[Federal Register: August 2, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 149)]
[Page 47513]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment on Proposed 
Special Regulations for the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of a draft environmental assessment for 
proposed special regulations for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse.


SUMMARY: This Notice advises the public of the availability of a draft 
environmental assessment on proposed special regulations for the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei). These 
regulations apply within the range of the species which includes 
portions of Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, and Weld counties in 
Colorado and Laramie and Goshen counties in Wyoming.
    The proposed special regulations identify specific locations and 
situations under which take of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse would 
not be prohibited by the Endangered Species Act. This environmental 
assessment considers the biological, environmental, and socio-economic 
effects of these proposed regulations. The assessment also evaluates 
four alternative actions and their potential impact on the environment. 
Written comments or recommendations concerning the proposal are 
welcomed and should be sent to the address below (see ADDRESSEES).

DATES: To be considered, written comments and materials should be 
received on or before September 1, 2000. All comments received by the 
end of this comment period will be considered in preparation of a 
Finding of No Significant Impact. All comments received on an 
environmental assessment become part of the official public record. 
Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance with the 
Freedom of Information Act and the Council on Environmental Quality's 
National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6(f)). When 
requested, comment letters with the names and addresses of the 
individuals who wrote the comments will generally be provided. However, 
the telephone number of the commenting individual will not be provided 
in response to such requests to the extent permissible by law. 
Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address 
from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. If 
you wish to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this 
prominently at the beginning of your comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for copies of the assessment should be 
submitted to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 755 
Parfet Street, Suite 61, Lakewood, Colorado 80215, telephone (303) 274-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION The Preble's meadow jumping mouse is known to 
occur only in portions of Colorado and Wyoming. The final rule listing 
the Preble's as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act 
was published in the Federal Register on May 13, 1998 (63 FR 26517). 
Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (U.S.C. Section 1533) 
provides that whenever a species is listed as a threatened species, the 
Secretary of the Department of the Interior will issue regulations 
deemed necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the 
species. On December 3, 1998, we proposed special regulations for the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse under Section 4(d) of the Act and 
published them in the Federal Register (63 FR 66777), and at the same 
time, a public review period on the proposed special regulations was 
initiated. The public comment period closed on February 1, 1999. We 
reopened the public comment period on March 16, 1999, (64 FR 12924) and 
it closed on April 30, 1999.
    In these regulations, we proposed to designate specific locations 
known to be occupied or potentially occupied by this species as Mouse 
Protection Areas or Potential Mouse Protection Areas. Section 9 
prohibitions against take of this species would not apply to activities 
occurring outside of these designated areas, but would remain 
applicable to activities conducted within these designated areas. In 
addition, we proposed that Section 9 prohibitions against take of the 
species would not apply to four categories of activities that might 
occur within the species' habitat. These four categories of activities 
for which take of the species was exempted are--(1) rodent control 
activities, (2) ongoing agricultural activities, (3) existing 
landscaping activities, and (4) existing uses of perfected water 
rights. We also described a fifth range-wide exemption pertaining to 
periodic maintenance of existing water supply ditches. We considered 
this fifth exemption but did not propose it.
    We have prepared an environmental assessment of the proposed 
special regulations for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse and other 
alternatives that we considered and, at this time, we would like make 
this assessment available for public review and comment.

    Dated: July 26, 2000.
Elliott Sutta,
Acting Deputy, Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 00-19468 Filed 8-1-00; 8:45 am]