FWS Delays Effective Date and Requests Comments on Final Rule Revising Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
On March 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a notice delaying the effective date and reopening the comment period on a final rule to revise the critical habitat designation for the Northern Spotted Owl. FWS stated that this action is in response to Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-21-14 dated January 20, 2021 that directs agencies to consider delaying the effective date of rules that have not yet become effective for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, or policy. The final rule excludes additional areas from designation as critical habitat that the agency states were not presented to the public for comment during the proposed rule stage. The agency is therefore delaying the effective date while it conducts a review of procedural concerns regarding the final rule.
Comments are due by March 31, 2021.