[Federal Register: July 12, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 132)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 37492-37493]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF56

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 
Reopening of Comment Period on the Proposed Rule To List the Alabama 
Sturgeon as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, give notice that we are

[[Page 37493]]

reopening the comment period on the proposed rule to list the Alabama 
sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi) as endangered. We invite all 
interested parties to submit comments on this proposal.

DATES: We will accept comments until September 10, 1999. We will 
consider any comments received by the closing date in the final 
decision on this proposal.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments and materials concerning the 
proposal to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6578 
Dogwood View Parkway, Jackson, Mississippi 39213. Comments and 
materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.

section), 601/965-4900, extension 25; facsimile 601/965-4340.



    The Alabama sturgeon is a small freshwater sturgeon that was 
historically found only in the Mobile River Basin of Alabama and 
Mississippi. The Alabama sturgeon's historic range once included about 
1,600 kilometers (km) (1,000 miles (mi)) of the Mobile River system in 
Alabama (Black Warrior, Tombigbee, Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Mobile, 
Tensaw, and Cahaba rivers) and Mississippi (Tombigbee River). Since 
1985, all confirmed captures of this fish have been from a short, free-
flowing reach of the Alabama River below Miller's Ferry and Claiborne 
locks and dams in Clarke, Monroe, and Wilcox counties, Alabama. The 
historic decline of the Alabama sturgeon is attributed to over-fishing, 
loss and fragmentation of habitat as a result of navigation-related 
development, and water quality degradation. Current threats primarily 
result from its small population numbers and its inability to offset 
mortality rates with reproduction and recruitment.
    On March 26, 1999, we published a rule proposing endangered status 
for the Alabama sturgeon in the Federal Register (64 FR 14676). Section 
4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that we hold a 
public hearing if it is requested within 45 days of the publication of 
the proposed rule. Sheldon Morgan, Chairman, Alabama-Tombigbee Rivers 
Coalition, requested a public hearing within the allotted time period. 
On May 25, 1999, we published a notice in the Federal Register 
announcing a public hearing and extending the comment period until July 
5, 1999 (64 FR 28142). We held a public hearing on June 24, 1999, at 
the Montgomery Civic Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this proposed rule. In making a final decision, we 
will take into consideration the comments and any additional 
information we receive, and such communications may lead to a final 
determination that differs from this proposal.
    The previous comment period on this proposal closed on July 5, 
1999. To allow all interested parties the maximum time to submit their 
comments for the record, we are reopening the comment period until 
September 10, 1999.


    The primary author of this notice is Paul Hartfield (see ADDRESSES 

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 6, 1999.
H. Dale Hall,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-17557 Filed 7-9-99; 8:45 am]