FWS Takes Critical Habitat Actions for Polar Bears and Alaska Sea Otters
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently taken two important actions regarding marine mammal critical habitat designations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
First, FWS has a proposed critical habitat designation for polar bears to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for review under Executive Order 12866. The OMB on-line notice of this review quotes FWS as stating,
"We propose to designate critical habitat for the polar bear which we listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act on May 15, 2008. Polar bears are distributed throughout most ice-covered seas of the Northern Hemisphere."
According to the OMB website, FWS intends to propose this critical designation for public comment by June 30, 2009. EPA intends to take final action on the proposal by June 30 2010. These actions are to some extent required by a court settlement agreement.
For further information, please contact:
The second action is explained in a press release by the Center for Biological Diversity:
Chief, Branch of Listing, Endangered Species Program
Department of the Interior
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Room 435, 4401 North Fairfax Drive,
Arlington, VA 22203
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated 5,855 square miles of nearshore waters along the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and Alaska Peninsula as critical habitat for threatened sea otters in southwest Alaska. Today's action comes under court order resulting from a lawsuit against the Service by the Center for Biological Diversity."
Click here to read CBD's entire press release
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