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68490 Federal Register / Vol. 67, No.

217 / Friday, November 8, 2002 / Proposed Rules

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Protection Act of 1972, as amended pursuant to the Marine Mammal
(MMPA) (16 U.S.C. 1361–1407). With Protection Act for public comment in
Fish and Wildlife Service respect to waterborne activities, the November 2002. As a part of the MMPA
tools we currently use include: regulatory process, we will request
50 CFR Part 17 designation of manatee protection areas; comments on the proposed mitigating
increased law enforcement efforts; measures we have identified that would
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife improvement of current speed zone be required in order for the Service to
and Plants; Input on Additional signage; boater education and outreach; make a finding pursuant to the MMPA
Manatee Protection Measures and boating facility site reviews. We are that the incidental take of manatees will
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service,
also working with our Manatee have a negligible impact on the
Interior. Recovery Team (Recovery Team) and population. Many of the current
our Habitat Working Group (HWG) to measures being implemented to protect
ACTION: Notice of request for input on
identify and implement manatee and recover manatees under the
additional measures to protect manatees conservation activities that will protect Endangered Species Act (e.g., increased
and further recovery of the species. manatees and enhance their recovery. law enforcement efforts, improvement
SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife We hope that information and of current speed zone signage, and
Service, are seeking input and soliciting suggestions received in response to this boater education and outreach), may be
comments on additional measures to request, together with the work the same or comparable to those that
protect the endangered West Indian generated by the Recovery Team and the may be proposed under the MMPA
manatee (Trichechus manatus) in HWG, will allow us to more effectively incidental take regulations, and may be
Florida and further recovery of the focus our limited resources to protect similar to comments or suggestions
species. Specifically, as part of this manatees and further recovery of the received from the public through this
request, we are seeking information or species. notice.
During this comment period, we may
suggestions that would help us identify The public is encouraged to provide
also conduct public meetings, if
additional protection areas; locations individual comments to both Service
requested, to ensure full public
that would be appropriate for increased actions (this notice requesting input on
participation to develop additional
law enforcement efforts; locations where additional protective measures that the
measures to protect manatees. Once the
the existing speed zone signage can be Service could consider and the
comment period is closed, we will host
improved; how we can effectively a meeting of the Recovery Team so it proposed MMPA incidental take
increase boater education and outreach; can review the information submitted regulations).
where and when this education and pursuant to this notice, and to discuss,
outreach should be directed; factors that Public Comments Solicited
evaluate and recommend to the Service
should or should not be considered to additional protection measures and Persons wishing to provide relevant
improve our boating facility site habitat protection needs to help ensure information and comments regarding
reviews; and other activities that we the recovery of the manatee. this request for input on additional
should undertake or modify or cease to We propose to hold additional measures to protect manatees, should
protect the manatee in Florida. Recovery Team meetings to assist us in submit such comments in writing to the
DATES: We must receive your comments identifying additional manatee Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES
regarding this request for information on protection measures, and developing an section).
or before February 6, 2003. implementation plan and schedule to
Our practice is to make comments we
ADDRESSES: Submit written comments carry out these measures. The Recovery
receive on this process, including names
to the Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Team will be asked to consider the
and home addresses of respondents,
Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife public comments and suggestions
available for public review during
Service, 6620 Southpoint Drive, South, obtained through this notice, as well as
regular business hours. Individual
Suite 310, Jacksonville, Florida 32216 or the recovery needs of the species
respondents may request that we
via electronic mail to manatee@fws.gov. identified in the final recovery plan, the
withhold their home address from the
Comments and materials received in assessment of the habitat recovery
process, which we will honor to the
response to this request will be available criteria developed by the HWG, the final
determinations by the Florida Fish and extent allowable by law. There also may
for public inspection at this address be circumstances in which we would
during normal working hours from 8 Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWCC) and us in establishing withhold a respondent’s identity from
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through the process, as allowable by law. If you
Friday. additional protection areas, the FWCC’s
Caloosahatchee River study, the species wish us to withhold your name and/or
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: status reviews conducted by both the address, you must state this
Peter Benjamin (see ADDRESSES section) FWCC and us, and the most up-to-date prominently at the beginning of your
at telephone 904/232–2580, extension manatee population model outputs. The comments. However, we will not
106; facsimile 904/232–2404; or benefits of the Recovery Team’s consider anonymous comments. We
electronic mail manatee@fws.gov. assessment of these data and the Team’s will make all submissions from
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are recommendation will aid us in organizations or businesses, and from
soliciting comments for additional formulating additional protection individuals identifying themselves as
measures to protect manatees. The measures for possible implementation representatives or officials of
designation of manatee protection areas by State, Federal, county and private organizations or businesses, available
is just one of the tools available to us to conservation entities. It will also ensure for public inspection in their entirety.
protect manatees and further manatee that the best science is being utilized to Author
recovery to meet our responsibilities determine manatee protection needs.
under the Endangered Species Act of In addition, the Service is also The primary author of this document
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et publishing in the Federal Register is Peter Benjamin (see ADDRESSES
seq.), and the Marine Mammal proposed incidental take regulations section).

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Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 217 / Friday, November 8, 2002 / Proposed Rules 68491

Authority amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and Dated: October 31, 2002.
the Marine Mammal Protection Act of Paul Hoffman,
The authority to establish manatee 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361–1407), as Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and
protection areas is provided by the amended. Wildlife and Parks.
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as [FR Doc. 02–28279 Filed 11–5–02; 9:57 am]
BILLING CODE 4310–55–P

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