Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

How Species Are Listed

In accordance with section 4(A)(1) of the ESA, the Secretary of the Interior shall determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following factors, A–E:

  1. the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;       
  2. overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
  3. disease or predation;
  4. the inadequacy of the existing regulatory mechanisms; or
  5. other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

Before a species can be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it has to be formally listed.  The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) must follow a strict legal process to list a species as threatened or endangered.  The first step in the listing process is to post a Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) in the Federal Register for species that FWS believes may be candidates for protection under the ESA as threatened or endangered.  The intent of the CNOR is to serve as a means to compile biological information that will be used to complete status reviews of the candidate species.  If the status review of a candidate species determines that listing is warranted, a proposed listed rule is published in the Federal Register

Listing may also be initiated upon receipt of a biological supported petition to list species from an individual or organization.  Petitions often come from non-government environmental organizations.  Within 90 days of receipt of the petition, the FWS must make a determination whether there is substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petition may be warranted.  If the FWS determines the petition may be warranted, it conducts a status review which incorporates all of the latest scientific information about the species proposed for listing.  Within 12 months of receipt of the petition, the FWS must make a further finding that the petition is or is not warranted.  If in the 12-month finding, the FWS determines the petition is warranted, it prepares a proposed rule for listing the species.

Within 12 months of posting the proposed listing rule, the FWS may 1) publish a final listing rule, 2) withdraw the proposal due a lack of biological support for the listing recommendation, or 3) extended the proposal if there is substantial disagreement within the scientific community concerning the biological appropriateness of listing. Following the publishing of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, there is a 60-day comment period in which the FWS asks the public to comment on the proposal.  Public comments are then used to construct a final listing rule, or the proposed rule may be withdrawn.  Once published in the Federal Register, a final listing rule usually goes into effect 30 days later.  For more information on the listing process, please follow this link.

How the Yreka Field Office is Involved with Listing

The Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office (Yreka FWO) has been designated lead office on listing for species that occur within its jurisdiction.  Most recently, we were the lead for reviewing a petition to list the Siskiyou Mountains salamander (Plethodon stormi) and the Scott Bar salamander (P. asupak) as threatened or endangered.  On April 17, 2006, we concluded that the petition to list these species was not warranted. 

1Siskiyou Mountains salamander. FWS file photo.

Yreka FWO also reviewed a petition to list the fisher (Martes pennanti).  We concluded on April 8, 2004, that the petition to list fisher was warranted, but precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.  Fisher is currently on the list of Candidate species and conservation efforts including Candidate Conservation Agreements are ongoing. 

2Fisher (Martes pennanti) Photo by self-portrait.

Yreka phlox (Phlox hirsuta) was listed by the FWS as endangered on February 3, 2000.  The listing process for this species was initiated by the FWS, not by a petition to list.

3Yreka Phlox, Phlox hirsuta.  Photo Nadine, Kanim, Yreka FWO