This web page is provided as a service to Tribes. Information is compiled from many sources. The information and opinions from sources other than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Service. For additions or corrections to tribal "Tracks" news: contact Ivy Allen, Phone: 303-236-4575, Email: Ivy_Allen@fws.gov.
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Service Reopens Public Comment Period for Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat for Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
Comments Accepted through January 12, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening the public comment period for 60 days for the proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western distinct population segment of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in 80 separate units in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. On August 14, 2014, the Service announced an initial 60-day comment period on the proposal that closed October 14, 2014.
The Service is reopening the public comment period for an additional 60 days to ensure the public has adequate opportunity to submit comments and to ensure that any final decision reflects all of the best science and information available. The Service is also planning to hold a public hearing on the proposal and will announce the date and location when it is finalized.
To access the proposed rules and a specific outline of information requested by the Service, please go to our webpage:
Safe-Capture Wildlife Chemical Immobilization Workshops: Colorado (December 2014) & Arizona (April 2015)
Safe-Capture International will be returning to Colorado & Arizona with the 16 hour workshop "Chemical Immobilization of Animals" at the following locations:
Colorado: Colorado Springs: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Auditorium: December 4-5, 2014
Arizona: Phoenix: Phoenix Zoo Auditorium: April 8-9, 2015
Use this link to access Detailed Presentation Outlines: http://www.safecapture.com/New/wildlife.html and some interesting capture photos as well! Instructor information, printable registration forms and electronic registration are available on our website: www.safecapture.com
Brochures containing all workshop details and registration materials are also available by telephone (425-948-7965) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) request.
Our training program is presented over a 2 day period. It consists of 14 hours of multimedia/ lecture/ PowerPoint/ video presentation, followed by 2 hours of "Hands On" training where participants are divided into small groups and are taught how to safely use blowguns, long range projectors, darts, human protective safety equipment, and dart associated radio-tracking devices.
Summer 2014 - Peaks to Prairies: Mountain-Prairie Regional Newsletter
Celebrating Wilderness - 50 Years
From Regional Director, Noreen Walsh
I consider myself lucky to live and raise a family in such a beautiful state as Colorado. With its mountains, plateaus, rivers, and forests, it offers access to the great outdoors, and also supports some very vibrant human communities. While economic growth is good for the state, Iâ€™m also thankful to know that there are still places where no roads exist, where you can still hear the beating wings of a flock of pintails take off, and where trees, not skyscrapers dominate the horizon. Iâ€™m reminded of all the wild places in nature that hold a special place in my heart, and thankful that in 1964, the Wilderness Act was approved by Congress to keep these places wild.
Click here or on the photo to read more from our Regional Director, Noreen Walsh, and about the landscapes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to protect in this edition of Peaks to Prairies.
North American Waterfowl Identification Guide
The system presented in this Guide is the result of decades of instruction, fieldwork, observations and enforcement by United States Fish and Wildlife Service special agents Terry Grosz (retired), Patrick Bosco (retired) and Rich Grosz, who have collectively been involved with waterfowl identification at a personal and professional level for more than 80 years. Because of Delta Waterfowlâ€™s scientific waterfowl research dating back to 1938, they are a natural fit to support the creation of this identification Guide. Using this system of identification will allow you to identify birds in a logical, methodical, and easy to understand way. The system described in our Guide has been refined and checked against thousands of known and unknown museum specimens, live birds, fresh carcasses, live birds and wings with great accuracy. This Guide is primarily intended for in-hand or close observation, uses high resolution photography to aid the user in identification, has waterproof pages and has been formatted for field use.
Judge fines Wyoming irrigation district for river dikes that caused Wind River Reservation to lose land.
A federal judge has ordered a Fremont County irrigation district and a former manager to start work immediately to remove four dikes that he ruled were illegally constructed in the channel of the Wind River, west of Riverton. U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson last week ordered the LeClair Irrigation District to pay $250,000 in fines and ordered former manager John Hubenka to pay $350,000. Johnson specified the fines would drop to $35,000 against Hubenka alone if he and the district complete the required work by April 30, 2015.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Two Prairie Butterfly Species Under Endangered Species Act
The Dakota skipper is now protected as threatened and the Poweshiek skipperling is protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. Both species are butterflies that depend on prairie habitat and have suffered population declines due to loss and degradation of their native grasslands.
Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the Dakota skipperâ€™s numbers have declined dramatically; it no longer occurs on almost 75 percent of the sites where it was previously found.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines ESA Protection for the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout is Not Warranted
After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) found that listing the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis) under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted at this time. Therefore, the Service will remove this subspecies from the candidate list.
The Service found that the Rio Grande cutthroat trout is not in danger of extinction throughout its range or in a significant portion of its range now, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future. However, the Service is asking the public to submit any new information that becomes available concerning the status of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout at any time. The Service is requesting that any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout be submitted to the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office at 2105 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113. New information will help the Service monitor the Rio Grande cutthroat trout and encourage its conservation. If an emergency situation develops for Rio Grande cutthroat trout the Service will consider an appropriate response under the Act. This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2014-0042.
Federal Agencies Offer Vision to Ensure Future Generations Can Enjoy Wilderness
The federal land management agencies that make up the National Wilderness Preservation System recently signed an agreement that will guide interagency collaboration and vision to ensure the continued preservation of nearly 110 million acres of the most primitive of public lands.
The 2020 Vision: Interagency stewardship priorities for Americaâ€™s National Wilderness Preservation System will guide the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey, all under the U.S. Department of Interior; and the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Receives Federal Protection under the Endangered Species Act
The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo will be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. The Service determined that listing a distinct population segment (DPS) of the bird in portions of 12 western states, Canada and Mexico is warranted. In the U.S., the DPS will cover parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), an insect-eating bird found in riparian woodland habitats, winters in South America and breeds in western North America. Once abundant in the western United States, populations have declined for several decades, primarily due to the severe loss, degradation and fragmentation of its riparian habitat as a result of conversion to agriculture, dam construction, river flow management and riverbank protection. Overgrazing and invasive exotic plants have also contributed to declines.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Environmental Impacts of Proposed Transmission Line in Nebraska
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will assess the natural and human effects of issuing a permit to authorize the take of the federally endangered American burying beetle. The NOI initiates a 60-day comment period for the public to review and comment on any of the topics to be addressed in the EIS. Comments can be provided electronically by accessing http://www.regulations.gov/. The comment period will end December 29, 2014.
The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has requested that the Service issue this permit because the construction, operation, and maintenance of its proposed 220-mile long, 345 kV transmission line is likely to impact the American burying beetle. As a requirement of permit application, NPPD is preparing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to identify avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures for the American burying beetle.
The Sage-steppe Ecosystem
Sagebrush is the most widespread vegetation in the intermountain lowlands of the western United States, but sagebrush is also one of the most imperiled ecosystems in North America due to continued degradation and lack of protection.
Sagebrush is long-lived, with plants of some species surviving at least 150 years. Healthy sagebrush has plants of various age classes and a diverse understory of grasses and forbs that provide shelter and forage for a host of species from songbirds, pygmy rabbits, sagebrush lizards to iconic big game animals like mule deer, elk and pronghorn. While sagebrush may lack the wildlife diversity of a tropical rainforest, many species found in sagebrush, such as the Greater sage-grouse live nowhere else in the world.
Prairies Conservation Campaign
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is arguably one of the most important wetland regions in the world. The PPR portions of North and South Dakota alone contain more than 19 million acres of grassland, including millions of temporary, seasonal and permanent wetlands. More than 50% of North American migratory waterfowl depend on its mix of wetlands and grasslands. This area is called the â€œduck factoryâ€� because it is the most productive area for nesting waterfowl on the continent.
Within the U.S. portion of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) millions of acres of native prairie and imbedded pothole wetlands provide habitat for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds and songbirds. Grassland conversion continues to expand westward, posing conservation challenges to some of the most important breeding habitat for waterfowl in North America. Other impacts include a reduction in bird diversity across the region and accruement of a significant carbon debt. The development of landowner incentives to maintain grasslands becomes critically important.
Conservation Agreement Amendment Allows U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Remove Least Chub from the Candidate Species List
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it has removed the least chub from the Candidate Species List. The decision was reached after the Service worked with state, local, and federal partners to finalize an amendment to a previous conservation agreement, which will provide landscape-level protection to the species across its range.
Arctic Grayling Does Not Warrant Protection Under Endangered Species Act Due to Collaborative Partnership
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its finding that the Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Arctic grayling does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service reached this conclusion after analyzing the significant conservation efforts carried out by private landowners as well as federal and state agency partners to improve conditions for Arctic grayling in the Upper Missouri River basin. These efforts have helped bring the species to the point that it is not in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future, i.e., does not meet the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the ESA.
Updated Web Site for the National Eagle Repository
For hundreds of years Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have used eagle feathers for religious and cultural purposes. In recognition of the significance of these feathers to Native Americans, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the National Eagle Repository (Repository) in the early 1970's.
The Repository, a one of a kind facility, is operated and managed by the Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is located at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Denver, Colorado. Its purpose is to provide a central location for the receipt, storage and distribution of bald and golden eagles found dead and their parts throughout the United States. The eagles, and their parts, are shipped to Native Americans and Alaskan Natives enrolled in federally recognized tribes for use in Indian religious ceremonies.