[Federal Register: June 2, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 106)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determinations of
Prudency of Critical Habitat Designation for Two Mammal and Four Bird
Species in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
Designations of Critical Habitat for One Mammal and Two Bird Species in
Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period, notice of
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the
reopening of the public comment period for the proposed rule to
designate critical habitat for the Mariana fruit bat and the Guam
Micronesian kingfisher on Guam, and the Mariana crow on Guam and Rota.
We have received a proposed natural resource management plan from Guam
since the close of the comment period, and the comment period is
reopened to allow additional time for all interested parties to
consider this information and submit written comments on the Guam
proposal. Comments already submitted on the proposed rule need not be
resubmitted as they already have been incorporated into the public
record and will be fully considered in the final determination.
DATES: The comment period for this proposal now closes on July 19,
2004. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in
the final decision on this proposal.
ADDRESSES: Written comments and information should be submitted to the
Acting Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific
Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088,
Honolulu HI 96850. Comments and materials received will be available
for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at
the above address.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gina Shultz, Assistant Field
Supervisor, at the above address (telephone 808/792-9400; facsimile
On October 15, 2002, we proposed designating critical habitat on
approximately 10,053 hectares (ha) (24,840 acres (ac)) in two units on
the island of Guam for the Mariana fruit bat (Pteropus mariannus
mariannus) and the Guam Micronesian kingfisher (Halcyon cinnamomina
cinnamomina) (67 FR 63738). For the Mariana crow (Corvus kubaryi), we
proposed designating critical habitat on approximately 9,325 ha (23,042
ac) in two units on the island of Guam and approximately 2,462 ha
(6,084 ac) in one unit on the island of Rota in the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands. On Guam, the boundaries of the proposed
critical habitat units for the Mariana fruit bat and Guam Micronesian
kingfisher are identical, and the boundaries of the proposed critical
habitat for the Mariana crow are contained within these boundaries. On
Rota, critical habitat is proposed only for the Mariana crow. For
locations of these proposed units and additional information, please
see the proposed rule (67 FR 63738).
The original comment period for the proposed rule closed on
December 16, 2002. On December 5, 2002, we published a notice in the
Federal Register announcing an extension of the public comment period
to January 6, 2003, and the availability of the draft economic analysis
for the proposed designation of critical habitat (67 FR 72407). On
January 28, 2003, we published a notice to reopen the comment period
until February 18, 2003, due to hardships caused by Supertyphoon
Pongsona on Guam and Rota (68 FR 4159). On May 30, 2003, the Government
of Guam filed a motion to extend the court-ordered deadline for
completing the critical habitat process to allow time to develop an
alternative to critical habitat designation on Guam. On June 13, 2003,
the Federal District Court for Guam extended the deadline for
publication ``indefinitely,'' and set a status conference for October
7, 2003. On June 23, 2003, the Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to
the 9th Circuit from the District Court's June 13, 2003, order. On
October 7, 2003, the District Court held a status conference in which
the Government of Guam requested a continuance of one month. On October
16, 2003, the Guam District Court
denied the request for further continuance and ruled that it would take
no further action while the case was on appeal. On January 7, 2004, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal and
returned the case to the District Court.
Public Comments Solicited
Since the close of the comment period, we have received new
information in the form of a proposed natural resource management plan
(copy available upon request) from the Government of Guam. The comment
period is reopened to allow additional time for all interested parties
to consider the information and submit written comments on the
proposal. In particular, we are interested in comments addressing the
extent to which the proposed Guam plan would provide conservation
benefits for the proposed critical habitat area, the comparative costs,
or other impacts of Guam's proposal and the proposed critical habitat,
and whether or not Guam's proposal would provide a basis for excluding
areas from final critical habitat designation pursuant to sections
4(b)(2) or 3(5)(A) of the Endangered Species Act.
We will accept written comments and information received during
this reopened comment period. If you wish to comment, you may send or
hand-deliver written comments and information to the Acting Field
Supervisor (see ADDRESSES section).
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 Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
(see ADDRESSES section). Copies of the proposed rule are available on
the Internet at http://pacificislands.fws.gov or by request from the
Acting Field Supervisor at the address above (see ADDRESSES section),
by phone at 808/792-9400, or by facsimile at 808/792-9581.
The primary author of this notice is Fred Amidon, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see
Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
Dated: May 25, 2004.
David P. Smith,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 04-12432 Filed 6-1-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P