oversight

Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Endangered and Threatened Species--Threatened Status for Two Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Units in California

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-10-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

United States General Accounting Office                               Office of the General Counsel
Washington, DC 20548


          B-283816



          October 15, 1999

          The Honorable John McCain
          Chairman
          The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
          Ranking Minority Member
          Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
          United States Senate

          The Honorable Don Young
          Chairman
          The Honorable George Miller
          Ranking Minority Member
          Committee on Resources
          House of Representatives

          Subject: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
                   Administration: Endangered and Threatened Species; Threatened Status for
                   Two Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) in California

          Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a
          major rule promulgated by the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and
          Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), entitled “Endangered and Threatened Species;
          Threatened Status for Two Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs)
          in California” (RIN: 0648-AM54). We received the rule on October 1, 1999. It was
          published in the Federal Register as a final rule on September 16, 1999. 64 Fed. Reg.
          50394.

          The final rule is a continuation of actions by NOAA under the Endangered Species
          Act concerning evolutionarily significant units of West Coast chinook salmon. In a
          series of four prior rules, which were the subject of a report by our Office on April 7,
          1999, NOAA listed numerous ESUs of salmon as threatened. GAO/OGC-99-38. In
          those rules, NOAA noted that it was continuing to gather data regarding other ESUs
          and would make its determination in the future. This rule is the result of that further
          study and concludes that two additional ESUs should be listed as threatened.

          NOAA has taken the same procedural steps in issuing this rule as it did in the
          issuance of the four prior rules. Our April 7 report found that NOAA complied with
          the applicable requirements of 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv). Accordingly, we


                                                                                      GAO/OGC-00-5
are not repeating the assessment in this report but refer the reader to the earlier one
for specific information on NOAA’s actions.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers,
Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO
evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is Jim Wells, Director,
Energy, Resources, and Science Issues. Mr. Wells can be reached at (202) 512-3841.

Sincerely yours,




Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: Mr. Andrew A. Rosenberg
    Deputy Assistant Administrator
     for Fisheries
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    Department of Commerce




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