[Federal Register: July 17, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 137)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 46951]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 46951]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of the 
Comment Period on the Proposed Listing of the Columbia Basin Distinct 
Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) as 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), pursuant to 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, provide notice of the 
reopening of the comment period for the proposed listing of the 
Columbia Basin distinct population segment of the pygmy rabbit 
(Brachylagus idahoensis) as endangered. The comment period has been 
reopened in order to conduct a peer review of the proposed rule. 
Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they already 
have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully 
considered in the final rule.

DATES: The public comment period is reopened and we will accept 
comments until August 1, 2002. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on 
the closing date. Any comments that are received after the closing date 
may not be considered in the final decision on this action.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning this proposal by any one of several methods:
    You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper Columbia Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 11103 East Montgomery Drive, Spokane, WA 99206.
    You may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
fw1cbprabbit@r1.fws.gov. See the Public Comments Solicited section 
below for file format and other information about electronic filing.
    You may hand-deliver comments to our Upper Columbia Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the address listed above.
    Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher Warren, Upper Columbia 
Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES) (telephone 509/891-6839; 
facsimile 509/891-6748; electronic mail: chris--warren@fws.gov).



    The Columbia Basin distinct population segment of the pygmy rabbit 
(Brachylagus idahoensis) consists of a single, wild colony totaling 
fewer than 30 individuals in Douglas County, WA, and a small captive 
    Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we published an emergency rule to list the 
Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit as endangered on November 30, 2001 (66 FR 
59734). The emergency rule provides immediate Federal protection to 
this species for a period of 240 days. We also published a concurrent 
proposed rule on November 30, 2001, to list the Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit as endangered under our normal listing procedures (66 FR 59769).
    For further information regarding background biological 
information, previous Federal actions, factors affecting the species, 
and conservation measures available to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, 
please refer to our emergency and proposed rules published in the 
Federal Register on November 30, 2001.

Public Comments Solicited

    With this notification, we solicit additional information and 
comments that may assist us in making a final decision on the proposed 
rule to list the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit as endangered. We intend 
that any final listing action resulting from our proposal will be as 
accurate and effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments and 
additional information from the general public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other 
interested party concerning this proposed rule. Comments are 
particularly sought concerning:
    (1) The location of any additional populations of this species, and 
the reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined to be 
critical habitat pursuant to section 4 of the Act;
    (2) Additional information regarding the range, distribution, and 
population size of this species;
    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data regarding 
any threat (or lack thereof) to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit; and
    (4) Current or planned activities or land use practices that could 
potentially impact the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit.
    Previously submitted written comments on this proposal need not be 
resubmitted. If you submit comments by e-mail, please submit them in 
ASCII file format and avoid the use of special characters and 
encryption. Please include ``Attn: Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit'' and 
your name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not 
receive a confirmation from our system that we have received your e-
mail message, contact us directly by calling our Upper Columbia Fish 
and Wildlife Office, at telephone number 509/891-6839. Comments and 
materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the Upper Columbia Fish 
and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).
    In making any final decision on the proposed action, we will take 
into consideration the comments and any additional information we 
receive, and such communications may lead to a final regulation that 
differs from the proposal.


    The primary author of this notice is Barbara Behan of the Regional 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, 
OR 97232-4181 (telephone 503/231-6131).


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

    Dated: July 9, 2002.
Marshall P. Jones, Jr.,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-18015 Filed 7-16-02; 8:45 am]