Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Findings on Petitions To List a Species and Remove a Species From the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, 61725-61727 [2017-28163]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 249 / Friday, December 29, 2017 / Proposed Rules FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [DA 17–1099; MB Docket No. 16–320; RM– 11774] Radio Broadcasting Services; Gaylord, Michigan Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Proposed rule; dismissal. AGENCY: The Audio Division dismisses the petition for rulemaking filed by N Content Marketing, LLC (Petitioner), proposing to amend the FM Table of Allotments, by allotting Channel 246C2 at Gaylord, Michigan. Petitioner did not file comments expressing a continuing interest in the proposed Gaylord allotment. It is the Commission’s policy to refrain from making an allotment to a community absent an expression of interest. Roy E. Henderson and Great Northern Broadcasting, Inc., jointly (Joint Counterpropsal), as well as Smile FM, separately, submitted counterproposals. The Joint Counterproposal is dismissed and Smile FM is given the opportunity to file its counterproposal as a petition for rulemaking within 60 days for consideration in a new proceeding. We will not allot Channel 246C2 at Gaylord, Michigan. DATES: This document was released on November 9, 2017. ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrienne Y. Denysyk, Media Bureau, (202) 418–2700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a synopsis of the Commission’s Report SUMMARY: and Order, MB Docket No. 16–320, adopted November 9, 2017, and released November 9, 2017. The full text of this Commission decision is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC’s Reference Information Center at Portals II, CY– A257, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The full text is also available online at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. This document does not contain information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13. This document is not subject to the Congressional Review Act. (The Commission is not required to submit a copy of this Report and Order to Government Accountability Office, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A) since the proposed petition for rule making is dismissed). Federal Communications Commission. Nazifa Sawez, Assistant Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau. [FR Doc. 2017–27115 Filed 12–28–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Notice of 12-month petition findings. ACTION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12month findings on petitions to list a species as an endangered or threatened species and remove a species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List or Lists) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to add the beaverpond marstonia to the Lists or remove the southwestern willow flycatcher from the List. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information that becomes available relevant to the status of either of the species listed above or their habitats. SUMMARY: The findings in this document were made on December 29, 2017. DATES: Detailed descriptions of the basis for each of these findings are available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov under the following docket numbers: ADDRESSES: Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [4500090022] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Findings on Petitions To List a Species and Remove a Species From the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. Species Docket number Beaverpond marstonia .......................................................................................... Southwestern willow flycatcher ............................................................................. Supporting information used to prepare these findings is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, by contacting the appropriate person, as ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS 61725 FWS–R4–ES–2017–0090 FWS–R2–ES–2016–0039 specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning these findings to the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Species Contact information Beaverpond marstonia ........................................ Southwestern willow flycatcher ........................... Don Imm, Field Supervisor, Georgia Ecological Services Field Office, 706–613–9493, ext. 230. Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 602–242–0210. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Dec 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\29DEP1.SGM 29DEP1 61726 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 249 / Friday, December 29, 2017 / Proposed Rules If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Background We are required to make a finding whether or not the petitioned action is warranted within 12 months after receiving any petition we determined contained substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted (section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (‘‘12-month finding’’). We must make a finding that the petitioned action is: (1) Not warranted; (2) warranted; or (3) warranted but precluded. ‘‘Warranted but precluded’’ means that (a) the petitioned action is warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or threatened species, and (b) expeditious progress is being made to add qualified species to the Lists and to remove from the Lists species for which the protections of the Act are no longer necessary. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we treat a petition for which the requested action is found to be warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such finding, that is, requiring that a subsequent finding be made within 12 months of that date. We must publish these 12-month findings in the Federal Register. Summary of Information Pertaining to the Five Factors Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and the implementing regulations at part 424 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth procedures for adding species to, removing species from, or reclassifying species on the Lists. The Act defines ‘‘endangered species’’ as any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 1532(6)), and ‘‘threatened species’’ as any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 1532(20)). Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, a species may be determined to be an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Dec 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. In considering whether a species may meet the definition of a threatened species or an endangered species because of any of the five factors, we must look beyond the mere exposure of the species to the stressor to determine whether the species responds to the stressor in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to a stressor, but no response, or only a positive response, that stressor does not cause a species to meet the definition of a threatened species or an endangered species. If there is exposure and the species responds negatively, we determine whether that stressor drives or contributes to the risk of extinction of the species such that the species warrants listing as an endangered or threatened species. The mere identification of stressors that could affect a species negatively is not sufficient to compel a finding that listing is or remains warranted. For a species to be listed or remain listed, we require evidence that these stressors are operative threats to the species and its habitat, either singly or in combination, to the point that the species meets the definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the Act. In conducting our evaluation of the five factors provided in section 4(a)(1) of the Act to determine whether the beaverpond marstonia and southwestern willow flycatcher meet the definition of ‘‘endangered species’’ or ‘‘threatened species,’’ we considered and thoroughly evaluated the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future stressors and threats. We reviewed the petitions, information available in our files, and other available published and unpublished information. These evaluations may include information from recognized experts; Federal, State, and tribal governments; academic institutions; foreign governments; private entities; and other members of the public. The species assessment form for the beaverpond marstonia and the 12-month finding assessment for the southwestern willow flycatcher contain more detailed biological information, a thorough analysis of the listing factors, and an explanation of why we determined that these species do not meet the definition of an endangered species or threatened species. This supporting information can be found on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see ADDRESSES, above). The following are PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 informational summaries for each of the findings in this notice. Beaverpond marstonia (Marstonia castor) Previous Federal Actions On April 20, 2010, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Clinch Coalition, Dogwood Alliance, Gulf Restoration Network, Tennessee Forests Council, and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, requesting that the beaverpond marstonia be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. On September 27, 2011, we published a 90-day finding in the Federal Register (76 FR 59836) concluding that the petition presented substantial information indicating that listing the beaverpond marstonia may be warranted. Subsequently, we entered into a stipulated settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity that required us to submit a 12-month finding to the Federal Register by December 31, 2017. This notice constitutes the 12-month finding on the April 20, 2010, petition to list the beaverpond marstonia under the Act. Summary of Finding The beaverpond marstonia is a freshwater snail in the Hydrobiidae family. The tan-colored shell of the beaverpond marstonia is less than 4 millimeters (mm) (0.2 inches (in)) in length. The species has been found at only three creeks in Georgia, and, like other members of its family, it has limited dispersal capabilities and a narrow distribution in a local drainage system. Little is known about the biology and ecology of the beaverpond marstonia, but in the creeks where it was located, it was found primarily by clumps of vegetation in shallow, clear water with a slight current. In this fragile habitat, the beaverpond marstonia relies on fine particulate organic matter and aquatic microorganisms as its primary food sources. The beaverpond marstonia was last observed in 2000. Repeated surveys for the species, starting in 2014 through March of 2017, in the locations where it was previously found and in surrounding areas with similar habitat have yielded no specimens. Based on both the results of repeated species surveys by qualified species experts at all three historical locations and suitable habitat in surrounding areas, the best available science indicates there are no extant populations of beaverpond marstonia. E:\FR\FM\29DEP1.SGM 29DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 249 / Friday, December 29, 2017 / Proposed Rules Therefore, we believe the beaverpond marstonia to be extinct. As a result, the beaverpond marstonia does not fall within the statutory definition of either a threatened species or an endangered species and, accordingly, does not warrant listing under the Act. A detailed discussion of the basis for this finding can be found in the beaverpond marstonia species assessment form and other supporting documents (see ADDRESSES, above). Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) Previous Federal Actions The southwestern willow flycatcher was listed as an endangered species under the Act on February 27, 1995 (60 FR 10694). On August 20, 2015, we received a petition from The Pacific Legal Foundation (representing The Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy, and Reliability, Building Industry Legal Defense Fund, California Building Industry Association, California Cattlemen’s Association, New Mexico Business Coalition, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, and New Mexico Wool Growers Inc.), requesting that the southwestern willow flycatcher be removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Act. On March 16, 2016, we published a 90-day finding in the Federal Register (81 FR 14058) concluding that the petition presented substantial information indicating that removing the southwestern willow flycatcher may be warranted based on information related to the taxonomic status. This notice constitutes the 12month finding on the August 19, 2015, petition to remove the southwestern willow flycatcher from the List. Summary of Finding ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS The southwestern willow flycatcher is a small, neotropical migrant bird that grows to about 15 centimeters (cm) (6 in) in length. During its breeding season from about May to September, this subspecies of willow flycatcher is found in the southwestern United States in VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Dec 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The southwestern willow flycatcher breeds in areas from near sea level to over 2,600 meters (m) (8,500 feet (ft)) in vegetation alongside rivers, streams, or other wetlands. It establishes nesting territories, builds nests, and forages in mosaics of relatively dense and expansive growths of trees and shrubs, near or adjacent to surface water or underlain by saturated soil. The subspecies eats a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates including flying and ground- and vegetation-dwelling insects. We evaluated the subspecies classification and all relevant stressors under the five factors, including any regulatory mechanisms and conservation measures addressing these stressors. In our evaluation of the subspecies classification, we considered information provided in the petition suggesting that the southwestern willow flycatcher is not a valid subspecies, reports and literature (including more recent quantitative data), the professional opinion of a broad group of ornithological organizations, and additional analyses of recent flycatcher studies evaluating diagnostic subspecies characteristics. We found that the southwestern willow flycatcher is a valid subspecies and that the following threats are acting on the subspecies such that it continues to meet the definition of an endangered species under the Act: habitat loss and modification caused by dams and reservoirs, diversion and groundwater pumping, invasive plants and beetles, river management, urbanization, agricultural development, livestock grazing and management, fire and fire management, cowbird parasitism, and recreation (Factor A); other natural or manmade factors including drought and the effects of climate change, vulnerability of small or isolated populations, and genetic effects (Factor E); and cumulative effects of these threats. The existing regulatory mechanisms are not adequate to ameliorate these threats (Factor D). Therefore, we find that removing the PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 61727 southwestern willow flycatcher from the List is not warranted. A detailed discussion of the basis for this finding can be found in the southwestern willow flycatcher 12-month finding assessment and other supporting documents (see ADDRESSES, above). New Information We request that you submit any new information concerning the taxonomy, biology, ecology, status of, or stressors to, the southwestern willow flycatcher. We further request that you contact us as soon as possible if new information becomes available suggesting specimens of beaverpond marstonia have been located. Please contact the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor the species and make appropriate decisions about their conservation and status. We encourage local agencies and stakeholders to continue cooperative monitoring and conservation efforts. References Cited Lists of the references cited in the petition findings are available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the dockets listed above in ADDRESSES and upon request from the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Authors The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Species Assessment Team, Ecological Services Program. Authority The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: December 3, 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. 2017–28163 Filed 12–28–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\29DEP1.SGM 29DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 249 (Friday, December 29, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 61725-61727]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-28163]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[4500090022]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Findings 
on Petitions To List a Species and Remove a Species From the Federal 
Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition findings.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12-
month findings on petitions to list a species as an endangered or 
threatened species and remove a species from the Federal Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List or Lists) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a thorough 
review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we 
find that it is not warranted at this time to add the beaverpond 
marstonia to the Lists or remove the southwestern willow flycatcher 
from the List. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time 
any new information that becomes available relevant to the status of 
either of the species listed above or their habitats.

