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Natural Resources


Dec. 8, 2021
SECOND REMINDER: The Federal sustainability community is cordially invited to attend the 2022 Federal Environmental Symposium, March 28-31, 2022. This year's theme is Mission, Environment, and Our Communities, and will be conducted via webinar-format only. The four day event will focus on Federal sustainability initiatives over the past year while encouraging partnerships, sharing of information, and best practices amongst Federal facilities. The event schedule, registration instructions, call for presentation abstracts (now open), and continuous updates to the event can be found on the Symposium website.
Nov. 30, 2021
USFWS announced the 12-month findings for two freshwater turtle species, the Pascagoula map turtle (Graptemys gibbonsi) and the Pearl River map turtle (Graptemys pearlensis), as endangered or threatened species. The Pascagoula map turtle is endemic to the Pascagoula River drainage in Mississippi, and the Pearl River map turtle is endemic to the Pearl River drainage in Mississippi and Louisiana. They propose to list the Pearl River map turtle as a threatened species. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that it is not warranted at this time to list the Pascagoula map turtle; however, USFWS proposes to list the Pascagoula map turtle along with Alabama map turtle, Barbour's map turtle, and Escambia map turtle as threatened species due to similarity of appearance to the Pearl River map turtle. If finalized this rule would add the Pearl River map turtle, Alabama map turtle, Barbour's map turtle, Escambia map turtle, and Pascagoula map turtle to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 24 January 2022. POC is Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View Park, Jackson, MS 39213; tel 601-321-1122. (Federal Register 23 November 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 66624-66659)
Nov. 29, 2021
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Projects should increase access to the benefits of nature, reduce the impact of environmental hazards and engage local communities, particularly underserved communities, in project planning, outreach and implementation. It is expected that more than half of projects awarded will support underserved communities.
Nov. 19, 2021
A bill to codify certain regulations relating to endangered species and threatened species listing and critical habitat designation. (Congressional Record: 26 October 2021 [House] Pages H5929-H5931)
Nov. 18, 2021
The forests of the southern united states are regional, national and even global assets which must be managed to be sustainable, resilient and productive. However, these resources are threatened by climate change, land use changes, and invasive species. The Southern Forest Futures Project explored these changes and what they would mean for forest managers and landowners at the state, private and federal levels. Southern pines are especially vulnerable to new invasive pests or pathogens. A diverse group of managers and researchers are developing a plan – the Pine Pandemic Prevention Plan (P4) to provide managers with the tools they may need to deal with any new invasive that might threaten the health of pines in the South. This webinar will discuss the plan, and seeks input into its development.
Nov. 17, 2021
USFWS listed the Atlantic pigtoe, (Fusconaia masoni), a freshwater mussel species from Virginia and North Carolina, as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA. They also designate critical habitat for the species under the Act. In total, approximately 563 river miles (906 river kilometers) fall within 17 units of critical habitat in Bath, Botetourt, Brunswick, Craig, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, and Sussex Counties, Virginia, and in Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Johnston, Montgomery, Nash, Orange, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Rockingham, Vance, Wake, Warren, and Wilson Counties, North Carolina. This rule extends the Act's protections to the species and its designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 16 December 2021. Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel: 919-816-6408. (Federal Register 16 November 2021 [Rule] Pages 64000-64053.)
Nov. 15, 2021
USFWS is withdrawing the proposed rule to replace the existing regulations governing the North Carolina nonessential experimental population designation of the red wolf (Canis rufus) under section 10(j) of the ESA. Based on recent court decisions involving the North Carolina nonessential experimental population designation of the red wolf (NC NEP), having considered the public comments submitted in response to the proposed rule, and upon further consideration of the proposal, we have determined that withdrawing the proposed rule is the best course of action at this time. The NC NEP will be managed under the provisions of the existing regulations and as informed by relevant court orders. The USFWS is withdrawing the proposed rule published on 28 June 2018 (83 FR 30382), as of 15 November 2021. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel: 919-856-4520. (Federal Register 15 November 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62980-62982)
Nov. 12, 2021
A bill to codify a final rule of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service relating to the designation of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. (Congressional Record: 26 October 2021 [House] Pages H5929-H5931)
Nov. 10, 2021
USFWS revised the designation of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under ESA, by withdrawing the 15 January 2021, final rule that would have been effective 15 December 2021, and which would have excluded approximately 3.4 million acres (1.4 million hectares) of designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (January Exclusions Rule); and instead as they proposed on 20 July 2021, they now exclude approximately 204,294 acres (82,675 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. This rule is effective 10 December 2021. POC is Paul Henson, Ph.D., State Supervisor, USFWS, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Portland, OR 97266; tel: 503-231-6179 (Federal Register: 10 November 2021 [Rule] Pages 62606-62666).
Nov. 10, 2021
USFWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the bracted twistflower (Streptanthus bracteatus), a plant species from Texas, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list bracted twistflower as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (a "4(d) rule"). They also propose to designate critical habitat for the bracted twistflower under the Act. In total, approximately 1,606 acres (650 hectares) in Uvalde, Medina, Bexar, and Travis Counties in Texas fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. If finalized, this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species and its critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 January 2022. POC is Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; tel: 512-490-0057. (Federal Register: 10 November 2021 [Rule] Pages 62668-62705)
Nov. 9, 2021
USFWS announced their 12-month finding on a petition to list the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), North America's largest freshwater turtle species, as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the alligator snapping turtle as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized, this rule as proposed, it will add the species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 January 2022. Brigette Firmin, Deputy Field Supervisor, USFWS, Louisiana Ecological Services Field Office, 200 Dulles Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506; tele: 337-291-3108. (Federal Register 9 November 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62434-62463).
Nov. 9, 2021
USFWS proposes to list the Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni), a terrestrial tortoise from Libya, Egypt, and Israel, as a threatened species under the ESA. This determination also serves as our 12-month finding on a petition requesting that the Egyptian tortoise be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. After a review of the best scientific and commercial information available, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Egyptian tortoise, as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized, 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 will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 January 2022. Elizabeth Maclin, Chief, Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species, Ecological Services, USFWS, MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; tele: 703-358-2171. (Federal Register 9 November 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62122-62137).
