[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 118 (Monday, June 20, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39911-39912]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-14484]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE673


Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; 
request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this 
notice announces that NMFS intends to obtain information necessary to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 11 Hatchery and 
Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) for salmon hatchery programs jointly 
submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the 
Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, 
and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (referred to as the co-
managers), for NMFS's evaluation and determination under Limit 6 of the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Rule for threatened salmon and 
steelhead. The HGMPs specify the propagation of salmon in the Nooksack 
River Basin in Washington State.
    NMFS provides this notice to advise other agencies and the public 
of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and obtain 
suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues 
and alternatives to include in the EIS.

DATES: Written or electronic scoping comments must be received at the 
appropriate address or email mailbox (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 
p.m. Pacific Time July 20, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be sent by any of the following 
methods:
     Email to the following address: 
[email protected] with the following identifier in the 
subject line: Nooksack Hatcheries Scoping.
     Mail or hand-deliver to NMFS Sustainable Fisheries 
Division, 510 Desmond Drive SE., Suite 103, Lacey, WA 98503.
     Fax to (360) 753-9517.
    Comments received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address. All 
Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) 
voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do 
not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or 
protected information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Leider, NMFS, by phone at (360) 
753-4650, or email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

ESA-Listed Species Covered in This Notice

    Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Threatened, naturally and 
artificially produced in Puget Sound.
    Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha): Threatened, naturally and 
artificially produced in Puget Sound.
    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened, naturally and artificially 
produced Hood Canal summer-run.
    Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus): Threatened Puget Sound/
Washington Coast.

Background

    The WDFW, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, the Upper 
Skagit Indian Tribe, and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, have 
jointly submitted to NMFS HGMPs for 11 hatchery programs in the 
Nooksack River Basin in Washington State. The HGMPs were updated and 
submitted to NMFS from 2013 to 2015, pursuant to limit 6 of the 4(d) 
Rule for salmon and steelhead. The hatchery programs include releases 
of ESA-listed Chinook salmon, and non-listed coho, pink, and fall-run 
chum salmon into the Nooksack River Basin.
    NEPA requires Federal agencies to conduct environmental analyses of 
their proposed major actions to determine if the actions may affect the 
human environment. NMFS's action of determining that the co-managers' 
HGMPs meet criteria under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and 
steelhead promulgated under the ESA, is a major Federal action subject 
to environmental review under NEPA. Therefore, NMFS is seeking public 
input on the scope of the required NEPA analysis, including the range 
of reasonable alternatives, recommendations for relevant analysis 
methods, and information associated with impacts of the alternatives to 
the resources listed below or other relevant resources.
    NMFS will perform an environmental review of the HGMPs and prepare 
an EIS that will identify potentially significant direct, indirect, and 
cumulative impacts on the following resources that may be affected by 
the Proposed Action or its alternatives:

 Listed and Non-listed Species and their habitats
 Water Quantity
 Socioeconomics
 Environmental Justice
 Cumulative Impacts

    NMFS will rigorously explore and objectively evaluate a full range 
of reasonable alternatives in the EIS, including the Proposed Action 
and a no-action alternative. Other alternatives may include a decreased 
production alternative.
    For all potentially significant impacts, the EIS will identify 
measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts, where feasible.

Request for Comments

    NMFS provides this notice to: (1) Advise other agencies and the 
public of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and (2) 
obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of 
issues and the full range of alternatives to include in the EIS.
    NMFS invites comment from all interested parties to ensure that the 
full range of issues related to the 11 salmon HGMPs is identified. 
Comments should be as specific as possible.
    Written comments concerning the Proposed Action and the 
environmental

[[Page 39912]]

review should be directed to NMFS as described above (see ADDRESSES). 
All comments and materials received, including names and addresses, 
will become part of the administrative record and may be released to 
the public.

Authority

    The environmental review of the 11 salmon HGMPs in the Nooksack 
River Basin of Washington State will be conducted in accordance with 
requirements of the NEPA of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 
NEPA Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), other appropriate Federal 
laws and regulations, and policies and procedures of NMFS for 
compliance with those regulations. This notice is being furnished in 
accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 to obtain suggestions and information 
from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues and 
alternatives to be addressed in the EIS.

    Dated: June 15, 2016.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-14484 Filed 6-17-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P