Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Bakersfield Public Hearings Upcoming on Draft Economic Analysis for Buena Vista Lake Shrew

Jun 02, 2011

For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2011

Media Contact:  Sarah Swenty, office - 916/414-6571, cell - 530/665-3310, email - sarah_swenty@fws.gov  

 
Bakersfield Public Hearings Upcoming on Draft Economic Analysis for the Buena Vista Lake Shrew Critical Habitat Re-Proposal Two Sessions, June 8, 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel

BAKERSFIELD, CA -- Residents, local agencies and land owners will be able to obtain information and offer comments at two public hearings June 8, 2011 in Bakersfield, CA, on a draft economic analysis and re-proposal to designate critical habitat for the endangered Buena Vista Lake shrew.

The two sessions will be held 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.

The primary purpose of the hearings is to provide people with an opportunity to obtain information on the proposal and comment on it. People can submit their comments orally or in writing. At each session, representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide overviews of the critical habitat proposal, and they will also be available to answer questions one-on-one.

In 2009, based on a lawsuit settlement, the Service re-proposed the same geographical area that was originally proposed in 2004 as critical habitat for the shrew.  It was published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2009.  The draft Economic Analysis on the re-proposed area was published on April 28, 2011. The public-comment period was reopened on both the re-proposal and draft Economic Analysis and will close at 5 p.m. June 27, 2011.

The five re-proposed units, all in Kern County, CA, cover a total of 4,649 acres. The draft Economic Analysis estimated the incremental costs of critical habitat designation were 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.

Under a court settlement, the Service must make a final decision on critical habitat for this species by March 22, 2012.

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.  The areas that have been proposed as critical habitat for the shrew are occupied by it, so additional 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/cno. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSPacSWest, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/

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