This was published in today's Federal Register: SUMMARY: NMFS received a petition from Mr. Sam Wright on September 13, 2004, to list Puget Sound (Washington) steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS finds that the petition presents substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Accordingly, NMFS is initiating a status review of the species. To ensure that the status review is complete and based upon the best available scientific and commercial information, NMFS is soliciting information regarding the viability of, and threats to, Puget Sound O. mykiss populations, efforts being made to protect the species, and the names of potential peer reviewers. DATES: Information and comments on the subject action must be received by June 6, 2005 ADDRESSES: You may submit comments and information by any of the following methods. Please identify submittals as pertaining to the ‘‘Puget Sound O. mykiss status review update.’’ • E-mail: PS.Omykiss.firstname.lastname@example.org. Include ‘‘Puget Sound O. mykiss status review update’’ in the subject line of the message. • Federal e-rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov • Mail: Submit written comments and information to Chief, NMFS, Protected Resources Division, 1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. You may hand-deliver written comments to our office during normal business hours at the street address given above. • Hand Delivery/Courier: NMFS, Protected Resources 1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. • Fax: 503–230–5441 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding this action contact Garth Griffin, NMFS, Northwest Region, (503) 231–2005, or Marta Nammack, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 713–1401. Speaking from prior experience, I would expect this process to take about a another year. Under the law, NOAA should have made this announcement, which is known as a 90-day finding, before Dec 13 (as you might expect from the name), then they are supposed to make the final listing determination within 12-months of the petition date (unless the 90-day finding rejects the petition). In reality, though, the 90-day finding is generally not made until the 12-month deadline has passed and somebody sues, then the 12-month finding is usually made 12 to 24 months after the "90-day" finding. So in this case, only about four months late on the 90-day finding, they're failrly ahead of schedule, suggesting that they may not be able to find a way out of this one. At any rate, this is your opportunity to get involved. If you want to see the entire Federal Register Notice, which includes background information, check: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/pdf/05-6714.pdf My own opinion is that this is long overdue.