Federal Register Opportunities

The Federal Register is a daily publication by the United States Government, known as the newspaper of the federal government. It includes executive orders, public notices, proclamations, and proposed and final administrative regulations for federal agencies. It also provides opportunities for the public to comment on proposed rules before they are finalized. Public comments can be submitted in writing, orally at a hearing, or, in some cases, online via e-mail.  Comment periods are typically between 30 and 90 days, though they do vary. Instructions on how, when, and where to submit comments for each proposed regulation are available in the Register and agencies are required to list the name and telephone number of a spokesperson to contact for more information. Agencies are also required to address significant issues introduced in comments and publicize changes made in response.

See below for upcoming meetings and current public comment opportunities on issues relevant to ecology.

Upcoming Public Meetings:

Opportunities for Public Comment and Nominations:

  • Army Corps of Engineers – Solicitation of Applications for Stakeholder Representative Members of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee
    The Commander of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting applications to fill vacant stakeholder representative member positions on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee. Members are sought to fill vacancies on a committee to represent various categories of interests within the Missouri River basin. The MRRIC was formed to advise the Corps on a study of the Missouri River and its tributaries and to provide guidance to the Corps with respect to the Missouri River recovery and mitigation activities currently underway. The agency must receive completed applications and endorsement letters no later than July 24, 2020.
  • BLM – Notice of Availability of the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Resource Management Plan Amendments for 9 BLM-Wyoming Resource Management Plans
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment for the proposed Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative within the BLM Cody, Worland, Buffalo, Casper, Lander, Pinedale, Kemmerer, Rawlins and Rock Springs field offices. Comments must be received by July 16, 2020.
  • BLM – Forest Management Decision Protest Process and Timber Sale Administration
    The Bureau of Land Management proposes to revise its regulations for protests of forest management decisions and administration of the timber sale process. This proposed rule would streamline the process for sale of forest products by the BLM. Existing regulatory requirements are poorly defined, repetitive, and burdensome. The proposed rule would improve the BLM’s ability to conduct active forest management, while reducing burdens to the public and the administration of BLM lands. Please submit comments on this proposed rule to the BLM on or before August 7, 2020.
  • BLM and Bureau of Reclamation – Notice of Availability of the Lake Powell Pipeline Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment
    The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management and four other cooperating agencies, announce the availability of the Lake Powell Pipeline Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Arizona Strip Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) (Draft EIS/Draft RMPA) for public review and comment for 90 days. The Draft EIS/Draft RMPA describes the potential environmental impacts of the No Action Alternative and two action alternatives for the LPP, proposed by the Utah Board of Water Resources. The public comment period for the Lake Powell Pipeline Project will close at 11:59 p.m. MDT on September 8, 2020.
  • BLM and USFWS – Draft Environmental Impact Statement to Consider a Highway Right-of-Way, Draft Amended Habitat Conservation Plan and Issuance of an Incidental Take Permit for the Mojave Desert Tortoise, and Resource Management Plan Amendments, Washington County, UT
    The Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service as co-lead agencies, announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider a right-of-way application submitted by the Utah Department of Transportation (referred to henceforth as the Northern Corridor Project), and potential amendments to the St. George Field Office and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area Resource Management Plans. To ensure comments will be considered, the BLM and USFWS must receive written comments on the proposed Northern Corridor Project Draft EIS, including potential amendments to the St. George Field Office and Red Cliffs NCA RMPs, the Draft Amended HCP and ITP application, and the potential closure of certain federal lands to recreational target shooting by September 10, 2020.
