[Federal Register: November 9, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 218)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 67334-67335]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG15

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

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of a draft economic analysis for the proposed designation 
of critical habitat for the arroyo southwestern toad (Bufo microscaphus 
californicus). We are also providing notice of the reopening of the 
comment period for the proposal to designate critical habitat for the 
arroyo southwestern toad to allow all interested parties to submit 
written comments on the proposal and on the draft economic analysis. 
Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they will be 
incorporated into the public record as a part of this reopened comment 
period and will be fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: The original comment period on the critical habitat proposal 
closed on August 7, 2000. The comment period is again reopened and we 
will accept comments until December 11, 2000. Comments must be received 
by 5:00 p.m. on the closing date. Any comments that are received after 
the closing date may not be considered in the final decision on this 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the 
Internet at ``www.r1.fws.gov'' or by writing to the Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2394 
Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003. All written comments 
should be sent to the Field Supervisor at the above address. You may 
also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
``fw1artoch@r1.fws.gov.'' Please submit electronic comments in ASCII 
file format and avoid the use of special characters and encryption. 
Please include ``Attn: RIN 1018-AG15'' 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 Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office at phone number 805-
644-1766. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 805-644-1766; 
facsimile 805-644-3958).



    The arroyo southwestern toad (Bufo microscaphus californicus) is 
one of three members of the southwestern toad (B. microscaphus) 
complex, in the family of true toads, Bufonidae. The arroyo toad is a 
small (adult length 55-82 millimeters (2-3 inches), dark-spotted toad, 
with females larger than males. The arroyo toad is found in coastal and 
desert drainages from Monterey County, California, south into 
northwestern Baja California, Mexico. These systems are inherently 
quite dynamic, with marked seasonal and annual fluctuations in climatic 
regimes, particularly rainfall. Natural climatic variations as well as 
other random events, such as fires and floods, coupled with the 
species' specialized habitat requirements, lead to annual fluctuations 
in arroyo toad populations. Extensive habitat loss as a result of 
agriculture and urbanization, and the construction, operation, and 
maintenance of water storage reservoirs,

[[Page 67335]]

flood control structures, roads, and recreational facilities such as 
campgrounds and off-highway vehicle parks, have caused many arroyo toad 
populations to be reduced in size or extirpated (eliminated). Threats 
to the species survival include loss of habitat, coupled with habitat 
modifications due to the manipulation of water levels in many central 
and southern California streams and rivers, as well as predation from 
introduced aquatic species, and habitat degradation from introduced 
plant species. Such threats have caused arroyo toads to be extirpated 
from about 75 percent of the previously occupied habitat in California. 
Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), the 
species was federally listed as endangered on December 16, 1994, due to 
habitat degradation, small population sizes, and predation (59 FR 
64859). On June 8, 2000, we published in the Federal Register (65 FR 
36512) a determination proposing critical habitat for the arroyo 
southwestern toad. Approximately 193,600 hectares (478,400 acres) fall 
within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. 
Proposed critical habitat is located in Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, 
Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and San Diego, San Luis 
Obispo, and Ventura counties, California, as described in the proposed 
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall 
designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific and 
commercial data available and after taking into consideration the 
economic impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the arroyo southwestern toad and comments received during 
the previous comment period, we have prepared a draft economic analysis 
of the proposed critical habitat designation. The draft economic 
analysis is available at the above Internet and mailing address. We 
have reopened the comment period at this time in order to accept the 
best and most current scientific and commercial data available 
regarding the proposed critical habitat and the draft economic 
analysis. We will accept written comments during this reopened comment 
period. Previously submitted oral or written comments on this critical 
habitat proposal need not be resubmitted. The current comment period on 
this proposal closes on December 11, 2000. Written comments may be 
submitted to the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office in the ADDRESSES 


    The primary author of this notice is John Nuss, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Regional Office, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, 
Oregon 97232-4181 (see ADDRESSES section).

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

    Dated: November 2, 2000.
Donald W. Steffeck,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office.
[FR Doc. 00-28699 Filed 11-8-00; 8:45 am]