[Federal Register: March 27, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 59)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 14892-14893]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AE56

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Extension of 
Public Comment Period on Proposed Endangered Status for the Pecos 
Pupfish (Cyprinodon pecosensis) and Notice of Public Hearing

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule, extension of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) gives notice that 
the comment period is extended on the proposed rule to list the Pecos 
pupfish (Cyprinodon pecosensis) as an endangered species. The Service 
is working with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the New 
Mexico State Parks Department, the Texas Department of Parks and 
Wildlife, and the Bureau of Land Management to assess potential 
conservation actions for the species. The extension of the comment 
period will allow these entities and all other interested parties to 
continue to work with the Service and to submit comments on the 
    The Eddy County Board of Commissioners, Eddy County, New Mexico, 
has requested that a public hearing be held on this proposal. The 
Service gives notice that a public hearing will be held on the proposed 

DATES: The comment period for this proposal, originally opened from 
January 30 through March 31, 1998, will be extended to November 20, 
1998. Comments must be received by the closing date. The public hearing 
will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 9, 1998, in Carlsbad, New 
Mexico (see ADDRESSES section).

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Pecos River Village 
Conference Center, 711 Muscatel, Carlsbad, New Mexico. Written comments 
and materials should be sent to the Field Supervisor, New Mexico 
Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2105 
Osuna NE., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113. Comments and materials 
received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the above address.


[[Page 14893]]

Supervisor, at the above address or at telephone 505/761-4525, ext. 



    The historical range of the Pecos pupfish included the mainstream 
Pecos River and various lakes, gypsum sinkholes, saline springs, and 
tributaries associated with the river from the vicinity of Roswell, 
Chaves County, New Mexico, downstream to the vicinity of Sheffield, 
Pecos County, Texas. The Pecos pupfish has been replaced by sheepshead 
minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) x Pecos pupfish hybrids throughout more 
than two-thirds of its historical range. Pure populations of the Pecos 
pupfish are now thought to occur only in a reduced reach of the Pecos 
River and small and isolated off-channel habitats within the Pecos 
River Basin in New Mexico; in the upper reaches of Salt Creek, 
Culberson and Reeves counties, Texas; and in two water-filled gravel 
pits in Pecos County, Texas.
    On January 30, 1998, the Service published a proposed rule to list 
the Pecos pupfish as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as amended (Act). Section 4(b)(5)(E) of 
the Act requires that a public hearing be held if it is requested 
within 45 days of the publication of a proposed rule. A public hearing 
request was received within the allotted time period from Laurie 
Kincaid, Chairman of the Eddy County Board of Commissioners, New 
    The Service has scheduled this hearing in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on 
April 9, 1998, at the Pecos River Village Conference Center, 711 
Muscatel, Carlsbad, New Mexico. Anyone wishing to make an oral 
statement for the record is encouraged to provide a written copy of the 
statement to be presented to the Service at the start of the hearing. 
Oral statements may be limited to several minutes if there are many 
requests to speak. Oral comments presented at the public hearing are 
given the same weight and consideration as written comments. If the 
public hearing is of insufficient time to provide for all who wish to 
speak, all who are not accommodated will be asked to submit their 
comments in writing. There are, however, no limits to the length of 
written comments or materials presented at the hearing or mailed to the 
Service. The Service must receive all comments by November 20, 1998. 
Comments should be submitted to the Service at the office listed in the 
ADDRESSES section above. Legal notices announcing the date, time, and 
location of the hearing are being published in newspapers concurrently 
with this Federal Register notice.


    The primary author of this notice is Jennifer Fowler-Propst, at the 
above address.


    The authority citation for this action is 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Dated: March 20, 1998.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 98-8018 Filed 3-26-98; 8:45 am]