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comment period extended for listing butterflies on Endangered Species list

by Doug Leier

The public will have additional time to comment on two North Dakota butterflies proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The 60-day comment period for the Dakota skipper and the poweshiek skipperling, ends Dec. 23.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says it plans to open an additional public comment period in 2014, once a draft economic analysis on the potential impacts of critical habitat is available.

They will continue to accept comments via mail or hand delivery on the proposal for critical habitat and the proposal for listing between Dec. 23, 2013, and when the comment period is reopened.

When that draft analysis is complete, sometime this spring, the comment period will reopen.

Typically, such comment periods are reopened for an additional 30 days.

People who wish to submit comments between Dec. 23 and the reopened comment period must submit them by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R3-ES-2013-0017 (for comments on the proposed critical habitat) or FWS-R3-ES-2013-0043 (for comments on the proposed listing); Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, Va. 22203.

The action also proposed a special rule for the Dakota skipper that, if finalized, would allow for the loss of some skippers as a result of grazing and other routine livestock ranching activities in certain areas.

For more information on the proposal, visit: www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered.