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Red Wolf Program Comment Period Reopens

A red wolf tends to her pups. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is giving the public another opportunity to comment on a proposed rule that would remove management efforts from existing private lands and instead focus continuing efforts on certain public lands in Hyde and Dare counties, the agency announced Friday.

The proposed rule would replace the existing regulations governing the nonessential experimental population of the red wolf under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act.

The public comment period for the proposed new rule will be reopened for an additional 15 days beginning Aug. 13 and will close Aug. 28. The service will accept comments received or postmarked on or before Aug. 28.

The initial 30-day comment period on the proposal closed on July 30. Comments already submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

The proposed rule, published June 28 in the Federal Register,  is based on a comprehensive four-year evaluation of the northeast North Carolina nonessential experimental population of red wolves designated under section 10(j) of the ESA, according to the release. A public meeting was held in Manteo July 10 that drew about 70 people, who shared comments and perspective on the new rule.

Public input is needed on a variety of areas including, but not limited to NC NEP contribution to red wolf recovery; ideas and strategies for promoting tolerance of red wolves on private property outside the NC NEP management area; and ecological, agricultural and socioeconomic effects of the proposed 10(j) rule. A complete list of information the Service is seeking can be found in the proposed rule.

To submit electronically, visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal. In the search box, enter the rulemaking docket number FWS-R4-ES-2018-0035. Click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed Rules box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” Electronic comments should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Aug. 28.

Hard copies can be mailed or delivered to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2018-0035, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia. 22041-3803.

All comments are posted on regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

The proposed rule, comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation, are available for public inspection online; by appointment during normal business hours, at the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; telephone 919-856-4520; or facsimile 919-856-4556. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.