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 – Notice of Early Scoping for the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Resiliency Study National Environmental Policy Act Compliance
    The San Francisco District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), intends to prepare a feasibility study integrated with an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate coastal storm and flood risk management alternatives along 7.5 miles of the San Francisco Waterfront, from Aquatic Park to Herons Head Park, in the City of San Francisco, San Francisco County, California. The Port of San Francisco is the non-federal partner for the study. USACE will conduct early scoping to solicit public participation and input to inform the environmental analyses and to assist with determining the appropriate level of NEPA documentation required for the study. USACE requests that written comments regarding the scope of the environmental analysis and alternatives that should be considered as part of the study and NEPA analysis should be received by October 21, 2020.
  • Army Corps of Engineers – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for an Easement to Cross Under Lake Oahe, North Dakota for a Fuel-Carrying Pipeline Right-Of-Way for a Portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline
    This notice advises the public that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as lead agency, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to court order to evaluate granting an easement to Dakota Access, LLC to cross federal land administered by Corps for the Oahe Dam and Reservoir Project on the Missouri River. This notice opens the public scoping phase and invites interested parties to identify issues and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action that should be considered in the EIS. To ensure consideration during the EIS process, written comments on the scope of the EIS must be received no later than October 26, 2020. Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, virtual scoping meetings will be held in lieu of in-person scoping meetings. Virtual scoping meetings will be held on October 15 and 16, 2020.
  • Army Corps of Engineers – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Nassau County Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study
    Pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to prepare an integrated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Nassau County Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. The EIS will evaluate environmental impacts from reasonable project alternatives designed to reduce future flood risk in ways that support the long-term resilience and sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and surrounding communities due to sea level rise, local subsidence and storms; and to reduce the economic costs and risks associated with large scale flood and storm events in the area known as the Atlantic Coast of New York, the Nassau County Back Bays. Send written comments and suggestions concerning the scope of issues to be evaluated within the EIS to Scott Sanderson, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Planning Division—Coastal Section, scott.a.sanderson@usace.army.mil or via email to Angela Sowers, NEPA coordinator, angela.sowers@usace.army.mil.
  • BLM – Public Hearing and Request for Comment on Environmental Assessment, Maximum Economic Recovery, and Fair Market Value for BNI Coal LTD’s Lease-by-Application NDM-105513, Oliver County, ND
    The Bureau of Land Management is publishing this notice to announce that an Environmental Assessment (EA) for BNI Coal Ltd.’s (BNI) Federal Coal Lease-by-Application (LBA), serial number NDM-105513, is available for public review and comment. The BLM is also announcing that it will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the EA, Fair Market Value, and Maximum Economic Recovery of the coal resources contained in the proposed BNI LBA lease tracts. Written comments should be submitted and received by the NDFO no later than Thursday, October 8, 2020.
  • BLM – Environmental Assessment for Williams Draw Coal Tract Lease-by-Application UTU-80043, Emery County, Utah, and Notice of Online Public Hearing and Request for Comments on the Environmental Assessment, Fair Market Value, and Maximum Economic Recovery
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah State Office announces the availability of the Williams Draw Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Lease-By-Application UTU-80043 for public review and comment. The BLM is also announcing an online public hearing to receive comments on the EA, Fair Market Value, and Maximum Economic Recovery of the coal resources contained in the proposed lease tract. The online public hearing will be held on Sept. 30, 2020, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time). Written comments for the EA should be received no later than Oct. 15, 2020. Written comments for the FMV and MER should be received no later than Oct. 30, 2020.
  • BLM – Call for Nominations for the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit public nominations for three positions on the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board that will become vacant on October 16, 2020. The Board provides advice concerning the management, protection, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture, through the U.S. Forest Service. Nominations must be post marked or submitted to the following addresses no later than November 2, 2020.
