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What It Means...

Atlantic Salmon Habitat Recovery Units (SHRU).  
Credit: Tara Trinko Lake, NOAA (click map to enlarge)


A General Conservation Plan (GCP) is designed to offer a comprehensive conservation strategy that benefits listed Atlantic salmon and creates an efficient and timely permitting process; which will enable private project proponents a greater opportunity to effectively meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The ESA makes it unlawful for individuals to “take” any federally listed species except by permit. However, by agreeing to implement specific conservation measures outlined in the GCP, incidental take associated with construction activities during dam removal. This process provides certainty to dam owners that their activities are in compliance with the ESA laws and are consistent with ongoing efforts to recover endangered Atlantic salmon.

Each GCP creates a unique opportunity for collaboration between private citizens and the federal government. Through the GCP process, we want to provide assistance in determining the best solution, and balance local environmental and economic objectives by providing an alternative to the existing project-by-project approach to issuing ESA permits.  

Pre-manufactured Denil fishway (Left).  West Winterport Dam removal (right).  Credit: Atlantic Salmon Federation