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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.

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Federal Register round-up on overlooked ESA announcements

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An update on some overlooked Federal Register announcements and caselaw.  Among them:
  • NOAA announcements on a petition for coho salmon and status review for steller sea lions; and
  • FWS announcements on listing of mountain plover, critical habitat for Arroyo toads and Vermilion Darters, and recovery plans for six prairie species.

NOAA FISHERIES ANNOUNCEMENTS:

75 Fed. Reg. 38776 / Vol. 75, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 6, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Docket No. 100427199–0266–01 / RIN 0648–XW22
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90–Day Finding for a Petition to List Puget Sound Coho Salmon as Endangered or Threatened
SUMMARY: We, NMFS, have received a petition to list Puget Sound populations of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) as an endangered or threatened species and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We determine that the petition does not present substantial evidence to indicate that the petitioned action may be warranted. Accordingly, we will not initiate a status review of the species at this time.
KEITHINKING: Expect to see more petitions on this species as soon as more data emerges.  NMFS determined that the petition offered nothing new compared to the agency's prior 1995 analysis, and NMFS emphasized decreased fishing activities.  

cohosalmonVictoria.jpg
With the near complete cessation of coho salmon fisheries by Canada on the West Coast of Vancouver Island since the time of our last status review, overall fisheries exploitation rates for all key naturally-reproducing coho populations in Puget Sound have been markedly reduced.  Coho photo from Victorialodging.com

75 Fed. Reg. 37385 / Vol. 75, No. 124 /Tuesday, June 29, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
RIN 0648–XU50
Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of a 5–Year Review of the Eastern Distinct Population Segment of the Steller Sea Lion
SUMMARY: NMFS announces a 5–year review of the eastern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). A 5–year review is a periodic process conducted to ensure that the listing classification of a species is accurate and it is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information on the eastern DPS of the Steller Sea Lion that has become available since their last status review in 1995. Based on the results of this 5–year review, we will make the requisite finding under the ESA.

FWS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

75 Fed. Reg. 37353 / Vol. 75, No. 124 /Tuesday, June 29, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2010-0038 / MO 92210-0-0008-B2 / RIN 1018-AX26
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Mountain Plover as Threatened
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), notify the public that we are reinstating that portion of our December 5, 2002, proposed rule that concerns the listing  of the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are not reinstating the portion of that proposed rule that concerned a proposed special rule  under section 4(d) of the Act. We invite public comments on the proposed listing and announce the availability of new information relevant to our consideration of the status of the mountain plover. We encourage those who may have commented previously to submit additional comments, if appropriate, in light of this new information.
EXCERPT: As part of a settlement agreement, the Service agreed to reconsider its September 9, 2003, decision to withdraw the proposed listing of the mountain plover, 68 Fed Reg. 53083...  the Service further agreed to submit a final listing determination for the mountain plover to the Federal Register no later than May 1, 2011.

75 Fed. Reg. 37358 / Vol. 75, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 29, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2009–0069 / 92210–0–0009–B4 / RIN 1018–AV89
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the Arroyo Toad
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our October 13, 2009, proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the arroyo toad; revisions to proposed critical habitat; and an amended required determinations section of the  proposal. We are reopening the comment period for an additional 30 days to allow all interested parties an opportunity to comment on the items listed above.

37350 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 29, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2009-0079 / MO92210-0-0009-B4 / RIN 1018-AW52
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Vermilion Darter
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft economic analysis (DEA) for the proposed designation of critical habitat for the vermilion darter (Etheostoma chermocki) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We also announce the reopening of the comment period and an amended required determinations section of the proposal. The comment period is reopened for an additional 30 days to allow interested parties an opportunity to comment simultaneously on the proposed critical habitat designation, the associated DEA, and the amended required determinations section.

75 Fed. Reg. 37460 / Vol. 75, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 29, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
FWS–R1–ES–2010–N072; 10120–1113–0000–C2
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Plan for the Prairie Species of Western Oregon and Southwestern Washington
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the approved Recovery Plan for the Prairie Species of Western Oregon and Southwestern Washington. The recovery plan addresses three endangered and three threatened species. This plan includes recovery objectives and criteria, and specific recovery actions necessary to achieve downlisting and delisting of the species, and their removal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The plan also supplements the existing recovery plan for one threatened species, providing recommendations for reintroducing it to its historical range.
EXCERPT: The native prairies of western Oregon and southwestern Washington are among the most imperiled ecosystems in the United States. Six native prairie species in the region—one butterfly and five plants—have been added to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants since 1988. In this recovery plan, we elucidate our recovery strategies and objectives for Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia airoides fenderi), Erigeron decumbens var. decumbens (Willamette daisy), Lomatium bradshawii (Bradshaw’s lomatium), Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii (Kincaid’s lupine), Sidalcea nelsoniana (Nelson’s checker-mallow), and Castilleja levisecta (golden paintbrush). This plan replaces and supersedes previously approved recovery plans.