[Federal Register: July 5, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 129)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 41405-41424]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Determination of Critical Habitat for the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose 
designation of critical habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep 
pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The 
proposed critical habitat boundary encompasses approximately 354,343 
hectares (ha) (875,613 acres (ac)) of Peninsular bighorn sheep habitat 
in Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties, California.
    Critical habitat identifies specific areas that have physical and 
biological features that are essential to the conservation of a listed 
species, and that may require special management considerations or 
protection. The primary elements for the bighorn are those habitat 
components that are essential for the primary biological needs of 
feeding, sheltering, reproduction, dispersal, and genetic exchange.
    If this proposed rule is made final, section 7 of the Act would 
prohibit 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. We 
solicit data and comments from the public on all aspects of this 
proposal, including data on economic and other impacts of the 
designation. We may revise this proposal to incorporate or address new 
information received during the comment period.

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by August 
31, 2000. A public hearing is scheduled to be held on July 20, 2000, in 
Palm Springs, Riverside County, California (see ADDRESSES section below 
for details).

    Comments: You may submit your comments and materials concerning 
this proposal by any one of several methods.
    1. You may mail written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, California 92008.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2730 Loker Avenue 
West, Carlsbad, California 92008.
    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
FW1PBSH@fws.gov. Please submit comments in ASCII file format and avoid 
the use of special characters and encryption. Please include ``Attn: 
[RIN number]'' 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.

[[Page 41406]]

Public Hearings

    We have scheduled two public hearings for Thursday, July 20, 2000, 
from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Wyndham 
Palm Springs Hotel, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, 

Document Availability

    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ken Berg, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad 
Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone: 760/431-
9440; facsimile 760/431-9624).



    The bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is a large mammal (family 
Bovidae) originally described by Shaw in 1804 (Wilson and Reeder 1993). 
Wild sheep became established in North America after crossing the 
Bering land bridge from Eurasia during the late Pleistocene (Geist 
1971), and their range has since spread to include desert habitats as 
far south as northern Mexico (Manville 1980). In North America, two 
species of wild sheep currently are recognized: the thinhorn sheep 
(Ovis dalli) and the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis).
    Peninsular bighorn sheep were once divided into seven recognized 
subspecies based on differences in skull measurements (Cowan 1940, 
Buechner 1960, Shackleton 1985). These subspecies included Audubon 
bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis auduboni), Peninsular bighorn sheep 
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates), Nelson bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis 
nelsoni), Mexican bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana), Weems 
bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis weemsi), California bighorn sheep (Ovis 
canadensis californiana), and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis 
canadensis canadensis). Audubon bighorn sheep are now extinct. As 
described below, this taxonomy has since been revised.
    The term ``desert bighorn'' is used to describe bighorn sheep that 
inhabit dry and relatively barren desert environments and typically 
includes bighorn sheep subspecies that have, to date, been classified 
as nelsoni, mexicana, cremnobates, and weemsi (Manville 1980). The 
validity of these subspecies delineations has been questioned and 
reassessed. Based on morphometric and genetic analyses, Wehausen and 
Ramey (1993) synonymized Peninsular bighorn with the subspecies 
nelsoni, which is the current taxonomy.
    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) are found along the Peninsular 
Mountain Ranges from the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California 
south into the Volcan Tres Virgenes Mountains near Santa Rosalia, Baja 
California, Mexico, a total distance of approximately 800 kilometers 
(km) (500 miles (mi)). The area occupied by the distinct vertebrate 
population segment covered herein coincides with the range of the 
former subspecies Ovis canadensis cremnobates in California. The 
California Fish and Game Commission listed Ovis canadensis cremnobates 
as ``rare'' in 1971. The designation was changed to ``threatened'' by 
the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to conform with 
terminology of the amended California Endangered Species Act.
    The Peninsular bighorn sheep is similar in appearance to other 
desert bighorn sheep. The coat is pale brown, and the permanent horns, 
which become rough and scarred with age, vary in color from yellowish-
brown to dark brown. The horns are massive and coiled in males; in 
females, they are smaller and not coiled. In comparison to other desert 
bighorn sheep, the Peninsular bighorn sheep is generally described as 
having paler coloration and having horns with very heavy bases (Cowan 
    The Peninsular bighorn sheep occurs on steep, open slopes, canyons, 
and washes in hot and dry desert regions where the land is rough, 
rocky, and sparsely vegetated. Most of these sheep live between 91 and 
1,219 meters (m) (300 and 4,000 feet (ft)) in elevation, where average 
annual precipitation is less than 10 centimeters (cm) (4 inches (in)) 
and daily high temperatures average 104 deg. Fahrenheit in the summer. 
Caves and other forms of shelter (e.g., rock outcrops) are used during 
inclement weather. Lambing areas are associated with ridge benches or 
canyon rims adjacent to steep slopes or escarpments. Alluvial fans 
(sloping masses of gravel, sand, clay, and other sediments that widen 
out like fans at the base of canyons and washes) are also used for 
breeding, feeding, and movement.
    Peninsular bighorn sheep use a wide variety of plant species as 
their food source (Turner 1976, Scott 1986). Cunningham (1982) 
determined that the bighorn sheep diet in Carrizo Canyon (at the south 
end of the U.S. Peninsular Ranges) consisted of 57 percent shrubs, 32 
percent herbaceous annuals and perennials, 8 percent cacti, and 2 
percent grasses. Scott (1986) and Turner (1976) reported similar diet 
compositions at the north end of the range. Diet composition varied 
among seasons (Cunningham 1982, Scott 1986), presumably because of 
variability in forage availability, selection of specific plant species 
during different times of the year (Scott 1986), and seasonal movements 
of bighorn sheep. As with water sources, forage resources near escape 
terrain may be most valuable to bighorn sheep, especially ewes (Bleich 
et al. 1997).
    Peninsular bighorn sheep typically produce only one lamb per year. 
In the Peninsular Ranges, ewes estimated to be between 2 and 16 years 
of age have been documented to produce lambs (Ostermann et al. in 
prep., Rubin et al. in prep.). Rams are believed to be capable of 
successful breeding as early as 6 months of age (Turner and Hansen 
1980). Lambs are born after a gestation of approximately 174 days 
(Shackleton et al. 1984). Lambing occurs from January through August 
(Service 1999); however, most lambs are born between February and 
April. Ewes and lambs frequently occupy steep terrain that provides 
escape cover and shelter from excessive heat; they tend to congregate 
near dependable water sources during the summer. Lambs are able to eat 
native grass within 2 weeks of their birth and are weaned between 4 and 
6 months of age.
    Bighorn ewes exhibit a high degree of site fidelity to their home 
range; this behavior is learned by their offspring (Geist 1971). By 
following older animals, young bighorn sheep gather knowledge regarding 
escape terrain, water sources, and lambing habitat (Geist 1971). Ewes 
that share portions of a range are likely to be more closely related to 
each other than they are to other ewes (Festa-Bianchet 1991, Boyce et 
al. 1999); and are referred to as ``ewe groups'' in this proposal. Rams 
do not show the same level of site fidelity and tend to range more 
widely, often moving among ewe groups. As young rams reach 2 to 4 years 
of age, they follow older rams away from their birth group during the 
fall breeding period, or rut, and often return after this period (Geist 
1971, Festa-Bianchet 1991).
    From May through October, Peninsular bighorn sheep are dependent on 
permanent sources of water and are typically more localized in 
distribution. Bighorn sheep populations aggregate during this period 
due to a combination of breeding activities and diminishing water 
sources. Summer concentration areas are associated primarily with

[[Page 41407]]

