[Federal Register: October 4, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 191)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 53655-53656]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Period for 90-day Finding on a Petition To List the Black-
Tailed Prairie Dog

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), provide notice 
that we are reopening the comment period on the 90-day finding on a 
petition to list the black-tailed prairie dog to receive additional 
information on the status of this species. All interested parties are

[[Page 53656]]

invited to comment on a draft Conservation Assessment and Strategy and 
its potential influence on the status of the black-tailed prairie dog.

DATES: Information will be accepted until November 3, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Requests for a copy of the draft Black-tailed Prairie Dog 
Conservation Assessment and Strategy should be sent to the Field 
Supervisor, South Dakota Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 420 South Garfield Avenue, Suite 400, Pierre, 
South Dakota 57501. The document also can be obtained at 
www.r6.fws.gov/btprairiedog/. Written information concerning the status 
of the black-tailed prairie dog should be sent to the same address or 
to prairiedog@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pete Gober, Field Supervisor (see 
ADDRESSES section) or at telephone 605/224-8693, extension 24; 
facsimile 605/224-9974.



    On March 25, 1999 (64 FR 14424), we published a notice of a 90-day 
Administrative Finding on a petition to list the black-tailed prairie 
dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. The black-tailed prairie dog occurs within the States of 
Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, 
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada and Mexico. In the 90-
day finding, we determined that substantial information exists to 
indicate that listing of the black-tailed prairie dog may be warranted. 
We are currently involved in a more extensive status review of the 
species that will culminate in a 12-month finding to determine whether 
or not listing of this species is indeed warranted. Threats to the 
black-tailed prairie dog include plague (an exotic disease), habitat 
loss, poisoning, recreational shooting, and lack of State and Federal 
regulations to conserve the species.
    In recognition of the declining abundance of black-tailed prairie 
dog colonies and the various threats to this species, the States within 
the species' range have drafted a Black-tailed Prairie Dog Conservation 
Assessment and Strategy to guide conservation of this species. This 
draft Conservation Assessment and Strategy is being made available to 
the public for review and comment on how it should be considered in the 
Service's ongoing status review of the black-tailed prairie dog.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that this status review be as complete and accurate as 
possible, and that we consider all available information. Therefore, 
comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this draft Conservation Assessment and Strategy and 
how it should be incorporated into our status review on the black-
tailed prairie dog are solicited.
    The original comment period on this 90-day finding closed May 24, 
1999. To accommodate requests for additional time for the public to 
comment, the comment period was reopened for an additional 45 days on 
June 4, 1999 (64 FR 29983) and closed again on July 19, 1999. We are 
once again reopening the comment period to allow for public comment on 
the recently drafted Conservation Assessment and Strategy and its 
relation to the status review. Written comments may now be submitted 
until November 3, 1999 to the Service's South Dakota Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).
    Author: The author of this notice is Patricia Worthing, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Denver Regional Office, P.O. Box 25486, Denver 
Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: September 28, 1999.
Joseph J. Webster,
Acting Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-25685 Filed 10-1-99; 8:45 am]