FWD[Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse: notice of conservation agreement]

Mike Patterson celata at pacifier.com
Wed Aug 2 08:33:31 PDT 2000

Ellen Paul wrote:


> Below is an example of a Candidate Conservation Agreement, a device that

> permits state and private landowners to implement voluntary conservation

> measures in exchange for an assurance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

> Service that they will not later be subjected to increased restrictions

> on the use of their property should the species later be listed as

> threatened or endangered.


> Ellen


> --

> Ellen Paul

> Executive Director

> The Ornithological Council

> Mailto:epaul at dclink.com

> Ornithological Council Website: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/BIRDNET

> "Providing Scientific Information about Birds"


> [Federal Register: August 2, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 149)]


> -----------------------------------------------------------------------




> Fish and Wildlife Service


> Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Receipt of an

> Application for a Permit to Enhance the Survival of the Columbian

> Sharp-tailed Grouse in Wallowa County, Oregon Through a Candidate

> Conservation Agreement With Assurances


> -----------------------------------------------------------------------


> SUMMARY: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has applied

> to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of

> survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered

> Species Act of 1973, as amended. The permit application includes a

> proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (Agreement)

> between the ODFW and the Service. The Agreement and permit application

> are available for public comment.

> The purpose of the Agreement is for the ODFW and the Service to

> implement conservation measures for the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

> (Tympanuchus phasianellus) in Wallowa County, Oregon, in support of

> ODFW's on-going efforts to reintroduce this species to areas that it

> historically occupied. The conservation measures would be implemented by

> the ODFW,

> Service, and by Participating Landowners, and would generally consist

> of continued implementation of ODFW's Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

> reintroduction program, and protection and enhancement of sharp-tailed

> grouse habitat. Consistent with the Service's Candidate Conservation

> Agreement with Assurances Final Policy, the Agreement is intended to

> facilitate the conservation of Columbian sharp-tailed grouse by giving

> the State of Oregon and cooperating private landowners incentives to

> implement conservation measures. Participating Landowners would receive

> regulatory certainty concerning land use restrictions that might

> otherwise apply should the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse become listed

> under the Endangered Species Act. Participating Landowners, with

> property in an approximately 161,000-acre area, could sign up under the

> Agreement and the associated permit through a Certificate of Inclusion.

> The proposed term of the Agreement and the permit is 20 years. The

> Service has prepared an Environmental Assessment for approval of the

> Agreement and issuance of the permit.

> We request comments from the public on the permit application,

> Agreement, and the Environmental Assessment. All comments we receive,

> including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative

> record and may be released to the public.


> DATES: Written comments should be received on or before September 1,

> 2000.


> ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Dennis Mackey, Project

> Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Room 368,

> Boise, Idaho 83709 (telephone: 208/378-5267; facsimile: 208/378-5262).


> FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Mackey at the above address or

> telephone 208/378-5267.




> Document Availability


> You may obtain copies of the documents for review by contacting the

> individual named above. You also may make an appointment to view the

> documents at the above address during normal business hours. The

> documents are also available electronically on the World Wide Web at

> http://www.fws.gov/r1srbo.


> Background


> Under a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances,

> participating landowners voluntarily implement conservation activities

> on their property to benefit species that are proposed for listing

> under the Endangered Species Act, candidate species, or other sensitive

> species. Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances encourage

> private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation

> efforts and reduce threats to unlisted species by assuring them they

> will not be subjected to increased property use restrictions if the

> species is listed in the future under the Endangered Species Act.

> Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of

> survival permits through Candidate Conservation Agreements with

> Assurances are found in 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d).

> On October 26, 1999, the Service found that listing the Columbian

> sharp-tailed grouse under the Endangered Species Act may be warranted,

> and initiated a review of the species' status. The Columbian sharp-

> tailed grouse was extirpated from Oregon by the 1960's. The species

> persisted in Wallowa County until the late 1940's, and the last

> Columbian sharp-tails probably occurred in Baker County in northeast

> Oregon. Reintroduction of the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in Oregon

> began in the spring of 1991. From 1991 through 1997, ODFW released a

> total of 179 Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in Wallowa County. Currently

> all known Columbian sharp-tailed grouse occur on private land. To date,

> landowners have been supportive of the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

> reintroduction program, have cooperated with ODFW, and are providing

> habitat to support the birds. The ODFW is concerned that reintroduction

> efforts could result in land-use restrictions on cooperating landowners

> if this species is listed under the Endangered Species Act. Should this

> happen, landowners would have a disincentive to cooperate in future

> reintroduction efforts or to provide suitable grouse habitat. As a

> result of this potential regulatory concern of landowners, ODFW has

> developed a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the

> Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in cooperation with the Service, and has

> applied to the Service for a permit under section 10(a) of the

> Endangered Species Act, which would authorize future incidental take of

> the birds by cooperating landowners.

> Under the Agreement and permit, Participating Landowners would

> provide certain Columbian sharp-tailed grouse habitat protection or

> enhancement measures on their lands. Protection and enhancement

> measures will be directed towards sharp-tailed grouse lek, nest, roost,

> and/or winter habitat. If the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse is listed

> under the Endangered Species Act, and after a Participating Landowner

> has provided the agreed upon habitat conditions for the specified

> period of time, the permit would authorize incidental take of Columbian

> sharp-tailed grouse as a result of the landowner's agricultural-related

> activities: crop cultivation and harvesting, livestock grazing, and

> farm equipment operation.

> We are providing this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the

> Endangered Species Act and implementing regulations for the National

> Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.6). We will evaluate the permit

> application, associated documents, and comments submitted thereon to

> determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of

> section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental

> Policy Act regulations. If we determine that the requirements are met,

> we will sign the Agreement and issue an enhancement of survival permit

> under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act to ODFW for

> take of Columbian sharp-tailed grouse incidental to otherwise lawful

> activities in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. We will not

> make our final decision until after the end of the 30-day comment

> period and will fully consider all comments received during the comment

> period.

Mike Patterson Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo,
Astoria, OR it is not enough to be persecuted
celata at pacifier.com by an unkind establishment,
you must also be right.
---Robert Park

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