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Queen Charlotte Goshawk Listing in Canada Proposed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today its proposal to list
the British Columbia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Queen
Charlotte goshawk (Accipiter gentilis laingi) as threatened, (except on
the Queen Charlotte Islands, which the agency considers to be a
significant portion of the DPS’s range, where we propose to list the
goshawk as endangered), under the Endangered Species Act.

This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protection to this
subspecies in British Columbia, Canada, on Vancouver Island and the
surrounding smaller islands, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the
coastal mainland west of the Coast Mountains. This proposed listing is
consistent with the “threatened” status of the Queen Charlotte goshawk
under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. The Service will seek data and
comments from the public on this proposal for 60 days following
tomorrow’s publication in the Federal Register. On November 8, 2007, the
agency announced its decision that listing was not warranted for the
southeast Alaska DPS.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was initially petitioned to list the
Queen Charlotte goshawk as endangered in May of 1994. A series of legal
challenges and court-ordered remands resulted between 1995 and 2004. In
May of 2004, the District Court remanded the finding to the USFWS with
instructions to evaluate whether Vancouver Island is a “significant
portion” of the subspecies’ range (within the meaning of the Endangered
Species Act’s definition of “endangered” or “threatened”) and, if so, to
determine whether the bird should be listed. Today’s proposal completes
the Service’s response to those instructions.

We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will be
based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as
accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or
suggestions from other government agencies, the scientific community,
industry, or any other interested party concerning this proposed rule.
We particularly seek comments regarding:

(1)      Biological information, population status, commercial trade, or
other relevant data concerning any threat (or lack thereof) to this
subspecies,

(2)      The factors that are the basis for making a listing
determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species
Act of 1973, as            amended (Act) (16 U.S.C.  1531 et seq.),
which are:
(a)  The present or threatened destruction, modification,
or curtailment of its habitat or range;
(b)  Overutilization for commercial, recreational,
scientific, or educational purposes;
(c)  Disease or predation;
(d)  The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(e)  Other natural or manmade factors affecting its
continued existence.

(3)      The appropriate conservation status for the British Columbia
DPS of the Queen Charlotte goshawk, and

(4)      Specific information on the areas identified as significant
portions of the range in this proposed rule, including threats.

(5)    After the 60-day comment period ends, comments will be analyzed
and a final rule will be published in the Federal Register no more than one
year  from the date of this proposed rule.

We will consider comments received on or before January 2, 2010. We must
receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the Arlington,
Virginia address below by December 18, 2009.

You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
·  Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
·  U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn:
FWS-R7-ES-2009-0049; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington,
VA 22203.

We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov.  This generally
means that we will post any personal information you provide us.

For further information contact Steve Brockmann, Juneau Fish and
Wildlife Field Office, 3000 Vintage Blvd., Suite 201, Juneau, AK 99801;
telephone (907) 780-1181; fax (907) 586-7154.

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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