Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five Species, 60362-60366 [2017-27389]

Download as PDF 60362 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Proposed Rules PART 395—HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS Section 395.1 part Scope of the rules in this ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Question 34: Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply to drivers while driving unloaded to a source where an agricultural commodity will be loaded, and to an unloaded return trip after delivering an agricultural commodity under the exception? Guidance: Yes, provided that the trip does not involve transporting other cargo and the sole purpose of the trip is to complete the delivery or pick up of agricultural commodities, as defined in § 395.2. In that case, driving and onduty time are not limited, nor do other requirements of 49 CFR part 395 apply. Question 35: Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply if the destination for the commodity is beyond the 150 air-mile radius from the source? Guidance: The exception applies to transportation during the initial 150 airmiles from the source of the commodity. Once a driver operates beyond the 150 air-mile radius of the source, part 395 applies. Starting at zero from that point, the driver must then begin recording his or her duty time, and the limits under the 11-hour, 14-hour, and the 60-/70hour rules apply. Once the hours of service rules begin to apply on a given trip, they continue to apply for the duration of that trip, until the driver crosses back into the area within 150 air-miles of the original source of the commodities and is returning to that source. If the driver is not returning to the original source, the HOS rules continue to apply, even if the driver reenters the 150-mile radius. VI. Expiration Date for the Proposed Regulatory Guidance In accordance with section 5203(a)(2)(A) and (a)(3) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114–94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1535 (Dec. 4, 2015), the proposed regulatory guidance will be posted on FMCSA’s website, www.fmcsa.dot.gov, if finalized. It would be reviewed by the Agency no later than five years after it is finalized. The Agency would consider at that time whether the guidance should be withdrawn, reissued for another period up to five years, or incorporated into the safety regulations. VII. Request for Comments Refer to the ADDRESSES section above for instructions on submitting comments to the public docket VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:03 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 concerning this regulatory guidance. The FMCSA will consider comments received by the closing date of the comment period to determine whether any further clarification of these regulatory provisions is necessary. In addition to comments concerning the proposed regulatory guidance above, including the issue of ‘‘sources’’ of agricultural commodities, as outlined above, the Agency is seeking information on the following: 1. Are there particular segments of the industry that would take advantage of this change more than others? 2. How does the flexibility provided in this guidance impact a carrier’s need for an electronic logging device? 3. How many carriers and drivers are there transporting agricultural commodities in various segments (livestock, unprocessed food, others) that are impacted by this guidance? Issued on: December 13, 2017. Cathy F. Gautreaux, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–27310 Filed 12–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [4500030115] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five Species Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notification of petition findings and initiation of status reviews. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90day findings on several petitions to list or reclassify wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted with respect to the species mentioned in this notification. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate a review of the status of each of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding these species. After completing the status reviews, we will SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 issue 12-month findings on the petitions, which will address whether or not the petitioned action is warranted, in accordance with the Act. In addition, we announce a correction to information contained in the 90-day petition finding for the leopard (Panthera pardus), which clarifies the range and entity we are evaluating in our status review of the species. These findings were made on December 20, 2017. DATES: Summaries of the bases for the petition findings contained in this document are available on http:// www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting information in preparing these findings is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. If you have new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species for which we made these petition findings, or their habitats, please submit that information by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on the Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit information by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ If your information will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803. We request that you send information only by the methods described above. We will post all information we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below, for more information). ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Proposed Rules Common name 60363 Contact person Oblong rocksnail ....................................................................................... Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub ............................................................ Tricolored bat ............................................................................................ Venus flytrap ............................................................................................. Leopard ..................................................................................................... If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service (FIRS) at 800– 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish the finding promptly in the Federal Register. Last year, the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the Department of Commerce revised the regulations that outline the procedures for evaluating petitions (81 FR 66462; September 27, 2016). The new regulations at 50 CFR 424.14 were effective October 27, 2016. We received the petitions referenced in this document prior to that effective date. Therefore, we evaluated these petitions under the 50 CFR 424.14 requirements that were in effect prior to October 27, 2016, as those requirements applied when the petitions were received. The regulations in effect prior to October 27, 2016, establish that the standard for substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 90-day petition finding is ‘‘that amount of information that would lead a Brian Evans, 404–679–7118; brian_evans@fws.gov. Justin Shoemaker, 309–757–5800 x214; justin_shoemaker@fws.gov. Krishna Gifford, 413–253–8619; krishna_gifford@fws.gov. Brian Evans, 404–679–7118; brian_evans@fws.gov. Janine Van Norman, 703–358–2370; janine_vannorman@fws.gov. reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted’’ (former 50 CFR 424.14(b)). A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The five factors are: (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A); (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B); (c) Disease or predation (Factor C); (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (Factor E).These factors represent broad categories of natural or human-caused actions or conditions that could have an effect on a species’ continued existence (i.e., threats). In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as for those that may ameliorate any negative effects and those that may have positive effects. In considering whether the petition presents substantial information indicating the species may be threatened or endangered, we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a threat to evaluate whether the species may respond to the threat in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. The mere identification of threats that could affect a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the information in the petition is substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ or ‘‘threatened species’’ under the Act. If we find that a petition presents such information, our subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by considering the individual, population, and species-level effects, and the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions and conditions that will have positive effects on the species—such as any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ or ‘‘threatened species.’’ If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information, the Act requires us to promptly commence a review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016). Summaries of Petition Findings The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the table below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting information, are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number. TABLE—SUBSTANTIAL FINDINGS AND CORRECTION ANNOUNCED ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Common name Docket No. Oblong rocksnail ............................................... Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub .................... Tricolored bat .................................................... Venus flytrap ..................................................... Leopard ............................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:03 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 URL to docket on http://www.regulations.gov FWS–R4–ES–2017–0042 FWS–R6–ES–2017–0010 FWS–R5–ES–2017–0011 FWS–R4–ES–2017–0041 FWS–HQ–ES–2016–0131 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R-ES-2017-0042. http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010. http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011. http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041. http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131. Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 60364 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Proposed Rules Evaluation of a Petition To List the Oblong Rocksnail as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range Oblong rocksnail (Leptoxis compacta): Cahaba River, Shelby County, Alabama. Petition History On June 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from the Center for Biological Diversity and Cahaba Riverkeeper requesting that the oblong rocksnail be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the oblong rocksnail, based on Factors A and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either ‘‘endangered species’’ under section 3(6) of the Act or ‘‘threatened species’’ under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2017–0042 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To List the Sturgeon Chub and Sicklefin Chub as Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range Sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming (Missouri River, tributaries to VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:03 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Middle and Lower Mississippi River). Sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee (Missouri River, Lower Yellowstone River, and Middle and Lower Mississippi River). Petition History On August 15, 2016, we received a petition dated August 11, 2016, from WildEarth Guardians requesting that the sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for these species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub, based on Factors A, C, D, and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for these species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species fall within the definition of either ‘‘endangered species’’ under section 3(6) of the Act or ‘‘threatened species’’ under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2017–0010 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To List the Tricolored Bat as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range Tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus): Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin; Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec); Mexico (Eastern and southern regions: Coahuila to Chiapas); Central America (Guatemala) Petition History On June 14, 2016, we received a petition dated June 14, 2016, from the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife requesting that the tricolored bat be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the tricolored bat, based on Factors A, C, and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either ‘‘endangered species’’ under section 3(6) of the Act or ‘‘threatened species’’ under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2017–0011 under the Supporting Documents section. E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Proposed Rules Evaluation of a Petition To List the Venus Flytrap as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis): Southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, and one introduced population each in Florida and New Jersey. Petition History On October 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from Donald M. Waller, J.T. Curtis Professor of Botany and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 25 additional supporters requesting that the Venus flytrap be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Venus flytrap, based on Factors A, B, and D as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either ‘‘endangered species’’ under section 3(6) of the Act or ‘‘threatened species’’ under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2017–0041 under the Supporting Documents section. Correction to our Evaluation of a Petition To Reclassify the Leopard as an Endangered Species Throughout Its Range On November 30, 2016, we published a document in the Federal Register (81 FR 86315) announcing 90-day findings on three petitions to list or reclassify VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:03 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). That document included a finding on a petition to reclassify leopard (Panthera pardus) as an endangered species throughout its range. However, in the discussion of our finding and supporting documentation, we made two errors. Therefore, with this document, we correct those errors, clarify our intent to evaluate the status of the species throughout its range. The public is welcome to submit information on the species in light of these corrections (see ADDRESSES, above). If you sent information previously, you need not resend it. The first error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding is that we mistakenly titled the action ‘‘Evaluation of a Petition To Reclassify Leopards Currently Listed as Threatened Species to Endangered Species Under the Act,’’ inadvertently implying that we will evaluate the status of the species only in the countries in which it is currently listed as threatened. However, the petition requests that we reclassify leopards as endangered throughout the species’ current range, and we evaluated the petition based on that request. Our finding on the petition—that the petition contains substantial information that listing the leopard as endangered throughout its range may be warranted—has not changed. Therefore, we clarify that we will evaluate the status of leopards throughout their current range in our assessment of the species’ status. The second error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding is that we mistakenly described the current range of the leopard as: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, and Uganda. However, the correct current range of the species is as follows: Species and Range Leopard (Panthera pardus): 62 countries in Africa and Asia. The corrected information regarding our review of this petition can be found as an appendix at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2016–0131 