Fish and Wildlife Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Foreign Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation Act; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-23686
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-27
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA with respect to any endangered species.
Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment for the Tumwater East Distribution Center and Tumwater West Conservation Site, Thurston County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-23591
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-26
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, received an application from Puget Western, Incorporated, for an incidental take permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP), which describes the actions the applicant will take to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking of the threatened Olympia subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher that may occur incidental to the otherwise lawful commercial development of applicant-owned land in the City of Tumwater, Thurston County, Washington. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment addressing the HCP and proposed permit. We invite comments from all interested parties.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-23505
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Programmatic Clearance for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Social Science Research
Document Number: 2020-23499
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress
Document Number: 2020-23498
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection in use without an OMB Control Number.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink and Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, Polk County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-23330
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink and blue-tailed mole skink incidental to the construction of the Loughman Fire Station in Polk County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low- effect,'' categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink and Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, Polk County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-23329
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink and blue-tailed mole skink incidental to the construction of the Nalcrest Fire Station in Polk County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low- effect,'' categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of Eugenia woodburyana as Threatened and Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-20300
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), propose to reclassify the plant Eugenia woodburyana (no common name) from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), due to improvements in the species' status since the original listing in 1994. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that E. woodburyana is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but it is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. If this proposal is finalized, E. woodburyana would remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. We seek information, data, and comments from the public on this proposal. We also propose to establish a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that will provide measures that are necessary and advisable for conservation of the E. woodburyana.
Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit; Douglas County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-22966
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received two applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The two applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. We are requesting comments from the public regarding the proposed issuance of a permit to each of the two applicants.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-22965
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Thurston County Habitat Conservation Plan in Thurston County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-22963
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), provide this notice to open a public scoping period and announce public scoping meetings in accordance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, and its implementing regulations. We intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the impacts on the human environment related to an application from Thurston County, Washington (applicant), for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. The Service previously published a similar notice of intent to prepare an EIS on March 20, 2013. Thurston County used the public comments received along with new information to further develop the draft Thurston County Habitat Conservation Plan. This notice opens a new public scoping period based on a new application received from Thurston County on July 30, 2020. Comments received in writing during the 2013 public comment period were retained, and do not need be provided again during this public comment period to be considered during this review.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the American Burying Beetle From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19810
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-15
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), reclassify (downlist) the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) from endangered to threatened on the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats to this species have been reduced to the point that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but that it is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. We also finalize a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the American burying beetle.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 10 Northeastern Species
Document Number: 2020-22547
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are initiating 5-year reviews under the Endangered Species Act, as amended, for 10 northeastern species. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the previous 5-year review for each species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Puerto Rican Harlequin Butterfly and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-21620
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly (Atlantea tulita), a species from Puerto Rico, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule''). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly under the Act. In total, approximately 41,266 acres (16,699.8 hectares) in six units in the municipalities of Isabela, Quebradillas, Camuy, Arecibo, Utuado, Florida, Ciales, Maricao, San Germ[aacute]n, Sabana Grande, and Yauco are within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule for the North American Wolverine
Document Number: 2020-19538
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, withdraw the proposed rule to list the distinct population segment (DPS) of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) occurring in the contiguous United States as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This withdrawal is based on our conclusion that the factors affecting the species as identified in the proposed rule are not as significant as believed at the time of the proposed rule. We base this conclusion on our analysis of current and future threat factors. We also find that North American wolverines occurring in the contiguous United States do not qualify as a DPS. Therefore, we are withdrawing our proposal to list the wolverine within the contiguous United States as a threatened species.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2021-22 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals; Notification of Meetings
Document Number: 2020-22459
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2021-22 hunting season. We annually prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway Council meetings, describes the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2021-22 general duck seasons and preliminary proposals that vary from the 2020-21 hunting season regulations, and requests proposals from Indian tribes that wish to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. Migratory bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance; aid Federal, State, and tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds; and permit harvests at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Sea Lamprey Control Program
Document Number: 2020-22400
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection in use without Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval.
