This PDF is the current document as it appeared on Public Inspection on 07/19/2016 at 08:45 am.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are issuing a final rule to comply with a court order that vacated the final rule listing the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This final rule amends our regulations by removing the lesser prairie-chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and by removing the rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act for the lesser prairie-chicken.
This rule is effective July 20, 2016.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Debra Bills, Field Supervisor, Arlington Ecological Services Field Office, 2005 NE. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 140, Arlington, TX 76006; by telephone 817-277-1100; or by facsimile 817-277-1129. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
On April 10, 2014, we published in the Federal Register a final rule (79 FR 19974) listing the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) as a threatened species under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) in part 17 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 17.11(h)). On the same day, we published a final rule under section 4(d) of the Act (“4(d) rule”) for the lesser prairie-chicken (79 FR 20074) at 50 CFR 17.41(d). Please see the April 10, 2014, final listing rule for a complete discussion of previous Federal actions.
On June 9, 2014, the Permian Basin Petroleum Association; Chaves County, New Mexico; Roosevelt County, New Mexico; Eddy County, New Mexico; and Lea County, New Mexico (plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit challenging the Service's final rule to list the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Act. On September 1, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of West Texas issued an order vacating the final listing rule for the lesser prairie-chicken. By invalidating the rule listing the species, the court decision also had the effect of invalidating the 4(d) rule.
This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the September 1, 2015, court order. Therefore, under these circumstances, the Director has determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. Because the court order had legal effect immediately upon being filed on September 1, 2015, the Director has further determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), that the agency has good cause to make this rule effective immediately upon publication.
Effects of the Rule
This rule is an administrative action to remove the lesser prairie-chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11(h) to reflect the court's order to vacate the final rule listing this species. Consequently, this rule also removes the regulations specific to the lesser prairie-chicken at 50 CFR 17.41(d).Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17
- Endangered and threatened species
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Accordingly, for the reasons given in the preamble, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below.Start Part
PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTSEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part
2. Amend § 17.11(h) by removing the entry for “Prairie-chicken, lesser” from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.End Amendment Part
3. Amend § 17.41 by removing and reserving paragraph (d).End Amendment Part Start Signature
Dated: July 7, 2016.
Daniel M. Ashe,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-17149 Filed 7-19-16; 8:45 am]
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