in the Supporting Documents section. Request for Information for Status Reviews When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the species (a status review). For the status review to be PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 60365 complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on these species from governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on: (1) The species’ biology, range, and population trends, including: (a) Habitat requirements; (b) Genetics and taxonomy; (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; and (d) Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends. (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including past and ongoing conservation measures that could decrease the extent to which one or more of the factors affect the species, its habitat, or both. (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the species. If, after the status review, we determine that listing is warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see definition at section 3(5)(A) of the Act) for domestic (United States) species under section 4 of the Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time we propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request data and information (submitted as provided for in ADDRESSES, above) for the species listed in the table above on: (1) What may constitute ‘‘physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species,’’ within the geographical range occupied by the species; (2) Where these features are currently found; (3) Whether or not any of these features may require special management considerations or protection; (4) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species that are ‘‘essential for the conservation of the species’’; and (5) What, if any, critical habitat you think we should propose for designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why such habitat falls within the definition of ‘‘critical habitat’’ at section 3(5) of the Act. Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 60366 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 20, 2017 / Proposed Rules ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions 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 an endangered or threatened species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via http:// www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. 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. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http:// www.regulations.gov. It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act’s standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in the petition, as well as information which is readily available, and we evaluate merely whether that information constitutes ‘‘substantial information’’ indicating that the petitioned action ‘‘may be warranted.’’ In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status review of the species and evaluate the ‘‘best scientific and commercial data available’’ to determine whether a petitioned action ‘‘is warranted.’’ Because the Act’s standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, a substantial 90day finding does not mean that the 12month finding will result in a ‘‘warranted’’ finding. Conclusion On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the petitions referenced above for the oblong rocksnail, sturgeon chub, sicklefin chub, tricolored bat, and Venus flytrap present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested actions may be warranted. Because we have found that these petitions present substantial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted, we are initiating status reviews to VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:03 Dec 19, 2017 Jkt 244001 determine whether these actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of each status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether or not the petitioned action is warranted. Authors The primary authors of this document are staff members of the Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Authority The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: October 23, 2017. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, exercising the authority of the Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2017–27389 Filed 12–19–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 170915903–7999–01] RIN 0648–XF706 Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017 Hawaii Kona Crab Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measure National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Proposed specification; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes a 2017 annual catch limit (ACL) of 3,500 lb for Hawaii Kona Crab, and an accountability measure (AM) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The proposed ACL and AM support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. DATES: NMFS must receive comments by January 4, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2017–0120, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#! docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20170120, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on https://www.regulations.gov change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the proposed ACL and AM. Copies of the environmental analyses and other supporting documents are available at https:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5173. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Kona crab fishery in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (generally 3–200 nm from shore) around Hawaii is managed under Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP). The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) developed the FEP, and NMFS implemented the plan under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The FEP contains a process for the Council and NMFS to specify ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 665.4 (50 CFR 665.4). The regulations require NMFS to specify, every fishing year, an ACL for each stock and stock complex of management unit species (MUS) in an FEP, as recommended by the Council and considering the best available scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery. If a fishery exceeds an ACL, the regulations require the Council to take action, which may include reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage, or other appropriate action. The Council recommended that NMFS specify an ACL of 3,500 lb of Hawaii Kona crab for fishing year 2017, which began on January 1 and ends on December 31. The Council based its ACL recommendation on a E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 20, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60362-60366]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27389]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[4500030115]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings 
for Five Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notification of petition findings and initiation of status 
reviews.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-
day findings on several petitions to list or reclassify wildlife or 
plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 
Based on our review, we find that the petitions present substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned 
actions may be warranted with respect to the species mentioned in this 
notification. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we 
announce that we plan to initiate a review of the status of each of 
these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To 
ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting 
scientific and commercial data and other information regarding these 
species. After completing the status reviews, we will issue 12-month 
findings on the petitions, which will address whether or not the 
petitioned action is warranted, in accordance with the Act. In 
addition, we announce a correction to information contained in the 90-
day petition finding for the leopard (Panthera pardus), which clarifies 
the range and entity we are evaluating in our status review of the 
species.

