[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16828-16829]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06214]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0054; 4500030113]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Status Review of 
the West Coast Distinct Population Segment of the Fisher as Endangered 
or Threatened

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of initiation of status review.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
opening of an information gathering period regarding the status of the 
fisher (Martes pennanti) throughout the range of its West Coast 
distinct population segment (DPS) in the United States. The status 
review will include analysis of whether the West Coast DPS of the 
fisher warrants listing as endangered or threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We encourage 
interested parties to provide us information regarding the status of, 
and any potential threats to, the West Coast DPS of the fisher.

DATES: We will consider information received or postmarked on or before 
May 3, 2013. Information submitted electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 
11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit information by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS-R8-ES-2013-0054, which is the 
docket number for this rulemaking.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2013-0054; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We request that you send information only by the methods described 
above. We will post all submitted information on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Request for Information 
section below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Williams, Field Supervisor, or 
Nadine Kanim, at the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office, 1829 S. Oregon 
St., Yreka, CA 96097; by telephone (530) 842-5763; or by facsimile 
(530) 842-4517. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 
(800) 877-8339.


Request for Information

    This document solicits biological, economic, or other data on the 
status of, and potential threats to, the West Coast DPS of the fisher, 
a medium sized mammal of the mustelid family. This information, along 
with other sources of data, will be used to determine if the West Coast 
DPS of the fisher warrants listing as endangered or threatened under 
the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq). We request any new information 
concerning the status of the West Coast DPS of the fisher. Information 
already submitted since 2004 (see species assessment: http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/candidate/assessments/2013/r8/A0HS_V01.pdf ) will be 
considered and need not be resubmitted. We will base our status review 
on the best scientific and commercial information available, including 
all information received as a result of this document. We are 
soliciting information and supporting data through this 45-day period 
to gain additional information and specifically seek information on the 
    (1) Information regarding the species' historical and current 
population status, distribution, abundance, and trends; biology and 
ecology; and habitat selection.
    (2) Information on the effects of potential threat factors that are 
the basis for a species' listing determination under section 4 (a) of 
the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)), which are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or

[[Page 16829]]

curtailment of the species' habitat or range;
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (c) Disease or predation;
    (d) Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
    (3) Scientific and commercial data to assist in development of any 
proposed critical habitat designation that we may make, including:
    (a) Habitat selection and use, and any changes or trends in the 
amount and distribution of habitat for the West Coast DPS of the 
    (b) Habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering, 
including particular physical or biological features that are essential 
to the conservation of the species and where such physical or 
biological features are found;
    (c) Whether any of these features may require special management 
considerations or protection;
    (d) What areas that are currently occupied and contain the physical 
or biological features essential to the conservation of the species 
should be included in the critical habitat designation and why;
    (e) What areas not currently occupied at the time of listing are 
essential for the conservation of the species and why;
    (f) The possible benefits and impacts (including economic impacts) 
of a possible critical habitat designation for the West Coast DPS of 
the fisher; and
    (g) Whether the designation of critical habitat for the West Coast 
DPS of the fisher would be beneficial to the conservation of the 
species or whether the identification of specific areas as critical 
habitat may increase threats to the species or its habitat.
    (4) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and regulations that may 
be addressing those threats.
    (5) Any information on the biological or ecological requirements of 
the species and ongoing conservation measures for the species and its 
    (6) Information on land use designations and current or planned 
activities in the areas occupied by the West Coast DPS of the fisher or 
areas that may be important for their conservation, and possible 
impacts of these activities on this species and these areas.
    (7) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of 
climate change on the West Coast DPS of the fisher population and its 
    (8) Information on any foreseeable economic, national security, or 
other relevant impacts that may result if we designate any area as 
critical habitat. We are particularly interested in any potential 
impacts on small entities, and the benefits of including or excluding 
areas from any possible future proposed designation that are subject to 
these impacts.
    Please support submissions with documentation such as maps, 
bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the data, 
or copies of pertinent publications, reports, or letters by 
knowledgeable sources. We request data from systematic surveys, studies 
or analysis of data regarding population size or trends, biology or 
ecology of the species, effects of current land management on 
population distribution and abundance, current condition of habitat, 
and conservation measures that have been implemented to benefit the 
species. We also request information on the current distribution of 
populations and threats to the species in relation to the five listing 
factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the Act).
    Comments merely stating support for or opposition to a particular 
action without providing supporting data may not meet the standard of 
information required by section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act, which directs 
that determinations as to whether any species is a endangered or 
threatened species must be made ``solely on the basis of the best 
scientific and commercial data available.'' At the conclusion of the 
status review, we will issue either a not-warranted finding or proposed 
rules for listing and critical habitat, as provided in section 
4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this status 
review by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that we will post your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we use in preparing this document, will be available for 
public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, 
during normal business hours, at the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office 


    This status review is being initiated as part of a multidistrict 
litigation settlement agreement under which the Service agreed to 
submit a proposed rule or a not-warranted finding to the Federal 
Register for the West Coast DPS of the fisher no later than the end of 
Fiscal Year 2014 (In re Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline 
Litigation, Misc. Action No. 10-377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 
(D.D.C.). The settlement agreement also provides that if we pursue 
listing of the West coast DPS of the fisher, we concurrently designate 
critical habitat for that DPS.
    On April 8, 2004, we published a 12-month finding in the Federal 
Register stating that listing the fisher under the Act is warranted but 
precluded by other higher priority actions (69 FR 18770). We have 
annually reviewed this finding and monitored the status of the fisher, 
as required under 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(C)(i) and (iii), as reflected in 
the annual Candidate Notices of Review (CNORs). See the November 21, 
2012, Federal Register (77 FR 69994) for the most recent CNOR. The 
Center for Biological Diversity challenged our expeditious progress in 
making a listing determination for the fisher (Center for Biological 
Diversity, et al. v. Salazar, et al., No. 3:10-cv-01501-JCS, N.D. 
Cal.); this challenge was resolved by a joint stipulation of dismissal 
based on the settlement of the multidistrict litigation referenced 
above. For additional information on the West Coast DPS of the fisher, 
please see our April 8, 2004, notice of 12-month finding (69 FR 18770); 
the November 21, 2012, CNOR (77 FR 69994); or the species profile page 
at: http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A0HS.


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: March 5, 2013.
Rowan W. Gould,
Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-06214 Filed 3-18-13; 8:45 am]