RENO - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it has rescheduled public hearings on proposals to protect the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The new hearing dates were published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2014. The first will be Wednesday, May 28 in Minden at the Carson Valley Inn (1627 U.S. Highway 395 North) from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

The second is scheduled for Thursday, May 29 in Bishop, Calif., from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Tri-County Fairgrounds Home Economics Building (Sierra Street & Fair Drive).

On April 8, 2014, the Service announced a 60-day extension of the comment period on the proposals, which include listing the bird as a threatened species, designating approximately 1.86 million acres of critical habitat for the species, and a special rule that would provide increased flexibility for land management practices that are intended to benefit the sage-grouse. The extended comment period closes on June 9, 2014.

Additionally, the Service extended, by six months, the final determination of whether or not to list the Bi-State DPS as a threatened species. The final listing determination will be published on or before April 28, 2015.

Scientific information regarding these proposals will be accepted until at 11:59 p.m., on June 9, 2014, and may be submitted at the public hearings and by one of the following methods:

• Electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, at www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R8-ES-2013-0042 and FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072, which are the docket numbers for these rulemakings. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document.

• Hard copy, via U.S. mail or hand delivery, to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2013-0042 and FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

A copy of the proposed rules that were published on Oct. 28, 2013, and other information about the Bi-State DPS of greater sage-grouse are available at www.fws.gov/nevada/, www.regulations.gov, or through the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office at (775) 861-6300.