[Federal Register: November 7, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 215)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 65064-65066]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding 
on a Petition To List the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout as Threatened 
or Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; opening of public comment period on status review, and 
announcement of informational workshop.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the

[[Page 65065]]

opening of a public comment period regarding the status of Colorado 
River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus) in the United 
States. This status review has been initiated pursuant to a recent 
court order requiring us to prepare a 12-month finding on a petition to 
list the subspecies as threatened or endangered under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Through this action, we 
encourage all interested parties to provide us information regarding 
the status of, and any potential threats to, this fish.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 8, 2007. The 
informational workshops will be held on December 6, 2006, from 1 p.m. 
to 5 p.m. and on December 7, 2006, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Written comments: If you wish to comment, you may submit 
your comments and materials by any one of the following methods:
    (1) You may mail or hand-deliver written comments and information 
to Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Comments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 764 Horizon Drive, Building B, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506-
    (2) You may electronic mail (e-mail) your comments to 
coloradorivercut@fws.gov. For directions on how to submit comments by 

e-mail, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section of this notice. 
In the event that our Internet connection is not functional, please 
submit your comments by mail, hand-delivery, or fax to (970) 245-6933.
    Informational workshop: The informational workshop will be held at 
the Holiday Inn, 755 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, Colorado.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Gelatt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 764 Horizon Drive, Building B, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506-
3946 (fax 970-245-6933; telephone 970-243-2778, extension 26; e-mail 
patty_schradergelatt@fws.gov). Additional information is available at 




    On December 16, 1999, we received a formal petition from the Center 
for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other petitioners to list the 
Colorado River cutthroat trout as threatened or endangered. On January 
12, 2000, we notified CBD that we could not immediately address the 
petition because of other higher priority listing activities. In 
October 2000, CBD filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Columbia alleging that we had failed to make a timely 90-
day finding. We subsequently completed the 90-day review process, and 
on April 20, 2004, we published a 90-day finding in the Federal 
Register (69 FR 21151) that determined the petition failed to present 
substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that 
listing this subspecies may be warranted.
    After our 90-day finding was published, plaintiffs amended their 
October 2000 complaint alleging that we used the wrong procedures and 
standards to assess the petition. From approximately January 2002 
through April 2004, we received important information relevant to the 
status of Colorado River cutthroat trout from the Game and Fish 
Departments of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and from the National Park 
Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. 
According to CBD's complaint, this information was used inappropriately 
in our 90-day finding because we solicited information and opinions 
only from limited outside sources. On September 7, 2006, the Court 
ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered us to produce a status 
review and 12-month finding for Colorado River cutthroat trout within 9 
    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that we make a 12-month finding as to whether a petitioned action is 
(a) not warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) warranted but precluded by 
other pending proposals to determine whether other species are 
threatened or endangered, and we are making expeditious progress to 
list or delist qualified species. The 12-month finding is to be based 
on a status review that is initiated by a ``substantial information'' 
    At this time, we are opening a 60-day comment period to allow all 
interested parties an opportunity to provide information on the status 
of the Colorado River cutthroat trout and potential threats to the 
subspecies. We will base our 12-month finding on a review of the best 
scientific and commercial information available, including all such 
information received during the public comment period.

Informational Workshop

    An informational workshop will be held on December 6, 2006, from 1 
p.m. to 5 p.m. and on December 7, 2006, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the 
Holiday Inn, 755 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, Colorado. The purpose 
of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for dialogue between the 
Service's decision-makers and parties interested in providing 
information regarding the status of, or threats to, Colorado River 
cutthroat trout. We invite State and Federal resource agencies, the 
petitioners, and any other interested parties to attend the workshop. 
Those interested in discussing their information may request a time 
slot by sending an e-mail to coloradorivercut@fws.gov. Please indicate 
the approximate presentation time desired, the name of the presenter, 
and the organization represented. It also will be possible to sign up 
for a time slot (maximum 15 minutes) at the workshop. Shorter time 
slots will be scheduled for December 7 at the conclusion of the 
prescheduled presentations.

Public Comments Solicited

    When our 12-month review process has been completed, our practice 
is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, 
available for public review during regular business hours. Individual 
respondents may request that we withhold their names and home 
addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this 
information, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your 
comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding 
this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would 
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported 
assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, 
documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will 
always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials 
of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in 
their entirety.
    Please include ``Attn: Colorado River cutthroat trout'' and your 
name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not receive a 
confirmation from the system that we have received your e-mail message, 
please submit your comments in writing using one of the alternate 
methods described above.


    The primary author of this document is Patty Gelatt, Fish and 
Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services, Grand Junction, Colorado.


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

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    Dated: October 31, 2006.
Marshall Jones,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E6-18691 Filed 11-6-06; 8:45 am]