dependable water sources, and ideally provide a diversity of vegetation 
to meet the forage requirements of bighorn sheep.
    Bighorn sheep are primarily diurnal (Krausman et al. 1985) but may 
be active at any time of day or night (Miller et al. 1984). Their daily 
activity pattern includes feeding and resting periods. As bighorn sheep 
rely on vigilance to detect predators; they benefit from gregariousness 
and group alertness (Geist 1971, Berger 1978). Within each ewe group, 
ewes appear to associate with other ewes based on their availability 
rather than on their matrilineal (descent through the mother) 
relationships (Festa-Bianchet 1991, Boyce et al. 1999). These subgroups 
are dynamic; that is, they may split, reform, or change membership on a 
daily or hourly basis as animals move through their home ranges.
    The decline of the Peninsular bighorn sheep is attributed to a 
combination of factors, including: (1) The effects of disease and 
parasitism (Buechner 1960, DeForge and Scott 1982, DeForge et al. 1982, 
Jessup 1985, Wehausen et al. 1987, Elliott et al. 1994); (2) low lamb 
recruitment (DeForge et al. 1982, Wehausen et al. 1987, DeForge et al. 
1995); (3) habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation (Service 1999); 
and (4) predation (DeForge et al. 1997, Hayes et al. in prep.).
    Disease has been identified as one of the factors responsible for 
population declines in the Peninsular Ranges and elsewhere. Analysis of 
exposure to disease-causing agents between 1978 and 1990 showed that 
Peninsular bighorn sheep populations and surrounding populations in 
southern California have higher levels of pathogen exposure than other 
populations of bighorn sheep in the State (Elliott et al. 1994). 
However, tests of exposure to pathogens have revealed the presence of 
antibodies to several infectious disease agents in healthy as well as 
clinically ill animals (Clark et al. 1993, Elliott et al. 1994; DeForge 
et al. 1997), and essentially all of the viruses, bacteria, and 
parasites that have been reported from Peninsular St. sheep appear to 
be widespread among desert big horn sheep in the western United States 
(Jessup et al. 1990). All evidence indicates that the influence of 
disease in the Peninsular Ranges has subsided in more recent years. For 
example, examinations of big horn sheep throughout the range indicate 
that most animals are clinically normal (DeForge et al. 1997, Borjesson 
et al. 2000). The reduced influence of disease on Peninsular big horn 
sheep (at the same time they are in decline) suggests that other 
factors, such as predation, habitat loss and modification, and human-
related disturbance, currently limit the population.
    In the Peninsular Ranges, a growing human population and increased 
activity adjacent to and within big horn sheep habitat are adversely 
affecting big horn sheep. Human development impacts sheep through 
habitat loss, fragmentation, or other modification; impacts also extend 
into big horn sheep habitat beyond the urban edge. These include 
increased noise, predator attraction, and an increased number of humans 
and their pets that venture into sheep habitat. Numerous researchers 
have expressed concern over the impact that human activity in big horn 
sheep habitat has on big horn sheep (e.g., Jorgensen and Turner 1973, 
Hicks 1978, Leech 1979, Graham 1980, Cunningham 1982, DeForge and Scott 
1982, Gross 1987, Smith and Krausman 1988, Sanchez et al. 1988). 
Although cases have been cited in which big horn sheep populations did 
not appear to be impacted by human activity (e.g., Hicks and Elder 
1979, Hamilton et al. 1982), numerous researchers, including the 
previous authors, have documented altered big horn sheep behavior in 
response to human-related disturbance. In addition to development, a 
variety of other human activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, 
horseback riding, camping, hunting, livestock grazing, and use of 
aircraft and off-road-vehicles, have the potential to disrupt normal 
big horn sheep social behaviors. Big Horn sheep may also alter their 
use of essential resources resulting in physiological effects or 
abandon traditional habitat as a result of human disturbance (McQuivey 
1978, MacArthur et al. 1979, Leech 1979, Leslie and Douglas 1980, 
Graham 1980, MacArthur et al. 1982, Bates and Workman 1983, Miller and 
Smith 1985, Krausman and Leopold 1986, Krausman et al. 1989, Papouchis 
et al. 1999).
    Mountain lion predation is an apparent limiting factor to some ewe 
groups in the Peninsular Ranges (Hayes et al. In prep.). Reported 
incidents of lion predation were not common in the past and predation 
was not considered to be a serious risk to big horn sheep (Weaver and 
Mensch 1970, Jorgensen and Turner 1975, Cunningham 1982), but the 
increase in the number of radio-collared big horn sheep since 1993 has 
increased the detection of such mortalities. Such observations need to 
be interpreted carefully, however, because it is possible that changes 
in other causes of mortality (such as diseases) have altered the 
proportion of mortalities attributed to lion predation. Although 
predation by other species such as coyotes and bobcats could reduce 
lamb recruitment, its impact is not well understood.
    The Peninsular big horn sheep in the United States declined from an 
estimated 1,171 individuals in 1971 to about 570 individuals in 1991 
(Bleach et al. 1992). Recent estimates now number the population at 
approximately 335 in about eight ewe groups in the wild in the United 
    There are also two captive populations of Peninsular bighorn sheep. 
The Living Desert Museum, an educational and zoo facility in Palm 
Desert, California, maintains a small group (seven adult females and 
two adult males). The Bighorn Institute, also in Palm Desert, maintains 
a small captive herd of approximately 15 to 20 animals. This private, 
nonprofit organization, established in 1982 through a Memorandum of 
Understanding with the California Department of Fish and Game, conducts 
research and maintains a breeding herd at its facility. Since 1985, 77 
animals from this herd have been released into the wild. Releases have 
occurred in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (seventy-four releases 
from 1985 to 1998) and in the San Jacinto Mountains (3 during 1997) 
(Ostermann et al. in prep.).
    The habitat still remaining for the Peninsular bighorn sheep in the 
United States is managed by: the California Department of Parks and 
Recreation (416,398 ac or 47 percent); California Department of Fish 
and Game (25,613 ac or 3 percent), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
(228,568 ac or 26 percent), private landowners (149,906 ac or 17 
percent), Trust (20,462 ac or 2 percent) (tribal and allotted lands), 
U.S. Forest Service (23,073 ac or 3 percent), and other State and local 
entities (11,593 ac or 1 percent).
    The Santa Rosa Mountains National Monument has been proposed in the 
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. Since the proposed monument 
boundaries have not been finalized, we do not know how much of the 
monument will be within proposed Peninsular bighorn sheep critical 
habitat. The preliminary proposed monument configuration encompasses a 
variety of BLM, U.S. Forest Serivce, State, and private lands. 
Approximately 35% of the proposed critical habitat for Peninsular 
bighorn sheep overlaps this configuration.

Previous Federal Action

    On September 18, 1985, the Service designated the Peninsular 
bighorn sheep as a category 2 candidate and solicited

[[Page 41408]]

status information (50 FR 37958). Category 2 included taxa for which 
the Service had information indicating that proposing to list as 
endangered or threatened was possibly appropriate, but for which 
sufficient data on biological vulnerability and threats were not 
currently available to support a proposed rule. In the January 6, 1989 
(54 FR 554), Notice of Review, the Peninsular bighorn sheep was 
retained in category 2. In 1990, we initiated an internal status review 
of category 2 species. We completed this review in the spring of 1991; 
Peninsular bighorn sheep were changed from category 2 to category 1. 
Category 1 were those taxa for which we had sufficient information on 
biological vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list them 
as endangered or threatened. However, we inadvertently omitted this 
change to category 1 in the November 21, 1991, Animal Notice of Review 
(56 FR 58804), and the Peninsular bighorn sheep retained category 2 
status. Beginning with our February 28, 1996, Notice of Review (61 FR 
235), we discontinued the designation of multiple categories of 
candidates, and we now consider only taxa that meet the definition of 
former category 1 taxa as candidates for listing.
    On July 15, 1991, we received a petition from the San Gorgonio 
Chapter of the Sierra Club to list the Peninsular bighorn sheep as an 
endangered species. The petition requested that the Service list, 
through emergency or normal procedures, the Peninsular bighorn sheep 
throughout its entire range. Alternatively, the petition requested the 
listing in at least the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains of 
southern California. The Service used information from the status 
review and the July 15, 1991, petition to determine that substantial 
information existed indicating that the Peninsular bighorn sheep may be 
in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range. This finding was made on December 30, 1991, pursuant to section 
4(b)(3)(A) of the Act and was published in the Federal Register on May 
8, 1992, as a proposed rule to list the Peninsular bighorn sheep as 
endangered (57 FR 19837). The proposed rule constituted the 1-year 
finding for the July 15, 1991, petitioned action. The proposed listing 
status was cited in the subsequent November 15, 1994 (59 FR 58982), and 
February 28, 1996 (61 FR 7596), Notices of Review. On February 14, 
1995, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (plaintiff) filed suit in 
Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California to compel 
the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the Service to make a 
final determination to list the Peninsular bighorn sheep as an 
endangered or threatened species.
    On April 10, 1995, Congress enacted a moratorium prohibiting work 
on listing actions (Public Law 104-6), thus preventing the Service from 
taking final listing action on the Peninsular bighorn sheep. The 
moratorium was lifted on April 26, 1996, by means of a Presidential 
waiver, at which time limited funding for listing actions was made 
available through the Omnibus Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 104-134, 
100 Stat. 1321, 1996). The Service published guidance for restarting 
the listing program on May 16, 1996 (61 FR 24722).
    In response to the Sierra Club Legal Defense suit, the District 
Court issued a stay order on April 10, 1996. On October 15, 1996, the 
plaintiff asked the Court to lift the stay and require the final 
Peninsular bighorn sheep listing decision within 30 days. On November 
26, 1996, the District Court entered an order denying the plaintiff's 
request to lift the stay, but certified the issue underlying that 
denial for interlocutory (temporary) appeal.
    Due to new information becoming available during the lapse between 
the original comment period (November 4, 1992) and lifting the listing 
moratorium, the Service reopened the public comment period on April 7, 
1997, for 30 days (62 FR 16518). Because of additional requests, the 
Service reopened the public comment period again on June 17, 1997, for 
an additional 15 days (62 FR 32733).
    To acquire additional information on the status, distribution, and 
management of bighorn sheep in Baja California, Mexico, the public 
comment period was reopened on October 27, 1997 (62 FR 55563), for 
another 15 days. During this third and last comment period extension, 
the Mexican Government submitted information that they had instituted a 
new conservation program for bighorn sheep. Due in part to the 
implementation of this conservation program, the southern boundary of 
the distinct vertebrate population segment was re-delineated at the 
United States/Mexico International Border.
    On March 18, 1998, the bighorn sheep occupying the Peninsular 
Ranges of southern California were listed as endangered (63 FR 13134) 
pursuant to the Act. At the time of the listing, we concluded that 
designation of critical habitat was not prudent. Service regulations 
(50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that designation of critical habitat is not 
prudent when one or both of the following situations exist: (1) The 
identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical 
habitat would not be beneficial to the species. We concluded that 
critical habitat designation for the Peninsular bighorn sheep was not 
prudent because both of the described situations existed. We were 
concerned that publishing detailed maps of bighorn habitat would 
encourage human disturbance in sensitive areas, such as lambing 
habitat, rutting areas, and water sources, and result in increased 
disruption of bighorn sheep. We cited the rapidly growing human 
population in the Coachella Valley and the increasing recreational 
interest within bighorn habitat. We also concluded that designation of 
critical habitat did not add an additional regulatory benefit to 
bighorn sheep due to the limited Federal regulatory jurisdiction, 
through section 7 of the Act, for the majority of habitat necessary for 
conservation of the species. Therefore, we concluded that designation 
of critical habitat could increase the degree of threats to the species 
and would not provide any additional protection beyond existing 
regulatory mechanisms.
    On December 18, 1998, the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity 
(Center) and Desert Survivors filed a complaint against the Service 
alleging that our ``not prudent'' findings were unsubstantiated. On 
September 17, 1999, we entered into a Settlement Agreement with the 
Center and Desert Survivors that stipulated a schedule for reviewing 
our prudency determination and publishing a Recovery Plan for 
Peninsular bighorn sheep. The schedule included the following dates--
draft Recovery Plan, December 31, 1999; new proposed critical habitat 
determination, June 30, 2000; final Recovery Plan, October 31, 2000; 
and final determination of critical habitat as not prudent, September 
30, 2000, or final critical habitat, by December 31, 2000. On December 
31, 1999, we published the draft Recovery Plan for the Bighorn Sheep in 
the Peninsular Ranges (Service 1999).