Nov. 8, 2021
USFWS are extending the public comment period on our 7 September 2021, proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Miami tiger beetle ( Cicindelidia floridana ) under the ESA. They are taking this action to conduct a public hearing and to allow all interested parties additional time to comment. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. The comment period for the proposed rule published on 7 September 2021 (86 FR 49945), is extended. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 23 December 2021. Please note that comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date, and comments submitted by U.S. mail must be postmarked by that date to ensure consideration. Public hearing: On 2 December 2021, USFWS will hold a public hearing from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Eastern Time, using the Zoom platform. POC is Lourdes Mena, Division Manager, Florida Classification and Recovery, USFWS, Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256-7517; tel 904-731-3134. (Federal Register 8 November 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 61745-61746)
Nov. 5, 2021
A bill to codify a final rule of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service relating to endangered and threatened species (Congressional Record: 26 October 2021 [House] Pages H5929-H5931)
Nov. 4, 2021
A bill to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in western waters. (Congressional Record 22 October 2021 [House] Pages H5832-H5833)
Oct. 29, 2021
USFWS proposes new revisions to the existing experimental population designation of the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona and New Mexico under section 10(j) of the ESA. They are taking this action in response to a court-ordered remand of the 16 January 2015, final rule revising the regulations for the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf. This document proposes to modify the population objective, establish a genetic objective, and temporarily restrict three of the forms of take of Mexican wolves in the MWEPA that we adopted in the 16 January 2015, final rule. Proposing revisions to ensure the long-term conservation and recovery of the Mexican wolf. In addition, this document proposes to maintain the nonessential designation for the experimental population. They are not proposing to revise the geographic boundaries of the MWEPA. They are seeking comment from the public on the proposed regulatory revisions and on a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the proposed revisions. They will accept public comments received or postmarked on or before 27 January 2022. POC is Brady McGee, Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, USFWS, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, 2105 Osuna Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113; by tel: 505-761-4704 (Federal Register 29 October 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 59953-59975).
Oct. 26, 2021
USFWS propose critical habitat for the coastal distinct population segment of Pacific marten (coastal marten) (Martes caurina), a mammal species from coastal California and Oregon, under the ESA. In total, approximately 1,413,305 acres (571,965 hectares) in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. If finalized this rule as proposed, would extend the Act's protections to this entity's critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 27 December 2021. POC is Jenny Ericson, Acting Field Supervisor, USFWS, Arcata Ecological Services Field Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, California 95521, or by tele: 707-822-7201. (Federal Register 25 October 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 58831-58858)
Oct. 21, 2021
USFWS designated critical habitat for the narrow-headed gartersnake (Thamnophis rufipunctatus) under the ESA. In total, 23,785 acres (9,625 hectares) in Greenlee, Apache, Yavapai, Gila, and Coconino Counties, Arizona, and Grant, Hidalgo, and Catron Counties, New Mexico, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation for the narrow-headed gartersnake. This rule extends the Act's protections to the narrow-headed gartersnake's designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 22 November 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, Fish and Wildlife Office, 9828 North 31st Ave. #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517; tel 602-242-0210. (Federal Register 21 October 2021 [Rule] Pages 58474-58523)
Oct. 20, 2021
USFWS proposes to designate critical habitat for the federally endangered Southern Sierra Nevada distinct population segment (DPS) of fisher (Pekania pennanti) under the ESA. In total, they propose to designate approximately 554,454 acres (ac) (224,379 hectares (ha)) in six units in California as critical habitat for the Southern Sierra Nevada DPS of fisher. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 20 December 2021. POC is Michael Fris, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Rm. W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825; tel 916-414-6600. (Federal Register 19 October 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 57773-57801)
Oct. 18, 2021
USFWS are reclassifying the humpback chub (Gila cypha) from endangered to threatened under the ESA, due to substantial improvements in the species' overall status since its original listing as endangered in 1974. This action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information available, which indicates that the humpback chub no longer meets the definition of an endangered species under the Act. The humpback chub will remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. They are also finalizing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that provides for the conservation of the humpback chub. This rule is effective 17 November 2021. POC is Tom Chart, Director, tele: 303-236-9885. (Federal Register 18 October 2021 [Rule] Pages 57588-57610)
Oct. 14, 2021
USFWS proposes to list the bog buck moth (Hemileuca maia menyanthevora) (= H.iroquois), a moth that occurs in Oswego County, New York (NY), and Ontario, Canada, as an endangered species under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the bog buck moth as an endangered species under the Act. If finalized this rule would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. USFWS have determined that designation of critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent at this time. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 13 December 2021. POC is David A. Stilwell, Field Supervisor, USFWS, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045; tele 607-753-9334. (Federal Register 14 October 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 57104-57122)
Oct. 7, 2021
USFWS proposes to list Eriogonum tiehmii (hereafter Tiehm's buckwheat), a plant species native to Nevada in the United States, as endangered under the ESA. If finalized 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. They will accept any additional data, information, or comments received or postmarked on or before 6 December 2021. Marc Jackson, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Reno Ecological Services Field Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, Nevada 89502; tel 775-861-6337. (Federal Register 7 October 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 55775-55789).
