Federal Register Opportunities
This tracker is being transitioned to the main ESA website:
The Federal Register
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:
- Arctic Research Commission – 111th Commission Meeting (May 8)
- BLM – Notice of Public Meeting for the Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council Public Lands Access Subcommittee (May 29)
- BLM – Public Meeting for the John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council (June 20-21, October 17-18)
- EPA – Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board Meeting (2019 teleconferences – May 15, June 19, July 17, September 18, October 16, November 20, and December 18. In-person meetings: August 5, Jacksonville, FL)
- EPA – Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting (May 1)
- EPA – National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Meeting (April 30-May 2, comments due April 21)
- EPA – Meeting of the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (May 9-10)
- EPA – Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Chemical Safety for Sustainability Subcommittee Meeting – May 2019 (May 10)
- EPA – Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee Meeting – May 2019 (May 21, register online by May 20)
- EPA – National Environmental Education Advisory Council Meeting (June 11-12)
- EPA – Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (June 11-14)
- EPA – Board of Scientific Counselors Executive Committee Meeting – June 2019 (June 27-28, register by June 20)
- Forest Service – Butte County Resource Advisory Committee (May 6)
- Forest Service – Fresno and Madera County Resource Advisory Committee (May 7, 14, 21, 28)
- Forest Service – Olympic Peninsula Resource Advisory Committee (May 10, 23)
- Forest Service – Wrangell-Peterson Resource Advisory Committee (May 11, May 25)
- Forest Service – Wenatchee-Okanogan Resource Advisory Committee (May 22, May 29, June 12)
- Forest Service – Yavapai County Resource Advisory Committee (May 31)
- Forest Service – Hood Willamette Resource Advisory Committee (July 1)
- Interior Department – Invasive Species Advisory Committee Meeting (May 2)
- NASA – Applied Sciences Advisory Committee (Earth Sciences Division) (May 7-8)
- NOAA – Science Advisory Board (July 10-11)
- NOAA – Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) Meeting – Red Grouper (May 1)
- NOAA – New England Fishery Management Council Habitat Committee Meeting (May 9)
- NOAA – South Atlantic Fishery Management Council System Management Plan Workgroup Meeting (May 16)
- NOAA – Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting (May 16-17)
- NOAA – Southeast Data, Assessment and Review Meeting – Gray Triggerfish (May 20-22)
- NOAA – Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel (May 21-23)
- NOAA – Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs – South Carolina (June 4)
- NOAA – General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee Meetings (June 4-5)
- NOAA – Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting (August 27-29)
- NOAA NMFS – Pacific Fishery Management Council Groundfish Endangered Species Workgroup Meeting (April 30 – May 1)
- NOAA NMFS – North Pacific Fishery Management Council – Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team (May 6-7)
- NOAA NMFS – Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Meetings (May 1-10)
- NOAA; NMFS – U.S. Stakeholder Meeting on Pacific Bluefin Tuna Long-Term Management Framework; Meeting Announcement (May 2)
- NOAA NMFS – Pacific Fishery Management Council Stock Assessment Review Panels (May 6-10, June 3-7, July 8-12, July 22-26)
- NOAA NMFS – Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting (May 7 – May 8)
- NOAA NMFS – Permanent Advisory Committee to Advise the US Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Meeting (June 10)
- NOAA NMFS – Administration of the National Inventory of Marine Mammals (July 31)
- NPS – Acadia National Park Advisory Commission Meetings (June 3, September 9)
- NPS – National Park Service Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission Program Meetings (Cape Krusentern National Monument – May 14 & 15, Kobuk Valley National Park – May 16 & 17)
- NPS – Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee Meetings (May 8, July 10, September 18, November 13)
- NSF – Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences; Notice of Meeting (May 24)
- USFWS – Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting (May 8-9)
Opportunities for Public Comment and Nominations:
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – BASF Plant Science, LP; Availability of a Draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Draft Environmental Assessment for Canola Genetically Engineered for Altered Oil Profile and Resistance to an Imidazolinone Herbicide
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available for public comment a draft plant pest risk assessment and draft environmental assessment for canola designated as event LBFLFK, which has been genetically engineered to allow for the synthesis of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, from oleic acid in canola seed. The GE canola has also been genetically engineered for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide. Comments are due May 6, 2019.
