[Federal Register: October 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 204)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 63047]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG29

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Period on Proposed Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted 
Owl; Availability of Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period, notice of 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the draft Economic Analysis and draft Environmental 
Assessment for the proposal to designate critical habitat for the 
Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. We are also reopening the public 
comment period for the proposal. The new comment period will allow all 
interested parties to submit comments on the draft Economic Analysis, 
draft Environmental Assessment, and any other aspect of the proposed 

DATES: The comment period for this proposal, which originally closed on 
September 19, 2000, is reopened and now closes on November 20, 2000. 
Comments on the draft Economic Analysis, draft Environmental 
Assessment, and any other aspect of the proposed designation must be 
received by the closing date.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New 
Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, 2105 Osuna NE, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico, 87113. Copies of the draft Economic Analysis and draft 
Environmental Assessment are available from the aforementioned address, 
or over the internet at 
http://ifw2es.fws.gov/library/. Comments and materials received will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above Fish and Wildlife Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joy Nicholopoulos, Field Supervisor, 
New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address; 
telephone 505/346-2525, facsimile 505/346-2542.



    On July 21, 2000, we published in the Federal Register a proposed 
rule to designate critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl (65 FR 
45336). The comment period for the proposed designation closed on 
September 19, 2000. Section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act 
requires that we designate or revise critical habitat based upon the 
best scientific and commercial data available and after taking into 
consideration the economic impact, and any other relevant impact, of 
specifying any particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude an 
area from critical habitat if we determine that the benefits of 
excluding the area outweigh the benefits of including the area as 
critical habitat, provided such exclusion will not result in the 
extinction of the species. Consequently, we have prepared a draft 
economic analysis concerning the proposed critical habitat designation, 
which is available for review and comment at the above Internet and 
mailing addresses.
    Approximately 5.5 million hectares (13.5 million acres) of land 
fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat in Arizona, 
Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Proposed critical habitat is primarily 
composed of Federal lands. If this proposal 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.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit comments on the draft Economic Analysis described in 
this notice, the draft Environmental Assessment, and any other aspect 
of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Mexican spotted 
owl. The comment period is extended to November 20, 2000. Written 
comments may be submitted to the Field Supervisor at the above address. 
Our final determination on the proposed critical habitat will take into 
consideration comments and any additional information received by the 
date specified above. All previous comments and information submitted 
during the comment period need not be resubmitted.


    The primary authors of this notice are the New Mexico Field Office 
staff (see ADDRESSES section).

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

Nancy M. Kaufman,
Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 00-26976 Filed 10-19-00; 8:45 am]