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White fringeless orchid. Photo by USFWS.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service eeopens comment period on proposal to list the white-fringeless orchid as threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the 60-day public comment period on a proposal to list the white fringeless orchid as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Comments will be accepted through June 13, 2016.  

The Service has determined that legal notices were not published in appropriate newspapers at the time of publication of the proposed listing rule. To comply with proper procedure, the Service will now provide additional time for public comment and will consider this information, and all information received previously, in its review to determine whether the white fringeless orchid needs protection under the Endangered Species Act.  

In September 2015, the Service proposed to list the white fringeless orchid as a threatened species throughout its range, which includes six Southeastern states – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.  A final decision on the proposal is due by September 15, 2016.

You may submit comments by one of the following methods: 

  1. Electronically:  Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2015-0129 which is the docket number for this rulemaking.  You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”  Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before submitting your comment. 
  2. By hard copy:  Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R4-ES-2015-0129 Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.  This generally means the Service will post any personal information you provide us. If you previously submitted comments or information on the September 15, 2015 proposed rule (80 FR 55304), please do not resubmit them.  We have incorporated them into the public record.  

As part of a court-approved work plan for Multi-District Litigation with the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians, the Service committed to evaluate the orchid’s status in 2015.

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. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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