Login
NEWSLETTER

Create an Account / Subscribe to Updates

Sign up to be notified about training course openings, to enroll in courses, or to be able to comment on blog posts. Don't worry, we won't spam you, and you can unsubscribe or ask us to delete your account at any time. Also, you don't need an account to browse the blog or access the materials on the resources page, so if that's all you need right now, you can skip this step.

Please confirm that you have read and accept our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Safe and Secure

Take Courses

Comment on Posts

Section 7 Training, LLC

Your Path to Proficiency in All Aspects of the Section 7 Consultation Process

Section 7 Training, LLC

Your Path to Proficiency in All Aspects of the Section 7 Consultation Process

Get hard to find, essential training from a section 7 expert with no travel required.

Biological Assessment

Essentials

Summer Hiatus:

Spring Courses have concluded

Fall dates to be announced soon

Essentials of Section 7 Consultation

Summer Hiatus:

Spring Courses have concluded

Fall dates to be announced soon

NEW: Essentials of

Programmatic Consultations

Summer Hiatus:

Spring Courses have concluded

Fall dates to be announced soon

Would you like to be notified whenever New Course Dates are added?

The easiest way to stay up to date on courses and availability

Who we are, What we offer

We are specialists in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, which is the section of the act that relates to government activities that can impact endangered species. More specifically, it requires any agency that funds, authorizes, or carries out an action that may affect a listed species or their designated critical habitat to enter into a consultation process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service. This consultation process determines whether the action in question is consistent with Congress' requirements regarding jeopardy of listed species and destruction of critical habitat.

If Section 7 sounds a bit complicated -- well, it is. That's why anyone involved in the process it mandates needs ready access to quality information and training from an experienced and trusted source. Doug Laye, a nationally recognized Section 7 expert with over two decades of consultation, policy, and teaching experience, is just such a source. Here at section7training.com, he has put together a website that combines invaluable Section 7 reference materials with a gateway to practical, authoritative, and accessible training in Section 7 Consultation and Inter-agency Cooperation.

The site is organized broadly around the two needs of today's Section 7 practitioners -- their information needs (addressed by our Resources Page and our Blog Page) and their training needs (addressed by our Courses Page and our Advice Page). You can also find pages that tell you more about Doug and his background (About Page), give you a way to contact us with questions or comments (Contact Page), or that let you create an account as a first step in accessing training (Sign Up Page). And of course if you'd rather browse than jump to a page right now, you can just scroll down from here to see a sampling of what the site has to offer. Thanks and we hope you enjoy your stay.


Assistance available to Practitioners at Every Level and in Every Stage of the Section 7 Process


Section7Training.com has put together a pair of intensive, fast-paced courses that cover the essentials of the the two most crucial areas of Inter-agency Consultation -- Biological Assessment writing and Biological Opinion writing.

Courses available throughout the year. Scroll down for course summaries or Click the button below for full details and pricing.

Essential documentation on Section 7 terminology, guidance, and court opinions is often difficult to find or inconvenient to access.

To remedy this, we have placed copies of the key reference materials every Section 7 practitioner needs on our Resources page. Click below to take a look.

In addition, we provide ongoing commentary on all things Section 7 on our Blog page. Click below to read the latest posts.

When questions arise that go beyond the scope of readily available resources, personal discussion of the situation with an expert can be invaluable.

Doug Laye has been providing in depth advice on Section 7 issues for over two decades. He has served as Section 7 Lead in two Field Offices, as the Mountain Prairie Regional Office Section 7 Coordinator, and as the National Section 7 Policy Lead for the Headquarters Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Now in the private sector, he has created section7training.com to provide practical instruction at all levels of need, from essential training to one-on-one advisory sessions. Click the link below if you need information about how to arrange a personal session with Doug.


Role-specific Courses Designed to Teach Essential Skills to Practitioners in Every Agency


Biological Assessment Essentials

This course explains and demonstrates the essential principles behind building a Biological Assessment to support consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

It is designed to meet the needs of practitioners at all levels, including:

Employees new to writing Biological Assessments
Supervisors who review Biological Assessments
Experienced practitioners who would like to learn additional tips and techniques for better written documents and more efficient consultation

All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced

following a brief summer hiatus.

Click to see full details and pricing info on our Courses page.

All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced following a brief summer hiatus.

Click to see full details and pricing on our Courses page.


All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced following a brief summer hiatus.

Click to see full details and pricing on our Courses page.