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment; Importation of Plants in Approved Growing Media Into the United States
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available a draft programmatic environmental assessment for the importation of plants in approved growing media. The programmatic environmental assessment considers the potential environmental effects of a standardized set of pest risk mitigations for routine market requests to import plants in approved growing media. The programmatic environmental assessment would eliminate the need to prepare a unique environmental assessment for each routine market request, thereby making the process for approving imports of plants in approved growing media simpler and more efficient. We are making the programmatic environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment. Comments are due by May 10, 2019.
- Army Corps of Engineers – Notice of Intent/NEPA Scoping Meeting and Public Comment Period for the Grand River Habitat Restoration and Invasive Species Control Project, Grand Rapids, Michigan
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces its intent to conduct public scoping and solicit public comments to gather information to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on behalf of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission related to the proposed Grand River Habitat Restoration and Invasive Species Control Project in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The project must provide a means to block sea lamprey from moving upstream, as this invasive species is currently blocked by the existing 6th Street Dam in the Grand River, must maintain or reduce the current risk of flooding upstream, and must provide for fish passage into upstream areas. If implemented, the project is expected to adversely impact existing healthy mussel population, which includes the federally-listed endangered scaleshell and snuffbox mussels as well as a number of state-listed mussel species. A public scoping hearing will be held on April 8, public comments are due May 15, 2019.
- BLM – Draft Bering Sea – Western Interior Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, Alaska
The Bureau of Land Management is issuing for public comment the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bering Sea-Western Interior (BSWI) planning area. Comments are due by June 13, 2019.
- BLM – National Call for Nominations for Site-Specific Advisory Councils
The purpose of this notice is to request public nominations for five Bureau of Land Management (BLM) citizens’ advisory councils affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands and for the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) Science Technical Advisory Panel (STAP). The five advisory councils provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the development and implementation of management plans in accordance with the statutes under which the sites were established, and the STAP advises the NSSI Oversight Group on technical issues such as identifying and prioritizing inventory, monitoring, and research needs across the North Slope of Alaska and the adjacent marine environment. Nominations are due by June 14, 2019.
- BLM – National Call for Nominations for Resource Advisory Council
The purpose of this notice is to request public nominations for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 31 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) located in the West that have members whose terms are scheduled to expire. These RACs provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on land use planning and management of the National System of Public Lands within their geographic areas. Nominations are due by June 14, 2019.
- EPA – Proposed Re issuance of NPDES General Permit for Offshore Seafood Processors in Alaska
The Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, is proposing to reissue a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit to Offshore Seafood Processors in Alaska. As proposed, the General Permit will authorize discharges of seafood processing waste from facilities that discharge at least 3 nautical miles or greater from the Alaska shore as delineated by mean lower low water or aclosure line which engage in the processing of fresh, frozen, canned, smoked, salted or pickled seafood, the processing of mince, or the processing of meal, paste and other secondary by-products. Comments are due by May 9, 2019.
- EPA – Request for Nominations of Candidates for EPA’s Science Advisory Board Computable General Equilibrium Model Review Panel
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office invites nominations of environmental economists and other experts with expertise in computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling to be considered for appointment to the SAB’s CGE Model Review Panel. Nominations should be submitted by May 15, 2019.
- EPA – Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Lake Charles Science Center and Educational Complex Project Modification
On July 20, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities (Final RP/EA #2). The Louisiana TIG is considering modifications to the original Lake Charles Science Center and Educational Complex (Lake Charles SCEC) project described in the Final RP/EA #2. The modifications being considered include collocating the Lake Charles SCEC with the Lake Charles Children’s Museum (LCCM) as part of the shared Port Wonder facility on the north shore of Lake Charles. In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal and state natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana TIG prepared a Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Lake Charles SCEC Project Modification (Draft Supplemental RP/EA). The Draft Supplemental RP/EA evaluates modifications to the Lake Charles SCEC project and alternatives considered by the Louisiana TIG under criteria set forth in the OPA Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) regulations and evaluates their environmental effects in accordance with the NEPA. The modifications under consideration to the Lake Charles SCEC project are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft Supplemental RP/EA and to seek public comment on the document. Comments are due by May 20, 2019.
- EPA – Interpretive Statement on Application of the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program to Releases of Pollutants From a Point Source to Groundwater
The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing an Interpretative Statement addressing whether the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit program applies to releases of a pollutant from a point source to groundwater. Informed by comments and based on a holistic analysis of the statute, its text, structure, and legislative history, the Agency concludes that the CWA is best read as excluding all releases of pollutants from a point source to groundwater from NPDES program coverage, regardless of a hydrologic connection between the groundwater and jurisdictional surface water. The Interpretive Statement provides the EPA’s full analysis and rationale supporting its interpretation and is available below and at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/releases-point-source-groundwater. Concurrently with issuing its interpretation of the CWA, the Agency is soliciting additional public input regarding what may be needed to provide further clarity and regulatory certainty on this issue. Comments are due June 7, 2019.
- EPA – Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability
This notice announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of 2,4-DB, aliphatic solvents, chlorine gas, dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), iodine and iodophors, methomyl, methyl bromide, naphthalene, phenmedipham, thiocarb, tralopyril and triclosan. Comments are due by June 7, 2019.
- EPA – Aquatic Life Criteria for Aluminium in Oregon
The Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) proposes to establish federal Clean Water Act (CWA) aquatic life criteria for fresh waters under the State of Oregon’s jurisdiction, to protect aquatic life from the effects of exposure to harmful levels of aluminum. In 2013, the EPA disapproved the State’s freshwater acute and chronic aluminum criteria. The CWA directs the EPA to promptly propose water quality standards (WQS) that meet CWA requirements if a state does not adopt WQS addressing the Agency’s disapproval. The State has not adopted and submitted revised freshwater acute and chronic aluminum criteria to the EPA to address the EPA’s 2013 disapproval. Therefore, in this notice, the EPA proposes federal freshwater acute and chronic aluminum criteria to protect aquatic life uses in Oregon. Comments are due by June 17, 2019.
- Navy Department – Policies and Responsibilities for Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act Within the Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy proposes to revise portions of its internal regulations that establish the responsibilities and procedures for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). An agency may determine that certain classes of actions normally do not individually or cumulatively have significant environmental impacts and therefore do not require further review under NEPA. Comments are due May 1, 2019.
- NOAA – Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska
NMFS has received a request from Hilcorp Alaska LLC for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, over the course of five years (2019-2024). As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act , NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations. Comments are due May 1, 2019.
- NOAA – Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 58
This action proposes to approve and implement Framework Adjustment 58 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule would set 2019-2020 catch limits for 7 of the 20 multispecies (groundfish) stocks, implement new or revised rebuilding plans for 5 stocks, revise an accountability measure, and make other minor changes to groundfish management measures. This action is necessary to respond to updated scientific information and to achieve the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan. The proposed measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available. Comments are due by May 6, 2019.
- NOAA – Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 13
The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have submitted Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 13 would modify the applicable Federal regulations for the harvest of spiny lobster in the exclusive economic zone off Florida to be compatible with Florida regulations, and would re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management with Florida. The purpose of Amendment 13 is to more effectively manage and enforce the harvest of spiny lobster. Comments are due June 3, 2019.
- NOAA NMFS – South Atlantic Fishery Management Council – Scoping Process for Ecosystem Component Species
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold two scoping meetings to get input on options being considered for adding bullet mackerel and frigate mackerel as ecosystem component species to the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Region. Written comments will also be accepted and comments are due by 5 pm May 16, 2019. The scoping meetings will be held May 7 and May 9, 2019, beginning at 6 p.m.
- NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Amendment 13
The Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Council) and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (South Atlantic Council) (Councils) have submitted Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. The purpose of Amendment 13 and this proposed rule is to align Federal regulations for spiny lobster that apply to the EEZ off Florida with Florida state regulations, re-establish a procedure for an enhanced cooperative management system, and update the regulations to aid law enforcement and the public. Comments are due May 20, 2019.
