Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Fish and Wildlife Service Comment Period Opens Today on Proposal to End Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program

Aug 26, 2011

Contact: Erica Szlosek (916) 978-6159

Fish and Wildlife Service Comment Period Opens Today on Proposal to End Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program

VENTURA, Calif. – As announced last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to end the 24-year-old southern sea otter translocation program in California following an in-depth evaluation that found the program is not meeting its objectives for restoring the species. The timing of today’s release of the proposed rule and an accompanying Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Revised Draft SEIS) complies with a settlement agreement reached in response to a lawsuit by The Otter Project and Environmental Defense Center on September 30, 2009, and amended complaint filed on December 23, 2009.

Comments may be submitted on the proposed rule, associated Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), or Revised Draft SEIS by one of the following methods:

  •  Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R8–FHC–2011–0046].
  •  U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS–R8–FHC–2011–0046]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
  •  Verbally by attending one of the formal public hearings. Written comments may also be submitted at the public hearings.

Comments must be received by October 24, 2011. The Service will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.

The Service has scheduled public meetings at the following locations:

October 4, 2011
Fleischmann Auditorium
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta Del Sol
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-682-4711

Public information session 5:00-6:00 p.m. PDT
Public hearing 6:00-8:00 p.m. PDT

October 6, 2011
La Feliz Room
Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Long Marine Laboratory 
100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA
831-459-3800

Public information session 5:00-6:00 p.m. PDT
Public hearing 6:00-8:00 p.m. PDT

The public hearings provide a formal, structured opportunity for interested parties to verbally express comments or to submit written comments on the proposed rule, associated IRFA, or the Revised Draft SEIS.

For more information about the southern sea otter and to view the proposed rule, associated IRFA, or Revised Draft SEIS, please visit http://www.fws.gov/ventura/species_information/so_sea_otter/index.html.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. The Service working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/.

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. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq