[Federal Register: November 24, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 226)]
[Page 66192-66193]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) 
and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Woundfin (Plagopterus argentissimus) and 
Virgin River Chub (Gila seminuda) within the Virgin River Basis

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant 
Impact for Designation of Critical Habitat for the Woundfin 
(Plagopterus argentissimus) and Virgin River Chub (Gila seminuda) 
within the Virgin River Basin. The proposed Federal action described in 
the environmental assessment is to formally designate critical habitat 
for two endangered fishes inhabiting the Virgin River. Both woundfin 
and Virgin River chub are listed as endangered species under provisions 
of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The 
designation of critical habitat for woundfin and Virgin River chub is 
necessary pursuant to the Act and to comply with a court order to make 
a final determination with regard to these species. On August 27, 1999, 
in U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, the Court ordered the 
Service to proceed with the final designation of critical habitat for 
woundfin and Virgin River chub. Pursuant to that Court Order, we are 
proceeding with all necessary steps to finalize critical habitat 
designation for these two species and providing a notice of 
availability of the Final EA and FONSI. In accordance with Service

[[Page 66193]]

procedures to supplement Council on Environmental Quality regulations 
implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, the FONSI must be 
available for public review if the proposed action is located in a 
floodplain or wetland, pursuant to Executive Orders 11988 and 11990, 
respectively. The designation of critical habitat includes the 100-year 
floodplain, therefore, the Service will allow 30 days for public review 
before the final designation of critical habitat can be implemented.

DATES: The 30 day public review period ends on December 27, 1999.

Supervisory, Ecological Services Field Office, Lincoln Plaza, 145 East 
1300 South, Suite 404, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115, or at (801) 524-
5001. Copies of final documents are available from the Field Office. 
All comments and materials received regarding the proposed designation 
of critical habitat will be available upon request for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 



    On August 9, 1999, the Service published in the Federal Register 
(64 FR 43026) a notice of availability of the Draft Environmental 
Assessment of Designation of Critical Habitat for the Woundfin 
(Plagopterus argentissimus) and Virgin River Chub (Gila seminuda) 
within the Virgin River Basin. At that time we also solicited input on 
the Draft EA from the public, governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry and other interested parties. Comments were 
accepted from August 9, 1999, through September 8, 1999. All comments 
received on the Draft EA were given due consideration during the 
formulation of the Final EA and FONSI.
    Author: The primary author of this notice is Keith L. Rose, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 764 Horizon Drive Suite 228, Grant Junction, 
CO 81506. Mr. Rose may also be reached at (970) 243-4552.


    The authorities for this action are the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1532 et seq.)
Ralph O. Morgenweck,
Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-30323 Filed 11-23-99; 8:45 am]