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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southeast  |  Topic: Loggerhead Sea Turtle; Final Rule « previous next »
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Peter Vahry
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« on: July 10, 2014, 04:05:19 am »

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of
Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population
Segment of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, designate specific
areas in the terrestrial environment of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of
Mexico coasts as critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean
distinct population segment of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta
caretta) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. In
total, approximately 1,102 kilometers (685 miles) fall within the
boundaries of the critical habitat designation.

DATES: This rule is effective on August 11, 2014.

ADDRESSES: This final rule and the associated final economic analysis
are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.fws.gov/northflorida. Comments and materials we received, as well
as supporting documentation we used in preparing this rule, are
available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. All of
the comments, materials, and documentation that we considered in this
rulemaking are available by appointment, during normal business hours
at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services
Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    The coordinates, plot points, or both from which the maps are
generated are included in the administrative record for this critical
habitat designation and are available at http://www.fws.gov/northflorida, at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-
2012-0103, and at the North Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting
information that we developed for this critical habitat designation
will also be available at the Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and
Field Office listed above, and may also be included in the preamble of
this rule and at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information about this
rule, and information about the final designation in northeastern
Florida, contact Jay B. Herrington, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services Office, 7915
Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256; telephone 904-731-
3336; facsimile 904-731-3045. If you use a telecommunications device
for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS)
at 800-877-8339.
    For information about the final designation in Alabama, contact
Bill Pearson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama
Ecological Services Field Office, 1208 Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526;
telephone 251-441-5181; facsimile 251-441-6222.
    For information about the final designation in southern Florida,
contact Craig Aubrey, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero
Beach, FL 32960; telephone 772-469-4309; facsimile 772-562-4288.
    For information about the final designation in northwestern
Florida, contact Catherine Philips, Acting Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, Panama City Ecological Services Field Office,
1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405; telephone 850-769-0552;
facsimile 850-763-2177.
    For information about the final designation in Georgia, contact Don
Imm, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal Georgia
Ecological Services Field Office, 4980 Wildlife Drive NE., Townsend, GA
31331; telephone 912-832-8739; facsimile 912-832-8744.
    For information about the final designation in Mississippi, contact
Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View
Parkway, Suite A, Jackson, MS 39123; telephone 601-965-4900; facsimile
601-965-4340.
    For information about the final designation in North Carolina,
contact Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, Post Office Box
33726, Raleigh, NC 33726; telephone 919-856-4520; facsimile 919-856-
4556.
    For information about the final designation in South Carolina,
contact Thomas McCoy, Acting Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, South Carolina Ecological Services Field Office, 176 Croghan
Spur Road, Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29407; telephone 843-727-4707;
facsimile 843-727-4218.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act
(Act), when we determine that a species is endangered or threatened, we
are required to designate critical habitat, to the maximum extent
prudent and determinable. Designations of critical habitat can only be
completed by issuing a rule. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS
or Service) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed the
Northwest Atlantic Ocean distinct population segment (DPS) of the
loggerhead sea turtle as threatened on September 22, 2011 (76 FR
58868). The USFWS and NMFS share jurisdiction under the Act for the
protection and conservation of sea turtles, including the loggerhead.
USFWS has jurisdiction over sea turtles on the land; NMFS has
jurisdiction over sea turtles in the water.
    This rule consists of: A final rule designating areas in the
terrestrial environment as critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic
Ocean DPS of the loggerhead sea turtle. NMFS will be designating areas
in the marine environment as critical habitat for the DPS and,
consistent with their distinct authority with respect to such areas,
will designate such areas in a separate rulemaking. In this rule,
``critical habitat'' refers to the areas we are designating in the
DPS's terrestrial environment unless otherwise specified.
    The areas we are designating in this rule constitute our current
best assessment of the areas that meet the definition of critical
habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS of the loggerhead sea
turtle. We are designating:
     In total, approximately 1,102 kilometers (km) (685 miles
(mi)) of loggerhead sea turtle nesting beaches as critical habitat in
the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
Alabama, and Mississippi. These beaches account for 45 percent of an
estimated 2,464 km (1,531 mi) of coastal beach shoreline and
approximately 84 percent of the documented nesting (numbers of nests)
within these six States. The critical habitat is located in Brunswick,
Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender Counties, North Carolina;
Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, and Georgetown Counties, South
Carolina; Camden, Chatham, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties, Georgia; Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier,
Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gulf, Indian River, Lee, Manatee,
Martin, Monroe, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia
Counties, Florida; Baldwin County, Alabama; and Jackson County,
Mississippi.

     We are exempting the following Department of Defense (DOD)
installations from critical habitat designation because their
integrated natural resources management plans (INRMPs) incorporate
measures that provide a benefit for the loggerhead sea turtle:

To read the full notice... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-10/html/2014-15725.htm
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