[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 47 (Thursday, March 10, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13121-13122]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5424]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2011-0008; MO 92210-0-0008]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 
Status Review for Longfin Smelt

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 longfin smelt 
(Spirinchus thaleichthys). To ensure that the status review is 
comprehensive, we are requesting 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 April 11, 2011. 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 fully 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-2011-0008 and then follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2011-0008; 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 Request for Information 
section below for more details).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Supervisor, San Francisco Bay-
Delta Fish and Wildlife Office, 650 Capitol Mall, Eighth Floor, 
Sacramento, CA 95814; by telephone at 916-930-5603; or facsimile at 
916-930-5654. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-


Request for Information

    To ensure the status review is complete and based on the best 
available scientific and commercial information, we request information 
on the longfin smelt. 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 or its 
    (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing 
determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which 
    (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 
longfin smelt or its habitat.
    If, after the status review, we determine that listing the longfin 
smelt is warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see definition in 
section 3(5)(A) of the Act), under section 4 of the Act, to the maximum 
extent prudent and determinable at the time we propose to list the 
species. Therefore, within the geographical range currently occupied by 
the longfin smelt, we also request data and information on:

[[Page 13122]]

    (1) What may constitute ``physical or biological features essential 
to the conservation of the species;''
    (2) Where these features are currently found; and
    (3) Whether any of these features may require special management 
considerations or protection.
    In addition, we request data and information on ``specific areas 
outside the geographical area occupied by the species'' that are 
``essential to the conservation of the species.'' Please provide 
specific comments and information as to what, if any, critical habitat 
you think we should propose for designation if the species is proposed 
for listing, and why such habitat meets the requirements of section 4 
of the Act.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    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 
Web site. 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 is available for you to review at http://www.regulations.gov, or you may make an appointment during normal 
business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco 
Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

Previous Federal Actions

    On August 8, 2007, the Service received a petition from the Bay 
Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Natural 
Resources Defense Council to list the San Francisco Bay-Delta 
population of the longfin smelt as a distinct population segment (DPS) 
and to designate critical habitat for the species concurrent with the 
listing. The petition was clearly identified as a petition for a 
listing rule and contained the names, signatures, and addresses of the 
requesting parties. On May 6, 2008, the Service published a 90-day 
finding (73 FR 24911) in which we concluded that the petition provided 
substantial information indicating that listing the San Francisco Bay-
Delta Population of the longfin smelt as a distinct populations segment 
(DPS) may be warranted, and we initiated a status review. On April 9, 
2009, the Service published a 12-month finding (74 FR 16169) on the 
petition to list the San Francisco Bay-Delta population of the longfin 
smelt as a DPS and designate critical habitat for the species 
concurrent with the listing. We determined that the San Francisco Bay-
Delta population of the longfin smelt did not meet the discreteness 
criterion of our Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct 
Vertebrate Population Segments (DPS policy) (February 7, 1996, 61 FR 
4721), and therefore we did not undertake a significance review, since 
it is not a valid DPS.
    On November 13, 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) 
filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District 
of California, challenging the Service on the merits of the 2009 
determination. On February 1, 2011, the Service settled with the Center 
for Biological Diversity and agreed to conduct a range-wide 12-month 
finding to be published by September 30, 2011.
    You may obtain copies of the 2009 determination, and other previous 
Federal actions relating to the longfin smelt, by mail from the San 
Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section); 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 San 
Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER 


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

    Dated: March 2, 2011.
Gregory E. Siekaniec,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-5424 Filed 3-9-11; 8:45 am]