Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Amendment to the Draft Recovery Plan for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit, 38203-38204 [2011-16379]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 125 / Wednesday, June 29, 2011 / Notices Dated: June 23, 2011. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2011–16281 Filed 6–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R9–MB–2011–N133; [91200–1231– 00AP–M4] Proposed Information Collection; North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act 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 IC is scheduled to expire on January 31, 2012. 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. DATES: To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on this IC, we must receive them by August 29, 2011. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the IC to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 2042–PDM, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail or hand delivery); or INFOCOL@fws.gov (e-mail). Please include ‘‘1018–0019’’ in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this IC, contact Hope Grey at 703–358– 2482 (telephone) or INFOCOL@fws.gov (e-mail). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Abstract The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703–712) and Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a–754j–2) designate the Department of the Interior as the primary agency responsible for: • Wise management of migratory bird populations frequenting the United States, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:48 Jun 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 • Setting hunting regulations that allow for the well-being of migratory bird populations. These responsibilities dictate that we gather accurate data on various characteristics of migratory bird populations. The North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey is an essential part of the migratory bird management program. State, Federal, Provincial, local, and tribal conservation agencies conduct the survey annually to provide the data necessary to determine the population status of the woodcock. In addition, the information is vital in assessing the relative changes in the geographic distribution of the woodcock. We use the information primarily to develop recommendations for hunting regulations. Without information on the population’s status, we might promulgate hunting regulations that (1) Are not sufficiently restrictive, which could cause harm to the woodcock population, or (2) are too restrictive, which would unduly restrict recreational opportunities afforded by woodcock hunting. The Service, State conservation agencies, university associates, and other interested parties use the data for various research and management projects. 38203 • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Dated: June 23, 2011. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2011–16278 Filed 6–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2011–N092; 10120–1113– 0000–C2] II. Data OMB Control Number: 1018–0019. Title: North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey. Service Form Number(s): 3–156. Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection. Description of Respondents: State, Provincial, local, and tribal employees. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. Frequency of Collection: Annually. Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 680. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,206 hours. We believe 544 persons (80 percent of the respondents) will enter data electronically, with an average reporting burden of 1.8 hours per respondent. For all other respondents, we estimate the reporting burden to be 1.67 hours per respondent. III. Comments We invite comments concerning this information collection on: • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information; • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Amendment to the Draft Recovery Plan for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of an amendment to the Draft Recovery Plan for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) for public review and comment. This amendment updates the recovery strategies and objectives that were developed in the 2007 Draft Recovery Plan, based on new information about genetics, disease risk, and habitat associations of the species. DATES: We must receive any comments on the amendment to the draft recovery plan on or before August 29, 2011. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan amendment is available at http://www.fws.gov/ endangered/species/recovery-plans.html and http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ ecoservices/endangered/recovery/ plans.html. Copies of the draft recovery SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1 38204 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 125 / Wednesday, June 29, 2011 / Notices plan amendment are also available by request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Eastern Washington Field Office, 11103 E. Montgomery Drive, Spokane Valley, WA 99206 (telephone: 509–891–6839). Written comments and materials regarding this draft recovery plan amendment should be addressed to the above address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Warren, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, by writing to the above address, by calling 509–893–8020, or by electronic mail at: chris_warren@fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Recovery plans help guide conservation efforts by describing actions considered necessary for the recovery of the species, establishing criteria for downlisting or delisting listed species, and estimating time and cost for implementing the measures needed for recovery. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided during recovery plan development. A draft recovery plan for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit was made available for public comment from September 7 to November 6, 2007 (72 FR 51461). The recovery plan has not yet been finalized; because new scientific information has substantially changed our recommended recovery strategy, we are now publishing this amendment to the draft recovery plan for additional public comment before we prepare a final recovery plan. We will consider all comments we receive during the public comment period. Substantive comments may or may not result in changes to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery plan implementation will be forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they can take them into account during the course of implementing recovery actions. Responses to individual commenters will not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how we VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:48 Jun 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 addressed substantive comments in an appendix to the final recovery plan. Pygmy rabbits are typically found in habitat types that include tall, dense stands of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), on which they are highly dependent for both food and shelter throughout the year. Historically, pygmy rabbits were found throughout the semi-arid sagebrush steppe biome of the Great Basin and adjacent intermountain regions of the western United States, including portions of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington. The population within the Columbia Basin of central Washington is disjunct from the remainder of the species’ range. Museum specimens and sighting records indicate that during the first half of the 20th century, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit likely occurred in portions of six Washington counties: Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Adams, Franklin, and Benton. This range declined due to large-scale loss and fragmentation of native shrub-steppe habitats, primarily for agricultural development, and by the late 1980s it was known only from southern Douglas County. We listed the Columbia Basin distinct population segment of the pygmy rabbit under emergency provisions of the Act on November 30, 2001 (66 FR 59734), and fully listed it as endangered on March 5, 2003 (68 FR 10388). The last known wild population of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit was extirpated in 2004, and an experimental release of 20 captive individuals in 2007 failed. The remaining captive population is derived from controlled intercross breeding between Columbia Basin individuals and pygmy rabbits of the same taxonomic classification from Idaho, and currently comprises 92 individuals averaging 65 percent Columbia Basin ancestry. The condition of the captive population has deteriorated in recent years due to poor reproductive success, soil-borne diseases, habituation to captive conditions, and genetic bottlenecks. The prospects for long-term viability of the population in captivity are considered poor. The recovery plan amendment recommends that, to effectively reintroduce captive rabbits to the wild, 100 to 200 rabbits should be released annually for up to 3 years; this program will include supplementation of the captive pygmy rabbits with wild pygmy rabbits translocated from outside of the Columbia Basin. The amendment also recommends surveys of suitable habitat within the Columbia Basin to locate undiscovered populations of wild Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Comments Solicited We solicit written comments on the amendment to the draft recovery plan described in this notice. All comments received by the date specified above will be considered in development of a final recovery plan for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. Authority: The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). Dated: June 8, 2011. Theresa E. Rabot, Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2011–16379 Filed 6–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2011–N065; 10120–1112– 0000–F3] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Southeastern Oregon Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of permit application. AGENCY: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The permit application includes a proposed Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) between the ODFW and the Service. The requested permit would authorize the ODFW to extend incidental take coverage with assurances to eligible landowners who are willing to carry out habitat management measures that would benefit the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) by enrolling them under the Agreement as Cooperators through issuance of Certificates of Inclusion. The covered area or geographic scope of this Agreement includes the Quinn River, Coyote Lake, and Alvord basins located in Harney and Malheur Counties, Oregon. The Service is making the permit application, proposed Agreement, and related documents available for public review and comment. DATES: All comments must be received from interested parties on or before July 29, 2011. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 125 (Wednesday, June 29, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38203-38204]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16379]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2011-N092; 10120-1113-0000-C2]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Amendment to the 
Draft Recovery Plan for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment 
of the Pygmy Rabbit

