Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reinstatement of Removal of the Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this final rule to comply with a court order that has the effect of reinstating the removal of the Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. Pursuant to the District of Columbia District Court of Appeals order dated August 17, 2012, and mandate dated November 13, 2012, this rule again removes the Virginia northern flying squirrel from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Revision of Language for Approval of Nontoxic Shot for Use in Waterfowl Hunting
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to revise our regulations regarding the approval of nontoxic shot types to make the regulations easier to understand. The language governing determination of Expected Environmental Concentrations (EECs) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is altered to make clear the shot size and number of shot to be used in calculating the EECs. We propose to specify the pH levels to be used in calculating the EEC in water. We also propose to move the requirement for in vitro testing to Tier 1, which will allow us to better assess applications and minimize the need for Tier 2 applications. We propose to add language for withdrawal of alloys that have been demonstrated to have detrimental environmental or biological effects, or for which no suitable field-testing device is available. We expect these changes to reduce the time required for nontoxic shot approvals. Finally, we propose to charge fees to cover our costs in evaluating these applications.
Final Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances, Final Environmental Assessment, and Finding of No Significant Impact; Lesser Prairie Chicken, Oklahoma
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), make available the final Agricultural Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) (LEPC) in Oklahoma, as well as the final environmental assessment (EA) and the draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) applied for an enhancement of survival permit pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The permit application included a draft CCAA between the Service and ODWC for the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LEPC) in 14 Oklahoma counties. Our decision is to authorize the issuance of an enhancement of survival permit to the ODWC for implementation of the CCAA (Preferred Alternative described below).
Emergency Issuance of Endangered Species Permit
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have waived the 30-day public notice period and have issued an endangered species permit to address emergency veterinary care for an injured green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in the U.S. Virgin Islands.