Biological assessment preparation manual & templates

Use the Biological Assessment (BA) preparation manual, template, and review checklist for individual Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations. Make sure you always use the latest version of these documents. 

BA Manual

Refer to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) BA preparation manual for specific standards and guidance on BA content. Information you need to prepare a BA is listed by chapter below. Also find links to additional information to supplement some manual chapters.


Part 1 - General Information for BA Authors

Part 2 - Guidance on Specific BA Topics

Part 3 - Additional Resources for BA Authors 

BA template and checklist

Meet Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements by using the latest BA template and checklist for Washington state. WSDOT updates these documents as needed. Check this webpage for the most current versions prior to each use.

  • BA template (doc 279 kb) – The FHWA requires the use of a standard template for BAs. This template should be used for projects that result in a not likely to adversely affect (NLTAA) and/or likely to adversely affect (LTAA) determination.
    • To remove or display hidden text when using this 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’s possible to either check or uncheck the option to print hidden text.
  • WSDOT BA Review Checklist (doc 256 kb) Use this checklist to guide the level of detail and content for each section of the BA.

Washington State Ferries Biological Assessment Reference (BAR)

Use the Biological Assessment Reference with the guidance provided above when preparing biological assessments for ferry terminal projects. Information provided in the BAR is listed by chapter and selected appendices below.