Oct. 4, 2021
On 7 January 2021, the USFWS, published a final rule (January 7 rule) defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the MBTA. They now revoke that rule for the reasons set forth below. The immediate effect of this final rule is to return to implementing the MBTA as prohibiting incidental take and applying enforcement discretion, consistent with judicial precedent and longstanding agency practice prior to 2017. This rule is effective 3 December 2021. POC is Jerome Ford, Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, at 202-208-1050. (Federal Register 4 October 2021 [Rule] Pages 54642-54656)
Sep. 28, 2021
USFWS announce findings that 17 species are not warranted for listing as endangered or threatened species under the ESA. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to list Amargosa tryonia (Tryonia variegata), Ash Meadows pebblesnail (Pyrgulopsis erythropoma), boat-shaped bugseed (Corispermum navicula), Burrington jumping-slug (Hemphillia burringtoni), crystal springsnail (Pyrgulopsis crystalis), Dalles sideband (Monadenia fidelis minor), distal-gland springsnail (Pyrgulopsis nanus), early dark blue butterfly (Euphilotes ancilla purpura), Fairbanks springsnail (Pyrgulopsis fairbanksensis), late dark blue butterfly (Euphilotes ancilla cryptica), median-gland springsnail (Pyrgulopsis pisteri), minute tryonia (Tryonia ericae), Point of Rocks tryonia (Tryonia elata), southern rubber boa (Charina umbratica), southwest Nevada pyrg (Pyrgulopsis turbatrix), sportinggoods tryonia (Tryonia angulata), and Virgin spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis mollispinis). USFWS is asking the public to submit any new information relevant to the status of any of the species mentioned above or their habitats. The findings in this document were made on 27 September 2021.
Sep. 23, 2021
International collaboration between Canada, Mexico and the United States on environmental issues of common interest. The CEC's cooperative work program focuses on shared North American environmental priorities identified by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Sep. 9, 2021
USFWS determined endangered species status under the ESA, for the slenderclaw crayfish (Cambarus cracens), a cryptic freshwater crustacean that is endemic to streams on Sand Mountain within the Tennessee River Basin in DeKalb and Marshall Counties, Alabama. This rule adds this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. In addition, they designate approximately 78 river miles (126 river kilometers) in DeKalb and Marshall Counties, Alabama, as critical habitat for the species under the Act. This rule is effective 8 October 2021. POC is William Pearson, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, 1208-B Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526; tele 251-441-5870. (Federal Register 8 September 2021 [Rule] Pages 50264-50287)
Sep. 7, 2021
USFWS announce their 90-day finding in response to a petition to revise critical habitat for the jaguar (Panthera onca) pursuant to the ESA. The petition requests the Service to revise the existing critical habitat designation by removing approximately 20,234 hectares (50,000 acres) of land in the northern Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona and an adjoining critical habitat subunit, including land containing the proposed Rosemont Mine. Their 90-day finding is that the petition does not present substantial scientific information indicating that the requested revision to the critical habitat designation may be warranted. The finding announced in this document was made on 7 September 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office; Arizona Ecological Services Field Office at 9828 North 31st Ave. C3, Phoenix, AZ; tele 602-242-0210. (Federal Register: 7 September 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 49985-49989)
Sep. 1, 2021
USFWS proposes to remove the snail darter (Percina tanasi), a small freshwater fish native to the Tennessee River watershed, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). Their review of the best available scientific and commercial data indicates that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the ESA. If finalized this rule as proposed, the prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act, particularly through sections 7 and 9, would no longer apply to the snail darter. They request information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule to remove the snail darter from the List (i.e., "delist" the species). They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 1 November 2021. POC is Daniel Elbert, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, TN 38506; tele (931) 528-6481 (Federal Register 1 September 2021 [Rule] Pages 49035-49037)
Sep. 1, 2021
USFWS, determined threatened species status under the ESA, for Bartram's stonecrop (Graptopetalum bartramii), a plant known from Arizona and Mexico. They also issue a final rule under the authority of section 4(d) (a "4(d) rule") of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of Bartram's stonecrop. They have determined that designation of critical habitat for Bartram's stonecrop is not prudent. This rule is effective 30 September 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Avenue, #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517. (Federal Register 31 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 48545-48569)
Aug. 27, 2021
A bill to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to affirm that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act's prohibition on the unauthorized take or killing of migratory birds includes incidental take by commercial activities, and to direct the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to regulate such incidental take. (Congressional Record: 29 July 2021 [House] Pages H4289-H4293)
Aug. 26, 2021
USFWS proposes to list six Central Texas mussel species: The Guadalupe fatmucket (Lampsilis bergmanni), Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata), Texas fawnsfoot (Truncilla macrodon), Guadalupe orb (Cyclonaias necki), Texas pimpleback (Cyclonaias petrina), and false spike (Fusconaia mitchelli) as endangered or threatened under ESA. After review they find that listing Guadalupe fatmucket, Texas fatmucket, Guadalupe orb, Texas pimpleback, and false spike as endangered species is warranted, and listing Texas fawnsfoot as a threatened species is warranted. Proposed arule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule') for Texas fawnsfoot. If finalized this rule would add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. They also propose to designate critical habitat for six species under the Act. Approximately 1,944 river miles (3,129 river kilometers) in Texas fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designations, and the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 25 October 2021. POC is Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; tele (512) 490-0057. (Federal Register 26 August 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 47916-48011).
Aug. 25, 2021
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) under the ESA. They designate a total of approximately 1,315 acres (538 hectares) of critical habitat for these species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. This rule extends the Act's protections to the Georgetown salamander's and Salado salamander's designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 17 September 2021. POC is Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; tele 512-490-0057. [Federal Register 18 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 46536-46578).
Aug. 25, 2021
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Amur sturgeon (Acipenser schrenckii), a fish species from the Amur River basin in Russia and China, as an endangered species under the ESA. After a review of the best scientific and commercial information available, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Amur sturgeon as an endangered species under the Act. If finalized 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. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 25 October 2021. POC is Elizabeth Maclin, Chief, Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; tele, 703-358-2171. [Federal Register 25 August 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 47457-47468)]
Aug. 25, 2021
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are listing the Franklin's bumble bee (Bombus franklini), an invertebrate species from Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine Counties in Oregon, and Siskiyou and Trinity Counties in California, as an endangered species under the ESA. This rule adds this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and applies the protections of the Act to this species. They are not designating critical habitat for the Franklin's bumble bee because they determined that such a designation would not be beneficial to the species. This rule is effective 23 September 2021. POC is Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Ave., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; tele 503-231-6179. [Federal Register 24 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 47221-47238)].
