Department of the Interior – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Information Collection: Prospecting for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur on the Outer Continental Shelf and Authorizations of Noncommercial Geological and Geophysical Activities; Proposed Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is notifying the public that we have submitted an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The ICR pertains to the regulations under 30 CFR 580, Prospecting for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur on the Outer Continental Shelf, as well as authorizations of noncommercial geological and geophysical (G&G) activities issued pursuant to Section 11 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). This notice provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of this collection.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for the Santa Barbara County Distinct Population Segment of the California Tiger Salamander
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft recovery plan for the Santa Barbara County Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). The recovery plan includes recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions necessary to achieve downlisting and delisting from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We request review and comment on this plan from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public. We will also accept any new information on the status of the Santa Barbara County Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander throughout its range to assist in finalizing the recovery plan.
Notice of Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan Revisions and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Western Oregon
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Revisions and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Western Oregon and, by this notice, is announcing the opening of the comment period.
In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will hold a meeting in Nevada, in May 2015. The meeting is open to the public.
This publishes notice of the extension of the Class III gaming compact between the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota.
Renewal of Agency Information Collection for the Application for Admission to Haskell Indian Nations University and to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is seeking comments on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the collection of information for the Application for Admission to Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell) and to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), authorized by OMB Control Number 1076-0114. This information collection expires August 31, 2015.
We (the U.S. Geological Survey) are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. This collection consists of 27 forms. As part of the requested extension, we will make several revisions to the number of the associated collection instruments. These revisions include: (1) Deleting USGS Form 9-4053-A, USGS Form 9-4073-A, and USGS Form 9-4097- A; (2) changing USGS Form 9-4094-A and USGS Form 9-4095-A from monthly and annual to annual-only reporting forms; (3) changing USGS Form 9- 4057-A and USGS Form 9-4060-A from quarterly and annual to annual-only reporting forms; and (4) decreasing the average burden time for USGS Form 9-4074-A from 2 hours to 1 hour. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. This collection is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2015.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule To List the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse and Designate Critical Habitat
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), withdraw the proposed rule to list the bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in California and Nevada as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), as well as the proposed rules under section 4(d) of the Act and to designate critical habitat for the bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse. These withdrawals are based on our conclusion that the threats to the DPS as identified in the proposed listing rule no longer are as significant as believed at the time of publication of the proposed rule. We find the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the threats to the DPS and its habitat, given current and future conservation efforts, are reduced below the statutory definition of threatened or endangered. Therefore, we are withdrawing our proposal to list the bi-State DPS of greater sage- grouse as threatened with critical habitat.
Grand Canyon National Park Quiet Aircraft Technology Incentive: Seasonal Relief From Allocations in the Dragon and Zuni Point Corridors
On November 10, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Park Service (NPS) published in the Federal Register [79 FR 66763-66765] a notice of the agencies' proposal to provide a quiet aircraft technology incentive for commercial air tour operators at Grand Canyon National Park and a request for public comments. Specifically, the agencies proposed to provide seasonal relief from allocations in the Dragon and Zuni Point corridors for commercial air tour operators that convert or have converted to quiet aircraft technology. The FAA and the NPS have reviewed and considered all comments, and have decided to proceed with implementation of the incentive as proposed. This notice describes that decision and responds to the substantive comments received.
In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Utah Resource Advisory Council (RAC)/Recreation Resource Advisory Council (RecRAC) will meet as indicated below.
The plat of survey of the following described lands is scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Office, Anchorage, Alaska, 30 days from the date of publication. Survey Desription: The plat represents the survey of U.S. Survey No. 14187, Alaska, located approximately 72 miles northeast of Bethel, within unsurveyed T. 13 N., R. 59 W., Seward Meridian, Alaska.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on April 1, 2015, to propose permit regulations to govern the use of captive-bred, trained raptors to control or take birds or other wildlife to mitigate damage or other problems, including risks to human health and safety. In that proposed rule, we provided a partially incorrect address for the submission of hard-copy comments and some incorrect information regarding information collection requirements. With this document, we correct these errors.
