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Archive for the ‘U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’ Category

CRS — Fish and Wildlife Service: FY2015 Appropriations and Policy (August 5, 2014)

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Fish and Wildlife Service: FY2015 Appropriations and Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)
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The annual appropriation for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies provides funds for agencies and programs in three federal departments, as well as numerous related agencies and bureaus. Among the agencies represented is the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in the Department of the Interior. Many of its programs are among the more controversial of those funded in the bill. On July 23, 2014, the House Committee on Appropriations reported H.R. 5171. The bill provided $1.40 billion for FWS, down 2.0% from the FY2014 level of $1.43 billion contained in P.L. 113-76. The President requested $1.48 billion, an increase of 3.4% over the FY2014 level. In addition, the Administration proposed a number of significant accounting changes. As the committee noted, some of these changes make comparisons with funding in prior years impossible for some accounts. The House committee accepted a few of the Administration’s changes, while rejecting others. The committee further made its own changes in accounting, in order to emphasize certain priorities.

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CRS — Fish and Wildlife Service: Compensation to Local Governments

June 5, 2014 Comments off

Fish and Wildlife Service: Compensation to Local Governments (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

Many counties are compensated for the presence of federal lands within their boundaries because these lands are exempt from local taxes. Counties with lands under the primary jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are compensated through the National Wildlife Refuge Fund (NWRF). Counties have argued that the program is underfunded; in some instances, counties raise lack of funding as an argument against the establishment of new refuges. At the same time, some hold that budget constraints argue for a reduction in the program. Congress has begun to examine the program for possible changes.

Fire Management and Invasive Plants: A Handbook

December 26, 2013 Comments off

Fire Management and Invasive Plants: A Handbook (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Fire management can help maintain natural habitats, increase forage for wildlife, reduce fuel loads that might otherwise lead to catastrophic wildfire, and maintain natural succession. Today, there is an emerging challenge that fire managers need to be aware of: invasive plants. Fire management activities can create ideal opportunities for invasions by nonnative plants, potentially undermining the benefits of fire management actions.

This manual provides practical guidelines that fire managers should consider with respect to invasive plants.

2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Final National Report Released

December 28, 2012 Comments off

2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Final National Report Released

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife-related outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011. The national details are shown in the final report (Final Report) of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The Final Report, which follows the August 2012 Preliminary Review and the September 2012 State Overview, provides more information on the types of activities and money spent for fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.

Highlights of the Final Report include:

  • More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011; that is up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted.
  • Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, which equated to 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.
  • The number of sportspersons rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011. The data show that 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted, and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity such as observing, feeding and photographing wildlife.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection

November 27, 2012 Comments off

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released its Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the current status of plants and animals considered candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Three species have been removed from candidate status, two have been added, and nine have a change in priority from the last review conducted in October of 2011.

There are now 192 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection, the lowest number in more than 12 years. This reduction reflects the Service’s successful efforts to implement a court-approved work plan that resolves a series of lawsuits concerning the agency’s ESA Listing Program. Since its implementation, this agreement has significantly reduced litigation-driven workloads and allowed the agency to protect 25 candidate species under the ESA, and propose protection for 91 candidate species.

The agreement will continue to allow the agency to focus its resources on the species most in need of the ESA’s protections over the next five years, said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.


Candidate species are plants and animals for which the Service has enough information on their status and the threats they face to propose them as threatened or endangered, but developing a proposed listing rule is precluded by the need to address other higher priority listing actions. Candidate species do not receive protection under the ESA, although the Service works to conserve them. The annual review and identification of candidate species provides landowners and resource managers notice of species in need of conservation, allowing them to address threats and work to preclude the need to list the species. The Service is currently working with landowners and partners to implement voluntary conservation agreements covering 5 million acres of habitat for more than 130 candidate species.

Today’s notice identifies two new candidate species: Peñasco least chipmunk (Sacramento and White Mountains, New Mexico) and Cumberland arrow darter (Kentucky and Tennessee). All candidates are assigned a listing priority number based on the magnitude and imminence of the threats they face. When adding species to the list of threatened or endangered species, the Service addresses species with the highest listing priority first. The nine changes in priority announced in today’s notice are based on new information in the updated assessments of continuing candidates. These changes include five species that increased in priority and four that lowered in priority.

The three species removed from the candidate list include elongate mud meadow springsnail, Christ’s paintbrush, and bog asphodel.

The Economic Cost of Large Constrictor Snakes

June 13, 2012 Comments off

The Economic Cost of Large Constrictor Snakes (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in partnership with many organizations, has spent more than $6 million since 2005 finding and applying solutions to the growing problem of Burmese pythons and other large invasive constrictor snakes in Florida.

Controlling and eradicating these invasive snakes are critically important because they can cause major economic losses and expenditures. One study reported that nationwide, economic damages associated with nonnative invasive species effects and their control amount to about $120 billion per year in the United States (Pimentel 2005).

Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Designation for the Northern Spotted Owl

June 7, 2012 Comments off

Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Designation for the Northern Spotted Owl (PDF)
Source: U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

1. The purpose of this report is to identify and analyze the potential economic impacts of the designation of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) (hereafter, “NSO” or “species”) in the United States.

2. Section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (the Act) directs the Secretary of the Interior to designate critical habitat

“…on the basis of the best scientific data available and after taking into consideration the economic impact, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude any area from critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species concerned.”

2. Section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (the Act) directs the Secretary of the Interior to designate critical habitat

“…on the basis of the best scientific data available and after taking into consideration the economic impact, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude any area from critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species concerned.”

4. Finally, this report was prepared with attention to the memorandum issued by the President to the Secretary of the Interior on February 28, 2012, regarding the proposed revised critical habitat for the northern spotted owl, and focusing on minimizing regulatory burdens. We re-state in the text box below the information regarding this memorandum provided in the NOA for this report.

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