Agency Information Collection Activities; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Training System
Document Number: 2020-22399
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Administrative Procedures for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Financial Assistance Programs
Document Number: 2020-22398
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to renew an information collection with revisions.
Refuge-Specific Regulations; Public Use; Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Document Number: 2020-21981
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are reopening the public comment period and announcing a public hearing on our recently published proposed rule to amend our public use regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to allow State-regulated trapping, harvest of brown bears over bait, discharge of firearms along the Kenai and Russian Rivers during certain times of the year in accordance with State law, increased access for the public using bicycles and game carts, and the use of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and utility task vehicles on certain lakes when there is adequate snow and ice cover. This action will provide all interested parties additional time and opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-21510
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates (= Picoides) borealis) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would reclassify the red-cockaded woodpecker from endangered to threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This proposal is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the species' status has improved such that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We are also proposing a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the red-cockaded woodpecker. In addition, we correct the List to reflect that Picoides is not the current scientifically accepted generic name for this species. We seek information, data, and comments from the public regarding this proposal.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Eastern Black Rail With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19661
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened species status for the eastern black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. Accordingly, we list the eastern black rail, a bird subspecies known from as many as 35 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, and several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as a threatened species under the Act. The effect of this regulation will be to add this subspecies to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We also finalize a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the eastern black rail. We have determined that designation of critical habitat for the eastern black rail is not prudent.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Coastal Distinct Population Segment of the Pacific Marten With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19136
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for the coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (Martes caurina), a small mammal from coastal California and Oregon. We also issue final regulations that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of this DPS under section 4(d) of the Act (a ``4(d) rule''). This final rule extends the Act's protections to the coastal DPS of Pacific marten, subject to the 4(d) rule's exceptions.
Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the False Spike and Texas Fawnsfoot in the Brazos River Basin
Document Number: 2020-22063
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-06
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from the Brazos River Authority, a special district of the State of Texas responsible for development and management of the water resources of the Brazos River Basin in Texas. The application is for an enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered Species Act that would authorize incidental take of two candidate mussel species, false spike and Texas fawnsfoot. The application includes a candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) for freshwater mussel conservation and surface water supply and delivery operations and maintenance activities in the Brazos River Basin in Texas. We have made a preliminary determination that the CCAA is eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The basis for this determination is contained in a low-effect screening form for a categorical exclusion (dCatEx form), which evaluates the impacts of implementation of the proposed CCAA. The documents available for comment include the low-effect screening form that supports a categorical exclusion under NEPA, the CCAA, and an enhancement of survival permit application.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-21976
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications for a permit to conduct activities intended to recover and enhance endangered species survival. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.
Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Spring Mountain Raceway Northern Expansion, Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada
Document Number: 2020-21769
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-02
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We also announce receipt of an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and of a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP). Spring Mountain Raceway, LLC has applied for an ITP under the ESA for an expansion project in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada. The ITP would authorize the take of one species incidental to the project. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the draft EA, HCP, and permit application. Before issuing the requested ITP, we will take into consideration any information we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Tracy Hills Project, San Joaquin County, California; Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan
Document Number: 2020-21738
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act. We also announce receipt of an application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and receipt of a draft habitat conservation plan. The Tracy Hills Project Owner, LLC (THPO) has applied for an incidental take permit under the ESA for the Tracy Hills Project in San Joaquin County, California. The permit would authorize the take of three species incidental to the development, construction, and conservation area management of the project. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the application. Before issuing the requested permit, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-21650
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Hunting and Sport Fishing Application Forms and Activity Reports for National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries
Document Number: 2020-21626
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to renew an existing information collection.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Trispot Darter
Document Number: 2020-19115
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), designate critical habitat for the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. We are designating as critical habitat for this species six units, totaling approximately 175.4 miles (282.3 kilometers) of streams and rivers and 9,929 acres (4,018 hectares), in Calhoun, Cherokee, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties in Alabama; Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield Counties in Georgia; and Bradley and Polk Counties in Tennessee. This rule extends the Act's protections to the trispot darter's designated critical habitat.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Section 4(d) Rule for Trispot Darter
Document Number: 2020-19109
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), adopt a rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella), a fish from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. This rule provides measures that are necessary and advisable to conserve the species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying the Virgin Islands Tree Boa From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19027
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the Virgin Islands tree boa (Virgin Islands boa; Chilabothrus (= Epicrates) granti) from an endangered species to a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would reclassify the Virgin Islands boa from endangered to threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This proposal is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific data, which indicate that the species' status has improved such that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We are also proposing a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the Virgin Islands boa. Further, we are correcting the List to change the scientific name of the Virgin Islands boa in the List from Epicrates monensis granti to Chilabothrus granti to reflect the currently accepted taxonomy. Virgin Islands boa is a distinct species, not a subspecies, and Epicrates is no longer the scientifically accepted genus for this species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of Layia carnosa (Beach Layia) From Endangered to Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19026
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the plant beach layia (Layia carnosa) from an endangered to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposed reclassification is based on our evaluation of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats acting upon beach layia continue at the population or rangewide scales, albeit to a lesser degree than at the time of listing, and we find that beach layia meets the statutory definition of a threatened species. We also propose to issue protective regulations pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule'') that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of beach layia. We seek information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule.
