Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Draft Economic Analysis Available on Revised Critical Habitat Proposal for Franciscan Manzanita

Jun 27, 2013


June 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


Draft Economic Analysis Available on Revised Critical Habitat
Proposal for Franciscan Manzanita
Public Comments Sought and Accepted Through July 29, 2013

Sacramento, Calif. –The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is releasing an economic impact analysis of a revised proposal to designate approximately 270 acres of critical habitat for the endangered Franciscan manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana). The draft Economic Analysis (dEA) estimates that costs related to its revised proposed critical habitat to be approximately $28,222 over a 20 year period. A 30-day public comment period on the entire critical habitat proposal and the draft economic analysis ends July 29, 2013.
 
Critical habitat is a tool to ensure Federal agencies fulfill their conservation responsibilities and consult with the Service if their actions may “destroy or adversely modify” critical habitat for listed species. Activities on private lands that don't require Federal permits or funding are not affected by a critical habitat designation.

“Designating areas as critical habitat does not establish a refuge or sanctuary for a species. It does not close lands from public access or stop projects,” noted Jan Knight, Acting Field Supervisor for the Service’s Sacramento Field Office. “With critical habitat we look at the needs of the project and the needs of the species and help Federal agencies balance the needs of both.”

In the fall of 2012, the Service listed the Franciscan manzanita as endangered and proposed to designate approximately 318 acres in the City and County of San Francisco, California, as critical habitat for the species.  After discovering a mapping error, we have revised that total to 197 acres. Based on new information that has been provided on suitable habitat, the Service is now proposing to add 2 units and 2 subunits totaling 73 acres. Of that, 70 acres are managed by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation District, and 3 acres are private land.

The entire revised proposed 270 acres were considered in the dEA, which is now available for public review and comment. 

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 independent analysis done, no significant costs are likely to result from the designation of critical habitat for the Franciscan manzanita. 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 species. 

Over a 20-year period, the present value incremental costs directly related to a critical habitat designation are expected to be approximately $28,222, discounted at a 7 percent rate. The National Park Service, Presidio Trust and the San Francisco Parks and Recreation District are expected to incur incremental costs for critical habitat consultations on the following activities: management and habitat restoration; soil remediation; road maintenance and construction; broadcast facility maintenance and construction; trail maintenance; and species reintroduction. 

With this and other Endangered Species Act actions, the Service’s priority is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective. 

View the draft Economic Analysis, the 2013 critical habitat revised proposal, and more at www.fws.gov/sacramento.

Comments may be submitted in several ways:
-- Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal:  http://www.regulations.gov.  In the Keywords box, enter Docket No. [FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067] and follow the instructions for submitting comments.
-- U.S. mail or hand-delivery:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067 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 July 29, 2013 and will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

For more information about the critical habitat proposal for the Franciscan manzanita, please visit
http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/.

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 .


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