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska Region (AK), Cook Inlet Planning Area, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sale 258
    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is announcing its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed 2021 Cook Inlet Lease Sale 258 in the Cook Inlet Planning Area. The EIS will focus on the potential effects of leasing, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the proposed lease sale area. In addition to the no action alternative (i.e., not holding the lease sale), other alternatives will be considered. All interested parties, including Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, and the general public, may submit written comments by October 13, 2020 on the scope of the Lease Sale 258 EIS, significant issues, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigation measures.
  • EPA – Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active Ingredients (July 2020)
    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients (Pyraziflumid) not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Comments must be received on or before September 28, 2020.
  • EPA – Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses (August 2020)
    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. Dow Agrosciences is proposing to use methoxyfenozide as a insecticide. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Comments must be received on or before October 22, 2020.
  • EPA – 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/or ecological risk assessments for the registration review of 10,10′-oxybisphenoxarsine (OBPA), amicarbazone, aminopyralid, dimethenamid/dimethenamid-p, endothall, fluoxastrobin, folpet, ipconazole, iprodione, metconazole, polixetonium chloride, prothioconazole, sodium pyrithione. Comments must be received on or before November 2, 2020.
  • EPA – Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Strychnine; Notice of Availability
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for the registration review of strychnine. Comments must be received on or before November 2, 2020.
  • EPA – Draft Proposal To Improve Lepidopteran Resistance Management
    EPA is making available for public comment a proposal to improve current resistance management strategies for certain Lepidopteran pests of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) in corn and cotton. EPA is soliciting input from all affected stakeholders such as corn and cotton growers, crop consultants, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and the general public. Comments must be received on or before November 9, 2020.
  • EPA – Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides for DDVP, Naled, and Trichlorfon
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for the registration review of DDVP, naled, and trichlorfon. Comments must be received on or before November 9, 2020.
  • EPA – Pesticide Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Chlorpyrifos; Notice of Availability
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s revised draft human health risk assessment and ecological risk assessment for the registration review of chlorpyrifos.
  • FERC – Trans-Foreland Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Kenai LNG Cool Down Project
    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Kenai LNG Cool Down Project (Project) proposed by Trans-Foreland Pipeline Company, LLC (Trans-Foreland) in the above referenced docket. Trans-Foreland requests authorization to construct, install, own, and operate facilities at its existing liquified natural gas (LNG) export plant in Kenai, Alaska. Trans-Foreland states that the proposed Project would permit it to cool down the existing LNG storage tanks and associated LNG facilities by importing LNG for delivery to the storage tanks, and subsequently deliver boil-off gas generated under normal operations from the Kenai LNG Plant to the Kenai Refinery. The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this Project, it is important that FERC receives comments on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 5, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Forest Management Direction for Large Diameter Trees in Eastern Oregon
    The Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service is extending the public comment period for the Preliminary Environmental Assessment for Forest Management Direction for Large Diameter Trees in Eastern Oregon, a proposed amendment to land management plans for the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Malheur, Ochoco, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 13, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Tongass National Forest, Thorne Bay Ranger District; Alaska; Twin Mountain II Timber Sale
    The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Twin Mountain II Timber Sale, which proposes to offer timber for harvest in the Staney and Red Bay areas within the Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest. The Proposed Action would offer for harvest about 42 million board feet of timber from approximately 3,000 acres. In addition, transportation management activities such as road construction, reconstruction, maintenance and decommissioning are proposed. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 14, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Forest Service Manual 7700 Travel Management; Chapter 7700, Zero Code; Chapter 7710 Travel Planning
    The USDA Forest Service is proposing to revise its directives to update and clarify guidance on the management of electric bicycle (e-bike) use on National Forest System (NFS) lands. E-bikes have become increasingly popular nationwide among outdoor recreationists on NFS and other federal lands. E-bikes expand recreational opportunities for many people, particularly the elderly and disabled, enabling them to enjoy the outdoors and associated health benefits. Currently, e-bike use is not allowed on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands that are not designated for motor vehicle use. To promote designation of NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands for e-bike use, the proposed revisions include new definitions for an e-bike and a Class Class 2, and Class 3 e-bike, as well as guidance and criteria for designating e-bike use on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands. Comments must be received in writing by October 26, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Fishlake National Forest; Utah; Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization
    The Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental impacts of proposed land management activities and corresponding alternatives within the Southern Monroe Mountain Allotments Livestock Grazing Authorization project area. The project is located on National Forest System lands, administered by the Richfield Ranger District, south of Richfield, Utah. These six allotments are in Sevier and Piute Counties and cover multiple sections in Ranges 1, 2, 2.5, and 3 West and in Townships 26, 27, 28, and 29 South. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 26, 2020.
  • Forest Service – Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
    The U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). The Community Forest Program is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests that provide community benefits through fee simple acquisition of private forest land. Interested local government and nonprofit applicants must submit applications to the State Forester. Tribal applicants must submit applications to the appropriate Tribal government official. All applications, either hardcopy or electronic, must be received by State Foresters or Tribal governments by January 11th, 2021. State Foresters or Tribal government officials must forward applications to the appropriate Forest Service Regional office or International Institute of Tropical Forestry by February 8th, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program; Amendment 111
    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) Management Area (Amendment 111) to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review. If approved, Amendment 111 would remove the expiration date for the Central GOA Rockfish Program (Rockfish Program) and make minor administrative changes to the program. Amendment 111 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws. Comments must be received no later than September 28, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 21 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan
    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 21 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan to NMFS. Amendment 21 proposes revisions to the summer flounder commercial state quota allocation percentages and the fishery management plan goals and objectives. Amendment 21 is intended to increase equity in state allocations when annual coastwide commercial quotas are at or above historical averages, while recognizing the economic reliance coastal communities have on the state allocation percentages currently in place. Public comments must be received on or before September 28, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program; Amendment 111
    NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area (GOA FMP) and a regulatory amendment to reauthorize the Central Gulf of Alaska (CGOA) Rockfish Program. This proposed rule would retain the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains realized under the existing Rockfish Program and make minor revisions to improve administration of the Rockfish Program. This proposed rule is necessary to continue the conservation benefits, improve efficiency, and provide economic benefits of the Rockfish Program that will expire on December 31, 2021 without this proposed rule. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws. Submit comments on or before October 5, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Point Mugu Sea Range Study Area
    NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to training and testing activities conducted in the Point Mugu Sea Range Study Area for a period of seven years, from October, 2021 through October, 2028. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is announcing receipt of the Navy’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application and request. Comments and information must be received no later than October 5, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Black Teatfish as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
    NMFS announces a 90-day finding on a petition to list the black teatfish (Holothuria nobilis) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NOAA NMFS finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, NOAA NMFS are initiating a status review of the species to determine whether listing under the ESA is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, the agency is soliciting scientific and commercial information regarding this species. Scientific and commercial information pertinent to the petitioned action must be received by October 9, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Initiation of a 5-Year Review of the Southern Right Whale
    NMFS announces the initiation of a 5-year review for the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 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 southern right whale, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since its last status review in 2015. To allow NOAA NMFS adequate time to conduct this review, the agency must receive your information no later than October 13, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
    NMFS proposes regulatory amendments that would modify Federal permit conditions and impose participation requirements for certain Federally-permitted vessels when fishing for Pacific cod in state waters adjacent to the exclusive economic zone of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands during the State of Alaska’s parallel Pacific cod fishery. This action is necessary to enhance Federal conservation, management, and catch accounting measures previously adopted by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) regarding license limitation, sector allocations, and catch reporting. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law. Submit comments on or before October 19, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 29; 2021-2022 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
    NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 29 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for review. If approved, Amendment 29 would reclassify shortbelly rockfish as an ecosystem component species and would make changes to the trawl/non-trawl allocations for blackgill rockfish within the southern slope complex south of 40°10′ North latitude (N lat.), petrale sole, lingcod south of 40°10′ N lat., and widow rockfish. Comments on Amendment 29 must be received no later than November 2, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Amendment 14 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan
    NMFS announces the availability of Draft Amendment 14 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Draft Amendment 14 is being undertaken to revise the mechanism or “framework” used in establishing quotas and related management measures for Atlantic shark fisheries. The current framework was established in Amendment 3 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP. The revised framework would modify the procedures followed in establishing the acceptable biological catch (ABC) and annual catch limits (ACLs) for Atlantic sharks and the process used to account for carryover or underharvests of quotas. It would also allow the option to phase-in ABC catch control rules and to adopt multi-year overfishing status determination criteria in some circumstances. Amendment 14 will not make changes to the current quotas or other management measures. Such changes would be adopted through subsequent rulemaking. Written comments must be received by December 31, 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.
