If you would like to receive email updates when biological assessment guidance is added or updated, please sign up for our BA Authors list
(A list for people who prepare biological assessments).
Biological Assessment Templates
WSDOT has developed three templates that can be used for ESA documentation, depending on the level of analysis and effect determination on federally listed species or designated critical habitat. On May 17, 2010 FHWA decided to require the use of a standard template for Biological Assessments. The BA template (doc 110 kb) was created by WSDOT staff in consultation with FHWA and representatives of NMFS and USFWS. The required format for BAs is listed below.
For projects with a no effect determination on listed species or critical habitat, consultants should speak with their WSDOT biology contact for assistance in determining which no effect documentation to use.
The No Effect (NE) Letter Template (doc 56 kb) should be used for projects that result in a no effect determination on listed species or designated critical habitat, such as projects with no new impervious surface, no species use of the action area, or no potential indirect effects. The NE letter contains a letter format and is only 2-4 pages in length. To ensure that all the required information is included, the NE letter template should be used in conjunction with the NE Letter Review Checklist (doc 47 kb). The NE letter should only be sent by WSDOT, and should be provided to WSDOT in an electronic form for final formatting and signature.
The NE assessment template (*see below for instructions on removing hidden text) should be used for projects that result in a no effect determination but require additional documentation and analysis to support the NE call, such as projects with new impervious surface (i.e. document lack of stormwater impacts), projects with complicated action areas, or projects that require completion of a detailed indirect effects analysis. The NE assessment contains a 5-10 page report and appendices.
The biological assessment template (*see below for instructions on removing hidden text) should be used for projects that result in a not likely to adversely affect (NLTAA) and/or likely to adversely affect (LTAA) determination. The BA template should be used in conjunction with the BA Review Checklist (doc 44 kb) to guide the level of detail and content for each section of the BA.
To remove or display hidden text when viewing the no effect assessment template and the biological assessment template, click on File on the top left side of the word document. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the Options button. When the word options screen comes up, click on the Display button on the left. In this screen it is possible to either check or uncheck the display or print hidden text boxes.
Underwater Noise Monitoring Plan Template - August 2013
In an effort to standardize the collection and reporting of underwater noise monitoring data, representatives of several state and federal agencies who are part of the Fisheries Hydroacoustic Working Group (FHWG) have reviewed and agreed to use the Underwater Noise Monitoring Template for projects where monitoring of underwater noise is required during impact pile driving.
If a project involves impact pile driving where sound pressures generated may be above the disturbance thresholds for aquatic listed species (through in-water transmission) noise monitoring may be required. The Underwater Noise Monitoring Plan template (doc 319 kb) contains the standard monitoring protocol required for WSDOT projects. The Underwater Noise Monitoring Plan template should be filled in with project specific information and then included in the BA as an appendix. This template will apply to all new projects beginning 60 days after the date of the FHWG cover letter (98 kb). Check this webpage for the most current version of the template prior to using the plan.
WSDOT Standard Fish Moving Protocol - August 2012
WSDOT's Standard Fish Moving Protocol (pdf 164 kb) should be used for projects requiring fish removal or exclusion from a project work area due to in-water work and/or de-watering activities.
NEPA/SEPA Fish, Wildlife & Vegetation Protocols and Templates
WSDOT recommended protocols and templates for use evaluating impacts to fish, wildlife and vegetation resources are located on the Fish and Wildlife webpage.