Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), and its implementing regulations, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we), propose regulations that authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during oil and gas industry (Industry) exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent western coast of Alaska. If adopted as proposed, this rule would be effective for 5 years from the date of issuance of the final rule. We propose a finding that the total expected takings of Pacific walruses (walruses) and polar bears during Industry exploration activities will impact small numbers of animals, will have a negligible impact on these species, and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species for subsistence use by Alaska Natives. The proposed regulations include: Permissible methods of nonlethal taking; measures to ensure that Industry activities will have the least practicable adverse impact on the species and their habitat, and on the availability of these species for subsistence uses; and requirements for monitoring and reporting of any incidental takings which may occur, to the Service. If this rule is made final, the Service will issue Letters of Authorization (LOAs), upon request, for activities proposed to be conducted in accordance with the regulations.
Otay River Estuary Restoration Project; South San Diego Bay Unit and Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California; Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are reinitiating scoping with regard to the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Otay River Estuary Restoration Project. As originally proposed, the project involved the restoration of estuarine and salt marsh (subtidal and intertidal wetlands) habitats within the western terminus of the Otay River and a portion of the salt ponds in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge-South San Diego Bay Unit. Based on information developed since the original scoping period, the proposed project may now also include the restoration of a portion of the D Street Fill, located within the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge-Sweetwater Marsh Unit. We originally published a notice of intent on November 14, 2011 (76 FR 70480), and scoping comments were accepted through January 12, 2012. Since then, we have expanded the Area of Potential Effect of the restoration project to include the salt ponds and D Street Fill within the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This second notice advises the public that we intend to gather additional information through scoping regarding an EIS for the expanded project. We encourage the public and other agencies to participate in the NEPA scoping process by sending written suggestions and information on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in the draft EIS, including the range of alternatives, appropriate mitigation measures, and the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts. Comments submitted during the earlier scoping period do not need to be resubmitted.
Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Annual Certification of Hunting and Sport Fishing Licenses Issued
We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to expire on February 28, 2013. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.
Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibit activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities.
Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have issued the following permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. We issue these permits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list as endangered the Honduran emerald hummingbird (Amazilia luciae) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This species is endemic to a small area in Honduras, and the population is estimated to be less than 1,000 and decreasing. Its suitable habitat has decreased in the past 100 years and continues to diminish. This document also serves as the completion of the status review (also known as the 12-month finding). We seek information from the public on the proposed listing for this species.