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as: (i) The 
specific areas within the geographic area occupied by a species, at the 
time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those 
physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of 
the species and (II) that may require special management considerations 
or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographic area 
occupied by a species at the time it is listed, upon

[[Page 41409]]

a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of 
the species. ``Conservation'' means the use of all methods and 
procedures that are necessary to bring an endangered or a threatened 
species to the point at which listing under the Act is no longer 
    We have reconsidered our previous prudency determination regarding 
the threats posed by a potential increase in disturbance of especially 
sensitive bighorn areas, such as lambing areas. Peninsular bighorn 
sheep distribution is not solely dependent on isolated habitat 
features, but requires a continuum of essential resources that allows 
the species to adapt to natural and unnatural environmental processes. 
Though bighorn sheep exhibit a high degree of site fidelity to their 
home range, their distributions are continually changing in response to 
changes in the environment. Peninsular bighorn sheep are considered a 
metapopulation, which is a group of smaller populations that 
occasionally exchange individuals and/or genetic material, usually 
through ram movement. As in any metapopulation, habitat restriction and 
fragmentation can impede dispersal and recolonization potential, 
thereby degrading the ability of the sub populations to interact. This 
is particularly true for large mammals that range widely to locate and 
exploit unpredictably changing sources of food, water, and shelter. 
Accordingly, we have used an ecosystem approach to delineate critical 
habitat that includes all of the essential habitat components, and does 
not highlight localized bighorn areas. Consequently, we conclude that 
designating critical habitat is not expected to increase the degree of 
threat from human activities.
    Furthermore, we have determined that the limited section 7 nexus 
for the majority of Peninsular bighorn habitat, as discussed in the 
final listing rule, is not, by itself, an adequate basis for making a 
``not prudent'' finding. Designation of critical habitat will also 
provide some educational benefit by identifying the range-wide habitat 
essential to the conservation of the species, and help provide a focus 
for interagency recovery efforts. Therefore, we now conclude that the 
benefits of designating critical habitat outweigh the potential 
negative impacts.
    Critical habitat receives protection under the Act through the 
prohibition against destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat as set forth under section 7 of the Act with regard to actions 
carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency. Section 7 also 
requires conferences on Federal actions that are likely to result in 
the adverse modification or destruction of proposed critical habitat. 
Aside from the protection that may be provided under section 7, the Act 
does not provide other forms of protection to lands designated as 
critical habitat. Critical habitat designation would not afford any 
protection under the Act to activities on private or other non-Federal 
lands that do not involve a Federal action.
    Designating critical habitat does not, in itself, lead to recovery 
of a listed species. Designation does not create a management plan, set 
aside areas as preserves, establish numerical population goals, 
prescribe specific management actions (inside or outside of critical 
habitat), or directly affect areas not designated as critical habitat. 
Critical habitat identifies specific areas that have features that are 
essential to the conservation of a listed species and that may require 
special management considerations or protection. Specific management 
recommendations for areas designated as critical habitat are most 
appropriately addressed in recovery plans and management plans, and 
through section 7 consultation and section 10 permits.


    In identifying areas that are essential to conserve the Peninsular 
bighorn sheep, we used the best scientific and commercial data 
available. This included data from research and survey observations 
published in peer-reviewed articles; recovery criteria and habitat 
analyses outlined in the draft Recovery Plan; discussions with, and 
data made available through, the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Recovery 
Team; and regional Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages.

Primary Constituent Elements

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas to propose as critical 
habitat, we are required to consider those physical and biological 
features (primary constituent elements) that are essential to the 
conservation of the species. These include, but are not limited to, 
space for individual and population growth, and for normal behavior; 
food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for breeding, 
reproduction and rearing of offspring; and habitats that are protected 
from disturbance or are representative of the historic geographical and 
ecological distribution of a species.
    The areas that we are proposing to designate as critical habitat 
for Peninsular bighorn sheep provide some or all of those habitat 
components essential for the primary biological needs of feeding, 
resting, reproduction and population recruitment, dispersal, 
connectivity between ewe groups, and isolation from detrimental human 
disturbance. The primary biological and physical constituent elements 
that are essential to the conservation of Peninsular bighorn sheep 
include space for the normal behavior of groups and individuals; 
protection from disturbance; availability of a variety of native desert 
vegetation, including alluvial habitat that provides essential seasonal 
forage; a range of habitats that provide forage during periods of 
environmental stress, such as drought or predation; steep, remote 
habitat for lambing, rearing of young, and escape from disturbance and/
or predation; water sources; suitable corridors allowing individual 
bighorn to move freely between ewe groups; and space and the essential 
habitat components to accommodate a recovered population. Areas with 
these primary constituent elements support or have the potential to 
support native forage elements, and provide, or could provide, 
connectivity between or within ewe groups.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    The criteria for delineating Peninsular bighorn habitat was based 
on biological information in pertinent literature and the expert 
opinion of those most familiar with bighorn sheep in the Peninsular 
Ranges (i.e., the recovery team). We used a quarter-section grid based 
on the Public Land Survey township, section, range coordinate system to 
delineate those areas identified in the draft recovery plan that 
contain the primary constituent elements. A small area of San Diego 
County within the Valle de San Felipe Land Grant was defined using 
Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates.
    We did not map critical habitat in sufficient detail to exclude all 
developed areas, such as scattered residential housing in sparsely 
inhabited regions, that do not contain primary constituent elements 
essential for bighorn conservation. Within the delineated critical 
habitat boundary, only lands supporting one or more constituent 
elements are considered critical habitat. Road and railroad rights-of-
way and flood control facilities that must be traversed to maintain 
connectivity between sub-populations, or otherwise may provide food, 
water, or cover for Peninsular bighorn sheep are considered to support 
primary constituent elements.

[[Page 41410]]

    We excluded habitat that is not considered essential to bighorn 
recovery from the proposed critical habitat boundary. This includes 
areas such as those that were historically used for migration between 
other mountain ranges but have been eliminated as migration areas due 
to development. While bighorn have been documented to use areas outside 
of proposed critical habitat, these areas are considered to be non-
essential, largely due to fragmentation and/or proximity to 
    All proposed critical habitat is currently occupied and necessary 
to maintain connectivity between ewe groups. Maintaining connectivity 
between ewe groups and access to changing resource availability in a 
variable environment is a necessary component for continued viability 
of the metapopulations and to achieve recovery of Peninsular bighorn. 
Bighorn sheep are wide-ranging large animals that often move great 
distances. Thus we consider all critical habitat to be occupied by the 

Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    The approximate area of proposed critical habitat by county and 
land ownership is shown in Table 1.

                          Table 1.--Approximate Proposed Critical Habitat Area (Hectares (Acres)) by County and Land Ownership
                                                             Trust  (tribal and
              County                      Federal*             allotted lands)           Local/State               Private                 Total
Riverside........................  39,713 ha               6,594 ha                17,725 ha               35,256 ha               99,288 ha
                                   (98,135 ac)             (16,293 ac)             (43,081 ac)             (87,121 ac)             (245,350 ac)
San Diego........................  20,112 ha               0 ha                    152,839 ha              16,245 ha               189,196 ha
                                   (49,699 ac)             (0 ac)                  (377,677 ac)            (40,143 ac)             (467,519 ac)
Imperial.........................  42,009 ha               1,687 ha                13,001 ha               9,163 ha                65,859 ha
                                   (103,808 ac)            (4,168 ac)              (32,126 ac)             (22,642 ac)             (162,744 ac)
    Total........................  101,834 ha              8,281 ha                183,565 ha              60,664 ha               354,343 ha
                                   (251,642 ac)            (20,461 ac)             (453,604 ac)            (149,906 ac)            (875,613 ac)
* Federal lands include Bureau of Land Management and National Forest (U.S. Forest Service) lands.

    Proposed critical habitat includes bighorn habitat in Riverside, 
San Diego, and Imperial Counties, California. Lands proposed are under 
private, Local/State, Trust (tribal and allotted lands), and Federal 
ownership, with Federal lands including those lands managed by the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service.

