

Internally, the Project Evaluation Program (PEP) can use the information in COA profiles to help inform project reviews and recommendations, such as highlighting sensitive areas and species, or providing specific conservation actions that benefit SGCN and other vulnerable wildlife.

Like the rest of the AWCS, the COAs are completely voluntary and non-regulatory. These COAs simply provide a roadmap to focus conservation efforts in a targeted and cost-effective manner.