The Essentials of Section 7 Consultation and Biological Opinions

This course describes the intent, requirements, process and products behind consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

It is ideal for practitioners who:

Are new to the consultation process and need a foundation to build upon while writing Concurrence Letters or Biological Opinions
Have been writing consultation documents without any formal training
Are supervisors or managers tasked with reviewing final consultation documents or supervising other consultation practitioners

All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced

following a brief summer hiatus.

Click here to see full details and pricing info.


Essentials of Programmatic Consultations

This course explores and explains programmatic approaches to Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act.

It is designed to meet the needs of practitioners already familiar with the essentials of Section 7 consultation, including:

Employees familiar with the principals of writing consultation documents
Supervisors who review consultation documents
Other experienced practitioners who would like to add an understanding of programmatic consultations to their skill set

All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced

following a brief summer hiatus.

Click to see full details and pricing info on our Courses page.

All Spring 2024 offerings of this course have been filled.

New course dates for Fall 2024 will be announced following a brief summer hiatus.

Click to see full details and pricing on our Courses page.


Check out what our students have been saying

" I thought the course was fantastic and your teaching style very effective. I think anyone who analyzes project-level effects would benefit from the class – I realize it’s intended to speak to the BA process but the way you break down effects analysis is really good and could benefit effects analysis under NEPA as well.

I wish I’d had the class 20 years ago! "

M.A., Biological Assessment Essentials Student, May 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" The course was one of the best virtual trainings I have attended. The material was well organized and presented in a way meaningful to participants. The 10 minute breaks every hour were well timed to keep everyone engaged. "

D.K., Essentials of Programmatic Consultations Student, April 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" I have taken both Programmatic Consultation and BA Essentials and found them to be excellent courses. Doug presents the information clearly and succinctly. His pace is appropriate – neither too fast nor too slow. It is extremely helpful that he provides written materials prior to instruction to facilitate note-taking. "

J.W., Biological Assessment Essentials and Essentials of Programmatic Consultations Student, May 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" Your Section 7 course confirmed some of the knowledge I had obtained on the job, and clarified many aspects I was uncertain about. Much of the Sect 7 anxiety I felt over the years has diminished. I have a much clearer picture of the overall consultation process, defining the action area, evaluating potential impacts, making appropriate determinations with sound rationales, providing clear and open logic flow, how to improve BA development, and focus the cumulative effects analysis portion. . .

. . . The material was well organized and I appreciated the clear, friendly, easy going manner in which it was presented; which also helped to relieve anxiety. I also felt the examples were spot on and helped to solidify specific topics covered. "

T.K., Biological Assessment Essentials Student, April 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" Doug methodically explained how to prepare Biological Assessments and Biological opinions in a way that greatly increased my understanding of the compliance process and provided tools to organize information and reasoning to produce quality documents. "

C.W., Biological Assessment Essentials and Essentials of Section 7 Consultations Student, June 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" Thanks Doug, I would say that I appreciated the breadth and depth of experience you provided in answering my questions as well as the practical advice of how to proceed forward on the action agency end and how to make a plan to move forward w the FWS. Super helpful. "

W.W., Biological Assessment Essentials Student, May 2023

Check out what our students have been saying

" The course was very informative. I feel it provided me with the necessary tools to successfully work on programmatic actions, which I lacked prior to participating in this course. "

J.C., Essentials of Programmatic Consultations Student, April 2023


Latest Insights from the Blog


2024 Reg Changes have been Finalized
Well, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service have finalized revisions to the regulations for consulting under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)... ...To make sense of what the Services appear to be saying, I’ve put together a brief decision tree which I believe crudely describes the process outlined in the preambles to the proposed and final rules. I offer it below with a couple of caveats...
2023 Revisions to the Consultation Regulations
The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) have proposed new revisions to the regulations for consultation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act... The same day in separate notices, the Services proposed changes to the regulations for listing of species under the Act and to reinstate the 1978 blanket 4(d) rule for threatened species... [One] proposed change is a change that in my view does represent a substantial change in practice and the Service acknowledges as much. The proposal is to edit the definition (402.02) of reasonable and prudent measures (RPMs), to edit 402. 14(i)(1)(i) and (ii), and to add section 14(i)(3) – all to reflect a new interpretation by the Services. Those changes broaden the scope of those measures...
Programmatic Consultations
Though the development and use of programmatic consultations has been part of the consultation practice for at least 35 years, guidance on how to approach these programmatic consultations has been minimal. This has resulted in many non-standard approaches to construction and to naming conventions for programmatics - creating a good deal of confusion over the subject.... For all these reasons, I am building a course dedicated to clearing some of the confusion around these programmatic approaches and describing a process that action agencies and the Services can use to make them more likely to succeed.