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Federal Register Volume 77, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 7, 2012)]
Draft Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase ``Significant
Portion of Its Range'' in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of
``Endangered Species'' and ``Threatened Species''
AGENCIES: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior; National Marine
Fisheries Service, NOAA, Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of extension of public comment period.
SUMMARY: We, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services),
announce a 30-day extension of the period for submission of public
comments on the draft policy interpreting the phrase ``significant
portion of its range'' in the Endangered Species Act's (Act's)
definitions of ``endangered species'' and ``threatened species.'' We
encourage all interested parties to provide us with information and
comments regarding the draft policy. Information previously submitted
does not need to be resubmitted, and will be incorporated into the
public record and fully considered in our development of a final
DATES: We will consider comments and information we receive from all
interested parties on or before March 8, 2012.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
Follow the instructions for submitting comments
on docket number FWS-R9-ES-2011-0031.
Attn: FWS-R9-ES-2011-0031; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive,
MS 2042; Arlington, VA 22203.
We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide
us (see Public Comments section below for more information).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rick Sayers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Endangered Species Program, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room
420, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone (703) 358-2171; facsimile (703)
358-1735; or Marta Nammack, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office
of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD
20910; telephone (301) 427-8469); fax (301) 713-0376). If you use a
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 9, 2011, we published a notice
of our draft policy (76 FR 76987) to establish a joint interpretation
and application of ``significant portion of its range'' that reflects a
permissible reading of the law and its legislative history and
minimizes undesirable policy outcomes, while fulfilling the
conservation purposes of the Act. That notice established a 60-day
comment period ending February 7, 2012. We have received a number of
requests to extend the public comment period. Considering the
complexity of the issues addressed in the draft policy and the level of
public interest, we have decided that additional time for public
comment will be particularly valuable for this action and thus are
extending the comment period for an additional 30 days. The draft
policy and supporting materials are available for review at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2011-0031.
Public Comments; Request for Information
We intend that the final policy on interpretation of the phrase
``significant portion of its range'' in the Act's definitions of
``endangered species'' and ``threatened species'' will consider
information and recommendations from all interested parties. We
therefore solicit comments, information, and recommendations from
governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific
community, industry groups, environmental interest groups, and any
other interested parties. All comments and materials received by the
date listed in the DATES section above will be considered prior to the
approval of a final document. For the complete list of subjects on
which we seek comments, please refer to the December 9, 2011, draft
policy (76 FR 76987), available on line at http://www.regulations.gov
under Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2011-0031.
Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as
references to scientific journal articles or other publications) to
allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you
You may submit your information concerning this draft policy by one
of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit
information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--
including any personal identifying information--will be posted on the
Web site. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying
information, you may request at the top of your document that we
withhold this personal identifying information from public review.
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will
post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
Information and supporting documentation used in preparing this
document is available for you to review at http://www.regulations.gov,
or you may make an appointment during normal business hours at the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program (see FOR FURTHER
We are taking this action under the authority of the Endangered
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
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