Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a
Nonessential Experimental Population of the North American Wolverine in
Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to establish a
nonessential experimental population (NEP) area for the North American
wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) in the Southern Rocky Mountains of
Colorado, northern New Mexico, and southern Wyoming. The distinct
population segment (DPS) of the North American wolverine occurring in
the contiguous United States is proposed for Federal listing as a
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We propose to
establish the NEP area for the wolverine in the Southern Rockies
portion of the DPS under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act,
and to classify any wolverines introduced into the area as a
nonessential experimental population within the Southern Rocky
Mountains. This proposed rule provides a plan for establishing the NEP
area and provides for allowable legal incidental taking of the
wolverine within the defined NEP area. The proposed action would not
result in reintroduction of the wolverine; rather, the NEP area
designation would provide the regulatory assurances necessary to
facilitate a State-led reintroduction effort, should the state of
Colorado determine to reintroduce the wolverine. The best available
data indicate that reintroduction of the wolverine into the Southern
Rocky Mountains is biologically feasible and will promote conservation
of the species.
DATES: Comment submission: We will accept comments received or
postmarked on or before May 6, 2013. Please note that if you are using
the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES), the deadline for
submitting an electronic comment is Eastern Standard Time on this date.
Public meeting: We will hold a public hearing on March 19, 2013 at the
Hampton Inn, 137 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, CO 80228. A public
informational session will be held at the same location from 2:00 p.m.
to 5:00 p.m. followed by speaker registration at 6:00 p.m. and then the
public hearing for oral testimony from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in
the public hearing should contact Brent Esmoil, Montana Ecological
Services Field Office, as soon as possible (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov
. In the Search box, enter FWS-R6-ES-2012-0106,
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search
panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading,
click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You
may submit a comment by clicking on ``Comment Now!''
By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public
Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS-R6-ES-2012-0106]; Division of Policy
and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N.
Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide
us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).
Copies of Documents: The proposed rule is available on http://www.regulations.gov
Public meeting: The March 19, 2013, public meeting will include a
public informational session from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by
public speaker registration at 6:00 p.m., and then the public hearing
for oral testimony from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will take place at
the Hampton Inn, 137 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, CO 80228.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brent Esmoil, Field Supervisor
(Acting), Montana Ecological Services Field Office, Helena, Montana
telephone 406-449-5225. Direct all questions or requests for additional
information to: WOLVERINE QUESTIONS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Montana Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601. Individuals
who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay
Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.
Why we need to publish a rule. Under section 10(j) of the
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)
(Act or ESA), an experimental population may be identified outside of
the current range of the species for the purposes of reintroducing the
species. Before an experimental population may be designated, the
Service must first determine that the population is separate from other
populations and whether the experimental population is essential to the
continued existence of the endangered or threatened species. If an
experimental population is designated as nonessential, critical habitat
may not be designated for that population.To read the full notice .... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-04/html/2013-01479.htmThere is also another component
.... Threatened Status for
the Distinct Population Segment of the North American Wolverine
Occurring in the Contiguous United StatesTo read that notice .... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-04/html/2013-01478.htm