Links to latest Federal Register notices on proposed, final listings and related items from FWS and NMFS

Apr 012015

Does the name make sense now? (credit: Wetland Studies and Solutions)

CBD slams decision

FWS release

The Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to list the Northern long-eared bat as threatened with a 4(d) rule.

Page with information from FWS

Said FWS in the rule: "[N]o other threat is as severe and immediate to the northern longeared bat’s persistence as the disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS).... WNS is currently the predominant threat to the species, and if WNS had not emerged or was not affecting the northern long-eared bat populations to the level that it has, we presume the species’ would not be experiencing the dramatic declines that it has since WNS emerged."

"Seven species of North American hibernating bats have been confirmed with WNS to
date: big brown bat, gray bat, eastern small-footed bat, little brown bat, northern long-eared bat,
Indiana bat, and tricolored bat. The effect of WNS appears to vary greatly by species, with

several species exhibiting high mortality and others showing low or no appreciable population-level effects (Turner et al. 2011, p. 13). The fungus that causes WNS has been detected on five additional species, but with no evidence of the infection characteristic of the disease; these include Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), Virginia big-eared bat (C. townsendii virginianus), silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis), and southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius).

"The impacts of WNS on North American bat populations have been substantial. Service and State biologists estimate that at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats of several species have died from WNS (Service 2012, p. 1). Dzal et al. (2011, p. 393) documented a 78 percent decline in the summer activity of little brown bats in New York State, coinciding with the arrival and spread of WNS, suggesting large-scale population effects. Turner et al. (2011, p. 22) reported an 88 percent decline in the number of all hibernating bats at 42 sites across New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Furthermore, Frick et al. (2010a, p. 681) concluded that the little brown bat, formerly the most common bat in the northeastern United States, is undergoing catastrophic declines in the region due to WNS, and is at risk of regional extirpation in the near future. Similarly, Thogmartin et al. (2013, p. 171) predicted that WNS is likely to extirpate the federally endangered Indiana bat over large parts of its range. While recent models by Ingersoll et al. (2013, p. 8) have raised some questions about the status of bat populations prior to the arrival of WNS, the empirical evidence from surveys of six species of hibernating bats in New York State, revealed populations that were likely stable or increasing prior to the emergence of WNS (Service 2011, p. 1). Subsequent to the emergence of WNS, decreases in some species of bats at affected hibernacula have ranged from 30 to 100 percent (Frick et al. 2010a, p. 680; Turner et al. 2011, pp. 16–19, 22)."

Changes from proposed rule (which would have listed bat as endangered)

(1) Based on our analyses of the potential threats to the species, we have determined that the northern long-eared bat does not meet the definition of an endangered species, contrary to our proposed rule published on October 2, 2013 (78 FR 61046).

(2) Based on our analyses, we have determined that the species meets the definition of a threatened species. Therefore, on the effective date of this final listing rule, the species will be listed as a threatened species in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

(3) We have further refined the estimated timeframe during which Pd (the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome) is expected to spread throughout the range of the northern long-eared bat.

(4) We have expanded the discussion of white-nose syndrome and the effects of whitenose syndrome on the northern long-eared bat under Factor C.

(5) We have included additional (most recent available) survey data for the species in the Distribution and Relative Abundance section.

Feb 052015

See our Federal Register page for more

Posted for Public Inspection 

NMFS begins 5-year reviews of 32 listed species: 17 evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) of Pacific salmon; 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) of steelhead; the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin DPSs of yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and bocaccio rockfish; and the southern DPS of eulachon | More information at NMFS West Coast Region page

EPA receives EIS's for review

Agriculture: Under direction from Congress, EPA and Corps withdraw interpretive rule addressing the exemption from permitting provided under section 404(f)(1)(A) of the Clean Water Act | Regulatory docket  | The interpretive rule said "it is reasonable to conclude that agricultural conservation practices that are associated with waters and where water quality benefits accrue are similar enough to also be exempt from the section 404 permitting requirements. This interpretation preserves congressional intent by ensuring that beneficial agricultural conservation practices will not be unnecessarily restricted so long as those activities are designed and implemented to protect and enhance water quality and do not destroy waters."        -- Coverage from Farm Futures :: Interpretive rule

Forest Service issues final directives to "provide consistent overall guidance to Forest Service Line Officers and Agency employees in developing, amending, or revising land management plans for units of the NFS." | FACA page with more information

BLM extends public comment period to March 9 for the Draft Las Vegas and Pahrump Field Offices Resource Management Plan and EIS

NPS: Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission to meet March 30. Shorebirds, wetlands on docket

Ocean Energy Management Bureau (BOEM): Two lease sale notices for Gulf of Mexico

BuRec and the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department will prepare a joint EIS/R to evaluate the effects of the Clean Water Factory project. "The proposed Clean Water Factory is a water reclamation project to treat and reuse municipal wastewater that is currently discharged to the Santa Ana River. The reclaimed water will be used for groundwater recharge and landscape irrigation."

