C O M M E N T S : usca@uscattlemen.org

State Agricultural Groups Request Comment
Extension for Black Footed Ferret Reintroduction

January 15, 2013

Kimberly Tamkun
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center
P.O. Box 190
Wellington, CO 80549-0190

Sent Via Email: FerretSHA@fws.gov

Dear Ms. Tamkun;
We, the undersigned eleven organizations, would like to request an extension to the current comment period that has been outlined for the reintroduction of the Black Footed Ferret.  As published in the December 19, 2012 issue of the Federal Register (FWS-R6-E5-2012-N190; FF060E1600-123-FXES111600000D2), there has been a 30 day comment period set for the public to submit their comments on the issue.  We are concerned that due to the timing of the announcement’s release during the busy holiday season and the complicated nature of the issue, the affected farmers and ranchers will not have an appropriate amount of time to submit their thoughts on the issue. We respectfully request that you extend the 30-day comment period to 90-days.

The issue of reintroduction of a species must be given the time and careful consideration that it deserves.  The 12 states that have been listed as potential areas for reintroduction under the proposal are states heavily populated with family farms and ranches. In order to ensure a proposal is developed that will take into account existing operations, we urge for an adjusted comment period to ensure all comments are received.

The targeted area represents a vast array of producers and individuals. In order to generate the best possible representation of this population, we ask that the comment period be extended to a 90-day period.  The greater the number of comments received, the better prepared the agencies will be to address this issue in the coming months.

Thank you for your consideration. We are more than happy to answer any questions or further comments you have regarding this request. Please direct any questions to Kelly Fogarty at: kelly@westernskiesstrategies.com.

Cattle Producers of Washington
Independent Beef Association of North Dakota
Independent Cattlemen Association of Texas
Montana Association of Counties
Montana Women Involved in Farm Economics
New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association
New Mexico Women Involved in Farm Economics
New Mexico Wool Growers
Safari Club International
South Dakota Women Involved in Farm Economics
United States Cattlemen’s Association
Wyoming Stockgrowers Association

cc: Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior
Director Dan M. Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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