Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse With Special Rule, 45420-45421 [2014-18180]

Download as PDF 45420 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 5, 2014 / Proposed Rules Authority: Under authority delegated in 49 CFR part 1.95. David M. Hines, Acting Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2014–18443 Filed 8–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–C DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072; 4500030113] RIN 1018–AY10 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse With Special Rule Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our October 28, 2013, proposed rule to list the bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, with a special rule. We are taking this action based on new information received regarding population trends, and recent State and Federal agency funding and staffing commitments for various conservation efforts associated with the Bi-State Action Plan, making it necessary to solicit feedback by reopening the comment period for 30 days. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final listing determination. We anticipate publishing a final listing determination on or before April 28, 2015. DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2013 (78 FR 64358), is reopened. We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before September 4, 2014. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. Any comments that we receive after the closing date may not be considered in the final decision on this action. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:23 Aug 04, 2014 Jkt 232001 Document availability: You may obtain copies of the proposed rule and associated documents and letters discussed in this supplement to the proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072, or contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate the document. You may submit a comment by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Information Requested section below for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed listing rule, proposed special rule, and proposed critical habitat designation, contact Edward D. Koch, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; telephone 775– 861–6300; or facsimile 775–861–6301. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: Background On October 28, 2013, we published a proposed rule to list the bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in California and Nevada as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (78 FR 64358), with a special rule. We concurrently published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat (78 FR 64328). We received requests to extend the public comment periods on the rules beyond the December 27, 2013, due date. In order PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 to ensure that the public had an adequate opportunity to review and comment on our proposed rules, we extended the comment periods for an additional 45 days to February 10, 2014 (78 FR 77087; December 20, 2013). On April 8, 2014, we reopened the comment period on our October 28, 2013, proposed rule to list the bi-State DPS, the special rule, and the proposed critical habitat rule (79 FR 19314). We also announced two public hearings that were subsequently postponed (79 FR 26684, May 9, 2014) to May 28, 2014, and May 29, 2014, respectively. The April 8, 2014, document also announced a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether or not to list the bi-State DPS as a threatened species, which will automatically delay any decision we make regarding critical habitat for the bi-State DPS. The comment period was reopened and extended to June 9, 2014, and our decision to delay the final listing action was because of substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing, making it necessary to solicit additional information. Thus, we announced that we will publish a listing determination on or before April 28, 2015. On June 3, 2014, we announced an extension of the comment period on the proposed critical habitat rule (79 FR 31901), the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the biState DPS, and an amended required determinations section of the proposed critical habitat rule (available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0042). Since publication of the proposed listing rule, we have received new information on the population trends of the bi-State DPS. The publication models population growth and trajectory of the bi-State DPS across its range as well as within individual subpopulations contained within the DPS. These data may characterize risk to the bi-State DPS and predict future population trends. This information is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072). In addition to this new trend information, we have continued to work closely with our interagency partners to implement and plan conservation actions that benefit the bi-State DPS and its habitat. These conservation efforts are embodied primarily in the formalized Bi-State Action Plan (BiState Technical Advisory Committee 2012), which is a multiagency management plan that outlines approximately 80 specific actions E:\FR\FM\05AUP1.SGM 05AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 5, 2014 / Proposed Rules needed to address ongoing and future threats to the Bi-State DPS and its habitat. We recently received State and Federal agency letters (available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072) that document commitments for the necessary funding and staff required to implement conservation actions in the Bi-State Action Plan. We note that the necessary regulatory mechanisms to implement these conservation efforts are currently in place; in some cases, associated management plans are being revised to ensure the conservation efforts are successfully implemented to address threats that may be acting on the DPS or its habitat. As part of our final listing determination, we will examine the various conservation efforts that are currently in progress and anticipated in the future throughout the range of the bi-State DPS. We will evaluate existing regulatory mechanisms (and associated management plans) and volunteer efforts for their biologically meaningful contribution to the conservation of the bi-State DPS and its habitat. Information Requested emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed listing (and special 4(d) rule) for the bi-State DPS that published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2013 (78 FR 64358). We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final action resulting from the proposal be as accurate as possible and based on the best available scientific and commercial data. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:23 Aug 04, 2014 Jkt 232001 We are particularly interested in new information and comments regarding: (1) New population trend information and analysis (currently available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072). (2) Whether there is scientific information in addition to that considered in our proposed rule and the new population trends data currently available as supporting information (on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072) that may be useful in our analysis. (3) The scope of the proposed 4(d) rule. (4) Consideration of the various conservation commitments (as outlined in the State and Federal agency letters available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS– R8–ES–2013–0072), which are consistent with the Bi-State Action Plan. If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (78 FR 64358) during the initial comment period from October 28, 2013, to February 10, 2014, or the subsequent comment period from April 8, 2014, to June 9, 2014, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them into the public record, and we will consider them in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination concerning the listing and special rule will take into consideration all written comments and any additional information we receive. You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES. PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 45421 If you submit a comment via http:// www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http:// www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed listing and special rule will be available for public inspection on http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2013–0072, or at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: July 17, 2014. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2014–18180 Filed 8–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\05AUP1.SGM 05AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 150 (Tuesday, August 5, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45420-45421]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18180]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AY10


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status 
for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse 
With Special Rule

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the public comment period on our October 28, 2013, 
proposed rule to list the bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of 
greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, with a special rule. We are 
taking this action based on new information received regarding 
population trends, and recent State and Federal agency funding and 
staffing commitments for various conservation efforts associated with 
the Bi-State Action Plan, making it necessary to solicit feedback by 
reopening the comment period for 30 days. Comments previously submitted 
need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in 
preparation of the final listing determination. We anticipate 
publishing a final listing determination on or before April 28, 2015.

DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published in the 
Federal Register on October 28, 2013 (78 FR 64358), is reopened. We 
will consider comments received or postmarked on or before September 4, 
2014. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. 
Eastern Time on the closing date. Any comments that we receive after 
the closing date may not be considered in the final decision on this 
action.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the proposed 
rule and associated documents and letters discussed in this supplement 
to the proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072, or contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).
    Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the 
following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072, 
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search 
panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, 
click on the Proposed Rules link to locate the document. You may submit 
a comment by clicking on ``Comment Now!''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-
3803.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see the Information Requested section below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed 
listing rule, proposed special rule, and proposed critical habitat 
designation, contact Edward D. Koch, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial 
Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; telephone 775-861-6300; or 
facsimile 775-861-6301. Persons who use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On October 28, 2013, we published a proposed rule to list the bi-
State DPS of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in 
California and Nevada as a threatened species under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (78 FR 64358), with a special 
rule. We concurrently published a proposed rule to designate critical 
habitat (78 FR 64328). We received requests to extend the public 
comment periods on the rules beyond the December 27, 2013, due date. In 
order to ensure that the public had an adequate opportunity to review 
and comment on our proposed rules, we extended the comment periods for 
an additional 45 days to February 10, 2014 (78 FR 77087; December 20, 
2013).
    On April 8, 2014, we reopened the comment period on our October 28, 
2013, proposed rule to list the bi-State DPS, the special rule, and the 
proposed critical habitat rule (79 FR 19314). We also announced two 
public hearings that were subsequently postponed (79 FR 26684, May 9, 
2014) to May 28, 2014, and May 29, 2014, respectively. The April 8, 
2014, document also announced a 6-month extension of the final 
determination of whether or not to list the bi-State DPS as a 
threatened species, which will automatically delay any decision we make 
regarding critical habitat for the bi-State DPS. The comment period was 
reopened and extended to June 9, 2014, and our decision to delay the 
final listing action was because of substantial disagreement regarding 
the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the 
proposed listing, making it necessary to solicit additional 
information. Thus, we announced that we will publish a listing 
determination on or before April 28, 2015. On June 3, 2014, we 
announced an extension of the comment period on the proposed critical 
habitat rule (79 FR 31901), the availability of a draft economic 
analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the bi-
State DPS, and an amended required determinations section of the 
proposed critical habitat rule (available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0042).
    Since publication of the proposed listing rule, we have received 
new information on the population trends of the bi-State DPS. The 
publication models population growth and trajectory of the bi-State DPS 
across its range as well as within individual subpopulations contained 
within the DPS. These data may characterize risk to the bi-State DPS 
and predict future population trends. This information is available on 
the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-
2013-0072).
    In addition to this new trend information, we have continued to 
work closely with our interagency partners to implement and plan 
conservation actions that benefit the bi-State DPS and its habitat. 
These conservation efforts are embodied primarily in the formalized Bi-
State Action Plan (Bi-State Technical Advisory Committee 2012), which 
is a multiagency management plan that outlines approximately 80 
specific actions

[[Page 45421]]

needed to address ongoing and future threats to the Bi-State DPS and 
its habitat. We recently received State and Federal agency letters 
(available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. 
FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072) that document commitments for the necessary 
funding and staff required to implement conservation actions in the Bi-
State Action Plan. We note that the necessary regulatory mechanisms to 
implement these conservation efforts are currently in place; in some 
cases, associated management plans are being revised to ensure the 
conservation efforts are successfully implemented to address threats 
that may be acting on the DPS or its habitat. As part of our final 
listing determination, we will examine the various conservation efforts 
that are currently in progress and anticipated in the future throughout 
the range of the bi-State DPS. We will evaluate existing regulatory 
mechanisms (and associated management plans) and volunteer efforts for 
their biologically meaningful contribution to the conservation of the 
bi-State DPS and its habitat.

Information Requested

    We will accept written comments and information during this 
reopened comment period on our proposed listing (and special 4(d) rule) 
for the bi-State DPS that published in the Federal Register on October 
28, 2013 (78 FR 64358). We will consider information and 
recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final 
action resulting from the proposal be as accurate as possible and based 
on the best available scientific and commercial data.
    We are particularly interested in new information and comments 
regarding:
    (1) New population trend information and analysis (currently 
available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. 
FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072).
    (2) Whether there is scientific information in addition to that 
considered in our proposed rule and the new population trends data 
currently available as supporting information (on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072) that may 
be useful in our analysis.
    (3) The scope of the proposed 4(d) rule.
    (4) Consideration of the various conservation commitments (as 
outlined in the State and Federal agency letters available on the 
internet at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-
0072), which are consistent with the Bi-State Action Plan.
    If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (78 
FR 64358) during the initial comment period from October 28, 2013, to 
February 10, 2014, or the subsequent comment period from April 8, 2014, 
to June 9, 2014, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them 
into the public record, and we will consider them in the preparation of 
our final determination. Our final determination concerning the listing 
and special rule will take into consideration all written comments and 
any additional information we receive.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you 
send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that 
includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top 
of your document that we withhold this information from public review. 
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing the proposed listing and special 
rule will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-
0072, or at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 17, 2014.
Stephen Guertin,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-18180 Filed 8-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P