[Federal Register: August 13, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 156)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 50147]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 50147]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AJ03

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the 
Eastern Distinct Population Segment of the Gray Wolf From the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of public hearings.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) announces 
that we will hold nine public hearings on our proposed rule to remove 
the Eastern Distinct Population Segment of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) 
from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife established under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. This action carries out 
our stated intent in the proposed rule to hold public hearings.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct all questions or requests for 
additional information to the Service using the Gray Wolf Phone Line: 
(612) 713-7337, facsimile: (612) 713-5292, the general gray wolf 
electronic mail address: GRAYWOLFMAIL@FWS.GOV, or write to: Gray Wolf 
Questions, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Building, 1 Federal 
Drive, Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-4056. Additional information is also 
available on our World Wide Web site at http://midwest.fws.gov/wolf. In 

the event that our internet connection is not functional, please 
contact the Service by the alternative methods mentioned above. 
Individuals who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the 
Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.



    On July 21, 2004, we published a proposed rule (69 FR 43664) to 
remove the Eastern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the gray wolf 
(Canis lupus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
established under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We proposed this action because available data 
indicate that this DPS no longer meets the definitions of threatened or 
endangered under the Act. The gray wolf population is stable or 
increasing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and exceeds its 
numerical recovery criteria. Completed State wolf management plans will 
provide adequate protection and management to the species in these 
three States if the gray wolf is delisted in the Eastern DPS. The 
proposed rule would remove this DPS from the protections of the Act by 
ending its threatened classification. This proposed rule would also 
remove the currently designated critical habitat for the gray wolf in 
Minnesota and Michigan and remove the current special regulations for 
gray wolves in Minnesota and other Midwestern States. This proposal 
would not change the status or special regulations currently in place 
for the Western or Southwestern DPSs of the gray wolf or for the red 
wolf (C. rufus).
    In our July 21, 2004, proposed rule, we stated that we would hold 
public hearings. Consistent with that document, we are now announcing 
the dates and locations of those hearings.


    All hearings will consist of an informational open house from 6:30 
p.m. to 7 p.m., a presentation on the proposal and question and answer 
session from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the official public hearings from 
7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will hold nine public hearings on the following 
dates and at the following locations:
    1. Bemidji, MN, on August 31, 2004, at Bemidji State University, 
Beaux Arts Ballroom--Hobson Memorial Union, 1500 Birchmont Drive NE.
    2. Virginia, MN, on September 1, 2004, at the Mesabi Range 
Community College, F100--Fine Arts Theater, 1001 Chestnut Street West.
    3. Bloomington, MN, on October 6, 2004, at the Minnesota Valley 
National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, 3815 American Blvd. East.
    4. Marquette, MI, on September 13, 2004, at Northern Michigan 
University, Explorer Room, Don Bottum Conference Center, 540 West Kaye 
Avenue (park in lot 8).
    5. Sault Ste. Marie, MI, on September 14, 2004, at Lake Superior 
State University, Cisler Center, Ontario Room, 650 West Easterday 
Avenue (park in lots A, B, E, J, or X after 5 p.m.).
    6. East Lansing, MI, on September 15, 2004, at Michigan State 
University, BioMedical and Physical Science Building-Auditorium, corner 
of Wilson and Farm Lane (parking allowed in staff or faculty spaces 
after 6 p.m.).
    7. Madison, WI, on September 27, 2004, at the University of 
Wisconsin Union South, 227 North Randall Avenue.
    8. Wausau, WI, on September 28, 2004, at the Westwood Conference 
Center, Westwood Conference Room, 1800 West Bridge Street.
    9. Ashland, WI, on September 29, 2004, at the Northern Great Lakes 
Center, 29270 County Highway G.

    Dated: August 6, 2004.
Elizabeth H. Stevens,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-18617 Filed 8-11-04; 9:23 am]