[Federal Register: April 20, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 75)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 20547-20548]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2010-0013]
[MO 92210-0-0008-B2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 
Status Review for Sacramento splittail (Pogonichthys macrolepidotus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Initiation of status review and solicitation of new 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), under the 
authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 
announce the initiation of a status review for the Sacramento splittail 
(Pogonichthy macrolepidotus). To ensure that the status review is 
comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and 
other information regarding this species. Based on the status review, 
we will issue a 12-month finding, which will address whether the 
listing may be warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.

DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request 
that we receive information on or before May 20, 2010. After this date, 
you must submit information directly to the Field Office (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below). Please note that we may not 
be able to address or incorporate information that we receive after the 
above requested date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Search for Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2010-0013 and then follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2010-0013; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, 
Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will post all information received on http://
www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Information Solicited 
section below for more details).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Castleberry, Field Supervisor, San 
Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office, 650 Capitol Mall, fifth 
Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814; by telephone at 916-930-5632; or by 
facsimile at 916-930-5654. Persons who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) 
at 800-877-8339


Information Solicited:

    To ensure the status review is complete and based on the best 
available scientific and commercial information, we request information 
on the Sacramento splittail. We request any additional information from 
governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific 
community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek 
information on:
(1)The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:
     (a) Habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;
     (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
     (c) Historical and current range including distribution patterns;
     (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and 
projected trends; and
     (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species and/or 
its habitat.
(2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing determination 
for a

[[Page 20548]]

species under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (c) Disease or predation;
    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
(3) The potential effects global climate change may have on the 
Sacramento splittail or its habitat.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
full references) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial 
information you include.
    If, after the status review, we determine that listing the 
Sacramento splittail is warranted, we will propose critical habitat 
(see definition in section 3(5)(A) of the Act), as per section 4 of the 
Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time we 
propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request specific 
comments and information as to what, if any, critical habitat you think 
should be proposed for designation if the species is proposed for 
listing, and why such habitat meets the requirements of the Act. 
Specifically, for areas within the geographical range currently 
occupied by the species, we request data on:
(1) The amount and distribution of Sacramento splittail habitat;
(2) The physical and biological features of Sacramento splittail 
habitat that are essential to the conservation of the species;
(3) Special management considerations or protections that the features 
essential to the conservation of Sacramento splittail my require, 
including managing for the potential effects of climate change;
(4) Any areas that are essential to the conservation of Sacramento 
splittail and why;
(5) Land use designations and current or planned activities in 
Sacramento splittail habitats and their possible impacts on proposed 
critical habitat;
(6) Conservation programs and plans that protect Sacramento splittail 
and its habitat; and,
(7) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating 
critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation 
and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and 
    In addition, we request data and information on ``specific areas 
outside the geographical area occupied by the species.''
    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action 
under consideration without providing supporting information, although 
noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 
4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any 
species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ``solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your information concerning this status review by 
one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit 
information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--
including any personal identifying information--will be posted on the 
website. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying 
information, you may request at the top of your document that we 
withhold this personal identifying information from public review. 
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will 
post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Information and supporting documentation that we received and used 
in preparing this finding, will be available for public inspection on 
http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bay Delta Fish and 

Previous Federal Actions

    On September 22, 2003, the Service published a Notice of Remanded 
Determination of Status for the Sacramento splittail in the Federal 
Register (68 FR 55140) that removed the Sacramento splittail from the 
endangered species list. Please refer to the September 22, 2003 Federal 
Register notice (68 FR 55140) for previous Federal actions taken on 
Sacramento splittail prior to September 22, 2003.
    On August 13, 2009 the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed 
a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of 
California, challenging the Service on the merits of the 2003 
determination and alleging improper political influence of the former 
Department of Interior, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife 
and Parks, Julie MacDonald. In a settlement dated February 1, 2010 
(Case4:09-cv-03711-PJH), the Service agreed to open a 30-day public 
comment period to allow for the submission of additional information by 
the public. The Service also agreed to submit to the Federal Register a 
new status review and 12-month finding as to whether listing the 
Sacramento splittail is warranted or not warranted. If warranted, the 
Service further agreed to publish, concurrently with the 12-month 
finding, a proposed rule to list the Sacramento splittail and a final 
determination on or before September 29, 2011. This notice constitutes 
notification of the opening of the 30-day public comment period.
    You may obtain copies of the 2003 remanded determination, and other 
previous Federal actions relating to the Sacramento splittail by mail 
from the San Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section), or on the Internet at http://
www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/, or by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
at http://www.regulations.gov.


    The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the 
Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 


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

    Dated: April 8, 2010.
Rowan Gould,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-8962 Filed 4-19-10; 8:45 am]