Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Draft Economic Analysis Available on Critical Habitat Re-Proposal for Buena Vista Lake Shrew

Apr 29, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 29, 2011

Media Contact:  Sarah Swenty, Office - 916/414-6571, Cell - 530/665-3310  
Email - sarah_swenty@fws.gov  

 
Draft Economic Analysis Available on Critical Habitat Re-Proposal for Buena Vista Lake Shrew
Public Comments Sought and Accepted Through June 27, 2011

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today released an economic impact analysis of its 2009 re-proposal to designate 4,649 acres of critical habitat for the endangered Buena Vista Lake shrew. Release of the economic analysis opens a new 60-day public comment period on the entire critical habitat proposal and on the economic assessment.
 
During the comment period, interested citizens and business will have the opportunity to provide additional information to be considered in the final critical habitat designation.  The final rule will consider information received during this public comment period as well as comments received previously regarding the 2009 critical habitat re-proposal.

In addition to accepting written comments through June 27, 2011, oral comments will be accepted at two public hearings will be held on June 8, 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court,, Bakersfield, CA.  The first will start promptly at 1 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m.  Doors will open and service staff will be on hand and available to discuss the proposal half an hour prior to the opening of each hearing.

In considering the economic impacts of the proposed action, the Service seeks to quantify the expected costs linked to the critical habitat designation. According to the analysis that Industrial Economics Inc. of Cambridge, MA, prepared for the Service under contract, no significant costs are likely to result from the designation of critical habitat for the shrew.  The incremental costs of critical habitat designation are expected to be limited to the administrative costs of new and re-initiated consultations, which consider whether proposed projects will adversely modify critical habitat for the shrew.  Over a 20-year period, the present value incremental costs directly related to a critical habitat designation are expected to be approximately $133,000, discounted at a 7 percent rate.

Over the next 20 years, the following entities are expected to incur incremental costs due to critical habitat designation:  PG&E, $40,700; Kern National Wildlife Refuge, $16,000; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $12,600; and the City of Bakersfield, $9,660.  In addition, over the next 20 years, consultations on additional projects of various types are expected to result in incremental costs totaling $53,900. 

With this and other ESA actions, the Service priority is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective.  Critical habitat is a designation that affects only activities that are implemented, permitted, or funded by a Federal agency.  For the Buena Vista Lake shrew we are only proposing to designate habitat that is occupied by the species as critical habitat, so costs due to designation of critical habitat are expected to be minimal.  Activities on private lands that don't require Federal permits or funding aren't affected by a critical habitat designation.

View the draft Economic Analysis, the 2009 critical habitat re-proposal and more at www.fws.gov/sacramento.

Comments may be submitted in several ways:

--Oral Comments:  Accepted at the June 8, 2011 public hearings to be held at 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, Bakersfield, CA.

-- Federal eRulemaking Portal:  http://www.regulations.gov.  In the Keywords box, enter Docket No. [FWS–R8–ES–2009–0062] and follow the instructions for submitting comments.

-- U.S. mail or hand-delivery:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R8-ES-2009-0062 Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. 

E-mail or faxes cannot be accepted.  All comments must be received by June 27, 2011 and will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

For further information contact: Karen Leyse, Listing Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825; telephone (916) 414–6600; facsimile (916) 414–6712; or TDD at (800) 877–8339 .

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.

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