[Federal Register: July 10, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 132)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 36037-36086]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10jy01-11]

[[Page 36037]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Part II

Department of the Interior

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fish and Wildlife Service

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Determinations of
Critical Habitat for Wintering Piping Plovers; Final Rule


[[Page 36038]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG13


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final
Determination of Critical Habitat for Wintering Piping Plovers

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), designate 137
areas along the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as critical habitat
for the wintering population of the piping plover (Charadrius melodus).
This includes approximately 2,891.7 kilometers (km) (1,798.3 miles
(mi)) of mapped shoreline and approximately 66,881 hectares (ha)
(165,211 acres (ac)) of mapped area along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts
and along margins of interior bays, inlets, and lagoons.
The population of piping plovers that breeds in the Great Lakes
States is listed as endangered, while all other piping plovers are
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended
(Act). All piping plovers are considered threatened species under the
Act when on their wintering grounds. Critical habitat identifies
specific areas that are essential to the conservation of a listed
species, and that may require special management considerations or
protection. The primary constituent elements for the piping plover
wintering habitat are those habitat components that are essential for
the primary biological needs of foraging, sheltering, and roosting, and
only those areas containing these primary constituent elements within
the designated boundaries are considered critical habitat. The primary
constituent elements are found in coastal areas that support intertidal
beaches and flats (between annual low tide and annual high tide) and
associated dune systems and flats above annual high tide. Section 7 of
the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that actions they
authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to adversely modify
designated critical habitat. As required by section 4 of the Act, we
considered economic and other relevant impacts prior to making a final
decision on what areas to designate as critical habitat.