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Channel Islands National Park General Management Plan/Wilderness Study, Santa Barbara County, California
The National Park Service (NPS) announce the availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) for the Channel Islands National Park General Management Plan/Wilderness Study (GMP/ WS). The Final EIS/GMP/WS evaluates the impacts of three alternatives for management of the park over the next 20 to 40 years.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of meetings of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). Comprised of 30 nonfederal invasive species experts and stakeholders from across the nation, the purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the National Invasive Species Council, as authorized by Executive Order 13112, on a broad array of issues related to preventing the introduction of invasive species and providing for their control and minimizing the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species cause. The Council is co-chaired by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce. The duty of the Council is to provide national leadership regarding invasive species issues. Purpose of Meeting: To convene the full ISAC and to provide expert input and recommendations to NISC federal agencies and their partners on invasive species matters of national importance. While in session, ISAC will discuss the development of the next iteration of the National Invasive Species Management Plan, as well as ongoing progress under a variety of priority initiatives focused on invasive species early detection and rapid response (EDRR). The meeting agenda and supplemental materials are available on the NISC Web site at http:// www.doi.gov/invasivespecies/isac/isac-meetings.cfm.
Oil and Gas Leasing; Royalty on Production, Rental Payments, Minimum Acceptable Bids, Bonding Requirements, and Civil Penalty Assessments
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public comments and suggestions that may be used to update the BLM's regulations related to royalty rates, annual rental payments, minimum acceptable bids, bonding requirements, and civil penalty assessments for Federal onshore oil and gas leases. As explained below, each of these elements is important to the appropriate management of the public's oil and gas resources. They help ensure a fair return to the taxpayer, diligent development of leased resources, adequate reclamation when development is complete; and that there is adequate deterrence for violations of legal requirements, including trespass and unauthorized removal. Aspects of these elements are fixed by statute and beyond the Secretary's authority to revise; however, in many instances they have been further constrained by regulatory provisions (e.g., minimum bond amounts) that have not been reviewed or adjusted in decades. The purpose of this ANPR is to seek comments on this situation and the need for, and content of, potential changes or updates to the existing regulations in these areas. Specifically, the BLM is seeking comments and suggestions that would assist the agency in preparing a proposed rule that gives the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), through the BLM, the flexibility to adjust royalty rates in response to changes in the oil and gas market. Absent near-term enactment of new statutory flexibility for new non-competitively issued leases, a future proposed rule would limit any contemplated royalty rate changes to new competitively issued oil and gas leases on BLM-managed lands, because the royalty rate that is charged on non-competitively issued leases is currently fixed by statute at 12.5 percent. The intent of any anticipated changes to the royalty rate regulations would be to provide the BLM with the necessary tools to ensure that the American people receive a fair return on the oil and gas resources extracted from BLM-managed lands. In addition to the royalty rate, the BLM is also seeking input on: (1) How to update its annual rental payment, minimum acceptable bid, and bonding requirements for oil and gas leases, and (2) Whether to remove the caps established by existing regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA). With respect to annual rental payments, the intent of any potential increase in annual payments would be to provide a greater financial incentive for oil and gas companies to develop their leases promptly or relinquish them, including for potential re-leasing, as appropriate, by other parties, and to ensure that leases acquired non- competitively provide a fair financial return to the taxpayer. With respect to the minimum acceptable bid, the intent of any potential changes is to ensure that the American taxpayers receive a fair financial return at BLM oil and gas lease sale auctions. With respect to bonding requirements, the intent of any potential bonding updates would be to ensure that bonds required for oil and gas activities on public lands adequately capture costs associated with potential non- compliance with any terms and conditions applicable to a Federal onshore oil and gas lease. The BLM's existing regulations currently set bond minimums that have not been adjusted in 50 years. With respect to penalty assessments, the intent of the potential removal of the regulatory caps would be to ensure that the penalties provide adequate deterrence of unlawful conduct, particularly drilling on Federal onshore leases without authorization and drilling into leased parcels in knowing and willful trespass. The anticipated updates to BLM's onshore oil and gas royalty rate regulations and other potential changes to its standard lease fiscal terms address recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and will help ensure that taxpayers are receiving a fair return from the development of these resources. The anticipated changes to the royalty rate regulations will also support implementation of reform proposals in the Administration's Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget.
Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf-Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf
BOEM and BSEE are extending the public comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled, ``Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations on the Outer Continental ShelfRequirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf,'' which was published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2015, (80 FR 9916). The original public comment period would have ended on April 27, 2015. However, BOEM and BSEE have received public comments requesting an extension of the comment period. BOEM and BSEE have reviewed the extension requests and determined that a 30-day comment period extension to May 27, 2015, is appropriate.
Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Alaska Guide Service Evaluation
We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2015. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.
Notice of Availability of the Final Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Management Plan, Idaho
In accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has signed a Decision Record implementing the Final Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Management Plan (Plan), and by this notice is announcing its availability.
Public Land Order No. 7835; Revocation of the Withdrawal Established by Executive Order Dated August 24, 1842; Michigan
This order revokes in its entirety the withdrawal established by an Executive Order as to 168.05 acres of public land on Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws and reserved for use by the United States Coast Guard for lighthouse purposes. The reservation is no longer needed. This order returns administrative jurisdiction to the Bureau of Land Management and opens the land to the operation of the public land laws, subject to valid existing rights and other segregations of record.
Gathering of Certain Plants or Plant Parts by Federally Recognized Indian Tribes for Traditional Purposes
The National Park Service proposes to authorize agreements between the National Park Service and federally recognized Indian tribes to allow the gathering and removal of plants or plant parts by designated tribal members for traditional purposes. The agreements would facilitate continuation of tribal cultural traditions on traditionally associated lands that are now included within units of the National Park System without a significant adverse impact to park resources and values. The proposed rule respects tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the tribes, and would provide system-wide consistency to this aspect of National Park Service-tribal relations. The proposed rule would provide opportunities for tribal youth, the National Park Service, and the public to understand tribal traditions.
The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior concerning Glen Canyon Dam operations and other management actions to protect resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, consistent with the Grand Canyon Protection Act. The AMWG meets two to three times a year.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a public meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force, which consists of 13 Federal and 13 ex-officio members. The ANS Task Force's purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic invasive species (AIS); to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.
The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior concerning Glen Canyon Dam operations and other management actions to protect resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, consistent with the Grand Canyon Protection Act. The AMWG meets two to three times a year.
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) published a notice in the Federal Register on March 25, 2015 (80 FR 15807), announcing that the American Indian Education Study Group (Study Group) will conduct four consultation meetings with Indian tribes to obtain oral and written comments. This notice announces an additional consultation meeting scheduled for May 1, 2015, making a total of five tribal consultations meetings.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have issued the following permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. We issue these permits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities.
Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget for Approval; Hunting and Fishing Application Forms and Activity Reports for National Wildlife Refuges
We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2015. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.
We (the U.S. Geological Survey) will ask Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collection request (ICR) described below. The revision includes modifications to make it mobile-friendly. To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this ICR. This collection is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2015.
Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) proposes new regulations in order to consolidate equipment and operational requirements that are common to other subparts pertaining to offshore oil and gas drilling, completions, workovers, and decommissioning. This proposed rule would focus, at this time, on blowout preventer (BOP) requirements, including incorporation of industry standards and revising existing regulations. The proposed rule would also include reforms in the areas of well design, well control, casing, cementing, real-time well monitoring, and subsea containment. The proposed rule would address and implement multiple recommendations resulting from various investigations of the Deepwater Horizon incident. This proposed rule would also incorporate guidance from several Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) and revise provisions related to drilling, workover, completion, and decommissioning operations to enhance safety and environmental protection.
