IPaC - Information, Planning, and Conservation System 
Environmental Conservation Online System
Frequently asked questions
General questions

What does the acronym IPaC stand for?
IPaC stands for Information, Planning, and Conservation. The IPaC system is designed for easy, public access to information about the natural resources for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has trust or regulatory responsibility. Examples include Threatened and Endangered species, migratory birds, National Refuge lands, and NWI Wetlands. One of the primary goals of the IPaC system is to provide this information in a manner that assists people in Planning their activities within the context of natural resource Conservation. The IPaC system also assists people through the various regulatory consultation, permitting and approval processes administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, helping achieve more effective and efficient results for both the project proponents and natural resources. Hence the name, Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) system.
Who can use IPaC?
IPaC is available to all people, whether private citizens or public employees, who need information to assist in determining how their activities may impact sensitive natural resources, and who would like to obtain suggestions for ways to address these impacts. IPaC is also designed to assist those who are charged with evaluating such impacts.
How does IPaC benefit me?
If you have a project that may affect natural resources and the environment, IPaC can help you determine what those impacts are likely to be and provide suggestions for addressing them (in the form of conservation measures). With information available early in the project development process, project proponents can often more easily incorporate it into their planning, saving time, money, and frustration.
Does IPaC offer more, less, or the same information as I would get from a USFWS office?
The information you receive from IPaC is generated by USFWS field offices. The benefit of getting the information directly from IPaC over the internet is that the information is available to project proponents when they need it rather than when USFWS personnel are available. Our goal is to help improve the efficiency of project planning, providing information to project proponents during the earliest stages of project planning.
Is IPaC for section 7 or section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)?
IPaC is a tool to assist project proponents in increasing the compatibility of their activities with the conservation of USFWS trust resources. It is meant to assist in the implementation of all activities regardless of whether they will be implemented through sections 7 or 10 of the ESA. Further, the recommendations provided by IPaC will often be helpful even if the project will be implemented outside of the ESA arena.
Do I still need to contact a USFWS office if I use IPaC?
While IPaC provides project proponents with valuable information, in many cases it is still necessary to contact USFWS offices directly. For example, while IPaC may provide project design recommendations (i.e., conservation measures) that are likely to reduce the potential impacts of proposed activities, in most cases it is still necessary to contact the USFWS to complete section 7 consultation or to obtain any needed section 10 permits. On the other hand, unless otherwise specified, an official species list obtained from IPaC is considered to be a USFWS official response. These responses may be printed out and kept on hand in the project proponents' administrative record.
How often is IPaC updated?
IPaC is a dynamic system that is updated on an ongoing basis. USFWS Field Offices update and improve the information regularly. Through IPaC, USFWS offices ensure that project proponents have access to the most up-to-date information available.
What does it mean if my IPaC species list report has no species listed on it? Do I still need to coordinate with the USFWS?
In most cases, if IPaC provides a report with no listed species or designated critical habitat in the proposed project planning area, it is not necessary to contact the local USFWS office regarding listed species issues unless specified otherwise. However, there are exceptions: (1) if you are aware of unusual circumstances that you believe may change the type or extent of potential effects, you should contact your local USFWS office; (2) there may still be the need to contact the local USFWS office to fulfill the requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. In addition, it is important to recognize that at this time IPaC does not address potential impacts to other Federal, State, and local resources that may require coordination with non-USFWS entities. As a general rule-of-thumb, if in doubt, use the information you receive from IPaC for planning purposes and contact the appropriate local offices to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the information you receive. The IPaC system will provide you with the appropriate USFWS contacts.
What is the "shelf life" of an IPaC species list?
As is the case with species lists obtained directly from local USFWS offices, official species lists obtained from IPaC are valid for 90 days. After 90 days, project proponents should confirm their results on IPaC as needed. There is no standard "shelf life" for conservation measures; these will be updated as new information warrants. Again, you may check your results on IPaC as appropriate.
Do I have to implement all the conservation measures on my IPaC report?

