Draft Safe Harbor Agreement; Draft Environmental Assessment for the Marbled Murrelet in Washington
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Weyerhaeuser Timber Holdings, Inc., for an enhancement of survival permit (permit) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. If granted, the permit would authorize incidental take of the marbled murrelet, associated with forest management actions on private lands. The application includes a draft safe harbor agreement (SHA), which describes the actions the applicant will take to achieve a net conservation benefit for the marbled murrelet within its range on enrolled lands in Washington. We announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment addressing the SHA and permit application. We invite comments from all interested parties.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Finding for the Gopher Tortoise Eastern and Western Distinct Population Segments
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce findings on the status of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) rangewide and in the eastern (east of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers) and western (west of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers) portions of the range 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 gopher tortoise as an endangered or a threatened species rangewide is not warranted. We find that the gopher tortoise in the eastern portion of its range and the gopher tortoise in the western portion of its range meet the criteria of separate distinct population segments (DPS), as defined by our Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments Under the Endangered Species Act. We determine the Eastern DPS of the gopher tortoise is not warranted for listing at this time. Further, we confirm that the Western DPS of the gopher tortoise meets the definition of a threatened species. Additionally, this notice serves as our completed 5-year review of the Western DPS of the gopher tortoise. We ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the threats to the gopher tortoise or its habitat at any time.