[Federal Register: May 15, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 94)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 30951]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF98

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Period on Proposed Determination of Critical Habitat for the 
Alameda Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and notice of public 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) gives notice of a 
public hearing on the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for 
the threatened Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus). 
In addition, the comment period which originally closed on May 8, 2000, 
will be reopened. The new comment period and hearing will allow all 
interested parties to submit oral or written comments on the proposal. 
We are seeking comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other 
interested parties concerning the proposed rule. Comments already 
submitted on the proposed rule need not be resubmitted as they will be 
fully considered in the final determination.

DATES: The comment period for this proposal now closes on June 12, 
2000. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in 
the final decision on this proposal. The public hearing will be held 
from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on June 1, 
2000, in San Ramon, California.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the San Ramon Marriott, 
2600 Bishop Drive, Salon E, San Ramon, California. Comments and 
materials concerning this proposal should be sent to the Field 
Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Davis or Heather Bell, at the 
above address, phone 916-414-6600, facsimile 916-414-6710.



    On March 8, 2000, the Service published a proposed rule to 
designate critical habitat for the threatened Alameda whipsnake in the 
Federal Register (65 FR 12155). The original comment period closed on 
May 8, 2000. The comment period now closes on June 12, 2000. Written 
comments should be submitted to the Service (see ADDRESSES section).
    A total of approximately 164,663 hectares (406,708 acres) of land 
fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat 
designation. Proposed critical habitat is located in Contra Costa, 
Alameda, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara counties, California. If this 
proposal is made final, section 7 of the Act prohibits destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat by any activity funded, 
authorized, or carried out by any Federal agency. Section 4 of the Act 
requires us to consider economic and other impacts of specifying any 
particular area as critical habitat.
    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires 
that a public hearing be held if it is requested within 45 days of the 
publication of a proposed rule. In response to three such requests, the 
Service will hold a public hearing on the date and at address described 
in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections above.
    Anyone wishing to make an oral statement for the record is 
encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement and present it 
to the Service at the hearing. In the event there is a large 
attendance, the time allotted for oral statements may be limited. Oral 
and written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits 
to the length of written comments presented at the hearing or mailed to 
the Service. Legal notices announcing the date, time, and location of 
the hearing will be published in newspapers concurrently with the 
Federal Register notice.
    Comments from the public regarding the accuracy of this proposed 
rule are sought, especially regarding:
    (1) The location of any additional populations of Alameda 
whipsnakes and the reasons why any habitat should or should not be 
determined to be critical habitat;
    (2) Additional information regarding the validity of the primary 
constituent elements described in the proposed rule; and (3) Additional 
information regarding areas that may be essential as travel corridors 
for connecting individual Alameda whipsnake populations.
    Reopening of the comment period will enable the Service to respond 
to the request for a public hearing on the proposed action. The comment 
period on this proposal now closes on June 12, 2000. Written comments 
should be submitted to the Service office listed in the ADDRESSES 


    The primary authors of this notice are Jason Davis and Heather Bell 
(see ADDRESSES section).


    The authority for this action are the Endangered Species Act of 
1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 2, 2000.
John Engbring,
[FR Doc. 00-11450 Filed 5-12-00; 8:45 am]