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Environmental process | Environmental review | Threatened and Endangered Species - State

Threatened and Endangered Species - State process


The purpose of considering threatened and endangered species of the state is to prevent the extirpation (extinction on a local basis) of species of fish, wildlife, and plants with depleted numbers within the state. The laws and rules prohibit taking, purchasing, importing, possessing, transporting, or selling endangered or threatened plants or animals, including their parts or seeds, without a permit.

There are three status categories of Minnesota’s endangered flora and fauna:

  • Endangered: a species threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of tis range in Minnesota
  • Threatened: a species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range in Minnesota
  • Of special concern: Although these species are not endangered or threatened, they are extremely uncommon in Minnesota or have unique or highly specific habitat requirements and deserve careful monitoring of their status

This document refers to the species above as “T&E species.”

Process criteria

Include the DNR liaison in the Early Notification Memo (ENM) for any of the following projects:

  • All Environmental Assessments (EA), Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAW), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), and Categorical Exclusion (CATEX) projects
  • All projects that involve construction activities outside of the shoulder point of intersection (PI)
  • Any project that impacts protected waters, prairies, or wetlands

For project-specific guidance, see the ENM Use Guidelines. If the project will not have any effect on T&E species, you can use the following statement in the environmental documentation:

"The proposed project is not within or adjacent to documented locations of plants or animals appearing on Minnesota’s List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species. Therefore, no adverse impact is anticipated."

If the project report is a checkbox, you can simply check the “no effect” box.

The DNR consults Minnesota's List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species and discusses any that exist, whether the project will impact them, and what avoidance or mitigation measures to use, if any are recommended.

If the DNR or the Office of Environmental Stewardship (OES) biologist states that such species have been documented as existing in the project area, or if the project is adjacent to T&E species or their habitat, consult with OES for assistance in:

  • Developing special documentation
  • Identifying appropriate avoidance and/or mitigation measures
  • Considering other alternatives

The DNR typically submits responses per the DNR Questionnaire.  In general, projects that disturb areas outside of MnDOT right of way are likely to generate comments or concern.

Considerations for environmental document preparation

Class I Actions (EIS Projects)

Scoping documents

Submit a copy of the ENM to the DNR liaison in OES to assess the potential for affecting T&E species. Identify the species that might exist in the project area and commit to further assessment.

Draft EIS (DEIS)

If the DNR review indicates that T&E species are present in the project area or are likely to be present, contact OES staff to assess the potential impact and coordinate with the DNR. Include responses to DNR concerns and document any commitments in the environmental documentation. If appropriate, use the statement of no effect in the “Process Criteria” section above.

Public hearing

Include information on potential impacts resulting from project alternatives.

Final EIS (FEIS)

Include responses to DNR concerns in the environmental documentation.  If there are anticipated impacts, discuss mitigation measures.

Class II Action (CATEX Projects)

Submit a copy of the ENM to the DNR liaison to assess the potential for affecting E&E species. In the ENM, check the appropriate box or include the appropriate prepared statement if the project does not contain or affect T&E species. If the project contains any T&E species, contact OES to assess the potential impact to species and coordinate with the DNR. Document any commitments.

Class III Action (EA Projects)

Discuss T&E species in the same manner as you would for the DEIS and using the prepared statement of no effect if the project area does not contain any T&E species.


Obtain the permit to possess and take Threatened and Endangered Species from the Minnesota DNR.