Comment (17): One commentator considered that the net conservation utility standard undermines the assurances contained in the CACBs, as the standard raises the question of whether a failure to meet the intended conservation utility has an influence on the use of the associated survival permit. The Directive should not allow services to modify the conditions of the CACBs or to remove the guarantees contained in an authorisation if the expected benefits of the CCAA are not achieved. Our answer: While we agree that each CCAA is tailored to a specific property, conservation measures in a CCAA are based on the needs of the species and any significant threats that affect the species present on that land, which are under the control of the land owner. Routine administrative activities on the land must be agreed upon by the owner of the property and service and described in the CCAA. Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing provisions prohibit the „entness“ of animal species considered vulnerable or threatened. Take is defined in the ESA as „harassment, damage, pursuit, hunting, shooting, injury, killing, capture, capture, or collection of listed animal species or attempting to participate in such behavior“ (16 U.S.C 1538). However, in accordance with Section 10(a) of the ESA, we may grant permissions to allow for improved survival of candidate species. „Random reception“ is defined by the ASE as an ancillary acquisition and not the object of the exercise of an otherwise legitimate activity. Provisions relating to the reception of such persons or vulnerable persons; The Code of Federal Regulations of 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32 and 50 CFR 17.32.
Our answer: the services have redefined the standard to require a net retention benefit to avoid confusion related to the existing standard. We do not think it is ambiguous or inappropriate and we believe that the utility standard of the network is easier to understand for the public and service staff. In addition, the services believe that the clarification of the standard, which was confusing to the public, should be an important step towards streamlining and improving the efficiency of the CCAA approval process. Our answer: CCAAs and ASAS are intended to encourage landowners, habitats and/or populations of candidate species. to restore, improve or preserve listed species in a manner that results in a net benefit to the protection of nature for those species. We agree that the slightly different definition of „net conservation benefit“ proposed for CSFs is confusing and we address the definition in our final rule and guideline to that of our long-standing definition of „net conservation benefits“ in the SHA context to eliminate this inconsistency and confusion. Comment (11): One commenter considered that the proposed amendments would discourage rather than promote voluntary conservation measures. Under the existing framework, landowners must demonstrate that voluntary conservation measures under the CCAA do not worsen the status of a species.