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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 Availability of the Draft Integrated Disposition Report and Environmental Assessment for the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Hennepin County, Minnesota
    The St. Paul District, Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is publishing this notice to announce that the draft Integrated Disposition Report and Environmental Assessment (DR/EA) for the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam (USAF) is available for public review and comment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Corps provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the EA via the internet through the St. Paul District’s Home Page. To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or postmarked within 60 days from the date of this notice (February 16, 2021)
  • BLM – Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Robinson Mine Plan of Operations Amendment, White Pine County, Nevada
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District (EYDO), Nevada, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Robinson Mine Plan of Operations Amendment project and by this notice is announcing its availability. In order to have comments considered for inclusion in the Final EIS, the BLM must receive comments on the Draft EIS by January 19, 2021.
  • BLM – Notice of Availability for the Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Alaska
    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 (BLM) releases the Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) for public review and comment. The BLM will hold virtual public meetings and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) Section 810 subsistence-related hearings regarding the Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS. Copies or notification of the electronic availability for the Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS are being sent to affected federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies and to other stakeholders. To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft EIS by March 11, 2021.
  • BLM and Forest Service – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Husky 1 North Dry Ridge Phosphate Mine and Notice of Cancellation of Environmental Impact Statement Preparation for the Nu-West Mining Husky 1-North Dry Ridge Phosphate Mine Project
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service will consider approving the Husky 1 North Dry Ridge phosphate Mine and Reclamation Plan (MRP) on Federal Phosphate Leases, lease modifications, and Special Use Authorizations for ancillary facilities located off-lease on National Forest System lands. Previous plans submitted by Nu-West Mining (doing business as Agrium Conda Phosphate Operations) for the mining property are no longer being considered for approval. The BLM and Forest Service request comments concerning the scope of the analysis and identification of relevant information, studies and analyses. All comments must be received by January 22, 2021.
  • BLM – Notice of Availability of the Draft Desert Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, California
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), for an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan and the Bakersfield and Bishop Resource Management Plans (RMPs). The Desert Plan Amendment Draft LUPA/EIS includes consideration of changes to the management or modification to the boundaries of 129 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). By this notice, the BLM is announcing the availability of the Draft LUPA/EIS. In order to comply with Federal regulations, the BLM is also announcing a comment period on proposed changes to the ACECs within the planning area. To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on by April 14, 2021.
  • BOEM – Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Cook Inlet Lease Sale 258
    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the proposed Cook Inlet Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 258. This notice marks the start of the public review and comment period and serves to announce public hearings on the Draft EIS. After the public hearings and written comments on the Draft EIS have been reviewed and considered, a Final EIS will be prepared. The Draft EIS and associated information, including the Exploration, Development and Production, and Decommissioning Scenario (E&D Scenario) are available for review on the agency’s website at https://www.boem.gov/​ak258. Comments are due by March 1, 2021.
  • CDC – Notice of Availability of a Draft Policy Statement for the Biosafety of Large Animal Study-Related Activities With Brucella abortus and Brucella suis Using Outdoor Containment Spaces
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is opening a public docket to obtain comment on a draft Brucella policy statement. This draft policy statement, when finalized, will aid individuals and entities in the development of biosafety plans for outdoor large animal studies involving swine, elk, bison, and cattle to further brucellosis research in a manner that complies with the HHS and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) select agent regulations. Submit written or electronic comments by March 16, 2021.
  • DOE/Western Area Power Admin. – Wildfire Risk Reduction, Reliability, and Asset Protection (WRAP) Project, Trinity County, California (DOE/EIS-0548)
    The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Trinity Public Utility District (Trinity PUD) are proposing a proactive Wildfire Risk Reduction, Reliability, and Asset Protection (WRAP) Project to reduce fire risk to the surrounding communities and public lands, as well as to increase electric reliability to maintain critical services in local communities. WAPA and Trinity PUD will prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) NEPA Implementing Procedures, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as codified in California’s Public Resource Code, and the Guidelines for Implementation of the California Quality Act (CEQA Guidelines) in Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. Portions of the proposed action may affect floodplains or wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetlands action in accordance with DOE floodplain and wetlands review requirements. WAPA invites public comments on the scope of the WRAP EIS/EIR by January 25, 2021.
