October 23, 2019

Removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our March 11, 2016, proposed rule to revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, by removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). In our proposed rule, we emphasized that the governments of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho needed to promulgate regulations managing human-caused mortality of grizzly bears before we would proceed with a final rule. Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho recently finalized such mechanisms. We are also announcing the receipt of five independent peer reviews of the proposed rule. We are reopening the comment period for the proposed rule to allow all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule in light of these documents. If you submitted comments previously, you do not need to resubmit them because we have already incorporated them into the public record and will fully consider them in preparing the final rule.<<<Read More>>>

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Wolf Stamp Hearing and Comment Extension

From an email I received:

Due to a large number of comments and requests, the wolf stamp proposal will have an extended comment period until August 22. There will be a public hearing on Thursday, August 14, at 6 p.m. The hearing will be held simultaneously in Helena, Kalispell, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings, Miles City, and Glasgow, at FWP headquarters in each city. (1420 East 6th Ave. in Helena)

Fish Wildlife & Parks Department has proposed to create wolf management stamps for sale to anyone who wishes to donate to the department’s management of wolves. Each stamp will be $20.00; a person may buy multiple stamps. The money derived from sale of the stamps will be considered a donation, and must first be used to pay for the cost of administering the stamp program. The remainder of the money must be equally divided into: a) grants for livestock loss reduction program; b) wolf monitoring, habitat protection or acquisition within occupied wolf habitat, scientific research of wolves, or public education and outreach activities relating to wolves; c)hiring of additional wardens within occupied wolf habitat.

This is a brand new idea, that has never been tried anywhere before. It has the potential to change the structure of wildlife management.

Supporters view the stamp as similar to a lottery ticket for a big game hunting license, or an auction license: a way to donate to wolf conservation.

Concerns have been expressed that issuing a species-specific stamp separate from a hunting or trapping license is contrary to the North American model of wildlife conservation, and could give anti-hunters an equal footing with scientific wildlife managers in decision making.

Some question how much money the proposed stamp would generate for the purposes proposed; after administrative costs are taken, will it raise meaningful dollars?

Sportsmen for Wildlife and MOGA have suggested that the conservation license already exists as a way for people to contribute to wildlife conservation, without limiting the expenditure of funds to only one species, and without creating a new program to administer.

We all need to pay attention to this. If you haven’t commented, you may do so at fwpwld@mt.gov, or mail to Wolf Stamp Comments, Communication and Education Division, P. O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. Hopefully there will be a large turnout at the hearings, as well.

Mary Ellen Schnur

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Comment Period on Mex. Wolves Extended, New Hearing Dates Set

Contact:
Gavin Shire
(703) 358-2649
gavin_shire@fws.gov

*Service Extends Comment Periods for Gray and Mexican Wolf Proposals, Reschedules Public Hearings, Adds Hearing in Arizona *

As a result of delays caused by the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on two proposed rules—one to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other to improve recovery efforts for the Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Comment period deadlines also are extended until December 17 to allow these hearings to take place within the public comment periods on the proposed rules.

The hearings will take place on November 19 in Denver, Colorado, November 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and November 22 in Sacramento, California. Each will include a short informational presentation. The Service has also added a public information meeting and hearing in Pinetop, Arizona, on December 3. The hearings are part of the Service’s continuing efforts to provide an open, comprehensive public process for the two proposed wolf rules and will provide the public a forum by which to register their views.

A formal notice of these hearings and the extension of the comment period will appear in *the Federal Register* on October 28.

To learn more about the proposed rules, view the draft *Federal Register*notice with the details of the public hearings, and for links to submit comments to the public record, visit www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery.

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