Service announces public hearing and re-opening of public comment period on proposal to delist the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Published 9:23 am Friday, January 14, 2022

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period for 30 days on our September 30, 2021 proposal to remove the ivory-billed woodpecker from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to extinction. The Service is also holding a virtual public hearing on the proposal. The hearing and reopening of the comment period are being conducted in order to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed delisting. Comments previously submitted on the proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

The virtual public hearing will be held January 26, 2022 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. CT (7-8:30 p.m. ET) and will be held via the Zoom online platform and teleconference so that participants can attend remotely. Registration for the virtual hearing is required. Please pre-register using the link provided below.

https://empsi.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvc–oqzItHtAA9U6PXgtsa5Xk85dKtaxm

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If you plan on providing a comment during the public comment portion of the meeting, please indicate that when registering. After registration, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. On the day of the meeting, please join using the information contained in your confirmation email. The use of a virtual public hearing is consistent with our regulations at 50 CFR 424.16(c)(3).

The Service’s proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker is based on the best scientific and commercial data available. A five-year review of the species’ status published in 2019 recommended delisting of the species due to extinction.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 requires the Service to delist species due to recovery or extinction allowing for the better allocation of resources for species that remain threatened and endangered. The ESA has been successful at preventing the extinction of more than 99% of species listed.

Although the species was one of the 23 species proposed for delisting due to extinction on Sept. 30, 2021, the Service is only reopening the comment period and conducting a virtual public hearing on the proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker. The Service received a request to hold a public hearing on this proposal on November 16, 2021. The ESA requires that the Service promptly hold public hearings if requests are received within 45 days of a proposed rule’s publishing into the Federal Register.

Information on the proposed delisting is available online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R4-ES-2020-0109.  The comment period on the proposed rule that published September 30, 2021 is reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 10, 2022. Please note that comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date, and comments submitted by U.S. mail must be postmarked by that date to ensure consideration. By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS‒R4‒ES‒2020‒0109, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041‒3803.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the Service’s proposal. General information on the ivory-billed woodpecker is available online at: https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/8230.