Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Draft Economic Analysis on Revised Critical Habitat Proposal for Lost River and Shortnose Suckers Released

Jul 26, 2012

For Immediate Release                                                            Contact: Laurie Sada (541) 885-2507

July 25, 2012                                                                                           (541) 274-0697 - Mobile

DRAFT ECONOMIC ANALYSIS ON REVISED CRITICAL HABITAT PROPOSAL FOR LOST RIVER AND SHORTNOSE SUCKERS RELEASED

Public Comment Period is reopened on critical habitat proposal

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) on the 2011 revised proposal of critical habitat for the Lost River and shortnose suckers, which are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The fish are native to the Klamath Basin of Southern Oregon and Northern California.

The economic analysis, prepared for the Service under contract by Industrial Economics, Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., estimates the costs of the 2011 proposed revised critical habitat for Lost River and Shortnose suckers to be $586,000, or $51,700 on an annualized basis (assuming a 7 percent discount rate) over a 20-year period.

Because these species already receive significant protection under the ESA, costs associated with the designation of critical habitat are primarily associated with considering adverse modification of critical habitat as part of future ESA Section 7 consultations.

On December 6, 2011, the Service proposed designating two critical habitat units totaling 241,438 acres and 274 stream miles in southern Oregon and northern California. A 60-day public comment period closed on February 6, 2012.

The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge or preserve. It does not allow government or the public access to private lands. A critical habitat designation has no impact on private landowners taking actions on their land that do not require federal funding or permits.

Critical habitat identifies geographic areas that contain features essential to the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and which may require special management considerations. Areas outside the geographic area occupied by the species at the time it was listed under the ESA may also be designated as critical habitat if the areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

Copies of the critical habitat proposal and the draft economic analysis are available on the Internet at www.fws.gov/klamathfallsfwo, or by contacting the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office (Klamath Falls FWO) at 541-885-8481.

For more information on Lost River and shortnose suckers and information on the Service’s proposed critical habitat for these species please see the FAQ at the following website address: http://www.fws.gov/klamathfallsfwo/news/Suckers/FAQ%20LRSN%20Suckers%20PCH-final.pdf

Public Comments

Both the DEA and the proposed critical habitat designation will be subject to a 30-day comment period. The comment period will be open from July 26 to August 27, 2012. Comments that were previously submitted during the initial comment period that closed on February 6, 2012 do not need to be resubmitted.

Comments on the DEA and the proposed critical habitat designation may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2010–0097
  • U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2011–0097; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that any personal information provided will be posted.

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