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7  Consultation

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
actions they fund, authorize, or carry out do not destroy or adversely 
modify critical habitat to the extent that the action appreciably 
diminishes the value of the critical habitat for the survival and 
recovery of the species. Individuals, organizations, States, local 
governments, and other non-Federal entities are affected by the 
designation of critical habitat only if their actions occur on Federal 
lands, require a Federal permit, license, or other authorization, or 
involve Federal funding.
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is 
proposed or listed as endangered or threatened and with respect to its 
critical habitat, if any is designated or proposed. Regulations 
implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are 
codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) requires Federal agencies 
to confer with us on any action that is likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of a proposed species or result in destruction or 
adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. Conference reports 
provide conservation recommendations to assist the agency in 
eliminating conflicts that may be caused by the proposed action. The 
conservation recommendations in a conference report are advisory. We 
may issue a formal conference report if requested by a Federal agency. 
Formal conference reports on proposed critical habitat contain a 
biological opinion that is prepared according to 50 CFR 402.14, as if 
critical habitat were designated. We may adopt the formal conference 
report as the biological opinion when the critical habitat is 
designated, if no significant new information or changes in the action 
alter the content of the opinion (see 50 CFR 402.10(d)).
    If a species is listed or critical habitat is designated, section 
7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure that actions they 
authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of such a species or to destroy or adversely modify 
its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species 
or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) 
must enter into consultation with us. Through this consultation we 
ensure that the permitted actions do not destroy or adversely modify 
critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat, we also provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to the 
project, if any are identifiable. Reasonable and prudent alternatives 
are defined at 50 CFR 402.02 as alternative actions identified during 
consultation that can be implemented in a manner consistent with the 
intended purpose of the action, that are consistent with the scope of 
the Federal agency's legal authority and jurisdiction, that are 
economically and technologically feasible, and that the Director 
believes would avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat. Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight 
project modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the 
project. Costs associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent 
alternative are similarly variable.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where critical 
habitat is subsequently designated and the Federal agency has retained 
discretionary involvement or control over the action or such 
discretionary involvement or control is authorized by law. 
Consequently, some Federal agencies may request reinitiation of 
consultation or conferencing with us on actions for which formal 
consultation has been completed if those actions may affect designated 
critical habitat or adversely modify or destroy proposed critical 

[[Page 41411]]

    Activities on Federal lands that may affect the Peninsular bighorn 
sheep or its critical habitat will require section 7 consultation. 
Activities on private or State lands requiring a permit from a Federal 
agency, such as a permit from the Corps under section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act, or some other Federal action, including funding (e.g., 
Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, or 
Federal Emergency Management Agency funding), will also be subject to 
the section 7 consultation process. Federal actions not affecting 
listed species or critical habitat and actions on non-Federal lands 
that are not federally funded or permitted do not require section 7 
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to evaluate briefly, in any 
proposed or final regulation that designates critical habitat, those 
activities involving a Federal action that may adversely modify such 
habitat or that may be affected by such designation. Activities that 
may destroy or adversely modify critical habitat include those that 
alter the primary constituent elements to an extent that the value of 
critical habitat for both the survival and recovery of the bighorn is 
appreciably reduced. We note that such activities may also jeopardize 
the continued existence of the species. Activities that, when carried 
out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency, may directly or 
indirectly adversely affect critical habitat include, but are not 
limited to:
    (1) Unauthorized destruction or degradation of habitat (as defined 
in the primary constituent elements discussion), including, but not 
limited to, clearing vegetation, bulldozing terrain, overgrazing, 
construction, road building, mining, and disturbing natural hydrology; 
    (2) Appreciably decreasing habitat value or quality through 
indirect effects (e.g., noise, edge effects, low-flying aircraft, 
invasion of exotic plants or animals, or fragmentation).
    To properly portray the effects of critical habitat designation, we 
must first compare the section 7 requirements for actions that may 
affect critical habitat with the requirements for actions that may 
affect a listed species. Section 7 prohibits actions funded, 
authorized, or carried out by Federal agencies from jeopardizing the 
continued existence of a listed species or destroying or adversely 
modifying the listed species' critical habitat. Actions likely to 
``jeopardize the continued existence'' of a species are those that 
would appreciably reduce the likelihood of the species survival and 
recovery. Actions likely to ``destroy or adversely modify'' critical 
habitat are those that would appreciably reduce the value of critical 
habitat for the survival and recovery of the listed species.
    Common to both definitions is an appreciable detrimental effect on 
both survival and recovery of a listed species. Given the similarity of 
these definitions, actions likely to destroy or adversely modify 
critical habitat would almost always result in jeopardy to the species 
concerned, particularly when the area of the proposed action is 
occupied by the species concerned. In those cases, the ramifications of 
designation of critical habitat are few or none. However, if occupied 
habitat becomes unoccupied in the future, there is a potential benefit 
to designation of critical habitat in such areas.
    Federal agencies already consult with us on activities in areas 
currently occupied by the species to ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the species. These actions 
include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Regulation of activities affecting waters of the United States 
by the Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water 
    (2) Regulation of water flows, damming, diversion, and 
channelization by Federal agencies;
    (3) Regulation of grazing, mining, and recreation by the Bureau of 
Land Management and U.S. Forest Service;
    (4) Road construction and maintenance, right-of-way designation, 
and regulation of agricultural activities by Federal agencies;
    (5) Regulation of airspace and flight plans within the Federal 
Aviation Administration jurisdiction;
    (6) Military training, maneuvers, and flights on applicable 
Department of Defense lands;
    (7) Construction of roads and fences along the international border 
with Mexico, and associated immigration enforcement activities by the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service;
    (8) Hazard mitigation and post-disaster repairs funded by the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency;
    (9) Construction of communication sites licensed by the Federal 
Communications Commission; and
    (10) Activities funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
U.S. Department of Energy, or any other Federal agency.
    All proposed critical habitat is currently occupied and necessary 
to maintain connectivity between ewe groups. Bighorn sheep are wide-
ranging large animals that often move great distances. Thus we consider 
all critical habitat to be occupied by the species. As Federal agencies 
already consult with us on activities in these areas that may affect 
the species to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the 
continued existence of the species; we do not anticipate that 
additional regulatory protection will result from critical habitat 

Relationship to Habitat Conservation Plans

    We expect that critical habitat may be used as a tool to identify 
those areas essential for the conservation of the species, and we will 
encourage development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) for such 
areas on non-Federal lands. Habitat conservation plans currently under 
development are intended to provide for protection and management of 
habitat areas essential for the conservation of the Peninsular bighorn 
sheep, while directing development and habitat modification to 
nonessential areas of lower habitat value. The HCP development process 
provides an opportunity for more intensive data collection and analysis 
regarding the use of particular habitat areas by the Peninsular bighorn 
sheep. The process also enables us to conduct detailed evaluations of 
the importance of such lands to the long-term survival of the species 
in the context of constructing a biologically configured system of 
interlinked habitat blocks.
    The Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, 
currently under preparation, proposes coverage for Peninsular bighorn 
sheep. This effort represents an important opportunity to address the 
long-term conservation needs of Peninsular bighorn sheep throughout the 
private lands under city and county jurisdiction in Riverside County, 
and to integrate management with intermixed public lands. Within 
Imperial and San Diego Counties, Federal land ownership patterns, 
Federal funding and permitting, and extensive habitat protection on 
State lands, limit the prospects for HCPs that would include Peninsular 
bighorn sheep. We fully expect that HCPs undertaken by local 
jurisdictions (e.g., counties, cities) and other parties will identify, 
protect, and provide appropriate management for those specific lands 
within the boundaries of the plans that are essential for the long-term 
conservation of the species. We believe and fully expect that our 
analyses of proposed HCPs and proposed projects under section 7 will 
show that covered activities carried out in accordance with the 
provisions of the HCPs and biological opinions will not result in

[[Page 41412]]

destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    We provide technical assistance and work closely with applicants 
throughout the development of HCPs to identify lands essential for the 
long-term conservation of the Peninsular bighorn sheep and appropriate 
conservation and management actions. Several HCP efforts are currently 
under way that address listed and nonlisted species in areas within the 
range of the Peninsular bighorn sheep and in areas we propose as 
critical habitat. These HCPs, which will incorporate appropriate 
adaptive management, should provide for the conservation of the 
species. We are soliciting comments on whether future approval of HCPs 
and issuance of section 10(a)(1)(B) permits for the Peninsular bighorn 
sheep should trigger revision of designated critical habitat to exclude 
lands within the HCP area and, if so, by what mechanism (see Public 
Comments Solicited section).
    If you have questions regarding whether specific activities will 
constitute adverse modification of critical habitat, contact the Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Offices (see ADDRESSES section). 
Requests for copies of the regulations on listed wildlife, and 
inquiries about prohibitions and permits may be addressed to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Endangered Species, 911 N.E. 11th 
Ave, Portland, OR 97232 (telephone 503/231-2063; facsimile 503/231-

