[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 124 (Tuesday, June 28, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41925-41926]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-15227]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001; 50120-1113-000]
RIN 1018-AY05

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Eastern 
Puma (=Cougar) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the comment period on our June 17, 2015, proposed rule to 
remove the eastern puma (=cougar) (Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar) from 
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We are 
reopening the comment period for 30 days to conduct peer review. 
Interested parties are also afforded this additional opportunity to 
comment on the proposed rule; comments previously submitted need not be 
resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the 
final listing determination.

DATES: To allow us adequate time to consider comments on the proposed 
rule, we must receive them on or before July 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Written comments: You may submit comments on the proposed 
rule by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal: http://

[[Page 41926]]

www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number for the 
proposed rule, which is FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001. Then click on the Search 
button. On the resulting page, you may submit a comment by clicking on 
``Comment Now!'' Please ensure that you have found the correct 
rulemaking before submitting your comment.
     By U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information provided to 
us (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information).
    Document availability: Comments and materials we receive, as well 
as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, 
will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov 
under Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin Miller, Northeast Regional 
Office, telephone 413-253-8615; or Mark McCollough, Maine Field Office, 
telephone 207-866-3344, extension 115. Individuals who are hearing 
impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Information Relay 
Service at (800) 877-8339 for TTY assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 17, 2015, we published a proposed 
rule (80 FR 34595) to remove the eastern puma (=cougar) from the 
Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife based on a thorough 
review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which 
indicate that this species is extinct and no longer meets the 
definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We 
sought comments and information from the public regarding the proposal 
during a 60-day comment period ending August 17, 2015. We are reopening 
the comment period on that proposed rule for an additional 30 days (see 
DATES, above). We will accept written comments and information during 
this reopened comment period. We are specifically soliciting comments 
from peer reviewers (see Peer Review, below). Please refer to the 
proposed rule for more information on our proposed action and the 
specific comments and information we seek.
    You may submit your comments and information concerning the 
proposed rule 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 your 
entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be 
made publicly available at any time. All comments and recommendations, 
including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative 
    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your 
entire comment--including any personal identifying information--will be 
posted on the Web site. 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.
    If you mail or hand deliver a hardcopy comment that includes 
personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your 
document that we withhold this information from public review, but we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To ensure that the 
electronic docket for this rulemaking is complete and all comments we 
receive are publicly available, we will post all hardcopy submissions 
on http://www.regulations.gov.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published in the Federal Register on 
July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and the Office of Management and Budget's 
Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, dated December 16, 
2004, we are soliciting the expert opinions of at least three 
appropriate and independent specialists regarding the science in our 
proposed rule published on June 17, 2015 (80 FR 34595). The purpose of 
such review is to ensure that we base our decisions on scientifically 
sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We are sending peer reviewers 
copies of the proposed rule and inviting them to comment, during this 
reopened public comment period, on the specific assumptions and 
conclusions regarding the proposed delisting. We will summarize the 
opinions of these reviewers in the final decision document, and we will 
consider their input and any additional information we receive as part 
of our process of making a final decision on the proposal. Such 
communication may lead to a final decision that differs from the 

    Dated: June 20, 2016.
Stephen Guertin,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-15227 Filed 6-27-16; 8:45 am]