[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 93 (Monday, May 14, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28347-28348]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11676]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Parts 13, 17, and 402

[Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2011-0099; FXES11150900000A2123]
RIN 1018-AY29

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Expanding 
Incentives for Voluntary Conservation Actions Under the Endangered 
Species Act

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), extend the 
deadline for submission of public comments to help us identify 
potential changes to our regulations that implement parts of the 
Endangered Species Act that would create incentives for landowners and 
others to take voluntary conservation actions to benefit species that 
may be likely to become threatened or endangered species. In 
particular, we seek comment on whether and how the Service can assure 
those who take such voluntary actions that the benefits of their 
actions will be recognized as offsetting the adverse effects of 
activities carried out after listing by that landowner or others. The 
practice of recognizing these actions, sometimes referred to as 
``advance mitigation'' or ``prelisting mitigation,'' is intended to 
encourage early conservation efforts that could reduce or eliminate the 
need to list species as endangered or threatened. If you have 
previously submitted comments, please do not resubmit them, because we 
have already incorporated them into the public record and will fully 
consider them as we decide how we may propose changes to our 
regulations or policies.

DATES: Electronic comments via http://www.regulations.gov must be 
submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 13, 2012. Comments 
submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than July 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Enter Keyword or ID box, enter FWS-R9-ES-
2011-0099, which is the docket number for this notice. You may submit a 
comment by clicking on ``Submit a Comment.''
    By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9-ES-2011-0099; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, MS 2042-PDM; 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 Public Comments below for more 

Communications and Candidate Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203 
(telephone 703-358-2171). If you use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 


Public Comments

    We are considering whether and how we could revise our regulations 
to create incentives for landowners and others to take voluntary 
conservation actions to benefit species that may be likely to become 
threatened or endangered species, including revisions that could 
recognize the benefits of such conservation actions as offsetting the 
adverse effects of actions carried out after listing by that landowner 
or others. We request comments, information, and suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry, private landowners, or any other interested 
parties to help us formulate any proposed regulation.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this notice 
by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not accept comments 
sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including your personal identifying information--will be 
posted on the Web site. If you submit a hard copy comment that includes 
personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your 
document that we withhold this information from public review. However, 
we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all 
hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this notice, will be available for 
public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, 
during normal business

[[Page 28348]]

hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER 


    On March 15, 2012 (77 FR 15352), we published an advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking and requested comments, information, and 
suggestions from the public on ways to improve upon current agreements 
or create new mechanisms to provide incentives to landowners who fund 
or voluntarily take conservation measures for candidates or other at-
risk species. See that document for specific questions we asked and for 
more detailed information.
    We have received a request for an extension of the comment period 
from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies so that State fish and 
wildlife agencies could have adequate time to submit comments in 
response to the proposal. To accommodate this request, we extend the 
comment period for an additional 60 days.


    This notice is published under the authority of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 7, 2012.
Gregory E. Siekaniec,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-11676 Filed 5-11-12; 8:45 am]