Economic Analysis

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires us to designate critical 
habitat on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data 
available and to consider the economic and other relevant impacts of 
designating a particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude areas 
from critical habitat upon a determination that the benefits of such 
exclusions outweigh the benefits of designating these areas as critical 
habitat. We cannot exclude areas from critical habitat when the 
exclusion will result in the extinction of the species. We will conduct 
an analysis of the economic impacts of designating these areas as 
critical habitat prior to making a final determination. When completed, 
we will announce the availability of the draft economic analysis with a 
notice in the Federal Register, and we will open a 30-day comment 
period at that time.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit 
comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments 
    (1) The reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined 
to be critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act, including 
whether the benefits of designation will outweigh any benefits of 
    (2) Specific information on the amount and distribution of 
Peninsular bighorn sheep habitat, and what habitat is essential to the 
conservation of the species, and why;
    (3) Land use practices and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (4) Any foreseeable economic or other impacts resulting from the 
proposed designation of critical habitat, in particular, any impacts on 
small entities or families; and,
    (5) Economic and other values associated with designating critical 
habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep, such as those derived from 
nonconsumptive uses (e.g. enhanced watershed protection, increased soil 
retention, ``existence values,'' and reductions in administrative 
    There are conservation-planning efforts now under way in areas we 
are proposing as critical habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep. We 
believe that areas covered by an approved HCP for the species would 
provide the long-term commitments necessary for the conservation of the 
species and would not meet the definition of critical habitat because 
they would not need special management consideration or protections. 
However, these HCPs are still being developed. Here we are proposing to 
designate critical habitat for areas that we believe are essential to 
the conservation of the species and need special management or 
    We invite comments on the following, or other alternative 
approaches, for addressing critical habitat within the boundaries of 
future approved HCPs upon issuance of section 10(a)(1)(B) permits for 
the Peninsular bighorn sheep:
    (1) Retain critical habitat designation within the HCP boundaries 
and use the section 7 consultation process on the issuance of the 
incidental take permit to ensure that any take we authorize will not 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat;
    (2) Revise the critical habitat designation upon approval of the 
HCP and issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit to retain only 
preserve areas, on the premise that they encompass areas essential for 
the conservation of the species within the HCP area and require special 
management and protection in the future. Assuming that we conclude, at 
the time an HCP is approved and the associated incidental take permit 
is issued, that the plan protects those areas essential to the 
conservation of the Peninsular bighorn sheep, we would revise the 
critical habitat designation to exclude areas outside any reserves, 
preserves, or other conservation lands established under the plan. 
Consistent with our listing program priorities, we would publish a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise the critical habitat 
    (3) As in (2) above, retain only preserve lands within the critical 
habitat designation, on the premise that they encompass areas essential 
for conservation of the species within the HCP area and require special 
management and protection in the future. However, under this approach, 
the exclusion of areas outside the preserve lands from critical habitat 
would occur automatically upon issuance of the incidental take permit. 
The public would be notified and have the opportunity to comment on the 
boundaries of the preserve lands and the revision of designated 
critical habitat during the public review and comment process for HCP 
approval and permitting;
    (4) Remove designated critical habitat entirely from within the 
boundaries of an HCP when the plan is approved (including preserve 
lands), on the premise that the HCP establishes long-term commitments 
to conserve the species, and no additional special management or 
protection is required. This exclusion from critical habitat would 
occur automatically upon issuance of the incidental take permit. The 
public would be notified and have the opportunity to comment on the 
revision of designated critical habitat during the public notification 
process for HCP approval and permitting; or
    (5) Remove designated critical habitat entirely from within the 
boundaries of an HCP when the plan is approved (including preserve 
lands), on the premise that the HCP establishes long-term commitments 
to conserve the species, and no further special management or 
protection is required. Consistent with our listing program priorities, 
we would publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise the 
critical habitat boundaries.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours.

[[Page 41413]]

Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address 
from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to the extent allowable 
by law. In some circumstances, we would withhold from the rulemaking 
record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish for us 
to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this request 
prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we will not 
consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we will seek the expert opinions of at least three appropriate 
and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose 
of such review is to ensure decisions are based on scientifically sound 
data, assumptions, and analyses. We will send these peer reviewers 
copies of this proposed rule immediately following publication in the 
Federal Register. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment, 
during the public comment period, on the specific assumptions and 
conclusions regarding the proposed designation of critical habitat.
    We will consider all comments and data received during the 60-day 
comment period on this proposed rule during preparation of a final 
rulemaking. Accordingly, the final decision may differ from this 

Public Hearings

    The Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal. 
Given the large geographic area covered by this proposal, the 
likelihood of requests, and the need to publish the final determination 
by December 31, 2000, we have scheduled two public hearings. The 
hearings are scheduled to be held on Thursday, July 20, 2000, from 1 
p.m. until 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Wyndham Palm 
Springs Hotel, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, California. 
Written comments submitted during the comment period will receive equal 
consideration as comments presented at the public hearing. For 
additional information on the public hearing see the ADDRESSES section.

Clarity of the Rule

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations/
notices that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to 
make proposed rules easier to understand including answers to questions 
such as the following: (1) Are the requirements in the document clearly 
stated? (2) Does the proposed rule contain technical language or jargon 
that interferes with the clarity? (3) Does the format of the proposed 
rule (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, 
etc.) aid or reduce its clarity? (4) Is the description of the proposed 
rule in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble helpful 
in understanding the proposed rule? (5) What else could we do to make 
the proposed rule easier to understand?

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review

    In accordance with Executive Order 12866, this document is a 
significant rule and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB), under Executive Order 12866.
    (a) In the economic analysis, we will determine if this rule will 
have an annual economic effect of $100 million or adversely affect an 
economic sector, productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of 
government. The Peninsular bighorn sheep was listed as an endangered 
species in 1998. In fiscal years 1998 through 2000 we have conducted 
three formal section 7 consultations with other Federal agencies to 
ensure that their actions would not jeopardize the continued existence 
of the species.
    Under the Act, critical habitat may not be adversely modified by a 
Federal agency action; critical habitat does not impose any 
restrictions on non-Federal persons unless they are conducting 
activities funded or otherwise sponsored or permitted by a Federal 
agency (see Table 2 below).

             Table 2.--Impacts of Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Listing and Critical Habitat Designation
                                                                              Additional activities potentially
      Categories of activities         Activities potentially affected by       affected by critical habitat
                                              species listing only                       designation
Federal activities potentially       Activities such as those affecting     None.
 affected.                            U.S. waters by the Army Corps of
                                      Engineers under section 404 of the
                                      Clean Water Act; Regulation of water
                                      flows, damming, diversion, and
                                      channelization by Federal agencies;
                                      Regulation of grazing, mining, and
                                      recreation by the Bureau of Land
                                      Management and U.S. Forest Service;
                                      Road construction and maintenance,
                                      right-of-way designation, and
                                      regulation of agricultural
                                      activities; Regulation of airspace
                                      and flight plans within the Federal
                                      Aviation Administration
                                      jurisdiction; Military training,
                                      maneuvers, and flights on applicable
                                      Department of the Defense lands;
                                      Construction of roads and fences
                                      along the international border with
                                      Mexico, and associated immigration
                                      enforcement activities by the
                                      Immigration and Naturalization
                                      Service; Hazard mitigation and post-
                                      disaster repairs funded by the
                                      Federal Emergency Management Agency;
                                      Construction of communication sites
                                      licensed by the Federal
                                      Communications Commission; and
                                      Activities funded by the U.S.
                                      Environmental Protection Agency,
                                      U.S. Department of Energy, or any
                                      other Federal agency.
Private or other non-Federal         Activities that destroy bighorn        None.
 Activities potentially affected.     whether directly (e.g. grading,
                                      overgrazing, construction, road
                                      building, mining, etc.) or through
                                      indirect effects (e.g. noise, edge
                                      effects, invasion of exotic species,
                                      or fragmentation) that require a
                                      Federal action (permit,
                                      authorization, or funding).

    Section 7 requires Federal agencies to ensure that they do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Based upon our 
experience with the species and its needs, we conclude that any Federal 
action or authorized action that could potentially cause an adverse 
modification of the proposed critical habitat would currently be 
considered as ``jeopardy'' under the Act. Accordingly, the designation 
of critical habitat does not have any incremental

[[Page 41414]]

impacts above the listing on what actions may or may not be conducted 
by Federal agencies or non-Federal persons that receive Federal 
authorization or funding. Non-Federal persons that do not have any 
Federal involvement with their actions are not restricted by the 
designation of critical habitat, however, they continue to be bound by 
the provisions of the Act concerning ``take'' of the species.
    (b) This rule will not create inconsistencies with other agencies' 
actions. As discussed above, Federal agencies have been required to 
ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of 
the Peninsular bighorn sheep since the listing in 1998. The prohibition 
against adverse modification of critical habitat is not expected to 
impose any additional restrictions to those that currently exist in 
occupied areas of proposed critical habitat. Because of the potential 
for impacts on other Federal agency activities, we will continue to 
review this proposed action for any inconsistencies with other Federal 
agency actions.
    (c) This rule will not materially affect entitlements, grants, user 
fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their recipients. 
Federal agencies are currently required to ensure that their activities 
do not jeopardize the continued existence of the species, and as 
discussed above, we do not anticipate that the adverse modification 
prohibition (resulting from critical habitat designation) will have any 
incremental effects.
    (d) This rule will not raise novel legal or policy issues. The 
proposed rule follows the requirements for determining critical habitat 
contained in the Endangered Species Act.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    In the economic analysis (under section 4 of the Act), we will 
determine whether designation of critical habitat will have a 
significant effect on a substantial number of small entities. As 
discussed under the Regulatory Planning and Review section, this rule 
is not expected to result in any restrictions in addition to those 
currently in existence. As indicated on Table 1 (see Proposed Critical 
Habitat Designation section) we have designated critical habitat on 
property owned by Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, and 
private property.
    Within these areas, the types of Federal actions or authorized 
activities that we have identified as potential concerns are:
    (1) Regulation of activities affecting waters of the United States 
by the Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water 
    (2) Regulation of water flows, damming, diversion, and 
channelization by Federal agencies;
    (3) Regulation of grazing, mining, and recreation by the Bureau of 
Land Management and U.S. Forest Service;
    (4) Road construction and maintenance, right-of-way designation, 
and regulation of agricultural activities by Federal agencies;
    (5) Regulation of airspace and flight plans within the Federal 
Aviation Administration jurisdiction;
    (6) Military training, maneuvers, and flights by Department of 
Defense lands;
    (7) Construction of roads and fences along the International Border 
with Mexico, and associated immigration enforcement activities by the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service;
    (8) Hazard mitigation and post-disaster repairs funded by the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency;
    (9) Construction of communication sites licensed by the Federal 
Communications Commission; and,
    (10) Activities funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
U.S. Department of Energy, or any other Federal agency.
    Many of these activities sponsored by Federal agencies within the 
proposed critical habitat areas are carried out by small entities (as 
defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act) through contract, grant, 
permit, or other Federal authorization. As discussed above, these 
actions are currently required to comply with the listing protections 
of the Act, and the designation of critical habitat is not anticipated 
to have any additional effects on these activities.
    For actions on non-Federal property that do not have a Federal 
nexus (such as funding or authorization), the current restrictions 
concerning ``take'' of the species remain in effect, and this rule will 
have no additional restrictions.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2))

    In the economic analysis, we will determine whether designation of 
critical habitat will cause (a) any effect on the economy of $100 
million or more, (b) any increases in costs or prices for consumers, 
individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or 
geographic regions in the economic analysis, or (c) any significant 
adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with 
foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.):
    (a) This rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments. A Small Government Agency Plan is not required. Small 
governments will only be affected to the extent that any programs 
having Federal funds, permits or other authorized activities must 
ensure that their actions will not adversely affect the critical 
habitat. However, as discussed above, these actions are currently 
subject to equivalent restrictions through the listing protections of 
the species, and no further restrictions are anticipated.
    (b) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year, that is, it is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The designation of 
critical habitat imposes no obligations on State or local governments.


