(a) Except as provided for under subsection (f) of this section, the Secretary may, after the consultation required under subsection 5408(e) of this section, adopt or amend by rule a critical habitat designation list for threatened or endangered species. Critical habitat may be designated in any part of the State. The Secretary shall not be required to designate critical habitat for every State-listed threatened or endangered species. When the Secretary designates critical habitat, the Secretary shall identify the species for which the designation is made, including its most recently accepted genus and species names, and, if available, its common name.
(b) The Secretary shall designate only critical habitat that meets the definition of “critical habitat” under this chapter. In determining whether and where to designate critical habitat for a State-listed threatened or endangered species, the Secretary shall, after consultation with and consideration of recommendations of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, and the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, consider the following:
(1) the current or historic use of the habitat by the listed species;
(2) the extent to which the habitat is decisive to the survival and recovery of the listed species at any stage of its life cycle;
(3) the space necessary for individual and population growth of the listed species;
(4) food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements of the listed species;
(5) cover or shelter for the listed species;
(6) sites for breeding, reproduction, rearing of offspring, germination, or seed dispersal; migration corridors; and overwintering;
(7) the present or threatened destruction, degradation, fragmentation, modification, or curtailment of the range or habitat of the listed species;
(8) the adequacy of existing regulation;
(9) actions relating to the listed species carried out or about to be carried out by any governmental agency or any other person that may affect the listed species;
(10) cumulative impact; and
(11) natural or human-made factors affecting the continued existence of the listed species.
(c) In determining whether to designate critical habitat for a State-listed threatened or endangered species, the Secretary shall:
(1) use the best scientific, commercial, and other data available;
(2) notify and consult with appropriate officials in Canada, appropriate State and federal agencies, other states having a common interest in the species, affected landowners, any municipality where the proposed designation is located, and any interested persons at least 60 days prior to commencement of rulemaking;
(3) notify the appropriate officials and agencies of Quebec and any state contiguous to Vermont in which the species affected is known to occur; and
(4) if a critical habitat designation is proposed in a growth center, new town center, or neighborhood development area designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A, notify the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development and any municipality in which the designation is proposed.
(d) Prior to initiating rulemaking under this section to designate critical habitat, the Secretary shall notify the owner of record of any land on which critical habitat is proposed for designation. The Secretary shall make all reasonable efforts to work cooperatively with affected landowners.
(e) Where appropriate, the Secretary shall include well-established mitigation practices and best management practices in the critical habitat designation rule.
(f) The Secretary shall not designate critical habitat in a designated downtown or village center, designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A.
Citation: 10 V.S.A. § 5402a.
...(b) When the Secretary issues a permit under this chapter to take a threatened or endangered species or destroy or adversely impact critical habitat and when the Secretary designates critical habitat by rule under section 5402a of this title, the Secretary shall disclose only the municipality and general location where the threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat is located. When the Secretary designates critical habitat under section 5402a of this title, the Secretary shall notify the municipality in which the critical habitat is located and shall disclose the general location of the designated critical habitat.
Citation: 10 V.S.A. § 5410.
(a) The Secretary shall consider for designation on a register of fragile areas only a site which:...
(3) has rare, remnant, or other unusual plants or animals, or contains endangered species as determined by the Secretary under chapter 123 of this title...
(b) To assist in the designation, the Secretary shall seek the advice of a fragile areas committee comprising five members, one from each of the following disciplines: zoology, botany, plant community ecology, geology, and wildlife.
(c) Prior to designating a fragile area on the register, the Secretary shall:
(1) document the technical and scientific basis for the designation;
(2) contact each owner of the fragile area to inform the owner of the significance of the fragile area and to achieve voluntary agreement from the owner to protect and manage the fragile area according to stewardship guidelines adopted by the Secretary;
(3) provide information and assistance to each owner of the fragile area concerning the identification, protection, and management of the fragile area.
Citation: 10 V.S.A. § 6552.