Dates link to FR Tables of Contents

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

FWS receives endangered species permit applications (zoos, sport-hunted trophies)

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015

Corps will prepare separate EIS's on the Halligan Water Supply Project and the Seaman Water Supply Project in northeastern Colorado. "Constructing the proposed projects would impact jurisdictional waters of the United States, thereby requiring Clean Water Act Section 404 permits. The cities of Fort Collins and Greeley have proposed the projects to meet existing and future water demands during droughts, more efficiently manage the cities' existing or future water rights, provide some operational redundancy, and possibly enhance river functions."

President Obama sets federal flood risk management standard (White House page) (FR notice)

Interior Dept. renews the Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group for 2 years | TAMWG home page

Aug 312012
Northern Rockies gray wolf will be removed from list in Wyoming

“Wyoming’s gray wolf population is stable, threats are sufficiently minimized, and a post-delisting monitoring and management framework has been developed,” the Fish and Wildlife Service said in a final rule to be published in the Federal Register that will remove ESA protection for gray wolves in Wyoming. The decision means that the Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct […]

May 022012
FWS to downlist wood bison

FWS will publish a final rule tomorrow (May 3) downlisting the wood bison. For those not familiar with the terminology, “downlist” means “to change from endangered to threatened.” That’s my own definition; it may not be found in any reputable dictionary. The service said it’s changing Bison bison athabascae’s designation from E to T because there […]

Sonoran bald eagle not listed (again)

 Posted by on April 20, 2012
Apr 202012

The Fish and Wildlife Service has declined again to list the bald eagle in Arizona as threatened or endangered. The service’s news release is pasted below. Contacts:  Steve Spangle, (602) 242-0210, Steve_Spangle@FWS.Gov,  Tom Buckley (505) 248-6455, Tom_Buckley@FWS.Gov, Jeff Humphrey (602) 242-0210, Jeff_Humphrey@FWS.Gov Service Determines Bald Eagle in the Sonoran Desert Does Not Warrant Protection under […]

Apr 192012

Activities outside the range of the polar bear, including emissions of greenhouse gases, won’t be considered in determining the “take” of the bears under the Endangered Species Act, if a Fish and Wildlife Service proposal published April 19 becomes final. “None of the prohibitions in § 17.31 of this part apply to any taking of […]

Apr 162012

FWS has proposed new regulations that would extend from five to 30 years the duration of programmatic permits that allow the taking of bald or golden eagles. In the proposal, published Friday, April 13, FWS said: In February 2011, we published draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance that provided information on how to prepare Eagle Conservation […]

Apr 112012
Miami blue butterfly alights on endangered species list

The woeful record of this site in recording the addition of species to the threatened and endangered species list should not prevent us from noting a new member from Florida. Twelve years after it received a petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service placed the Miami blue butterfly on the list of endangered species. The butterfly was […]

FWS proposed listing and other rules, 2011

 Posted by on December 21, 2011
Dec 212011
FWS proposed listing and other rules, 2011 and below, as of Dec. 19. Federal Register Documents – Division of Policy and Directives Management Quick Search: 2011 Federal Register Index Final Rules  Proposed Rules Notices Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants Subtitle Text PDF 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Western Glacier Stonefly as Endangered With Critical Habitat, 78601-78609 12/19/2011 Docket ID: […]

FWS final listing rules, 2011

 Posted by on December 19, 2011
Dec 192011

Go to this FWS page for proposed rules, 90-day findings, etc. Subtitle Text PDF Removal of the Concho Water Snake From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Removal of Designated Critical Habitat 66780-66804 10/27/2011 RIN 1018–AU97 Docket ID: FWS-R2-ES-2008-0080 Action: Final rule. Text PDF Endangered Status for the Altamaha Spinymussel and Designation […]