Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a Status Review for Queen Conch Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 66885-66886 [2019-26310]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 235 / Friday, December 6, 2019 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XR071] Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a Status Review for Queen Conch Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of initiation of a status review; request for information. AGENCY: We, NMFS, announce the initiation of a status review of queen conch (Strombus gigas) to determine whether listing the species as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is warranted. A comprehensive status review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. Therefore, we are asking the public to provide information on the queen conch that will inform our status review. DATES: We must receive your information no later than February 4, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit information for us to use in our status review, identifying it as ‘‘Queen Conch Status Review (0648–XR071),’’ by either of the following methods: Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20190141, click the ‘‘Comment Now’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Mail or Hand-Delivery: Submit written comments to Calusa Horn, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: Information sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All information received is a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without 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. We will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Dec 05, 2019 Jkt 250001 Calusa Horn at the above address, by phone at 727–551–5782 or Calusa.Horn@noaa.gov, or Maggie Miller, 301–427–8457 or Margaret.H.Miller@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces our status review of queen conch under the ESA. On February 27, 2012, we received a petition from WildEarth Guardians to list the queen conch as threatened or endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their range under the ESA. We determined that the petitioned action may be warranted and published a positive 90-day finding in the Federal Register (77 FR 51763; August 27, 2012). After conducting a status review, we determined that listing queen conch as threatened or endangered under the ESA was not warranted and published our determination in the Federal Register (79 FR 65628; November 5, 2014). In making that determination, we first concluded that the queen conch was not presently in danger of extinction, nor was it likely to become so in the foreseeable future. We also evaluated whether there was a portion of the queen conch’s range that was ‘‘significant,’’ applying the definition of that term from the joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/NMFS Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase ‘‘Significant Portion of Its Range’’ (SPR Policy (79 FR 37580; July 1, 2014)), and concluded that available information did not indicate any ‘‘portion’s contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range.’’ WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals (Plaintiffs) filed suit on July 27, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging our decision not to list queen conch as threatened or endangered under the ESA. On August 26, 2019, the court vacated our determination that listing queen conch was not warranted and remanded the determination back to the NMFS, based on our reliance on the SPR Policy’s definition of ‘‘significant,’’ which was vacated nationwide in 2018 (though the policy otherwise remains in effect) as a result of litigation involving an unrelated listing determination by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, of the Department of the Interior. (Desert Survivors v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, 321 F. Supp. 3d 1011 (N.D. Cal. 2018)). In light of this ruling and considering the passage of time since PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66885 the completion of the previous status review in 2014, we will conduct a new status review. This notice serves to solicit new and/or additional information for NMFS to consider in the new status review. Determining if a Species Is Threatened or Endangered Paragraph (a)(1) of section 4 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq.) requires that we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range based on one or more of the five following factors: (1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Paragraph (b) of ESA section 4 requires that our determination be made based on the best scientific and commercial data available after taking into account those efforts, if any, being made by any State or foreign nation to protect such species. Public Solicitation of New Information With this notice, we commence a status review of queen conch to determine whether listing the species as endangered or threatened under the ESA is warranted. To ensure that our review of queen conch is informed by the best available scientific and commercial information, we are opening a 60-day public comment period. For the status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on the species from governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on: (1) Species abundance; (2) historical and current population trends; (3) landings and trade