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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« FWS revises proposed critical habitat for Hawaiian picture wing flies | Main| Lack of 60-day notice sinks salmon case »

FWS delays designation of critical habitat for marbled murrelet, awaiting completion of Bureau of Land Management plans

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73 Fed. Reg. 12067 (Mar. 6, 2008)(Fish and Wildlife Service; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus))

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Photo from FWS

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), find that the proposed  revision of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)  pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, (Act), should not be made. On September 12, 2006, (71 FR 53840), we proposed to revise the May 24, 1996, designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet in Washington, Oregon, and California (61 FR 26256). Under the proposed revision, 3,590,642 acres (ac) (1,363,300 hectares (ha)) were proposed as critical habitat, with 3,368,950 ac (1,363,300 ha) of these lands proposed for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. Due to uncertainties regarding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revisions to its District Resource  Management Plans in western Oregon, we have determined that it is not appropriate to revise the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet at this time, as discussed below. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of section 4(b)(6)(A)(i)(II) of the Act, we find that the proposed revision of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet should not be made. Accordingly, the May 24, 1996, final rule designating critical habitat for the marbled murrelet remains in effect (61 FR 26256).

COMMENTARY: The marbled murrelet has been the subject of continuous litigation on the west coast, particularly with Maxxam / Pacific Lumber.  Understandably, FWS wants to ensure that if and when it does designate new critical habitat, it does it correctly, and takes into account emerging information.  Normally, the deadlines in the ESA might make this matter ripe for still more litigation; however, in this case, the existing critical habitat designation will remain in place.  Environmentalists have declared this inaction by FWS a significant victory.  See, Seattle Post Intelligencer with links to competing press releases.

OTHER RESOURCES:

FWS web page on the marbled murrelet