Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Extending the Public Comment Periods and Rescheduling Public Hearings Pertaining to the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), recently published two proposed rules. One rule proposes to list the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other proposes to revise the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf. On September 5 and October 2, 2013, we announced public hearings on the proposed rules. The September 5 notices also extended the public comment period for the proposed rules to October 28, 2013. Following delays caused by the Federal Government lapse in appropriations, the Service is announcing rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on the proposed rules. To allow these hearings to take place within the public comment period on the proposed rules, we now extend the public comment period for the proposed rules to December 17, 2013. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rules. We also announce the scheduling of a public information meeting and an additional public hearing in Pinetop, Arizona.
Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit To Survey for and Relocate Jemez Mountain Salamanders Within the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico
The final rule to list the Jemez Mountain salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus) as endangered throughout its range in New Mexico published in the Federal Register on September 10, 2013. The final rule becomes effective on October 10, 2013. Without having personnel authorized to survey for and minimize impacts through moving individuals out of harm's way, the New Mexico Gas Company's ongoing pipeline repairs may be delayed to prevent individual Jemez Mountain salamanders being needlessly harmed or killed. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have, under an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit, authorized qualified researchers to survey for and move Jemez Mountain salamanders out of harm's way during pipeline repairs. These pipeline repairs are considered essential to human and environmental health.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse With Special Rule
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage- grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We also propose a special rule under section 4(d) of the Act to provide for the conservation of the Bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse. If finalized, the effect of this regulation would be to add the Bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, extend the Act's protections to this DPS, and establish a 4(d) special rule for the conservation of this DPS. Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, we propose to designate critical habitat under the Act for the Bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to designate critical habitat for the the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the Endangered Species Act (Act). In total, approximately 755,960 hectares (1,868,017 acres) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation in Carson City, Lyon, Douglas, Mineral, and Esmeralda Counties, Nevada, and Alpine, Mono, and Inyo Counties, California. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this DPS's critical habitat.