U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Offer Additional Public Comment Period on Proposed Endangered Species Act Protection for Two Butterflies
For Immediate Release
December 17, 2013
The 60-day comment period on a proposal to protect two prairie butterflies, the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling, under the Endangered Species Act will end on December 23, 2013, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the public will have more opportunities to provide input. The Service plans to open an additional public comment period in 2014, once a draft economic analysis on the potential impacts of critical habitat is available. Additionally, the Service will continue to accept comments via mail or hand delivery on the proposal for critical habitat and the proposal for listing between December 23, 2013, and when the comment period is reopened.
On October 24, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the two butterflies for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to steep population declines. The Service also proposed critical habitat for both species.
The draft economic analysis will evaluate the potential economic impact of designating critical habitat for the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling. When designating critical habitat, the Service may exclude some areas if the benefits of excluding areas outweigh including them.
When that draft analysis is complete, the comment period will reopen so that the public can provide further input on the proposals themselves, as well as on the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation. The Service anticipates the draft economic analysis for the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling proposed critical habitat will be available in spring 2014. Typically, such comment periods are reopened for an additional 30 days. The Service will notify the public when the comment period reopens.
Comments previously submitted will not need to be resubmitted, and you may continue to submit comments through December 23, 2013, or during the reopened comment period that will occur sometime in the spring of 2014.
Through December 23, 2013, you may submit comments by one of the following methods: (1) In the Keyword box, enter Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2013-0017 for comments on the proposed critical habitat or Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2013-0043 for comments on the proposed listing, which are the docket numbers for the 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 “Send a Comment or Submission.” If your comments will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our comment review procedures. If you attach your comments as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel; or (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R3-ES-2013-0017 (for comments on the proposed critical habitat) or FWS-R3-ES-2013-0043 (for comments on the proposed listing); Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.