Aug. 25, 2021
This August 2021 edition of The Corps Environment highlights considering the environment when employing a risk management and systems approach, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #5. Content includes commentary from Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment and Energy Resilience), and highlights initiatives across the Army environmental community. Content includes:
  • U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) discusses their formation of a tiger team to tackle climate change
  • U.S. Army Environmental Command highlights how the Army's commitment to endangered species is enhancing training lands
  • USACE Far East District shares how they are leading biodiversity efforts for American forces in Korea
  • USACE Omaha District discusses how they are leveraging an innovative approach to clean up and restore a formerly used defense site
  • ERDC highlights how USACE and its partners received an international award for the Tyndall Coastal Resilience Study.
  • Aug. 24, 2021
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are removing Cumberland sandwort (Arenaria cumberlandensis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (List). This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that Cumberland sandwort has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the ESA. The review shows that threats to the species identified at the time of listing (i.e., timber harvesting, trampling from recreational uses, and digging for archaeological artifacts) have been reduced to the point that they no longer pose a threat to the species, and the known range and abundance of Cumberland sandwort have increased. Their review also indicates that potential effects of projected climate change are not expected to cause the species to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act will no longer apply to this species. This rule is effective 15 September 2021. POC is Daniel Elbert, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, TN 38501; tele (931) 528-6481. (Federal Register 16 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 45685-45698).
    Aug. 6, 2021
    USFWS are removing Trifolium stoloniferum (running buffalo clover) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants on the basis of recovery. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, including comments received, which indicate that the threats to running buffalo clover have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the ESA. This rule is effective 7 September 2021. POC is Patrice Ashfield, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Ecological Services Field Office, 4625 Morse Road, Suite 104, Columbus, OH 43230; tel 614-416-8993. (Federal Register 6 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 43102-43117)
    Aug. 2, 2021
    NMFS issued a final rule to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA by designating six additional coastal critical habitat areas along the U.S. West Coast. Specific newly designated areas along the U.S. West Coast include 15,910 square miles (mi2) (41,207 square kilometers (km2)) of marine waters between the 20-feet (ft) (6.1-meter (m)) depth contour and the 656.2-ft (200-m) depth contour from the U.S. international border with Canada south to Point Sur, California. They have excluded one area, the Quinault Range Site (including a 10-km buffer around a portion of the site), comprising 1,400.4 mi2 (3627 km2), from the critical habitat designation because we have determined that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, and exclusion will not result in extinction of the species. This rule is effective 1 September 2021. POC is Lynne Barre, NMFS West Coast Region, 206-526-4745; or Lisa Manning, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8466. (Federal Register 2 August 2021 [Rule] pages 414668-41698)
    Jul. 27, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide for improved precision in the listing, delisting, and downlisting of endangered species and potentially endangered species. (Congressional Record: 17 June 2021 [House] Pages H2925-H2928)
    Jul. 21, 2021
    A bill to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to extend the Federal framework closing date for the hunting of ducks, mergansers, and coots, and for other purposes. (Congressional Record 21 June 2021 [Senate] Pages S4655-S4656)
    Jul. 2, 2021
    USFWS designate critical habitat for the Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri) under the ESA. In total, approximately 190 miles (306 kilometers) of stream channels in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, and Union Counties, Florida, and Brooks and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The effect of this regulation is to designate critical habitat for the Suwannee moccasinshell under the Act. This rule is effective 2 August 2021. Jay B. Herrington, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Panama City Ecological Services Field Office, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405; tel 850-769-0552. (Federal Register 1 July 2021 [Rule] Pages 34979-34998)
    Jul. 2, 2021
    USFWS proposes to reclassify from endangered to threatened ("downlist") the smooth coneflower (Echinacea laevigata) under the ESA due to improvements in the species' overall status since the original listing in 1992. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates 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, but that it is still likely to become so in the foreseeable future. This proposed rule completes the 5-year status review for the species, initiated on 12 March 2018. If this proposal is finalized, smooth coneflower would be reclassified as a threatened species under the Act. USFWS seek information, data, and comments from the public on this proposal. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or 23 August 2021. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551-F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel: (919) 856-4520. (Federal Register 24 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 33159-33176)
    Jul. 2, 2021
    USFWS are removing the Kanab ambersnail (Oxyloma haydeni kanabensis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific information. Our review indicates that the Kanab ambersnail is not a valid subspecies and therefore cannot be listed as an endangered entity under the ESA. This rule is effective 26 July 2021. POC is Yvette Converse, Field Supervisor, tel: 801-975-3330. (Federal Register 24 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 33137-33142)
    Jun. 24, 2021
    EPA is now accepting applications for a total of $9 million in grants to fund about 24 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects to address stormwater runoff pollution from land into water bodies. The funding is made possible by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
    Jun. 24, 2021
    USFWS are removing Lepanthes eltoroensis (no common name), an orchid species from Puerto Rico, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, due to recovery. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. Accordingly, the prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act will no longer apply to this species. This rule is effective 16 July 2021. POC is Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office. (Federal Register 16 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 31972-31986)
    Jun. 24, 2021
    USFWS are removing water howellia (Howellia aquatilis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. The best available scientific and commercial data indicate that threats to water howellia identified at the time of listing in 1994 are not as significant as originally determined and are being adequately managed. Therefore, the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the ESA. This determination is based on a thorough review of all available information, which indicates that this species' populations and distribution are much greater than were known at the time of listing and that threats to this species have been sufficiently minimized. This rule is effective 16 July 2021. POC is Jodi Bush, Office Supervisor, telephone: 406-449-5225. Direct all questions or requests for additional information to: WATER HOWELLIA QUESTIONS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Ecological Services Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Suite 1, Helena, MT 59601. (Federal Register 16 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 31955-31972)
    Jun. 22, 2021
    USFWS determined that the beardless chinchweed (Pectis imberbis) is an endangered species under the ESA, and designate critical habitat. In total, approximately 10,604 acres (4,291 hectares) in Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. This rule is effective 15 July 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Avenue, #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517. (Federal Register 15 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 31830-31868)
    Jun. 9, 2021
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed two North Carolina species, the Carolina madtom (Noturus furiosus) as endangered, and the Neuse River waterdog (Necturus lewisi) as threatened, under the ESA. They also issue a rule under section 4(d) of the Act for the Neuse River waterdog, to provide for the conservation of this species. In addition, they designate critical habitat for both species under the Act. For the Carolina madtom, approximately 257 river miles (mi) (414 river kilometers (km)) fall within 7 units of critical habitat in Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Johnston, Jones, Nash, Orange, Vance, Warren, and Wilson Counties, North Carolina. For the Neuse River waterdog, approximately 779 river mi (1,254 river km) fall within 18 units of critical habitat in Craven, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Orange, Person, Pitt, Wake, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson Counties, North Carolina. This rule extends the Act's protections to these species and their designated critical habitats. This rule is effective 9 July 2021. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel 919-816-6408. (Federal Register 9 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 30688-30751).
