FWS proposes revised critical habitat for Buena Vista lake shrew
74 Fed. Reg. 53999 / Vol. 74, No. 202 / Wednesday, October 21, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Buena Vista Lake shrew
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise our designation of critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake shrew (Sorex ornatus relictus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our proposal is the same as the proposed critical habitat we published on August 19, 2004 (69 FR 51417). In total, approximately 4,649 acres (ac) (1,881 hectares (ha)) occur within the boundaries of the proposed revised critical habitat designation. The proposed revised critical habitat is located in the Central Valley floor of Kern County, California. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we receive information on or before December 21, 2009.
EXCERPT: On October 2, 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California challenging the Service’s designation of critical habitat for the shrew (Center for Biological Diversity v. United States Fish and Wildlife, et al., Case No. 08-CV-01490-AWI-GSA). A July 9, 2009, settlement agreement stipulates the Service will, within 90 days of the signed agreement, submit to the Federal Register for publication a new proposal of critical habitat for the species which encompasses the same geographic area as the August 19, 2004, (69 FR 51417) proposed designation. Additionally, the Service agreed to submit to the Federal Register for publication, on or before March 22, 2012, a final determination on revised critical habitat for the shrew. The current designation of critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake shrew (70 FR 3438, January 24, 2005) remains in full force and effect until we publish a new final rule revising critical habitat for the shrew.
KEITHINKING: The litigation stemmed from the Center for Biological Diversity's fundamental distrust of the Bush Administration and the changes it made to the final rule compared to a much more protective proposed rule. See CBD press release. Photo below from YubaNet.com, attributed to US Fish & Wildlife Service (but perhaps actually from CBD?)