  • DOE – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program
    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE), announces its intent, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to prepare a Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program (SPDP) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate alternatives for the safe and timely disposition of plutonium surplus to the defense needs of the United States. NNSA will prepare a SPDP EIS to evaluate the dilute and dispose alternative, also known as “plutonium downblending,” and any other identified reasonable alternatives for the disposition of surplus plutonium. The dilute and dispose approach would require new, modified, or existing capabilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Pantex Plant (Pantex), and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The purpose of this Notice is to invite public participation in the process and to encourage public involvement on the scope and alternatives that should be considered. The public scoping period begins with the publication of this Notice in the Federal Register and continues until February 1, 2021.
  • DOI – Call for Nominations to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee
    The Department of the Interior (DOI) is seeking nominations to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee authorized through the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA), which operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior through the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) related to management of Federal geospatial programs, development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of the GDA. The Committee reviews and comments on geospatial policy and management issues and provides a forum for views of non-Federal stakeholders in the geospatial community. Nominations to participate on this Committee must be received by February 22, 2021.
  • DOT FHWA – Notice of Intent To prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the State Route 67 Operational Improvements Project, in San Diego County, California
    The FHWA, on behalf of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), is issuing this notice to advise the public that a Draft EIS will be prepared for the SR 67 operational improvements project (Project), a proposed highway project in San Diego County, California. This notice will be accompanied by a 30-day public scoping comment period from Thursday, January 14, 2021, to Monday, February 15, 2021. The deadline for public comments is 5:00 p.m. (PST) on February 15, 2021. The Virtual scoping meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.
  • EPA – Pesticide Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Ethylene Oxide; Notice of Availability
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for the registration review of ethylene oxide. Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2021.
  • EPA – Proposed Interim Decision for Chlorpyrifos
    This notice announces the availability of EPA’s proposed interim registration review decision for chlorpyrifos and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decision, revised draft human health risk assessment and ecological risk assessment for chlorpyrifos. Comments must be received on or before February 5, 2021.
  • EPA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; Proposed Administrative Settlement Agreement for Recovery of Response Costs; “Delta Shipyard” Superfund Site in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, LA
    In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), notice is hereby given that a proposed administrative settlement agreement for recovery of response costs (“Proposed Agreement”) associated with the “Delta Shipyard” Superfund Site in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana (“Site”) was executed by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and is now subject to public comment, after which EPA may modify or withdraw its consent if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the Proposed Agreement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate. Comments must be received on or before February 16, 2021.
  • EPA – Glyphosate Registration Review; Draft Endangered Species Act Biological Evaluations; Notice of Availability
    This notice announces the availability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA or the Agency) draft biological evaluation (BE) for the registration review of the pesticide glyphosate and opens a public comment period on this document. Comments must be received on or before March 12, 2021.
  • EPA – Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the Application of Pesticides; Reissuance
    All ten Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions are proposing for public comment the draft 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP)—the draft 2021 PGP. The draft 2021 PGP covers point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States. Once finalized, the draft 2021 PGP will replace the existing permit, the 2016 PGP, which was issued for a five-year term in the Federal Register on October 31, 2016, and expires October 31, 2021, at midnight. The draft 2021 PGP has the same conditions and requirements as the 2016 PGP and would authorize certain point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. EPA solicits public comment on all aspects of the draft 2021 PGP. Comments on the draft 2021 PGP must be received on or before March 16, 2021.
  • 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. The Agency will consider all comments received during the public comment period and make changes, as appropriate, to a draft human health and/or ecological risk assessment.
  • FERC – Cornell University; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (Commission) regulations, 18 CFR part 380, the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for a new license for the Cornell University Hydroelectric Project, located on Fall Creek in the City of Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York, and has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project. The project does not occupy federal land. Any comments should be filed within 45 days from the date of this notice (January 18, 2021).
