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Laws & Policies | Regulations and Policies | Final Listing Priority Guidance for Fiscal Year 2000
[Federal Register: October 22, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 204)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Department of The Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Listing
Priority Guidance for Fiscal Year 2000
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
SUMMARY: We (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) announce final guidance for assigning relative priorities to listing actions conducted under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended (Act) during fiscal year (FY) 2000. We have returned to a more balanced listing program and have reduced the serious backlogs that remained from the 1995-96 moratorium and funding rescission. Nevertheless, a method for prioritizing among the various listing activities remains necessary because it is still extremely important for us to focus our efforts on listing actions that will provide the greatest conservation benefits to imperiled species in the most expeditious and biologically sound manner. We will no longer recognize tiers and, nationwide, we will undertake all listing activities in all priority levels simultaneously; however, we will observe relative priorities among various listing actions as described in this guidance. The highest priority will be processing emergency listing rules for any species determined to face a significant and imminent risk to its well being. Second priority is the processing of final determinations on proposed additions to the lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Third priority is processing new proposals to add species to the lists. The processing of administrative petition findings (petitions filed under section 4 of the Act) is the fourth priority. The processing of critical habitat determinations (prudency and determinability decisions) and proposed or final designations of critical habitat will be funded separately from other section 4 listing actions and will no longer be subject to prioritization under Listing Priority Guidance. Critical habitat determinations, which were previously included in final listing rules published in the Federal Register, may now be processed separately, in which case stand alone critical habitat determinations will be published as notices in the Federal Register. We will undertake critical habitat determinations and designations during FY 2000 as conservation efforts demand and in light of resource constraints. Delisting activities are no longer part of the listing program and have been undertaken by the recovery program since FY 1999. In addition, all listing and delisting of foreign species are carried out by the Service's International Affairs program and are not addressed in this notice.
DATES: This Listing Priority Guidance is effective immediately upon publication and will remain in effect until modified or terminated. This is internal Service guidance that will neither invoke nor relieve restrictions on the private or public sector. Therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d), we have determined that good cause exists to make the effective date of this notice immediate.
ADDRESSES: Submit questions regarding this guidance to the Chief, Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Mailstop ARLSQ-420, Washington, D.C. 20240.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Gloman, Chief, Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-2171 (see ADDRESSES section).
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