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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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Follow the truth.

"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 replaces interim rule for polar bears with final rule on incidental take | Main| FWS proposes critical habitat for DPS of Northern Sea Otter »

FWS and NOAA formally announce final rule changing ESA Sec. 7 consulation process

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73 Fed. Reg. 76272 / Vol. 73, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 16, 2008DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Interagency Cooperation Under the Endangered Species Act; Final rule.

SUMMARY: With this final rule, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, ‘‘Services’’ or ‘‘we’’) amend regulations governing interagency cooperation under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). This rule clarifies several definitions, provides assistance as to when consultation under section 7 is necessary, and establishes time frames for the informal consultation process.

KEITHINKING: See prior ESA blawg entries (12/11/2008) and (11/24/2008) and (11/22/2008) and (10/24/2008)

EXCERPT: All aspects of formal consultation, as found in the 1986 regulations, remain intact. Nothing in this final rule allows action agencies to adversely affect listed species or critical habitat without consultation with the Services. Action agencies remain obligated to review their actions to determine if they ‘‘may affect’’ a listed species. In formal consultation, the action agency continues to be required to produce a biological assessment for ‘‘major construction activities,’’ to produce a consultation initiation package that describes the action to be considered, the specific area that may be affected by the action, any listed species or critical habitat that may be affected by the action, the manner in which the action may affect listed species or critical habitat, and cumulative effects. An action agency must submit any relevant reports to the Services and the action agency is still required to provide the Services with the ‘‘best scientific and commercial data available.’’ Further, nothing in this final rule prevents an action agency from engaging in informal consultation or technical assistance from the Service.