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Legislative and Regulatory Update

• Forest Service Roadless Initiave comment period is about to close.
The 30-day extension to the public comment period ends Feb. 3, 2000. Comments may be sent to: Planning Regulations, PO Box 7669, Missoula, MT, 59807. Fax (406) 329-302l. Email: planreg/wojcaetfsfs.fed.us or visit their internet website at http://www.fs.fed.uS/forumlnepa/rule.
(2013 Note: This contact information is thirteen years old and may no longer be valid.)

In comments filed recently regarding this issue, NMA reminded the agency that while it draws its general rule-making authority from several existing laws and regulations, this does not mean that "authority is unconstrained." NMA stated that the scoping process is "flawed" and urged that it be redone.


• Endangered Species Decision Delayed.
Riverton, WY(AP)—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has postponed a decision on whether to grant
Endangered Species Act protection to a flower found only on a few acres in Fremont County.

The agency had set a deadline for a decision on the desert yellowhead, but then said more time would be needed.

The Bureau of Land Management first needs to release a plan for managing the plant's habitat on Beaver Rim, said Mike Long, Fish and Wildlife Service field supervisor. "We want to see what protective measures they have in place," he said.

If the plan sufficiently removes or reduces threats to the plant, Endangered Species Act protection will not be necessary, he said. The Fish and Wildlife Service should have a better idea next month of when it can issue a final decision, he said.

A perennial herb in the sunflower family, the desert yellowhead was discovered in 1990. About 11,000 plants were counted in 1998 on its known range of about 10 acres.

The BLM banned hard mineral surface mining on 3,759 acres around the plant's habitat last summer to create a study area and a buffer zone.

As part of the same action, the land cannot be part of a land exchange or sale, and ranchers have been asked not to develop water holes or place salt licks near the plant population.


• 43 CFR Part 3800—Mining Claims Under the General Mining Laws: Surface Management-Supplemental proposed rule: reopening of comment period on environmental impact statement.
The Bureau of Land Management reopened the comment period on the surface management proposed rule and the associated draft environmental impact statement. The comment period will be closing on February 23, 2000. Web address: www.blm.gov/nhp/news/regulatory/index.htm
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