[Federal Register: September 1, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 169)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 52059]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 52059]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding 
on a Petition To List the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout as Threatened or 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; opening of public comment period on status 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
opening of a public comment period for a status review of the 
Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) in the 
United States, which has been initiated pursuant to a recent Court 
order requiring us to prepare a 12-month finding on a petition to list 
the subspecies as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This action will allow all interested 
parties an opportunity to provide information on the status of the 
subspecies of fish.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 31, 2005.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials by any one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information by mail to 
Yellowstone Cutthroat Comments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 780 
Creston Hatchery Road, Kalispell, Montana 59901-8239.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our 
Creston Fish and Wildlife Center, at the above address, or fax your 
comments (406) 758-6887.
    3. You may send your comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
fw6_yellowstonecut@fws.gov. For directions on how to submit electronic 

filing of comments, by e-mail see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' 
section. In the event that our internet connection is not functional, 
please submit your comments by the alternate methods mentioned above.
    All comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at our 
Kalispell Ecological Services Suboffice at the above address. Further 
information also is available on the Internet at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/fish/yct/index.htm

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wade Fredenberg at the above address 
(fax: (406) 758-6887; telephone: (406) 758-6872; e-mail: 



    On February 23, 2001, we published a Federal Register notice (66 FR 
11244) announcing our 90-day finding on an August 14, 1998, petition to 
list Yellowstone cutthroat trout as threatened or endangered under the 
Act. We determined that the petition failed to present substantial 
information indicating that listing this subspecies may be warranted. 
During the period leading up to this finding, we received written 
comments from the game and fish departments of the States of Idaho, 
Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, as well as from Yellowstone 
National Park, several entities of the U.S. Forest Service, and the 
Shoshone-Bannock tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. In their 
letters and attachments, those entities provided important information 
relevant to the status of Yellowstone cutthroat trout. That 
information, as well as information supporting the petition, was used 
in the 90-day finding.
    On January 20, 2004, the Center for Biological Diversity and others 
filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of 
Colorado, alleging that the Service had used the wrong procedures and 
standards to assess the petition as part of the 90-day finding process. 
On December 17, 2004, the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and 
ordered the Service to produce a status review and 12-month finding for 
Yellowstone cutthroat trout. On February 14, 2005, the Court clarified 
its order and attached a February 14, 2006, due date for the Service to 
complete the review and finding.
    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that we make a 12-month finding whether a petitioned action is (a) not 
warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) warranted but the immediate proposal 
of a regulation is precluded by other pending proposals to determine 
whether other species are threatened or endangered. This finding is 
based on a status review that is normally initiated by a positive 90-
day finding. In this case, the status review is being initiated by 
court order.
    We are opening a 60-day comment period to allow all interested 
parties an opportunity to provide information on the status of the 
Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The Service will base its 12-month finding 
on a review of the best scientific and commercial information 
available, including all information received during the public comment 

Public Comments Solicited

    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 address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. 
If you wish us to withhold your name or address, you must state this 
request prominently at the beginning of your comments. However, we will 
not consider anonymous comments. To the extent consistent with 
applicable law, 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.
    Please submit electronic comments in an ASCII file and avoid the 
use of any special characters or any form of encryption. Also, please 
include ``Attn: (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri)'' and your name and 
return address in your e-mail message regarding the (Oncorhynchus 
clarki bouvieri) status review. If you do not receive a confirmation 
from the system that we have received your e-mail message, please 
submit your comments in writing using one of the alternate methods 
described above.


    The primary author of this document is Wade Fredenberg, Fisheries 
Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Creston Fish and Wildlife 
Center, Kalispell, Montana.

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

    Dated: August 19, 2005.
Marshall Jones,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-17455 Filed 8-31-05; 8:45 am]