Conservation measure reports contain the local USFWS' recommendations for design characteristics that will avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential impacts to USFWS trust resources. The recommendations are meant to assist in project planning. For listed species, conservation measures are based on anticipated impacts to species' conservation. While these recommendations are designed to increase compatibility between species' conservation and proposed projects, there are often multiple ways to achieve such results.

To reduce potential impacts on listed species and the environment, as well as to streamline any future section 7 or section 10 consultations that may be needed, we recommend that as many of the conservation measures as possible be incorporated.

It is important to recognize that while not required, conservation measures have been developed to assist project proponents in meeting their legal requirements as quickly and easily as possible; however, at times there is no substitute for direct communication. Always contact the local USFWS office if you are uncertain about the best course of action. The intent of IPaC is to make natural resource information more accessible to project proponents when they need it, not to cut off communication between project proponents and local USFWS personnel.

If I implement the conservation measures on my IPaC report, do I still need to consult with USFWS?
In most cases project proponents will still need to consult with local USFWS offices. Exceptions include situations where IPaC specifically identifies that no such need exists. However, even if additional consultation is required, it is anticipated that if the IPaC recommendations are incorporated the consultation process will be streamlined. In the future, IPaC will be used to deliver an increasing number of programmatic Section 7 consultations. When this is the case, the system will provide specific procedures that can be followed to either further reduce or potentially eliminate the need for addition consultation.
If I implement the conservation measures on my IPaC report, can I be certain that this will fulfill all potential design requirements?
Because environmental conditions across the landscape vary widely, it is not possible for the USFWS to ensure that conservation measures delivered via IPaC will encompass the full scope of what is needed. Likewise, there will be times when some of the recommended conservation measures are not necessary.
What do the acronyms of listing species statuses (E, T, C, etc...) stand for?
Code Name Description
E Endangered A species "in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range."
T Threatened A species "likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range."
EmE Emergency Listing, Endangered A temporary (240 days) listing for emergency purposes when species is at significant, immediate risk
EmT Emergency Listing, Threatened A temporary (240 days) listing for emergency purposes when species is at significant, immediate risk
EXPE Experimental Population, Essential A species listed as experimental and essential
EXPN Experimental Population, Non-Essential A species listed as experimental and non-essential. Experimental, nonessential populations of endangered species (e.g., red wolf) are treated as threatened species on public land, for consultation purposes, and as species proposed for listing on private land.
SAE Similarity of Appearance (Endangered) A species that is endangered due to similarity of appearance with another listed species and is listed for its protection. Species listed as E(S/A) are not biologically endangered or threatened and are not subject to Section 7 consultation.
SAT Similarity of Appearance (Threatened) A species that is threatened due to similarity of appearance with another listed species and is listed for its protection. Species listed as T(S/A) are not biologically endangered or threatened and are not subject to Section 7 consultation.
PE Proposed Endangered Species proposed for official listing as endangered.
PT Proposed Threatened Species proposed for official listing as threatened.
PEXPE Proposed Experimental Population, Essential Species proposed for official listing as experimental and essential.
PEXPN Proposed Experimental Population, Non-Essential Proposed experimental population, non-essential. Species proposed for official listing as experimental and non-essential.
PSAE Proposed Similarity of Appearance (Endangered) Proposed endangered, due to similarity of appearance. Species proposed for official listing as endangered due to similarity of appearance with another listed species.
PSAT Proposed Similarity of Appearance (Threatened) Proposed threatened, due to similarity of appearance. Species proposed for official listing as threatened due to similarity of appearance with another listed species.
C Candidate A species under consideration for official listing for which there is sufficient information to support listing.
What do I do if the Continue button in the Initial Project Scoping section on the "Define your project location" page is not activated so I cannot select it, even after I've defined my project location?
This is a known problem that sometimes occurs when IPaC is viewed through the Firefox internet browser. If this happens, you have two alternatives: 1) close all the Firefox browsers that are open on your desktop and restart the browser, or 2) use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer instead of Firefox.
Last updated: October 25, 2014