Please keep in mind, all applicable local, state, and Federal laws in regard to clearing and construction impacts still apply.
Under the Endangered Species Act, take of occupied habitat of a federally listed species such as the Florida scrub-jay requires an incidental take permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service. This permit allows the take of a federally listed species incidental to a lawful activity, such as residential home construction. An approved habitat conservation plan is needed to obtain an incidental take permit. A habitat conservation plan may include avoidance, minimization and mitigation of impacts to the Florida scrub-jay. An example of mitigation is habitat replacement at a ratio of 2:1, in the form of title to other occupied lands, conservation easements, purchase credit at a scrub-jay conservation bank, or payment to a scrub-jay land acquisition fund.
For more information on obtaining an incidental take permit and the habitat conservation plan process, please see the HCP page on the US Fish and Wildlife Website.
If you are interested in pursuing an incidental take permit and habitat conservation plan please contact our office at 772-562-3909.
Currently it may take a year or more, from the time a complete application is received by our office until a permit is issued. We are working to identify ways to streamline the HCP process including batching small landowners together to reduce paperwork. We believe this will be more cost effective and efficient for all involved parties.
If you are clearing your lot and have endangered species or endangered species habitat on your property, you may be in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Violation of the Endangered Species Act under 16 USC 1540 is a Class "A" misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, and/or up to a $100,000 fine for individuals or up to $200,000 for corporations. Civil penalties range up to $25,000.