DATES: These findings were made on December 20, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Summaries of the bases for the petition findings contained 
in this document are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the 
appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). 
Supporting information in preparing these findings is available for 
public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by 
contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. If you have new information concerning the status 
of, or threats to, the species for which we made these petition 
findings, or their habitats, please submit that information by one of 
the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket 
number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on the 
Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit 
information by clicking on ``Comment Now!'' If your information will 
fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information 
review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate 
document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach 
multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a 
spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see table 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: 
BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We request that you send information only by the methods described 
above. We will post all information we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see Request for Information for 
Status Reviews, below, for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

[[Page 60363]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Common name                         Contact person
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oblong rocksnail.......................  Brian Evans, 404-679-7118;
                                          [email protected].
Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub.......  Justin Shoemaker, 309-757-5800
                                          x214;
                                          [email protected].
Tricolored bat.........................  Krishna Gifford, 413-253-8619;
                                          [email protected].
Venus flytrap..........................  Brian Evans, 404-679-7118;
                                          [email protected].
Leopard................................  Janine Van Norman, 703-358-
                                          2370;
                                          [email protected].
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please 
call the Federal Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 
424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a 
species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a 
finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent 
practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt 
of the petition and publish the finding promptly in the Federal 
Register.
    Last year, the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service of 
the Department of Commerce revised the regulations that outline the 
procedures for evaluating petitions (81 FR 66462; September 27, 2016). 
The new regulations at 50 CFR 424.14 were effective October 27, 2016. 
We received the petitions referenced in this document prior to that 
effective date. Therefore, we evaluated these petitions under the 50 
CFR 424.14 requirements that were in effect prior to October 27, 2016, 
as those requirements applied when the petitions were received. The 
regulations in effect prior to October 27, 2016, establish that the 
standard for substantial scientific or commercial information with 
regard to a 90-day petition finding is ``that amount of information 
that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure 
proposed in the petition may be warranted'' (former 50 CFR 424.14(b)).
    A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act. The five factors are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A);
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes (Factor B);
    (c) Disease or predation (Factor C);
    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence (Factor E).These factors represent broad categories of 
natural or human-caused actions or conditions that could have an effect 
on a species' continued existence (i.e., threats). In evaluating these 
actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative 
effect on individuals of the species, as well as for those that may 
ameliorate any negative effects and those that may have positive 
effects. In considering whether the petition presents substantial 
information indicating the species may be threatened or endangered, we 
must look beyond the exposure of the species to a threat to evaluate 
whether the species may respond to the threat in a way that causes 
actual impacts to the species. The mere identification of threats that 
could affect a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a 
finding that the information in the petition is substantial information 
indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information 
presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest 
that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the 
species may meet the definition of an ``endangered species'' or 
``threatened species'' under the Act.
    If we find that a petition presents such information, our 
subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by 
considering the individual, population, and species-level effects, and 
the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual 
threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the 
cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also 
consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions 
and conditions that will have positive effects on the species--such as 
any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may 
ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative 
analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the 
expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that 
we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an 
``endangered species'' or ``threatened species.''
    If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information, the Act requires us to promptly commence a 
review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete 
a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 
12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016).