  • USFWS – Proposed American Burying Beetle Habitat Conservation Plan and Low-Effect Screening Form; NS-374 Bridge Over Leader Creek, Hughes County, OK
    The US Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of several documents related to an incidental take permit (ITP) application under the Endangered Species Act. Circuit Engineering District #4 applied for the requested ITP, which would be in effect for a 3-year period in Hughes County, Oklahoma. If granted, the permit would authorize American burying beetle incidental take resulting from construction of a bridge and off-set alignment of the road over Leader Creek. The documents available for comment include the low-effect screening form that supports a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, a draft low-effect habitat conservation plan, and the ITP application. To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or postmarked on or before 11:59 p.m. eastern time on September 28, 2020.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to amend portions of the regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act. The proposed revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates our consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. USFWS wants to articulate clearly when and how FWS will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts for FWS to consider. The proposed rulemaking would respond to applicable Supreme Court case law, reflect agency experience, codify some current agency practices, and make some modifications to current agency practice. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders. USFWS will accept comments from all interested parties until October 8, 2020.
  • USFWS – Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to revise the designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under the Endangered Species Act. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, USFWS proposes to revise the species’ designated critical habitat by newly excluding approximately 204,653 acres (82,820 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. These proposed exclusions are based on new information that has become available since the 2012 revised critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl. This proposed rule focuses only on new exclusions under section 4(b)(2) of the Act in response to a stipulated settlement agreement; USFWS is not proposing any other revisions to the northern spotted owl’s critical habitat designation. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 13, 2020.
  • USFWS – Draft City of Santa Cruz Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan; Santa Cruz County, California
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received an application for a permit to conduct activities with the potential for take of endangered species that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activities. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. USFWS invite comments on this application which they will take into consideration before issuing a permit. USFWS will receive public comments on the draft habitat conservation plan and draft categorical exclusion screening form until October 13, 2020.
  • USFWS – Reclassification of Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat From Endangered To Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to reclassify the Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best scientific and commercial data available, which indicates that the Stephens’ kangaroo rat no longer meets the definition of endangered under the Act. If this proposal is finalized, the Stephens’ kangaroo rat would remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. USFWS is also proposing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that provides for the conservation of the Stephens’ kangaroo rat. The agency will accept comments through October 19, 2020.
  • USFWS – Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule and Critical Habitat Designation for Atlantic Pigtoe
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the reopening of the comment period on the October 11, 2018 proposed rule to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as a threatened species with a section 4(d) rule, and to designate critical habitat for the species, under the Endangered Species Act.. In this document, USFWS presents revisions to the section 4(d) rule language and to the critical habitat designation proposed for the species on October 11, 2018. As a result of the critical habitat revisions, USFWS now proposes to designate a total of 566 miles (910 kilometers) as critical habitat for the Atlantic pigtoe across 18 units within portions of 14 counties in Virginia and 17 counties in North Carolina. This amounts to an increase of 24 miles (38 kilometers) in our proposed critical habitat designation for the species. We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the October 11, 2018, proposed rule, as well as the revisions described in this document. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. Submit comments on or before October 22, 2020.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Nashville Crayfish From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove the Nashville crayfish (Orconectes shoupi) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This determination is based on 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 has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. USFWS announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending January 27, 2020. The agency is now reopening the public comment period on the proposed rule to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. USFWS also announces a public informational meeting and public hearing on the proposed rule on Oct. 8. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 23, 2020.
