Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding for Two Petitions To List the Gray Wolf in the Western United States, 51857-51859 [2021-20088]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 178 / Friday, September 17, 2021 / Proposed Rules J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, lowincome populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629 (February 16, 1994)) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. As stated in section VI of the preamble of this action, there are no anticipated adverse environmental impacts and no adverse economic impacts anticipated from compliance with this rule. As stated in section I of this action, section 183(e) of the CAA requires the control of VOC emissions from certain categories of consumer and commercial products for purposes of reducing VOC emissions contributing to ozone formation and nonattainment of the ozone NAAQS. The health and environmental risks associated with ozone were considered in the establishment of the ozone NAAQS. The level is designed to be protective of the public with an adequate margin of safety. Accordingly, these actions would help increase the level of environmental protection to populations in affected ozone nonattainment areas without having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on any populations, including any minority or low-income populations. Michael S. Regan, Administrator. LLC, Nickolas G. Spina, on behalf of Kepler Communications Inc., and by Eric Graham, on behalf of WorldVu Satellites Limited (d/b/a OneWeb) (NGSO Satellite Coalition). DATES: Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before October 4, 2021. Replies to oppositions must be filed on or before October 12, 2021. ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regina Brown, Attorney-Advisor, Financial Operations, Office of the Managing Director, (202) 418–0792 or via email at regina.brown@fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s document, Report No. 3182, released September 1, 2021. The full text of the Petitions can be accessed online via the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System at: https://apps.fcc.gov/ ecfs/. The Commission will not send a Congressional Review Act (CRA) submission to Congress or the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), because no rules are being adopted by the Commission. Subject: In the Matter of Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2021, MD Docket No. 21– 190; Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2020, MD Docket No. 20–105, Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 86 FR 26677, May 17, 2021. This document is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1) and 1.429(f), (g). Number of Petitions Filed: 2. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–19896 Filed 9–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P [FR Doc. 2021–20143 Filed 9–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 47 CFR Part 1 Fish and Wildlife Service [MD Docket Nos. 21–190 and 20–105; Report No. 3182; FR ID 46762] 50 CFR Part 17 Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Petition for reconsideration. AGENCY: Petitions for Reconsideration (Petitions) have been filed in the Commission’s rulemaking proceeding by Ms. Elisabeth Neasmith, on behalf of Telesat Canada, David Goldman, on behalf of Space Exploration Holdings, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Sep 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2021–0106; FF09E21000 FXES11110900000212] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding for Two Petitions To List the Gray Wolf in the Western United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notification of petition findings and initiation of status reviews. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 51857 We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to add the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains and a petition to add the gray wolf in western North America to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 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. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate a status review to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species and factors that may affect its status. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month petition finding, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act. DATES: The findings announced in this document were made on September 17, 2021. As we commence our status review, we seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the gray wolf, or its habitats in the Northern Rocky Mountains and/or Western United States. Any information we receive during the course of our status review will be considered. ADDRESSES: Supporting documents: A summary of the basis for the petition findings contained in this document is available on https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2021–0106. In addition, this supporting information is available by contacting the person specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Status reviews: If you have new scientific or commercial data or other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the gray wolf or its habitats in the Northern Rocky Mountains and/ or Western United States, please provide those data or information by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number presented above in the document headings. For best results, do not copy this number from this document but instead type it into the Search box using hyphens. Then, click on the ‘‘Search’’ button. After finding the correct document, you may submit information by clicking on ‘‘Comment.’’ If your information will fit SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17SEP1.SGM 17SEP1 51858 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 178 / Friday, September 17, 2021 / Proposed Rules in the provided comment box, please use this feature of https:// 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 to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–ES–2021–0106, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 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 https://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marjorie Nelson, Division Manager, Ecological Services Mountain-Prairie Region, 720–582–3524, marjorie_ nelson@fws.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service 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 species to, removing species from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) in 50 CFR part 17. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to add a species to the Lists (i.e., ‘‘list’’ a species), remove a species from the Lists (i.e., ‘‘delist’’ a species), or change a listed species’ status from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered (i.e., ‘‘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. Our regulations establish that substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 90-day petition finding refers to credible scientific or commercial information in support of the petition’s claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the action proposed in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Sep 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 petition may be warranted (50 CFR 424.14(h)(1)(i)). A species may be determined to be an endangered species or a threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1)). 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); and (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. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative effects or may have positive effects. We use the term ‘‘threat’’ to refer in general to actions or conditions that are known to, or are reasonably likely to, affect individuals of a species negatively. The term ‘‘threat’’ includes actions or conditions that have a direct impact on individuals (direct impacts), as well as those that affect individuals through alteration of their habitat or required resources (stressors). The term ‘‘threat’’ may encompass—either together or separately—the source of the action or condition, or the action or condition itself. However, the mere identification of any threat(s) 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 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 effect of the threats in light of those actions and conditions that are expected to 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 under the Act. If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, the Act requires that we 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). Summary of Petition Findings Evaluation of Two Petitions To List the Gray Wolf in the Western United States Both petitions request listing of a distinct population segment (DPS) for the gray wolf. The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a recognized species by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Species and Range: Gray wolf in the western United States. Historical range: Western United States, except Southwest. Current range: CA, CO, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY. The petitions include two alternative DPSs for listing the gray wolf in a portion of its range that encompasses the Northern Rocky Mountains and excludes the range of the listed Mexican gray wolf (C. l. baileyi): (1) The Northern Rocky Mountains DPS, or (2) a Western DPS. Petition History On June 1, 2021, we received a petition (dated May 26, 2021) from Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Sierra Club requesting that the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains be emergency listed as a threatened species or an endangered species under the Act (first petition). The Act does not provide for a process to petition emergency listing; therefore, we are evaluating this petition under the normal process of determining if it presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. E:\FR\FM\17SEP1.SGM 17SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 178 / Friday, September 17, 2021 / Proposed Rules On July 29, 2021, we received a new petition (dated July 29, 2021) from Western Watersheds Project and 70 other organizations requesting that the gray wolf in western North America be listed as an endangered species under the Act (second petition). On August 10, 2021, we received an addendum (dated August 9, 2021) to the second petition. Both petitions clearly identified themselves as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses both petitions. Evaluation of Information Summary and Finding We reviewed the petitions, sources cited in the petitions, and other readily available information. We considered the factors under section 4(a)(1) and assessed the effect that the threats identified within the factors—as may be ameliorated or exacerbated by any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts—may have on the species now and in the foreseeable future. Based on our review of the petitions and readily available information regarding human-caused mortality, we find that the petitioners present credible and substantial information that human-caused mortality (Factor B) may be a potential threat to the species in Idaho and Montana. These two States include VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:47 Sep 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 approximately 75 percent of gray wolves in a potential Northern Rocky Mountains or Western DPS. The petitioners also provide credible and substantial information that new regulations in these two States may be inadequate to address this potential threat (Factor D). Therefore, we find that the petitions present substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted in a Northern Rocky Mountains or Western DPS. The petitioners also presented information suggesting that habitat modification due to a reduced prey base (Factor A), disease (Factor C), and loss of genetic diversity caused by isolation and small population size (Factor E) may be threats to the gray wolf. We will fully evaluate these and all other potential threats, as well as the validity of each DPS, in detail based on the best scientific and commercial data available when we conduct the status assessment and make the 12-month finding. The basis for our finding on these petitions, and other information regarding our review of the petitions, can be found as an appendix at https:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2021–0106 under the Supporting Documents section. Conclusion On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under sections 4(b)(3)(A) and PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 51859 4(b)(3)(D)(i) of the Act, we have determined that the petitions summarized above for the gray wolf present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. We are, therefore, initiating a status review of the species to determine whether the actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether the petitioned actions are not warranted, warranted, or warranted but precluded by pending proposals to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species. 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.). Gary Frazer, Assistant Director, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20088 Filed 9–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\17SEP1.SGM 17SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 178 (Friday, September 17, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51857-51859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20088]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106; FF09E21000 FXES11110900000212]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding for 
Two Petitions To List the Gray Wolf in the Western United States

