[Federal Register: August 16, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 158)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 46030-46031]
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; Status of the Rio 
Grande Cutthroat Trout

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Status review; reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the public comment period on our review of the Rio Grande 
cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis) to determine if 
candidate status is warranted. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act), requires that we identify species of wildlife and plants 
that are endangered or threatened, based on the best available 
scientific and commercial information. Through the Federal rulemaking 
process, we add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11 or the List of Endangered or Threatened Plants 
at 50 CFR 17.12. As part of this program, we maintain a list of species 
that we regard as candidates for listing. A candidate is one for which 
we have on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and 
threats to support a proposal to list as endangered or threatened but 
for which preparation and publication of a proposal is precluded by 
higher-priority listing actions. During or prior to April of 2008, we 
will make a determination concerning the results of the status review 
for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout and, shortly thereafter, we will 
publish this determination in the Federal Register.
    Comments previously submitted on the status of the Rio Grande 
cutthroat trout need not be resubmitted as they have been incorporated 
into the public record and will be fully considered in preparation of 
the final revised status review.

DATES: We will accept comments and information from all interested 
parties for our use in the status review and in preparing a revised 
finding until September 17, 2007.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials by any of the following methods:
    1. You may mail or hand-deliver your written comments and 
information to Wally ``J'' Murphy, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, 2105 
Osuna NE., Albuquerque, NM 87113.
    2. You may fax your comments to Wally ``J'' Murphy, Field 
Supervisor, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, at (505) 346-
    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 

    4. You may go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
 Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of the candidate status review, 
will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal 
business hours at the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, at 
the street address above (telephone: (505) 346-2525).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wally ``J'' Murphy, Field Supervisor, 
New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES) (telephone: 
(505) 346-2525; facsimile: (505) 346-2542). Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.



    For background information on the events leading to our notice of 
intent to initiate a status review for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, 
refer to our notice published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2007 
(72 FR 28664).

Request for Information

    On May 22, 2007, we published a notice of intent to initiate a 
candidate status review for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (72 FR 
28644). We accepted public comments for inclusion in the status review 
for 45 days, ending July 6, 2007. In response to requests from 
interested parties, we are reopening the comment period for an 
additional 30 days (see DATES) to offer all interested parties an 
opportunity to submit data and information for inclusion in our status 
review for this species.
    Our determination of candidate status for the Rio Grande cutthroat 
trout must be based upon the best available scientific and commercial 
data, as required under section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.). We request that you submit any information on the Rio Grande 
cutthroat trout not previously submitted for our review. We are 
particularly interested in any relevant information gathered since June 
2002 concerning the following:

[[Page 46031]]

    (1) Current population status (e.g., population estimates, age-
structure, trend) for any of the populations of the Rio Grande 
cutthroat trout, including methodology used for population estimation 
and confidence intervals if available;
    (2) Rio Grande cutthroat trout's susceptibility to whirling 
disease, and distribution of Rio Grande cutthroat trout infected by 
whirling disease in New Mexico and Colorado;
    (3) Distribution of Tubifix tubifix (tubificid worms), an 
intermediate host of the parasite known to cause whirling disease in 
trout, and the susceptibility of these worms to the parasite in the 
streams of New Mexico and Colorado;
    (4) Genetic classification of any Rio Grande cutthroat trout 
    (5) Condition of occupied habitat;
    (6) Restoration projects that have been completed, including 
translocation, new barrier construction or barrier repair, habitat 
improvement projects, or nonnative trout removal projects;
    (7) Results of barrier surveys;
    (8) Distribution of nonnative trout or their population size and 
structure in streams currently occupied by Rio Grande cutthroat trout;
    (9) Status of any of the thirteen ``core'' populations identified 
in the 2002 status review (see 67 FR 39936);
    (10) Current and future threats to Rio Grande cutthroat trout 
populations and remaining habitat areas;
    (11) Other regulatory mechanisms that address those threats; and 
the success of those mechanisms to date; and
    (12) Whether any portion of the range of the species is a 
significant portion of the range, and whether there are threats in that 
portion sufficient to meet the standards for listing under the Act.
    Our candidate status review will take into consideration all 
comments and any additional information received, including all 
previous comments and information submitted during the 2002 candidate 
status review. As such, information provided during the previous status 
review does not need to be resubmitted.
    If you are submitting e-mail comments, please include ``Attn: Rio 
Grande cutthroat trout'' in your e-mail subject header. If you do not 
receive a confirmation from the system that we have received your e-
mail, contact us directly by calling our New Mexico Ecological Services 
Field Office at (505) 346-2525. Please note that comments must be 
received by the date specified in the DATES section in order to be 
considered and that the e-mail address (R2FWE_AL@fws.gov) will be 
unavailable at the termination of the public comment period.
    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 notice is the staff of the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service's Southwest Ecological Services Regional Office.


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

    Dated: August 10, 2007.
H. Dale Hall,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E7-16144 Filed 8-15-07; 8:45 am]