  • FERC – Kern River Gas Transmission Company; Notice of Scoping Period Requesting Comments on Environmental Issues for the Planned Delta Lateral Project
    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental document that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Delta Lateral Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Kern River Gas Transmission Company (Kern River) in Millard County, Utah. The Commission will use this environmental document in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies regarding the project. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, the Commission takes into account concerns the public may have about proposals and the environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. This gathering of public input is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the environmental document on the important environmental issues. Additional information about the Commission’s NEPA process is described below in the NEPA Process and Environmental Document section of this notice. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 3, 2021.
  • Forest Service – Tongass National Forest; Alaska; Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facility Improvement Project
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze a variety of actions to improve visitor experience, increase capacity to meet current and projected demand, and to protect the existing ecosystem of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (MGRA). The purpose of the project is to provide a range of sustainable recreation experiences that meet Forest Plan goals and objectives for Recreation and Tourism, including opportunities consistent with public demand with an emphasis on locally popular recreation places and those important to the tourism industry. The need to improve the MGRA was identified during the Mendenhall Glacier Master Plan process. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by January 15, 2021.
  • 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.
  • Forest Service – Forest Service Manual 2200, Chapters Zero, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 70; Forest Service Handbook 2209.13, Chapters 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90; and Forest Service Handbook 2209.16, Chapter 10; Rangeland Management; Public Notice and Comment for Changes to Forest Service Directive
    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Forest Service, is publishing for public comment proposed revisions to directives governing rangeland management, grazing permit administration, and grazing allotment administration. Comments must be received in writing by February 16, 2021.
  • Forest Service  – Forest Service Manual 2420, “Timber Appraisal,” Forest Service Handbook 2409.19, “Renewable Resources,” Chapters 10, 20, 30, 60 and 80
    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Forest Service is revising directives related to timber appraisal and renewable resources. Comments must be received in writing by February 16, 2021.
  • Justice Department – Notice of Lodging of Proposed Second Amendment to Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act
    On December 11, 2020, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Second Amendment to Consent Decree (“Second Amendment”) with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in the lawsuit entitled United States and the State of Ohio v. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-02895. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States and the State of Ohio v. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-08177/1. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice (January 15, 2021).
  • Justice Department – Notice of Proposed Settlement Agreement Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990
    The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are providing an opportunity for public comment on a proposed Settlement Agreement among the United States, Indiana, and Marathon Pipe Line, LLC (“Marathon”). The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the proposed Settlement Agreement. Comments should be addressed to Daniel W. Sparks, and should refer to: Marathon Settlement Agreement. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice (January 15, 2021).
  • NOAA – National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB); Public Meeting and Solicitation for Nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board
    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (Board). Board members will discuss and provide advice on the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, education and extension, science and technology programs, and other matters as described in the agenda found on the NSGCP website at http://seagrant.noaa.gov/​WhoWeAre/​Leadership/​NationalSeaGrantAdvisoryBoard/​UpcomingAdvisoryBoardMeetings.aspx. This notice also responds to the Sea Grant Program Improvement Act of 1976, which requires the Secretary of Commerce to solicit nominations at least once a year for membership on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board. To apply for membership to the Board applicants should submit a current resume. A cover letter highlighting specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Board is helpful, but not required. Nominations will be accepted by email (preferred) or U.S. mail (See Contact Information Section). NOAA is an equal opportunity employer. There is no due date for nominations, however, the program intends to begin reviewing applications to fill upcoming vacancies by January 31, 2021. Applications will be kept on file for consideration of any Board vacancy for a period of three years from January 31, 2021.
  • NOAA – Review of Nomination for Lake Erie Quadrangle National Marine Sanctuary
    The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is requesting written comments to facilitate ONMS’ five year review of the nomination for the Lake Erie Quadrangle National Marine Sanctuary (NMS). In particular, NOAA is requesting relevant information as it pertains to its evaluation criteria for inclusion in the inventory (these criteria are detailed at https://nominate.noaa.gov/​guide.html). In this five year review, NOAA will pay particular attention to any new information about the nomination’s resources, changes to any threats towards these resources, and any updates to the management framework of the area. NOAA will also assess the continuity and breadth of community-based support for the nomination. NOAA has provided the original nominating party an opportunity to share its views on these same questions. Following this information gathering and internal analysis, NOAA will make a final determination on whether or not the Lake Erie Quadrangle NMS nomination will remain in the inventory for another five year period. Written comments must be received by February 11, 2021.
  • NOAA – Hydrographic Services Review Panel Nominations
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking nominations for members to serve on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel with nominations due by April 26, 2021. Five vacancies for a four-year term will occur on January 1, 2022.
  • NOAA NMFS – Interagency Working Group on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing; Request for Comments
    NMFS is seeking public comments on the Work Plan of the Interagency Working Group on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. This Interagency Working Group was established under the Maritime Security and Fisheries Enforcement Act. Information should be received on or before January 15, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental To Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Washington State Department of Transportation Purdy Bridge Rehabilitation Project, Pierce County, WA
    NMFS has received a request from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WADOT) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Purdy Bridge Rehabilitation Project in Pierce County, WA. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS is also requesting comments on a possible one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in Request for Public Comments at the end of this notice. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. Comments and information must be received no later than January 19, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Critical Habitat for the Threatened Caribbean Corals
    The NMFS propose to designate critical habitat for the threatened Caribbean corals: Orbicella annularis, O. faveolata, O. franksi, Dendrogyra cylindrus, and Mycetophyllia ferox pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Twenty-eight mostly overlapping specific occupied areas containing physical features essential to the conservation of all these coral species are being proposed for designation as critical habitat; these areas contain approximately 15,000 square kilometers (km2; 5,900 square miles (mi2)) of marine habitat. They have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designations, and we propose to exclude one area from the critical habitat designations due to anticipated impacts on national security. They are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification of the geographical area and depths occupied by the species, the physical and biological feature essential to the coral species’ conservation and identification, areas not included and excluded, and consideration of impacts of the proposed action. Comments on this proposal must be received by January 26, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Critical Habitat for the Threatened Indo-Pacific Corals
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to designate critical habitat for the seven threatened corals in U.S. waters in the Indo-Pacific (Acropora globiceps, Acropora jacquelineae, Acropora retusa, Acropora speciosa, Euphyllia paradivisa, Isopora crateriformis, and Seriatopora aculeata) pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Seventeen specific occupied areas containing physical features essential to the conservation of these coral species are being proposed for designation as critical habitat; these areas contain approximately 600 square kilometers (km2; 230 square miles) of marine habitat. They have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designations, and they propose to exclude two areas from the critical habitat designations due to anticipated impacts on national security. They are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification of the geographical area and depths occupied by the species, the physical and biological feature essential to the coral species’ conservation and identification, areas not included and excluded, and consideration of impacts of the proposed action. Comments on this proposal must be received by January 26, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Training Activities in the Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area
    NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to training activities in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Temporary Maritime Activities Area (TMAA) Study Area for a period of seven years, from April 2022 through April 2029. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 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 January 29, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2021 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
    NMFS is proposing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950, as amended (TCA), to implement Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolution C-20-02 (“Measures for the Conservation and Management of Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2021”). This proposed rule would implement annual limits on commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) for 2021. This action is necessary to conserve Pacific bluefin tuna and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC. Comments on the proposed rule and supporting documents must be submitted in writing by February 4, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Initiation of a 5-Year Review of Indo-Pacific Reef-building Corals
    NMFS announces the initiation of a 5-year review for 15 Indo-Pacific reef-building corals (Acropora globiceps, Acropora jacquelineae, Acropora lokani, Acropora pharaonis, Acropora retusa, Acropora rudis, Acropora speciosa, Acropora tenella, Anacropora spinosa, Euphyllia paradivisa, Isopora crateriformis, Montipora australiensis, Pavona diffluens, Porites napopora, and Seriatopora aculeata). 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. They request submission of any such information on these 15 coral species, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since their listing, effective September 10, 2014. To allow them adequate time to conduct this review, they must receive your information no later than February 8, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project in Norfolk, Virginia
    NMFS has received a request from the Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal activities at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project (HRBT) in Norfolk, Virginia over the course of five years (2021-2026). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization, and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. Comments and information must be received no later than February 8, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Northeast Skate Complex Fishery; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Scoping Process
    The New England Fishery Management Council is preparing an environmental impact statement for Amendment 5 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 5 considers implementing a limited access program in the skate bait and/or wing fishery, as well as measures that may prevent the triggering of incidental skate possession limits, improve the precision and accuracy of catch data, and better define skate fishery participants. Written scoping comments must be received on or before 5 p.m., local time, Friday, February 12, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Amendment to the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan
    NMFS proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Plan (hereinafter called the PLTRP or the Plan) to reduce mortalities and serious injuries of short-finned pilot whales incidental to the Atlantic pelagic longline fishery to meet the long-term goal of the Plan as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The PLTRP currently contains both regulatory and non-regulatory management measures to reduce mortality and serious injury of pilot whales (Globicephala spp.) and Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), in the Atlantic portion of the Category I Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline fishery (hereinafter called Atlantic pelagic longline fishery). The proposed amendments to the PLTRP are based on consensus recommendations submitted by the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Team (hereinafter called the PLTRT or the Team) and include: Removing the Cape Hatteras Special Research Area and the associated special observer and research participation requirements for fishermen operating in that area, modifying the mainline length restrictions for pelagic longline sets in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) portion of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, and implementing required hook and gangion modifications in the EEZ portion of the Florida East Coast, South Atlantic Bight, Mid-Atlantic Bight and Northeast Coastal fishing areas. Furthermore, NMFS is removing Risso’s dolphins and long-finned pilot whales from the Plan’s scope. Written comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than 5 p.m. eastern time on February 16, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Nominations for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory Committee
    NMFS is seeking nominations for the advisory committee established under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act. The Permanent Advisory Committee, composed of individuals from groups concerned with the fisheries covered by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention, will be given the opportunity to provide input to the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission regarding the deliberations and decisions of the Commission. Nominations must be received no later than February 18, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Draft 2020 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports
    NMFS reviewed the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regional marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). SARs for marine mammals in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions were revised according to new information. NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2020 SARs. NMFS is also requesting new information for strategic stocks that were not updated in 2020. Comments must be received by March 4, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a 5-Year Review of Staghorn Coral, Elkhorn Coral, Pillar Coral, Rough Cactus Coral, Lobed Star Coral, Mountainous Star Coral, and Boulder Star Coral
    NMFS announces a 5-year review of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), rough cactus coral (Mycetophyllia ferox), lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis), mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata), and boulder star coral (Orbicella franksi) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, they are requesting submission of any such information on staghorn coral, elkhorn coral, pillar coral, rough cactus coral, lobed star coral, mountainous star coral, and boulder star coral that has become available since their original listings as threatened species or the most recent status review for staghorn and elkhorn coral in 2014. To allow them adequate time to conduct this review, they must receive your information no later than March 8, 2021. However, they will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Subspecies of the Ringed Seal
    NMFS announces revisions to the December 9, 2014, proposed designation of critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies of the ringed seal (Pusa hispida hispida) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The revised proposed designation comprises an area of marine habitat in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. Based on consideration of national security impacts, they also propose to exclude a particular area north of the Beaufort Sea shelf from the designation. They seek comments on all aspects of the revised proposed critical habitat designation and will consider information received before issuing a final designation. Comments must be received by March 9, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Beringia Distinct Population Segment of the Bearded Seal
    The NMFS proposes to designate critical habitat for the Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies Erignathus barbatus nauticus under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed designation comprises an area of marine habitat in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. They seek comments on all aspects of the proposed critical habitat designation and will consider information received before issuing a final designation. Comments must be received by March 9, 2020.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Nonessential Experimental Population of Central Valley Spring-Run Chinook Salmon in the Upper Yuba River Upstream of Englebright Dam, CA
    The NMFS proposes a rule to designate and authorize the release of a nonessential experimental population (NEP) of Central Valley (CV) spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the upper Yuba River and its tributaries upstream of Englebright Dam, California and establish take exceptions for the NEP for particular activities. A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared on this proposed action and is available for comment. The comment period for this rule has been extended and now closes on March 12, 2021.
  • NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a 5-Year Review for the Arctic, Okhotsk, Baltic, and Ladoga Subspecies of the Ringed Seal
    NMFS announces its intent to conduct a 5-year review of the threatened Arctic (Pusa hispida hispida), Okhotsk (Pusa hispida ochotensis), Baltic (Pusa hispida botnica), and endangered Ladoga (Pusa hispida ladogensis) subspecies of the ringed seal. NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that 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. They request submission of any such information on these ringed seal subspecies, particularly information on their status, threats, and recovery, that has become available since their listing on December 28, 2012 (77 FR 76706). To allow them adequate time to conduct this review, they must receive information no later than March 26, 2021. However, they will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.
  • NSF – Request for Information on Potential Concepts and Approaches for a National Strategic Computing Reserve (NSCR)
    OSTP and the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Subcommittees on the Future Advanced Computing Ecosystem (FACE) and Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) request input from interested parties on the goals, value, and necessary approaches for establishing a National Strategic Computing Reserve (NSCR). The NSCR may be envisioned as a coalition of experts and resource providers that could be mobilized quickly to provide critical computational resources (including compute, software, data, and technical expertise) in times of urgent need. This Request for Information will help inform potential attributes of a NSCR. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on January 16, 2021.
  • NSF – Request for Information; Strategic and Performance Plans
    The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and GPRA Modernization act of 2010 requires federal agencies to publish their strategic and performance plans in pursuit of their missions. Through this Request for Information (RFI), the National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks public comment on the key elements of the strategic plan—the Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals, and Strategic Objectives—and high-level questions that will guide the development of the 2022-2026 NSF Strategic Plan. Please send comments on or before January 22, 2021. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.
  • NRCS – Guidance for Identification of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land (NIPF)
    NRCS is requesting input about guidance it intends to provide its agency staff concerning the identification of NIPF for NRCS conservation programs. NRCS welcomes input from the public prior to NRCS incorporating the guidance into the NRCS conservation program manual. This guidance will be used by staff to identify NIPF and relates to eligibility for certain NRCS programs. They will consider comments received by January 19, 2021.
  • USDA – Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Release of Lilioceris
    They are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) relative to permitting the release of an insect, Lilioceris egena, for the biological control of air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera). Based on the environmental assessment and other relevant data, they have reached a preliminary determination that the release of this control agent within the continental United States will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. They are making the EA available to the public for review and comment. They will consider all comments that they receive on or before February 8, 2021.
  • USDA – Notice of Availability of a Draft Federal Select Agent Program Policy Statement for Biosafety for Large Animal Study-Related Activities With Brucella abortus and Brucella suis Using Outdoor Containment Spaces
    They are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making a draft Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) policy statement related to brucella available. This policy statement will aid individuals and entities on how to develop biosafety plans for outdoor host animal studies involving swine, elk, bison, and cattle to further brucellosis research in accordance with the select agent and toxin regulations, as well as how to submit such plans to FSAP (administered jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and APHIS) for approval. They are making this draft policy statement available to the public for review and comment. They will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 16, 2021.
  • USDA – Establishment of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee and Solicitation of Nominations for Membership on the Advisory Committee
    The Secretary of USDA announces the establishment of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee (Urban Ag Advisory Committee). The Committee will advise the Secretary on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and other aspects of the implementation section of Subtitle A, Section 222 of the Reorganization Act of 1994. This notice also solicits nominations for membership on the Urban Ag Advisory Committee. They will consider nominations that are postmarked by March 8, 2021.