Summaries of Petition Findings

    The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the 
table below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting 
information, are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the 
appropriate docket number.

                              Table--Substantial Findings and Correction Announced
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      URL to docket on http://
             Common name                               Docket No.                       www.regulations.gov
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oblong rocksnail.....................  FWS-R4-ES-2017-0042                         http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R-ES-2017-0042.
Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub.....  FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010                         http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010 0010.
Tricolored bat.......................  FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011                         http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011 0011.
Venus flytrap........................  FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041                         http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041 0041.
Leopard..............................  FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131                         http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131 0131.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 60364]]

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Oblong Rocksnail as an Endangered 
or Threatened Species Under the Act

Species and Range

    Oblong rocksnail (Leptoxis compacta): Cahaba River, Shelby County, 
Alabama.

Petition History

    On June 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from 
the Center for Biological Diversity and Cahaba Riverkeeper requesting 
that the oblong rocksnail be listed as endangered or threatened and 
that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The 
petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite 
identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 
CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted for the oblong rocksnail, based on Factors A and E as set 
forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these 
factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we 
will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, 
including the extent to which any protections or other conservation 
efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service 
requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within 
the definition of either ``endangered species'' under section 3(6) of 
the Act or ``threatened species'' under section 3(20) of the Act, 
including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) 
(see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at 
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0042 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Sturgeon Chub and Sicklefin Chub 
as Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act

Species and Range

    Sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, 
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, 
North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming (Missouri River, 
tributaries to the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Middle and Lower 
Mississippi River).
    Sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, 
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, 
North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee (Missouri River, Lower 
Yellowstone River, and Middle and Lower Mississippi River).

Petition History

    On August 15, 2016, we received a petition dated August 11, 2016, 
from WildEarth Guardians requesting that the sturgeon chub and 
sicklefin chub be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical 
habitat be designated for these species under the Act. The petition 
clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite 
identification information for the petitioner, required at former 50 
CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted for the sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub, based on Factors A, 
C, D, and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information 
about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status 
review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the 
species, including the extent to which any protections or other 
conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for these 
species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the 
species fall within the definition of either ``endangered species'' 
under section 3(6) of the Act or ``threatened species'' under section 
3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors 
under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, 
below).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at 
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Tricolored Bat as an Endangered or 
Threatened Species Under the Act

Species and Range

    Tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus): Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, 
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, 
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, 
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, 
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, 
Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin; 
Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec); Mexico 
(Eastern and southern regions: Coahuila to Chiapas); Central America 
(Guatemala)

Petition History

    On June 14, 2016, we received a petition dated June 14, 2016, from 
the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife 
requesting that the tricolored bat be listed as endangered or 
threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species 
under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and 
included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, 
required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the 
petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted for the tricolored bat, based on Factors A, C, and E as set 
forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these 
factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we 
will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, 
including the extent to which any protections or other conservation 
efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service 
requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within 
the definition of either ``endangered species'' under section 3(6) of 
the Act or ``threatened species'' under section 3(20) of the Act, 
including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) 
(see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at 
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

[[Page 60365]]

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Venus Flytrap as an Endangered or 
Threatened Species Under the Act

Species and Range

    Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis): Southeastern North 
Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, and one introduced population 
each in Florida and New Jersey.

Petition History

    On October 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from 
Donald M. Waller, J.T. Curtis Professor of Botany and Environmental 
Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 25 additional supporters 
requesting that the Venus flytrap be listed as endangered or threatened 
and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. 
The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the 
requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at 
former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted for the Venus flytrap, based on Factors A, B, and D as set 
forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above). However, 
during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential 
threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections 
or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for 
this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether 
the species falls within the definition of either ``endangered 
species'' under section 3(6) of the Act or ``threatened species'' under 
section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing 
factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status 
Reviews, below).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at 
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Correction to our Evaluation of a Petition To Reclassify the Leopard as 
an Endangered Species Throughout Its Range