    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have 
significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is 
not required. As discussed above, the designation of critical habitat 
affects only Federal agency actions. The rule will not increase or 
decrease the current restrictions on private property concerning take 
of the Peninsular bighorn sheep. Due to current public knowledge of the 
species protection, the prohibition against take of the species both 
within and outside of the designated areas, and the fact that critical 
habitat provides no incremental restrictions, we do not anticipate that 
property values will be affected by the critical habitat designation. 
Additionally, critical habitat designation does not preclude 
development of habitat conservation plans and issuance of incidental 
take permits. Landowners in areas that are included in the designated 
critical habitat will continue to have opportunity to utilize their 
property in ways consistent with the survival of the bighorn.


    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of 
Commerce policy, the Service requested information from, and 
coordinated development of this critical

[[Page 41415]]

habitat proposal with, appropriate State resource agencies in 
California, as well as during the listing process. The designation of 
critical habitat for Peninsular bighorn sheep imposes no additional 
restrictions to those currently in place, and, therefore, has little 
incremental impact on State and local governments and their activities. 
The designation may have some benefit to these governments in that the 
areas essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly 
defined, and the primary constituent elements of the habitat necessary 
to the survival of the species are specifically identified. While 
making this definition and identification does not alter where and what 
federally sponsored activities may occur, it may assist these local 
governments in long-range planning (rather than waiting for case-by-
case section 7 consultations to occur) and may lead to quicker recovery 
of the species.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order. We designate critical habitat in accordance with the 
provisions of the Act and plan public hearings on the proposed 
designation during the comment period. The rule uses standard property 
descriptions and identifies the primary constituent elements within the 
designated areas to assist the public in understanding the habitat 
needs of the Peninsular bighorn sheep.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any information collection requirements 
for which Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act is required.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that we do not need to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement as defined by the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 in connection with 
regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We published a 
notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal 
Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    We have determined that there are Tribal Trust lands essential for 
the conservation of the Peninsular bighorn sheep because they contain 
the primary constituent elements that support Peninsular bighorn sheep 
populations, and provide essential linkages between ewe groups in the 
Peninsular Ranges metapopulation. Therefore, we are proposing to 
designate critical habitat for the bighorn on Trust lands of the 
Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla 
Indians, and Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. Subsequent to 
this proposal, we will consult with the Tribes before making a final 
determination as to whether any Tribal lands should be included as 
critical habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep. We will consider 
whether these Tribal lands require special management considerations or 
protection; we may also exclude some or all of these lands from 
critical habitat upon a determination that the benefits of excluding 
them outweighs the benefits of designating these areas as critical 
habitat, as provided under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. This 
consultation will take place under the auspices of Secretarial Order 
3206 and the Presidential Memorandum of April 29, 1994, which require 
us to coordinate with federally recognized Tribes on a Government-to-
Government basis.
    Lands within the Aqua Caliente Reservation necessary to the 
survival and recovery of Peninsular bighorn sheep occur within the 
current home range of the San Jacinto Mountains ewe group and provide a 
dispersal linkage to the northern Santa Rosa Mountains ewe group. The 
Tribe and Service are coordinating on the development of a habitat 
management plan that would protect Peninsular bighorn sheep and more 
clearly define how Indian lands would contribute to regional 
conservation planning and the overall recovery program for Peninsular 
bighorn sheep. This management plan will be considered in our final 
decision on critical habitat designation.
    On the Torres-Martinez Reservation, the Tribe and Service are 
coordinating on a habitat analysis and will complete a management plan, 
if appropriate, prior to making a decision on the value of Reservation 
lands to conservation of bighorn sheep.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this proposed rule is 
available upon request from the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).


    The primary authors of this notice are the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office staff (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons given in the preamble, we propose to amend 50 CFR 
part 17 as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for Part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat 3500; unless otherwise noted.

    2. In Sec. 17.11(h) revise the entry for ``Sheep, bighorn'' under 
``MAMMALS'' to read as follows:

Sec. 17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

[[Page 41416]]

                       Species                                                 Vertebrate
------------------------------------------------------                      population where                                                   Special
                                                         Historic range       endangered or        Status     When listed  Critical habitat     rules
           Common name              Scientific name                            threatened

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Sheep, bighorn..................  Ovis canadensis....  U.S.A. (western     U.S.A., (CA)        E                      634  17.95(a)                   NA
                                                        conterminous        Peninsular Ranges.
                                                        States), Canada
                                                        Mexico (northern).

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

    3. In Sec. 17.95 add critical habitat for the bighorn sheep 
(Peninsular Ranges) (Ovis canadensis) under paragraph (a) in the same 
alphabetical order as this species occurs in Sec. 17.11(h), to read as 

Sec. 17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

* * * * *
    (a) Mammals.
* * * * *
Bighorn sheep (Peninsular Ranges) (Ovis canadensis)
    1. Critical habitat is depicted for Riverside, San Diego, and 
Imperial Counties, California, on the maps below.

[[Page 41417]]


[[Page 41418]]