DATES: The findings in this document were made on December 29, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Detailed descriptions of the basis for each of these 
findings are available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov 
under the following docket numbers:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Species                           Docket number
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beaverpond marstonia.....................  FWS-R4-ES-2017-0090
Southwestern willow flycatcher...........  FWS-R2-ES-2016-0039
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Supporting information used to prepare these findings is available 
for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, by 
contacting the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. Please submit any new information, materials, 
comments, or questions concerning these findings to the appropriate 
person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Species                        Contact information
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beaverpond marstonia.........  Don Imm, Field Supervisor, Georgia
                                Ecological Services Field Office, 706-
                                613-9493, ext. 230.
Southwestern willow            Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona
 flycatcher.                    Ecological Services Field Office, 602-
                                242-0210.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 61726]]

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    We are required to make a finding whether or not the petitioned 
action is warranted within 12 months after receiving any petition we 
determined contained substantial scientific or commercial information 
indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted (section 
4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (``12-month finding''). 
We must make a finding that the petitioned action is: (1) Not 
warranted; (2) warranted; or (3) warranted but precluded. ``Warranted 
but precluded'' means that (a) the petitioned action is warranted, but 
the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned 
action is precluded by other pending proposals to determine whether 
species are endangered or threatened species, and (b) expeditious 
progress is being made to add qualified species to the Lists and to 
remove from the Lists species for which the protections of the Act are 
no longer necessary. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we 
treat a petition for which the requested action is found to be 
warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such 
finding, that is, requiring that a subsequent finding be made within 12 
months of that date. We must publish these 12-month findings in the 
Federal Register.

