U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service | Southeast Region News Release
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Piping Plover

Comment Period Reopened on Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Wintering Piping Plovers


February 22, 2001

Kyla Hastie, 706/613-9493, ext.36
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291

Beginning today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will accept additional public comment on the proposed designation of critical habitat for wintering populations of piping plover (Charadrius melodus). Comments will be accepted for one week and must be postmarked by March 1, 2001. Previously submitted comments do not need to be resubmitted.

Following the close of the original public comment period on November 24, 2000, a number of comments were received that provided additional information or data relevant to the proposal. The Service determined it was advantageous to reopen the comment period to include this information and any additional public input.

The reopening of the comment period affects the proposal for the wintering population, and does not affect the separate proposal to designate critical habitat for the breeding Great Lakes population of piping plover. The final designation of critical habitat for both populations must be submitted to the Federal Register by April 30, 2001, based on a court order.

The Service's proposal to designate 1,672 miles of coastline along North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas as critical habitat for the wintering population of piping plover was originally published July 6, 2000. The original public comment period was extended twice, and closed on November 24, 2000. Numerous public meetings and formal hearings were held last summer.

Written comments can be submitted to Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, c/o TAMUCC, Box 338, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412; by facsimile at (361)994-8262; or by email at winterplovercomments@fws.gov

To view the Federal Register notice announcing the reopening of the comment period, go to http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 531 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

Past Hot Issues of the Piping Plover

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2001 News Releases

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