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 
90-day finding on a petition to add the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the 
Northern Rocky Mountains and a petition to add the gray wolf in western 
North America to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 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. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we 
announce that we plan to initiate a status review to determine whether 
the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status review 
is comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and 
other information regarding the species and factors that may affect its 
status. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month petition 
finding, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are 
warranted, in accordance with the Act.

DATES: The findings announced in this document were made on September 
17, 2021. As we commence our status review, we seek any new information 
concerning the status of, or threats to, the gray wolf, or its habitats 
in the Northern Rocky Mountains and/or Western United States. Any 
information we receive during the course of our status review will be 
considered.

ADDRESSES: 
    Supporting documents: A summary of the basis for the petition 
findings contained in this document is available on https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106. In addition, 
this supporting information is available by contacting the person 
specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Status reviews: If you have new scientific or commercial data or 
other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the gray 
wolf or its habitats in the Northern Rocky Mountains and/or Western 
United States, please provide those data or information by one of the 
following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number 
presented above in the document headings. For best results, do not copy 
this number from this document but instead type it into the Search box 
using hyphens. Then, click on the ``Search'' button. After finding the 
correct document, you may submit information by clicking on 
``Comment.'' If your information will fit

[[Page 51858]]

in the provided comment box, please use this feature of https://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 to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: PRB/3W, 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 https://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marjorie Nelson, Division Manager, 
Ecological Services Mountain-Prairie Region, 720-582-3524, 
[email protected]. If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service 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 species to, removing species 
from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) in 50 CFR part 17. Section 
4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a 
petition to add a species to the Lists (i.e., ``list'' a species), 
remove a species from the Lists (i.e., ``delist'' a species), or change 
a listed species' status from endangered to threatened or from 
threatened to endangered (i.e., ``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.
    Our regulations establish that substantial scientific or commercial 
information with regard to a 90-day petition finding refers to credible 
scientific or commercial information in support of the petition's 
claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific 
review would conclude that the action proposed in the petition may be 
warranted (50 CFR 424.14(h)(1)(i)).
    A species may be determined to be an endangered species or a 
threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described 
in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1)). 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); 
and
    (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. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for 
those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as 
well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative 
effects or may have positive effects.
    We use the term ``threat'' to refer in general to actions or 
conditions that are known to, or are reasonably likely to, affect 
individuals of a species negatively. The term ``threat'' includes 
actions or conditions that have a direct impact on individuals (direct 
impacts), as well as those that affect individuals through alteration 
of their habitat or required resources (stressors). The term ``threat'' 
may encompass--either together or separately--the source of the action 
or condition, or the action or condition itself. However, the mere 
identification of any threat(s) 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 are expected to 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 under the Act. If we 
find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, the 
Act requires that we 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).

Summary of Petition Findings

Evaluation of Two Petitions To List the Gray Wolf in the Western United 
States

    Both petitions request listing of a distinct population segment 
(DPS) for the gray wolf. The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a recognized 
species by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
    Species and Range: Gray wolf in the western United States.
    Historical range: Western United States, except Southwest.
    Current range: CA, CO, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY.
    The petitions include two alternative DPSs for listing the gray 
wolf in a portion of its range that encompasses the Northern Rocky 
Mountains and excludes the range of the listed Mexican gray wolf (C. l. 
baileyi): (1) The Northern Rocky Mountains DPS, or (2) a Western DPS.
Petition History
    On June 1, 2021, we received a petition (dated May 26, 2021) from 
Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United 
States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Sierra Club requesting 
that the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains be emergency listed 
as a threatened species or an endangered species under the Act (first 
petition). The Act does not provide for a process to petition emergency 
listing; therefore, we are evaluating this petition under the normal 
process of determining if it presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted.

[[Page 51859]]

On July 29, 2021, we received a new petition (dated July 29, 2021) from 
Western Watersheds Project and 70 other organizations requesting that 
the gray wolf in western North America be listed as an endangered 
species under the Act (second petition). On August 10, 2021, we 
received an addendum (dated August 9, 2021) to the second petition. 
Both petitions clearly identified themselves as such and included the 
requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 
CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses both petitions.
Evaluation of Information Summary and Finding
    We reviewed the petitions, sources cited in the petitions, and 
other readily available information. We considered the factors under 
section 4(a)(1) and assessed the effect that the threats identified 
within the factors--as may be ameliorated or exacerbated by any 
existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts--may have on the 
species now and in the foreseeable future. Based on our review of the 
petitions and readily available information regarding human-caused 
mortality, we find that the petitioners present credible and 
substantial information that human-caused mortality (Factor B) may be a 
potential threat to the species in Idaho and Montana. These two States 
include approximately 75 percent of gray wolves in a potential Northern 
Rocky Mountains or Western DPS. The petitioners also provide credible 
and substantial information that new regulations in these two States 
may be inadequate to address this potential threat (Factor D). 
Therefore, we find that the petitions present substantial information 
indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted in a Northern 
Rocky Mountains or Western DPS. The petitioners also presented 
information suggesting that habitat modification due to a reduced prey 
base (Factor A), disease (Factor C), and loss of genetic diversity 
caused by isolation and small population size (Factor E) may be threats 
to the gray wolf. We will fully evaluate these and all other potential 
threats, as well as the validity of each DPS, in detail based on the 
best scientific and commercial data available when we conduct the 
status assessment and make the 12-month finding.
    The basis for our finding on these petitions, and other information 
regarding our review of the petitions, can be found as an appendix at 
https://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the 
petitions under sections 4(b)(3)(A) and 4(b)(3)(D)(i) of the Act, we 
have determined that the petitions summarized above for the gray wolf 
present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned actions may be warranted. We are, therefore, 
initiating a status review of the species to determine whether the 
actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status 
review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) 
of the Act, as to whether the petitioned actions are not warranted, 
warranted, or warranted but precluded by pending proposals to determine 
whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species.

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.).

Gary Frazer,
Assistant Director, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-20088 Filed 9-16-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P