[Federal Register: July 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 128)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 39892-39893]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI68

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing of the 
Central California Distinct Population Segment of the California Tiger 
Salamander; Reclassification of the Sonoma County and Santa Barbara 
County Distinct Populations From Endangered to Threatened; Special Rule

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period and notice of public 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are extending the 
comment period on a proposed rule that would: (1) List the Central 
California distinct population segment (DPS) of the California Tiger 
Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) as a threatened species under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as

[[Page 39893]]

amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); (2) reclassify the Sonoma 
County and Santa Barbara County DPSs of the California Tiger Salamander 
from endangered to threatened; and (3) exempt, under section 4(d) of 
the Act, existing routine ranching activities on private or Tribal 
lands from section 9 prohibitions for the three DPSs of the California 
tiger salamander. 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. We are also providing two additional public hearings to receive 
oral comments on this proposed rule.

DATES: Comments and information from all interested parties will be 
accepted until 5 p.m. on September 22, 2003. We will hold public 
hearings at the following times:
    (1) Tuesday, July 29, 2003, in Santa Rosa, California. Two 
sessions: 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Registration will 
begin at 12:30 p.m. for the afternoon session and at 5:30 p.m. for the 
evening session.
    (2) Thursday, July 31, 2003, in Santa Maria, California. Two 
sessions: 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.. Registration 
will begin at 12:30 p.m. for the afternoon session and at 5:30 p.m. for 
the evening session.

    (1) You may submit written comments to the Field Supervisor (Attn: 
CTS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825.
    (2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
catiger@R1.fws.gov. See the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section below 
for file format and other information on electronic filing.
    (3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the address above.
    (4) You may make oral comments at a public hearing. Such oral 
comments will be transcribed and given weight equal to that of written 
    We will hold public hearings at the Flamingo Resort Hotel and 
Conference Center, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, CA, and at the Radisson 
Hotel Santa Maria, 3455 Skyway Dr., Santa Maria, CA.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of the proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the above address. You may obtain copies of the proposed rule 
from the above address, by calling (916) 414-6600, or from our Web site 
at http://sacramento.fws.gov.

Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way Room W-2605, 
Sacramento, CA 95825 (telephone (916) 414-6600, facsimile (916) 414-
6713, or visit our Web site at http://sacramento.fws.gov/). Information 
regarding this proposal is available in alternative formats upon 



    On May 23, 2003, we published a proposed rule to list the central 
California DPS of the California tiger salamander as a threatened 
species (68 FR 28647). The rule also proposed to reclassify the Sonoma 
County and Santa Barbara County DPSs from endangered to threatened, and 
to exempt, under section 4(d) of the Act, existing routine ranching 
activities from ``take'' prohibitions under section 9 of the Act for 
the three DPSs. For further information regarding background biological 
information, previous Federal actions, factors affecting the 
subspecies, and conservation measures available to these three DPSs of 
the California tiger salamander, please refer to this proposed rule.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we are 
soliciting comments from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this proposed rule. We are particularly seeking 
comments concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to the California tiger salamander;
    (2) The location of any additional subpopulations or breeding sites 
of this species, and the reasons why any habitat should or should not 
be determined to be critical habitat pursuant to section 4 of the Act;
    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population sizes of this species;
    (4) Current or planned activities or land use practices in the 
subject area and their possible impacts on this animal; and
    (5) Additional information pertaining to the promulgation of a 
special rule to exempt from section 9 take prohibitions existing 
routine ranching practices located on private and Tribal lands.
    Previously submitted comments need not be resubmitted. If you 
submit comments by electronic mail (e-mail), please submit them as an 
ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters and any form of 
encryption. Please also include ``Attn: RIN 1018-AI68'' and your name 
and 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 the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
    Anyone wishing to make an oral comment or statement for the record 
at one of the hearings listed above is encouraged (but not required) to 
also provide a written copy of the statement and present it to us at 
the hearing. In the event there is a large attendance, the time 
allotted for oral statements may be limited. Oral and written 
statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits to the 
length of written comments presented at the hearing or mailed, faxed, 
or e-mailed to us. Legal notices announcing the date, time, and 
location of the public hearing will be published in newspapers 
concurrently with this Federal Register notice.
    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 
participate in a public hearing should contact Patti Carroll at 503/
231-2080 as soon as possible. In order to allow sufficient time to 
process requests, please call no later than 1 week before the hearing 


    The primary authors of this notice are Chris Nagano, Chief, 
Endangered Species Division and Glenn Tarr, Acting Chief, Listing 
Branch (see ADDRESSES).


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

    Dated: June 19, 2003.
Thomas O. Melius,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-16881 Filed 7-2-03; 8:45 am]