[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 92 (Thursday, May 12, 2016)]
[Pages 29574-29575]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-11267]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126; FXHC11220900000-156-FF09E33000]

Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Mitigation Policy

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Announcement of draft policy; reopening of comment period.


[[Page 29575]]

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are 
reopening the comment period for our March 8, 2016, notice that 
announced proposed revisions to the Service Mitigation Policy. This 
action will allow interested persons additional time to comment on the 
proposed revisions. Comments previously submitted need not be 
resubmitted as they will be fully considered in preparation of the 
final policy.

DATES: We will accept comments from all interested parties until June 
13, 2016. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal (see ADDRESSES, below), the deadline for submitting an 
electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on this date.

ADDRESSES: Document Review: The draft policy is available for review at 
http://www.regulations.gov, under docket number FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126.
    General Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In 
the Search box, enter the Docket number for the proposed policy, which 
is FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126. You may enter a comment by clicking on the 
``Comment Now!'' button. Please ensure that you have found the correct 
document before submitting your comment.
     U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126; Division of Policy, Performance 
and Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: 
BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Branch of Conservation Planning Assistance, 5275 Leesburg 
Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-1756.


Public Comments

    We will accept written comments during this reopened comment period 
on our notice announcing proposed revisions to the Service Mitigation 
Policy that published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2016 (81 FR 
12380). We will consider comments and information that we receive from 
all interested parties on or before the close of the comment period 
(see DATES).
    If you have already submitted comments during the public comment 
period that began March 8, 2016, please do not resubmit them. We have 
incorporated them into the public record, and we will fully consider 
them in the preparation of our final policy.
    You may submit your comments by one of the methods listed in 
ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods 
described in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy 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.


    On March 8, 2016, we published a notice (81 FR 12380) announcing 
proposed revisions to our Mitigation Policy (January 23, 1981; 46 FR 
7644-7663). The revisions were motivated by changes in conservation 
challenges and practices since 1981, including accelerating loss of 
habitats, effects of climate change, and advances in conservation 
science. The revised policy provides a framework for applying a 
landscape-scale approach to achieve, through application of the 
mitigation hierarchy, a net gain in conservation outcomes, or at a 
minimum, no net loss of resources and their values, services, and 
functions resulting from proposed actions. The primary intent of the 
policy is to apply mitigation in a strategic manner that ensures an 
effective linkage with conservation strategies at appropriate landscape 
    The revised policy integrates all authorities that allow the 
Service to recommend or require mitigation of impacts to federal trust 
fish and wildlife resources, and other resources identified in statute, 
during development processes. It is intended to serve as a single 
umbrella policy under which the Service may issue more detailed 
policies or guidance documents covering specific activities in the 
    Our March 8, 2016, notice stated that we would accept comments on 
the proposed revisions to our Mitigation Policy for 60 days, ending May 
9, 2016. During the course of the comment period on the notice, we 
received requests to extend the public comment period. In order to 
provide all interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on 
the proposed revisions, we are reopening the comment period on the 
proposed revisions until the date specified in DATES.


    The multiple authorities for this action include the: Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); Fish and 
Wildlife Coordination Act, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 661-667(e)); National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and others 
identified in section 2 and Appendix A of the proposed policy (81 FR 

    Dated: May 6, 2016.
James W. Kurth,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-11267 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am]