Notice is hereby given, in accordance with Public Laws 92-463 and 94-579, that the California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of the Interior, will meet in formal session on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of California Riverside Extension Building, Conference Rooms D-E, located at 1200 University Avenue, Riverside, CA. A Friday, May 8, 2015 resource area field trip is not scheduled. Agenda for the Saturday meeting will include updates by council members, the BLM California Desert District Manager, five Field Managers, and council subgroups. The focus topic for the meeting will be the West Mojave (WEMO) Planning Area Route Network Project. Final agenda items for the public meeting will be posted on the DAC Web page at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/rac/dac.html when finalized.
The plats of survey described below are scheduled to be officially filed in the New Mexico State Office, Bureau of Land Management, Santa Fe, New Mexico, thirty (30) calendar days from the date of this publication.
Public Land Order No. 7834; Withdrawal of Public Lands, North and Middle Fork of the American River, California
This order withdraws 6,737.42 acres of public lands from location and entry under the United States mining laws for 20 years on behalf of the Bureau of Land Management to protect and preserve the riparian areas, wildlife habitat, scenic quality, and high recreational values of lands within the North and Middle Fork of the American River and to provide protection of lands associated with the congressionally designated Auburn Dam Reclamation Project Area pending a decision on future development of the site. The lands, which are located in El Dorado and Placer Counties, California, will remain open to leasing under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws.
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites public comment, and announces that it intends to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) renew and revise control number 1004-0179, ``Helium Contracts.'' This request is prompted by the need to update the control number in response to legislation.
Announcement of USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) FY15 Public Meetings in Preparation for the Upcoming Release of the USGS Broad Agency Announcement for 3D Elevation
The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative is being developed to respond to needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features. The primary goal of 3DEP is to systematically collect enhanced elevation data in the form of high- quality light detection and ranging (lidar) data over the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories, as well as interferometric synthetic aperture radar (ifsar) data over Alaska. The 3DEP initiative is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA), which indicated an optimal benefit to cost ratio for Quality Level 2 (QL2) data collected over 8-years to complete national coverage. The implementation model for 3DEP is based on multi- agency partnership funding for acquisition, with the USGS acting in a lead program management role to facilitate planning and acquisition for the broader community, through the use of government contracts and partnership agreements. The annual Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is a competitive solicitation issued to facilitate the collection of lidar and derived elevation data for the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, academic institutions and the private sector are eligible to submit proposals. The 3DEP public meetings will introduce this opportunity to the broadest stakeholder community possible and provide a forum for interested parties to discuss elevation data collection needs of mutual interest that could be addressed by a coordinated investment. Advanced Registration is required for meeting attendance. National Webinars will be recorded and made available for viewing.
Notice To Reopen the Public Comment Period and Notice of Additional Public Meetings for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Kittitas and Yakima Counties, Washington
The Bureau of Reclamation is reopening the public comment period for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for another 60 days to allow the public more time to comment. We are also announcing four additional public meetings to be held in May 2015.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews of Black-Lace Cactus, Bone Cave Harvestman, Pima Pineapple Cactus, Texas Snowbells, and Walker's Manioc in the Southwest Region
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), of the endangered black-lace cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albertii), the endangered Bone Cave harvestman (Texella reyesi), the endangered Pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina), the endangered Texas snowbells (Styrax texanus), and the endangered Walker's manioc (Manihot walkerae). A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since our original listing of these five species or since the last 5-year review.
Addition to the Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract Actions
Notice is hereby given of an additional proposed contract action pending through December 2015. This notice is in addition to the Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water- Related Contract Actions which was published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2015 (80 FR 2727).
The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 days from the date of this publication.
In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Steens Mountain Advisory Council (SMAC) will meet as indicated below:
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Zuni Bluehead Sucker
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on the January 25, 2013, proposed designation of critical habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus yarrowi) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We also announce the availability of the draft economic analysis, draft environmental assessment, and amended required determinations of the proposed designation. In addition, we are proposing revisions to the proposed critical habitat boundaries that would decrease our total proposed critical habitat designation for the Zuni bluehead sucker from approximately 475.3 kilometers (291.3 miles) to approximately 228.4 kilometers (141.9 miles). We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to comment simultaneously on the revisions to the proposed critical habitat designation described in this document, the associated draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment, and the amended required determinations section. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Threatened Status for the West Coast Distinct Population Segment of Fisher
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the West Coast distinct population segment (DPS) of fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species. We also reopen the comment period on the proposed rule to list the species for an additional 30 days. We are taking this action based on substantial disagreement regarding available information related to toxicants and rodenticides (including law enforcement information and trend data) and related to surveyed versus unsurveyed areas (including data on negative survey results) to help assess distribution and population trends. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rule. We will submit a final listing determination to the Federal Register on or before April 7, 2016.
Record of Decision for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement; Fairbanks, Alaska
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We prepared this ROD pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations. The Service is furnishing this notice to advise the public and other agencies of our decision and of availability of the ROD.
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites public comments on, and plans to request approval to continue, the collection of information that is necessary to implement two provisions of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act one which requires Federal agencies to consult with interested parties to develop a listing of significant caves, and another under which Federal and State governmental agencies and bona fide educational and research institutions may request confidential information regarding significant caves. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has assigned control number 1004-0165 to this information collection.
Plan of Operations and Related Categorical Exclusion for Plugging and Reclamation of Two Natural Gas Wells, Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas
The National Park Service has received from Unit Petroleum Company a plan of operations to plug, abandon, and reclaim two natural gas wells in Big Thicket National Preserve in Polk County, Texas. We are requesting comments on the plan of operations and on the related categorical exclusion from provisions of the National Environmental Protection Act for this proposal.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2015-16 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals and Requests for 2017 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest Proposals in Alaska
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter the Service or we) proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2015-16 hunting season. We annually prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, describes the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2015-16 duck hunting seasons, requests proposals from Indian tribes that wish to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands, and requests proposals for the 2017 spring and summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska. Migratory game bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance; aid Federal, State, and tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds; and permit harvests at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of Black-Footed Ferrets in Wyoming
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in coordination with the State of Wyoming and other partners, propose to reestablish additional populations of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), a federally listed endangered mammal, into occupied prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) habitat in Wyoming. We propose to reestablish the black-footed ferret under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to classify any reestablished population as a nonessential experimental population (NEP). This approach would provide relaxed management rules to facilitate reintroductions. We are seeking comments on this proposal and on our draft environmental assessment, prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), which analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed reintroduction. We are also notifying the public that we are amending the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) to reflect the scientifically accepted historical range of the black-footed ferret. The revised historical range description includes Mexico. The historical range information in the List is informational, not regulatory.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement/General Management Plan, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalawao and Maui Counties, Hawaii
The National Park Service announces the availability of a Draft General Management Plan (GMP)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Kalaupapa National Historical Park. The document identifies and analyzes four alternatives. Alternative A (no action alternative) assumes that programming, facilities, staffing, and funding would generally continue at their current levels to protect the values of Kalaupapa NHP in the near term. Alternative B focuses on maintaining Kalaupapa's spirit and character through limiting visitation. Visitor use would be highly structured, though limited opportunities would exist for public visitation and overnight use. The NPS would develop an extensive outreach program to share Kalaupapa's history with a wide audience at off-site locations. Alternative C (agency-preferred) emphasizes stewardship of Kalaupapa's lands in collaboration with the park's many partners. Kalaupapa's diverse resources would be managed to protect and maintain their character and historical significance. Visitation by the general public would be supported, provided, and integrated into park management. Visitor regulations would change, while continuing to limit the number of visitors per day through new mechanisms. Alternative D focuses on the personal connections to Kalaupapa through visitation by the general public. Resources would be managed for long-term preservation through NPS-led programs throughout the park. Alternative D offers visitors the greatest opportunities to explore areas on their own. Visitor regulations would be similar to Alternative C.