NOAA revises Atlantic salmon critical habitat to exclude tribal lands
74 Fed. Reg. 39903 / Vol. 74, No. 152 / Monday, August 10, 2009 / Rules and Regulations
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / 50 CFR Part 226 / Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment; Final Rule
ACTION: Final rule.
Image from National Academies 2004 publication on Atlantic Salmon in Maine.
SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue a final rule to revise the regulatory language that appeared in a final rule that published in the Federal Register of June 19, 2009. The final rule designated critical habitat for the Atlantic salmon (USalmo salar) Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment (GOM DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We designated as critical habitat 45 specific areas occupied by Atlantic salmon at the time of listing that comprise approximately 19,571 km of perennial river, stream, and estuary habitat and 799 square km of lake habitat within the range of the GOM DPS and in which are found those physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species. We excluded approximately 1,256 km of river, stream, and estuary habitat and 100 square km of lake habitat from critical habitat pursuant to the ESA. We issue this final rule to revise the designated critical habitat for the expanded GOM DPS of Atlantic salmon to exclude all trust and fee holdings of the Penobscot Indian Nation, and we correct the table to add an ‘‘E’’ to indicate that Belfast Bay is excluded from critical habitat under the ESA for reasons of economics. DATES: Effective August 10, 2009.
EXCERPT: We do not believe that exclusion of Penobscot Tribal Trust lands and Passamaquoddy tribal lands, including their lands in the Downeast Coastal Salmon Habitat Recovery Unit (SHRU), will reduce the conservation value or functional habitat units of Atlantic salmon habitat within those particular areas, given the ongoing cooperative efforts between the Tribes and the agencies. The Penobscot Indian Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe own lands within the range of the GOM DPS and have actively pursued or participated in activities to further promote the health and continued existence of Atlantic salmon and their habitats... The benefits of excluding Tribal lands from critical habitat include maintenance of a long-term working relationship between the Tribes and government agencies that promotes environmental conservation and Atlantic salmon conservation and the continued promotion of established national policies, our Federal trust obligations, and our deference to the Tribes in management of natural resources on their lands.
KEITHINKING: for more information on the efforts of the regional tribes, visit CooperativeConservationAmerica.org