[Federal Register: February 25, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 37)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 8730-8731]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI48

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Arizona Distinct Population Segment of the 
Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
extension of the public comment period for the proposal to designate 
critical habitat pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act), for the Arizona distinct population segment of the 
cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum), and for 
the draft economic analysis for the proposed designation. We are 
extending the comment period for the proposal and for the draft 
economic analysis to allow all interested parties additional time to 
provide comments. Comments previously submitted need not be 
resubmitted, because 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: We will accept comments on both the proposed critical habitat 
designation and the draft economic analysis until April 25, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Send comments and information concerning the proposed 
critical habitat designation and draft economic analysis to the Field 
Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Office, 2321 West Royal Palm 
Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021. You also may send written comments 
by facsimile to 602/242-2513. For instructions on submitting comments 
by electronic mail (e-mail), see Public Comments Solicited in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
    You may obtain a copy of the draft economic analysis on the 
Internet at http://arizonaes.fws.gov/cactus.htm, or you may write the 

Field Supervisor at the above address, or call 602/242-0210 to have a 
copy mailed to you or made available for you to pick up at the address 
above. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor (see 
ADDRESSES), at telephone 602/242-0210; or by facsimile at 602/242-2513.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Our proposal to designate critical habitat 
for the Arizona distinct population segment of the cactus ferruginous 
pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) (pygmy-owl) was published 
on November 27, 2002 (67 FR 71032). In the November proposal we also 
announced the availability of the draft economic analysis for the 
proposed designation of critical habitat. The current comment period on 
these two documents is scheduled to close on February 25, 2003.
    A court order issued on September 21, 2001, vacated the critical 
habitat established previously for the pygmy-owl and remanded the 
previous designation to us for preparation of a new analysis of the 
economic and other effects of the designation (National Association of 
Home Builders et al. v. Norton, Civ. No. 00-903-PHX-SRB). The proposed 
designation that we published in November of 2002 totals approximately 
488,863 hectares (ha) (1,208,000 acres (ac)) in portions of Pima and 
Pinal Counties, Arizona, and includes approximately 9 percent of the 
recognized historical range of the pygmy-owl in Arizona.
    On February 3, 2003, the United States District Court for the 
District of Arizona ordered us to extend the comment period to allow 
the Plaintiffs and Intervenors in National Home Builders Association v. 
Norton, Civ. No. 00-0903-PHX-SRB (D. Az.), 60 additional days to review 
and comment on materials used by us to develop our critical habitat 
determination for the pygmy-owl. Therefore, we are extending the public 
comment period for 60 days, until April 25, 2003.

Public Comments Solicited

    We are extending the comment period in order to accept the best and 
most current scientific and commercial data available regarding the 
proposed critical habitat designation for the pygmy-owl and the draft 
economic analysis of the proposal. The Public Comments Solicited 
section of the preamble to our proposed rule includes a list of topics 
for which we are particularly seeking comments. Previously submitted 
comments need not be resubmitted. You may submit written comments by 
any of several methods:

[[Page 8731]]

    You may mail or hand-deliver written comments to the Field 
Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES section). 
Hand deliveries must be made during normal business hours.
    You may send comments by e-mail to cfpo--habitat@fws.gov. If you 

submit comments by e-mail, please submit them as an ASCII file and 
avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please 
also include a return address in your e-mail message.
    You may send written comments by facsimile to 602/242-2513.
    Prior to making a final determination on this proposed rule, we 
will take into consideration all relevant comments and additional 
information received during the comment period. You may inspect 
comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation 
used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical habitat, by 
appointment during normal business hours at our office listed in the 
ADDRESSES section.


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

    Dated: February 20, 2003.
Julie A. MacDonald,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 03-4539 Filed 2-24-03; 8:45 am]