- NOAA NMFS – Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Site Characterization Surveys off the Coast of North Carolina
NMFS has received a request from Avangrid Renewables, LLC for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to high-resolution geophysical survey investigations associated with marine site characterization activities off the coast of North Carolina in the area of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf and the coastal waters off North Carolina and Virginia where one or more cable route corridors will be established. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. Comments are due May 28, 2019.
- NOAA NMFS – 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List Summer-Run Steelhead in Northern California as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
The NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list Northern California (NC) summer-run steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as an Endangered distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. We will conduct a status review of NC summer-run steelhead to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this species from any interested party. Comments are due by June 21, 2019
- NSF – Notice of Availability of Draft Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE) for Continuation and Modernization of McMurdo Station Area Activities in Antarctica
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made available for public review and comment the Draft Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE) for Continuation and Modernization of McMurdo Station Area Activities, pursuant to the Antarctic Conservation Act, as amended, its implementing regulations, and in accordance with the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. The proposed activity would implement modernization projects at McMurdo Station while continuing United States Antarctic Program (USAP) science and operations at McMurdo Station and locations supported by the Station. NSF invites interested members of the public to provide written comments on this Draft CEE. Substantive comments will be addressed in a Final CEE. Comments are due by July 11, 2019
- NSF – Request for Recommendations for Membership on Directorate and Office Advisory Committees
The National Science Foundation (NSF) requests recommendations for membership on its scientific and technical Federal advisory committees. Recommendations should consist of the name of the submitting individual, the organization or the affiliation providing the member nomination, the name of the recommended individual, the recommended individual’s curriculum vita, an expression of the individual’s interest in serving, and the following recommended individual’s contact information: Employment address, telephone number, fax number, and email address. Self-recommendations are accepted. If you would like to make a membership recommendation for any of the NSF scientific and technical Federal advisory committees, please send your recommendation to the appropriate committee contact person listed in the chart.
- USFWS – Migratory Bird Subsistence in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2019 season
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is establishing migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2019 season. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. The rulemaking is necessary because the regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are subject to annual review. The proposed rule for the 2019 season was delayed, requiring this interim rule to allow subsistence hunting to begin in April. We will respond to public comments, and based on public comments received, may revise this interim rule. Comments are due by May 3, 2019.
- USFWS – Draft City of Rancho Palos Verdes Natural Community Conservation Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment, City of Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, California
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the recirculation of the draft Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan and draft environmental assessment, which evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, the proposed City of Rancho Palos Verdes Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan. Comments are due May 6, 2019.
- USFWS – Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat Conservation Plan; Davis Ranch, Bexar County, Texas; Correction
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced via a Federal Register notice the availability of a draft environmental assessment and habitat conservation plan for development in Bexar County, Texas. Under the Endangered Species Act, the Davis McCrary Property Trust applied for an incidental take permit that would authorize incidental take of the golden-cheeked warbler. Comments are due May 8, 2019.
- USFWS – Notice of Availability for the Butte Creek Ranch Safe Harbor Agreement for the Northern Spotted Owl and Gray Wolf, Siskiyou County, California; Categorical Exclusion
This notice advises the public that members of the Hart Family 2003 Trust (applicant) have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service for a 50-year enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered Species Act. If granted, the permit will authorize the take of both the northern spotted owl and the gray wolf that may occur incidental to land management activities in connection with ongoing livestock grazing and forest management operations that can restore, enhance, or maintain habitat for the species on the Butte Creek Ranch in Siskiyou County, California. The documents available for review and comment are the applicant’s safe harbor agreement and our draft environmental action statement, supporting a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. USFWS invites comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. Comments are due by May 8, 2019.
- USFWS – Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the Endangered Species List
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has evaluated the classification status of gray wolves (Canis lupus) currently listed in the contiguous United States and Mexico under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Based on the evaluation, USFWS proposes to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The effect of this rulemaking action would be to remove the gray wolf from the Act’s protections. This proposed rule does not have any effect on the separate listing of the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as endangered under the Act. Comments are due May 14, 2019.