    Jun. 4, 2021
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list Tiehm's buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. The Service has determined, after a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, that the petitioned action to list Tiehm's buckwheat, a plant species native to Nevada in the United States, is warranted. The Service, therefore, will promptly publish a proposed rule to list Tiehm's buckwheat under the Act. The finding in this document was made on 4 June 2021. POC is Marc Jackson, Reno Ecological Services Field Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; tel 775-861-6337. (Federal Register 4 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 29975-29977)
    Jun. 3, 2021
    USFWS proposes to list two Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern Colorado, western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the lesser prairie-chicken. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the Southern DPS as endangered is warranted, and that listing the Northern DPS as threatened is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Southern DPS as an endangered species under the Act and the Northern DPS as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized it will add these two DPSs to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the ESA's protections to them. They also are notifying the public that we have scheduled informational meetings followed by public hearings on the proposed rule. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 2 August 2021. (Federal Register 1 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 29432-29482).
    May. 19, 2021
    A bill to enact as law certain regulations relating to the taking of double-crested cormorants. (Congressional Record: 25 March 2021 [Senate] Pages S1813-S1816)
    May. 18, 2021
    A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue a final rule relating to removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bears from the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife. (Congressional Record: 25 March 2021 [Senate] Pages S1813-S1816)
    May. 11, 2021
    On 7 January 2021, the USFWS published a final rule defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the MBTA. USFWS are now proposing to revoke that rule for the reasons set forth below. The effect of this proposed rule would be to return to implementing the MBTA as prohibiting incidental take and applying enforcement discretion, consistent with judicial precedent. They request public comments on this proposed rule on or before 7 June 2021. POC is Jerome Ford, Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, at 202-208-1050. (Federal Register: 7 May 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 24573-24581)7345632
    May. 7, 2021
    The Biden-Harris administration outlined a vision for how the United States can work collaboratively to conserve and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife that support and sustain the nation. The recommendations are contained in a report outlining a locally led and voluntary nationwide conservation goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The report calls for a decade-long effort to support locally led and voluntary conservation and restoration efforts across public, private, and Tribal lands and waters in order to create jobs and strengthen the economy's foundation; tackle the climate and nature crises; and address inequitable access to the outdoors.
    May. 5, 2021
    NMFS is issuing a proposed rule to remove a coral, Siderastrea glynni, from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species as recommended in the recent 5-year review of the species under the ESA. They propose this action based on recently obtained genetic and morphological information that demonstrates that S. glynni does not meet the statutory definition of a species, and therefore does not qualify for listing under the ESA. Information and comments on the subject action must be received by 6 July 2021. POC is Adrienne Lohe, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, email: Adrienne.Lohe@noaa.gov, tel: (301) 427-8442. (Federal Register 4 May 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 23657-23659).
    May. 5, 2021
    USFWS proposes to remove the San Clemente Bell's sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli clementeae) (formerly known as the San Clemente sage sparrow, Amphispiza belli clementeae), San Clemente Island bush-mallow (Malacothamnus clementinus), San Clemente Island paintbrush (Castilleja grisea), San Clemente Island lotus (Acmispon dendroideus var. traskiae), and San Clemente Island larkspur (Delphinium variegatum ssp. kinkiense) from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists). The bird species and four plant species occur only on San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands off the southern coast of California. The proposed delistings are based on our evaluation of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the species' statuses have improved and threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species have recovered and no longer meet the definitions of either endangered or threatened species under the ESA. If this proposal is finalized, these species will be removed from the Lists. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 6 July 2021. POC is Scott Sobiech, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008; telephone 760-431-9440. (Federal Register 5 May 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 23882-23913).
    May. 5, 2021
    USFWS announced findings that three salamander species, the Samwel salamander (Hydromantes samweli), Shasta salamander, (H. shastae), and Wintu salamander (H. wintu), are not warranted for listing as endangered or threatened species under the ESA . However, they ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of any of the three species or their habitats. The findings in this document were made on 5 May 2021. POC is Jenny Ericson, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office, 1829 S Oregon St., Yreka, CA 96097; tel: 530-841-3115. (Federal Register 5 May 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 23869-23872).
    May. 4, 2021
    USFWS, designated critical habitat for the northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops) under the ESA. In total, approximately 20,326 acres (8,226 hectares) in La Paz, Mohave, Yavapai, Gila, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima Counties, Arizona, and Grant County, New Mexico, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation for the northern Mexican gartersnake. This rule extends the Act's protections to the northern Mexican gartersnake's designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 28 May 2021. Jeff Humphrey, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Ave #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517; tel 602-242-0210. (Federal Register 28 April 2021 [Rule] pages 22518-22580)
    May. 4, 2021
    USFWS are delaying the effective date of a final rule we published on 15 January 2021, revising the designation of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under the ESA. This second delay is necessary to avoid placing undue risk on the conservation of northern spotted owl caused by allowing exclusions from its designated critical habitat to go into effect while the Service prepares a revision or withdrawal of the 15 January 2021, rule through additional rulemaking to address apparent defects; this second delay is also necessary to avoid confusion and disruption with Federal agencies in the implementation of section 7 of the ESA while the Service initiates and completes the rulemaking process for revising or withdrawing the 15 January 2021, rule. As of 29 April 2021, the effective date of the final rule published 15 January 2021, at 86 FR 4820, and delayed on 1 March 2021 (86 FR 11892), is further delayed until 15 December 2021. POC Paul Henson, State Supervisor, USFWS, Portland, OR 97030, tel 503-231-6179. (Federal Register 30 April 2021 [Rule] pages 22876-22882).
