®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week
Did DQA Petition Affect Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Flycatcher?
Click for OMB Watch article.
Click for Forest Service action on DQA Petition.
OMB Watch claims that a Data Quality Act petition may have affected the Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed critical habitat designation for the southwestern willow flycatcher. The DQA petition in question was filed by an Arizona rancher in 2003. It challenged USDA Forest Service guidance on the issuance of grazing permits that might affect the willow flycatcher or other endangered species. The Forest Service has not yet addressed the merits of the DQA Petition, so far holding that the guidance is intra- or inter-agency only and has never been publicly disseminated. Consequently, according to the Forest Service, the guidance is not subject to the DQA. OMB Watch nevertheless claims that the proposed FWS designation in effect grants some of the relief sought by the Petition, even though it was filed with an entirely different agency.