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NMFS and FWS Extend Comment Period for Proposed Changes in Identifying ESA Habitats
Several marine mammals are listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, who jointly administer the ESA, have reopened the public comment period on their joint proposal to simplify the process of identifying habitat essential to the survival and recovery of species protected by the ESA. The original public comment period on their proposal ended October 23, 2012. Due to public interest in this proposal and multiple requests for additional time, the services have extended the public comment period until February 6, 2013. The Services' joint proposal would amend the ESA's implementing regulations to require release of preliminary estimates of the economic impacts of any proposal to specify particular habitat areas at the same time as the habitat proposals themselves are released for public review and comment. The Services' past practice has been to complete draft economic analyses after the habitat proposal has been published for public review. Completion of the draft economic analyses at the time of proposal would allow the Services to refine habitat proposals earlier in the process, and provide the public with additional information to help them understand and comment on those proposals.

  • Click here to read Service's website on the joint proposal
  • Click here to read Sthe docket for the joint proposal
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