[Federal Register: February 23, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 35)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 8161-8162]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH93

Revisions to the Regulations Applicable to Permits Issued Under 
the Endangered Species Act

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the reopening 
of the comment period for the proposed rule to revise our regulations 
pertaining to permits issued under the Endangered Species Act. Apparent 
confusion on the part of the public regarding the scope of this 
proposed rule has prompted us to reopen the comment period to allow for 
additional comment. Comments previously submitted need not be 
resubmitted, as they will be incorporated into the public record and 
considered in the preparation of the final rule.

DATES: Comments and information will be accepted from all interested 
parties until 5 p.m. on March 9, 2004. No comments will be accepted 
after this date.

ADDRESSES: (1) You may submit comments on the proposed rule to Chief, 
Division of Conservation and

[[Page 8162]]

Classification, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, 
Suite 420, Arlington, VA 22203; or (2) you may send comments by 
electronic mail (e-mail) to fw9comments@fws.gov. These comments should 
not contain any attachments, as they may be stripped from the e-mail. 
(See ``Public Comments Solicited'' section below.)
    Comments received will be made available to the public and become 
part of the file for the proposal. You may examine comments and 
materials received during normal business hours at the above address in 
Arlington, VA, after the close of the comment period. You must make an 
appointment to examine these materials.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Nolin, Division of Conservation 
and Classification, telephone 703/358-2171.



    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period 
for the proposed rule titled ``Revisions to the Regulations Applicable 
to Permits Issued Under the Endangered Species Act'' (68 FR 53327, 
September 10, 2003) (``proposed rule''). The comment period for the 
proposed rule overlapped part of the comment period on a notice on a 
different subject, entitled ``Draft Policy for Enhancement-of-Survival 
Permits for Foreign Species Listed Under the Endangered Species Act'' 
(68 FR 49512, August 18, 2003) (``draft policy''). This overlap in 
public comment periods resulted in some apparent confusion among the 
public on the scope and intent of the proposed rule.
    The principal purpose of the proposed rule was to more explicitly 
describe and accommodate the domestic application of different types of 
enhancement activities that can be permitted by the Service under 
authority of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act. The Service recognizes 
that its existing regulations at sections 17.22(a) and 17.32(a) do not 
clearly describe the full range of activities that enhance species 
survival, especially those activities which relate to domestic species. 
Accordingly, we proposed to revise sections 17.22(a) and 17.32(a) to 
clarify the range of actions that may be permitted. The proposed rule 
was also intended to clarify that these permits may also be issued in 
conjunction with Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances and 
Safe Harbor Agreements that contemplate intentional take.
    The proposed rule was not intended to make any changes to the 
regulations for the purposes of administering the draft policy. The 
proposed rule does not affect or facilitate the procedures described in 
the draft policy notice, and the status of the proposed rule has no 
bearing on any subsequent action under the draft policy. At this time, 
we continue to review the comments received on the draft policy and 
will determine how to proceed on that policy upon completion of our 
review of those comments. This determination will be independent of any 
final action on the proposed rule.

Public Comments Solicited

    We are soliciting written comments on the proposed rule from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry or any other interested party. Verbal comments will 
not be accepted. Comments previously submitted on the proposed rule 
need not be resubmitted, because they will be incorporated into the 
public record as part of this reopening of the comment period and will 
be fully considered in the final rule. It is our intent that any final 
action resulting from our proposed rule be as accurate as possible. As 
indicated above, comments on the draft policy are not solicited as part 
of the reopening of the comment period on the proposed rule; only 
comments addressing the proposed rule will be considered under this 
open comment period.
    If you submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail) please submit 
them as an ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters, or any 
form of encryption. In addition, we request that you do not include any 
attachments as these may get accidentally stripped from your message 
during the review process. You must also include your name and address 
in your e-mail message. You will not receive a confirmation from the 
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home addresses from the administrative record, which we will 
honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances 
in which we would withhold from the administrative record a 
respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you would like us to 
withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at 
the beginning of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous 
comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available 
for public inspection in their entirety. Comments and materials 
received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the above address.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

    Dated: February 13, 2004.
Paul Hoffman,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 04-3869 Filed 2-18-04; 4:57 pm]