    May. 4, 2021
    USFWS proposes to list the Big Creek crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish as threatened species with section 4(d) rules and designations of critical habitat on 17 September 2020. They announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending 16 November 2020. They now reopened the public comment period to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. They also announce a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 27 May 2021. POC is Karen Herrington, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, 101 Park DeVille Drive, Suite A, Columbia, MO 65203-0057; tel 573-234-2132. (Federal Register 27 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] pages 22127-22129)
    Apr. 30, 2021
    USFWS determined endangered species status under the ESA, for the Yangtze sturgeon (Acipenser dabryanus). Loss of individuals due to overharvesting on the Yangtze River is the main factor that contributed to the historical decline of the species. Despite conservation efforts, this species is still currently in decline, due primarily to the effects of dams and bycatch. This rule adds the Yangtze sturgeon to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This rule is effective 26 May 2021. POC is Maricela Constantino, Acting Chief, Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, USFWS, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: ES, Falls Church, VA 22041; tel: 703-358-2171. (Federal Register: 26 April 2021 [Rule] pages 21950-21961).
    Apr. 30, 2021
    USFWS is reopening the public comment periods on two proposed rules to allow all interested parties additional time to comment, and to conduct a public hearing. The two relevant proposed rules are date 30 September 2020, a proposed rule to reclassify the endangered Virgin Islands tree boa (Chilabothrus granti) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA; and the 21 October 2020, proposed rule to reclassify the endangered plant Eugenia woodburyana (no common name) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rules. The comment periods for the proposed rules published on September 30, 2020, at 85 FR 61700, and October 21, 2020, at 85 FR 66906, are reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 26 May 2021. POC is Edwin E. Muñiz, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, at either: Road 301 Km 5.1, Corozo Ward, Boquerón, PR 00622; or P.O. Box 491, Boquerón, PR 00622. Tel: 787-405-3641. (Federal Register: 26 April 2021 [Rule] pages 22005-22006).
    Apr. 30, 2021
    USFWS proposes to remove the dwarf-flowered heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora), a plant endemic to the upper Piedmont region of western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (List). This determination is based on a thorough review of 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 no longer meets the definition of a threatened species, and does not meet the definition of an endangered species, under the ESA. They also announce the availability of a draft post-delisting monitoring (PDM) plan for the dwarf-flowered heartleaf. USFWS seek information, data, and comments from the public regarding this proposal to delist this species and on the draft PDM plan. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 25 June 2021. POC is Janet Mizzi, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Asheville Ecological Services Field Office, 160 Zillicoa St., Asheville, NC 28801; telephone 828-258-3939. (Federal Register: 26 April 2021 [Rule] pages 21994-22005).
    Apr. 29, 2021
    NMFS issued this final rule to designate critical habitat for the endangered Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS), the endangered Central America DPS, and the threatened Mexico DPS of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) pursuant to section 4 of the ESA. Specific areas designated as critical habitat for the Western North Pacific DPS of humpback whales contain approximately 59,411 square nautical miles (nmi2) of marine habitat in the North Pacific Ocean, including areas within the eastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Specific areas designated as critical habitat for the Central America DPS of humpback whales contain approximately 48,521 nmi2 of marine habitat in the North Pacific Ocean within the portions of the California Current Ecosystem off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Specific areas designated as critical habitat for the Mexico DPS of humpback whales contain approximately 116,098 nmi2 of marine habitat in the North Pacific Ocean, including areas within portions of the eastern Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and California Current Ecosystem. This rule becomes effective on 21 May 2021. POC is Lisa Manning, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8466. (Federal Register: 21 April 2021 [Rule] pages 21082-21157)
    Apr. 29, 2021
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), designated critical habitat for the western distinct population segment of the yellow-billed cuckoo (western yellow-billed cuckoo) (Coccyzus americanus) under the ESA. In total, approximately 298,845 acres (120,939 hectares) are now being designated as critical habitat in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. This rule extends the Act's protections to critical habitat for this species. This rule is effective 21 May 2021. POC is Michael Fris, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825; or by telephone 916-414-6600. (Federal Register: 21 April 2021 [Rule] pages 20798-21005)
    Apr. 19, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species, to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to permit the taking of certain black vultures and ravens. (Congressional Record: 10 March 2021 [Senate] Pages S1458-S1460)
    Apr. 19, 2021
    USFWS reopened the public comment period on the proposed rule to list the Panama City crayfish (Procambarus econfinae) as a threatened species under the ESA; propose a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule") for the species; and propose to designate critical habitat for the Panama City crayfish under ESA. In total, approximately 7,177 acres (2,904 hectares) in Bay County, Florida, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation, all of which are currently occupied by the species. They also announced the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) for the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Panama City crayfish. They will accept comments on the proposed listing, 4(d) rule, and critical habitat designation, as well as the draft economic analysis, during the open comment period. The comment period on the proposed rule that published 3 January 2018 (83 FR 330), is reopened. USFWS will accept comments on that proposed rule, as well as the new proposals described in this document, that are received or postmarked on or before 14 June 2021. POC is Jay Herrington, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405; tel: 904-731-3191. (Federal Register 15 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 19838-19863)
    Apr. 13, 2021
    USFWS recently proposed to reclassify the beach layia (Layia carnosa) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA. They are reopening the proposed rule comment period to give all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule, and they announced a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 13 May 2021. POC is Jenny Ericson, Acting Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Rd., Arcata, CA 95521; tel: 707-822-7201. (Federal Register 13 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 19184-19185)
    Apr. 13, 2021
    USFWS propose to affirm the listing of the streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata), a bird species from Washington and Oregon, as a threatened species under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they again conclude that listing the species as threatened is warranted. They also propose to revise the rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule") for this bird. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it will maintain this species as a threatened species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and continue to extend the Act's protections to the species. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 14 June 2021. POC is Paul Henson, State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; tel: 503-231-6179. (Federal Register 13 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 19186-19207)
    Apr. 8, 2021
    USFWS designated critical habitat for the yellow lance (Elliptio lanceolata) under the ESA. In total, approximately 319 river miles (mi) (514 kilometers (km)) fall within 11 units of critical habitat in Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Vance, Wake, and Warren Counties, North Carolina; Brunswick, Craig, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Fauquier, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Nottoway, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties, Virginia; and Howard and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. This rule extends the Act's protections to the yellow lance's designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 10 May 2021. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; telephone 919-856-4520. (Federal Register: 8 April 2021 [Rule] Pages 18189-18215)
    Apr. 7, 2021
    USFWS designated critical habitat for the candy darter (Etheostoma osburni) under the ESA. In total, approximately 593 stream kilometers (368 stream miles) in Virginia and West Virginia fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The effect of this final rule is to designate critical habitat under the Act for the candy darter, an endangered species of fish. This rule becomes effective on 7 May 2021. POC is Acting Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office, 90 Vance Drive, Elkins, WV 26241; tel: 304-636-6586. (Federal Register 7 April 2021 [Rule] Pages 17956-17992).
