Notice of Availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plans and Environmental Assessments for Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge in Lauderdale County, TN; Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Haywood County, TN; Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Lauderdale and Tipton Counties, TN; and Reelfoot and Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuges in Obion and Lake Counties, TN; and Fulton County, KY
The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plans and Environmental Assessments for the above referenced refuges are available for review and comment. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Northern Mexican Gartersnake as Threatened or Endangered With Critical Habitat
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the northern Mexican gartersnake, Thamnophis eques megalops, as threatened or endangered with critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The petitioners provided three listing scenarios for consideration by the Service: (1) Listing the United States population as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS); (2) listing the species throughout its range in the United States and Mexico based on its range-wide status; or (3) listing the species throughout its range in the U.S. and Mexico based on its status in the United States. We find the petition has presented substantial information that the northern Mexican gartersnake is a listable entity, and we find that the petition presents substantial scientific and commercial data indicating that listing may be warranted. Therefore, we are initiating a status review to determine if listing this species is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding this species. Any determinations on critical habitat will be made if and when a listing action is initiated for this species.