Peer Review of Scientific Information
Pacific Region

Proposed rule to Designate Critical for Southern Selkirk Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) under the Endangered Species Act

About the Document

Title:Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Southern Selkirk Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou)

Estimated Dissemination Date of the Proposed Rule: a Court Order requires delivery to the Federal Register of November 20, 2011

Estimated Peer Review Timeframe: 45-60 days; November 2010 to January 2011

Type of review: Influential


About the Peer Review Process

In accordance with the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review and the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service’s interagency peer review policy, we will initiate peer review of the science relevant to the proposed rule to Designate Critical Habitat for the Southern Selkirk Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou).

The Service will solicit comments from at least three independent scientific reviewers who will submit individual comments in written form.  Peer reviewers will be selected by the Service.  The scientific peer review will run concurrently with public review.  We will solicit reviews from experts who are willing to commit to providing an objective review within the needed time frame.  Reviewers will be selected by the Service from specialists in the relevant areas of expertise.  We will strive to strike a balance between reviewers on one side of the decision with those on the other side and will avoid selecting peer reviewers who are likely to experience personal gain or loss as a result of the Service’s decision.  Service employees will not be used for this peer review.

The primary disciplines or expertises that are needed for this peer review include but are not limited to: biologists who are familiar with the life history and habitat requirements of the southern Selkirk mountain caribou; public land managers; and scientists familiar with climate change models for the Pacific Northwest ecosystems.  We anticipate soliciting comments from 4-10 peer reviewers for this review.

The Service will provide each peer reviewer with information necessary to complete the peer review.  Because the peer review comment period will run concurrently with the public comment period, we cannot provide them with public comments prior to their review.  However, we will ask the peer reviewers to determine whether the relevant data were considered and whether they were considered appropriately.  We will also ask them to evaluate uncertainty and the strength of the data and conclusions.  Deadline for receipt of reviews will be clearly stated.  Peer review comments will be public documents.

Will the public and/or scientific or professional societies be asked to nominate peer reviewers?  No, however, we will ask the States of Idaho and Washington to each nominate a peer reviewer for our consideration.

Are waivers or deferrals being invoked? No.

Estimated Start Date of Peer Review: Late November 2011

About Public Participation

The public is invited to comment on this plan and on the proposed rule during the public comment period on the proposed rule.  The court-ordered deadline for the proposed rule to be delivered to the Federal Register is November 20, 2011.  Therefore, we expect the public comment period to be open from late November 2011 through late January 2012, however these dates are subject to change and are dependent upon publication of the proposed rule.

Peer Review Participants

Last Name

First Name




Forest Wildlife Biologist, USFS Idaho Panhandle National Forests



Wildlife Biologist, Ministry of Natural Resources Operations



Wildlife Program Coordinator at Idaho Dept of Fish and Game



Sr. Wildlife Research Biologist, Idaho Fish and Game

Read reviewers comments on page five of the Federal Register document


Call Susan Burch at 208-378-5243 for additional information regarding this peer review plan.


Last updated: November 5, 2013
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