Summary of Information Pertaining to the Five Factors

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and the implementing 
regulations at part 424 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(50 CFR part 424) set forth procedures for adding species to, removing 
species from, or reclassifying species on the Lists. The Act defines 
``endangered species'' as any species that is in danger of extinction 
throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 
1532(6)), and ``threatened species'' as any species that is likely to 
become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. 1532(20)). Under 
section 4(a)(1) of the Act, a species may be determined to be an 
endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the 
following five factors:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence.
    In considering whether a species may meet the definition of a 
threatened species or an endangered species because of any of the five 
factors, we must look beyond the mere exposure of the species to the 
stressor to determine whether the species responds to the stressor in a 
way that causes actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to 
a stressor, but no response, or only a positive response, that stressor 
does not cause a species to meet the definition of a threatened species 
or an endangered species. If there is exposure and the species responds 
negatively, we determine whether that stressor drives or contributes to 
the risk of extinction of the species such that the species warrants 
listing as an endangered or threatened species. The mere identification 
of stressors that could affect a species negatively is not sufficient 
to compel a finding that listing is or remains warranted. For a species 
to be listed or remain listed, we require evidence that these stressors 
are operative threats to the species and its habitat, either singly or 
in combination, to the point that the species meets the definition of 
an endangered or a threatened species under the Act.
    In conducting our evaluation of the five factors provided in 
section 4(a)(1) of the Act to determine whether the beaverpond 
marstonia and southwestern willow flycatcher meet the definition of 
``endangered species'' or ``threatened species,'' we considered and 
thoroughly evaluated the best scientific and commercial information 
available regarding the past, present, and future stressors and 
threats. We reviewed the petitions, information available in our files, 
and other available published and unpublished information. These 
evaluations may include information from recognized experts; Federal, 
State, and tribal governments; academic institutions; foreign 
governments; private entities; and other members of the public.
    The species assessment form for the beaverpond marstonia and the 
12-month finding assessment for the southwestern willow flycatcher 
contain more detailed biological information, a thorough analysis of 
the listing factors, and an explanation of why we determined that these 
species do not meet the definition of an endangered species or 
threatened species. This supporting information can be found on the 
internet at http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket 
number (see ADDRESSES, above). The following are informational 
summaries for each of the findings in this notice.

Beaverpond marstonia (Marstonia castor)

Previous Federal Actions

    On April 20, 2010, we received a petition from the Center for 
Biological Diversity, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Clinch Coalition, 
Dogwood Alliance, Gulf Restoration Network, Tennessee Forests Council, 
and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, requesting that the beaverpond 
marstonia be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the 
Act. On September 27, 2011, we published a 90-day finding in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 59836) concluding that the petition presented 
substantial information indicating that listing the beaverpond 
marstonia may be warranted. Subsequently, we entered into a stipulated 
settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity that 
required us to submit a 12-month finding to the Federal Register by 
December 31, 2017. This notice constitutes the 12-month finding on the 
April 20, 2010, petition to list the beaverpond marstonia under the 
Act.

Summary of Finding

    The beaverpond marstonia is a freshwater snail in the Hydrobiidae 
family. The tan-colored shell of the beaverpond marstonia is less than 
4 millimeters (mm) (0.2 inches (in)) in length. The species has been 
found at only three creeks in Georgia, and, like other members of its 
family, it has limited dispersal capabilities and a narrow distribution 
in a local drainage system.
    Little is known about the biology and ecology of the beaverpond 
marstonia, but in the creeks where it was located, it was found 
primarily by clumps of vegetation in shallow, clear water with a slight 
current. In this fragile habitat, the beaverpond marstonia relies on 
fine particulate organic matter and aquatic microorganisms as its 
primary food sources.
    The beaverpond marstonia was last observed in 2000. Repeated 
surveys for the species, starting in 2014 through March of 2017, in the 
locations where it was previously found and in surrounding areas with 
similar habitat have yielded no specimens. Based on both the results of 
repeated species surveys by qualified species experts at all three 
historical locations and suitable habitat in surrounding areas, the 
best available science indicates there are no extant populations of 
beaverpond marstonia.

