RENO, Nevada — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting additional public comment on its proposed rule to list the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. As its name suggests, the Bi-State greater sage-grouse DPS straddles the California-Nevada border, where six population units of these ground-dwelling birds inhabit about 4.5 million acres of high-desert sagebrush.
Greater sage-grouse are known for the males’ flamboyant springtime mating displays on traditional dancing grounds, also known as leks. The birds use a variety of sagebrush habitats throughout the year on private, state and federal lands.
The reopening of a 60-day public comment period will give all interested parties another opportunity to comment on the Service’s 2013 proposal to list the DPS as a threatened species with a 4(d) rule and proposed critical habitat. The Service withdrew the proposal in 2015 after concluding the population did not warrant protection, but a May 2018 court ruling vacated that decision. The Service must now make a final listing determination by October 1, 2019.
The reopening of a 60-day public comment period on the 2013 proposal to list the DPS will publish in the Federal Register on April 12, 2019. The Service will consider comments from all interested parties received by June 11, 2019. Comments may be submitted electronically atwww.regulations.gov by searching under docket number FWS–R8–ES–2018–0106 (proposed listing determination) or FWS–R8–ES–2018–0107 (proposed critical habitat designation) and clicking on the “comment now” button. The Federal Register notice provides information on how to comment by other means.
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