  • BLM – Notice of Application for Proposed Withdrawal Extension and Notification of Public Meeting, San Francisco Peaks/Mount Elden Recreation Area, Arizona
    The Bureau of Land Management is providing notice of an application from the United States Forest Service (USFS) requesting that Public Land Order (PLO) 7467 be extended for an additional 20-year term. PLO 7467 withdrew 74,689 acres of National Forest System lands in the Coconino National Forest, San Francisco Peaks/Mount Elden Recreation Area, Arizona. The PLO withdrew these lands from settlement, sale, location, or entry under the general land laws and the United States mining laws, but not from leasing under the mineral leasing laws. Comments must be received by September 14, 2020. The USFS will hold a virtual public meeting in connection with the proposed withdrawal extension on August 17, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Comments must be received by September 14, 2020.
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – Notice of Availability of a Supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Vineyard Wind LLC’s Proposed Wind Energy Facility Offshore Massachusetts and Public MeetingsThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is announcing the availability of a supplement to the Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Construction and Operation Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC. The Supplement analyzes reasonably foreseeable effects from an expanded cumulative activities scenario for offshore wind development, previously unavailable fishing data, a new transit lane alternative, and changes to the COP since publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This notice of availability announces the start of the public review and comment period, as well as the time and dates for virtual public meetings on the Supplement. After BOEM holds the public meetings and addresses comments provided, BOEM will prepare a final EIS. Comments should be submitted no later than July 27, 2020.
  • EPA – Draft Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides for Several Isothiazolinones
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of Methylisothiazolinone/Chloromethylisothiazolinone (MIT/CMIT), Octhilinone (OIT), Benzisothiazolin-3-one, 3(2H)-Isothiazolone (BIT), 1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one,2-butyl (BBIT), and 3(2H)-isothiazolone, 4,5-dichloro-2-octyl- (DCOIT). Comments must be received on or before July 13, 2020.
  • EPA – Deletion of the Fairfax St. Wood Treaters Superfund Site from the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan’s National Priorities List
    The Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 is issuing a Notice of Intent to Delete Fairfax St. Wood Treaters Superfund Site located in Jacksonville, Florida, from the National Priorities List (NPL) and requests public comments on this proposed action. The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, is an appendix of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. The EPA and the State of Florida, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, have determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA, have been completed. However, this deletion does not preclude future actions under Superfund. Comments must be received by July 16, 2020.
  • EPA – Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process
    The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing processes that it would be required to undertake in promulgating regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to ensure that information regarding the benefits and costs of regulatory decisions is provided and considered in a consistent and transparent manner. This proposed rulemaking addresses, among other things, issues raised in the June 13, 2018 advance notice of proposed rulemaking, “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process,” and proposes how the concepts described in that advance document would be implemented in rulemakings conducted by the EPA using its authorities under the CAA. The EPA is proposing to establish procedural requirements governing the development and presentation of benefit-cost analyses (BCA), including risk assessments used in the BCA, for significant rulemakings conducted under the CAA. The comment period has been extended to August 2, 2020.
  • EPA – Request for Nominations for the 2020 Clean Air Excellence Awards Program
    This notice announces the competition for the 2020 Clean Air Excellence Awards Program. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Clean Air Excellence Awards Program in February 2000 to recognize outstanding and innovative efforts that support progress in achieving clean air. All submissions of entries for the Clean Air Excellence Awards Program must be postmarked by Friday, July 31, 2020.
  • EPA – Call for Information on the Integrated Science Assessment for Lead
    The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing an Integrated Science Assessment as part of the review of the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Lead (Pb). The ISA will be completed by EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA). When final, the ISA is intended to update the previous Pb ISA (EPA/600/R-10/075F), published on June 26, 2013. Interested parties are invited to assist EPA in developing and refining the scientific information base for the review of the Pb NAAQS by submitting research studies and data that have been published, accepted for publication, or presented at a public scientific meeting since January 1, 2011. All communications and information should be received by EPA by September 8, 2020.