data; (4) distribution and population spatial structure; (5) reproduction and population densities; (6) larval dispersal and population connectivity; (7) genetics; (8) disease and parasites; (9) habitat stressors; and (10) the adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. Our consideration of conservation measures, regulatory mechanisms, and other protective efforts will be guided by the Services ‘‘Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions’’ (PECE) (68 FR 15100; March 28, 2003). The PECE established criteria to ensure the consistent and adequate evaluation of conservation efforts when making listing decisions E:\FR\FM\06DEN1.SGM 06DEN1 66886 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 235 / Friday, December 6, 2019 / Notices under the ESA. This policy may also guide the development of conservation efforts that sufficiently improve a species’ status to make listing the species as threatened or endangered unnecessary. Under the PECE, the adequacy of conservation efforts is evaluated in terms of the certainty of their implementation and the certainty of their effectiveness. Criteria for evaluating the certainty of implementation include whether: The necessary resources are available; the necessary authority is in place; an agreement is formalized (i.e., regulatory and procedural mechanisms are in place); there is a schedule for completion and evaluation; for voluntary measures, incentives to ensure necessary participation are in place; and there is agreement of all necessary parties to the measure or plan. Criteria for evaluating the certainty of effectiveness include whether the measure or plan: Includes a clear description of the factors for decline to be addressed and how they will be reduced; establishes specific conservation objectives; identifies necessary steps to reduce threats; includes quantifiable performance measures for monitoring compliance and effectiveness; employs principles of adaptive management; and is certain to improve the species’ status at the time of listing determination. We request that any information submitted with respect to conservation measures, regulatory mechanisms, or other protective efforts that have yet to be implemented or show effectiveness explicitly address these criteria in the PECE. If you wish to provide your information for this status review, please submit it as described in the ADDRESSES section above. We request that all information be accompanied by: (1) Supporting documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent publications; and (2) the submitter’s name, address, and any association, institution, or business that the person represents. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16. U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–26310 Filed 12–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Dec 05, 2019 Jkt 250001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 3. Other Business National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Special Accommodations [RTID 0648–XV138] Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of a public meeting. AGENCY: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Citizen Science Operations Committee via webinar. DATES: The Citizen Science Operations Committee meeting will be held via webinar on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar. There will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia Byrd, Citizen Science Program Manager, SAFMC; phone: (843) 302–8439 or toll free 866/SAFMC–10; fax: (843) 769– 4520; email: julia.byrd@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Citizen Science Operations Committee serves as advisors to the Council’s Citizen Science Program. Committee members include representatives from the Council’s Citizen Science Advisory Panel, Southeast Regional Office, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and Science and Statistical Committee. Their responsibilities include developing programmatic recommendations, reviewing policies, providing program direction/multipartner support, identifying citizen science research needs, and providing general advice. Items to be addressed during this webinar meeting include: 1. Citizen Science Program & Projects Update 2. Discuss Citizen Science Program evaluation and provide recommendations as appropriate SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 3, 2019. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–26360 Filed 12–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletions Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: This action deletes products and a service from the Procurement List that were furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. DATES: Date deleted from the Procurement List: January 5, 2020. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael R. Jurkowski, Telephone: (703) 603–2117, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Deletions On 10/18/2019, 11/1/2019 and 11/8/ 2019, the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List. After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products and service listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501–8506 and 41 CFR 51–2.4. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. E:\FR\FM\06DEN1.SGM 06DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 235 (Friday, December 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66885-66886]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26310]



