Virginia.gov

Fish and Wildlife Information Section and VaFWIS Initial Project Assessments

We appreciate your interest in submitting a project for review by VDGIF to ensure the protection of sensitive wildlife resources during project development. Due to staffing limitations and other program responsibilities, however, our Fish and Wildlife Information Services Section (FWIS) is currently unavailable to review or provide Initial Project Assessment (IPA) of proposed projects, such as:

  • Cell towers
  • Private developments
  • USDA NRCS projects
  • USDA Rural Development projects
  • Infrastructure upgrades
  • Land acquisitions

These projects may, however be reviewed by the Department's Environmental Services Section (ESS) during the Project and Permit Review Process

Though FWIS is no longer available to assess your project, nor to confirm your findings, we recommend that you conduct a preliminary desktop analysis to evaluate your project's potential impacts upon the Commonwealth's wildlife resources by accessing our online VaFWIS system and using the Geographic Search function to generate an Initial Project Assessment (IPA) report. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Subscribe to the Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service (VaFWIS), an online database providing access to the most current and comprehensive information about Virginia's wildlife. A subscription to the VaFWIS allows you to perform an Initial Project Assessment (IPA) to evaluate the wildlife resources and VDGIF facilities that are located within 2 miles of your project site. We recommend this IPA be included in all project documentation and permit applications.
    OR
    Access the free Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service (VaFWIS) as a visitor. No subscription is necessary to use the VAFWIS as a visitor which allows one access to generate a list of wildlife species that may be documented within 3 miles of the project location.
  2. Review the VaFWIS Coordination Recommendations to determine if you need to coordinate with VDGIF or other agencies regarding wildlife species and resources documented from your search area and perform the recommended coordination.

Neither FWIS nor ESS personnel are available to confirm VaFWIS subscriber findings or provide an evaluation of how the project may impact such resources, unless the project is reviewed through an interagency coordination process, in which case ESS will coordinate the Department's review of your project. Please note that this does not constitute endorsement of your project or a lack of concern regarding anticipated project impacts; it simply means that, given our workload and other program responsibilities, VDGIF is currently unable to accommodate such requests for project evaluation.

VaFWIS Contact:
Shirl Dressler, Program Support Technician
(804) 367-6913 or Shirl.Dressler@dgif.virginia.gov

Additional Resources: