[Federal Register: August 29, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 168)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 45662-45663]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH80

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Public 
Hearings on the Proposed Rule To Establish Sixteen Additional Manatee 
Protection Areas in Florida

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of public hearings.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, give notice that we are 
holding public hearings on the proposed rule to establish sixteen 
additional manatee protection areas in Florida. We invite all 
interested parties to submit comments on this proposal.

DATES: We will hold public hearings from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, 
September 10, 2001, in Crystal River, Florida; Tuesday, September 11, 
2001, in Clearwater, Florida; Wednesday, September 12, 2001, in Venice, 
Florida; and Thursday, September 13, 2001, in Melbourne, Florida. The 
comment period will close on October 9, 2001. We will consider any 
comments received by the closing date in the final decision on this 

ADDRESSES: We will hold the public hearings at the following locations:
     Crystal River at the Plantation Inn and Conference Center, 
Magnolia Room, 9301 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL;
     Clearwater at the Harborview Convention Center Clearwater 
Room, 300 Cleveland Ave., Clearwater, FL;
     Venice at the Holiday Inn Banquet Room, 455 N. U.S. 41 
Bypass, Venice, FL;
     Melbourne at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, Oak 
Ballroom, 3101 North Hwy. A1A, Melbourne, FL.
    You may submit written comments and materials concerning the 
proposal at the hearings or send them directly to the Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Field Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 6620 Southpoint Drive, South, Suite 310, 
Jacksonville, Florida 32216. You may also hand-deliver written comments 
to our Jacksonville Field Office, at the above address, or fax your 
comments to 904/232-2404. Additionally, you may send comments by 
electronic mail (e-mail) to fw4_es_jacksonville@fws.gov.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used

[[Page 45663]]

in the preparation of this proposed rule, will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours from 8:00 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., at the above address. You may obtain copies of the 
proposed rule and draft environmental assessment from the above address 
or by calling 904/232-2580, or from our website at http://

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Hankla, Peter Benjamin, or 
Cameron Shaw (see ADDRESSES section), telephone 904/232-2580; or visit 
our website at http://northflorida.fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We published a proposed rule to establish 16 
additional manatee protection areas in Florida in the Federal Register 
on August 10, 2001 (66 FR 42318). We are proposing this action under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
(ESA), and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1361-1407) (MMPA), to further recovery of the Florida manatee 
(Trichechus manatus latirostris) through a reduction in the level of 
take. In evaluating the need for additional manatee protection areas, 
we considered the needs of the manatee at an ecosystem level with the 
goal of ensuring that adequate, protected areas are available 
throughout peninsular Florida to satisfy the biological requirements of 
the species, with a view toward the manatee's recovery. We are 
proposing to designate four areas in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Citrus 
Counties, as manatee sanctuaries in which all waterborne activities 
would be prohibited, with an exception for residents. The remaining 12 
areas, located in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Lee, and 
Brevard Counties, would be designated as manatee refuges in which 
certain waterborne activities would be prohibited or regulated. We also 
announced the availability of a draft environmental assessment for this 
    We announced the date, time and location of the public hearing in 
Melbourne with the notice of the proposed rule. We stated that 
additional public hearings would be held at dates, times, and sites to 
be determined. This notice provides information regarding those 
additional hearings.
    Public hearings are designed to gather relevant information that 
the public may have that we should consider in our rule-making. During 
the hearing, we will present information about the proposed action. We 
invite the public to submit information and comments either at the 
hearings or in writing.
    We may have to limit the time allotted for oral statements, if the 
number of people who wish to comment necessitates such a limitation. We 
encourage persons wishing to comment at the hearings to provide a 
written copy of their statement at the start of the hearing. There is 
no limit on the length of written comments. Persons may also send 
written comments to our office in the ADDRESSES section at any time 
during the open comment period, which closes on October 9, 2001. We 
will give equal consideration to oral and written comments. We are 
publishing legal notices announcing the date, time, and location of the 
hearings in newspapers, concurrently with this Federal Register notice.
    Author: The primary author of this notice is Cameron Shaw (see 
ADDRESSES section).

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361-1407).

    Dated: August 20, 2001.
Thomas M. Riley,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-21906 Filed 8-28-01; 8:45 am]