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Extending the Public Comment Periods and Rescheduling Public Hearings Pertaining to the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

Federal Register - USFWS, October 28, 2013  (posted 10/29/13)

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ACTION
Proposed Rules; Extension Of Public Comment Periods, And Announcement Of Public Hearings.

SUMMARY
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), recently published two proposed rules. One rule proposes to list the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other proposes to revise the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf. On September 5 and October 2, 2013, we announced public hearings on the proposed rules. The September 5 notices also extended the public comment period for the proposed rules to October 28, 2013. Following delays caused by the Federal Government lapse in appropriations, the Service is announcing rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on the proposed rules. To allow these hearings to take place within the public comment period on the proposed rules, we now extend the public comment period for the proposed rules to December 17, 2013. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rules. We also announce the scheduling of a public information meeting and an additional public hearing in Pinetop, Arizona.


DATES:
Written Comments: The public comment period on the proposal to list the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere and the proposal to revise the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf are extended to December 17, 2013. Please note comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. If you are submitting your comments by hard copy, please mail them by December 17, 2013, to ensure that we receive them in time to give them full consideration.

Public Information Meeting: We will hold a public information meeting on December 3, 2013, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., in Pinetop, AZ.

Public Hearings: We will hold public hearings on the following dates:

November 19, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Denver, CO.

November 20, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Albuquerque, NM.

November 22, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Sacramento, CA.

December 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Pinetop, AZ.


ADDRESSES:
Written Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for the corresponding docket number for the rulemaking. Submissions of electronic comments on our proposal to list the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere, which published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2013, should be submitted to Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073. Submissions of electronic comments on our Proposed Revision to the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf, which also published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2013, should be submitted to Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056. Please ensure you have found the correct document before submitting your comments. If your comments will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our comment review procedures. If you attach your comments as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [insert corresponding docket number]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

(3) At the Pinetop, Arizona public information meeting or the public hearings: Written comments will be accepted by Service personnel at the Pinetop, Arizona public information meeting or any of the scheduled public hearings.

We will post all comments we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

Public Information Meeting: We will hold the public information meeting at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73); (928) 369-7625.

Public Hearings: Public hearings will be held at the following locations:

Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 405-1245.

Embassy Suites, Sandia Room, 1000 Woodward Place NE., Albuquerque, NM 87102; (505) 245-7100.

Marriot Courtyard Sacramento Cal Expo, Golden State Ballroom, 1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA 95815; (916) 929-7900.

Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73); (928) 369-7625.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For information concerning the proposal to list the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere, contact the Headquarters Office, Ecological Services; telephone (703) 358-2171; facsimile (703) 358-1735. Direct all questions or requests for additional information to: Gray Wolf Questions, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office, Ecological Services, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203. Individuals who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.

For information concerning the proposal to revise the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf, contact the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Ecological Services Office, 2105 Osuna Road NE., Albuquerque, NM 87133; telephone 505-761-4704; facsimile 505-346-2542. Individuals who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.

Public Hearings

Following delays caused by the Federal Government lapse in appropriations, the Service is announcing rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on the proposed rules. We are also adding a public information meeting and an additional public hearing in Pinetop, AZ. In total, we are holding one public information meeting and four public hearings on the dates listed in the DATES section at the locations listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The November 19, 2013, public hearing in Denver, CO, and the November 22, 2013, public hearing in Sacramento, CA, will address the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35664), proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere.

The November 20, 2013, public hearing in Albuquerque, NM and the December 3, 2013, public hearing in Pinetop, AZ, will address both the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35664), proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and to delist the gray wolf elsewhere, as well as the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35719), proposed revision to the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf.

The December 3, 2013, public information meeting and public hearing in Pinetop, AZ, will focus on the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35719), proposed revision to the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf, but we will accept verbal testimony (formal, oral comments) or written comments regarding both of the June 13, 2013, proposals (78 FR 35664 and 78 FR 35719).

We are holding the public hearings to provide interested parties an opportunity to present verbal testimony (formal, oral comments) or written comments regarding the proposals. A public hearing is a forum for accepting formal verbal testimony. The public information meeting in Pinetop, Arizona will provide the opportunity for interaction with Service staff, who will be available to provide information and address questions on the proposed rule, however, verbal testimony will only be accepted at the public hearings. Anyone wishing to testify verbally at the public hearings for the record is encouraged to also provide a written copy of their statement to us at the hearings. In the event of a large attendance, the time allotted for verbal testimony may be limited. Speakers can sign up at the hearings if they desire to make a verbal statement. Oral and written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits on the length of written comments submitted to us.


You may read full announcement on the Federal Register.

[Editors note:  We have emphasized (bolded) the sections of this announcement that directly address the management of Mexican gray wolves.]

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As of the posting of this announcement, less than 4,000 comments have been submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposed rule to classify Mexican wolves as a Nonessential Experimental Population.  This pales in comparison to the over 150,000 comments submitted on the proposed rule which would strip endangered species status of gray wolves elsewhere.

PLEASE SPEAK OUT FOR MEXICAN WOLVES

CLICK HERE to submit your comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service in support of greater protections and better management of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf.

We also encourage you to visit our Lobo Activist Page for more ways to help spread the word about Mexican wolves.  We provide handouts, social media links and photos.

THANK YOU FOR BEING A VOICE FOR THE LOBOS!

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