About Us: PEP/HDMS

Project Evaluation Program (PEP)
The Project Evaluation Program's (PEP) goal is to facilitate the inclusion of fish and wildlife resource needs statewide, in proposed land and water development projects and to identify possible impacts to the Department's wildlife management authorities and State Trust responsibilities.

Habitat Protection:   PEP ensures habitat protection through:

- Review and evaluation of environmental compliance and regulation for the incorporation of fish and wildlife resource needs or features, and

- Monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of mitigation commitments for various land and water development projects and management planning activities.

Coordination:  The PEP ensures environmental compliance through coordination with other state and federal agencies and other Department work units and regional staff.  Further, PEP assists with the development of agreements, and coordinates with various agencies in accordance with those agreements, such as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).   

Products and Services: The PEP provides technical and environmental policy guidance and oversight through coordinated reviews of internal and external projects, management plans and related policies affecting fish and wildlife resources.

- Provide Special Status Species (SSS) lists for internal and external customers. 

- Evaluate and coordinate the Department's review of federal, state, municipal and private land use projects, plans and policies that may impact fish and wildlife resources:

For Example:
Draft Management Plans
Recovery Plans
Grant Proposals
Conservation Agreements (e.g. HCPs, CCPs)
Environmental Scoping letters/documents
Environmental Assessments
Environmental Impact Statements

- Review and evaluate the Department's internal projects (Environmental Assessment Checklist) for environmental compliance:

For Example:
Water Catchments
Native Species Reintroductions
Species Stocking or Supplementations

- Develop and coordinate recommendations for mitigating losses or for enhancement of fish and wildlife populations and habitats.   

There is no cost for Department review of projects.
Simple projects can be reviewed in one month; complex projects may require more review time.

What is the Arizona Heritage Data Management System (HDMS)?
The HDMS is part of a global network of more than 80 Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers. HDMS information is available so Arizonans can make prudent decisions weighing future development, economic growth, and environmental integrity.

Setting Priorities: The HDMS identifies elements of concern in Arizona and consolidates information about their distribution and status throughout the state. An element of concern can be, but is not limited to, an animal or plant with special status at the federal, tribal, or state level, or a specific habitat necessary for its survival.

Data Sources: Information included in the HDMS comes from published and unpublished reports, data collected by cooperating agencies, museum and herbarium collections, the scientific and academic communities, and many other sources. All records are carefully documented.

Data Storage: The HDMS is an integrated data management system of maps, computer files, and paper files. Data concerning the location of species of concern and habitats are mapped; data concerning the ecological status of species are cataloged; and data concerning the biology of species are consolidated into a well-organized system whereby a myriad of information can be easily retrieved. Information is continuously being added and updated, creating a dynamic system.

Data Use: Output generated from the HDMS is used to promote sound environmental planning and conservation measures concerning the plants, animals, and communities that compose our natural heritage. The system is designed to be used by decision-makers with diverse needs and missions. It provides documented information needed to help make sound evaluations related to planning and reviewing land development projects, as well as research needs within the state of Arizona.

Data Users: Users of HDMS information include cooperating agencies, naturalists, educators, researchers, resource managers, consultants, planners, policy makers, developers, environmentalists, and the general public.

Products and Services
The Heritage Data Management System compiles information concerning elements of concern in Arizona and makes it available in many useful formats.
Species Abstracts: Compilations of information describing the taxonomy, life history, habitat use, range of occurrence and protection status for each species of concern. These abstracts are a synthesis of multiple information sources and are useful to a variety of users.

Environmental Review: The Project Evaluation Program section of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Habitat Branch accesses and uses HDMS information to include in assessments of proposed land and water development projects statewide.

Database Reports: Reports are generated from HDMS information to target the needs of general and specific requests, including species lists for a geographic or managed area, information for a specific species, or data for a specific project.

Status Designations: A comprehensive listing of species included in the HDMS, along with the priority rankings and legal status, if any, for each species.

Distribution Maps: Visual representations of the distribution of species of concern or sites within a selected geographic area. Data can be assembled by species, taxonomic grouping, specific areas, or any number of other criteria and are useful in environmental reviews and other planning processes.