[Federal Register: August 16, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 157)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 48093-48094]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on 
a Petition To List a Karst Meshweaver, Cicurina cueva, as an Endangered 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the public comment period for the status review initiated 
by the 90-day finding on a petition to list Cicurina cueva as an 
endangered species. This action will allow all interested parties an 
opportunity to provide information on the status of the species under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

DATES: Comments must be submitted directly to the Service (see 
ADDRESSES section) on or before August 30, 2005. Any comments received 
after the closing date may not be considered in the 12-month finding 
for this petition.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials by any one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information by mail or hand-
delivery to Robert Pine, Field Supervisor, Austin Ecological Services 
Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758.
    2. Written comments may be sent by facsimile to 512/490-0974.
    3. You may send your comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 

    All comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the 90-day finding, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at our Austin Ecological Services Field Office at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Pine, Field Supervisor, Austin 
Ecological Services Office (telephone 512/490-0057, facsimile 512/490-



    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.) requires 
that for any petition to revise the List of Threatened or Endangered 
Wildlife and Plant Species that contains substantial scientific and 
commercial information that listing may be warranted, we make a finding 
within 12 months of the date of the receipt of the petition on whether 
the petitioned action is (a) not warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) 
warranted but the immediate proposal of a regulation is precluded by 
other pending proposals to determine whether any species is threatened 
or endangered.
    On July 8, 2003, we received a petition requesting that we list 
Cicurina cueva (no common name) as an endangered species with critical 
habitat. On May 25, 2004, Save Our Springs Alliance (SOSA) filed a 
complaint against the Secretary of the Interior and the Service for 
failure to make a 90-day petition finding under section 4 of the Act 
for Cicurina cueva. In our response to Plaintiff's motion for summary 
judgment on October 15, 2004, we informed the court that we believed 
that we could complete a 90-day finding by January 20, 2005, and if we 
determined that the 90-day finding provided substantial information 
indicating that listing may be warranted, we could make a 12-month 
finding by December 8, 2005. On March 18, 2005, the District Court for 
the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, adopted our schedule 
and ordered the Service to issue a 12-month finding on or before 
December 8, 2005.
    On February 1, 2005, we published our 90-day finding on the 
petition to list Cicurina cueva as an endangered species (70 FR 5123). 
Our 90-day finding stated that we found the petition presented 
substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that 
listing Cicurina cueva may be warranted. Threrefore, we initiated a 
status review to determine if listing the species is warranted. The 
original comment period for providing information for our status review 
closed on May 15, 2005.
    Pursuant to 50 CFR 424.16(c)(2), we may extend or reopen a comment 
period upon finding that there is good cause to do so. We are currently 

[[Page 48094]]

information that will be used in making a determination whether 
Cicurina cueva should be listed as endangered. We reopened the comment 
period from May 23 to June 22, 2005 (70 FR 29471), as additional 
information from a genetic analysis and additional survey work for 
Cicurina species in southern Travis County became available near the 
end of the original comment period. We were also expecting a biological 
evaluation from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on (SH) 
State Highway 45 South that will evaluate biological effects of 
proposed highway construction and how they will avoid or minimize any 
negative effects to Flint Ridge Cave. In addition, we were expecting a 
draft Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) and 
enhanced management plan for Cave X from the Regents School of Austin. 
These documents are in progress, and it is our understanding that they 
were almost complete by the June 22, 2005, deadline.
    With this document, we are reopening the public comment period on 
the 90-day finding and initiation of status review to complete and make 
available the results of our peer review on the report titled, 
``Genetic and morphological analysis of species limits in Cicurina 
spiders (Araneae, Dictynidae) from southern Travis and northern Hays 
counties, with emphasis on Cicurina cueva Gertsch and relatives'' and 
to receive additional information that was in progress and almost 
complete at the time the last comment period closed including, but not 
limited to, TxDOT's biological evaluation of SH 45, the Regents 
School's draft CCAA and enhanced management plan, information from the 
City of Austin, and possibly information from a number of other parties 
who requested an extension of the comment period. This document and the 
results of the peer review are available to the public by contacting 
the Austin Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES section above). We 
believe these documents may contain significant information that may 
affect our determination of the species' status and allowing the 
comment period to expire before they are available could result in 
hurried and incomplete comments. We deem these considerations as 
sufficient cause to reopen the comment period. This reopening of the 
comment period will not result in an extension of the court-ordered 
date by which the Service must make its 12-month finding.

Public Comments Solicited

    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. 
If you wish us to withhold your name 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 from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available 
for public inspection in their entirety.

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

    Dated: August 2, 2005.
Marshall P. Jones, Jr.,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-16150 Filed 8-15-05; 8:45 am]