Rare Species Reviews

The Rare Species Review provides a desktop-level of information on the rare species in the immediate vicinity of your project. Once project information is provided, MNFI uses the database to evaluate potential impacts to rare species that are known to be near the project. Results are compiled in a letter listing all species within the area and MNFI's evaluation on the potential impacts the project may have on those species.

This level of review corresponds to the Endangered Species Assessment previously provided by the Wildlife Division of the MDNR. The MNFI letter can be submitted for consideration when working with the State of Michigan.

This is a desktop review based on the MNFI natural heritage database. While we may be able to determine if there will be potential impacts to a rare species, MNFI cannot supply a "no impact" designation without an on site assessment.

Information Provided with a Review Letter

No Species Present Letter

  • A letter stating that there are no known species currently present based on the Natural Heritage Database. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. A comprehensive survey of the entire state has not been done so MNFI can not state that no species exists at any location.

Species Present Letter

  • Letter listing out ALL species that are located in the area of the project.
  • Specific management recommendations and highlighting of those species that are considered to have potential impact by project activities.
  • A listing of all State and/or Federal regulations that the requester needs to be aware of.
  • Recommendations if MNFI science staff evaluate a project as needing more intensive review such as a field survey.

Optional Information

Available at an additional cost.

Map of Project Area

A footprint of your project area will be displayed along with Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Tier 1 and Tier 2 habitat boundaries, Michigan Freshwater Mussel Stream Designations, high quality communities, critical habitats, critical dunes, high risk erosion areas, any designated wetlands that are present near your project, and locations of rare plants and animals potentially impacted by project activity.

Spatial Data for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake and Mussel Stream Designations

Spatial data for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Tier 1 and Tier 2 habitat boundaries, and Michigan Freshwater Mussel Stream Group Designations will be provided as an ESRI file geodatabase for the area within a 1.5 mile buffer around your project. This does not include element occurrence data from the natural heritage database.

Rare Species Review Fees
Fee Cost Description
Base Fee $340 20 business day turnaround. Project area buffered by 1.5 miles
Additional Fee for Large Areas Varies Data compilation fee for buffered review area greater than the standard review area of 7 mi2. For example, a pipeline corridor search. The fee is calculated based on a rate of $12.78/mi2 including a 1.5 mile buffer. Contact us for an estimate or for more details.
Optional Rush Order $100 8 business day turnaround
Optional Map $50 Map of project area with Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Tier 1 and Tier 2 habitat boundaries, Michigan Freshwater Mussel Stream Group Designations, Important Bird Areas, high quality communities, critical habitats, critical dunes, high risk erosion areas, any designated wetlands, and locations of rare plants and animals potentially impacted by project activity.
Optional Spatial Data $50 Spatial data for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Tier 1 and Tier 2 habitat boundaries, and Michigan Freshwater Mussel Stream Group Designations within a 1.5 mile buffer around project area. Provided as an ESRI file geodatabase. Does not include element occurrence data from the natural heritage database.

Procedure for Making a Request

  1. Requester sends an e-mail to mnfi@msu.edu or requester sends a letter to our mailing address with the following information:

    • Name and address of the company, organization or individual making the request
    • Brief description of the proposed project
    • Description of what is there now (building, type of vegetation, recent disturbance)
    • Location of the area to be searched listed by PLSS town, range and section
    • Indication if a rush order is desired for an additional $100
    • Selection of additional options such as printed map or spatial data for an additional $50 each
  2. MNFI staff will respond to the e-mail by sending an information services agreement.
  3. Once the signed information services agreement has been returned to MNFI, a search will be performed and an invoice will be sent to the requester.
  4. Upon receipt of payment, information on the location will be sent by e-mail to the requester. For a rush order, information will be sent within 8 days assuming payment will be made by requester after delivery.

Credit Card Payment

You may pay for a Rare Species Review with a credit card after receiving an invoice. Credit card payments are handled through Michigan State University's secure payment system, which can be accessed by following the link below. Enter the amount of the payment, your company or agency name, and the invoice number. Add the "Rare Species Review" item to the shopping basket and click the "Continue Checkout" button to enter your billing information and complete the payment.

Proceed with Credit Card Payment