Fish and Wildlife Service September 2020 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Hunting and Sport Fishing Application Forms and Activity Reports for National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries
Document Number: 2020-21626
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to renew an existing information collection.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Trispot Darter
Document Number: 2020-19115
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), designate critical habitat for the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. We are designating as critical habitat for this species six units, totaling approximately 175.4 miles (282.3 kilometers) of streams and rivers and 9,929 acres (4,018 hectares), in Calhoun, Cherokee, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties in Alabama; Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield Counties in Georgia; and Bradley and Polk Counties in Tennessee. This rule extends the Act's protections to the trispot darter's designated critical habitat.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Section 4(d) Rule for Trispot Darter
Document Number: 2020-19109
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), adopt a rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella), a fish from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. This rule provides measures that are necessary and advisable to conserve the species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying the Virgin Islands Tree Boa From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19027
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the Virgin Islands tree boa (Virgin Islands boa; Chilabothrus (= Epicrates) granti) from an endangered species to a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would reclassify the Virgin Islands boa from endangered to threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This proposal is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific data, which indicate that the species' status has improved such that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We are also proposing a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the Virgin Islands boa. Further, we are correcting the List to change the scientific name of the Virgin Islands boa in the List from Epicrates monensis granti to Chilabothrus granti to reflect the currently accepted taxonomy. Virgin Islands boa is a distinct species, not a subspecies, and Epicrates is no longer the scientifically accepted genus for this species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of Layia carnosa (Beach Layia) From Endangered to Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19026
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-30
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the plant beach layia (Layia carnosa) from an endangered to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposed reclassification is based on our evaluation of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats acting upon beach layia continue at the population or rangewide scales, albeit to a lesser degree than at the time of listing, and we find that beach layia meets the statutory definition of a threatened species. We also propose to issue protective regulations pursuant to section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule'') that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of beach layia. We seek information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule.
Endangered Species; Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-21394
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for the Wright's Marsh Thistle (Cirsium wrightii) With a 4(d) Rule and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19337
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the Wright's marsh thistle (Cirsium wrightii), a plant species from New Mexico, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the Wright's marsh thistle as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule''). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for Wright's marsh thistle under the Act. The proposed critical habitat totals approximately 64.3 hectares (ha) (159 acres (ac)) in Chaves, Eddy, Guadalupe, Otero, and Socorro Counties, New Mexico. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Wright's marsh thistle.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for Purple Lilliput; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Longsolid and Round Hickorynut and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-17015
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on a petition to list the purple lilliput (Toxolasma lividum), longsolid (Fusconaia subrotunda), and round hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) freshwater mussels as endangered or threatened species and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that listing the longsolid and round hickorynut is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the longsolid and round hickorynut as threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule''). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the longsolid and round hickorynut under the Act. For the longsolid, approximately 1,115 river miles (1,794 kilometers), all of which is occupied by the species, in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. For the round hickorynut, approximately 921 river miles (1,482 kilometers), all of which is occupied by the species, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. Finally, we announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the longsolid and round hickorynut. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to list the purple lilliput. We ask the public to submit to us at any time new information relevant to the status of purple lilliput or its habitat.
Foreign Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-20978
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and foreign or native species for which the Service has jurisdiction under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). With some exceptions, the ESA and the MMPA prohibit activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA and MMPA also require that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA or MMPA with respect to any endangered species or marine mammals.
Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Application
Document Number: 2020-20949
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application for a permit to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation and survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on this application. Before issuing the requested permit, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Nashville Crayfish From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
Document Number: 2020-20158
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed to remove the Nashville crayfish (Orconectes shoupi) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending January 27, 2020. We now reopen the public comment period on the proposed rule to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. We also announce a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule and Critical Habitat Designation for Atlantic Pigtoe
Document Number: 2020-19095
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-22
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our October 11, 2018, proposed rule to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as a threatened species with a section 4(d) rule, and to designate critical habitat for the species, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In this document, we present revisions to the section 4(d) rule language and to the critical habitat designation we proposed for the species on October 11, 2018. As a result of the critical habitat revisions, we now propose to designate a total of 566 miles (910 kilometers) as critical habitat for the Atlantic pigtoe across 18 units within portions of 14 counties in Virginia and 17 counties in North Carolina. This amounts to an increase of 24 miles (38 kilometers) in our proposed critical habitat designation for the species. We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the October 11, 2018, proposed rule, as well as the revisions described in this document. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Chapin Mesa Milkvetch and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19481
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list Astragalus schmolliae (hereafter referred to by the common name Chapin Mesa milkvetch), a plant species from southwestern Colorado, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, and to designate critical habitat. If we make this rule final as proposed, the effect of this rule will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and to designate critical habitat for the species. In total, we propose to designate approximately 3,635 acres (1,471 hectares) in Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado as critical habitat for the species. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Chapin Mesa milkvetch.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status with Section 4(d) Rule for Big Creek Crayfish and St. Francis River Crayfish and Designations of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19298
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list two Missouri species, the Big Creek crayfish (Faxonius peruncus) and the St. Francis River crayfish (Faxonius quadruncus), as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to both species. We also propose a species-specific rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule'') that provides for the protection of the Big Creek crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish and to designate critical habitat for both species under the Act. In total, approximately 1,069 river miles (1,720 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the Big Creek crayfish, and approximately 1,043 river miles (1,679 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the St. Francis River crayfish. Finally, we announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designations.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Findings on a Petition To Delist the Distinct Population Segment of the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and a Petition To List the U.S. Population of Northwestern Moose
Document Number: 2020-19149
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on a petition to remove the distinct population segment (DPS) of the western yellow-billed cuckoo from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (i.e., to ``delist'' that DPS) and a petition to list a DPS of the U.S. population of northwestern moose under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to delist the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo or its habitat. We also find that the U.S. population of northwestern moose does not meet the criteria for discreteness as a DPS and the petitioned northwestern moose DPS is not a listable entity under the Act.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Georgetown and Salado Salamanders
Document Number: 2020-17921
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-15
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are revising our proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. Based on published genetic analyses, we are revising the distribution of the Georgetown and Salado salamanders and are adjusting previously proposed critical habitat units accordingly. We also propose changes to our description of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. We propose a total of approximately 1,519 acres (ac) (622 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat for the species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. The total amount of critical habitat we are proposing for both salamanders has increased by approximately 116 ac (47 ha). The reasons for this increase are the addition of a new occupied site for the Salado salamander and refined mapping of previously proposed critical habitat units based on more precise spring locations. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the revised proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown and Salado salamanders.
Categorical Exclusion and Draft City of Santa Cruz Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan; Santa Cruz County, California
Document Number: 2020-19938
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-10
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application for a permit to conduct activities with the potential for take of endangered species that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activities. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. We invite comments on this application which we will take into consideration before issuing a permit.
Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat Conservation Plan for the Endangered American Burying Beetle; City of Oklahoma City's Second Atoka Pipeline Project, in Six Oklahoma Counties
Document Number: 2020-19934
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-10
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce via a Federal Register notice the availability of a draft environmental assessment (dEA) under the National Environmental Policy Act, and habitat conservation plan (HCP) for construction of a public water supply pipeline, the Second Atoka Pipeline Project, in six Oklahoma counties. Under the Endangered Species Act, the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust (applicants) applied for an incidental take permit (ITP) to cover incidental take of the American burying beetle (ABB) from activities associated with construction of the pipeline project. The applicants have proposed an HCP that would be implemented to address project impacts on the ABB. The dEA evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, implementation of the proposed HCP. We seek public comment on the dEA and the requested Service approval of the HCP and ITP.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-19577
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), propose to amend portions of our regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The proposed revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates our consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. We want to articulate clearly when and how FWS will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts for FWS to consider. The proposed rulemaking would respond to applicable Supreme Court case law, reflect agency experience, codify some current agency practices, and make some modifications to current agency practice. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination That Designation of Critical Habitat is Not Prudent for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Document Number: 2020-17093
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have reconsidered whether designating critical habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) would be prudent. On January 11, 2017, we published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In that final rule, we stated that designation of critical habitat may be prudent, but not determinable. We have now determined that such a designation would not be prudent. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat is not the primary threat to the species, and the availability of habitat does not limit the conservation of the rusty patched bumble bee now, nor will it in the future.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Two Species Not Warranted for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species
Document Number: 2020-16721
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-09-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on petitions to add Big Cypress epidendrum (Epidendrum strobiliferum) and Cape Sable orchid (Trichocentrum undulatum) to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to list the Big Cypress epidendrum or Cape Sable orchid. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of either of the species mentioned above or their habitats.