- USFWS – Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to establish the 2019-20 hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. It will annually presecribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the number of birds that may be taken and possessed in hunting seasons. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of seasons and limits and to allow recreational harvest at levels compatable with population and habitat conditions. Comments are due by May 17, 2019.
- USFWS – Incidental Take Permit Application to Participate in American Burying-Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in Oklahoma
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to comment on federally listed American burying beetle incidental take permit (ITP) applications. The applicant anticipates American burying beetle take as a result of impacts to Oklahoma habitat the species uses for breeding, feeding, and sheltering. The take would be incidental to the applicant’s activities associated with oil and gas well field and pipeline infrastructure (gathering, transmission, and distribution), including geophysical exploration (seismic), construction, maintenance, operation, repair, decommissioning, and reclamation. If approved, the permit would be issued under the approved American Burying Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan (ICP) Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit Issuance in Oklahoma. Comments are due by May 20, 2019.
- USFWS – Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander; Categorical Exclusion, Santa Barbara County, California
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received an application from for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. The permit, if issued, would authorize take of the federally endangered California tiger salamander (Santa Barbara County distinct population segment) incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the applicant’s draft habitat conservation plan. Comments are due May 20, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Petition Finding and Endangered Species Status for the Missouri Distinct Population Segment of Eastern Hellbender
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the hellbender, a salamander species, as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended. Because the Service published a final rule to list the Ozark hellbender subspecies as endangered on October 6, 2011, this 12-month petition finding addresses the eastern hellbender subspecies. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, USFWS finds that listing of the eastern hellbender is not warranted. However, USFWS determined that listing is warranted for a distinct population segment of the eastern hellbender in Missouri. Accordingly, USFWS proposes to list the Missouri DPS of the eastern hellbender as an endangered species under the Act. Comments are due June 3, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of the California Condor in the Pacific Northwest
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), propose to establish a nonessential experimental population (NEP) of the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) in the Pacific Northwest, under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Establishment of this NEP will facilitate reintroduction of California condors to the region and provide for allowable legal incidental taking of the California condor within a defined NEP area. The geographic boundaries of the NEP would include northern California, northwest Nevada, and Oregon. The best available data indicate that reintroduction of the California condor into the Pacific Northwest is biologically feasible and will promote the conservation of the species. We are seeking comments on this proposal and on our joint FWS-National Park Service environmental assessment (EA), prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, which analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed reintroduction and designation of a nonessential experimental population. Comments are due by June 4, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Review for Atlantic Sturgeon (Gulf Subspecies)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are initiating a 5-year status review for the Gulf subspecies of the Atlantic sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. Information should be submitted by June 10, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews for 36 Southeastern Species
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are initiating a 5-year status review of 36 species under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. Information should be submitted by June 10, 2019.
- USFWS – Threatened Status for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse and Designation of Critical Habitat
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period on our October 28, 2013, proposed rules to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Act) and to designate critical habitat for that DPS. USFWS is reopening the proposed rules’ comment periods for 60 days to give all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rules. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rules. Comments will be accepted no later than June 11, 2019.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 6 Species in the Mountain-Prairie Region
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews of 6 species under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, USFWS is requesting submission of any new information on these species that has become available since the last review of the species. Submissions are requested for no later than June 11, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of Six Listed Animal and Plant Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act for two plant and four animal species. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, FWS is requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species. Information is due June 24, 2019.
- USFWS – Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act; Religious Use of Feathers
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a petition for rulemaking, which asks the Service to revise the existing rules pertaining to the religious use of federally protected bird feathers. The petition is being published pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement entered into in 2016 by the United States with McAllen Grace Brethren Church and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Any changes to existing rules will be subject to a public comment period, and tribal consultation consistent with Executive Order 13175and the Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes. The Service seeks comments on the petition. Comments are due by July 1, 2019.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Four Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces 90-day findings on four petitions to add species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act. Based on thier review, USFWS finds that petitions to list the Arizona eryngo (Eryngium sparganophyllum) and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, USFWS announces that they plan to initiate reviews of the statuses of those species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted.
- Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Permit Applications
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is issued that allows such activities. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing permits for any activity otherwise prohibited by the ESA with respect to any endangered species.