[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 191 (Wednesday, October 2, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60813-60815]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24104]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073; FXES11130900000C2-134-FF09E32000]
RIN 1018-AY00

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray 
Wolf (Canis lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Maintaining Protections for the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) 
by Listing It as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; announcement of public hearing.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), recently 
published a proposal to remove the gray wolf from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) but to maintain endangered 
status for the Mexican wolf by listing it as a subspecies (Canis lupus 
baileyi). On September 5, 2013, we announced three public hearings on 
the proposed rule and extended the public comment period to October 28, 
2013. We now announce an additional public hearing to be held on 
October 17, 2013, in Denver, Colorado.

DATES: Written Comments: The public comment period on the proposal to 
remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife but to maintain endangered status for the Mexican wolf by 
listing it as a subspecies is open through October 28, 2013. Please 
note that comments submitted electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 
p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. If you are submitting your 
comments by hard copy, please mail them by October 28, 2013, to ensure 
that we receive them in time to give them full consideration.
    Public Hearings: We will hold a public hearing on October 17, 2013, 
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Denver, Colorado.

ADDRESSES: Written Comments: You may submit comments by one of the 
following methods:

[[Page 60814]]

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073, which is the 
docket number for this rulemaking. Please ensure you have found the 
correct document before submitting your comments. If your comments will 
fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our comment review 
procedures. If you attach your comments as a separate document, our 
preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple 
comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet 
in Microsoft Excel. Submissions of electronic comments on our Proposed 
Revision to the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican 
Wolf, which also published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2013, 
should be submitted to Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056 using the method 
described above.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    (3) At the public hearing: Written comments will be accepted by 
Service personnel at the public hearing.
    We will post all comments that we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section 
below for more information).
    Public Hearing: The public hearing will be held at: Paramount 
Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, Colorado 80202; (303) 405-1245.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Headquarters Office, Ecological 
Services; telephone (703) 358-2171. Direct all questions or requests 
for additional information to: GRAY WOLF QUESTIONS, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office, Ecological Services, 4401 North 
Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203. Individuals who are 
hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service 
at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.


Public Hearings

    We are holding a public hearing on the date listed in DATES at the 
location listed in ADDRESSES. For information on additional public 
hearings related to this proposed rulemaking action, see our previous 
notice of public hearings that published in the Federal Register on 
September 5, 2013, at 78 FR 54614.
    We are holding public hearings to provide interested parties the 
opportunity to present verbal testimony (formal, oral comments) or 
written comments regarding the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35664), proposal to 
remove the gray wolf from the List and maintain protections for the 
Mexican wolf by listing it as endangered. A public hearing is not, 
however, an opportunity for dialogue with the Service or its 
contractors; it is a forum for accepting formal verbal testimony. 
Anyone wishing to make an oral statement at the public hearings for the 
record is encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement to us 
at the hearings. In the event of a large attendance, the time allotted 
for oral statements may be limited. Speakers can sign up at the 
hearings if they desire to make an oral statement. Oral and written 
statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits on the 
length of written comments submitted to us.
    Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodations to 
participate in the public hearings should contact the Headquarters 
Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Reasonable accommodation 
requests should be received at least 3 business days prior to the 
hearing to help ensure availability; at least 2 weeks prior notice is 
requested for American-sign-language or English-as-a-second-language 
interpreter needs.

Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, comments, new 
information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other 
interested party concerning this proposed rule are hereby solicited. In 
particular, we are seeking targeted information and comments on our 
proposed removal of C. lupus from the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and addition of C. l. baileyi as an endangered subspecies. We 
also seek comment on the following categories of information.
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant information 
concerning our analysis of the current C. lupus listed entity and the 
adequacy of the approach taken in this analysis, with particular 
respect to our interpretation of the term ``population'' as it relates 
to the 1996 Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate 
Population Segments (DPS policy) (61 FR 4722, February 7, 1996) and 
specifically to gray wolves.
    (2) Information concerning the genetics and taxonomy of the eastern 
wolf, Canis lycaon.
    (3) Information concerning the status of the gray wolf in the 
Pacific Northwest United States and the following gray wolf subspecies: 
Canis lupus nubilus, Canis lupus occidentalis, and C. l. baileyi, 
    (a) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (b) New information concerning range, distribution, population 
size, and population trends;
    (c) New biological or other relevant data concerning any threat (or 
lack thereof) to these subspecies, their habitat, or both; and
    (d) New information regarding conservation measures for these 
populations, their habitat, or both.
    As this proposal is intended to replace our May 5, 2011, proposal 
to remove protections for C. lupus in all or portions of 29 eastern 
contiguous States (76 FR 26086), we ask that any comments previously 
submitted that may be relevant to the proposal presented in this rule 
be resubmitted at this time.
    Please note that 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. You may submit your comments and materials by 
one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send 
comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES. Verbal testimony 
may also be presented during the public hearings (see DATES and 
ADDRESSES sections).
    We will post your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. If you provide 
personal identifying information, such as your street address, phone 
number, or email address, 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.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as some of the 
supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will 
be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073, or by appointment, during normal 
business hours at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office, 
Endangered Species Program, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, 
Arlington, VA 22203.
    Our final determination concerning the proposed action will take 

[[Page 60815]]

consideration all written comments we receive during all comment 
periods, comments from peer reviewers, and comments received during the 
public hearings. The comments will be included in the public record for 
this rulemaking, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of 
our final determination.
    If you previously submitted comments or information on this 
proposed rule, please do not resubmit them. We will incorporate them 
into the public record as part of this comment period, and will fully 
consider them in the preparation of our final determination.


    The primary authors of this notice are the Ecological Services 
staff of the Headquarters Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


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

    Dated: September 24, 2013.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-24104 Filed 10-1-13; 8:45 am]