Extension of Comment Period and Notice of Public Hearing on the Proposed Change in Status and Critical Habitat Designation for the Flatwoods Salamander
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2008
Connie Light Dickard, 601/321-1121
Tom MacKenzie, FWS, (678) 296-6400, Tom_MacKenzie@fws.gov
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published in the Federal Register a notice extending the comment period and providing notification of a public hearing on the proposed rule splitting the current listing of the threatened flatwoods salamander into two distinct species, the frosted flatwoods salamander and reticulated flatwoods salamander; proposing endangered status for the reticulated flatwoods salamander; and designating critical habitat for both species.
The public comment period on these actions is extended until November 3, 2008. In addition, the Service will hold a public hearing from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., on October 22, 2008, at Pensacola Junior College, 1000 College Blvd., Hagler Auditorium (Bldg. 2), Room 252, Pensacola, Florida 32504. An open house, where the public may view maps of critical habitat units and obtain other information on the proposed rule and draft economic analysis, will be held one hour prior to the hearing from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The proposed rule and notice of availability of the draft economic analysis were published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2008. A supplemental notice was published on September 18, 2008, providing threats analyses justifying the determination that the frosted flatwoods salamander will maintain its threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.
The Service is accepting public comments from all interested parties on the proposed rule (73 FR 47258, August 13, 2008), the associated draft economic analysis, the listing status of both species, and the supplemental information (73 FR 54125, September 18, 2008). If you have previously submitted comments on the August 13 proposed rule or the September 18 supplemental information, you do not need to resubmit them because they have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in preparation of the Service’s final determination.
New comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Comments also can be mailed or hand-delivered to Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018-AU85; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. E-mails or faxes will not be accepted. All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.
A final decision on the reclassification of the reticulated flatwoods salamander from threatened to endangered, and designation of critical habitat for both species of flatwoods salamander, will consider all comments and information received by November 3, 2008.
The notice extending the comment period and providing notification of a public hearing appears in the Federal Register today and can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/E8-23997.html
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. Visit the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov or http://www.fws.gov/southeast/