Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Draft Economic Analysis of Casey's June Beetle Proposed Critical Habitat Released for Public Review and Comment

Mar 30, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2010
Contact: Jane Hendron, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office - 760/431-9440 ext. 205

                       

Draft Economic Analysis of Casey’s June Beetle Proposed Critical Habitat Released for Public Review and Comment

CARLSBAD, CA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the availability of a draft economic analysis of its proposed designation of critical habitat for the Casey’s June beetle (Dinacoma caseyi).  Concurrent with its July 9, 2009, proposed rule to list the species as endangered, the Service proposed designating 777 acres of land as critical habitat.

The draft economic analysis identifies potential economic impacts in the areas proposed as critical habitat and breaks down costs into two categories – baseline and incremental. Baseline impacts refer to costs arising from the listing of the Casey’s June beetle under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other conservation activities for the species regardless of whether or not the areas are designated as critical habitat. Incremental costs estimate impacts specifically attributed to the designation of critical habitat.

Future baseline impacts over the next 20 years are estimated to be $12.7 million in present value terms using a 7 percent discount rate. Incremental costs are estimated to be $9.7 million over 20 years using a 7 percent discount rate. Almost all of the incremental impacts are associated with development activities.

An advance copy of the official notice regarding availability of the draft economic analysis is available today at http://www.federalregister.gov.

The draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Casey’s June beetle will be available electronically on March 31, at http://www.regulations.gov. If you need a paper copy of the draft economic analysis, please contact the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 760-431-9440.

We are soliciting comments and information on all aspects of the proposed listing, draft economic analysis, and areas being considered for exclusion from critical habitat. Comments will be accepted until April 30, 2010.

All comments and information must be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, or sent by U.S. mail or hand delivered to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2009-0019; Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203.

When proposing critical habitat, the ESA requires the Service to consider economic impacts, impacts to national security, and other relevant impacts of the designation. Areas may be excluded from critical habitat if the benefits of excluding an area outweigh the benefits of including an area in critical habitat.

The determination of whether or not to list a species under the ESA is made solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the species’ status in relation to the standards for listing as threatened or endangered.

The Casey’s June beetle is less than an inch long and has a dusty brown or whitish color, with brown and cream longitudinal stripes on its wing covers and back. The only known population of the species occurs within the Palm Canyon Wash area in the southern part of the City of Palm Springs, California, and on portions of lands belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Data and available information indicate the species may occupy less than 800 acres of land.

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/

FWS