To initiate a Safe Harbor Management Agreement, a survey for red-cockaded woodpeckers is needed to determine baseline conditions and habitat quality.
The number of red-cockaded woodpecker groups is referred to as the landowner's "baseline responsibility." If no groups or foraging habitat are present, the baseline is zero. Any additional woodpeckers that may later occur above the "baseline" are called "safe harbor groups."
Working together, the landowner and FWC biologists develop a Safe Harbor Management Agreement. FWC also provides information on cost-share programs to help offset the cost of necessary land management actions. In exchange, landowners receive assurances they will incur no additional ESA responsibilities if the number if red-cockaded woodpeckers increases.
Safe Harbor Management Agreements are voluntary and can be canceled with 60-days' notice. They can extend for any length of time, although long term agreements are encouraged. If the property is sold, agreements also may be transferred to the new owner.
For more information, contact: