Endangered and threatened species: Findings on petitions, etc.— Peregrine falcon,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: November 25, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 227)]

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 65165-65166]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr25no98-34]

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF04

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Extension of Comment Period and Notice of Public Hearings on Proposed Rule To Remove the Peregrine Falcon in North America From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period and notice of public hearings.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) gives notice that the comment period on the proposed rule to remove the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in North America from the list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife will be extended and that two public hearings will be held. The extension and hearings will allow all interested parties to submit oral or written comments on the proposal.

DATES: The comment period for this proposal will be extended an additional 60 days from November 24, 1998 to January 23, 1999. Comments must be received by the closing date. Any comments received after the closing date may not be considered in the final decision on the proposal. The public hearings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 3, 1998 in Madison, Wisconsin and December 8, 1998, in Concord, New Hampshire. Both meetings will be preceded by an informational session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m..

ADDRESSES: The public hearings will be held at the Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson Street, Room 129D, Madison, Wisconsin and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game East-West Conference Room, 2 Hazen Drive, Concord, New Hampshire. Written comments should be sent to Diane Noda, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003. Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Mesta, at the above Ventura, California address, phone 805/644-1766, facsimile 805/644-3958.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On August 26, 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposal in the Federal Register to remove the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in North America from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (63 FR 45446). The Service proposed this action because the available data indicate that this species has recovered following restrictions on organochlorine pesticides in the United States and Canada, protections provided by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and the implementation of successful management activities, including the reintroduction of captive-bred and relocated wild hatchling peregrine falcons. Currently, a minimum of 1,388 American peregrine falcon pairs are found in Alaska, Canada, and the Western United States, and a minimum of 174 peregrine falcon pairs are found in the Eastern United States. At least 31 peregrine falcon pairs occur in 6 Midwestern States not covered by the Eastern Peregrine Falcon Recovery Plan or the two recovery plans for the American peregrine falcon in the Western United States. Overall productivity goals were met or exceeded in four American peregrine falcon recovery plans, and most recovery goals for the eastern peregrine falcon population have been met.

If made final, the action proposed will remove the American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) as an endangered species and will remove the designation of endangered due to similarity of appearance for any free-flying peregrine falcons within the 48 conterminous States from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The action proposed will remove all Endangered Species Act protections from all subspecies and populations of Falco peregrinus in North American. The proposed action will not affect protection provided to this species by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The proposal also includes a proposed minimum 5-year post delisting monitoring program as required for species that are delisted due to recovery. Monitoring will include population trends, productivity, contaminant exposure, and take for falconry.

Pursuant to 50 CFR 424.16(c)(2), the Service may extend or reopen a comment period upon finding that there is good cause to do so. Full participation of the affected public in a species' listing or delisting, allowing the Service to consider the best scientific and commercial data available in making a

[[Page 65166]]

final determination on the proposed action, is deemed as sufficient cause.

Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that a public hearing be held if it is requested within 45 days of the publication of a proposed rule. In response to two such requests, the Service will hold public hearings on the dates and at the addresses described in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections above. Anyone wishing to make an oral statement for the record is encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement and present it to the Service at the start of the hearing. In the event there is a large attendance, the time allotted for oral statements may have to be limited. Oral and written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits to the length of written comments presented at the hearings or mailed to the Service. Legal notices announcing the dates, times, and locations of the hearings will be published in newspapers concurrently with the Federal Register notice.

Extension of the comment period will enable the Service to complete the peer review process for the proposed delisting action. The current comment period on this proposal closes on November 24, 1998. The Service is extending the public comment period. Written comments may be submitted until January 23, 1998, to the Service office in the ADDRESSES section.

Author. The primary author of this notice is Robert Mesta (see ADDRESSES).

Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544).

Dated: November 18, 1998. Anne Badgley, Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.

[FR Doc. 98-31478Filed11-24-98; 8:45 am]

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