It is the State of Oregon's policy "to prevent the serious depletion of any indigenous species" (ORS 496.012), and in 1987 the Oregon Legislature enacted the Oregon Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Oregon administrative rules for threatened and endangered species (OAR 635-100-0100 to 0130) are intended to help implement these policies. In accordance with these rules, species can be classified as "threatened" (any native species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout any significant part of its range within the state) or "endangered" (any native species determined to be in danger of extinction).
The rules also identify general steps that may be taken to recover these species. the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) maintains a list of threatened and endangered species. The state ESA requires state agencies to develop programs for the management and protection of endangered species on state lands. For threatened species, state agencies are required to comply with survival guidelines adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. ODFW coordinates with other state and federal agencies, tribes, and conservation groups on efforts to survey, manage and protect threatened, endangered and sensitive species.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Threatened and Endangered Species Programs
Under federal law the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration share responsibility for implementing the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-205, 16 U.S.C. 1531), as amended. In general, USFWS has oversight for land and freshwater species and NOAA for marine and anadromous species.
Protecting endangered and threatened species and restoring them to a secure status in the wild is the primary objective of the endangered species program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Responsibilities of the endangered species program include:
- Listing, reclassifying, and delisting species under the Endangered Species Act
- Designating critical habitat for listed species
- Consulting with other Federal agencies and providing biological opinions on Federal activities that may affect listed species
- Working with landowners on restoration activities that support the recovery of federally-listed threatened and endangered species on private lands
- Developing recovery plans and overseeing recovery activities for listed species
- Providing grants for critical research needs and to assist with endangered species conservation efforts