[Federal Register: July 25, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 143)]
[Page 44093-44094]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Second Information 
Request for the 5-Year Reviews of the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus 
marmoratus marmoratus) and the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Second information request for northern spotted owl and marbled 
murrelet 5-year reviews.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a second 
request for information for the 5-year reviews of the marbled murrelet 
(Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus) and the northern spotted owl 
(Strix occidentalis caurina) under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Endangered 
Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act). The first request for 
information closed June 20, 2003. We are announcing this second request 
to allow the public additional time to provide information for these 
reviews. We are again requesting submission of any new information 
(best scientific and commercial data) on the marbled murrelet and the 
northern spotted owl that has become available since their original 
listings in 1992 and 1990, respectively. If the present classification 
of each of these species is not consistent with the best scientific and 
commercial information available, we may, at the conclusion of these 
reviews, initiate a separate action to propose changes to the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List) accordingly.

DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct these reviews, we must 
receive your information no later than August 20, 2003. We want to 
emphasize that the timely submission of information is critical to 
ensure its use in these 5-year reviews.

ADDRESSES: Submit information to the Field Office Supervisor, Attention 
Owl and Murrelet 5-year Review, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 
SE. 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266. Information 
received in response to this notice and the results of these reviews 
will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal 
business hours, at the above address. New information regarding the 
northern spotted owl may be sent electronically to owl_
information@r1.fws.gov. New information regarding the marbled murrelet 
may be sent electronically to murrelet_information@r1.fws.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For the marbled murrelet, contact Lee 
Folliard at the above address, or at 503/231-6179. For the northern 
spotted owl, contact Robin Bown at the above address, or at 503/231-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires that 
we conduct a review of listed species at least once every 5 years. The 
purpose of a 5-year review is to ensure that the classification of a 
species as threatened or endangered on the List is accurate. The 5-year 
review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data 
available at the time of the review that has become available since the 
species' original listing or its most recent status or 5-year review.
    On April 21, 2003, we announced in a Federal Register notice (68 FR 
19569) that we are commencing 5-year reviews of the marbled murrelet 
(Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus) and the northern spotted

[[Page 44094]]

owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). We are conducting the reviews for 
these two species in connection with the January 13 and 14, 2003, 
settlement agreements for two lawsuits, Western Council of Industrial 
Workers v. Secretary of the Interior, Civil No. 02-6100-AA (D. Or.) and 
American Forest Resources Council v. Secretary of the Interior, Civil 
No. 02-6087-AA (D. Or.). The public comment period for the April 21, 
2003, notice ended June 20, 2003. However, to allow additional time for 
the public to submit information, amendments to the settlement 
agreements were filed on June 30, 2003, with the District Court in 
Oregon extending the deadlines for completing the reviews. In 
accordance with the amended settlement agreements, we are reopening the 
public comment periods on these reviews until August 20, 2003.
    The 5-year reviews for these two species will assess: (a) Whether 
new information suggests that the species' populations are increasing, 
declining, or stable; (b) whether existing threats are increasing, the 
same, reduced, or eliminated; (c) if there are any new threats; and (d) 
if new information or analysis calls into question any of the 
conclusions in the original listing determinations as to the species' 
status. The reviews will also apply this new information to 
consideration of the appropriate application of the Policy Regarding 
the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments (61 FR 4722) 
to the listed entity, if applicable.
    If there is no new information concerning the marbled murrelet or 
northern spotted owl, no changes will be made to their classifications. 
However, if we find that there is new information concerning the 
marbled murrelet or northern spotted owl indicating a change in 
classification is warranted, we may propose new rules that could 
either: (a) Reclassify the species from threatened to endangered; or 
(b) remove the species from the List.

Public Solicitation of New Information

    We are publishing this second request for any new information 
relating to the current status of the northern spotted owl and marbled 
murrelet that has become available since their original listing. In 
particular, we are seeking information such as:
    A. Species biology including, but not limited to, population 
trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;
    B. Habitat conditions including, but not limited to, amount, 
distribution, and suitability;
    C. Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit 
the species;
    D. Threat status and trends; and
    E. Other new information, data, or corrections including, but not 
limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, or improved analytical 
    Specifically for the spotted owl and murrelet we are interested in 
new information, analyses, and/or reports for these species that 
summarize and interpret their population status and related threats. 
The reviews will consider information such as: Population and 
demographic trend data; studies of dispersal and habitat use; genetics 
and species competition investigations; surveys of habitat amount, 
quality, and distribution; adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; 
and management and conservation planning information. We request this 
information for all applicable land ownerships within the range of both 
    Information submitted should be supported by documentation such as 
maps, bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the 
data, and/or copies of any pertinent publications, reports, or letters 
by knowledgeable sources.

    Authority:  This document is published under the authority of 
the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 16, 2003.
Marshall P. Jones,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-19039 Filed 7-22-03; 4:48 pm]