[Federal Register: December 6, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 235)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 76207-76209]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG28

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 
Availability of Draft Economic Analysis for Proposed Critical Habitat 
Determination for the Zayante Band-winged Grasshopper

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: 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 Zayante band-winged grasshopper 
(Trimerotropis infantilis). We are opening a 15-day comment period to 
allow all interested parties to submit written comments on the draft 
economic analysis. Comments submitted during this comment period will 
be incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in 
the final rule.

DATES: The comment period is opened and we will accept comments until

[[Page 76208]]

December 21, 2000. Comments must be received by 5 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 proposal.

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, 2493 
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 
``fw1grasshopper@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-AG27'' 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 Zayante band-winged grasshopper (Trimerotropis infantilis) was 
first described from near Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 
Santa Cruz County, California, in 1984 (Rentz and Weissman 1984). The 
grasshopper is in the Order Orthoptera and Family Acrididae.
    The body and forewings of the Zayante band-winged grasshopper are 
pale gray to light brown with dark cross-bands on the forewings. The 
basal area of the hindwings is pale yellow with a faint thin band. The 
hind tibiae (lower legs) are blue, and the eyes have bands around them. 
Males range in length from 13.7 to 17.2 millimeters (0.54 to 0.68 
inches); females are larger, ranging in length from 19.7 to 21.6 
millimeters (0.78 to 0.85 inches) (Otte 1984; Rentz and Weissman 1984).
    The Zayante band-winged grasshopper occurs in association with the 
Zayante series soils in the vicinity of Ben Lomond, Felton, Mount 
Hermon, Zayante, and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County, California. 
These soils harbor a complex mosaic of vegetation dominated by maritime 
coast range ponderosa pine forest and northern maritime chaparral 
(Griffin 1964; Holland 1986). The distributions of these two vegetative 
communities overlap to form a complex and intergrading mosaic of 
communities variously referred to as ponderosa sand parkland, ponderosa 
pine sand hills, and silver-leafed manzanita mixed chaparral. These 
communities are collectively referred to as ``Zayante sand hills'' and 
harbor a diversity of rare and endemic plant and animal species, 
including the Zayante band-winged grasshopper (Thomas 1961; Griffin 
1964; Morgan 1983). A unique habitat within the Zayante sand hills is 
sand parkland, characterized by sparsely vegetated, sandstone dominated 
ridges and saddles that support scattered ponderosa pines and a wide 
array of annual and perennial herbs and grasses.
    Within the Zayante sandhills, the Zayante band-winged grasshopper 
occurs primarily in early successional sand parkland with widely 
scattered tree and shrub cover, extensive areas of bare or sparsely 
vegetated ground, loose sand, and relatively flat relief. In addition, 
Zayante band-winged grasshoppers have been observed in areas with a 
well-developed ground cover and in areas with sparse chaparral mixed 
with patches of grasses and forbs (Hovore 1996; Arnold 1999a,b).
    The primary threat to the Zayante band-winged grasshopper is loss 
of habitat. Over 40 percent of Zayante sand hills, and 60 percent of 
the sand parkland within that habitat, is estimated to have been lost 
or altered due to human activities, including sand mining, urban 
development, recreational activities and agriculture (R. Morgan, 
private consultant, pers. comm. 1992; Marangio and Morgan 1987; Lee 
1994). Approximately 200 to 240 hectares (ha) (500 to 600 acres(ac)) of 
sand parkland existed historically (Marangio and Morgan 1987). By 1986, 
only 100 ha (250 ac) of sand parkland remained intact (Marangio and 
Morgan 1987). By 1992, sand parkland was reportedly reduced to only 40 
ha (100 ac) (R. Morgan, pers. comm. 1992). A more recent assessment 
revised that estimate up to 78 ha (193 ac), largely because of 
identification and inclusion of additional lower quality sand parkland 
(Lee 1994).

[[Page 76209]]

    The disruption of natural landscape-level processes may also be 
resulting in shifts in vegetative communities and loss of habitat for 
the Zayante band-winged grasshopper. For example, lack of fire is 
resulting in the encroachment of mixed evergreen forest into ponderosa 
pine forest (Marangio 1985). Lack of sunlight as a result of shading by 
Ponderosa pines appears to be restricting use of areas by the Zayante 
band-winged grasshopper and resulting in low population numbers (C. 
Sculley, USFWS, pers. observation 1999). Historically, fires would have 
burned in these areas resulting in the loss of Ponderosa pines and the 
creation of areas with increased exposure to sunlight. Non-native 
species of vegetation, including Portuguese broom (Cystisus striatus) 
and sea fig (Carpobrotus chilensis) are out-competing native vegetation 
and encroaching on sites occupied by the Zayante band-winged 
grasshopper (Rigney 1999). Pesticides and over-collection are also 
recognized as potential threat to the Zayante band-winged grasshopper.
    Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 
the species was federally listed as endangered on January 24, 1997 (62 
FR 3616). On July 7, 2000, we published in the Federal Register (65 FR 
41919) a determination proposing critical habitat for the Zayante band-
winged grasshopper. Approximately 4,230 hectares (10,560 acres) fall 
within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. 
Proposed critical habitat is located in Santa Cruz County, as described 
in the proposed determination.
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall 
designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific and 
commercial data available and after taking into consideration the 
economic impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the Zayante band-winged grasshopper 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 will accept written comments during this reopened comment 
period. The current comment period on this proposal closes on December 
21, 2000. Written comments may be submitted to the Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office in the ADDRESSES section.


    The primary author of this notice is Colleen Sculley, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003 
(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 29, 2000.
Dennis D. Peters,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office.
[FR Doc. 00-31007 Filed 12-5-00; 8:45 am]