John Stewart

17 Candidate Species Found to No Longer Warrant Listing Due to Conservation Successes

The 17 species that will be removed from the Candidate List are the Cumberland arrow darter, Great Basin population of the Columbia spotted frog, Goose Creek milkvetch, Nevares Spring naucorid bug, Page springsnail, Ramshaw meadows sand verbena, Sequatchie caddisfly, Siskiyou mariposa lily, Sleeping ute milkvetch, Southern Idaho ground squirrel, Tahoe yellow cress and six Tennessee cave beetles (Baker Station, Coleman, Fowler's, Indian Grave Point, Inquirer, and Noblett's beetles). Additionally, the Service has determined that petitions to list the American eel and Shawnee darter are not warranted under the ESA. Neither are on the ESA candidate species list. The not warranted determinations (known as 12-month findings) represent compelling examples of American conservation and demonstrate that how the ESA inspires collaboration between federal and state agencies, private companies, conservation organizations and individual landowners. “We are proud of our close work with so many diverse stakeholders, and of the role of the Endangered Species Act in supporting these collaborations,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “This model of proactive conservation and partnership should give critics of the Act pause and make us all consider what would be lost to future generations of Americans by weakening the nation’s foremost wildlife conservation law.” Some examples of the success stories in this status review include: States and landowners address threats to Great Basin population of Columbia spotted frog. Located in Nevada, southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon, the Columbia spotted frog lives its entire life in water and faced the threat of declining water quantity and quality. Following the designation of the frog as an ESA candidate species, states, federal agencies and private landowners went to work clarifying solutions, employing sustainable grazing practices, and creating ponds where the frog has taken up residence and is successfully breeding. As a result of these collaborative conservation efforts, population numbers of the Great Basin Columbia spotted frog have rebounded. Stakeholders return Siskiyou mariposa lily to healthy populations in northern California. When it was listed as a candidate for the ESA, the Siskiyou mariposa lily was threatened with extinction by loss of habitat from disturbance and non-native invasive plants. In response, the Service partnered with the state of California, private landowners, Siskiyou County Department of Agriculture, Klamath National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove invasive plants from lily habitat on federal and private lands and limit harmful soil disturbance activities. BLM and Service agreements protect and restore imperiled Goose Creek milkvetch. The milkvetch is located primarily on federal lands in Idaho, Nevada and Utah, and following its listing as an ESA candidate species the Service partnered with BLM and state natural heritage programs to restore and protect its habitat from the invasive plant, leafy spurge. Through a voluntary arrangement called a Candidate Conservation Agreement, federal agencies have protected 86% of the milkvetch’s population and 93% of its known habitat. State of Arizona and Service collaborate on Page springsnail. The Service worked with Arizona Game and Fish Department on a voluntary conservation agreement that restored Page springsnail habitat on state lands. Through this effort, Arizona enhanced natural springs, created artificial springbrooks, added substrate preferred by the snail, and salvaged snails during the eradication of non-native species. Eight of the ten Page springsnail populations are now stable or increasing. Kentucky, U.S. Forest Service and Service work together on Cumberland arrow darter. In addition to benefiting from laws and regulations protecting listed fish in its habitat, the Cumberland arrow darter is also aided by the Forest Service's management efforts on Daniel Boone National Forest. Other efforts include range-wide distributional surveys and habitat analyses by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Service, which have found 38 additional streams inhabited by the darter. Diverse stakeholders restore the New England cottontail. Earlier this month, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Service Director Dan Ashe, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and leaders of state wildlife agencies announced that the New England cottontail would be removed from the ESA Candidate List, due to successful efforts of states, private landowners, federal agencies and non-profit organizations. The improved young forest habitat that resulted from these efforts benefits not only the cottontail, but at least 65 other species, including woodcock, bobcats, snowshoe hares, songbirds, box turtles and frosted elfin butterflies. More information is available in the attached FAQ and a summary of all findings in this batch along with their docket numbers can be found at www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection by clicking on the 2015 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. It is also available at www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm. Information can be submitted on species for which a status review is being initiated, using the specified docket number, beginning upon publication in the Federal Register, for 60 days until December 7, 2015. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube.

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John Stewart

Multiple Species Listing Not Warranted

***********************************Listing of Amargosa Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard Not WarrantedThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Amargosa River population of the Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia) located in San Bernardino County, California, as an endangered or threatened distinct population segment (DPS), under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-amargosa-mojave-fringe-toed-lizard-not-warranted***********************************Gray Delisting Proposed in Wyoming
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is proposing to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This rule focuses on the Wyoming portion of the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), except where discussion of the larger Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) or NRM metapopulation (a population that exists as partially isolated sets of subpopulations) is necessary to understand impacts to wolves in Wyoming.Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/gray-delisting-proposed-in-wyoming***********************************Listing of Northern Leopard Frog Not Warranted
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-northern-leopard-frog-not-warranted***********************************Listing of California Golden Trout Not WarrantedThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-california-golden-trout-not-warranted

***********************************Listing of Mojave Ground Squirrel Not WarrantedThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-mojave-ground-squirrel-not-warranted

 

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John Stewart

Critical Habitat and Economic Analysis for Bull Trout Released

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat and Releases Economic Analysis for Bull Trout

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today revised the 2005 critical habitat designation for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a threatened species found throughout much of the Pacific Northwest and protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Approximately 18,975 miles of streams and 488,252 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Nevada are being designated as critical habitat for the wide-ranging fish. In Washington, 754 miles of marine shoreline are also being designated.

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John Stewart

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Says Western Sage-Grouse Not a Sub-species

The Service was petitioned by the Institute for Wildlife Protection seeking ESA protection for the western sage grouse, which occurs in northern California, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and possibly parts of Idaho. The Service concluded in 2003 that the western sage grouse is neither a distinct population segment nor a valid subspecies of the greater sage grouse, and therefore was not eligible for protection under the ESA. The Service’s decision was sent back to the agency by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration of whether the western sage grouse may be a subspecies. The court upheld the Service’s determination that the western sage grouse is not a distinct population segment of the greater sage grouse.Today’s announcement is included in the Service’s decision that the listing of greater sage-grouse is warranted for ESA protection but is precluded by higher listing priorities. The greater sage-grouse will be placed on the candidate list for future action, meaning the species would not receive statutory protection under the ESA and states would continue to be responsible for managing the bird. The Service also determined that the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse, found in California and Nevada and formerly known as the Mono Basin population, meets the necessary criteria for recognition as a Distinct Population Segment under the ESA, and that adding this population to the federal list of threatened and endangered species is warranted. However, listing the Bi-State DPS of the greater sage-grouse at this time is precluded by the need to list candidate species with that have a higher priority need for protection under the ESA. It will be placed on the list of candidate species.  The Service will review the status of the Bi-State DPS and the greater sage-grouse annually, as it does with all candidates for listing, and will propose them for listing when funding and workload permit.The finding on greater sage-grouse incorporates the birds referenced in the petition to list a western subspecies, which will therefore be included on the list of candidate species.The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a large, ground-dwelling bird, measuring up to 30 inches in length, is two feet tall and weighs between two to seven pounds.  It has a long, pointed tail with legs feathered to the base of the toes and fleshy yellow combs over the eyes.  In addition to the mottled brown, black and white plumage typical of the species, males sport a white ruff around their necks.  The sage-grouse is found from 4,000 feet to over 9,000 feet in elevation.  It is an omnivore, eating soft plants (primarily sagebrush) and insects.Greater sage-grouse are found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. They occupy approximately 56 percent of their historical range.For more information regarding today’s findings, please visit the Service’s web site at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/birds/sagegrouse.The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

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