News Release

June 17, 2014

Comment Period Reopened for Oregon Spotted Frog in Washington and Oregon

Media Contacts:
Washington - Taylor Goforth (360) 753-4375; Oregon - Elizabeth Materna (503) 231-6912; Klamath Falls - Matt Baun (530) 340-2387

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the reopening of the comment period on its August 29, 2013, proposed designation of critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Based on new information received, the Service is proposing changes to four of the 14 proposed critical habit areas: the Lower Deschutes River, Williamson River, Upper Klamath Lake, and Upper Klamath.

The proposed changes result in a total addition of 309 acres (125 hectares) to the proposed critical habitat for Oregon spotted frog.  These new areas are occupied by the Oregon spotted frog and contain the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species.  There are no changes being proposed in the other 10 proposed critical habitat units.

In addition, the Service also announced the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical habitat designation for the Oregon spotted frog, which addresses the potential incremental economic impacts of critical habitat designation for the species.  The DEA estimates the total incremental administrative costs related to the proposed critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog to be $190,000.

The reopening of the comment periods allows all interested parties an opportunity to comment simultaneously on the proposed critical habitat rule as published on August 29, 2013, the proposed changes to four of the critical habitat units and the associated DEA.  Previously submitted comments on the proposed critical habitat rule do not need to be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final critical habitat rule.  The Service invites public comment on the proposed critical habitat rule and the draft economic analysis for a 30-day period, and will accept comments received or postmarked on or before July 18, 2014.

Copies of the proposed critical habitat rule may be obtained at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection in Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2013–0088.  More information is available from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office’s website at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/osf.html.