The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced an extension of the public comment period for another 45 days on the proposal to designate approximately 1.86 million acres of critical habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border. The sage grouse would be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
There is great concern by local officials and residents over the proposed plan, which covers large portions of Mono County. Fears are that it will have a negative impact on tourism and the local economy.
“We are hoping to provide the public with an adequate opportunity to review and submit comments on the proposals by extending the public comment period,” said Ted Koch, State Supervisor for the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office. “This process is important so that any final decision made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reflects all of the best information available.”
According to the press release, scientific information regarding these proposals will now be accepted until February 10, 2014, and may be submitted by one of the following methods:
(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R8–ES–2013–0042 and FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072, which are the docket numbers for these rulemakings. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2013–0042 and FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
A copy of the proposed rules published on October 28, 2013, and other information about the Bi-State DPS of the greater sage-grouse, is available at http://www.fws.gov/nevada or at http://www.regulations.gov, or through the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office at 775.861.6300.