The United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") has recently received an application for an incidental take permit under Endangered Species Act section 10(a)(l)(A) to authorize take of the West Coast distinct population segment ("DPS") of fisher (Pekania pennanti) ("fisher") should it or its subpopulations become federally listed. As we have previously reported, the Service recently listed the Southern Sierra Nevada DPS of fisher as an endangered species.
The permit application, submitted by Oregon-based timberland investment company Chinook Forest Partners, LLC, includes a proposed site plan under a template candidate conservation agreement with assurances ("CCAA") that the Service has developed to impose voluntary conservation measures on landowners for protection of the fisher.
The requested permit, which would last through June 20, 2048, would cover a total of 62,000 acres of land on many separate parcels in Oregon where the applicant intends to engage in routine forest-related management activities that could potentially impact fisher. Although no fisher are currently known to occur on the identified lands, fisher have been previously observed on lands nearby. Some of the conservation measures under the CCAA include the applicant allowing access to conduct fisher surveys, limiting impacts to denning structures and promoting the development of habitat structures, implementing nuisance control for animals that might disturb fisher, and allowing translocation of fisher onto the applicant’s lands.
On May 21, 2020, the Service published a notice of availability and request for public comment on the permit application, as well as a corresponding draft environmental action statement (EAS) that the permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency’s notice of availability and request for comments on the permit application for incidental take of the West Coast DPS under the CCAA and the associated EAS are available at regulations.gov, under Docket Number FWS-R1-ES-2020-N057. The 31-day period for public comment on the permit application and EAS is currently set to end on June 22, 2020.
Samantha Savoni is a member of Nossaman’s Environment & Land Use Group. Having begun her legal career as a Summer Associate at Nossaman, Sam has experience preparing memoranda on questions of environmental protection ...
Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.
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