  • EPA – FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meetings and Request for Nominations of Ad Hoc Expert Reviewers
    There will be a 4-day public peer review meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel to consider and review the use of new approach methodologies to derive extrapolation factors and evaluate developmental neurotoxicity for human health risk assessment. Preceding the public peer review meeting, there will be a public preparatory virtual meeting, conducted via teleconference and webcast, to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions for this peer review. In addition, EPA is requesting nominations of prospective candidates for service as ad hoc reviewers to assist the FIFRA SAP with this review. Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals to be considered as prospective candidates for this review by following the instructions provided in this notice. The preparatory virtual meeting will be held on August 25, 2020, The 4-day public peer review meeting will be held September 15-18, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m.
  • Forest Service – Bighorn National Forest; Wyoming; Invasive and Other Select Plant Management
    The Forest Service, USDA, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to disclose the effects of continued control of noxious, invasive, and select native plant species through the integration of manual, mechanical, biological, ground herbicide, and aerial herbicide control methods on the Bighorn National Forest (BNF). Effects analysis of these treatments will be projected over the next 10 to 20 years. The BNF is currently treating noxious weeds and invasive plants under the June 19, 1998 Decision Notice, Noxious Weed Management. There is a need to update this decision since it did not include consideration of aerial application of herbicides, the presence of new invasive plant populations, or herbicide treatments of select native plant species to achieve desired resource conditions. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by July 20, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Call for Nominations: Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council
    The USDA is seeking nominations for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council. Membership includes members of social, environmetnal or economic organizations. Nominations must be received by July 31, 2020.
  • Forest Service –  Notice of Settlement Pursuant to CERCLA; Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent for the Ross Adams Mine Site Cleanup
    The USDA Forest Service is seeking comments on the Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent for Removal Action (ASAOC) for the Ross Adams Mine Site. On January 17, 2020, the USDA Forest Service, Region 10 entered into an ASAOC with Newmont USA Limited and Dawn Mining Company, LLC. The ASAOC provides for a comprehensive cleanup of the Ross Adams Mine Site in southeastern Alaska. Comments must be received, in writing, on or before August 7, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Forest Service Handbook 2309.13, Chapter 50; Operation and Maintenance of Developed Recreation Sites
    The USDA Forest Service is proposing to issue a proposed directive to update its handbook on operation and maintenance of recreation sites on National Forest System lands that contain infrastructure or amenities authorized by the Forest Service for public enjoyment and resource protection. Examples of developed recreation sites include boat launches, campgrounds, climbing areas, day use areas, picnic sites, fishing sites, group campgrounds and picnic sites, horse camps, informational and interpretive sites, visitor centers, recreation rental cabins, observation sites, off-highway vehicle staging areas, alpine and Nordic ski areas, developed swimming sites, snow play areas, target ranges, trailheads, and wildlife viewing sites. Comments must be received in writing by August 10, 2020.
  • NOAA – Solicitation for Applications for United States Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is soliciting applications for membership on the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee, which is a Federal advisory committee. Members of the Committee will fulfill the requirements of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009. The Committee provides advice to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and to the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee on the planning, integrated design, operation, maintenance, enhancement, and expansion of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS). U.S. IOOS promotes research to develop, test, and deploy innovations and improvements in coastal and ocean observation technologies and modeling systems, addresses regional and national needs for ocean information, gathers data on key coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes variables and ensures timely and sustained dissemination and availability of these data for societal benefits. NOAA will hereby accept applications for membership on the Committee to fill two vacancies that occurred in late 2019. These vacancy appointments shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the vacancy, which ends August 15, 2021. An individual so appointed may subsequently be appointed for an additional three-year term. Nominations should be submitted no later than July 30, 2020.
  • NOAA – Recommendations for a Comprehensive Interagency Seafood Trade Strategy
    On May 7, 2020, the White House issued an Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth. As part of this effort, the Department of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative are co-chairing the Interagency Seafood Trade Task Force, which will develop recommendations to provide to USTR for the development of a comprehensive interagency seafood trade strategy. On behalf of the Seafood Trade Task Force co-chairs, NOAA requests written input from interested parties on how best to achieve the objectives of the Seafood Trade Task Force as described in the Executive Order, including improving access to foreign markets for U.S. seafood exports through trade policy and negotiations; resolving technical barriers to U.S. seafood exports; and otherwise supporting fair market access for U.S. seafood products. In addition, interested parties are requested to respond to the questions listed below the supplementary information section as appropriate. The public input provided in response to this request for information (RFI) will inform the Seafood Trade Task Force as it works with federal agencies and other stakeholders to develop recommendations to USTR in the preparation of a comprehensive interagency seafood trade strategy. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 1, 2020.
  • NOAA – Request for Comment on the Draft Prospectus of the Fifth National Climate Assessment
    The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) seeks public comment on the proposed themes and framework of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) as indicated by the draft prospectus presented here. Based on input received from this notice, USGCRP will develop an annotated outline, which will be released for public comment at a later date. A call for author nominations and technical inputs will also be posted in one or more subsequent Federal Register Notices. In addition to the proposed themes and framework, this Federal Register Notice requests public comment on ways to make the assessment information accessible and useful to multiple audiences; specific types of detailed information on regional scales that would be most useful to stakeholders; how to best describe risks and impacts, as well as potential opportunities to reduce those risks and impacts on sectors of the economy and natural and social systems; new approaches to topics addressed in previous assessments; overarching themes that NCA5 should consider addressing; and other relevant topics. Comments must be submitted by August 10, 2020.
  • NOAA and EPA – Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program: Intent to Find that Washington has Satisfied All Conditions of Approval Placed on its Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program
    NOAA and the EPA invite public comment on the agencies’ proposed finding that Washington has satisfied all conditions the agencies established as part of their 1998 approval of the State’s coastal nonpoint pollution control program (coastal nonpoint program). The Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments directs states and territories with coastal zone management programs previously approved under Section 306 of the Coastal Zone Management Act to develop and implement coastal nonpoint programs, which must be submitted to the federal agencies for approval. Prior to making such a finding, NOAA and the EPA invite public input on the two federal agencies’ rationale for this proposed finding. Individuals or organizations wishing to submit comments on the proposed findings document should do so by August 14, 2020.
  • NOAA – Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Regulations|
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing revised regulations, a revised management plan, and a draft environmental assessment for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or sanctuary). The proposed rule includes four modifications to existing MBNMS regulations, the modification of an appendix to the MBNMS regulations that describes sanctuary zone boundaries, and the addition of one new definition to the MBNMS regulations. A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared for this proposed action. NOAA is soliciting public comments on the proposed rule, draft revised management plan, and draft EA. NOAA will consider all comments received by September 4, 2020. NOAA will hold a virtual public meeting at the following date and time: Thursday, July 23, 2020, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. PT. In addition, NOAA will accept public comments on this proposed rule during the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary virtual advisory council meeting on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. PT and at the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary virtual advisory council meeting on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. PT.
  • NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Monkfish; Framework Adjustment 12
    NOAA NMFS proposing to approve and implement specifications submitted by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils in Framework Adjustment 12 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan. This action would set monkfish specifications for fishing year 2020 and project specifications for the 2021 and 2022 fishing years. Public comments must be received by July 30, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Gray Snapper Management Measures
    NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 51 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico, as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. This proposed rule would establish and modify status determination criteria and harvest levels for the gray snapper stock. The purposes of this proposed rule are to end overfishing of gray snapper and achieve optimum yield. Written comments must be received by August 5, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Comprehensive Fishery Management Plans for Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. John, and St. Croix
    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council has submitted three fishery management plans (FMPs) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, the new FMPs (island-based FMPs) would replace the existing U.S. Caribbean-wide FMPs and transition the management of federal fisheries in the U.S. Caribbean exclusive economic zone from a U.S. Caribbean-wide approach to an island-based approach. By developing island-based FMPs, NMFS and the Council would better account for differences among the U.S. Caribbean islands with respect to culture, markets, fishing gear used, seafood preferences, and ecological impacts. Written comments on the FMPs must be received by August 25, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species – 5-Year Review of the Dusky Sea Snake
    NMFS announces the initiation of a 5-year review for the dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus). NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classifications of species are accurate. The 5-year review must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. NMFS requests submission of any such information on the dusky sea snake, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since their listing, effective November 6, 2015. The agency must receive information no later than September 8, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Shrimp Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 11
    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 11 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Shrimp FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 11 to the Shrimp FMP would modify the transit provisions for shrimp trawl vessels with brown, pink, and white shrimp on board in federal waters of the South Atlantic that have been closed to shrimp trawling to protect white shrimp as a result of cold weather events. The purpose of Amendment 11 is to update the regulations to more closely align with current fishing practices, reduce the socio-economic impacts for fishermen who transit these closed areas, and improve safety at sea while maintaining protection for overwintering white shrimp. Written comments must be received on or before September 8, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Identification of Nations Engaged in Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated Fishing, Bycatch, or Shark Fishing
    NMFS is seeking information regarding nations whose vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, bycatch of protected living marine resources, and/or fishing activities in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks. Such information will be reviewed for the purposes of the identification of nations pursuant to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and ongoing implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act Import Provisions. Information should be received on or before December 31, 2020.
  • NSF – Request for Information-Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, Chaired by the National Science Foundation
    On April 3, 2020, the National Science Foundation, on behalf of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, announced a request for information regarding development of the next 5-year Arctic Research Plan: 2022-2026, originally open for a 90-day public comment period. In response to the challenges of providing input on the next 5-year Arctic Research Plan: 2022-2026 during the current global pandemic, IARPC is extending the public comment period for an additional 30 days. Comments must now be received by August 2, 2020.
  • USDA – Request for Nominations of Members for the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, Specialty Crop Committee, Citrus Disease Subcommittee, and National Genetic Resources Advisory Council
    The USDA announces the opening of the solicitation for nominations to fill vacancies on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its subcommittees. There are fourteen vacancies on the NAREEE Advisory Board; four vacancies on the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council; three vacancies on the Specialty Crop Committee; and three vacancies on the Citrus Disease Subcommittee. USDA will consider nominations received by July 31, 2020.
  • USFWS – Stanislaus Regional Water Authority Water Supply Project (California) – Draft Categorical Exclusion and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. USFWS also announces receipt of an application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act and receipt of a draft habitat conservation plan. The Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SWRA) has applied for an incidental take permit under the ESA for the SRWA Water Supply Project in Stanislaus County, California. The permit would authorize the take of the federally threatened Valley elderberry longhorn beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus) incidental to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the project. The agency must receive written comments on or before July 13, 2020.
  • USFWS – Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Categorical Exclusion for the Garrapata Tanks Slope Repair Project in Monterey County, California
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) and draft categorical exclusion (CatEx) with an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) by California American Water. The ITP would authorize take of the federally endangered Smith’s blue butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) incidental to activities described in the HCP for the stabilization of a slope beneath two 40,000-gallon water tanks, repair of a cement pad, and revegetation and restoration of the disturbance area, on private property near Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Written comments should be received on or before July 16, 2020.
  • USFWS – Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Categorical Exclusion for the Singh Parcel, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) and the associated draft categorical exclusion with an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) from Stephanie Singh. The permit would authorize take of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) incidental to activities described in the HCP for the construction of a single-family residence in Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California. Written comments should be received on or before July 16, 2020.
