Fish and Wildlife Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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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.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Review of the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
Document Number: 2020-19084
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-31
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating a 5- year status review of the spectacled eider under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of any new information on this species that has become available since the last review of this species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 14 Listed Animal and Plant Species
Document Number: 2020-19083
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-31
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, for seven plant and seven animal species. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-19056
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-31
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 or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 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.
2020-2021 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations
Document Number: 2020-16003
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-31
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are opening, for the first time, eight National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) that were previously closed to hunting and sport fishing. In addition, we are opening or expanding hunting and sport fishing at 89 other NWRs and adding pertinent station-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2020-2021 season. We are also opening hunting or sport fishing on nine units of the National Fish Hatchery System (NFHs). We are also adding pertinent station-specific regulations that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing at these nine NFHs for the 2020-2021 season. Further, we are opening 41 limited-interest easement NWRs in North Dakota for upland and big game hunting and sport fishing in accordance with State regulations. Access to these NWRs is controlled by the current landowners, and, therefore, they are not open to the public unless authorized by the landowner. We are also making regulatory changes to existing station-specific regulations in order to reduce the regulatory burden on the public, increase access for hunters and anglers on Service lands and waters, and comply with a Presidential mandate for plain language standards. Lastly, we are prohibiting domestic sheep, goat, and camelid pack animals on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits
Document Number: 2020-19019
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-28
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
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).
Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-19018
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-28
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA with respect to any endangered species.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds
Document Number: 2020-17693
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-28
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
This rule prescribes the seasons, hours, areas, and daily bag and possession limits for hunting migratory birds. Taking of migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by annual regulations. This rule permits the taking of designated species during the 2020-21 season.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands for the 2020-21 Season
Document Number: 2020-17692
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-28
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
This rule prescribes special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off- reservation trust lands, and ceded lands. This rule responds to tribal requests for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter ``Service'' or ``we'') recognition of their authority to regulate hunting under established guidelines. This rule allows the establishment of season bag limits and, thus, harvest at levels compatible with populations and habitat conditions.
Proposed American Burying Beetle Habitat Conservation Plan and Low-Effect Screening Form; NS-374 Bridge Over Leader Creek, Hughes County, OK
Document Number: 2020-18899
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-27
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of several documents related to an incidental take permit (ITP) application under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Circuit Engineering District #4 applied for the requested ITP, which would be in effect for a 3-year period in Hughes County, Oklahoma. If granted, the permit would authorize American burying beetle incidental take resulting from construction of a bridge and off-set alignment of the road over Leader Creek. The documents available for comment include the low-effect screening form that supports a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, a draft low-effect habitat conservation plan, and the ITP application.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Alabama Beach Mouse, Baldwin County, AL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-18326
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from SeaGlades at St. Andrew Bay (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed Alabama beach mouse incidental to construction of twenty-seven single family homes and amenities in Baldwin County, Alabama. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our low-effect screening form, which is also available for public review.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Final 2020-21 Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations
Document Number: 2020-17691
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) prescribes final frameworks from which States may select season dates, limits, and other options for the 2020-21 migratory bird hunting seasons. We annually prescribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the number of birds that may be taken and possessed in hunting seasons. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of seasons and limits and to allow harvest at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions. Migratory game bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance, and aid Federal, State, and Tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of Stephens' Kangaroo Rat From Endangered To Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-16719
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-08-19
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the Stephens' kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Act). This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best scientific and commercial data available, which indicates that the Stephens' kangaroo rat no longer meets the definition of endangered under the Act. If this proposal is finalized, the Stephens' kangaroo rat would remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. We also propose a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that provides for the conservation of the Stephens' kangaroo rat. This document constitutes our proposed rule.
Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment, Keystone XL Pipeline; Incidental Take Permit Application for American Burying Beetle; Tripp County, South Dakota, and Antelope, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, and Keya Paha Counties, Nebraska
Document Number: 2020-17887
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of documents related to an incidental take permit (ITP) application under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We have received an application from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone) for a 50-year ITP for take of the federally endangered American burying beetle incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with its Keystone XL pipeline project in parts of South Dakota and Nebraska. Pursuant to the ESA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we announce the availability of Keystone's ITP application, including Keystone's Draft Keystone XL Pipeline American Burying Beetle Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and the Service's draft environmental assessment for public review and comment. We provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink and Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, Polk County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-17885
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Tampa Electric Company (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink and blue-tailed mole skink incidental to the construction of an electrical power substation in Polk County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low- effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Region-Specific Regulations
Document Number: 2020-17026
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-14
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are adopting as a final rule an interim rule that went into effect on April 2, 2020, establishing migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2020 season and beyond. These regulations, which are subject to annual review, allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. For the reasons given in the interim rule and in this document, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without change.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for Karner Blue Butterfly and Frosted Elfin in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany, Colonie and Guilderland, New York; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-17725
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed endangered Karner blue butterfly incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with expansion of an existing trail system and routine property maintenance and management activities within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The applicant also seeks take coverage for the frosted elfin butterfly, listed as threatened by the State of New York, should it become federally listed in the future. The applicant proposes a conservation program to minimize and mitigate the impacts of unavoidable incidental take of the two species, as described in its habitat conservation plan (HCP). We invite public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed HCP, and the Service's preliminary determination that the covered actions and incidental take which may occur under this proposed HCP, if implemented, qualifies as ``low effect,'' and therefore our issuance of the requested ITP authorizing the take would be categorically excluded from further review under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low- effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. We provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments.
Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly and Three Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Puget Sound Energy; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-17579
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-12
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received an application from Puget Sound Energy (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The ITP would authorize the applicant's take of three threatened subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher incidental to otherwise lawful activities during replacement, repair, and upgrade of existing utility systems in Thurston County, Washington. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the covered species, including maintenance of occupied habitat. The HCP would also result in habitat improvement for the endangered Taylor's checkerspot butterfly, which is not a covered species, at one mitigation site. The Service has prepared a draft environmental action statement for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite the public to review and comment on these documents.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
Document Number: 2020-15675
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-08-11
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise the designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose to revise the species' designated critical habitat by newly excluding approximately 204,653 acres (82,820 hectares) in Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties, Oregon, under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. These proposed exclusions are based on new information that has become available since our 2012 revised critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl. This proposed rule focuses only on new exclusions under section 4(b)(2) of the Act in response to a stipulated settlement agreement; we are not proposing any other revisions to the northern spotted owl's critical habitat designation.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Identify the Northwest Atlantic Leatherback Turtle as a Distinct Population Segment and List It as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
Document Number: 2020-16277
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-08-10
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, NMFS and USFWS, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to identify the Northwest Atlantic population of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) as a distinct population segment (DPS) and list it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In response to the petition, we completed a comprehensive status review of the species, which also constitutes the 5-year review of the species, to determine potential DPSs following the Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments Under the ESA and to perform extinction risk analyses. Based on the best scientific and commercial data available, including the Status Review Report, and after taking into account efforts made to protect the species, we conclude that seven populations would meet the discreteness and significance criteria for recognition as DPSs, including the Northwest Atlantic population. However, even if we were to list them separately, all seven DPSs would meet the definition for endangered species (i.e., they are in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range). The species is already listed as endangered throughout its range. We have determined that the listing of DPSs is not warranted, and therefore we do not propose any changes to the existing global listing.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, Experimental Populations
Document Number: 2020-17325
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-07
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (we, Service), are proposing to renew an existing information collection.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-17002
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we''), propose to add a definition of ``habitat'' to our regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Florida Scrub-Jay, Volusia County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-16983
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Freedom Construction USA, LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed Florida scrub- jay, a bird species, incidental to construction in Volusia County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low- effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Orange County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-16980
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Withers, LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink incidental to construction in Orange County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low- effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Orange County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-16979
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from BB Groves, LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink incidental to construction in Orange County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low- effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Orange County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-16978
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Titan Liberty Lake Underhill JV and Village I- 545 (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink incidental to construction in Orange County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Florida Scrub-Jay, Volusia County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-16977
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from ICI Homes, Inc. (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed Florida scrub-jay, a bird species, incidental to construction in Volusia County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review.
Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-16849
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA with respect to any endangered species.
Foreign Endangered Species Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-16848
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on an application to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA with respect to any endangered species.
Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits
Document Number: 2020-16847
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have issued permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. We issue these permits under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Horseshoe Crab and Cooperative Fish Tagging Programs
Document Number: 2020-16842
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-03
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, are proposing to renew an information collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities; North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey
Document Number: 2020-16841
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-03
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, are proposing to renew an information collection.