[Federal Register: June 5, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 107)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 31048-31049]
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 Wolverine as Threatened or Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 31049]]

ACTION: Notice; initiation of status review and request for new 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
opening of a public comment period regarding the status of the 
wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) in the contiguous United States. We are 
initiating this status review pursuant to a court order requiring us to 
prepare a 12-month finding on a petition to list the wolverine in the 
contiguous United States 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, the wolverine in the 
contiguous United States.

DATES: To be fully considered in the 12-month finding, comments must be 
received on or before August 6, 2007. However, new information on the 
wolverine will be accepted after the official comment period closes.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to provide new information, you may submit your 
comments and materials by any of the following methods:
    (1) You may mail or hand-deliver written comments and information 
to Wolverine Status Review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana 
Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601.
    (2) You may e-mail your information to FW6_wolverine@fws.gov. For 
directions on how to submit comments by email, see the ``Public 
Comments Solicited'' section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Wilson, Field Supervisor, Montana 
Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), or phone 
406-449-5225. Additional information is available at http://www.r6.fws.gov/species/mammals/wolverine/



    On July 14, 2000, we received a petition from the Biodiversity 
Legal Foundation and other petitioners to list the wolverine within the 
contiguous United States as a threatened or endangered species and to 
designate critical habitat for the species. We published a 90-day 
petition finding in the Federal Register on October 21, 2003 (68 FR 
60112). The 90-day finding determined that the petition failed to 
present substantial scientific and commercial information indicating 
that listing the wolverine may be warranted.
    Defenders of Wildlife and other plaintiffs filed a complaint on 
June 8, 2005, alleging that we used the wrong standards to assess the 
wolverine petition. On September 29, 2006, the U.S. District Court, 
District of Montana, ruled that our 90-day petition finding was in 
error and ordered us to make a 12-month finding on the status of the 
wolverine. On April 18, 2007, the U.S. District Court granted our April 
5, 2007 (unopposed), motion for a modification to extend the deadline 
for the status review and 12-month finding for the wolverine by five 
months, to February 28, 2008.
    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that, for any petition to revise the Lists of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants (Lists) that contains substantial scientific or 
commercial information that the petitioned action may be warranted, we 
make a finding within 12 months of the date of the receipt of the 
petition on whether the petitioned action is (a) Not warranted, (b) 
warranted, or (c) warranted, but that the immediate proposal of a 
regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other 
pending proposals to determine whether other species are threatened or 
endangered, and we are making expeditious progress to add or remove 
qualified species from the Lists. This current status review process, 
which will culminate in the 12-month finding on the wolverine, is 
initiated by court order rather than initiated by a substantial 90-day 
    At this time, we are soliciting new information on the status of 
and potential threats to the wolverine. We will base our 12-month 
finding on a review of the best scientific and commercial information 
available, including all such information received as a result of this 
notice. We are aware that several peer-reviewed research manuscripts on 
the wolverine are currently in preparation for publication in The 
Journal of Wildlife Management. If they are completed in time, we will 
consider these papers, in addition to any other works constituting the 
best scientific and commercial information available, in making our 12-
month finding.

Public Comments Solicited

    Please submit email comments in an ASCII or Microsoft Word file and 
avoid the use of any special characters or any form of encryption. 
Also, please include ``Attn: wolverine status review'' in the subject 
line of 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 
in the ADDRESSES section.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.


    The primary author of this document is staff of the Montana Field 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Helena, MT.


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

    Dated: May 24, 2007.
Randall B. Luthi,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-10570 Filed 6-4-07; 8:45 am]