U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends the Comment Period on the Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for the Alabama Sturgeon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2009
Tom Mackenzie, 404/679-7291, email@example.com, Cell: 678/296-6400
Bill Pearson, Daphne, Ala. 251/441-587
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will extend the comment period on the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Alabama sturgeon, a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The original 30-day comment period was set to close January 29, 2009. The Service now will consider comments received on or before February 9, 2009. A public hearing on the proposed critical habitat designation and the draft economic analysis is scheduled on January 28, 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,at Alabama Southern Community College, Nettles Auditorium, 2800 South Alabama Avenue, Monroeville, Alabama. This will be preceded by a public information session from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the same location. Maps of the proposal and other materials will be available for public review. The Service is extending the comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to comment after the January 28, 2009 public hearing.
On December 30, 2008, the Service announced the opening of a public comment period and the scheduling of a public hearing on the proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the Alabama sturgeon. Please see http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/E8-30750.html In the same notice, the Service also announced the availability of a draft Economic Analysis for public comment and an amended required determinations section of the proposal. Comments also were sought on the Service’s proposal to change the first primary constituent element (PCE) from its original description because the Service has determined that the original wording failed to indicate that the flow needs of the species are relative to the season of the year. PCEs are those physical and biological features of a landscape that a species needs to survive and reproduce.
The proposed critical habitat designation for the sturgeon includes one contiguous unit of river channel in portions of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers in the Mobile River Basin, Alabama. The unit encompasses 245 miles of river channel in the Alabama River and 81 miles of river channel in the lower Cahaba River, for a total of 326 miles of river channel.
The complete notice was published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2008 (73 FR 79770). Please visit the website: www.regulations.gov/. Copies of the draft economic analysis or a copy of the December 30, 2008 notice also can be obtained by contacting Jeff Powell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Field Office, 1208-B Main Street, Daphne, Alabama 36526; phone 251-441-5181.
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 websites at http://www.fws.gov/southeast and http://www.fws.gov.