[Federal Register: June 23, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 122)]
[Page 39173-39174]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife: Extension of Comment Period 
on Draft Environmental Assessment and Application for an Incidental 
Take Permit of the Atlantic Coast Piping Plover in Massachusetts

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service provides notice to extend the 
public comment period on the draft Environmental Assessment and the 
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife application to the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit 
pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). 
The requested permit, which is for a period of three years, would 
authorize the incidental take of the threatened piping plover 
(Charadrius melodus) in Massachusetts. The proposed take would occur as 
a result of specific actions relating to the management of recreational 
use of beaches where breeding piping plovers are found. All interested 
parties are invited to submit comments on these proposals.

DATES: Written comments on the application and draft EA must be 
received no later than July 3, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the draft EA and application 
should be addressed to Field Supervisor, New England Field Office, 22 
Bridge St., Unit 1, Concord, New Hampshire 03301-4986, telephone (603) 
225-1411. Comments regarding the conservation plan will be forwarded to 
the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for review and 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susanna L. von Oettingen at the above 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic Coast piping plover was listed 
as a threatened species on January 10, 1986. Because of its listing as 
threatened, the piping plover is protected by the Act's prohibitions 
against ``take''. However, the Service may issue permits to carry out 
otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered and threatened 
wildlife under certain circumstances. For threatened species, such 
permits are available for scientific purposes, incidental take, or 
special purposes consistent with the purposes of the Act.

[[Page 39174]]

    The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has applied to 
the Service for an incidental take permit pursuant to Section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. This permit would authorize the incidental take 
of piping plovers through otherwise lawful activities occurring on 
plover breeding beaches. Included in the application is a conservation 
plan prepared by the Division detailing the activities that would 
result in incidental take and describing measures that mitigate, 
minimize and monitor the amount of take.
    The purpose of the proposed incidental take permit is to provide 
increased flexibility in managing Massachusetts beaches for use by 
recreationists and homeowners, while assuring continued progress toward 
the recovery of the Massachusetts and Atlantic Coast populations of the 
piping plover. The additional flexibility in managing beaches will 
prevent a disproportionate expenditure of resources directed at the 
protection of a few nests or broods in areas where they may 
significantly disrupt beach access by large numbers of people and be 
highly vulnerable to disturbance and/or mortality. Management 
flexibility also will create incentives for the continued participation 
by beach management agencies and organizations involved in protecting 
piping plovers.
    On May 18, 2000, the Service published a notice of availability of 
the draft EA and receipt of an application for an incidental take 
permit for the Atlantic coast piping plover in Massachusetts. The 
public comment period originally was announced to close on June 19, 
2000. Because of several requests for additional time, the Service is 
extending the public comment period to July 3, 2000.

    Dated: June 19, 2000.
Margaret T. Kolar,
Acting Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 00-15890 Filed 6-22-00; 8:45 am]