[Federal Register: June 29, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 126)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 40073-40074]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF32

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Period and Notice of Availability of Draft Economic Analysis 
for Proposed Critical Habitat Determination for the Coastal California 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and notice of 
availability of draft economic analysis.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability 
of the draft economic analysis for the proposed designation of critical 
habitat for the coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica 
californica). We are also providing notice of the

[[Page 40074]]

reopening of the comment period for the proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the coastal California gnatcatcher to allow all interested 
parties to submit written comments on the proposal and on the draft 
economic analysis. Comments previously submitted need not be 
resubmitted as they will be incorporated into the public record as a 
part of this reopened comment period and will be fully considered in 
the final rule.

DATES: The original comment period on the critical habitat proposal 
closed on April 7, 2000. The comment period is again reopened and we 
will accept comments until July 31, 2000. Comments must be received by 
5:00 p.m. on the closing date. Any comments that are received after the 
closing date may not be considered in the final decision on this 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the 
Internet at ``www.r1.fws.gov.'' or by writing to the Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2730 
Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, California, 92008. Written comments should 
be sent to the Field Supervisor at the above address. You may also send 
comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to ``http://pacific.fws.gov/
crithab/cg.'' Please submit electronic comments in ASCII file format 
and avoid the use of special characters and encryption. Please include 
``Attn: [RIN 1018-AF32]'' and your name and return address in your e-
mail message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that 
we have received your e-mail message, contact us directly by calling 
our Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at phone number 760-431-9440. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Krofta, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address 
(telephone 760-431-9440; facsimile 760-431-9624).



    The coastal California gnatcatcher is a small, insect-eating bird 
with dark blue-gray plumage above and grayish-white plumage below. The 
tail is mostly black above and below. The male has a distinctive black 
cap which is absent during the winter. Both sexes have a distinctive 
white eye-ring. The coastal California gnatcatcher is primarily 
restricted to sage scrub and scrub habitats found in coastal southern 
California and northwestern Baja California, Mexico, from Ventura and 
San Bernardino counties, California, south to approximately El Rosario, 
Mexico, at about 30 deg. north latitude. The once-common species was 
federally listed as threatened in March 1993, due to habitat loss and 
fragmentation resulting from urban and agricultural development, and 
the cumulative effects of cowbird parasitism and predation (58 FR 
16742). On February 7, 2000, we published a determination proposing 
323,726 hectares (799,916 acres) of sage scrub and scrub habitats as 
critical habitat for the coastal California gnatcatcher in the Federal 
Register (65 FR 5946) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). Critical habitat is proposed in Los Angeles, Orange, 
Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties, California, as 
described in the proposed determination.
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall 
designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific and 
commercial data available and after taking into consideration the 
economic impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the coastal California gnatcatcher and comments received 
during the previous comment period, we have prepared a draft economic 
analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation, which is 
available at the above Internet and mailing address. We have reopened 
the comment period at this time in order to accept the best and most 
current scientific and commercial data available regarding the proposed 
critical habitat and the draft economic analysis. We will accept 
written comments during this reopened comment period. Previously 
submitted oral or written comments on this critical habitat proposal 
need not be resubmitted. The current comment period on this proposal 
closes on July 31, 2000. Written comments may be submitted to the 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office in the ADDRESSES section.


    The primary author of this notice is Douglas Krofta (see ADDRESSES 

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

    Dated: June 23, 2000.
Michael J. Spear,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations.
[FR Doc. 00-16511 Filed 6-28-00; 8:45 am]