Fish and Wildlife Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, High Prairie Wind Energy Facility, Schuyler and Adair Counties, Missouri
Document Number: 2020-26520
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-12-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from TG High Prairie, LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), for its High Prairie Wind Energy Facility. If approved, the ITP would be for a 6-year period and would authorize the incidental take of covered species, including the endangered Indiana bat, threatened northern long-eared bat, and the little brown bat, currently under discretionary review. While the ITP is for 6 years, the wind energy project is scheduled to be operational for thirty years and intensive monitoring conducted during this permit term will inform the need for future avoidance or a new long-term ITP that will comply with a new NEPA analysis and habitat conservation plan (HCP). The applicant has prepared a HCP that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the covered species for the first 6 years. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment, which has been prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed HCP, the Service's draft environmental assessment, prepared pursuant to NEPA and associated documents. We provide this notice to seek review and comment from the public and Federal, Tribal, State and local governments.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for the Peppered Chub and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-25257
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-12-01
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the peppered chub (Macrhybopsis tetranema) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The peppered chub is a freshwater fish historically found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, and is now extirpated in all but approximately 6 percent of its historical range. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the peppered chub is warranted due to a dramatic reduction in the species' range (a loss of all but one population) and the low resiliency level of the remaining population. The primary stressors affecting the peppered chub are habitat fragmentation and degradation resulting from several sources, as discussed in this document and its supporting materials. Because we have found the species is at risk of extinction, we propose to list the peppered chub as an endangered species under the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this 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 peppered chub under the Act. The proposed critical habitat designation includes approximately 1,068 river miles (1,719 river kilometers) in four units in Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. We announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-26101
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-25
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.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner
Document Number: 2020-25918
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-24
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of our draft recovery plan for sharpnose shiner and smalleye shiner, two fish species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The two species are broadcast-spawning minnows currently restricted to the upper Brazos River Basin in north-central Texas. We provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments.
Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2020-21 and 2021-22 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations
Document Number: 2020-22733
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-11-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to the taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rule also revises the customary and traditional use determinations for wildlife.
Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for Streaked Horned Lark Habitat Restoration, Linn County, Oregon
Document Number: 2020-25697
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-20
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an enhancement of survival permit application from Scott Erion pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for streaked horned lark (lark) which is federally listed as threatened. The permit application includes a draft safe harbor agreement (SHA) developed for the conservation of the lark. The permit if issued would authorize the incidental take of the lark associated with habitat management actions intended to benefit the lark. We have prepared a draft environment action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the proposed SHA and permit issuance may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We are making the permit application package, including the proposed SHA and draft EAS, available for public review and comment.
Application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit; Draft Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus); Andrews, Gaines, Crane, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties, Texas
Document Number: 2020-25685
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-20
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
This notice advises the public that Canyon Environmental, LLC (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit (permit) supported by the draft Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) (CCAA) in Andrews, Gaines, Crane, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties, Texas. The applicant has applied to the Service for the permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The requested permit, if approved, would authorize incidental take of the dunes sagebrush lizard (DSL), resulting from activities completed pursuant to the draft CCAA. If approved, the requested permit would become effective should the DSL become federally listed during the life of the permit and CCAA. The proposed permit would have a term of up to 23 years. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) that has been prepared to evaluate the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. We are making the permit application package, including the draft CCAA and draft EA, as well as the issuance criteria for the requested permit, available for public review and comment.
Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink and Blue-Tailed Mole Skink; Highlands County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-25567
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-19
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Palmetto Avon Park-HWY 17, 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 and blue-tailed mole skink incidental to the construction of a commercial development in Highlands County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on 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.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for the Upper Coosa River Distinct Population Segment of Frecklebelly Madtom and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-24208
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-19
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the frecklebelly madtom (Noturus munitus), a fish species from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as an endangered or 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 frecklebelly madtom as an endangered or a threatened species throughout all of its range is not warranted. However, we determined that listing is warranted for a distinct population segment (DPS) of the frecklebelly madtom in the Upper Coosa River in Georgia and Tennessee. Accordingly, we propose to list the Upper Coosa River DPS of the frecklebelly madtom 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 DPS to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the DPS. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the Upper Coosa River DPS under the Act. In total, approximately 134 river miles (216 kilometers) in Georgia and Tennessee fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Upper Coosa River DPS.
