Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
About the Document
Title: Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
Estimated dissemination date of the final version of the document: November, 2012.
Kind of peer review that will be conducted: We solicited peer review both from individuals with known expertise, and relevant agencies representatives.
About the Peer Review Process
The following is an excerpt from the request letter that was sent the end of March, 2012:
We are soliciting your review of the Proposed Revised Critical Habitat Rule for the Northern Spotted Owl. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is soliciting independent peer review to ensure that the best biological and commercial information was used in the rule-making process, as well as to ensure that reviews by recognized experts are incorporated into the review process of rulemakings in accordance with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
This proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2012, and a copy is enclosed for your review. In addition, we have included the White Paper on Habitat Modeling (also referred to as Dunk et al. 2012) which provides additional detail on the methods used to identify critical habitat. The public comment period will be open until June 6, 2012 (been extended to July 6, 2012). Your comments must be received during this period to be considered in the preparation of the final recovery plan.
While the Service would like all scientific and technical elements of the rule reviewed, there are key areas the Service would like to highlight for your attention. While the rule contains a large amount of material pertaining to policy, we are particularly interested in your review of the underlying science. Please tier your responses, as appropriate, to the goal of achieving the recovery objectives for identifying critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (page 142 of the rule), and to your specific areas of expertise. The following are some of the most important aspects of the proposal we would like you to focus on in your review; however, we welcome your comments on any aspect of the proposed rule.
Number of reviewers: We requested peer review from approximately 40 people and agency representatives.
Selection of Peer Reviewer: Reviewers selected by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office
Start date of peer review: End of March, 2012.
About Public Participation
Public comment: Comment period was open from March 6, 2012 to June 6, 2012, and were extended to July 6, 2012. Comments were submitted following the normal Federal Register process.
Click here to view the peer review request form
Peer Review Participants
Unsolicited reviews were also received from The Wildlife Society and The Society for Conservation Biology/American Ornithologist’s Union (combined review).
Read comments from peer reviewers in the Final Critical Habitat Rule starting on page 491
For more information on this peer review please contact Betsy Glenn and Jody Caicco 503/231-6179