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an amendment to the Draft Recovery Plan for the 
Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit 
(Brachylagus idahoensis) for public review and comment. This amendment 
updates the recovery strategies and objectives that were developed in 
the 2007 Draft Recovery Plan, based on new information about genetics, 
disease risk, and habitat associations of the species.

DATES: We must receive any comments on the amendment to the draft 
recovery plan on or before August 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan amendment is 
available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html 
and http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/plans.html. Copies of the draft recovery

[[Page 38204]]

plan amendment are also available by request from the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Eastern Washington Field Office, 11103 E. Montgomery 
Drive, Spokane Valley, WA 99206 (telephone: 509-891-6839). Written 
comments and materials regarding this draft recovery plan amendment 
should be addressed to the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Warren, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, by writing to the above address, by calling 509-893-8020, or 
by electronic mail at: chris_warren@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered 
Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement 
of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no 
longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Recovery plans help guide conservation efforts by 
describing actions considered necessary for the recovery of the 
species, establishing criteria for downlisting or delisting listed 
species, and estimating time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public 
notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided 
during recovery plan development. A draft recovery plan for the 
Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit was made available for public comment from 
September 7 to November 6, 2007 (72 FR 51461). The recovery plan has 
not yet been finalized; because new scientific information has 
substantially changed our recommended recovery strategy, we are now 
publishing this amendment to the draft recovery plan for additional 
public comment before we prepare a final recovery plan.
    We will consider all comments we receive during the public comment 
period. Substantive comments may or may not result in changes to the 
recovery plan; comments regarding recovery plan implementation will be 
forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they can 
take them into account during the course of implementing recovery 
actions. Responses to individual commenters will not be provided, but 
we will provide a summary of how we addressed substantive comments in 
an appendix to the final recovery plan.
    Pygmy rabbits are typically found in habitat types that include 
tall, dense stands of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), on which they are 
highly dependent for both food and shelter throughout the year. 
Historically, pygmy rabbits were found throughout the semi-arid 
sagebrush steppe biome of the Great Basin and adjacent intermountain 
regions of the western United States, including portions of Oregon, 
California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington. The 
population within the Columbia Basin of central Washington is disjunct 
from the remainder of the species' range. Museum specimens and sighting 
records indicate that during the first half of the 20th century, the 
Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit likely occurred in portions of six 
Washington counties: Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Adams, Franklin, and 
Benton. This range declined due to large-scale loss and fragmentation 
of native shrub-steppe habitats, primarily for agricultural 
development, and by the late 1980s it was known only from southern 
Douglas County. We listed the Columbia Basin distinct population 
segment of the pygmy rabbit under emergency provisions of the Act on 
November 30, 2001 (66 FR 59734), and fully listed it as endangered on 
March 5, 2003 (68 FR 10388).
    The last known wild population of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit 
was extirpated in 2004, and an experimental release of 20 captive 
individuals in 2007 failed. The remaining captive population is derived 
from controlled intercross breeding between Columbia Basin individuals 
and pygmy rabbits of the same taxonomic classification from Idaho, and 
currently comprises 92 individuals averaging 65 percent Columbia Basin 
ancestry. The condition of the captive population has deteriorated in 
recent years due to poor reproductive success, soil-borne diseases, 
habituation to captive conditions, and genetic bottlenecks. The 
prospects for long-term viability of the population in captivity are 
considered poor. The recovery plan amendment recommends that, to 
effectively reintroduce captive rabbits to the wild, 100 to 200 rabbits 
should be released annually for up to 3 years; this program will 
include supplementation of the captive pygmy rabbits with wild pygmy 
rabbits translocated from outside of the Columbia Basin. The amendment 
also recommends surveys of suitable habitat within the Columbia Basin 
to locate undiscovered populations of wild Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbits.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the amendment to the draft recovery 
plan described in this notice. All comments received by the date 
specified above will be considered in development of a final recovery 
plan for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit.

    Authority: The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: June 8, 2011.
Theresa E. Rabot,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-16379 Filed 6-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P