[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 61 (Monday, March 31, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17993-17995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06791]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093; 4500030113]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on 
a Petition To List the Alexander Archipelago Wolf as Threatened or 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of petition finding and initiation of status review.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 
90-day finding on a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf 
(Canis lupus ligoni) as a threatened or endangered species and to 
designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petition presents 
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that 
listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf may be warranted. Therefore, 
with publication of this notice, we are notifying the public that when 
resources become available, we will be conducting a review of the 
status of the species to determine if listing the Alexander Archipelago 
wolf is warranted. To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, 
we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information 
regarding wolves of Southeast Alaska and adjacent coastal British 
Columbia. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month finding 
on the petition, which will address whether the petitioned action is 
warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.

DATES: We request that we receive information to consider for the 
status review on or before May 30, 2014. The deadline for submitting 
information using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES 
section, below) is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on this date. After May 30, 
2014, you must submit information directly to the Division of Policy 
and Directives Management (see ADDRESSES section below). Please note 
that we might not be able to address or incorporate information that we 
receive after the above requested date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit information by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093, 
which is the docket number for this action. Then click on the Search 
button. You may submit information for the status review by clicking on 
``Comment Now!.''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all information we 
receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we 
will post any personal information you provide us (see the Request for 
Information section below for more details).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Brockmann, Juneau Fish and 
Wildlife Field Office, 3000 Vintage Blvd., Suite 201, Juneau, AK 99821; 
by telephone at 907-780-1160; or by facsimile at 907-586-7099. If you 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the 
Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.


Request for Information

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial 
information indicating that listing a species may be warranted, we are 
required to review the status of the species (status review). For the 
status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific 
and commercial information, we request information on the Alexander 
Archipelago wolf from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, 
the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. 
We seek information on:
    (1) The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:
    (a) Habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;
    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (c) Historical and current range including distribution patterns;
    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and 
projected trends; and
    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its 
habitat, or both.
    (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing 
determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), which are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (c) Disease or predation;
    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
    If, after the status review, we determine that listing the 
Alexander Archipelago wolf is warranted, we will propose critical 
habitat (see definition in section 3(5)(A) of the Act) under section 4 
of the Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time 
we propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request data and 
information on:
    (1) What may constitute ``physical or biological features essential 
to the conservation of the species,'' within the geographical range 
currently occupied by the species;
    (2) Where these features are currently found;
    (3) Whether any of these features may require special management 
considerations or protection;
    (4) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species that are ``essential for the conservation of the species;'' and
    (5) What, if any, critical habitat you think we should propose for 
designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why such 
habitat meets the requirements of section 4 of the Act.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action 
under consideration without providing supporting information, although 
noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 
4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any 
species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ``solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your information concerning this status review by 
one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES

[[Page 17994]]

section. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your 
entire submission--including any personal identifying information--will 
be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy 
that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the 
top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying 
information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Information and supporting documentation that we received and used 
in preparing this finding is available for you to review at http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, 
at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Juneau Fish and Wildlife Field 


    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) requires 
that we make a finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or 
reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We 
are to base this finding on information provided in the petition, 
supporting information submitted with the petition. To the maximum 
extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our 
receipt of the petition and publish our notice of the finding in the 
Federal Register.
    Our regulatory standard for substantial scientific or commercial 
information with regard to a 90-day petition finding is ``that amount 
of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the 
measure proposed in the petition may be warranted'' (50 CFR 424.14(b)). 
If we find that substantial scientific or commercial information was 
presented, we are required to commence a review of the status of the 
species, which will be subsequently summarized in our 12-month finding.
    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR part 424 set forth the procedures for adding a 
species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be determined to be 
an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five 
factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act, as listed in the 
previous section.
    In considering what factors might constitute threats, we must look 
beyond the exposure of the species to a factor to evaluate whether the 
species may respond to the factor in a way that causes actual impacts 
to the species. If there is exposure to a factor and the species 
responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and, during the 
subsequent status review, we attempt to determine how significant a 
threat it is. The threat is significant if it drives, or contributes 
to, the risk of extinction of the species such that the species may 
warrant listing as threatened or endangered as those terms are defined 
in the Act. However, the identification of factors that could impact a 
species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the 
information in the petition and our files is substantial. The 
information must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these 
factors may be operative threats that act on the species to the point 
that the species may meet the definition of threatened or endangered 
under the Act.

Review of the Petition To List the Alexander Archipelago Wolf as an 
Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act

Species Information

    The Alexander Archipelago wolf is named for the island group that 
makes up most of Southeast Alaska, the Alexander Archipelago. The range 
is described by MacDonald and Cook (2007, p. 71) as throughout the 
mainland of Southeast Alaska and on islands south of Frederick Sound, 
excluding Coronation, Forrester, and the smaller, more isolated islands 
without an adequate prey base. North of Frederick Sound, three large 
islands that support seemingly adequate prey populations (Admiralty, 
Baranof, and Chichagof) and together make up approximately half of the 
land area of the Alexander Archipelago, do not support wolves, although 
there have been several sightings on Admiralty Island in recent years.

Petition History

    On August 10, 2011, we received a petition from the Center for 
Biological Diversity and Greenpeace, requesting that the Alexander 
Archipelago wolf be listed as endangered or threatened and that 
critical habitat be designated under the Act. The petition clearly 
identified itself as such and included the requisite identification 
information for the petitioners, required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). This 
finding addresses the petition.


    Based on our review of the information provided in the petition, in 
the sources cited in the petition, and readily available in our files, 
we find the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for 
the Alexander Archipelago wolf based on Factors A, B and D. Our summary 
for this finding can be found on www.regulations.gov.
    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented under 
section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the petition 
summarized above presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf may 
be warranted. Because we have found that the petition presents 
substantial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be 
warranted, we will initiate a status review when resources are 
available to determine whether this action under the Act is warranted. 
At the conclusion of the status review, we will issue a 12-month 
finding in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether 
or not the Service finds listing is warranted.
    The ``substantial information'' standard for a 90-day finding 
differs from the Act's ``best scientific and commercial data'' standard 
that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned 
action is warranted. A 90-day finding does not constitute a status 
review under the Act. In a 12-month finding, we will determine whether 
a petitioned action is warranted after we have completed a thorough 
status review of the species. Because the Act's standards for 90-day 
and 12-month findings are different, as described above, a substantial 
90-day finding does not mean that the 12-month finding will result in a 
warranted finding.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Juneau Fish and 


    The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the 
Juneau Fish and Wildlife Field Office.

    Authority: The authority for these actions is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

[[Page 17995]]

    Dated: March 18, 2014.
Daniel M. Ashe,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-06791 Filed 3-28-14; 8:45 am]