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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: Ut - NOI of status review & solicitation of new info « previous next »
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Todd Ockert
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« on: February 07, 2008, 10:43:30 am »

[Federal Register: February 7, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 26)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 7236-7237]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07fe08-19]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[FWS-R6-ES-2008-0023; 1111 FY07 MO-B2]

 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding
on a Petition To List the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus
clarki utah) as Threatened or Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; initiation of status review, and solicitation of new
information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the
opening of a public comment period regarding the status of the
Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah) throughout its
range in the United States. The 12-month finding for this subspecies,
published in the Federal Register on October 9, 2001, has been
withdrawn by the Service (Stansell Memorandum, August 24, 2007) due to
the subsequent development of a formal opinion (Department of the
Interior, March 16, 2007) regarding the legal interpretation of the
term ``significant portion of the range'' of a species. The status
review will include analysis of whether any significant portion of the
range of the Bonneville cutthroat trout warrants listing as threatened
or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended
(Act). Through this action, we encourage all interested parties to
provide us information regarding the status of, and any potential
threats to, the Bonneville cutthroat trout throughout its range, or any
significant portion of its range.

DATES: To be fully considered for the 12-month finding, comments must
be submitted on or before April 7, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing,
Attn: FWS-R6-ES-2008-0023; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive,
Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on
http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any

personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section
below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, Utah
Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at the above address, or
phone (801) 975-3330, ext. 126. Additional information is available at
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/fish/bct/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Comments Solicited

    To ensure that the status review is complete and based on the best
available scientific and commercial information, we are soliciting
information concerning the status of the Bonneville cutthroat trout. We
request any additional information, comments, and suggestions from the
public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American Tribes,
the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties. We
are opening a 60-day comment period to allow all interested parties an
opportunity to provide information on the status of the Bonneville
cutthroat trout throughout its range, including:
    (1) Information regarding the species' historical and current
population status, distribution, and trends; its biology and ecology;
and habitat selection;
    (2) Information on the effects of potential threat factors that are
the basis

[[Page 7237]]

for a species' listing determination under section 4(a) of the Act (16
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or
curtailment of the species' habitat or range;
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or
educational purposes;
    (c) Disease or predation;
    (d) Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued
existence.
    (3) Information on management programs for the conservation of the
Bonneville cutthroat trout.
    Please note that comments merely stating support for or opposition
to the action under consideration without providing supporting
information, although noted, will not be considered in making a
determination, because section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that
determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered
species must be made ``solely on the basis of the best scientific and
commercial data available.'' At the conclusion of the status review, we
will issue a new 12-month finding on the petition, as provided in
section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this finding
by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not
accept comments you send by e-mail or fax.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be
aware that we will post your entire comment--including your personal
identifying information-on http://www.regulations.gov. While you can

ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting
documentation we used in preparing this finding, will be available for
public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment,

during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's
Utah Field Office, 2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City,
Utah 84119, telephone (801) 975-3330.

Background

    Section 1533(b)(3)(A) and (B) of the Endangered Species Act of
1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that, for any
petition to revise the Lists of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and
Plants, to the maximum extent practicable, within 90 days after
receiving the petition, the Secretary shall make a finding as to
whether the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial
information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. In
addition, that within 12 months after receiving a petition that is
found to present substantial information indicting that the petitioned
action may be warranted, the Secretary shall make a finding on whether
the petitioned action is: (a) not warranted, (b) warranted, or (c)
warranted but precluded by other pending proposals. Such 12-month
findings are to be published promptly in the Federal Register. This
notice is to initiate a 12-month finding.
    On October 9, 2001, we announced our 12-month finding (66 FR 51362)
in which we found that, after reviewing the best available scientific
and commercial information, listing the Bonneville cutthroat trout was
not warranted. We were sued by the Center for Biological Diversity on
February 17, 2005 on the merits of the 12-month finding. On March 7,
2007, the District Court of Colorado dismissed the lawsuit after
determining that Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the not warranted
finding was arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. Plaintiffs
appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, due to
subsequent development of a formal opinion (Department of the Interior,
March 16, 2007) regarding the legal interpretation of the term
``significant portion of the range'' of a species, we withdrew our
finding (Stansell Memorandum, August 24, 2007). The lawsuit was
subsequently dismissed and the case was closed on May 14, 2007. The new
status review will include an analysis of whether any significant
portion of the range of the Bonneville cutthroat trout warrants listing
as threatened or endangered under the Act.
    At this time, we are soliciting new information on the status and
potential threats to the Bonneville cutthroat trout. Information
submitted in response to our 2001 12-month finding will be considered
and need not be resubmitted. We will base our 12-month finding on a
review of the best scientific and commercial information available,
including all information received as a result of this notice. For more
information on the biology, habitat, and range of the Bonneville
cutthroat trout, please refer to our previous 12-month finding
published in the Federal Register on October 9, 2001 (66 FR 51362).
    We request any new information concerning the status of the
Bonneville cutthroat trout. If you submit information, support it with
documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to
gather and analyze the data, or copies of any pertinent publications,
reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources. We specifically request
information regarding data from any systematic surveys, as well as any
studies or analysis of data regarding population size or trends;
biology or ecology of the species; effects of current land management
on population distribution and abundance; current condition of habitat;
and conservation measures that have been implemented to benefit the
species. Additionally, we specifically request information on the
current distribution of populations, and threats to the subspecies in
relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of
the Act).

Author

    The primary authors of this document are staff of U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, Utah Field Office--Ecological Services.

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: February 1, 2008.
H. Dale Hall,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E8-2222 Filed 2-6-08; 8:45 am]

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