Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Permits; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog in Iron County, Utah
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received a permit application from the Iron County Commission and are announcing the availability of a Draft Low-effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Utah prairie dog in Iron County, Utah, for review and comment by the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. We request comment on the draft low-effect HCP.
Interagency Cooperation-Endangered Species Act of 1973, as Amended; Incidental Take Statements
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the Services), propose to amend the regulations governing consultation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), regarding incidental take statements. The purpose of the proposed changes is to address the use of surrogates to express the amount or extent of anticipated incidental take, and incidental take statements for programmatic actions where implementation of the program requires later authorization, funding, or implementation of site-specific actions that will be subject to section 7 consultation and incidental take statements, as appropriate. These changes are proposed to improve the flexibility and clarify the development of incidental take statements. The Services believe these proposed regulatory changes are a reasonable exercise of their discretion in interpreting particularly challenging aspects of section 7 of the ESA related to incidental take statements.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Five Subspecies of Mazama Pocket Gopher From the Candidate List for Endangered and Threatened Species
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), remove five subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher (Tacoma, Brush Prairie, Shelton, Olympic, and Cathlamet) from the list of candidates for listing as threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that the Tacoma pocket gopher is likely extinct; the Brush Prairie pocket gopher was misidentified as a subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher and was added to the list in error; and listing of the Shelton, Olympic, and Cathlamet pocket gophers is not warranted. However, we invite the submission of any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the Shelton, Olympic, or Cathlamet pocket gophers or their habitats to our Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section) whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor these three subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher and encourage their conservation. If an emergency situation develops for any of these three subspecies or any other species, we will act to provide immediate protection. We will continue to monitor these three subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher as species of concern.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination for the Proposed Listing and Designation of Critical Habitat for Four Subspecies of Mazama Pocket Gopher
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list four subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher (Roy Prairie, Olympia, Tenino, and Yelm) as threatened and reopen the comment period on the proposed rule to list and designate critical habitat for the four subspecies. We are taking this action because there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing and critical habitat rule, making it necessary to solicit additional information by reopening the comment period for 45 days. In addition, we are considering broadening the scope of the special rule for the four subspecies proposed under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, and specifically seek public comment on this issue.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit Applications
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following application to conduct certain activities with endangered or threatened species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), prohibits activities with endangered and threatened species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. The Act requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to Downlist Hesperocyparis abramsiana (=Cupressus abramsiana), and Proposed Rule to Reclassify H. abramsiana as Threatened
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to reclassify Hesperocyparis abramsiana (=Cupressus abramsiana) (Santa Cruz cypress) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that reclassifying Santa Cruz cypress as threatened is warranted, and therefore, we propose to reclassify Santa Cruz cypress as threatened under the Act. We also propose to correct the scientific name of Santa Cruz cypress on the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. We are seeking information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule and 12-month finding.