SPARKS, Nevada…The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it was reopening the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of greater sage grouse (Bi-State sage grouse) comment period for its proposed listing and designation of critical habitat on March 31, 2014. The USFWS also stated that they were delaying their final listing decision for six months after their initial October of 2014 deadline.
The USFWS’s six-month extension of the listing decision has prompted both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to produce a second Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Greater Sage-grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment. This DEIS will inform the public of changes to the proposed action and provide a third alternative.
“The USFWS’s six-month extension gives us the opportunity to respond to public comments, analyze an additional alternative, and further align this second DEIS with the greater sage-grouse’s conservation measures,” said Bill Dunkelberger, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor.
“This second DEIS will address the public comments we received last fall and incorporate more specific management direction for the conservation, enhancement, and restoration of sage brush habitats,” explained Dunkelberger. The DEIS will be published early this summer and will include a 90-day comment period.
The DEIS amends the Toiyabe National Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan and the Resource Management Plans for the BLM’s Carson City District and portions of the Battle Mountain District.
Questions or requests for additional information regarding the upcoming DEIS may be directed to James Winfrey, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, at 775-355-5308.
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