Friday, December 20, 2013

Court Grants Extension on Deadline for Jaguar Critical Habitat Determination

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requested and recently received an extension of the deadline to reach a final determination on critical habitat for the jaguar. The previous settlement agreement date for publishing a final decision was December 16; the new publication date is February 14, 2014. The Service requested the extension due to the unavailability of required personnel (and related contractors) during the recent lapse of appropriations (furlough), as well as the rescheduling of court-ordered deadlines and other commitments for unrelated matters involving the same personnel since the restoration of appropriations. WildEarth Guardians (plaintiff) did not oppose the extension request, which was signed by D.C. Circuit Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on December 3, 2013. The Service has proposed to designate 858,137 acres in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico as critical habitat for the jaguar (Panthera onca) under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal was informed by information compiled by and modeling conducted by the Service-assembled, bi-national, scientific Jaguar Recovery Team. A comment period on the proposal will not be reopened...more

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