MOUs, MOAs, and Agreements

23 USC 326 and 23 USC 327 NEPA Assignment

  • On December 23, 2016, FHWA signed the Caltrans 23 USC 327 NEPA Assignment MOU (327 MOU) for a term of five years. This MOU allows Caltrans to perform federal environmental responsibilities for highway projects in California under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal laws.
  • 23 USC 327 NEPA Assignment Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) - December 23, 2016) (327 KB) 
  • On April 18, 2019, FHWA renewed the 23 USC 326 CE Assignment MOU for another three-year term.
  • 23 USC 326 Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) - effective April 18, 2019 (1.67 MB) 

Statewide MOUs/Programmatic Agreements

Biological – Mitigation Planning

Statewide Advance Mitigation Initiative MOU (2016) (PDF) (2.3 MB) between Caltrans, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) 1, United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Pacific Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2. The purpose of the MOU is to establish a mutual framework for coordinated review concerning the development of SAMI in California by Caltrans and CDFG for advance mitigation of planned transportation projects at a landscape scale.

Compensatory Mitigation for Transportation Projects on National Forests in California (2009) (PDF) (416 KB) between CA Department of Transportation, USACE and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS). This MOU provides a framework for integrating Caltrans aquatic resource mitigation and USFS watershed based restoration needs while reducing administrative and endowment costs. It also establishes appropriate methods to ensure long term management and protection of Caltrans sponsored mitigation on Forest Service lands consistent with USACE regulations.

Planning Guidelines for Standard Approaches to Mitigation Site Monitoring and Maintenance (1991) (PDF) (282 KB) - This MOU establishes the success criteria, monitoring and maintenance of mitigation sites, and guarantees that financial resources are available to provide remedial site work and alternate mitigation, if necessary.

Fish and Wildlife Service (PDF) (1988) (578 KB) - The purpose of this MOU is to establish procedures for the early and continuous coordination of transportation project development activities between Caltrans and the USFWS.

Fish and Game (PDF) (1990) (412 KB) - Early Mitigation Planning for Transportation

Memorandum of Agreement, Early Mitigation Planning for Transportation Improvements in California (PDF) (1990) (219 KB) - Establishes procedures for endangered and threatened species consultation between Caltrans, FHWA, CDFG, USFWS and the USACE.

Biological – District/Region (all files)

For questions about any of the following agreements, please contact Christopher Pincetich, Senior Environmental Planner, HQ Division of Environmental Analysis.

Section 7 Endangered Species Act (Lead Agency FHWA or Caltrans, as Assigned)
Species Date Area(s) Covered/Comments Status

Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (PDF)


"Generally" Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. A total of 250 elderberry plants, each with at least one stem measuring one-inch or greater at ground level, or 2,000 elderberry stems measuring one-inch or greater in diameter at ground level may be impacted in a six-month period. No designated critical habitat can be affected.


Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard and Coachella Valley milk-vetch (PDF)


Fish and Wildlife Service’s programmatic biological opinion for 5 interchanges and associated arterial improvements along Interstate 10 and the tiered biological opinion for the Palm Drive/Gene Autry Trail – Interstate 10 Interchange Improvement Program in Eastern Riverside County.


Programmatic Biological Opinion on the Effects of Minor Transportation Projects on the San Joaquin Kit Fox, Giant Kangaroo Rat, Tipton Kangaroo Rat, Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard, California Jewelflower, San Joaquin Woolly-threads, Bakersfield Cactus, and Recommendations for the San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel (PDF)


Fish and Wildlife Service's programmatic biological opinion based on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) proposed minor transportation projects in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties, California and their effects on the aforementioned endangered species.


Giant Garter Snake (PDF)


Within the geographic range of the giant garter snake in the California counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba. Programmatic covers small highway projects, as defined, with relatively small effects on the snake, is determined to be non-growth inducing or facilitating, and meets specific "Project Design Criteria."


Programmatic Biological Opinion for Highway 1 Management Activities that Affect the Smith’s Blue Butterfly (PDF)


Fish and Wildlife Service’s programmatic biological opinion for Caltrans maintenance and repair projects that affect the Smith’s blue butterfly in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.


Streamlined Consultation Procedure and Coordination for Protected Species and Habitat (PDF)


District 1

Pilot - no expiration date

California Red-legged Frog (PDF)


Covers projects meeting four "suitability criteria." The first criterion is that the project "does not contribute to a decline of the species in the affected area." This programmatic is applicable within the jurisdiction of Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office: San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Does NOT include Ventura or Los Angeles counties.


Programmatic Biological Opinion for routine maintenance, small capital projects, and geotechnical drilling (PDF) - 15.7 MB. The document also transmits NOAA-Fisheries’ Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevenson Act

Programmatic Biological Assessment - October 2010 (PDF)


For Pacific salmonids, Pacific eulachon, and green sturgeon; coverage in coastal draining portions of Districts 1, 2 and 4; roughly the range of coho salmon. Authorized incidental take numbers for each Caltrans District are specified in the programmatic biological opinion. The Programmatic Biological Assessment provides the assessment of impacts used in developing the Programmatic Biological Opinion.