  • USFWS – Draft Amendment to the Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan Previously Associated With the 440-acre Schlumberger Property for Concordia University, Texas
    Concordia University has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an amended incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The requested amended ITP, if granted, would authorize incidental take of the Jollyville Plateau salamander, in addition to the already existing ITP for golden-cheeked warbler. The proposed incidental take would result from activities associated with otherwise lawful activities, including construction, operation, and maintenance of Concordia University, that result in water quality and habitat degradation. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, they invite public comment on the draft environmental assessment on the proposed amended habitat conservation plan and application. To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or postmarked on or before January 14, 2021.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for the Peppered Chub and Designation of Critical Habitat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the peppered chub (Macrhybopsis tetranema) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The peppered chub is a freshwater fish historically found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, and is now extirpated in all but approximately 6 percent of its historical range. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the peppered chub is warranted due to a dramatic reduction in the species’ range (a loss of all but one population) and the low resiliency level of the remaining population. The primary stressors affecting the peppered chub are habitat fragmentation and degradation resulting from several sources, as discussed in this document and its supporting materials. Because they have found the species is at risk of extinction, they propose to list the peppered chub as an endangered species under the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act’s protections to the species. They also propose to designate critical habitat for the peppered chub under the Act. The proposed critical habitat designation includes approximately 1,068 river miles (1,719 river kilometers) in four units in Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. They announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 1, 2021. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. They must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, by January 15, 2021.
  • USFWS – Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Bluff Point Wind Energy Center, Jay and Randolph Counties, Indiana
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received an application from NextEra Energy Bluff Point LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for its Bluff Point Wind Energy Center (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 30-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. We also announce the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment (DEA), which has been prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). They request public comment on the application, the DEA, and associated documents. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 15, 2021.
  • USFWS – Notice of Receipt of Right-of-Way Application for Natural Gas Pipeline Crossing San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received two applications for 30-year right-of-way permits from Baymark Pipeline LLC and South Texas NGL Pipeline LLC, respectively. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will open the National Wildlife Refuge System lands, allowing for this infrastructure, under the authority of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requests public comment on the permit applications and associated documents. They must receive any written comments on or before January 19, 2021.
  • USFWS – Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, and Draft NEPA Compliance Documentation, for the Gamebird Substation Expansion in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the receipt and availability of an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and an associated draft low-effect habitat conservation plan (HCP). Additionally, consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), they have prepared a draft low-effect screening form and environmental action statement supporting our preliminary determination that the proposed permit action qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA. GridLiance West, LLC has applied for an ITP under the ESA for the Gamebird Substation Expansion in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada. The ITP would authorize the take of one species incidental to the development and construction of the project. They invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the permit application, proposed low-effect HCP, and NEPA categorical exclusion determination documentation. Before issuing the requested ITP, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period. They must receive your written comments on or before January 19, 2021.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for the Upper Coosa River Distinct Population Segment of Frecklebelly Madtom and Designation of Critical Habitat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the frecklebelly madtom (Noturus munitus), a fish species from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as an endangered or threatened species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the frecklebelly madtom as an endangered or a threatened species throughout all of its range is not warranted. However, we determined that listing is warranted for a distinct population segment (DPS) of the frecklebelly madtom in the Upper Coosa River in Georgia and Tennessee. Accordingly, they propose to list the Upper Coosa River DPS of the frecklebelly madtom as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (“4(d) rule”). If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this DPS to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act’s protections to the DPS. They also propose to designate critical habitat for the Upper Coosa River DPS under the Act. In total, approximately 134 river miles (216 kilometers) in Georgia and Tennessee fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. They also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Upper Coosa River DPS. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 19, 2021.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Pinus albicaulis (Whitebark Pine) With Section 4(d) Rule
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to list whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), a high-elevation tree species found across western North America, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act’s protections to this species. They also propose a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act that is necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species. They have determined that designation of critical habitat for the whitebark pine is not prudent at this time. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 1, 2021. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. They must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, by January 19, 2021.
  • USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for the Ozark Hellbender
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce the availability of the draft recovery plan for the Ozark hellbender, a salamander species. USFWS requests review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. USFWS must receive comments by January 21, 2021.
  • USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of our draft recovery plan for sharpnose shiner and smalleye shiner, two fish species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The two species are broadcast-spawning minnows currently restricted to the upper Brazos River Basin in north-central Texas. USFWS provides this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. To ensure consideration, USFWS must receive written comments on or before January 25, 2021.
