[Federal Register: March 20, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 54)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 13663-13664]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI21

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus 
(Ventura marsh milk-vetch)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the reopening 
of the comment period for the proposed designation of critical habitat 
for the threatened Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus (Ventura 
marsh milk-vetch) in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, California, 
and the availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposed 
designation of critical habitat. We are reopening the comment period to 
allow all interested parties to comment simultaneously on the proposed 
rule and the associated draft economic analysis. Comments previously 
submitted on the proposed critical habitat rule that was published in 
the Federal Register on October 9, 2002 (67 FR 62926), need not be 
resubmitted as they will be incorporated into the public record as part 
of this reopened comment period and will be fully considered in the 
final rule.

DATES: We will accept public comments until April 21, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Comments and information should be sent to the Field 
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. Written 
comments may also be sent by fax to 805/644-3958 or hand-delivered to 
our office at the above address. You may also send comments by 
electronic mail (e-mail). For instructions, see Public Comments 
Solicited under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rick Farris or Anna Toline of the 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office at 805/644-1766.



    On October 9, 2002, we proposed to designate approximately 170 ha 
(420 ac) of land in three units in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties 
as critical habitat for Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus (67 
FR 62926). We accepted public comments on this proposed rule until 
December 9, 2002. Private lands comprise approximately 33 percent of 
the proposed critical habitat, and State lands comprise 67 percent. No 
Federal lands are proposed for inclusion. No federally listed animal 
species are known to occur on the proposed critical habitat units.
    Critical habitat receives protection from destruction or adverse 
modification through required consultation under section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (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 on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data 
available, after taking into consideration the economic and any other 
relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus, we have 
prepared a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat 
designation. The economic analysis shows that the proposed designation 
is not likely to result in any consultation costs pursuant to section 7 
of the Act. As a result, the analysis concluded that the potential 
economic cost attributed to the proposed designation is expected to be 
$0. The draft analysis is available on the Internet and from the 
mailing address in the ADDRESSES section above. We are reopening the 
comment period to allow all interested parties to comment 
simultaneously on the proposed rule and the associated draft economic 

Public Comments Solicited

    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 determination for Astragalus 
pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus, and the draft economic analysis 
associated with the designation of critical habitat. Previously 
submitted written comments on the critical habitat proposal need not be 
resubmitted. We will accept written comments and information during 
this reopened comment period. If you wish to comment, you may submit 
your comments and materials concerning this proposal by any of several 
    You may mail or hand-deliver written comments and information to 
the Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES section). Hand deliveries must be 
made during normal business hours.
    You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
fw1venturamilkvetch@fws.gov. If you submit comments by e-mail, please 

submit them as an ASCII file and avoid the use of any special 
characters and any form of encryption. Also, please include ``Attn: RIN 
1018-AI21'' 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 the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office at 
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical 
habitat and the draft economic analysis, will be available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address 
above. You may obtain copies of the draft economic analysis on the 
Internet at http://www.r1.fws.gov. or by writing to the Field 

Internet at http://www.r1.fws.gov. or by writing to the Field 

Supervisor at the address above.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. 
There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold a 
respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold 
your name and/or address, you must state this request prominently at 
the beginning of your comments. However, we will not consider anonymous 
comments. To the extent consistent with applicable law, we will make 
all submissions for organizations or businesses, and from individuals

[[Page 13664]]

identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
    We solicit comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or 
any other interested parties concerning the proposal or the draft 
economic analysis. We particularly seek comments concerning:
    (1) Does the analysis accurately capture and discuss plans or 
potential for development or conversion to agriculture within the area 
proposed to be designated;
    (2) Does the analysis adequately address the indirect effects e.g.: 
property tax losses due to reduced home construction, losses to local 
business due to reduced construction activity
    (3) Does the analysis accurately define and capture opportunity 
    (4) Does the analysis adequately address the likelihood of ``stigma 
effects'' and costs associated with the designation; and
    (5) Does the analysis adequately address the likely effects and 
resulting costs arising from the California Environmental Quality Act 
and other State laws as a result of the designation.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others 
used in the development of the proposed critical habitat and draft 
economic analysis, is available upon request from the Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this notice is Rick Farris (see ADDRESSES 


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

    Dated: March 7, 2003.
Paul Hoffman,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 03-6292 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]