[Federal Register: March 29, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 61)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 15159-15160]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH95

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Newcomb's Snail, Extension of Comment Period, 
Notice of Public Hearing, and Notice of Availability of the Draft 
Economic Analysis

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period, notice of public 
hearing, and notice of availability of draft economic analysis.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), provide 
notice that a public hearing will be held on the proposed determination 
of critical habitat for the Newcomb's snail (Errina newcombi) and that 
the comment period on this proposal is extended; we also announce the 
availability of the draft economic analysis of this proposed 
designation of critical habitat. Newcomb's snail is found on the island 
of Kauai, Hawaii. We are extending the comment period for the proposal 
to designate critical habitat for this species to hold the public 
hearing and to allow all interested parties to comment simultaneously 
on the proposed rule and the associated draft economic analysis. 
Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they will be 
incorporated into the public record as part of this extended comment 
period and will be fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: The public hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 
17, 2002, in Lihue, HI. Prior to the public hearing, the Service will 
be available from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide information and to 
answer questions. Registration for the hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. 
The comment period, which originally closed on March 29, 2002, will now 
close on April 29, 2002.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Radisson Kauai Beach 
Resort, 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai, HI. The draft economic 
analysis is available from, and written comments and information should 
be submitted to, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 
3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850. Comments and materials received 
will be available for public inspection during normal business hours, 
by appointment, at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, Pacific 
Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone: 808/
541-3441; facsimile: 808/541-3470).



    Newcomb's snail is a type of freshwater snail belonging to the 
lymnaeid family of snails. Adult Newcomb's snails are approximately 6 
millimeters (mm) (0.25 inches (in)) long and 3 mm (0.12 in) wide in 
size. Its shell is smooth and black, formed by a single, oval whorl, 
about 6 mm (0.25 in) long. The tentacles of Newcomb's snail, like other 
lymnaeids, are flat and triangular, rather than conical or filament-
shaped as found on other freshwater snails. Newcomb's snails feed upon 
algae and other material growing on submerged rocks. Eggs are attached 
to underwater rocks or vegetation and the entire life cycle is tied to 
the stream system in which the adults live.
    Populations of Newcomb's snail are currently found in small areas 
within the Kalalau, Lumahai, Hanalei, Waipahee, Makaleha, and North 
Wailua stream systems on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Historically, 
Newcomb's snail

[[Page 15160]]

was found in Hanakoa, Hanakapiai, and Wainiha streams, but these 
populations are thought to be extirpated. The known populations of 
Newcomb's snail have a total of approximately 6,000 to 7,000 
    Some of the suspected historical decline of the snail may be 
attributed to habitat loss and degradation through water diversion and 
well drilling. Currently, predation by alien species, natural disasters 
and habitat alteration are threats that imperil Newcomb's snail. The 
rosy glandina snail (Euglandina rosea) is an introduced snail that 
preys mostly on other snails. Two species of non-native marsh flies 
prey upon eggs and adults of Hawaiian freshwater snails. These flies 
were introduced in 1955 and 1966 as bio-control agents for a non-native 
snail that hosts a cattle parasite. Other introduced predators include 
introduced fish and frogs. Presently, Newcomb's snail faces an 
increased likelihood of extinction from naturally occurring events such 
as hurricanes due to the small number of remaining populations and 
their limited distribution.
    Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), Errina newcombi was listed as a threatened 
species on January 26, 2000 (65 FR 4162). On January 28, 2002, we 
published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (67 FR 3849) to 
designate critical habitat for Newcomb's snail. Section 4(b)(5)(E) of 
the Act requires that a public hearing be held if requested within 45 
days of the proposal's publication in the Federal Register. We received 
2 requests for a public hearing during this time period. In response to 
these requests, we will hold a public hearing on the date and location 
described in the DATES and ADDRESSES section above.
    Anyone wishing to make an oral statement for the record is 
encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement to the Service 
at the start of the hearing. In the event there is a large attendance, 
the time allotted for oral statements may have to be limited. Oral and 
written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits to 
the length of written comments presented at this hearing or mailed to 
the Service. Legal notices announcing the date, time, and location of 
the hearing are being published in newspapers concurrently with this 
Federal Register notice.
    We propose to designate critical habitat in nine critical habitat 
units that total 26.29 kilometers (km) (16.33 miles (mi)) of main 
stream channel; in total, these areas encompass approximately 2,109 
hectares (ha) (5,212 acres (ac)). Six of these sites are located on 
state lands, and three of these sites are on lands that are privately 
owned. Critical habitat units are proposed for reaches of stream main 
channel that range in length from 0.8 km (0.5 mi) to 7.58 km ( 4.71 
mi); the units range in size from 35 ha (86 ac) to 876 ha (2165 ac).
    Critical habitat receives protection from destruction or adverse 
modification through required consultation under section 7 of the Act 
with regard to actions carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal 
agency. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that we designate or revise 
critical habitat based upon the best scientific and commercial data 
available, 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 
Newcomb's snail, we have prepared a draft economic analysis of the 
proposed critical habitat designation. The draft economic analysis is 
available from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).
    The original comment period was due to close on March 29, 2002. In 
order to accommodate the hearing and to provide the public with the 
opportunity to comment on the draft economic analysis of this proposed 
critical habitat designation as well as the proposed rule, we also 
extend the comment period. Written comments may now be submitted until 
April 29, 2002, to the Service office in the ADDRESSES section.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this 
extended comment period. If you wish to comment, you may submit written 
comments and information to the Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish 
and Wildlife (see ADDRESSES section). Alternatively, you may hand-
deliver comments to our Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office at the 
above address.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical 
habitat, will be available for inspection, by appointment, during 
normal business hours at the address above. Copies of the draft 
economic analysis are available by writing to the Field Supervisor at 
the address above.


    The primary author of this notice is Gordon Smith, Fish and 
Wildlife Biologist, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).

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

    Dated: March 26, 2002.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-7724 Filed 3-28-02; 8:45 am]