  • USFWS – John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System; Okaloosa and Walton Counties, FL; Beaufort and Charleston Counties, SC; Availability of Draft Revised Boundaries and Request for Comments
    The Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act of 2006 requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare digital versions of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) maps and make recommendations for the expansion of the CBRS. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared draft revised boundaries for two existing CBRS units in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, Florida, and for four existing units and two proposed new units in Beaufort and Charleston Counties, South Carolina. This notice announces the availability of the proposed boundaries for public review and comment. Requests for the stakeholder outreach toolkit described under Availability of Proposed Coastal Barrier Resources System Boundaries and Related Information, below, should be made by February 3, 2021 to encourage any local outreach to be conducted early in the comment period, leaving ample time for the public to review and submit comments.
  • USFWS & NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Interagency Cooperation
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”) propose to amend the Services’ consultation regulations under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, pertaining to the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The proposed revisions would clarify that reinitiation of consultation would not be required for these agencies’ previously approved land management plans when new information reveals that effects of a plan may affect listed species or critical habitat in a manner or to an extent not previously considered, provided that any authorized actions for which the new information is relevant will be addressed through a separate action-specific consultation. The proposed revisions would also replace the existing regulation’s temporary instructions concerning National Forest System lands with permanent instructions. The Services are proposing this change to improve and clarify the interagency cooperation procedures by making them more efficient and consistent. They will accept comments from all interested parties until February 11, 2021.
  • USFWS – Incidental Take Permit Application; Habitat Conservation Plan and Categorical Exclusion for the Threatened Grizzly Bear; Flathead, Glacier, Lincoln, and Toole Counties, Montana
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of documents related to an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. BNSF Railway (BNSF) has applied for an ITP, which, if granted, would authorize take of the federally threatened grizzly bear that is likely to occur incidental to railroad operations and maintenance. The documents available for review and comment are the applicant’s habitat conservation plan, which is part of the ITP application, and our draft environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which support a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. They invite comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 11, 2021.
  • USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for Texas Hornshell
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of the draft recovery plan for Texas hornshell, a medium sized freshwater mussel that is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This species is native to the Rio Grande drainage in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. They provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. To ensure consideration, they must receive written comments on or before February 16, 2021. However, they will accept information about any species at any time.
  • USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Review for the Northern Long-Eared Bat
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). 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 determine whether the listed species should be delisted or reclassified. To ensure consideration, please send written information by February 22, 2021.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Jones Cycladenia
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They are requesting review and comment from the public on this draft plan. The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. They must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or before March 15, 2021.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 7 Species in the Mountain-Prairie Region
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews of 7 species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, they are requesting submission of any new information on these species that has become available since the last review of the species. To ensure consideration in our reviews, they are requesting submission of new information no later than March 15, 2021. However, they will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying Furbish’s Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae) From Endangered to Threatened Status With a Section 4(d) Rule
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to reclassify (downlist) Furbish’s lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae) from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and we propose a rule under section 4(d) of the Act to promote the conservation of Furbish’s lousewort. This information is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates the threats to the species have been reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species under the Act. They request information and comments from the public on this proposal. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before March 16, 2021.
  • USWFS – Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a 5-Year Review for the Beringia and Okhotsk Distinct Population Segments of the Bearded Seal
    NMFS announces its intent to conduct a 5-year review of the threatened Beringia and Okhotsk distinct population segments (DPSs) of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies Erignathus barbatus nauticus. NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that 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. They request submission of any such information on these bearded seal DPSs, particularly information on their status, threats, and recovery, that has become available since their listing on December 28, 2012. They must receive your information no later than March 26, 2021. However, they will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.
  • USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Domestic Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notification of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
    In this document, known as a Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service present an updated list of domestic plant and animal species that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. This document also includes their findings on resubmitted petitions and describes our progress in revising the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) during the period October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2020. Combined with other decisions for individual species that were published separately from this CNOR in the past year, the current number of domestic species that are candidates for listing is 11. Identification of candidate species can assist environmental planning efforts by providing advance notice of potential listings, and by allowing landowners and resource managers to alleviate threats and thereby possibly remove the need to list species as endangered or threatened. Even if they subsequently list a candidate species, the early notice provided here could result in more options for species management and recovery by prompting earlier candidate conservation measures to alleviate threats to the species. This document also adds the Sonoran desert tortoise back to the candidate list as a result of an August 3, 2020, court-approved settlement agreement. They will accept information on any of the species in this document at any time.

 

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