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Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
Proposed rule; reopening of comment period; public hearings announcement.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our September 30, 2013, proposal to list the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In accordance with section 4(b)(5) of the Act, during the reopened public comment period we will hold two public hearings, one in North Carolina and one in Texas, with public informational sessions immediately preceding the public hearings. This comment period will allow all interested parties an opportunity to attend the public hearings and provide testimony and additional comments on the proposed rufa red knot listing. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
For the proposed rule published September 30, 2013 (78 FR 60024), we will consider comments received or postmarked on or before May 19, 2014. 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.
Public Informational Sessions and Public Hearings: We will hold two public informational sessions and two public hearings on this proposed rule on the following dates and times; see ADDRESSES for locations:
- Morehead City, NC: Public informational session from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a public hearing from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., May 6, 2014.
- Corpus Christi, TX: Public informational session from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., followed by a public hearing from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., May 6, 2014.
Persons wishing to present oral comments on the proposed rule at the public hearing may register beginning at the start of the informational session.
Document availability: You may obtain copies of the September 30, 2013, proposed rule and supporting material on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097. Documents may also be obtained by mail from the New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods:
(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097, which is the docket number for the proposed rulemaking. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments 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 details).
Public Informational Sessions and Public Hearings: The informational sessions and public hearings will take place at:
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- North Carolina—Crystal Coast Civic Center, 3505 Arendall Street, Morehead City, NC 28557.
- Texas—Harte Research Institute, Conference Room 127, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Eric Schrading, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office, 927 North Main Street, Building D, Pleasantville, New Jersey 08232, by telephone 609-383-3938 or by facsimile 609-646-0352. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.
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We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposal to list the rufa red knot as a threatened species that was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013 (78 FR 60024). We will consider information we receive from all interested parties. We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible.
If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (78 FR 60024) during the initial comment period from September 30, 2013, to November 29, 2013, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them into the public record as part of the previous comment period, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination.
If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, are available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
In our September 30, 2013, proposed rule (78 FR 60024), we proposed to list the rufa red knot as threatened due to loss of both breeding and nonbreeding habitat; potential for disruption of natural predator cycles on the breeding grounds; reduced prey availability throughout the nonbreeding range; and increasing frequency and severity of asynchronies (“mismatches”) in the timing of the birds' annual migratory cycle relative to favorable food and weather conditions.
For more information on previous Federal actions concerning the rufa red knot, or information regarding its biology, status, distribution, and habitat, refer to the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013 (78 FR 60024) and its four supplemental documents, all of which are available online at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. Start Printed Page 18870FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097 or by mail from the New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
The primary authors of this notice are the staff members in the Endangered Species Program, Northeast Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
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Dated: March 19, 2014.
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-07411 Filed 4-3-14; 8:45 am]
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