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John Stewart

Multiple Species Listing Not Warranted

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Listing of Amargosa Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard Not Warranted
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Amargosa River population of the Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia) located in San Bernardino County, California, as an endangered or threatened distinct population segment (DPS), under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-amargosa-mojave-fringe-toed-lizard-not-warranted

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Gray Delisting Proposed in Wyoming

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is proposing to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This rule focuses on the Wyoming portion of the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), except where discussion of the larger Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) or NRM metapopulation (a population that exists as partially isolated sets of subpopulations) is necessary to understand impacts to wolves in Wyoming.

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/gray-delisting-proposed-in-wyoming

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Listing of Northern Leopard Frog Not Warranted

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-northern-leopard-frog-not-warranted

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Listing of California Golden Trout Not Warranted
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-california-golden-trout-not-warranted


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Listing of Mojave Ground Squirrel Not Warranted
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

Read more at: http://www.muirnet.net/fish-and-wildlife-service/listing-of-mojave-ground-squirrel-not-warranted

 

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John Stewart

Critical Habitat and Economic Analysis for Bull Trout Released

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat and Releases Economic Analysis for Bull Trout

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today revised the 2005 critical habitat designation for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a threatened species found throughout much of the Pacific Northwest and protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Approximately 18,975 miles of streams and 488,252 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Nevada are being designated as critical habitat for the wide-ranging fish. In Washington, 754 miles of marine shoreline are also being designated.

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John Stewart

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Says Western Sage-Grouse Not a Sub-species

The Service was petitioned by the Institute for Wildlife Protection seeking ESA protection for the western sage grouse, which occurs in northern California, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and possibly parts of Idaho. The Service concluded in 2003 that the western sage grouse is neither a distinct population segment nor a valid subspecies of the greater sage grouse, and therefore was not eligible for protection under the ESA. The Service’s decision was sent back to the agency by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration of whether the western sage grouse may be a subspecies. The court upheld the Service’s determination that the western sage grouse is not a distinct population segment of the greater sage grouse.

Today’s announcement is included in the Service’s decision that the listing of greater sage-grouse is warranted for ESA protection but is precluded by higher listing priorities. The greater sage-grouse will be placed on the candidate list for future action, meaning the species would not receive statutory protection under the ESA and states would continue to be responsible for managing the bird. The Service also determined that the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse, found in California and Nevada and formerly known as the Mono Basin population, meets the necessary criteria for recognition as a Distinct Population Segment under the ESA, and that adding this population to the federal list of threatened and endangered species is warranted. However, listing the Bi-State DPS of the greater sage-grouse at this time is precluded by the need to list candidate species with that have a higher priority need for protection under the ESA. It will be placed on the list of candidate species.  The Service will review the status of the Bi-State DPS and the greater sage-grouse annually, as it does with all candidates for listing, and will propose them for listing when funding and workload permit.

The finding on greater sage-grouse incorporates the birds referenced in the petition to list a western subspecies, which will therefore be included on the list of candidate species.

The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a large, ground-dwelling bird, measuring up to 30 inches in length, is two feet tall and weighs between two to seven pounds.  It has a long, pointed tail with legs feathered to the base of the toes and fleshy yellow combs over the eyes.  In addition to the mottled brown, black and white plumage typical of the species, males sport a white ruff around their necks.  The sage-grouse is found from 4,000 feet to over 9,000 feet in elevation.  It is an omnivore, eating soft plants (primarily sagebrush) and insects.

Greater sage-grouse are found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. They occupy approximately 56 percent of their historical range.

For more information regarding today’s findings, please visit the Service’s web site at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/birds/sagegrouse.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

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John Stewart

Firearms Rule Change for Possession in Wildlife Refuges Announced

US Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Firearms Rule Change for Possession in National Wildlife Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that effective February 22, 2010, the rules governing possession of firearms on National Wildlife Refuges will change as a result of legislation enacted by Congress. After this date, the law allows an individual to lawfully possess a firearm within the boundaries of a National Wildlife Refuge in accordance with federal, state and local firearms laws.

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John Stewart

Waterfowl Hunting is Economic Boom

New Report Shows Waterfowl Hunting’s Contribution to U.S. Economy

Waterfowl hunters spent $900 million on a variety of goods and services from food, transportation, guns and decoys to hunting dogs, clothing and other incidental expenses in 2006, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These trip and equipment-related expenditures generated more than $2.3 billion in total economic output for 2006, which resulted in $157 million in federal and state tax revenues, supported more than 27,000 jobs, and generated more than $8.5 million in employment income.

“The financial support provided to conservation, and the economy as a whole, is significant,” said Rowan Gould, acting Director of the Service. “Waterfowlers, like many other sportsmen, have a proven track record in their contributions to the U.S. economy, and that’s certainly something to take comfort in during these tough economic times.”

The report, The Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States, is an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The report shows more than 1.3 million people, 16 years of age and older, hunted waterfowl in 2006.  Waterfowl hunters represented 10 percent of all hunters, 7 percent of all hunting trip-related expenditures, and 6 percent of all equipment expenditures.

According to the report, waterfowl hunters tend to be younger, have higher educational achievements, and are more affluent compared to all hunters. The majority (74 percent) of waterfowl hunters live in the South and the Midwest.

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