Develop a Consultation Plan
Once it is determined that the Office will engage in consultation with the NHC for the Action, the Office needs to prepare for this process and begin the development of a Consultation Plan. There is no “one size fits all” for consultation planning as the level of depth and detail are dependent upon the scope of the Action. However, there are common principles that all planning activities should consider:
These types of goals or purposes are a key factor in guiding the appropriate mode and forum of consultation with the NHC.
As the Office considers the above-mentioned planning elements, the Office will benefit from documenting its analysis, decisions, and supporting rationale in a Consultation Plan for the Action. Again, the depth and detail of the Consultation Plan should be commensurate with the scope of the Action and the purposes and goals of consultation. At a minimum, a Consultation Plan should include:
 “NEPA” means the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. §§4321 et seq. NEPA’s basic purpose is to assure that all branches of the Federal government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major Federal action that significantly affects the environment.