    2. Within these areas, the primary constituent elements for 
Peninsular bighorn sheep are those habitat components that are 
essential for the primary biological needs of feeding, resting, 
reproduction and population recruitment, dispersal, connectivity 
between ewe groups, and isolation from detrimental human disturbance. 
The principal biological and physical constituent elements that are 
essential to the conservation of Peninsular bighorn sheep includes 
space for the normal behavior of groups and individuals; protection 
from disturbance; availability of a variety of native desert 
vegetation, including alluvial habitat that provides essential seasonal 
forage; the ability to utilize a range of habitats during periods of 
environmental stress, such as drought or predation; steep, remote 
habitat for lambing, rearing of young, and escape from disturbance and/
or predation; water sources; the ability of individual bighorn to move 
freely between ewe groups; space and the essential habitat components 
to accommodate a recovered population. Primary constituent elements 
exist in areas that support, or have the potential to support, native 
forage elements and provide, or could provide, connectivity between or 
within ewe groups. These areas and associated habitat that provide the 
variety of necessary habitat components and connectivity were used to 
identify critical habitat.
    Map Unit 1: Riverside County, California. From USGS 1:100,000 
quadrangle maps Borrego Valley (1982), and Palm Springs (1982), 
California. Lands within T3S, R2E, S13; T3S, R2E, S14SE; T3S, R2E, 
S14NE; T3S, R2E, S23-S26; T3S, R2E, S27NE; T3S, R2E, S27SE; T3S, R3E, 
S7SE; T3S, R3E, S7SW; T3S, R3E, S8SE; T3S, R3E, S8SW; T3S, R3E, S9SW; 
T3S, R3E, S15SE; T3S, R3E, S15SW; T3S, R3E, S16NW; T3S, R3E, S16SW; 
T3S, R3E, S17-S30; T3S, R3E, S31NW; T3S, R3E, S31NE; T3S, R3E, S32-S36; 
T3S, R4E, S29NW; T3S, R4E, S29SW; T3S, R4E, S29SE; T3S, R4E, S30-S32; 
T3S, R4E, S33NW; T3S, R4E, S33SW; T3S, R4E, S33SE; T4S, R3E, S1-S4; 
T4S, R3E, S5NW; T4S, R3E, S5NE; T4S, R3E, S5SE; T4S, R3E, S9NE; T4S, 
R3E, S9NW; T4S, R3E, S10NW; T4S, R3E, S10NE; T4S, R3E, S11NW; T4S, R3E, 
S11NE; T4S, R3E, S11SE; T4S, R3E, S12-S13; T4S, R3E, S14NE; T4S, R4E, 
S3NW; T4S, R4E, S3SW; T4S, R4E, S4-S9; T4S, R4E, S10NW; T4S, R4E, 
S10SW; T4S, R4E, S15-S18; T4S, R4E, S19NW; T4S, R4E, S19NE; T4S, R4E, 
S19SE; T4S, R4E, S20-S22; T4S, R4E, S25SW; T4S, R4E, S25SE; T4S, R4E, 
S27-S30; T4S, R4E, S31NE; T4S, R4E, S31SE; T4S, R4E, S32-34; T4S, R4E, 
S35SE; T4S, R4E, S35NE; T4S, R4E, S36; T4S, R5E, S29SE; T4S, R5E, 
S29SW; T4S, R5E, S30NW; T4S, R5E, S30SW; T4S, R5E, S30SE; T4S, R5E, 
S31-S32; T4S, R5E, S33NW; T4S, R5E, S33SW; T5S, R4E, S1-S5; T5S, R4E, 
S8-S17; T5S, R4E, S20NE; T5S, R4E, S21-S27; T5S, R4E, S28NE; T5S, R4E, 
S34-S36; T5S, R5E, S2SW; T5S, R5E, S3-S11; T5S, R5E, S12SW; T5S, R5E, 
S13NW; T5S, R5E, S13SW; T5S, R5E, S13SE; T5S, R5E, S14-35; T5S, R5E, 
S36NW; T5S, R5E, S36NE; T5S, R5E, S36SW; T5S, R6E, S18SW; T5S, R6E, 
S19NW; T5S, R6E, S19SW; T5S, R6E, S23SW; T5S, R6E, S25-S27; T5S, R6E, 
S28SW; T5S, R6E, S28SE; T5S, R6E, S30; T5S, R6E, S31NW; T5S, R6E, 
S31SE; T5S, R6E, 32SW; T5S, R6E, S32SE; T5S, R6E, S33-S36; T5S, R7E, 
S30NW; T5S, R7E, S30SW; T5S, R7E, S31NW; T6S, R4E, S1-S2; T6S, R4E, 
S3NW; T6S, R4E, S3NE; T6S, R4E, S11-S13; T6S, R4E, S14NW; T6S, R4E, 
S14NE; T6S, R4E, S14SE; T6S, R4E, S23NE; T6S, R4E, S24; T6S, R4E, 
S25NW; T6S, R4E, S25NE; T6S, R5E, S1NW; T6S, R5E, S1SW; T6S, R5E, S1SE; 
T6S, R5E, S2-S19; T6S, R5E, S21NW; T6S, R5E, S21NE; T6S, R5E, S21SE; 
T6S, R5E, S22-S27; T6S, R5E, S28NE; T6S, R5E, S28SE; T6S, R5E, S35NW; 
T6S, R5E, S35NE; T6S, R5E, S35SE; T6S, R5E, S36; T6S, R6E, S1NW; T6S, 
R6E, S1SW; T6S, R6E, S2-S5; T6S, R6E, S6NE; T6S, R6E, S6SE; T6S, R6E, 
S6SW; T6S, R6E, S7-S11; T6S, R6E, S12NW; T6S, R6E, S12SW; T6S, R6E, 
S13-S36; T6S, R7E, S6SE; T6S, R7E, S7; T6S, R7E, S8SW; T6S, R7E, S8SE; 
T6S, R7E, S17-S19; T6S, R7E, S20NW; T6S, R7E, S20NE; T6S, R7E, S20SW; 
T6S, R7E, S28NW; T6S, R7E, S28SW; T6S, R7E, S28SE; T6S, R7E, S29-S33; 
T7S, R5E, S1; T7S, R5E, S2NE; T7S, R5E, S2SE; T7S, R5E, S2SW; T7S, R5E, 
S11-S12; T7S, R6E, S1-S6; T7S, R6E, S7NW; T7S, R6E, S7NE; T7S, R6E, 
S9NE; T7S, R6E, S9NW; T7S, R6E, S9SE; T7S, R6E, S10-S14; T7S, R6E, 
S15NE; T7S, R6E, S23-S26; T7S, R6E, S27NE; T7S, R6E, S27SE; T7S, R6E, 
S34SE; T7S, R6E, S35-S36; T7S, R7E, S3NW; T7S, R7E, S3SW; T7S, R7E, 
S3SE; T7S, R7E, S4-S10; T7S, R7E, S11NW; T7S, R7E, S11SE; T7S, R7E, 
S11SW; T7S, R7E, S13NW; T7S, R7E, S13SE; T7S, R7E, S13SW; T7S, R7E, 
S14-S36; T7S, R8E, S19NW; T7S, R8E, S19SW; T7S, R8E, S29SW; T7S, R8E, 
S30-S31; T7S, R8E, S32NW; T7S, R8E, S32SW; T8S, R4E, S24-S25; T8S, R4E, 
S36NE; T8S, R4E, S36SE; T8S, R5E, S19-S36; T8S, R6E, S1-S3; T8S, R6E, 
S7SE; T8S, R6E, S8-S17; T8S, R6E, S18NE; T8S, R6E, S18SE; T8S, R6E, 
S18SW; T8S, R6E, S19-S36; T8S, R7E, S1-S36; T8S, R8E, S6NW; T8S, R8E, 
S6SW; T8S, R8E, S7-S8; T8S, R8E, S16NW; T8S, R8E, S16SW; T8S, R8E, S17-
S20; T8S, R8E, S21NW; T8S, R8E, S21SE; T8S, R8E, S21SW; T8S, R8E, 
S27SW; T8S, R8E, S28-S34.

[[Page 41419]]


[[Page 41420]]

    Map Unit 2: San Diego County, California. From USGS 1:100,000 
quadrangle maps Borrego Valley (1982) and El Cajon (1979), California. 
Lands within T9S, R4E, S1; T9S, R4E, S2SE; T9S, R4E, S11NE; T9S, R4E, 
S11SE; T9S, R4E, S12-S13; T9S, R4E, S14NE; T9S, R4E, S24; T9S, R4E, 
S25NW; T9S, R4E, S25NE; T9S, R4E, S25SE; T9S, R5E, S1-S36; T9S, R6E, 
S1-13; T9S, R6E, S14NW; T9S, R6E, S14NE; T9S, R6E, S15-S23; T9S, R6E, 
S24SW; T9S, R6E, S24SE; T9S, R6E, S25-S36; T9S, R7E, S1-S18; T9S, R7E, 
S19NE; T9S, R7E, S20NW; T9S, R7E, S20NE; T9S, R7E, S21-S27; T9S, R7E, 
S28NW; T9S, R7E, S28NE; T9S, R7E, S28SE; T9S, R7E, S31NW; T9S, R7E, 
S31SW; T9S, R7E, S33-S36; T9S, R8E, S1NE; T9S, R8E, S1SE; T9S, R8E, 
S1SW; T9S, R8E, S2NW; T9S, R8E, S2SW; T9S, R8E, S2SE; T9S, R8E, S3-S36; 
T10S, R5E, S1-S5; T10S, R5E, S8NW; T10S, R5E, S8NE; T10S, R5E, S9-S28; 
T10S, R5E, S33NE; T10S, R5E, S33NW; T10S, R5E, S33SE; T10S, R5E, S34-
S36; T10S, R6E, S1-S4; T10S, R6E, S5NE; T10S, R6E, S6-S7; T10S, R6E, 
S9NE; T10S, R6E, S10-S14; T10S, R6E, S15NE; T10S, R6E, S18-S19; T10S, 
R6E, S23NE; T10S, R6E, S24NW; T10S, R6E, S24NE; T10S, R6E, S30NW; T10S, 
R6E, S30SW; T10S, R7E, S1-S4; T10S, R7E, S6NW; T10S, R7E, S6SW; T10S, 
R7E, S6SE; T10S, R7E, S7; T10S, R7E, S10NE; T10S, R7E, S10SE; T10S, 
R7E, S11-S12; T10S, R7E, S13NW; T10S, R7E, S13NE; T10S, R7E, S13SE; 
T10S, R7E, S14NW; T10S, R7E, S14NE; T10S, R7E, S18; T10S, R7E, S19NW; 
T10S, R7E, S19NE; T10S, R8E, S1-S18; T10S, R8E, S19NE; T10S, R8E, 
S20NE; T10S, R8E, S20NW; T10S, R8E, S20SE; T10S, R8E, S21-S23; T10S, 
R8E, S24NW; T10S, R8E, S24NE; T10S, R8E, S24SW; T10S, R8E, S26NW; T10S, 
R8E, S27NE; T10S, R8E, S28NW; T10S, R8E, S28NE; T11S, R5E, S1-S4; T11S, 
R5E, S5SE; T11S, R5E, S9-S14; T11S, R5E, S15NE; T11S, R5E, S15NW; T11S, 
R5E, S15SE; T11S, R5E, S22NE; T11S, R5E, S22SE; T11S, R5E, S23-S26; 
T11S, R5E, S27NE; T11S, R5E, S34-S36; T11S, R6E, S5NW; T11S, R6E, S5SW; 
T11S, R6E, S6-S7; T11S, R6E, S18NW; T11S, R6E, S18SW; T11S, R6E, S19; 
T11S, R6E, S20NW; T11S, R6E, S20SW; T11S, R6E, S20SE; T11S, R6E, S28SW; 
T11S, R6E, S28SE; T11S, R6E, S29-S33; T11S, R6E, S34NW; T11S, R6E, 
S34SW; T11S, R6E, S34SE; T12S, R5E, S1-S3; T12S, R5E, S4NE; T12S, R5E, 
S4SE; T12S, R5E, S9NE; T12S, R5E, S9SE; T12S, R5E, S9SW; T12S, R5E, 
S10-S16; T12S, R5E, S17SE; T12S, R5E, S20NE; T12S, R5E, S20SE; T12S, 
R5E, S20SW; T12S, R5E, S21-S33; T12S, R5E, S34NE; T12S, R5E, S34NW; 
T12S, R5E, S35-S36; T12S, R6E, S1NW; T12S, R6E, S1SW; T12S, R6E, S1SE; 
T12S, R6E, S2-S36; T12S, R7E, S7-S8; T12S, R7E, S9SW; T12S, R7E, S13SE; 
T12S, R7E, S13SW; T12S, R7E, S14SW; T12S, R7E, S15-S36; T12S, R8E, 
S18SE; T12S, R8E, S18SW; T12S, R8E, S19; T12S, R8E, S20NW; T12S, R8E, 
S20SW; T12S, R8E, S20SE; T12S, R8E, S21SW; T12S, R8E, S21SE; T12S, R8E, 
S27SW; T12S, R8E, S28-S34; T12S, R8E, S35NW; T12S, R8E, S35SW; T13S, 
R5E, S1NW; T13S, R5E, S1NE; T13S, R5E, S1SE; T13S, R5E, S13SE; T13S, 
R5E, S13NE; T13S, R5E, S22SE; T13S, R5E, S23SW; T13S, R5E, S23SE; T13S, 
R5E, S24NE; T13S, R5E, S24SW; T13S, R5E, S24SE; T13S, R5E, S25-S27; 
T13S, R5E, S34NW; T13S, R5E, S34NE; T13S, R5E, S34SE; T13S, R5E, S35-
S36; T13S, R6E, S1-S6; T13S, R6E, S7NW; T13S, R6E, S7NE; T13S, R6E, 
S7SE; T13S, R6E, S8-S36; T13S, R7E, S1-S36; T13S, R8E, S1-S36; T14S, 
R5E, S1-S2; T14S, R5E, S11-S13; T14S, R5E, S14NW; T14S, R5E, S14NE; 
T14S, R5E, S14SE; T14S, R5E, S23NE; T14S, R5E, S24NE; T14S, R5E, S24NW; 
T14S, R6E, S1-S30; T14S, R6E, S31NW; T14S, R6E, S31NE; T14S, R6E, 
S31SE; T14S, R6E, S32-S36; T14S, R7E, S1NW; T14S, R7E, S1NE; T14S, R7E, 
S1SE; T14S, R7E, S2-S9; T14S, R7E, S16NW; T14S, R7E, S16SE; T14S, R7E, 
S16SW; T14S, R7E, S17-S21; T14S, R7E, S22SW; T14S, R7E, S26SW; T14S, 
R7E, S27-S34; T14S, R7E, S35NW; T14S, R7E, S35SW; T14S, R8E, S1; T14S, 
R8E, S2NE; T14S, R8E, S2NW; T14S, R8E, S2SE; T14S, R8E, S3-S6; T14S, 
R8E, S8NW; T14S, R8E, S8NE; T14S, R8E, S9NW; T14S, R8E, S9NE; T14S, 
R8E, S12NE; T15S, R6E, S1-S4; T15S, R6E, S5NW; T15S, R6E, S5NE; T15S, 
R6E, S5SE; T15S, R6E, S9-S15; T15S, R6E, S16NW; T15S, R6E, S16NE; T15S, 
R6E, S22NE; T15S, R6E, S23-S24; T15S, R6E, S25NE; T15S, R6E, S25SE; 
T15S, R6E, S36NE; T15S, R7E, S1SW; T15S, R7E, S2-S11; T15S, R7E, S12NW; 
T15S, R7E, S12SW; T15S, R7E, S12SE; T15S, R7E, S13-S36; T15S, R8E, 
S10SE; T15S, R8E, S11SW; T15S, R8E, S11SE; T15S, R8E, S12NE; T15S, R8E, 
S12SW; T15S, R8E, S12SE; T15S, R8E, S13-S16; T15S, R8E, S17SE; T15S, 
R8E, S19-S36; T16S, R7E, S1-S6; T16S, R7E, S7NE; T16S, R7E, S8-S16; 
T16S, R7E, S17NW; T16S, R7E, S17NE; T16S, R7E, S17SE; T16S, R7E, S21-
S27; T16S, R7E, S28NW; T16S, R7E, S28NE; T16S, R7E, S28SE; T16S, R7E, 
S33NE; T16S, R7E, S34-36; T16S, R8E, S1-S34; T16S, R8E, S35NW; T16S, 
R8E, S35SW; T16S, R8E, S35SE; T16S, R8E, S36SE; T17S, R7E, S1-S2; T17S, 
R7E, S3NE; T17S, R7E, S3NW; T17S, R7E, S3SE; T17S, R7E, S11-S14; T17S, 
R7E, S23NW; T17S, R7E, S23NE; T17S, R7E, S23SE; T17S, R7E, S24; T17S, 
R7E, S25NE; T17S, R8E, S1-S20; T17S, R8E, S21NW; T17S, R8E, S21NE; 
T17S, R8E, S22-S25; T17S, R8E, S26NW; T17S, R8E, S26NE; T17S, R8E, 
S26SE; T17S, R8E, S29NW; T17S, R8E, S30NW; T17S, R8E, S30NE; T17S, R8E, 
S36; T18S, R8E, S1NW; T18S, R8E, S1NE; T18S, R8E, S1SE. The following 
lands within the Valle de San Felipe Land Grant bounded by UTM zone 11, 
NAD27 coordinates (X, Y): 547000, 3664000; 548000, 3664000; 548000, 
3663000; 552000, 3663000; 552000, 3662000; 551000, 3662000; 551000, 
3661000; 547000, 3661000; 547000, 3664000.

