In an effort to simplify, expedite, and improve the permit application process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a first step today to create a more robust and efficient electronic permit system. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife.
Each year, the Service issues approximately 65,000 permits. The addition of an electronic payment capability will impact 48,000 permits. Prior to developing an electronic permitting system, applicants had to apply for permits through mail with paper checks.
By adding pay.gov, a secure electronic payment system, this capability will be available for all migratory birds and the most widely used international affairs permits.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a world-renowned conservation agency that is committed to using the latest technology to serve the American public,” said Rob Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “Updating the current system to allow electronic payments will help simplify the permitting process while improving efficiency and reducing regulatory burdens.”
Patricia Fuquene, Import and Export Manager for Costa Farms LLC, stated the following about the updated permit application system: “Costa Farms truly believes that the new electronic permitting procedures will be very beneficial to the industry, a step in the right direction, and will make good progress in streamlining the permitting process.”
The Service is working to deploy a modern permitting system that will seamlessly guide users to the right permit applications for their needs, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and make the application process faster and more efficient.
The Service issues permits under several domestic and international laws and treaties such as the Endangered Species Act, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Wild Bird Conservation Act and the Lacey Act. These laws protect species that are threatened by overexploitation and other factors, such as habitat loss. By applying for permits, the public helps conserve and protect imperiled species throughout the world. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities to go forward.