U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Findings on Petitions to List Species in California and Nevada

Public Comment Deadline November 17, 2015

September 17, 2015

Media Contacts:
Pam Bierce, Pacific Southwest Region, (916)207-8385 pamela_bierce@fws.gov
Jane Hendron, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, (760)431-9440 jane_hendron@fws.gov
Sarah Swenty, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, (916)414-6606 sarah_swenty@fws.gov
Lee Ann Carranza, Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, (775) 861-6328 lee_carranza@fws.gov
Steve Henry, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, (805)644-1766, steve_henry@fws.gov

Sacramento - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species. The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species' conservation status. The petition to delist the Stephens' kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.

These determinations, commonly known as 90-day findings, are based on scientific information about the species provided in the petition. The substantial 90-day findings are the first step in a lengthy process that triggers a more thorough review of all the biological information available. There is no regulatory impact resulting from the positive 90-day findings.

The petition findings for the 10 California and Nevada species will be published in a combined notice in the Federal Register on September 18, 2015, and also will be available at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection by clicking on the 2015 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Information can be submitted on species for which a status review is being initiated, using the specified docket number, beginning upon publication in the Federal Register, for 60 days until November 17, 2015.

To ensure the status reviews of the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and the tricolored blackbird are comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from state and federal natural resource agencies and all interested parties about their biology and life history.

Comments and information can be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov. Written comments and information can be submitted by U.S. mail or hand-delivered to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number listed below]; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. When providing comments for specific species, please refer to the following docket numbers:

Species Docket Number
California spotted owl FWS-R8-ES-2015-0139
Inyo Mountains salamander FWS-R8-ES-2015-0092
Kern Plateau salamander FWS-R8-ES-2015-0093
lesser slender salamander FWS-R8-ES-2015-0097
limestone salamander FWS-R8-ES-2015-0099
Panamint alligator lizard FWS-R8-ES-2015-0105
Shasta salamander FWS-R8-ES-2015-0115
southern rubber boa FWS-R8-ES-2015-0119
tricolored blackbird FWS-R8-ES-2015-0138

Based on each species' status review, the Service will make one of three possible determinations:

1) Listing is not warranted, in which case no further action will be taken.

2) Listing as threatened or endangered is warranted. In this case, the Service will publish a proposal to list, solicit independent scientific peer review of the proposal, seek input from the public, and consider the input before a final decision about listing the species is made. In general, there is a one-year period between the time a species is proposed and the final decision.

3) Listing is warranted but precluded by other, higher priority activities. This means the species is added to the federal list of candidate species, and the proposal to list is deferred while the Service works on listing proposals for other species that are at greater risk. A warranted but precluded finding requires subsequent annual reviews of the finding until such time as either a listing proposal is published, or a not warranted finding is made based on new information.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

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