News Release

October 31, 2013

Comment Period Reopened for Proposed Listing of Wolverine

Media Contacts:
Steve Segin, 303-236-4578, robert_segin@fws.gov Shawn Sartorius, 406-449-5225, shawn_sartorius@fws.gov

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Listing of North American Wolverine Under Endangered Species Act
Agency seeks information from public, scientific community to inform final decisions


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening the comment period for the proposed listing of the North American wolverine to broaden the discussion to the entire public and to ensure that all available information is adequately considered in the process.  The reopened comment period will close on December 2, 2013. 
On February 4, 2013, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to list the North American wolverine as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended.  With that rule, the Service also proposed a special rule that tailored the prohibitions of the ESA that would apply to the wolverine if the listing were finalized. 
The proposed rule had a 90-day comment period that ended May 6, 2013.  During the peer review process, the Service received comments indicating that there exists a variety of opinions among the scientific community concerning the information we used to support the proposed rules.  Specifically, some peer reviewers questioned the information we used to describe wolverine habitat, and that was used to estimate potential impacts to wolverine habitat from future climate change.  We also received several requests from states and the public to extend the comment period for these proposals. As a result, we have extended the public comment period.
Details on the kinds of information the Service is seeking are available in the comment period reopening notice published in the Federal Register on October 31, 2013.  You may obtain copies of the notice and proposed rules on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2012–107 for the proposed threatened status for North American wolverine.  Copies of the proposed rules are also available at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolverine/.
We will accept written comments and information during this extended comment period and will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties.  If you previously submitted comments or information on the proposed rules, please do not resubmit them.  We have incorporated them into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determinations.  We intend that any final action resulting from these proposals be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible.  You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
(1) Electronically:
Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal:  http://www.regulations.gov.  In the Keyword box, enter the appropriate Docket No.:  Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2012–107for the proposed threatened status for North American wolverine.  Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check on the Proposed Rules link to locate the proposed rule.  You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
(2) By hard copy:
For the proposed threatened status for the North American wolverine, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS–R6–ES–2012–107; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. 
We request that you send comments only by the methods described above.  We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov.  This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us.
The Endangered Species Act provides an important safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife, and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others. The Service is 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/.