Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Public Hearings on Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales, 3191-3192 [2010-997]

Download as PDF wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules (4) Any areas that are essential to the conservation of A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum and why; (5) Land use designations and current or planned activities in A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum habitats and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat; (6) Conservation programs and plans that protect A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum and their habitat; and, (7) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and comments. In addition, we request data and information on ‘‘specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species’’ that are ‘‘essential for the conservation of the species.’’ Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ You may submit your information concerning this status review by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. We will also post all hardcopy submissions on http:// www.regulations.gov. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Information and supporting documentation that we received and used in preparing this finding, will be available for you to review at http:// www.regulations.gov, or you may make an appointment during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Background Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act requires that, for any petition to revise the Lists of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or commercial information that listing the species may be VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:05 Jan 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 warranted, we make a finding within 12 months of the date of the receipt of the petition. In this finding, we determine whether the petitioned action is: (a) not warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) warranted but precluded by other pending proposals. We must publish these 12–month findings in the Federal Register. Previous Federal Action On November 21, 1996, we received a petition from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) requesting that we list Agave eggersiana and Solanum conocarpum as endangered. On November 16, 1998, we published in the Federal Register (63 FR 63659) our finding that the petition to list A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum presented substantial information indicating that the requested action may be warranted and initiated a status review on these two plants. On September 1, 2004, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and the Service alleging that the Service failed to publish a 12–month finding (Center for Biological Diversity v. Norton, Civil Action No. 1:04-CV-2553 CAP). In a Stipulated Settlement Agreement resolving that case, signed April 27, 2005, we agreed to submit our 12–month finding to the Federal Register by February 28, 2006. On March 7, 2006, we published our 12–month finding (71 FR 11367) that listing of A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum was not warranted. We arrived at this finding because we did not have sufficient information to determine the true status of either A. eggersiana or S. conocarpum in the wild. Further, we could not determine if either species met the definition of threatened or endangered due to one or more of the five listing factors because we did not have sufficient evidence of which threats, if any, were affecting these species. On September 9, 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint challenging our 12–month finding (Center for Biological Diversity v. Hamilton, Case No. 1:08-cv-02830 –CAP). In a settlement agreement approved by the Court on August 21, 2009, the Service agreed to submit to the Federal Register a new 12–month finding for A. eggersiana by September 17, 2010, and a new 12–month finding for S. conocarpum by February 15, 2011. This notice initiates a new status review for A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum; we are soliciting new information on the status of and potential threats to both species that PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 3191 will enable us to complete a review of the status of each species and the subsequent 12–month findings. We will base our new findings on a review of the best scientific and commercial information available, including all such information received as a result of this notice. For more information on the biology, habitat, and range of either species, please refer to our previous 90– day finding published in the Federal Register on November 16, 1998 (63 FR 63659), and our previous 12–month finding published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2006 (71 FR 11367). Author The primary author of this notice is the staff of the Caribbean Ecological ´ Services Office, Boqueron, Puerto Rico. Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: January 6, 2010 Daniel M. Ashe, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [FR Doc. 2010–870 Filed 1–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 226 [Docket No. 09022432–91321–03] RIN 0648–XT72 Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Public Hearings on Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public hearings. SUMMARY: On December 2, 2009, NMFS published a proposal to designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. As part of that proposal, NMFS announced a public comment period to end on February 1, 2010, which was extended to March 3, 2010. NMFS has received requests for public hearings on this issue. In response, NMFS is announcing that hearings will be held at four locations in Alaska to provide additional opportunities and formats to receive public input. E:\FR\FM\20JAP1.SGM 20JAP1 3192 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 12 / Wednesday, January 20, 2010 / Proposed Rules DATES: Written comments must be received by March 3, 2010. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Kaja Brix, Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by ‘‘RIN 0648–XT72’’, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov • Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802 • Fax: 907–586–7557 • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. All comments received are part of the public record and will be generally posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mandy Migura, NMFS, 222 West 7th Avenue, Box 43, Anchorage, AK 99517, (907) 271–5006; Kaja Brix, NMFS, (907) 586–7235; or Marta Nammack, (301) 713–1401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS_PART 1 Section 4(a)(3) of the ESA requires NMFS to designate critical habitat for VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:05 Jan 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 threatened and endangered species. NMFS published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking and a request for information on April 14, 2009 (74 FR 17131). On December 2, 2009, NMFS published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale (74 FR 63080). On January 12, 2010, NMFS extended the public comment period to March 3, 2010 (75 FR 1852). are not the only opportunity for the public to provide input on this proposal. The public and stakeholders are encouraged to continue to comment and provide input to NMFS on the proposal (via correspondence, e-mail, and the Internet; see ADDRESSES, above) up until the scheduled close of the comment period on March 3, 2010. Public Hearings Joint Commerce-Interior ESA implementing regulations state that the Secretary of Commerce shall promptly hold at least one public hearing if any person requests one within 45 days of publication of a proposed regulation to list a species or to designate critical habitat (see 50 CFR 424.16(c)(3)). In past ESA rulemakings, NMFS has conducted traditional public hearings, consisting of recorded oral testimony from interested individuals. This format, although providing a means of public input, does not provide opportunities for dialogue and information exchange. NMFS believes that the traditional public hearing format can be improved upon by also including a brief presentation on what may be considered topics of interest. The preferred means for providing public comment to the official record is via written testimony prepared in advance of the meeting, which may also be presented orally. Blank ‘‘comment sheets’’ will be provided at the meetings for those without prepared written comments, and opportunity will also be provided for additional oral testimony. There is no need to register for these hearings. In scheduling these public hearings, NMFS has anticipated that many affected stakeholders and members of the public may prefer to discuss the proposed critical habitat designation directly with staff during the public comment period. These public meetings Public hearings will be held in Anchorage, Wasilla, Soldotna, and Homer, Alaska. The specific dates and locations of these meetings are listed below: (1) Soldotna: February 3, 2010, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers, George A. Navarre Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration Building, 144 N. Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK. (2) Homer: February 4, 2010, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, 95 Sterling Highway #1, Homer, AK. (3) Wasilla: February 11 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Best Western, Lake Lucille Inn, Iditarod Room, 1300 West Lake Lucille Drive, Wasilla, AK. (4) Anchorage: February 12 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Loussac Public Library, Wilda Marston Room, 3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 Hearing Dates & Locations References The proposed rule, economic analysis, maps, status reviews, and other materials relating to the proposed critical habitat designation can be found on the NMFS Alaska Region website www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1533 Dated: January 13, 2010. James H. Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–997 Filed 1–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\20JAP1.SGM 20JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 12 (Wednesday, January 20, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 3191-3192]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-997]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 226

