Peer Review of Scientific Information
Pacific Region
 

Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet

About the Document

Title:  Marbled Murrelet Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat
Type of review:  Influential

About the Peer Review Process

We originally designated critical habitat for the marbled murrelet in Washington, Oregon, and California on May 24, 1996 (61 FR 26256).  In 1997, we completed a recovery plan for the species, and in 2003, we completed a 5-Year Status Review of the species.  The revision of critical habitat proposal is in response to a settlement agreement with the American Forest Resource Council reached on January 13, 2003, and incorporates the latest information about the marbled murrelet, its habitat and regulatory and voluntary efforts that provide protection to the species and its habitat.  The purpose of the proposed rule is to identify areas to be included within a critical habitat designation for marbled murrelet, in accordance with section 3 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).  The proposed rule contains descriptions of the life history, threats, primary constituent elements (PCEs), and areas proposed for inclusion and exclusion in the critical habitat designation.
In accordance with the peer review requirements of the Office of Management and Budget's Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, in January 2007, we will initiate peer review of the scientific information influential to our proposed rule.

Process:  The Service will conduct external peer review of this document through electronic letters sent to three or more independent scientific reviewers with expertise in marbled murrelet or similar species biology; conservation biology; population dynamics and extinction risk analysis; land development and use, invasive species, and other environmental pressures within the range of these species; land planning and management; modeling; and/or evaluation of biological plausibility.
The following criteria will be considered for any potential nomination.

Expertise
:  The reviewer should have knowledge, experience, and skills in one or more of the following areas:  marbled murrelet or similar species biology; conservation biology; population dynamics and extinction risk analysis; land development and use, invasive species, and other environmental pressures within the range of these species; land planning and management; modeling; and/or evaluation of biological plausibility.

Independence
:  The reviewer should not be employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Academic and consulting scientists should have sufficient independence from the Service or Department if the government supports their work.

Objectivity
:  The reviewer should be recognized by his or her peers as being objective, open‑minded, and thoughtful.  In addition, the reviewer should be comfortable sharing his or her knowledge and perspectives and openly identifying his or her knowledge gaps.

Advocacy
:  The reviewer should not be known or recognized for an affiliation with an advocacy position regarding the protection of this species under the Endangered Species Act.

Conflict of Interest
:  The reviewer should not have any financial or other interest that conflicts or that could impair his or her objectivity or create an unfair competitive advantage.
Peer review of the scientific information used in our proposed rule for the marbled murrelet critical habitat and validity of the data will be requested, but peer reviewers will not be asked to provide recommendations on the legal status of the species.
The Service will use the information received from the peer review, as appropriate, in the conclusions and recommendations for the Final proposal for Marbled Murrelet Critical Habitat.

Estimated Peer Review Timeline:

Estimated dissemination date:  January 2007
Peer review initiated:  January 23, 2007
Peer review to be completed by:  February 23, 2007
Estimated Dissemination Date of the Final Review Document:  August 2007

About Public Participation

Public comments on the Proposed Rule for Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet were sought with a Federal Register announcement on September 13, 2006, and the distribution by mail and press release of that announcement to interested parties.
This peer review plan is made available on this website to allow the public to monitor our compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.

Contact

Jodi Bush, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Services Office, 360-753-6046.

 

Last updated: November 5, 2013
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