Draft Safe Harbor Agreements and Draft Environmental Assessments for the Marbled Murrelet in Washington State
Document Number: 2020-25359
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-18
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received two applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The permits would authorize the incidental take of the threatened marbled murrelet associated with forest management actions on private lands. The applications each include a safe harbor agreement (SHA), describing the actions the applicants will take to achieve a net conservation benefit on their lands for the species. We also announce the availability of two draft environmental assessments (EAs) addressing the effects of the proposed permits and SHAs on the human environment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite comments from all interested parties.
Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Updates to the Regulations
Document Number: 2020-24195
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-11-17
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is revising the migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska. These regulations 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. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. This rule incorporates regulatory revisions requested by these partners.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-25280
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), recently proposed to reclassify the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. We announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending December 7, 2020. We now announce a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Domestic Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notification of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
Document Number: 2020-24198
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In this document, known as a Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of domestic plant and animal species that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. This document also includes our findings on resubmitted petitions and describes our progress in revising the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) during the period October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2020. Combined with other decisions for individual species that were published separately from this CNOR in the past year, the current number of domestic species that are candidates for listing is 11. Identification of candidate species can assist environmental planning efforts by providing advance notice of potential listings, and by allowing landowners and resource managers to alleviate threats and thereby possibly remove the need to list species as endangered or threatened. Even if we subsequently list a candidate species, the early notice provided here could result in more options for species management and recovery by prompting earlier candidate conservation measures to alleviate threats to the species. This document also adds the Sonoran desert tortoise back to the candidate list as a result of an August 3, 2020, court-approved settlement agreement.
Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement To Consider a Highway Right-of-Way, Amended Habitat Conservation Plan and Issuance of an Incidental Take Permit for the Mojave Desert Tortoise, and Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendments, Washington County, UT
Document Number: 2020-24999
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (OPLMA), and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), as co-lead agencies, announce the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider a right- of-way (ROW) application (referred to henceforth as the Northern Corridor) submitted by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Proposed Amendments to the St. George Field Office and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) Resource Management Plans (RMPs).
Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Application
Document Number: 2020-25020
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-12
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; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Sickle Darter
Document Number: 2020-24471
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-12
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the sickle darter (Percina williamsi), a fish species from the upper Tennessee River drainage in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, as a threatened species 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 sickle darter 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 Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species.
Agency Information Collection Activities; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agreements With Friends Organizations
Document Number: 2020-24802
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-09
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 a new information collection in use without an OMB control number.
Final Environmental Impact Statement and Final Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan; Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon
Document Number: 2020-24636
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (together, the Services), announce the availability of a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and habitat conservation plan (HCP) addressing covered activities by the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC)'s eight- member irrigation districts, and the City of Prineville (applicants). The applicants are seeking incidental take permits (ITPs) covering the incidental take of four covered species over a 30-year period. The HCP describes the steps the applicants will take to minimize, mitigate, and monitor the impacts of incidental take of the covered species. The FEIS has been prepared, pursuant to NEPA, in response to these applications.
Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council; Public Meeting by Videoconference
Document Number: 2020-24619
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-06
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a public meeting via videoconference of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council (Council), in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The videoconference is open to the public.
Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Oceano Dunes District, San Luis Obispo County, California
Document Number: 2020-24587
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) and associated draft environmental assessment (EA) for California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) activities at Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, San Luis Obispo County, California. The CDPR developed the draft HCP as part of their application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The Service prepared a draft EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing an ITP to CDPR. We invite public comment on these documents.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting
Document Number: 2020-24348
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gives notice of a teleconference/web meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
Document Number: 2020-24171
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-11-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), have evaluated the classification status of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) entities currently listed in the lower 48 United States and Mexico under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our evaluation, we are removing the gray wolf entities in the lower 48 United States and Mexico, except for the Mexican wolf (C. l. baileyi), that are currently on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We are taking this action because the best available scientific and commercial data available establish that the gray wolf entities in the lower 48 United States do not meet the definitions of a threatened species or an endangered species under the Act. The effect of this rulemaking action is that C. lupus is not classified as a threatened or endangered species under the Act. This rule does not have any effect on the separate listing of the Mexican wolf subspecies (Canis lupus baileyi) as endangered under the Act. In addition, we announce a 90-day finding on a petition to maintain protections for the gray wolf in the lower 48 United States as endangered or threatened distinct population segments. Based on our review, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating status reviews of the petitioned entities in response to the petition.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for the Canoe Creek Clubshell and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-22007
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-03
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Canoe Creek clubshell (Pleurobema athearni), a freshwater mussel species endemic to a single watershed in north-central Alabama, as an endangered or threatened species and to 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 Canoe Creek clubshell as an endangered species under the Act. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the Canoe Creek clubshell under the Act. In total, approximately 58.5 river kilometers (36.3 river miles) in St. Clair and Etowah Counties, Alabama, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. Finally, we announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Canoe Creek clubshell.
