Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fish & Wildlife Announces Public Hearings on Taking Gray Wolves off the Endangered List

Additional Hearing Announced.   In the October 2, 2013 Federal Register, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will hold an additional public hearing on October 17, 2013, in Denver, Colorado. The hearing will be held at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place in Denver.  A phone number is listed: (303) 405-1245.  A call to this number was answered by a machine explaining that I had reached the Kroenke Sports Events and Entertainment Department. 78 Fed. Reg. 60813 (October 2, 2013)  

The U.S. Fish and Wildife Service has extended the comment period on its proposals to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife but to keep the Mexican wolf listed as endangered.  The comment period was due to end on September 11, but is now being extended to October 28.  Three public hearings have been announced on these proposals:
  • September 30, 2013, from 6 pm to 8:30 pm in Washington, DC, at the Department of the Interior Auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW.  For building information call: (202) 208-3100.
  • October 2, 2013, from 6 pm to 8:30 pm in Sacramento, California, at the Clarion Inn, Martinique Ball Room, 1401 Arden Way, Sacramento, California 95815.  For location information call: (916) 922-8041.
  • October 4, 2013, from 6 pm to 9 pm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Embassy Suites, Sandia Room, 1000 Woodward Place NE.  For location information, call (505) 245-7100.
Apparently only the third hearing will consider the remaining protection on the Mexican wolf. The extension of the comment periods and the public hearings were announced in the Federal Register on September 5.
For anyone who has not commented yet, written comments will be accepted by Fish and Wildlife Service personnel at the meetings. If you want to speak at one of these hearings, the Service states the following:

“We are holding the public hearings to provide interested parties an opportunity to present verbal testimony (formal, oral comments) or written comments regarding the June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35664), proposal to remove the gray wolf from the List and maintain protections for the Mexican wolf by listing it as endangered. A public hearing is not, however, an opportunity for dialogue with the Service or its contractors; it is a forum for accepting formal verbal testimony. Anyone wishing to make an oral statement at the public hearings for the record is encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement to us at the hearings. In the event there is a large attendance, the time allotted for oral statements may be limited. Speakers can sign up at the hearings if they desire to make an oral statement. Oral and written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits on the length of written comments submitted to us.”

So don’t expect the Fish and Wildlife officials on hand to do anything more than listen (particularly if it gets heated). 

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