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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Evaluating the Status of Species

For Immediate Release

January 11, 2016

Photo of Fisher. Credit: USFWS.
Photo of Fisher. Credit: USFWS.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Northern Rocky Mountain fisher is a medium-sized, brown-colored mammal, similar to a mink, which is prized for its fur, and lives along streams in the forests of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This long, bushy-tailed animal nearly disappeared from this area in the 1920s due to unregulated trapping. Fisher populations have rebounded, but new evidence suggests hunting, habitat loss, and poisoning may still be concerns.

Seven environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Western Watersheds Project, claim a distinct population segment of fishers in the Northern Rocky Mountains deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). WildEarth Guardians and the CBD also want the Great Basin silverspot (butterfly), narrow-foot diving beetle, and Scott riffle beetle, all found in the Mountain-Prairie Region, federally protected under the ESA. They petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list them as threatened or endangered.

In response to those petitions, the FWS is publishing 90-day findings on 17 species, six of which are located in the Mountain-Prairie Region. A substantial 90-day finding has been made for the four species listed above. This is the first step in determining whether these insects and mammal require federal protection and triggers a closer look at the species’ status, also known as a 12-month finding.  

Petitions on two other Mountain-Prairie animals, Yellowstone bison, and Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bear, were determined to be not substantial, so no further study will be done. Therefore, the Yellowstone bison will not be considered for federal protection, and the Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bear will remain protected as threatened.

The FWS is seeking additional scientific and commercial data available on the substantial findings for the three insects and the Northern Rocky Mountain fisher population. Written comments are requested by March 14, 2016, and can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.  In the Search box, enter Docket Number FWS-R6-ES-2015-0104 for the Northern Rocky Mountain fisher, FWS-R6-ES-2015-0089 for Great Basin silverspot (butterfly), FWS-R6-ES-2015-0102 for narrow-foot diving beetle, and FWS-R6-ES-2015-0114 for Scott riffle beetle. Then click on the “Comment Now!” button.

Comments can also be submitted via U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [Insert appropriate docket number], U.S. Fish and Wildlife, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA  22041-3803. Please note that submissions merely supporting or opposing a potential listing, without supporting documentation, will not be considered in making a determination.

Petition findings on the Yellowstone bison can be found at FWS-R6-ES-2015-0123. The Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bear population uplist petition is at FWS-R6 -ES-2015-0173, and the delist petition is at FWS-R6-ES-2015-0174.

The FWS will post all information received on http://www.regulations.gov.  This generally means that the FWS will post any personal information that is provided.

For more information on the FWS’ current analysis of each of these species, please visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/Jan2016-90day-batch.php.

To view the complete Federal Register notice that publishes January 12, 2016, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection. Click on the 2015 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

For further details on the 90-day finding process, visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/listing-petition-process.html.

For more information on other Mountain-Prairie species, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/endangered.php.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Serena Baker
(303) 236-4588

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: January 11, 2016
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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