FWS reopens public comment on proposed decrease in critical habitat for Marbled murrelet.
74 Fed. Reg. 6852 / Vol. 74, No. 27 / Wednesday, February 11, 2009 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17 / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet; Proposed rule; reopening of public comment period.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period for submitting comments on our July 31, 2008 proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The reopened comment period will provide all interested parties with an additional opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted for the proposed revised critical habitat designation need not be resubmitted; they have already been incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in any final decisions.
EXCERPT: On May 24, 1996, we designated 3,887,800 acres (ac) (1,573,340 hectares (ha)) as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet in Washington, Oregon, and California. On July 31, 2008, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (73 FR 44678) to revise critical habitat for the marbled murrelet. Under the proposed revised designation of critical habitat, we would remove approximately 254,070 ac (102,820 ha) in northern California and Oregon from the 1996 designation, based on new information indicating that these areas do not meet the definition of critical habitat. This action, if adopted in its entirety, would result in a revised designation of approximately 3,633,800 ac (1,470,550 ha) as critical habitat for the marbled murrelet.
Photo of Juvenile Marbled Murrelet off Kodiak Island by Rich MacIntosh from USGS