Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Critical Habitat for Threatened Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon and Puget Sound Steelhead
Document ID: NOAA-NMFS-2011-0009-0002
Docket ID: NOAA-NMFS-2011-0009
Past critical habitat designations have generated considerable public interest. Therefore, we believe it is important to engage the public early in the rulemaking process. This ANPR is a key first step, and we encourage all interested parties to submit comments regarding the issues raised in this notice.
We are currently gathering information prior to proposing critical habitat for LCR coho and Puget Sound steelhead. As noted above, sections 3 and 4(b) of the ESA suggest a number of questions the agency should consider when designating critical habitat:
- What areas were occupied by the species at the time of listing?
- What physical and biological features are essential to the species’ conservation?
- Are those essential features ones that may require special management considerations or protection?
- Are there any areas outside those currently occupied that are ‘‘essential for conservation?’’
- What are the benefits to the species of critical habitat designation?
- What economic, national security and other relevant impacts would result from a critical habitat designation?
- What is the appropriate geographic scale for weighing the benefits of exclusion and benefits of designation?
- Will the failure to designate any particular area as critical habitat result in the extinction of the species?
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