  • USFWS – Endangered Species Status for Marron Bacora and Designation of Critical Habitat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the marron bacora (Solanum conocarpum), a plant species from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, as an endangered species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, USFWS finds that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, USFWS proposes to list the marron bacora as an endangered species under the Act. If USFWS finalizes this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and extend the Act’s protections to the species. USFWS also proposes to designate critical habitat for the marron bacora under the Act. In total, approximately 2,549 acres (1,032 hectares) on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. Finally, USFWS announces the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for marron bacora. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 26, 2020.
  • USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Review of the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a 5-year status review of the spectacled eider 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. USFWS is requesting submission of any new information on this species that has become available since the last review of this species. To ensure consideration, USFWS must receive your comments and information by October 30, 2020.
  • USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 14 Listed Animal and Plant Species
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act for seven plant and seven animal species. 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 such information that has become available since the last review for the species. To ensure consideration, send written information by October 30, 2020.
  • USFWS – Designation of Critical Habitat for the Georgetown and Salado Salamanders
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is revising their proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. Based on published genetic analyses, USFWS is revising the distribution of the Georgetown and Salado salamanders and are adjusting previously proposed critical habitat units accordingly. USFWS also proposes changes to our description of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. We propose a total of approximately 1,519 acres (ac) (622 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat for the species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. The total amount of critical habitat we are proposing for both salamanders has increased by approximately 116 ac (47 ha). The reasons for this increase are the addition of a new occupied site for the Salado salamander and refined mapping of previously proposed critical habitat units based on more precise spring locations. USFWS also announces the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the revised proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown and Salado salamanders. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 16, 2020.
  • USFWS – Threatened Species Status with Section 4(d) Rule for Big Creek Crayfish and St. Francis River Crayfish and Designations of Critical Habitat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to list two Missouri species, the Big Creek crayfish (Faxonius peruncus) and the St. Francis River crayfish (Faxonius quadruncus), as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. If USFWS finalizes this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act’s protections to both species. USFWS also proposes a species-specific rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (“4(d) rule”) that provides for the protection of the Big Creek crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish and to designate critical habitat for both species under the Act. In total, approximately 1,069 river miles (1,720 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the Big Creek crayfish, and approximately 1,043 river miles (1,679 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the St. Francis River crayfish. Finally, USFWS announces the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designations. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 16, 2020.
  • USFWS – 90-Day Finding for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Based on our review, USFWS finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the dunes sagebrush lizard may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, USFWS announces that they plan to initiate a review of the status of the dunes sagebrush lizard to determine whether listing the species is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, USFWS are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species. Based on the status review, the agency will issue a 12-month finding that will address whether or not listing the dunes sagebrush lizard is warranted, in accordance with the Act. As USFWS commences work on the status review, the agency seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species or its habitat. USFWS will consider any relevant information that they receive during their work on the status review.
  • USFWS – 90-Day Findings for Las Vegas bearpoppy and Tiehm’s buckywheat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces 90-day findings on two petitions to add species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants under the Endangered Species Act. Based on their review, USFWS finds that the petitions 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 status reviews of the Las Vegas bearpoppy (Arctomecon californica) and Tiehm’s buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, USFWS requests scientific and commercial dataand other information regarding the species and factors that may affect their status. Based on the status reviews, USFWS will issue 12-month petition findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act. USFWS seeks any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species or their habitats. Any information received during the course of the status reviews will be considered.

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