    Apr. 7, 2021
    The Urban Waters Program works with urban and metropolitan areas, particularly those that are under-served and economically distressed, connect with their watersheds and work to improve them. Environmental justice remains a central principal of the program by ensuring community-based organizations and non-profits working in underserved and under-resourced communities are connected to our federal partnership locations and online resources. EPA Urban Waters is pleased to share the latest Progress Report from the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The progress report summarizes the accomplishments and significant milestones of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) which carries out this critical work through location Ambassadors, local coordinators. Ambassadors facilitate on-the-ground collaboration working to improve water quality, revitalize local communities and provide education and outreach.
    Apr. 5, 2021
    A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue a final rule relating to removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bears from the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife. (Congressional Record: 26 February 2021 [House] Pages H855-H859)
    Mar. 26, 2021
    USFWS proposes to reclassify (downlist) the Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) from endangered to threatened under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that the subspecies' status has improved such that it is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but that it is still likely to become so in the foreseeable future. They also propose a rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that provides for the conservation of the Hawaiian stilt. Additionally, they also recognize the name "aeo" as an alternative common name. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 24 May 2021. POC is Katherine Mullett, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850; tel 808-792-9400. (Federal Register 25 March 2021 [Proposed Rule] pages 15855-15876)
    Mar. 19, 2021
    A bill to exempt certain wildfire mitigation activities from certain environmental requirements. (Congressional Record: 8 February 2021 [House] Pages H479-H483)
    Mar. 15, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that nonnative species in the United States shall not be treated as endangered species or threatened species for purposes of that Act. (Congressional Record: 8 February 2021 [House] Pages H479-H483)
    Mar. 9, 2021
    USFWS determine endangered species status for the Missouri distinct population segment (DPS) of eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis), a salamander species. This rule adds this DPS of this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This rule is effective 8 April 2021. POC is Karen Herrington, Field Supervisor, Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, 101 Park DeVille Drive, Suite A, Columbia, MO 65203; tel: 573-234-2132. (Federal Register 9 March 2021 [Rule] Pages 13465-13475.
    Mar. 8, 2021
    USFWS removed Bradshaw's lomatium (Lomatium bradshawii, also known as Bradshaw's desert parsley), a plant found in western Oregon and southwestern Washington, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. Their review of the best available scientific and commercial data indicates that the threats to Bradshaw's lomatium have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. This rule is effective 7 April 2021. Paul Henson, State Supervisor, USFWS, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; tel: 503-231-6179. (Federal Register: 8 March 2021 [Rule] pages 13200-13215)
    Mar. 5, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to vest in the Secretary of the Interior functions under that Act with respect to species of fish that spawn in fresh or estuarine waters and migrate to ocean waters, and species of fish that spawn in ocean waters and migrate to fresh waters. (Congressional Record: 5 February 2021 [House] Pages H466-H469)
    Mar. 4, 2021
    USFWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Arizona eryngo (Eryngium sparganophyllum), a plant species native to Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, and to Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico, as an endangered species and to designate critical habitat in Arizona under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Arizona eryngo as an endangered species under ESA. If finalized this rule as proposed, would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and extend the Act's protections to the species. USFWS also propose to designate critical habitat for the Arizona eryngo under the Act. In total, approximately 13.0 acres (5.3 hectares) in Pima and Cochise Counties, Arizona, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. Comments will be accepted on or before 3 May 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Ave. C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517; tel:602-242-0210. Click here for more
    Mar. 2, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to include a prohibition on the listing of a living nonnative species as a threatened species or an endangered species. (Congressional Record: 8 February 2021 [Senate] Pages S571-S573)
    Feb. 17, 2021
    A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to prohibit the use of lead ammunition on United States Fish and Wildlife Service lands. (Congressional Record: 21 January 2021 [House] Pages H220-H224)
    Feb. 17, 2021
    This edition highlights proactively considering environmental consequences and acting accordingly, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #2. Content includes commentary from Dr. Edmond Russo, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory Director, and highlights initiatives across the Army environmental community.
