[Federal Register: June 1, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 105)]
[Page 31196-31197]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Environmental Document on Endangered Species Recovery Permit 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this 
notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(``we'') intends to prepare an environmental document (environmental 
assessment or environmental impact statement) for the proposed issuance 
of a permit to conduct non-lethal and lethal take activities with the 
endangered gray wolf (Canis lupus) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of 
the Endangered Species Act.
    We solicit comments from the public, as well as local, State and 
Federal agencies for an environmental evaluation under NEPA of the 
proposed permit. Comments already received from individuals and 
organizations in response to the January 10, 2006, Federal Register 
notice of receipt of the permit application have been considered. Those 
respondents need not comment again unless they wish to provide new 
information on the permit application or environmental analysis.

DATES: Comments on this environmental analysis must be received on or 
before July 3, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Written data or comments should be submitted to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Chief, Endangered Species, Ecological 
Services, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232-4181 (fax: 503-
231-6243). Please refer to ``Northern Idaho Wolf Permit Analysis'' when 
submitting comments. All comments received, including

[[Page 31197]]

names and addresses, will become part of the official administrative 
record and may be made available to the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Documents and other information 
associated with this analysis are available for review, subject to the 
requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any 
party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents to the 
address above (telephone: 503-231-2063). Please refer to ``Proposed 
Northern Idaho Wolf Permit Environmental Document'' when requesting 
copies of documents.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has 
requested a permit to take (harass by survey, capture, handle, collar, 
take blood and hair samples, relocate, kill, or release) the gray wolf 
(Canis lupus) in conjunction with wolf management activities in the 
State of Idaho north of Interstate 90, for the purpose of enhancing its 
survival (Permit No. TE-114934).
    The applicant proposes to: (a) Conduct monitoring of wolf 
populations; and (b) coordinate non-lethal and lethal control actions 
to reduce wolf conflicts with livestock and dogs. These actions are 
currently coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). 
Under the permit, the applicant would take on certain management 
responsibilities for wolves in northern Idaho. Wolf management 
activities would be in accordance with the requirements of the 
Endangered Species Act, the State of Idaho Wolf Conservation and 
Management Plan (March 2002) and the Service's Interim Wolf Control 
Plan for Northwestern Montana and the Panhandle of Northern Idaho 
(Control Plan) (September 1999).
    If issued, the permit would not affect ongoing wolf management in 
the remainder of the State of Idaho conducted in accordance with the 
non-essential experimental population regulations found at 50 CFR 
    We have determined that a responsive wolf management and 
conservation program is essential to enhancing survival of the wolf in 
the wild (Service 1987; Service 1994; Service 1999). The program must 
respond to wolf-livestock conflicts, while promoting wolf recovery 
objectives. The Control Plan provides guidelines for: (a) Determining 
problem wolf status (including investigative procedures and criteria), 
(b) conducting wolf control actions, and (c) disposition of problem 
    We are analyzing issuance of this permit under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq.). If issued, the permit would authorize Idaho Department of 
Fish and Game to manage wolves in the same manner as provided in the 
Control Plan in effect for northern Idaho for the past 6 years. Due to 
changes in the gray wolf's status since the Service's 1988 
Environmental Assessment, the Service's 1999 Environmental Action 
Memorandum, and the Control Plan. We are initiating a new NEPA 
evaluation of the environmental impacts of wolf conservation under an 
ESA recovery permit.
    Under NEPA, a reasonable range of alternatives to a proposed 
project must be developed and considered in our environmental review. 
Our NEPA evaluation will evaluate the potential impacts of alternatives 
for wolf conservation actions in Idaho north of Interstate 90. 
Management actions would be intended to protect livestock and pets, and 
to conserve wolf populations. The proposed action is to issue Idaho 
Department of Fish and Game a permit authorizing take, including lethal 
control techniques. An alternative will be selected and a permit 
decision made after consideration of all comments received in response 
to this Notice, and analysis is complete.
    The State of Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the 
Interim Wolf Control Plan for Northwestern Montana and the Panhandle of 
Northern Idaho, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game permit 
application can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/GrayWolfManagement.htm

    Additional information about wolf recovery and conservation in the 
northwestern United States, including control of problem wolves, can be 
found in various reports at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/.

    All comments received from individuals become part of the official 
public record. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance 
with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Comments, including names 
and home addresses of respondents, will be available for public review, 
to the extent provided by the FOIA. Individual respondents may request 
that we withhold their home addresses from the record, which we will 
honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances 
in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's identity, as 
allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, 
you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment, but 
you should be aware that we may be required to disclose your name and 
address pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. We will make all 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 


    This document is published under the authority of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 8, 2006.
David B. Allen,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E6-8353 Filed 5-30-06; 8:45 am]