Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Public Hearings Scheduled on Santa Ana Sucker Critical Habitat Proposal

Jul 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2010

Contact: Stephanie Weagley
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office – 760/431-9440 ext. 210
Stephanie_Weagley@fws.gov

Jane Hendron
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office - 760/431-9440 ext. 205
Jane_hendron@fws.gov

 
Public Hearings Scheduled on Santa Ana Sucker Critical Habitat Proposal and Draft Economic Analysis

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today it is opening a 30-day public comment period and will conduct hearings on its proposal to revise critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker (Catostomus santaannae) and release of a draft economic analysis.

An advanced copy of the notice, including a map of the proposed revision to subunit 1A is available online at Federal Register Public Inspection. The official copy will be available on July 2 at www.regulations.gov, and includes a revision to the December 9, 2009, proposed critical habitat rule for the Santa Ana sucker. Specifically, an additional 38 acres in the upper portion of the Santa Ana River are now being proposed as critical habitat (identified as subunit 1A). This revision increases the total to 9,643 acres of proposed critical habitat.

Consideration is being given to excluding about 3,048 acres of essential habitat in portions of subunits 1B and 1C based that are owned or under the jurisdiction of permittees covered by the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. The Service is also considering exclusion of these two subunits based on the Santa Ana Sucker Conservation Program.

Comments on the proposed designation and draft economic analysis will be accepted from July 2 through August 2, 2010. Public hearings are scheduled to take place on July 21, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ayres Suites Corona West, 1900 W. Frontage Road, Corona, CA 92882.

Estimated economic impacts attributable to critical habitat could range from $6.87 million to $9.45 million over the next 20 years, with about 38 to 53 percent of these impacts associated with transportation projects.

Comments can be submitted through www.regulations.gov, or in writing to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2009-0072, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 222, Arlington, VA  22203.

On the www.regulations.gov website in the box that reads “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter the Docket number for this finding, which is FWS-R8-ES-2009-0072. Check the box that reads “Open for Comment/Submission,” and click the Search button. Look for the icon that reads “Submit a Comment.”  Please make sure you have the correct docket before submitting comments.

Santa Ana suckers are generally less than 6 inches in length and feed primarily on invertebrates, algae, and organic matter. Historically, they were found in upper watershed areas of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains down to the Pacific Ocean. Habitat for the Santa Ana sucker has been degraded by water diversion, dam construction, and urban development.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/

- FWS -