In April 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepted a proposal from TESF to develop and implement a programmatic safe harbor program for the critically imperiled Chiricahua leopard frog in New Mexico.
In a note, TESF Executive Director Mike Phillips wrote:
The federal safe harbor policy provides incentives for private landowners to restore, enhance, or maintain habitats for imperiled species and is based on the assumption that property owners can best be recruited to work on behalf of imperiled species if assurances can be provided that their beneficial actions will not result in new restrictions on future land use that might be detrimental to the species in question. Safe harbor programs typically are developed and administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service or a state fish and game department. It is a bit unusual, and a show of respect, for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to accept our proposal to lead a safe harbor program for the Chiricahua leopard frog in New Mexico. Our lead on the Chiricahua leopard frog safe harbor program is a good example of our determination to develop new means for recruiting landowners to join the fight to save vanishing species.