[[Page 61727]]

    Therefore, we believe the beaverpond marstonia to be extinct. As a 
result, the beaverpond marstonia does not fall within the statutory 
definition of either a threatened species or an endangered species and, 
accordingly, does not warrant listing under the Act. A detailed 
discussion of the basis for this finding can be found in the beaverpond 
marstonia species assessment form and other supporting documents (see 
ADDRESSES, above).

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)

Previous Federal Actions

    The southwestern willow flycatcher was listed as an endangered 
species under the Act on February 27, 1995 (60 FR 10694). On August 20, 
2015, we received a petition from The Pacific Legal Foundation 
(representing The Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy, and 
Reliability, Building Industry Legal Defense Fund, California Building 
Industry Association, California Cattlemen's Association, New Mexico 
Business Coalition, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, New Mexico 
Farm and Livestock Bureau, and New Mexico Wool Growers Inc.), 
requesting that the southwestern willow flycatcher be removed from the 
Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Act. On 
March 16, 2016, we published a 90-day finding in the Federal Register 
(81 FR 14058) concluding that the petition presented substantial 
information indicating that removing the southwestern willow flycatcher 
may be warranted based on information related to the taxonomic status. 
This notice constitutes the 12-month finding on the August 19, 2015, 
petition to remove the southwestern willow flycatcher from the List.

Summary of Finding

    The southwestern willow flycatcher is a small, neotropical migrant 
bird that grows to about 15 centimeters (cm) (6 in) in length. During 
its breeding season from about May to September, this subspecies of 
willow flycatcher is found in the southwestern United States in parts 
of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
    The southwestern willow flycatcher breeds in areas from near sea 
level to over 2,600 meters (m) (8,500 feet (ft)) in vegetation 
alongside rivers, streams, or other wetlands. It establishes nesting 
territories, builds nests, and forages in mosaics of relatively dense 
and expansive growths of trees and shrubs, near or adjacent to surface 
water or underlain by saturated soil. The subspecies eats a wide range 
of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates including flying and ground- 
and vegetation-dwelling insects.
    We evaluated the subspecies classification and all relevant 
stressors under the five factors, including any regulatory mechanisms 
and conservation measures addressing these stressors. In our evaluation 
of the subspecies classification, we considered information provided in 
the petition suggesting that the southwestern willow flycatcher is not 
a valid subspecies, reports and literature (including more recent 
quantitative data), the professional opinion of a broad group of 
ornithological organizations, and additional analyses of recent 
flycatcher studies evaluating diagnostic subspecies characteristics. We 
found that the southwestern willow flycatcher is a valid subspecies and 
that the following threats are acting on the subspecies such that it 
continues to meet the definition of an endangered species under the 
Act: habitat loss and modification caused by dams and reservoirs, 
diversion and groundwater pumping, invasive plants and beetles, river 
management, urbanization, agricultural development, livestock grazing 
and management, fire and fire management, cowbird parasitism, and 
recreation (Factor A); other natural or manmade factors including 
drought and the effects of climate change, vulnerability of small or 
isolated populations, and genetic effects (Factor E); and cumulative 
effects of these threats. The existing regulatory mechanisms are not 
adequate to ameliorate these threats (Factor D). Therefore, we find 
that removing the southwestern willow flycatcher from the List is not 
warranted. A detailed discussion of the basis for this finding can be 
found in the southwestern willow flycatcher 12-month finding assessment 
and other supporting documents (see ADDRESSES, above).

New Information

    We request that you submit any new information concerning the 
taxonomy, biology, ecology, status of, or stressors to, the 
southwestern willow flycatcher. We further request that you contact us 
as soon as possible if new information becomes available suggesting 
specimens of beaverpond marstonia have been located. Please contact the 
appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, 
whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor the 
species and make appropriate decisions about their conservation and 
status. We encourage local agencies and stakeholders to continue 
cooperative monitoring and conservation efforts.

References Cited

    Lists of the references cited in the petition findings are 
available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the dockets 
listed above in ADDRESSES and upon request from the appropriate person, 
as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Authors

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the 
Species Assessment Team, Ecological Services Program.

Authority

    The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: December 3, 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. 2017-28163 Filed 12-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P