Projects resulting in a "Take " of state-listed rare species may be eligible for a Conservation and Management Permit (CMP) (321 CMR 10.23 ). To be eligible for a Permit, the applicant must demonstrate that the project, as proposed, has avoided, minimized and mitigated impacts to State-listed Species consistent with the following performance standards:

  1. The applicant has adequately assessed alternatives to both temporary and permanent impacts to State-listed Species;
  2. An insignificant portion of the local population would be impacted by the Project or Activity, and;
  3. The applicant agrees to carry out a conservation and management plan that provides a long-term Net Benefit to the conservation of the State-listed Species. The applicant may propose various options for "Net Benefit" which may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
    • on or off-site permanent habitat protection
    • management or restoration of state-listed species habitat
    • conservation research designed to benefit the species affected by a given project.

Under 321 CMR 10.23, in determining the appropriate nature and scope of mitigation necessary to achieve the long-term Net Benefit performance standard, the following areal habitat mitigation ratios will generally apply, based on the category of State-listed Species:

  • Endangered Species: 1:3 (i.e., protection of three times the amount of areal habitat of the affected Endangered Species that is impacted by the Project or Activity);
  • Threatened Species: 1:2 (i.e., protection of two times the amount of areal habitat of the affected Threatened Species that is impacted by the Project or Activity).
  • Special Concern Species: 1:1.5 (i.e., protection of one and one half times the amount of areal habitat of the affected Species of Special Concern that is impacted by the Project or Activity).

For preparation and submittal of a Conservation and Management Permit Application, please read our Guidelines for Preparing a Conservation and Management Permit Application pdf format of Application Guidelines for MESA CMP
.  Upon receipt of a complete CMP Application, permits will be issued within 30 days. 

The issuance or denial of MESA CMPs are subject to appeal .

Please note:  Projects that require a MESA Conservation & Management Permit and will disturb two or more acres of Priority Habitat may be required to file an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office.   The NHESP may not issue the CMP until the completion of the MEPA process.  See the MEPA regulations and website for more information. 

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