Draft RIR/ESA Section 4(b)(2) Preparatory Assessment/IRFA of Critical Habitat Designation for the Beringia Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Bearded Seal

December 01, 2021

Analysis of the economic, socioeconomic, and other costs and benefits associated with designating critical habitat for the Beringa DPS of the bearded seal in waters of the northern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea.

This Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Endangered Species Act Section 4(b)(2) Preparatory Assessment/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis (IRFA) (hereinafter together, “RIR/4(b)(2) Preparatory Assessment/IRFA”) addresses the designation of critical habitat (CH) for the Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the bearded seal in waters of the northern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea, adjacent to the coast of Alaska, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The purpose of this RIR/4(b)(2) Preparatory Assessment/IRFA is to identify and evaluate the economic, socioeconomic, and other costs and benefits associated with designating CH for the Beringia distinct DPS, and assist the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) in determining whether the benefits of excluding any particular area from the CH designation (CHD) outweigh the benefits of inclusion.1

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 01/07/2021

Bearded Seal Ice Seals Critical Habitat