[Federal Register: October 14, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 198)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 60051-60052]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 90-Day Finding on 
a Petition To List the California Spotted Owl as Threatened or 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the public comment period for the status review initiated 
by the 90-day finding on a petition to list the California spotted owl 
(Strix occidentalis occidentalis) as threatened or endangered, under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
(Act). On June 21, 2005 (70 FR 35607), we published a positive 90-day 
finding and initiated a status review of the subspecies to determine if 
listing under the Act is warranted. The original comment period closed 
on August 22, 2005. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, 
we are reopening the comment period to solicit additional scientific 
and commercial information regarding this subspecies. This will allow 
all interested parties an additional opportunity to provide information 
on the status of the subspecies under the Act.

DATES: To be considered in the 12-month finding for this petition, 
comments and information must be submitted directly to the Service (see 
ADDRESSES) by October 28, 2005. All comments submitted to the Service 
from June 21, 2005, through October 28, 2005, will be considered by the 
Service in the development of the 12-month finding, but any comments 
received after the closing date may not be considered in that finding.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments, new 
information, materials, or questions concerning this species by any one 
of the following methods:
    (1) You may submit written comments to the Field Supervisor (Attn: 
California Spotted Owl), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento 
Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2605, Sacramento, 
CA 95825.
    (2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
ca_spotted_owl@fws.gov. See the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section 

below for file format and other information on electronic filing.
    (3) You may fax your comments to (916) 414-6712.
    (4) You may hand-deliver comments to our Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the address above.
    See also the ``Public Information Solicited'' section for more 
information on submitting comments.
    All comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of the 90-day finding, status 
review, and 12-month finding, will be available for public inspection, 
by appointment, during normal business hours, at the above address. You 
may obtain copies of the 90-day finding from the above address, by 
calling (916) 414-6600, or from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/pacific/sacramento/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arnold Roessler, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES above), or at telephone (916) 414-6600, 
or by facsimile at (916) 414-6712. You may also obtain additional 
information on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/pacific/sacramento/. 

Information regarding the 90-day finding is available in alternative 
formats upon request.


Public Information Solicited

    We request any additional data, comments, and suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, 
the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties 
concerning the status of the California spotted owl. Of particular 
interest in the status review is information pertaining to the factors 
the Service uses to determine if a species is threatened or endangered: 
(1) Present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of 
its habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational, 
scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) 
inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and (5) other natural or 
human-caused factors affecting its continued existence.
    We are particularly seeking comments and information concerning the 
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to the California spotted owl;
    (2) The location of any additional subpopulations or breeding sites 
of this species, and the reasons why any habitat should or should not 
be determined to be critical habitat pursuant to section 4 of the Act;

[[Page 60052]]

    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population sizes of this species; and
    (4) Information regarding barred owl (Strix varia) range, 
distribution, and population size as it relates to California spotted 
    (5) Current or planned activities or land use practices in the 
subject area and their possible impacts on this animal.
    In addition, we request data and information regarding the changes 
identified in the ``Summary of Threats Analysis'' section in the 90-day 
finding (70 FR 35607).
    Finally, if we determine that listing the owl is warranted, it is 
our intent to propose critical habitat to the maximum extent prudent 
and determinable at the time we would propose to list the species. 
Therefore, we request scientific information on what may constitute 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species, where these features are currently found and whether any of 
these areas are in need of special management, and whether there are 
areas not containing these features which might be essential to the 
conservation of the species. Please provide specific comments as to 
what, critical habitat, if any, should be proposed for designation if 
the species is proposed for listing, and why that proposed habitat 
meets the requirements of the Act.
    Previously submitted comments need not be resubmitted. If you 
submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail), please submit them as an 
ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters and any form of 
encryption. Please also include ``Attn: California Spotted Owl Status 
Review'' and your name and address in your e-mail message. If you do 
not receive a confirmation from the system that we have received your 
e-mail message, contact us directly by calling the Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Respondents may request that we withhold their home 
address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also 
may be circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name 
and/or address, you must state this request prominently at the 
beginning of your comment. 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. Comments 
and materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.


    On June 21, 2005 (70 FR 35607), we published a positive 90-finding 
on a petition to list the California spotted owl as threatened or 
endangered under the Act (i.e., we determined that the petition 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that listing the species may be warranted). For further information 
regarding the biology of this subspecies, previous Federal actions, 
factors affecting the subspecies, and conservation measures available 
to the California spotted owl, please refer to the 90-day finding (70 
FR 35607) and previous Federal Register notices regarding the 
California spotted owl (65 FR 60605; 68 FR 7580).
    When we make a positive 90-day finding, we are required to promptly 
commence a review of the status of the species. Based on results of the 
status review, we will make a 12-month finding as required by section 
4(b)(3)(B) of the Act on or before March 14, 2006. To ensure that the 
status review is complete and based on the best available scientific 
and commercial data, we are soliciting additional information on the 
California spotted owl. Pursuant to 50 CFR 424.16(c)(2), we may extend 
or reopen a comment period upon finding that there is good cause to do 
so. Because of the large volume of information relating to forest 
management activities within the range of the California spotted owl, 
and the number of scientists involved in monitoring the status of the 
California spotted owl and its habitat, we seek additional time to 
receive information and comments relating to the status of the owl from 
federal, state, and private scientists. We will reopen the comment 
period until October 28, 2005. This reopening of the comment period 
will not affect the date by which the Service will make its 12-month 


    The primary authors of this notice are staff of the Sacramento Fish 
and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).


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

    Dated: September 23, 2005.
Marshall P. Jones Jr.,
Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-20646 Filed 10-13-05; 8:45 am]