Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Comment period reopens on contentious beetle

A federal agency is reopening public comments on a proposal to rescind Endangered Species Act protections for the valley elderberry longhorn beetle.

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
On October 2, 2012, the Service published a 12-month petition finding and proposed rule to remove the VELB from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and opened a 60-day comment period that ended on December 3, 2012. This notice announces a 30-day reopening of the comment period to allow all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule and to submit information on the status of the species. The Service expects that a peer review report of the proposed rule will be submitted near the beginning of the comment period and available for the public.

“We encourage the public, government agencies, tribes, private industry and non-profit organizations to provide us with information on the status of the VELB,” said Jan Knight, Acting Field Supervisor for the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office. “We want our decisions to be informed by the best available information.”

The Service will accept comments until February 22, 2013. Comments can be submitted online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, (Docket Number FWS-R8-ES-2011-0063) or by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2011-0063
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203

The Service requests comments concerning any location-specific information about the VELB or its habitat. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. All submitted comments, including the peer review report, will be posted online at

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