U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES FINDINGS ON PETITIONS TO LIST SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA

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East County News Service

June 3, 2016  (Sacramento) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species.  The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species’ conservation status.  The petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.

These determinations, commonly known as 90-day findings, are based on scientific information about the species provided in the petition. The substantial 90-day findings are the first step in a lengthy process that triggers a more thorough review of all the biological information available. There is no regulatory impact resulting from the positive 90-day findings.

The petition findings for the 10 California and Nevada species will be published in a combined notice in the Federal Register on September 18, 2015, and also will be available at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection. Information can be submitted on species for which a status review is being initiated, using the specified docket number, beginning upon publication in the Federal Register, for 60 days until November 17, 2015.

To ensure the status reviews of the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and the tricolored blackbird are comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from state and federal natural resource agencies and all interested parties about their biology and life history.

Comments and information can be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov. Written comments and information can be submitted by U.S. mail or hand-delivered to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number listed below]; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. When providing comments for specific species, please refer to the following docket numbers:

 

Species

Docket Number

California spotted owl

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0139

Inyo Mountains salamander

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0092

Kern Plateau salamander

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0093

lesser slender salamander

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0097

limestone salamander

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0099

Panamint alligator lizard

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0105

Shasta salamander

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0115

southern rubber boa

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0119

tricolored blackbird

FWS-R8-ES-2015-0138

Based on each species’ status review, the Service will make one of three possible determinations:

1) Listing is not warranted, in which case no further action will be taken.

2) Listing as threatened or endangered is warranted. In this case, the Service will publish a proposal to list, solicit independent scientific peer review of the proposal, seek input from the public, and consider the input before a final decision about listing the species is made. In general, there is a one-year period between the time a species is proposed and the final decision.

3) Listing is warranted but precluded by other, higher priority activities. This means the species is added to the federal list of candidate species, and the proposal to list is deferred while the Service works on listing proposals for other species that are at greater risk. A warranted but precluded finding requires subsequent annual reviews of the finding until such time as either a listing proposal is published, or a not warranted finding is made based on new information.