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Scoping Open for Greater Sage Grouse Habitat

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nevada and California Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

This notice is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues. The Forest Service is the lead agency on the EIS. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is participating as a cooperating agency to insure the NEPA can be used to adequately cover their Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment. This analysis will be the basis of three records of decision.

The development of this EIS will be coordinated across management units of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, BLM Carson City District, and BLM Battle Mountain District and include areas in western Nevada and eastern California.

Read more: Scoping Open for Greater Sage Grouse Habitat

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - Oct 2012

Monthly Status Report:  October 1-31, 2012

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF).  Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA).  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup.  This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

Read more: Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - Oct 2012

Draft EIS for Removal of Barred Owls Released

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Experimental Removal of Barred Owls to Benefit Threatened Northern Spotted Owls

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of a draft environmental impact statement for experimental removal of barred owls to benefit threatened northern spotted owls. The barred owl, a species recently established in western North America, is displacing the northern spotted owl and threatening its viability.  The draft environmental impact statement analyzes a no-action alternative and seven action alternatives to experimentally determine if removing barred owls will benefit northern spotted owl populations and to inform decisions on whether to move forward with future management of barred owls.

Read more: Draft EIS for Removal of Barred Owls Released

Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Proposal Released

Service Identifies Areas to Be Assessed for Potential Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat, Proposes Broad Exclusions, Ecological Forestry, and Barred Owl Control

Service will now undertake important economic assessment to inform final designation

Washington, DC – Today, in compliance with an order from a U.S. District Court, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a science-based critical habitat proposal for the northern spotted owl that begins a public review process to determine what forest lands should be designated as critical habitat in a final rule that will be published in November. This proposal recommends substantially increasing active management of forests, consistent with ecological forestry principles, in areas designated as critical habitat. Today’s announcement, which identifies areas that may be considered for the final designation, also emphasizes significant benefits of excluding private lands, and that consideration along with the important economic assessment will help inform areas that will be excluded from the final designation.

Read more: Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Proposal Released

USGS Releases Regional Ecological Assessment of Sagebrush Wildlife and Habitats

BOISE, Idaho - For the first time, managers of sagebrush habitats in several western states have comprehensive, comparable information about the distribution and habitats of greater sage-grouse and 14 other wildlife species, as they consider how to manage land for wildlife and accommodate other uses, including agriculture, recreation, and energy development. The U.S. Geological Survey in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have published this study in the book, "Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation and Management: Ecoregional Assessment Tools and Models for the Wyoming Basins," providing land managers with valuable information for critical decisions.

Read more: USGS Releases Regional Ecological Assessment of Sagebrush Wildlife and Habitats

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