[Docket No. 09022432-91321-03]
RIN 0648-XT72


Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Public Hearings on 
Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public hearings.

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SUMMARY: On December 2, 2009, NMFS published a proposal to designate 
critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale as required 
by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. As part of 
that proposal, NMFS announced a public comment period to end on 
February 1, 2010, which was extended to March 3, 2010. NMFS has 
received requests for public hearings on this issue. In response, NMFS 
is announcing that hearings will be held at four locations in Alaska to 
provide additional opportunities and formats to receive public input.

[[Page 3192]]


DATES: Written comments must be received by March 3, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Kaja Brix, Assistant Regional 
Administrator, Protected Resources Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: 
Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 0648-
XT72'', by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov
     Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802
     Fax: 907-586-7557
     Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th 
Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK.
    No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the 
comment period has closed. All comments received are part of the public 
record and will be generally posted to http://www.regulations.gov 
without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, 
address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required 
fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to 
electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF 
file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mandy Migura, NMFS, 222 West 7th 
Avenue, Box 43, Anchorage, AK 99517, (907) 271-5006; Kaja Brix, NMFS, 
(907) 586-7235; or Marta Nammack, (301) 713-1401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 4(a)(3) of the ESA requires NMFS to designate critical 
habitat for threatened and endangered species. NMFS published an 
advanced notice of proposed rulemaking and a request for information on 
April 14, 2009 (74 FR 17131). On December 2, 2009, NMFS published a 
proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook 
Inlet beluga whale (74 FR 63080). On January 12, 2010, NMFS extended 
the public comment period to March 3, 2010 (75 FR 1852).

Public Hearings

    Joint Commerce-Interior ESA implementing regulations state that the 
Secretary of Commerce shall promptly hold at least one public hearing 
if any person requests one within 45 days of publication of a proposed 
regulation to list a species or to designate critical habitat (see 50 
CFR 424.16(c)(3)). In past ESA rulemakings, NMFS has conducted 
traditional public hearings, consisting of recorded oral testimony from 
interested individuals. This format, although providing a means of 
public input, does not provide opportunities for dialogue and 
information exchange. NMFS believes that the traditional public hearing 
format can be improved upon by also including a brief presentation on 
what may be considered topics of interest.
    The preferred means for providing public comment to the official 
record is via written testimony prepared in advance of the meeting, 
which may also be presented orally. Blank ``comment sheets'' will be 
provided at the meetings for those without prepared written comments, 
and opportunity will also be provided for additional oral testimony. 
There is no need to register for these hearings.
    In scheduling these public hearings, NMFS has anticipated that many 
affected stakeholders and members of the public may prefer to discuss 
the proposed critical habitat designation directly with staff during 
the public comment period. These public meetings are not the only 
opportunity for the public to provide input on this proposal. The 
public and stakeholders are encouraged to continue to comment and 
provide input to NMFS on the proposal (via correspondence, e-mail, and 
the Internet; see ADDRESSES, above) up until the scheduled close of the 
comment period on March 3, 2010.

Hearing Dates & Locations

    Public hearings will be held in Anchorage, Wasilla, Soldotna, and 
Homer, Alaska. The specific dates and locations of these meetings are 
listed below:
    (1) Soldotna: February 3, 2010, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the 
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers, George A. Navarre Kenai 
Peninsula Borough Administration Building, 144 N. Binkley Street, 
Soldotna, AK.
    (2) Homer: February 4, 2010, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the 
Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, 95 Sterling Highway 1, 
Homer, AK.
    (3) Wasilla: February 11 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Best 
Western, Lake Lucille Inn, Iditarod Room, 1300 West Lake Lucille Drive, 
Wasilla, AK.
    (4) Anchorage: February 12 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Loussac 
Public Library, Wilda Marston Room, 3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK.

References

    The proposed rule, economic analysis, maps, status reviews, and 
other materials relating to the proposed critical habitat designation 
can be found on the NMFS Alaska Region website 
www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1533

    Dated: January 13, 2010.
James H. Lecky,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-997 Filed 1-19-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S