[Federal Register: October 1, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 190)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 58876-58878]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AT57

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 
Availability of the Draft Economic Analysis on the Proposed Designation 
of Critical Habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft economic analysis on the proposed designation 
of critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker (Catostomus santaanae), 
and the reopening of the public comment period on the proposed rule to 
designate critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker. The comment period 
will provide the public, Federal, State, and local agencies, and Tribes 
with an opportunity to submit written comments on this proposal and its 
respective draft economic analysis. Comments previously submitted for 
this proposed rule need not be resubmitted as they have already been 
incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in any 
final decision.

DATES: The public comment period on the proposed designation and draft 
economic analysis is now reopened until October 12, 2004. We will 
accept comments and information until 5 p.m. PST on that date.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and materials may be submitted to us by one 
of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, 
Carlsbad, California 92009.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at the above address, or fax your 
comments to (760) 431-9618.
    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
fw1sasu@r1.fws.gov. Please see the Public Comments Solicited section 

below for file format and other information about electronic filing.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposed critical habitat rule 
for the Santa Ana sucker will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address. Any 
comments received after the closing date may not be considered in the 
final decisions on this action. You may obtain copies of the proposed 
critical habitat designation by contacting the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 
(760) 431-9440; facsimile (760) 431-9618).


Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or 
any other interested parties concerning our proposed designation of 
critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker and our draft economic 
analysis for the proposed

[[Page 58877]]

critical habitat designation. We particularly seek comments concerning:
    (1) The reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined 
to be critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act, including 
whether the benefit of designation will outweigh any threats to the 
species due to designation;
    (2) Specific information on the amount and distribution of Santa 
Ana sucker habitat, and what habitat is essential to the conservation 
of the species and why;
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (4) Any foreseeable economic, national security or other potential 
impacts resulting from the proposed designation and, in particular, any 
impacts on small entities or families;
    (5) Whether the economic analysis adequately addresses the likely 
effects and resulting costs arising from the California Environmental 
Quality Act and other State laws as a result of the proposed critical 
habitat designation;
    (6) Whether the economic analysis makes appropriate assumptions is 
consistent with the Service's listing regulations regarding current 
practices and likely regulatory changes imposed as a result of the 
designation of critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker;
    (7) The benefits of including or excluding lands covered by a 
Natural Community Conservation Plan or Habitat Conservation Plan or any 
other lands covered by an adequate management plan;
    (8) Whether the analysis adequately addresses the indirect effects, 
e.g., property tax losses due to reduced home construction, losses to 
local business due to reduced construction activity;
    (9) Whether the economic analysis appropriately identifies land and 
water use regulatory controls that could result from the proposed 
critical habitat designation for this species;
    (10) Whether the analysis accurately defines and captures 
opportunity costs;
    (11) Whether the economic analysis correctly assesses the effect on 
regional costs (e.g., housing costs) associated with land use controls 
that could arise from the designation of critical habitat for this 
    (12) Whether the designation of critical habitat for the sucker 
will result in disproportionate economic or other impacts to specific 
areas that should be evaluated for possible exclusion from the final 
    (13) Whether the economic analysis is consistent with the Service's 
listing regulations because this analysis should identify all costs 
related to the designation of critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker 
and this designation was intended to take place at the time this 
species was listed; and
    (14) The draft economic analysis includes an appendix which 
provides an assessment of the potential benefits that may accrue to 
homeowners resulting from the amenity associated from living in the 
vicinity of a protected riparian corridor.
    a. Please comment on the appropriateness of including the analysis 
of amenities as identified in the appendix as a potential benefit 
associated with critical habitat designation without doing a complete 
analysis of that class of economic effect (such as stigma effects) in 
general and the Santa Ana sucker designation in particular.
    b. Please comment on the method employed to estimate this effect 
which relies on the combined results of two studies that measure the 
premium to homes located near protected or restored urban streams 
(Colby and Wishart 2002, Streiner and Loomis 1995).
    c. Please comment on the appropriateness of the application itself, 
which applied the benefits to all areas of the designation.
    (15) Whether our approach to critical habitat designation could be 
improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 
participation and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating 
public concern and comments.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 
concerning this rule by any one of several methods (see ADDRESSES 
section). Please submit Internet comments to fw1sasu@r1.fws.gov in 
ASCII file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form 
of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: Santa Ana Sucker Critical 
Habitat'' in your e-mail subject header and your name and return 
address in the body of your message. If you do not receive a 
confirmation from the system that we have received your Internet 
message, contact us directly by calling our Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
    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 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 from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.


    On February 26, 2004, we concurrently published in the Federal 
Register a final rule (69 FR 8839) and a proposed rule (69 FR 8911) to 
designate critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker. In order to comply 
with the designation deadline established by the district court, we 
were unable to open a public comment period, hold a public hearing, or 
complete an economic analysis of the final rule. Please refer to the 
final rule (69 FR 8839) for a complete explanation of our reasons for 
dispensing with the notice and comment procedures generally required 
under the Administrative Procedure Act. To give the public an 
opportunity to comment on the critical habitat designation, including 
the opportunity for a public hearing, and to enable the Service to 
complete and circulate for public review an economic analysis of 
critical habitat designation, we published and solicited comment on a 
proposed rule (69 FR 8911) to designate critical habitat for the Santa 
Ana sucker on approximately 21,129 acres (ac) (8,550 hectares (ha)) of 
land in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, California. The 
original comment period on the proposed rule closed on April 26, 2004.
    On August 19, 2004, we published a notice in the Federal Register 
announcing the reopening of a 30-day comment period on the proposed 
rule and the holding of a public hearing on September 9, 2004, in 
Pasadena, California (69 FR 51416). The comment period was open until 5 
p.m. PST on September 20, 2004.
    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 economic and any other 
relevant impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the February 26, 2004, proposed rule to designate critical 
habitat for the Santa Ana sucker, we have prepared a draft economic 
analysis on the proposed critical habitat designation. Retrospective 
costs total $4.2 million, with transportation comprising $3.4

[[Page 58878]]

million of those costs. The remainder of retrospective costs was split 
among OHV recreation, flood control agencies, and Federal agencies. 
Total prospective costs are $30.5 million assuming a three percent 
discount rate and $21.8 million with a seven percent discount rate. 
Annual prospective costs are estimated to be $2.0 million. Costs 
associated with transportation contribute 49 percent of the annual 
costs and overall prospective costs. Other leading activities include 
water supply, flood control agencies, and residential and commercial 
development. The draft economic analysis also includes an appendix 
which provides an assessment of the potential benefits that may accrue 
to homeowners resulting from the amenity associated from living in the 
vicinity of a protected riparian corridor. The method employed to 
estimate this effect relies on the combined results of two studies that 
measure the premium to homes located near protected or restored urban 
streams (Colby and Wishart 2002, Streiner and Loomis 1995). We are now 
soliciting public comment on the draft economic analysis and appendix 
until the date specified above in DATES. We will also continue to 
accept comments concerning our proposed designation of critical habitat 
for the Santa Ana sucker during this period.

References Cited

Colby, Bonnie and Steve Wishart. 2002. Quantifying the Influence of 
Desert Riparian Areas on Residential Property Values, The Appraisal 
Journal, July.
Streiner, Carol and John B. Loomis. 1995. Estimating the Benefits of 
Urban Stream Restoration Using the Hedonic Price Method, Rivers 5(4).


    The primary authors of this notice are the staff of the Carlsbad 
Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).


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

    Dated: September 27, 2004.
Julie MacDonald,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 04-22196 Filed 9-29-04; 9:47 am]