    Feb. 10, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to exclude the gray wolf from the authority of such Act, to remove the gray wolf from the lists of threatened species and endangered species published pursuant to such Act. (Congressional Record: 12 January 2021 [House] Pages H148-H149)
    Feb. 9, 2021
    On 7 January 2021, FWS, published a final rule ("MBTA rule") defining the scope of the MBTA as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the MBTA. FWS are delaying the MBTA rule's effective date until 8 March 2021, in conformity with the Congressional Review Act (CRA). They request public comments to inform our review of this final rule and to determine whether the further extension of the effective date is necessary. As of 5 February 2021, the effective date of the rule that published on 7 January 2021, at 86 FR 1134, is delayed until 8 March 2021. POC is Jerome Ford, Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, at 202-208-1050. (Federal Register: 9 February 2021 [Rule] Pages 8715-8717)
    Jan. 22, 2021
    A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act to prevent a species that is not native to the United States from being listed as an endangered species or a threatened species, to prohibit certain types of financial assistance. (Congressional Record: 4 January 2021 [House] Pages H43-H51)
    Jan. 19, 2021
    USFWS proposes to reclassify (downlist) Furbish's lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae) from an endangered species to a threatened species under the ESA. This information is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates the threats to the species have been reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species under the Act. They request information and comments from the public on this proposal. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 16 March 2021. POC is Project Leader, Maine Ecological Services Field Office, 306 Hatchery Road, East Orland, ME 04431; tel: 207-902-1567. (Federal Register: 15 January 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 3976-3986).
    Jan. 13, 2021
    USFWS are removing the inland population of the least tern (Interior least tern) (Sterna (now Sternula) antillarum), from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicates that the Interior least tern has recovered and the threats to the Interior least tern have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or threatened species under ESA. Accordingly, the prohibitions and protections provided by the Act will no longer apply to the Interior least tern. This rule is effective 12 February 2021. Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Jackson, MS 39213; tel (601) 321-1122. (Federal Register: 13 January 2021 [Rule] Pages 2564-2581)
    Jan. 11, 2021
    NMFS, announced revisions to their 9 December 2014, proposed designation of critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies of the ringed seal (Pusa hispida hispida) under ESA. The revised proposed designation comprises an area of marine habitat in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. Based on consideration of national security impacts, they also propose to exclude a particular area north of the Beaufort Sea shelf from the designation. NMFS seeks comments on all aspects of the revised proposed critical habitat designation and will consider information received before issuing a final designation. Comments must be received by 9 March 2021. Public hearings on the revised proposed rule will be held in Alaska. POC is Tammy Olson, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 271-5006; Jon Kurland, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 586-7638. (Federal Register 8 January 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 1452-1474)
    Jan. 11, 2021
    NMFS proposes to designate critical habitat for the Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies Erignathus barbatus nauticus under the ESA. The proposed designation comprises an area of marine habitat in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. NMFS seeks comments on all aspects of the proposed critical habitat designation and will consider information received before issuing a final designation. Comments must be received by 9 March 2020. Public hearings on the proposed rule will be held in Alaska. POC is Tammy Olson, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 271-5006; Jon Kurland, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 586-7638. (Federal Register 8 January 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 1433-1452)
    Jan. 11, 2021
    UFWS define the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the Act. USFWS determine that the MBTA's prohibitions on pursuing, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to do the same, apply only to actions directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs. This rule is effective 8 February 2021. POC is Jerome Ford, Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, tele: 202-208-1050. (Federal Register 1 January 2021 [Rule] Pages 1134-1165)
    Jan. 4, 2021
    USFWS is reclassifying the June sucker (Chasmistes liorus) from endangered to threatened under the ESA, due to substantial improvements in the species' overall status since its original listing as endangered in 1986. This action is based on a thorough review of the best scientific and commercial data available, which indicates that the June sucker no longer meets the definition of an endangered species under the Act. The June sucker will remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. This rule is effective 3 February 2021. POC is Yvette Converse, Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2369 Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, UT 84119; tele: 801-975-3330. (Federal Register 4 January 2021 [Rule] Pages 192-212).
    Dec. 18, 2020
    USFWS amended portions of their regulations that implement section 4 of the ESA. The revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates their consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. These regulations outline when and how the Service will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts that they will consider. This rule, reflects agency experience, codifies some current agency practices, makes some modifications to current agency practice, and responds to applicable Supreme Court case law. The intended effect of this rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders. This final regulation is effective on 19 January 2021. POC is Gary Frazer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, tel: 202/208-4646. (Federal Register 18 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 82376-82389)
    Dec. 16, 2020
    USFWS and NMFS, added a definition of "habitat" to their regulations that implement section 4 of the ESA. This rulemaking responds to Supreme Court case law regarding the designation of critical habitat and provides transparency, clarity, and consistency for stakeholders. This final regulation is effective on 15 January 2021. POCs are Gary Frazer, USFWS, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, tel: (202) 208-4646; or Samuel D. Rauch, III, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, tel: (301) 427-8403. (Federal Register 16 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 81411-81421)
    Dec. 15, 2020
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as an endangered species under the ESA. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that reclassification of the northern spotted owl from a threatened species to an endangered species is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. They will develop a proposed rule to reclassify the northern spotted owl as our priorities allow. The finding in this document was made on 15 December 2020. POC is Paul Henson, State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, tel: 503-231-6179, email: paul_henson@fws.gov. (Federal Register 15 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 81144-81152)
    Dec. 1, 2020
    The USFWS recently proposed to change the status of the red-cockaded woodpecker from "endangered" to "threatened." The Service also proposed a "4(d) rule" – new regulations that will govern how landowners can manage their forests when this species is present. In this webinar, the General Counsel & Director of Regulatory Affairs at Forest Landowners Association will provide an overview of the USFWS proposal, an analysis of how it affects forest landowners, a summary of the key issues.
    Nov. 23, 2020
    This edition highlights fostering sustainability as a way of life, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #1. Content includes: commentary from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, discussing how sustainability ensures mission success in the present and future; and features sustainability initiatives across the Army environmental community. This issue also recognizes Mike Pomeroy, Detroit Dam Power Plant Operator with USACE Portland District, who in addition to protecting himself and our infrastructure during a wilderness wildfire, took additional action to protect the water supply for Salem, Oregon.
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