May 10, 2016
Dan Ashe, Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W., Room 3331
Washington, D.C. 20240
Re: Comment period extension request – 81 FR 12379, Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy
Dear Director Ashe:
The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) represents Governors from 19 western states and three U.S.-flag islands. The Association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information sharing and collective action on issues of critical importance to the western United States. Western states play an integral role in species conservation and partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on conservation efforts. States represented by the WGA are impacted by decisions made by the Service and have an interest in how mitigation plans are developed.
The Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy (81 FR 12379, March 8, 2016) (Proposal) will impact western states and state species conservation. The Proposal will also impact project planning and development in the West. The current public comment timeframe is inadequate and will not allow thoughtful analysis of the Proposal and its impact on western states.
Given the importance and complexity of the Proposal for western states, we request a comment period extension of at least 60 days. Thank you for your consideration.
Matthew H. Mead
Governor of Wyoming
Governor of Montana
Vice Chair, WGA
cc: Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Department of Interior
Jason Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service