Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Determines Petition to Revise Vernal Pool Critical Habitat in South Sacramento County is Not Warranted

Feb 09, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 9, 2011

Media Contact: Sarah Swenty, 916-414-6571, sarah_swenty@fws.gov 

 
US Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Petition to Revise Vernal Pool Critical Habitat
in South Sacramento County is Not Warranted

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in a Federal Register notice to be published on February 10, 2011 announces the results of a 90-day finding on a petition to revise critical habitat for vernal pool fairy shrimp and vernal pool tadpole shrimp under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. Using the best available science and the information provided by the petitioners, the Service has determined that the petition does not present substantial information to indicate that revision of critical habitat may be warranted.  As a result, the Service has determined that a 12 month finding on this petition is not warranted and will not be conducted.
 
On August 29, 2008, the Service received a petition from ECORP Consulting, Inc. on behalf of Conservation Resources, requesting that they revise two critical habitat units, Unit 14A for vernal pool fairy shrimp and Unit 9B for the vernal pool tadpole shrimp to include an additional 2,800 acres within the critical habitat boundary. 
 
The vernal pool fairy shrimp and the vernal pool tadpole shrimp were listed as threatened and endangered, respectively, in 1994.  In 2003 the Service published a final rule designating critical habitat for four vernal pool crustaceans (including the vernal pool fairy shrimp and the vernal pool tadpole shrimp) and eleven vernal pool plant species in California and southern Oregon.  The 2,800-acre parcel was included in the original critical habitat designation.  As a result of litigation, the original designation was remanded back to the Service for re-evaluation. 
 
In the August, 2005, final rule the parcel was excluded from the final designation based on economic impacts, pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the ESA.  The petition presented no information indicating that the exclusion due to economic impacts was done in error or that the economic analysis was flawed.  Therefore, the Service found that the petition does not present substantial information to indicate that revision of critical habitat to include the proposed property may be warranted. 
 
The Service’s priority is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective.  They seek to accelerate recovery of threatened and endangered species across the nation, while making it easier for people to coexist with these species.
 
More information, including the complete notice on this issue, can be found at www.fws.gov/sacramento or at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/finding, reference FWS–R8–ES–2010–0093.  Additionally, the complete supporting file for this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way W-2605, Sacramento, California, 95825.
 
 
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