[Federal Register: November 23, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 226)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 58706-58707]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF45

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Period on the Proposed Rule To List the Southwestern 
Washington/Columbia River Coastal Cutthroat Trout in Washington and 
Oregon as Threatened

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are reopening 
the comment period on the proposed rule to list the Southwestern 
Washington/Columbia River coastal cutthroat trout Distinct Population 
Segment (DPS) in Washington and Oregon to collect new information that 
may be available concerning coastal cutthroat trout in the proposed 

DATES: We will accept public comments until December 24, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Comments and materials concerning this notice should be sent 
to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 
2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266, or email: 
coastal__cutthroat@fws.gov. Comments and materials received will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kemper McMaster, State Supervisor at 
the above address, or telephone 503/231-6179; facsimile 503/231-6195



    On April 5, 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and 
the Service published a notice in the Federal Register (64 FR 16397) 
proposing to list the coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki 
clarki) population in southwestern Washington and the Columbia River, 
excluding the Willamette River above Willamette Falls, as threatened 
pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as

[[Page 58707]]

amended (Act). On November 22, 1999, the Service assumed all Act 
regulatory jurisdiction over coastal cutthroat (65 FR 21376). The 
change in jurisdiction resulted from a joint agency determination that 
coastal cutthroat trout spend the majority of their life cycle in fresh 
water habitat. The Service published a notice in the Federal Register 
(65 FR 20123) on April 14, 2000, to extend the deadline from April 5, 
2000, to October 5, 2000 for the final action on the proposed rule to 
list this population in Washington and Oregon, and to provide a 30-day 
comment period. The 6-month extension was necessary to obtain and 
review new information regarding the status of this population. On July 
14, 2000, the Service published a notice in the Federal Register (65 FR 
43730) to clarify the take prohibitions for coastal cutthroat trout and 
provided for a 30-day public comment period. This notice was necessary 
to answer questions we had received regarding the application of the 
take prohibitions of section 9 of the Act to the potential listing of 
the coastal cutthroat trout as threatened. In October, 2000, the 
Service suspended work on the proposed listing of the coastal cutthroat 
trout due to budgetary limitations. On August 29, 2001, the Service 
issued a press release announcing that, as part of a settlement 
agreement with conservation groups, we will re-commence work on the 
final listing decision for the Southwestern Washington/Columbia River 
coastal cutthroat trout DPS.
    In association with work on the listing decision, the Service has 
also engaged the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife 
in discussions of how recreational fishing activities in those states 
influence the status of the species, and whether application of take 
prohibitions with respect to these activities would be necessary or 
advisable should the species be listed. If the Service determines that 
such application would not be necessary or advisable for the 
conservation of coastal cutthroat trout, it will propose related 
special rules under section 4(d) of the Act in future publications of 
the Federal Register.
    At this time, the Service is seeking any new information on the 
coastal cutthroat trout population in southwestern Washington and the 
Columbia River. We are interested in comments and information 
regarding: (1) Biological or other relevant data concerning any threat 
to coastal cutthroat trout; (2) The range, distribution, population 
size, and demographics of coastal cutthroat trout in southwestern 
Washington and the Columbia River, including information on resident 
coastal cutthroat trout above barriers; (3) Current or planned 
activities in the subject area and their possible impacts on the 
species; (4) Potential effects of forest and agricultural practices, 
hatchery production, and other human induced impacts; (5) The 
contribution of resident, above-, and below-barrier coastal cutthroat 
trout sub-populations to the anadromous life history component; and (6) 
Efforts being made to protect native, naturally reproducing populations 
of Southwestern Washington/Columbia River coastal cutthroat trout. The 
comment period closes December 24, 2001. Comments should be submitted 
to the Service office listed in the ADDRESSES section.


    The primary author of this notice is Robin Bown, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES section).


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

    Dated: November 8, 2001.
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, 
Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 01-29218 Filed 11-21-01; 8:45 am]