National Wildlife Refuge System; Use of Electric Bicycles
Document Number: 2020-22107
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-11-02
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, issue regulations pertaining to the use of electric bicycles (otherwise known as ``e- bikes''). These regulations have the potential to facilitate increased recreational opportunities for all Americans, especially for people with physical limitations. This rule will provide guidance and controls for the use of e-bikes in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Foreign Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation Act; Receipt of Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-23686
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-27
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.
Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment for the Tumwater East Distribution Center and Tumwater West Conservation Site, Thurston County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-23591
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-26
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, received an application from Puget Western, Incorporated, for an incidental take permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP), which describes the actions the applicant will take to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking of the threatened Olympia subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher that may occur incidental to the otherwise lawful commercial development of applicant-owned land in the City of Tumwater, Thurston County, Washington. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment addressing the HCP and proposed permit. We invite comments from all interested parties.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-23505
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
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.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Programmatic Clearance for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Social Science Research
Document Number: 2020-23499
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress
Document Number: 2020-23498
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-23
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 a new information collection in use without an OMB Control Number.
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: 2020-23330
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (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 the Loughman Fire Station in Polk County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on 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 and Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, Polk County, FL; Categorical Exclusion
Document Number: 2020-23329
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (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 the Nalcrest Fire Station in Polk County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on 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.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of Eugenia woodburyana as Threatened and Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-20300
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-21
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), propose to reclassify the plant Eugenia woodburyana (no common name) from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), due to improvements in the species' status since the original listing in 1994. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that E. woodburyana is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but it is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. If this proposal is finalized, E. woodburyana would remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. We seek information, data, and comments from the public on this proposal. We also propose to establish a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that will provide measures that are necessary and advisable for conservation of the E. woodburyana.
Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit; Douglas County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-22966
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received two applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The two applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. We are requesting comments from the public regarding the proposed issuance of a permit to each of the two applicants.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-22965
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
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.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Thurston County Habitat Conservation Plan in Thurston County, Washington
Document Number: 2020-22963
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-16
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), provide this notice to open a public scoping period and announce public scoping meetings in accordance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, and its implementing regulations. We intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the impacts on the human environment related to an application from Thurston County, Washington (applicant), for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. The Service previously published a similar notice of intent to prepare an EIS on March 20, 2013. Thurston County used the public comments received along with new information to further develop the draft Thurston County Habitat Conservation Plan. This notice opens a new public scoping period based on a new application received from Thurston County on July 30, 2020. Comments received in writing during the 2013 public comment period were retained, and do not need be provided again during this public comment period to be considered during this review.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the American Burying Beetle From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19810
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-15
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), reclassify (downlist) the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) from endangered to threatened on the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats to this species have been reduced to the point that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but that it is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. We also finalize 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 American burying beetle.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 10 Northeastern Species
Document Number: 2020-22547
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are initiating 5-year reviews under the Endangered Species Act, as amended, for 10 northeastern species. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the previous 5-year review for each species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Puerto Rican Harlequin Butterfly and Designation of Critical Habitat
Document Number: 2020-21620
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly (Atlantea tulita), a species from Puerto Rico, 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 Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly 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 Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly under the Act. In total, approximately 41,266 acres (16,699.8 hectares) in six units in the municipalities of Isabela, Quebradillas, Camuy, Arecibo, Utuado, Florida, Ciales, Maricao, San Germ[aacute]n, Sabana Grande, and Yauco are within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule for the North American Wolverine
Document Number: 2020-19538
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-13
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, withdraw the proposed rule to list the distinct population segment (DPS) of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) occurring in the contiguous United States as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This withdrawal is based on our conclusion that the factors affecting the species as identified in the proposed rule are not as significant as believed at the time of the proposed rule. We base this conclusion on our analysis of current and future threat factors. We also find that North American wolverines occurring in the contiguous United States do not qualify as a DPS. Therefore, we are withdrawing our proposal to list the wolverine within the contiguous United States as a threatened species.
Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2021-22 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals; Notification of Meetings
Document Number: 2020-22459
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2021-22 hunting season. We annually prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway Council meetings, describes the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2021-22 general duck seasons and preliminary proposals that vary from the 2020-21 hunting season regulations, and requests proposals from Indian tribes that wish to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. Migratory bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance; aid Federal, State, and tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds; and permit harvests at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Sea Lamprey Control Program
Document Number: 2020-22400
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
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 a new information collection in use without Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval.
Agency Information Collection Activities; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Training System
Document Number: 2020-22399
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Administrative Procedures for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Financial Assistance Programs
Document Number: 2020-22398
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-09
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 information collection with revisions.
Refuge-Specific Regulations; Public Use; Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Document Number: 2020-21981
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-09
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are reopening the public comment period and announcing a public hearing on our recently published proposed rule to amend our public use regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to allow State-regulated trapping, harvest of brown bears over bait, discharge of firearms along the Kenai and Russian Rivers during certain times of the year in accordance with State law, increased access for the public using bicycles and game carts, and the use of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and utility task vehicles on certain lakes when there is adequate snow and ice cover. This action will provide all interested parties additional time and opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-21510
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates (= Picoides) borealis) as 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 red-cockaded woodpecker 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 and commercial 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 red-cockaded woodpecker. In addition, we correct the List to reflect that Picoides is not the current scientifically accepted generic name for this species. We seek information, data, and comments from the public regarding this proposal.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Eastern Black Rail With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19661
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened species status for the eastern black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. Accordingly, we list the eastern black rail, a bird subspecies known from as many as 35 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, and several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as a threatened species under the Act. The effect of this regulation will be to add this subspecies to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We also finalize 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 eastern black rail. We have determined that designation of critical habitat for the eastern black rail is not prudent.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Coastal Distinct Population Segment of the Pacific Marten With a Section 4(d) Rule
Document Number: 2020-19136
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-08
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for the coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (Martes caurina), a small mammal from coastal California and Oregon. We also issue final regulations that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of this DPS under section 4(d) of the Act (a ``4(d) rule''). This final rule extends the Act's protections to the coastal DPS of Pacific marten, subject to the 4(d) rule's exceptions.
Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the False Spike and Texas Fawnsfoot in the Brazos River Basin
Document Number: 2020-22063
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-06
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from the Brazos River Authority, a special district of the State of Texas responsible for development and management of the water resources of the Brazos River Basin in Texas. The application is for an enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered Species Act that would authorize incidental take of two candidate mussel species, false spike and Texas fawnsfoot. The application includes a candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) for freshwater mussel conservation and surface water supply and delivery operations and maintenance activities in the Brazos River Basin in Texas. We have made a preliminary determination that the CCAA is eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The basis for this determination is contained in a low-effect screening form for a categorical exclusion (dCatEx form), which evaluates the impacts of implementation of the proposed CCAA. The documents available for comment include the low-effect screening form that supports a categorical exclusion under NEPA, the CCAA, and an enhancement of survival permit application.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit Applications
Document Number: 2020-21976
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-05
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications for a permit to conduct activities intended to recover and enhance endangered species survival. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.
Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Spring Mountain Raceway Northern Expansion, Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada
Document Number: 2020-21769
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-02
Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We also announce receipt of an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and of a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP). Spring Mountain Raceway, LLC has applied for an ITP under the ESA for an expansion project in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada. The ITP would authorize the take of one species incidental to the project. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the draft EA, HCP, and permit application. Before issuing the requested ITP, we will take into consideration any information we receive during the public comment period.