Endangered Species; Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-21394
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for the Wright's Marsh Thistle (Cirsium wrightii) With a 4(d) Rule and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19337
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the Wright's marsh thistle (Cirsium wrightii), a plant species from New Mexico, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the Wright's marsh thistle as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule''). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for Wright's marsh thistle under the Act. The proposed critical habitat totals approximately 64.3 hectares (ha) (159 acres (ac)) in Chaves, Eddy, Guadalupe, Otero, and Socorro Counties, New Mexico. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Wright's marsh thistle.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for Purple Lilliput; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Longsolid and Round Hickorynut and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-17015
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on a petition to list the purple lilliput (Toxolasma lividum), longsolid (Fusconaia subrotunda), and round hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) freshwater mussels as endangered or threatened species and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that listing the longsolid and round hickorynut is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the longsolid and round hickorynut as threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule''). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the longsolid and round hickorynut under the Act. For the longsolid, approximately 1,115 river miles (1,794 kilometers), all of which is occupied by the species, in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. For the round hickorynut, approximately 921 river miles (1,482 kilometers), all of which is occupied by the species, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. Finally, we announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the longsolid and round hickorynut. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to list the purple lilliput. We ask the public to submit to us at any time new information relevant to the status of purple lilliput or its habitat.
Foreign Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-20978
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and foreign or native species for which the Service has jurisdiction under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). With some exceptions, the ESA and the MMPA prohibit activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA and MMPA also require that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA or MMPA with respect to any endangered species or marine mammals.
Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Application
Document Number: 2020-20949
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application for a permit to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation and survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on this application. Before issuing the requested permit, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Nashville Crayfish From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
Document Number: 2020-20158
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed to remove the Nashville crayfish (Orconectes shoupi) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending January 27, 2020. We now reopen the public comment period on the proposed rule to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. We also announce a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule and Critical Habitat Designation for Atlantic Pigtoe
Document Number: 2020-19095
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-22
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our October 11, 2018, proposed rule to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as a threatened species with a section 4(d) rule, and to designate critical habitat for the species, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In this document, we present revisions to the section 4(d) rule language and to the critical habitat designation we proposed for the species on October 11, 2018. As a result of the critical habitat revisions, we now propose to designate a total of 566 miles (910 kilometers) as critical habitat for the Atlantic pigtoe across 18 units within portions of 14 counties in Virginia and 17 counties in North Carolina. This amounts to an increase of 24 miles (38 kilometers) in our proposed critical habitat designation for the species. We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the October 11, 2018, proposed rule, as well as the revisions described in this document. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Chapin Mesa Milkvetch and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19481
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list Astragalus schmolliae (hereafter referred to by the common name Chapin Mesa milkvetch), a plant species from southwestern Colorado, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, and to designate critical habitat. If we make this rule final as proposed, the effect of this rule will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and to designate critical habitat for the species. In total, we propose to designate approximately 3,635 acres (1,471 hectares) in Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado as critical habitat for the species. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Chapin Mesa milkvetch.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status with Section 4(d) Rule for Big Creek Crayfish and St. Francis River Crayfish and Designations of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19298
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list two Missouri species, the Big Creek crayfish (Faxonius peruncus) and the St. Francis River crayfish (Faxonius quadruncus), as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to both species. We also propose a species-specific rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule'') that provides for the protection of the Big Creek crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish and to designate critical habitat for both species under the Act. In total, approximately 1,069 river miles (1,720 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the Big Creek crayfish, and approximately 1,043 river miles (1,679 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the St. Francis River crayfish. Finally, we announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designations.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Findings on a Petition To Delist the Distinct Population Segment of the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and a Petition To List the U.S. Population of Northwestern Moose
