Disturbance Fee

Attention All Developers and Construction Personnel:

Prior to development on private or other non-federal property in Clark County, Nevada, the developer must obtain a grading or building permit from the appropriate City or County agency. The permitting office for the City or the County will collect a mitigation fee of $550 per acre, if one has not previously been paid. This is a one-time fee that funds the Desert Conservation Program.
Additional requirements can be found in our developer requirements handout.
Development or ground disturbance on federal property is handled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the federal land managing agency. You may contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service at 702-515-5000.

Disturbance Fee Payment Locations for non-federal Properties: 

Unincorporated Clark County 4701 North Russell Road Las Vegas, Nevada  89118            (702)455-3000  Fax (702)221-0630 Boulder City City Hall - 401 California Avenue Boulder City, Nevada   89005         (702)293-9282  Fax (702)293-9392
City of Las Vegas Development Services Center        333 N. Rancho Drive, 1st Floor  Las Vegas, Nevada   89106 (702)229-6251  City of North Las Vegas 2266 Civic Center Drive North Las Vegas, Nevada   89030   (702)346-2835  Fax (702)346-5382
 City of Henderson 240 Water Street Henderson, Nevada   89009(702)267-3620  Fax (702)267-3605 City of Mesquite 10 East Mesquite Blvd.Mesquite, Nevada   89027 (702)346-2835  Fax (702)346-5382

Why is the disturbance fee collected?

The USFWS has issued Clark County an incidental take permit for the desert tortoise and 77 other species under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act. This permit allows for the incidental take of covered species and their habitat after the developer has paid the mitigation fee and secured all other permits necessary for development. The permit authorizes up to 145,000 acres of disturbance in Clark County. Payment of the disturbance fee allows private land developers to participate in a streamlined permitting process and precludes the need for developers to conduct individual project-by-project consultations with the USFWS to comply with the Endangered Species Act.

What is incidental take? 

Take, as defined under Section 3 of the Endangered Species Act, means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct. Incidental take is take which occurs in the process of performing otherwise lawful activities and which is not the purpose of that activity. An example would be the unintentional crushing of a desert tortoise by heavy equipment on a project for which the developer has secured all the necessary permits to proceed with development.

What else is required to comply with the incidental take permit? 

All developers and construction personnel are required to report desert tortoises on non-federal construction sites to the Wild Desert Tortoise Assistance Line.

If you see a desert tortoise on your construction site you should collect the desert tortoise and place it in a clean box with a ventilated lid. To prevent death by overheating, immediately take it to a cool, shaded place. Call the Wild Desert Tortoise Assistance Line at 702-593-9027. All calls will be answered within 24 hours. Someone will be scheduled to pick the tortoise up from the construction site and find a suitable site to relocate the tortoise.
Under no circumstances may the tortoise be taken for private use. It is illegal to remove wild desert tortoises for private use. Please do not handle or otherwise disturb wild tortoises unless they are in harm’s way on a private land construction site.

Developers and construction personnel on federal construction sites should not handle desert tortoises and are advised to follow the rules outlined in the project-specific incidental take permit.

What is the disturbance fee used for?

The Desert Conservation Program receives the $550 per acre disturbance fees (also known as section 10 fees) from all Cities and the County and uses those funds to implement the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). Implementation of the MSHCP provides for mitigation and conservation of 78 plant and animal species, including the desert tortoise.  Please visit our active project and closed projects pages for a list of mitigation and conservation projects funded by the disturbance fee.