[[Page 66885]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XR071]


Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a Status Review 
for Queen Conch Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

ACTION: Notice of initiation of a status review; request for 
information.

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

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce the initiation of a status review of queen 
conch (Strombus gigas) to determine whether listing the species as 
endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is 
warranted. A comprehensive status review must be based on the best 
scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. 
Therefore, we are asking the public to provide information on the queen 
conch that will inform our status review.

DATES: We must receive your information no later than February 4, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit information for us to use in our status 
review, identifying it as ``Queen Conch Status Review (0648-XR071),'' 
by either of the following methods:
    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2019-0141, click the ``Comment Now'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
    Mail or Hand-Delivery: Submit written comments to Calusa Horn, 
NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, 
FL 33701.
    Instructions: Information sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All information received is a part of 
the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
http://www.regulations.gov without 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. We will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Calusa Horn at the above address, by 
phone at 727-551-5782 or [email protected], or Maggie Miller, 301-
427-8457 or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces our status review of 
queen conch under the ESA. On February 27, 2012, we received a petition 
from WildEarth Guardians to list the queen conch as threatened or 
endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their range under 
the ESA. We determined that the petitioned action may be warranted and 
published a positive 90-day finding in the Federal Register (77 FR 
51763; August 27, 2012). After conducting a status review, we 
determined that listing queen conch as threatened or endangered under 
the ESA was not warranted and published our determination in the 
Federal Register (79 FR 65628; November 5, 2014). In making that 
determination, we first concluded that the queen conch was not 
presently in danger of extinction, nor was it likely to become so in 
the foreseeable future. We also evaluated whether there was a portion 
of the queen conch's range that was ``significant,'' applying the 
definition of that term from the joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/
NMFS Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase ``Significant Portion of 
Its Range'' (SPR Policy (79 FR 37580; July 1, 2014)), and concluded 
that available information did not indicate any ``portion's 
contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, 
without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of 
extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, 
throughout all of its range.''
    WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals (Plaintiffs) filed suit 
on July 27, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of 
Columbia, challenging our decision not to list queen conch as 
threatened or endangered under the ESA. On August 26, 2019, the court 
vacated our determination that listing queen conch was not warranted 
and remanded the determination back to the NMFS, based on our reliance 
on the SPR Policy's definition of ``significant,'' which was vacated 
nationwide in 2018 (though the policy otherwise remains in effect) as a 
result of litigation involving an unrelated listing determination by 
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, of the Department of the 
Interior. (Desert Survivors v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, 321 F. Supp. 3d 
1011 (N.D. Cal. 2018)). In light of this ruling and considering the 
passage of time since the completion of the previous status review in 
2014, we will conduct a new status review. This notice serves to 
solicit new and/or additional information for NMFS to consider in the 
new status review.

Determining if a Species Is Threatened or Endangered

    Paragraph (a)(1) of section 4 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq.) 
requires that we determine whether a species is endangered or 
threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range based 
on one or more of the five following factors: (1) The present or 
threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or 
range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) the inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or manmade factors 
affecting its continued existence. Paragraph (b) of ESA section 4 
requires that our determination be made based on the best scientific 
and commercial data available after taking into account those efforts, 
if any, being made by any State or foreign nation to protect such 
species.

Public Solicitation of New Information

    With this notice, we commence a status review of queen conch to 
determine whether listing the species as endangered or threatened under 
the ESA is warranted. To ensure that our review of queen conch is 
informed by the best available scientific and commercial information, 
we are opening a 60-day public comment period. For the status review to 
be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial 
information, we request information on the species from governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested 
parties. We seek information on: (1) Species abundance; (2) historical 
and current population trends; (3) landings and trade data; (4) 
distribution and population spatial structure; (5) reproduction and 
population densities; (6) larval dispersal and population connectivity; 
(7) genetics; (8) disease and parasites; (9) habitat stressors; and 
(10) the adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.
    Our consideration of conservation measures, regulatory mechanisms, 
and other protective efforts will be guided by the Services ``Policy 
for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions'' 
(PECE) (68 FR 15100; March 28, 2003). The PECE established criteria to 
ensure the consistent and adequate evaluation of conservation efforts 
when making listing decisions

[[Page 66886]]

under the ESA. This policy may also guide the development of 
conservation efforts that sufficiently improve a species' status to 
make listing the species as threatened or endangered unnecessary. Under 
the PECE, the adequacy of conservation efforts is evaluated in terms of 
the certainty of their implementation and the certainty of their 
effectiveness. Criteria for evaluating the certainty of implementation 
include whether: The necessary resources are available; the necessary 
authority is in place; an agreement is formalized (i.e., regulatory and 
procedural mechanisms are in place); there is a schedule for completion 
and evaluation; for voluntary measures, incentives to ensure necessary 
participation are in place; and there is agreement of all necessary 
parties to the measure or plan. Criteria for evaluating the certainty 
of effectiveness include whether the measure or plan: Includes a clear 
description of the factors for decline to be addressed and how they 
will be reduced; establishes specific conservation objectives; 
identifies necessary steps to reduce threats; includes quantifiable 
performance measures for monitoring compliance and effectiveness; 
employs principles of adaptive management; and is certain to improve 
the species' status at the time of listing determination. We request 
that any information submitted with respect to conservation measures, 
regulatory mechanisms, or other protective efforts that have yet to be 
implemented or show effectiveness explicitly address these criteria in 
the PECE.
    If you wish to provide your information for this status review, 
please submit it as described in the ADDRESSES section above. We 
request that all information be accompanied by: (1) Supporting 
documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of 
pertinent publications; and (2) the submitter's name, address, and any 
association, institution, or business that the person represents.

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

Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-26310 Filed 12-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P