Desert Tortoise (Highway Maintenance) (PDF)


Routine Highway Improvement, Maintenance Activities, and Safety Projects in Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, California.


Programmatic Letter of Concurrence for Routine Maintenance and Repair Activities, and Small Projects Program: California Red-Legged Frog, Marbled Murrelet, Northern Spotted Owl, Western Snowy Plover, Tidewater Goby, and Point Arena Mountain Beaver (PDF) - (59.4 MB)


Districts 1 and 2. Jointly issue to Caltrans and USACE as co-lead federal agencies. The geographic area covered consists primarily of Humboldt County, the majority of Del Norte and Mendocino counties, and portions of Siskiyou, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, and Lake Counties. However, coastal portions of the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Field Office’s jurisdictional area and western portions of the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Field Office’s jurisdictional area will be covered by this programmatic letter of concurrence if a project falls within the range and suitable habitat of any of the covered species.


Section 7 Endangered Species Act (Lead Agency USACE)
Species Date Area(s) Covered/Comments Status

Listed Vernal Pool Crustaceans (Revised Version) (PDF)


Within the Jurisdiction of the USFWS Sacramento Field Office - generally Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. Take of species is permitted in up to 50 acres of habitat within an unspecified time period. NOTE: Programmatic consultation has been suspended in the San Joaquin Valley except where there are approved habitat conservation plans.


Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (PDF)


Within the Jurisdiction of the USFWS Sacramento Field Office


Giant Garter Snake (PDF)


Within Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Fresno, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter and Yolo Counties. Per year, a permanent loss of up to 50 acres of habitat and snakes within up to 250 acres can be impacted.


Maintenance Agreements and MOUs with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Section 1600 Date Area(s) Covered/Comments Status

Extension of Routine Maintenance Agreement (PDF)


District 5 (Santa Cruz County)


MOU for Routine Maintenance Agreement (PDF)


District 5 (Santa Barbara County)


Maintenance Agreement - 1999 (PDF)


District 6


Maintenance Agreement - 2002 (PDF)


District 7 (L.A. and Ventura Counties)


Maintenance Streambed Alteration Agreement (PDF)


District 12


Extensions of Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreements (PDF)


District 5 (San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and San Benito Counties)


Streambed Alteration Agreement for Routine Maintenance Activities (PDF)


District 9 (Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino Counties)


Routine Maintenance Agreement for CDFW (PDF)


Region 3


CDFW Mitigation
Bank Date

Rancho San Diego Mitigation Bank (PDF)

January 1996

D-11 Various Parcels Mitigation Bank (PDF)

March 1999

Pilgrim Creek Mitigation Bank (PDF)

September 1999

NEPA/404 Integration Process - Current MOU, Procedures, and Memos

  • NEPA/404 MOU (PDF) (2006) (281 KB)

Partnership Agreements

  • CDFW-Caltrans Partnership Agreement (PDF), February 14, 2018 - PDF (708 KB)

    Partnership Agreement (PA) with our California Department of Fish and Wildlife partners: This PA highlights the leadership support for the work achieved by the Lean 6 Sigma team focused on improving the Lake and Streambed Alteration (LSA) Notification Process. Beginning in 2016, a team of Caltrans and California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff collaborated to improve the initial acceptance rate of LSA Notification submittals to CDFW by Caltrans. Caltrans hopes to have the improvements rolled out and implemented later this spring along with the control phase of the project that will continually monitor the implementation of the improvements in the future.

  • Caltrans & Coastal Commission Plan for Improved Agency Partnering (PDF), December 21, 2016 - PDF (6.5 MB)

    The Caltrans & Coastal Commission Plan for Improved Agency Partnering contains recommendations to increase and improve coordination and communication between two sister agencies, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Coastal Commission (Commission).

US Coast Guard Bridge Permits

U.S. Forest Service

  • Reference Guide for the Issuance of U.S. DOT Highway Easements or Special Use Permits (PDF), Rick D. Land, December 21, 2010. This memo and U.S. Forest Service Reference Guidance is provided as the interim tool for Caltrans and U.S. Forest Service Personnel pending revision of the 1989 U.S. Forest Service/Caltrans MOU.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Highway Administration-California Division, the California Department of Transportation, and the USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region and Intermountain region to Perfect Title Along Segments of Existing Highways on Forest Service Lands in the State of California, 2001. This MOU (PDF) (1.6 MB) established a process to perfect title along previously unrecorded segments of highway existing on Forest Service lands in the State of California.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Caltrans and the Forest Service, May 1989 with two 1990 addenda. This MOU and its addenda (PDF) address the management of state highways on or adjacent to United States Forest Service land.

Desert Managers Group

  • Memorandum of Understanding to Participate in the Desert Managers Group, 2005 (PDF) (574 KB). This MOU sets forth the intentions of the parties to participate and carry out the mission of the California Desert Managers Group (DMG), of which Caltrans is a partner agency. For more information, please see

1 Now the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
2 Now NOAA Fisheries.