By Jillian Singh
Feedback may lead to Endangered Species Act protections
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking information from the public and academic researchers regarding marten populations in Northern California and the coast of Oregon until Aug. 7, spokesman Matt Baun said.
According to Baun, the service is gathering information to decide whether the Humboldt marten and its subspecies should be put on the federal endangered species list.
"We published a first-step study in 2012 and found there was adequate information to indicate that Humboldt marten may be warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act," Baun said. "We are now undertaking a next step study, which will inform our evaluation on whether the species does indeed warrant Endangered Species Act protections and whether closely related sub-species of the Humboldt marten should be part of the evaluation. Any listing decision will be based on the best available information, and the agency is particularly seeking information on the genetics of Pacific marten subspecies in California and Oregon."
Baun said the service will review all of the submitted information and publish its findings, which are due to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federal Register, in April 2015 . He said the public's feedback and input is important part of the process to determine if the species are vulnerable.
Scientific information can be submitted to the service electronically, at www.regulations.gov. In the search box, enter FWS–R8–ES–2014–0023. Information can also be submitted in a paper copy, through the United States mail or hand delivery, to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2014–0023; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS, 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.