Document Number: 2020-19149
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on a petition to remove the distinct population segment (DPS) of the western yellow-billed cuckoo from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (i.e., to ``delist'' that DPS) and a petition to list a DPS of the U.S. population of northwestern moose 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 delist the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo or its habitat. We also find that the U.S. population of northwestern moose does not meet the criteria for discreteness as a DPS and the petitioned northwestern moose DPS is not a listable entity under the Act.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Georgetown and Salado Salamanders
Document Number: 2020-17921
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-15
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are revising our proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. Based on published genetic analyses, we are revising the distribution of the Georgetown and Salado salamanders and are adjusting previously proposed critical habitat units accordingly. We also propose changes to our description of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. We propose a total of approximately 1,519 acres (ac) (622 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat for the species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. The total amount of critical habitat we are proposing for both salamanders has increased by approximately 116 ac (47 ha). The reasons for this increase are the addition of a new occupied site for the Salado salamander and refined mapping of previously proposed critical habitat units based on more precise spring locations. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the revised proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown and Salado salamanders.
Categorical Exclusion and Draft City of Santa Cruz Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan; Santa Cruz County, California
Document Number: 2020-19938
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-10
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application for a permit to conduct activities with the potential for take of endangered species that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activities. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. We invite comments on this application which we will take into consideration before issuing a permit.
Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat Conservation Plan for the Endangered American Burying Beetle; City of Oklahoma City's Second Atoka Pipeline Project, in Six Oklahoma Counties
Document Number: 2020-19934
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-10
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce via a Federal Register notice the availability of a draft environmental assessment (dEA) under the National Environmental Policy Act, and habitat conservation plan (HCP) for construction of a public water supply pipeline, the Second Atoka Pipeline Project, in six Oklahoma counties. Under the Endangered Species Act, the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust (applicants) applied for an incidental take permit (ITP) to cover incidental take of the American burying beetle (ABB) from activities associated with construction of the pipeline project. The applicants have proposed an HCP that would be implemented to address project impacts on the ABB. The dEA evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, implementation of the proposed HCP. We seek public comment on the dEA and the requested Service approval of the HCP and ITP.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19577
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), propose to amend portions of our regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The proposed revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates our consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. We want to articulate clearly when and how FWS will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts for FWS to consider. The proposed rulemaking would respond to applicable Supreme Court case law, reflect agency experience, codify some current agency practices, and make some modifications to current agency practice. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination That Designation of Critical Habitat is Not Prudent for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Document Number: 2020-17093
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have reconsidered whether designating critical habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) would be prudent. On January 11, 2017, we published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In that final rule, we stated that designation of critical habitat may be prudent, but not determinable. We have now determined that such a designation would not be prudent. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat is not the primary threat to the species, and the availability of habitat does not limit the conservation of the rusty patched bumble bee now, nor will it in the future.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Two Species Not Warranted for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species
Document Number: 2020-16721
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on petitions to add Big Cypress epidendrum (Epidendrum strobiliferum) and Cape Sable orchid (Trichocentrum undulatum) to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants 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 list the Big Cypress epidendrum or Cape Sable orchid. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of either of the species mentioned above or their habitats.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Review of the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
Document Number: 2020-19084
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-31
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating a 5- year status review of the spectacled eider under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of any new information on this species that has become available since the last review of this species.