The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) is proposing to list the Suwannee alligator snapping turtle, found in the Suwannee River basin of Georgia and Florida, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act with a Section 4(d) rule to tailor “take” prohibitions. The proposed 4(d) rule provides exceptions to the prohibitions for forest management activities such as construction, maintenance, pesticide and herbicide use, and other silviculture practices that implement industry and/or state-approved best management practices (BMPs). FLA submitted comments on June 7 commending the Service for providing exceptions for BMPs within the proposed rule. By acknowledging the use of state-approved BMPs, the Service can implement a scientifically sound conservation plan for the Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle that not only protects the species but recognizes the good stewardship of private landowners and their working forests.
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