  • USFWS – Migratory Bird Permits; Management of Conflicts Associated With Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) Throughout the United States
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to establish a new permit for State and federally recognized Tribal (hereafter “Tribe” or “Tribal”) wildlife agencies for the management of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus; hereafter “cormorants”). The new permit would authorize specific take activities that are normally prohibited and are intended to relieve or prevent impacts from cormorants on lands within State or Tribal jurisdictions to address conflicts related to the following issues: wild and publicly stocked fish stocked by State agencies or Tribes; Tribal- and State-owned or operated aquaculture facilities (including hatcheries); human health and safety; State- or Tribal-owned property and assets; and threatened and endangered species (listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, or identified in State- or Tribal-specific legislation as threatened or endangered). The Service would retain ultimate authority for regulating the take of cormorants. States and Tribes would have the discretion to determine whether, when, where, and for which of the above purposes they would conduct lethal take within limits and allocations set by the Service. You must submit written comments on this proposed rule by July 20, 2020.
  • USFWS – Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Categorical Exclusion for 12 Rancho San Carlos (Ocho West) Project
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and draft categorical exclusion for activities associated with an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The ITP would authorize take of listed species incidental to construction of a single-family residence at 12 Rancho San Carlos (Ocho West). The Applicant developed the draft HCP as part of their application for an ITP. The Service prepared a draft categorical exclusion in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing an ITP to the applicant. Written comments should be received on or before July 20, 2020.
  • USFWS – Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council – Call for Nominations
    The Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seek nominations for membership on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. This is a reopening of the call for nominations published in the Federal Register on March 5, 2020. The Council reports to the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to provide recommendations regarding the establishment and implementation of conservation endeavors that benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, sporting conservation organizations, and Federal, State, Tribal, and territorial governments; and benefit recreational hunting and recreational shooting sports. Nominations via email must be date stamped no later than July 27, 2020.
  • USFWS –  Draft Kauai Islandwide Recovery Plan
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of the Draft Kauai Islandwide Recovery Plan under the Endangered Species Act. This draft recovery plan addresses 175 listed species occurring on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, 111 of which are endemic to Kauai. The draft recovery plan includes specific goals, objectives, and criteria that should be met to remove the Kauai endemic species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. For the listed species that occur on multiple Hawaiian islands, the draft recovery plan describes those actions specific to Kauai; complete recovery actions and recovery criteria for these species will be covered in a subsequent multi-island recovery plan. USFWs request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public. The agency will also accept any new information on the species’ status throughout their range. In order to be considered, comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or before July 29, 2020.
  • USFWS – Removing San Benito Evening-Primrose (Camissonia benitensis) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to remove San Benito evening-primrose (Camissonia benitensis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. 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 reduced or eliminated so that the plant no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The agency is seeking information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule and the draft post-delisting monitoring plan for San Benito evening-primrose. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before July 31, 2020.
  • USFWS – Central 40 Solar Project, Stanislaus County, CA – Categorical Exclusion and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. USFWS also announces receipt of an application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and receipt of a draft habitat conservation plan. Central 40, LLC has applied for an incidental take permit under the ESA for the Central 40 Solar Project in Stanislaus County, California. The permit would authorize the take of two species incidental to the development, construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning of the project. The agency invites the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the application. Before issuing the requested permit, USFWS will take into consideration any information received during the public comment period. The agency must receive your written comments on or before August 3, 2020.
  • USFWS – Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Coastal Region Conservation Program Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan; Central and Southern California
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received an application for a permit for take of endangered and threatened species that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out otherwise lawful activities. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act and its implementing regulations as applicable to the species at issue prohibit take of endangered and threatened species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. The agency will receive public comments on the draft Habitat Conservation Plan and draft Environmental Assessment until August 3, 2020.
  • USFWS – Designation of Critical Habitat for Florida Bonneted Bat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to designate critical habitat for the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) under the Endangered Species Act. Approximately 598,261 hectares (ha) (1,478,333 acres (ac)) in portions of 10 Florida counties fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. If USFWS finalizes this rule as proposed, it would extend ESA protections to this species’ critical habitat. USFWS also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation. The agency will accept comments on the proposed rule or draft economic analysis that are received or postmarked on or before August 10, 2020

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