FWS announces new proposed critical habitat for Louisiana black bear
73 Federal Register 25354 (Tuesday, May 6, 2008) (DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolus); Proposed Rule)
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for the Louisiana black bear under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Concurrently, we withdraw our December 2, 1993, proposal for Louisiana black bear critical habitat (58 FR 63560). In total, approximately 1,330,000 acres (538,894 hectares (ha)) fall within the boundaries of this proposed critical habitat designation. The proposed critical habitat is located in Avoyelles, East Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, West Carroll, and West Feliciana Parishes, Louisiana. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before July 7, 2008.
COMMENTARY: This critical habitat designation modifies, and otherwise builds upon, previous listing decisions and proposed critical habitat determinations made by FWS in the 1990s. See final listing rule published in the Federal Register on January 7, 1992 (57 FR 588), and 1995 final recovery plan, available online.. Black bears are not listed for ESA protection in Florida, due in part to the very different regulatory protections in place. See ESAblawg (Mar. 10, 2008). For more information about the Louisiana subspecies of the black bear, see additional resources by Defenders of Wildlife and Texas.
A federally threatened female Louisiana black bear and her cubs overlook a cypress brake that is located within the bottomland hardwood forest of Tensas River NWR., photo from U.S. FWS