[[Page 41421]]


[[Page 41422]]

    Map Unit 3: Imperial County, California. From USGS 1:100,000 
quadrangle maps Borrego Valley (1982), El Cajon (1979), Salton Sea 
(1982), and El Centro (1982), California. Lands within T9S, R9E, S5SW; 
T9S, R9E, S6-S8; T9S, R9E, S9SW; T9S, R9E, S16NW; T9S, R9E, S16SW; T9S, 
R9E, S17-S20; T9S, R9E, S21NW; T9S, R9E, S21SW; T9S, R9E, S28NW; T9S, 
R9E, S28SW; T9S, R9E, S29-S32; T9S, R9E, S33NW; T9S, R9E, S33SE; T9S, 
R9E, S33SW; T10S, R9E, S3NW; T10S, R9E, S3SW; T10S, R9E, S4-S9; T10S, 
R9E, S10NW; T10S, R9E, S10SE; T10S, R9E, S10SW; T10S, R9E, S14-S18; 
T10S, R9E, S21NE; T10S, R9E, S21NW; T10S, R9E, S22NE; T10S, R9E, S22NW; 
T13S, R9E, S6SW; T13S, R9E, S7NW; T13S, R9E, S7SE; T13S, R9E, S7SW; 
T13S, R9E, S14SW; T13S, R9E, S15NW; T13S, R9E, S15SE; T13S, R9E, S15SW; 
T13S, R9E, S16-S23; T13S, R9E, S24SW; T13S, R9E, S25-S36; T13S, R10E, 
S29SW; T13S, R10E, S30-S32; T13S, R10E, S33SW; T14S, R9E, S1-S17; T14S, 
R9E, S18NE; T14S, R9E, S18SE; T14S, R9E, S19NE; T14S, R9E, S20-S28; 
T14S, R9E, S29NE; T14S, R9E, S29NW; T14S, R9E, S29SE; T14S, R9E, S32-
S36; T14S, R10E, S4NW; T14S, R10E, S4SW; T14S, R10E, S5-S8; T14S, R10E, 
S9NW; T14S, R10E, S9SW; T14S, R10E, S16NW; T14S, R10E, S17-S19; T14S, 
R10E, S20NE; T14S, R10E, S20NW; T14S, R10E, S30NW; T14S, R10E, S30SW; 
T14S, R10E, S31NW; T14S, R10E, S31SW; T15S, R9E, S1-S5; T15S, R9E, 
S6NE; T15S, R9E, S7-S36; T15S, R10E, S5SW; T15S, R10E, S6-S7; T15S, 
R10E, S8NW; T15S, R10E, S19; T15S, R10E, S20SW; T15S, R10E, S29NW; 
T15S, R10E, S29SW; T15S, R10E, S30-S33; T16.5S, R9.5E, S1NW; T16.5S, 
R9.5E, S1SE; T16.5S, R9.5E, S1SW; T16.5S, R9.5E, S2; T16.5S, R10E, 
S4SE; T16.5S, R10E, S4SW; T16.5S, R10E, S5SE; T16.5S, R10E, S5SW; 
T16.5S, R10E, S6SE; T16.5S, R10E, S6SW; T16S, R9E, S1-S14; T16S, R9E, 
S15NE; T16S, R9E, S15NW; T16S, R9E, S15SE; T16S, R9E, S16NE; T16S, R9E, 
S16NW; T16S, R9E, S17NE; T16S, R9E, S17NW; T16S, R9E, S18NE; T16S, R9E, 
S19; T16S, R9E, S28SE; T16S, R9E, S28SW; T16S, R9E, S30NE; T16S, R9E, 
S30NW; T16S, R9E, S30SW; T16S, R9E, S31-S34; T16S, R9E, S35SW; T16S, 
R10E, S4-S7; T16S, R10E, S8NE; T16S, R10E, S8NW; T16S, R10E, S18NE; 
T16S, R10E, S18NW; T17S, R9E, S1-S36; T17S, R10E, S2-S10; T17S, R10E, 
S11NW; T17S, R10E, S11NE; T17S, R10E, S11SW; T17S, R10E, S13SW; T17S, 
R10E, S14NW; T17S, R10E, S14SW; T17S, R10E, S14SE; T17S, R10E, S15-S23; 
T17S, R10E, S24NW; T17S, R10E, S24SW; T17S, R10E, S25NW; T17S, R10E, 
S25SW; T17S, R10E, S26-S35; T17S, R10E, S36NW; T17S, R10E, S36SW; T18S, 
R9E, S1-S6; T18S, R9E, S7NE; T18S, R9E, S7SE; T18S, R9E, S7NW; T18S, 
R9E, S8-S11.

[[Page 41423]]


[[Page 41424]]

    Dated: June 28, 2000.
Donald J. Barry,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 00-16925 Filed 7-3-00; 8:45 am]