    On November 30, 2016, we published a document in the Federal 
Register (81 FR 86315) announcing 90-day findings on three petitions to 
list or reclassify wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). That document 
included a finding on a petition to reclassify leopard (Panthera 
pardus) as an endangered species throughout its range. However, in the 
discussion of our finding and supporting documentation, we made two 
errors. Therefore, with this document, we correct those errors, clarify 
our intent to evaluate the status of the species throughout its range. 
The public is welcome to submit information on the species in light of 
these corrections (see ADDRESSES, above). If you sent information 
previously, you need not resend it.
    The first error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding is 
that we mistakenly titled the action ``Evaluation of a Petition To 
Reclassify Leopards Currently Listed as Threatened Species to 
Endangered Species Under the Act,'' inadvertently implying that we will 
evaluate the status of the species only in the countries in which it is 
currently listed as threatened. However, the petition requests that we 
reclassify leopards as endangered throughout the species' current 
range, and we evaluated the petition based on that request. Our finding 
on the petition--that the petition contains substantial information 
that listing the leopard as endangered throughout its range may be 
warranted--has not changed. Therefore, we clarify that we will evaluate 
the status of leopards throughout their current range in our assessment 
of the species' status.
    The second error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding 
is that we mistakenly described the current range of the leopard as: 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, and Uganda. However, 
the correct current range of the species is as follows:

Species and Range

    Leopard (Panthera pardus): 62 countries in Africa and Asia.
    The corrected information regarding our review of this petition can 
be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. 
FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131 in the Supporting Documents section.

Request for Information for Status Reviews

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial 
information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of 
a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the 
species (a status review). For the status review to be complete and 
based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we 
request information on these species from governmental agencies, Native 
American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other 
interested parties. We seek information on:
    (1) The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:
    (a) Habitat requirements;
    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; 
and
    (d) Historical and current population levels and current and 
projected trends.
    (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see 
Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, 
reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under 
section 4(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including past and 
ongoing conservation measures that could decrease the extent to which 
one or more of the factors affect the species, its habitat, or both.
    (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its 
habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the 
species.
    If, after the status review, we determine that listing is 
warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see definition at section 
3(5)(A) of the Act) for domestic (United States) species under section 
4 of the Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the 
time we propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request data 
and information (submitted as provided for in ADDRESSES, above) for the 
species listed in the table above on:
    (1) What may constitute ``physical or biological features essential 
to the conservation of the species,'' within the geographical range 
occupied by the species;
    (2) Where these features are currently found;
    (3) Whether or not any of these features may require special 
management considerations or protection;
    (4) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species that are ``essential for the conservation of the species''; and
    (5) What, if any, critical habitat you think we should propose for 
designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why such 
habitat falls within the definition of ``critical habitat'' at section 
3(5) of the Act.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

[[Page 60366]]

    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions 
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 an endangered or threatened species must be made ``solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by 
one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via 
http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--including any 
personal identifying information--will be posted on the website. 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. We will post all hardcopy 
submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
    It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding 
differs from the Act's standard that applies to a status review to 
determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day 
finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in 
the petition, as well as information which is readily available, and we 
evaluate merely whether that information constitutes ``substantial 
information'' indicating that the petitioned action ``may be 
warranted.'' In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status 
review of the species and evaluate the ``best scientific and commercial 
data available'' to determine whether a petitioned action ``is 
warranted.'' Because the Act's standards for 90-day and 12-month 
findings are different, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that 
the 12-month finding will result in a ``warranted'' finding.

Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the 
petitions under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that 
the petitions referenced above for the oblong rocksnail, sturgeon chub, 
sicklefin chub, tricolored bat, and Venus flytrap present substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested 
actions may be warranted. Because we have found that these petitions 
present substantial information indicating that the petitioned actions 
may be warranted, we are initiating status reviews to determine whether 
these actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of each 
status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 
4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether or not the petitioned action is 
warranted.

Authors

    The primary authors of this document are staff members of the 
Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Authority

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

    Dated: October 23, 2017.
James W. Kurth,
Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, exercising the 
authority of the Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-27389 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P