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Use the Public Portal
to complete an ER Preliminary Assessment.
Request a review
for proposed development activities, planning and land management projects.
Receive training
for DNR staff and those seeking NHI license agreements.
Conduct reviews
by becoming a Certified ER Reviewer.
Access NHI data
for research and planning purposes.
Contact information
For more information about the ER Review Program, please consult the following list:
ER Review staff contacts

Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) Public Portal

screenshot of the public portal mapping application

The NHI Public Portal is a free online mapping application for landowners planning on-the-ground projects (e.g., residential development, prescribed burn, utility maintenance, lake drawdown) to learn if their project may have impacts to endangered resources (endangered, threatened and special concern animals and plants; natural communities and other unique natural features).

After completing the portal process, you will receive an ER Preliminary Assessment, which will help guide your next steps in relation to endangered resources. Learn more about the assessment below.

Get started! Open the NHI Public Portal

The bald eagle, a species protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, is not included in the NHI Public Portal. First, check the bald eagle nest by township map to see if your project is in an area where bald eagle nests have been recorded. Then, if you believe your project may be within 660 feet of a bald eagle nest, follow the step-by-step guidance for the USFWS non-purposeful take permit for bald eagles to determine if your project has any federal requirements.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have more questions about the portal? If so, we may have answered them below. If not, contact Endangered Resources Review staff by clicking the contact information link in the sidebar. Watch this instructional video to see how to use the portal.

Why should I use the portal?

The NHI Public Portal provides information that is typically acquired through an Endangered Resources Review, however the NHI Public Portal is an online tool that provides users with an instant response regarding whether or not a full Endangered Resources Review is necessary to ensure compliance with Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Law (s.29.604, Wis. Stats [exit DNR]). The results of the NHI Public Portal search are presented in the form of an ER Preliminary Assessment.

Who can use the portal?

The NHI Public Portal is available to anyone who owns or is an authorized representative of a property in Wisconsin.

What is an ER Preliminary Assessment and what do the results mean?

An ER Preliminary Assessment is a document provided to users who complete the NHI Public Portal process. This document contains a summary of all information entered, a map of the project area and the resulting determination of next steps in regard to endangered resources.

You can get three different results.

Required:

If the ER Preliminary Assessment states that follow-up actions are required, one or more of the following situations apply.

  • The species recorded are state or federal threatened or endangered animals.
  • The project site overlaps the Karner Blue Butterfly High Potential Range.
  • The project overlaps the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee High Potential Zone.
  • The species recorded are state threatened or endangered plants on public land.
  • The species recorded are federal threatened or endangered plants on federal land or involve federal funds or a federal permit.

An ER Review is the mechanism to ensure compliance with Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Law (s. 29.604 Wis. Stats.) and the Federal Endangered Species Act (16 USC ss 1531-43). The ER Review will list the endangered resources that have been recorded within the vicinity of the project area and follow-up actions may be necessary.

Recommended:

If the ER Preliminary Assessment states that follow-up actions are only recommended, one or more of the following situations apply.

  • The species recorded are special concern.
  • The records are from natural communities or other natural features.
  • The species recorded are threatened or endangered plants, but are not protected due to the project occurring on private land or due to another type of exemption (i.e. agriculture, utility, etc.).

Please note, if further actions are recommended, you are encouraged to request a full ER Review, although it is not required. If an Endangered Resources Review is requested for this project, it would provide recommended (voluntary) actions that could be taken during the course of the project.

The preliminary assessment can be submitted with DNR permit applications and requests to demonstrate compliance with the Endangered Resources Review Process.

No action:

If the ER Preliminary Assessment indicates no further action is required/recommended then no endangered resources are known to be present in the area and an Endangered Resources Review is not needed for this project.

The ER Preliminary Assessment can be submitted with DNR permit applications and requests to demonstrate compliance with the Endangered Resources Review Process.

Why should I get an ER Preliminary Assessment?

By completing an ER Preliminary Assessment and following the next steps that are listed (if any), you will ensure that you are in compliance with Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Law (s. 29.604 Wis. Stats).


Last revised: Friday April 28 2017