[Federal Register: May 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 85)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 23083-23087]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI15

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Roswell 
Springsnail, Koster's Springsnail, Pecos Assiminea, and Noel's Amphipod 
as Endangered With Critical Habitat

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Revised proposed rule; reopening of public comment period, 
notice of availability of draft economic analysis and draft 
environmental assessment, updated legal descriptions for critical 
habitat units.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the draft economic analysis and draft environmental 
assessment for the proposal to designate critical habitat for the 
Roswell springsnail (Pyrgulopsis roswellensis), Koster's springsnail 
(Juturnia kosteri), Pecos assiminea (Assiminea pecos), and Noel's 
amphipod (Gammarus desperatus) (four invertebrates) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are also reopening 
the public comment period for the proposal to list the four 
invertebrates as endangered with critical habitat to allow all 
interested parties an opportunity to comment on and request changes to 
the proposed listing and critical habitat designation, as well as the 
associated draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment. 
In addition, we are proposing updated legal descriptions for critical 
habitat units using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) coordinates. 
We invite all interested parties to submit comments on this proposal 
within the 30-day comment period.

DATES: Comments must be submitted directly to the Service (see 
ADDRESSES section) on or before June 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials by any one of several methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to the Susan 
MacMullin, Field Supervisor, New Mexico Ecological Services Field 
Office, 2105 Osuna Road NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our New 
Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address, or fax 
your comments to 505-346-2542.
    3. You may send your comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
``R2FWE_AL@fws.gov.'' For directions on how to submit electronic 
filing of comments, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section 
    You may obtain copies of the draft economic analysis and draft 
environmental assessment by mail by contacting the person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. You may also view these documents in 
person, review comments and materials received, and review supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposed rule, by appointment, 
during normal business hours, at the New Mexico Ecological Services 
Field Office at the address provided above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan MacMullin, Field Supervisor, New 
Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (telephone 505-761-2525, 
facsimile 505-346-2542).


 Public Comments Solicited

    We intend any final action resulting from this proposal to be as 
accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit comments 
or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, 
the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party 
concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments 
    (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 benefits of designation will outweigh any threats to the 
species resulting from designation;
    (2) Specific information on the amount and distribution of the four 
invertebrates' habitat, and which habitat is essential to the 
conservation of the species and why;
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject area and their possible impacts on the species or proposed 
critical habitat;
    (4) Whether our approach to listing or critical habitat designation 
could be improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 

[[Page 23084]]

and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating public concerns and 
    (5) Any foreseeable economic, environmental, or other impacts 
resulting from the proposed designation of critical habitat or 
coextensively from the proposed listing, in particular, any impacts on 
small entities or families;
    (6) Whether the economic analysis identifies all State and local 
costs. If not, what other costs are overlooked;
    (7) Whether the economic analysis makes appropriate assumptions 
regarding current practices and likely regulatory changes imposed as a 
result of the listing of the species or the designation of critical 
    (8) Whether the economic analysis correctly assesses the effect on 
regional costs associated with land use controls that derive from the 
    (9) Whether the designation will result in disproportionate 
economic impacts to specific areas that should be evaluated for 
possible exclusion from the final designation; and
    (10) Whether the economic analysis appropriately identifies all 
costs that could result from the designation or coextensively from the 
    Comments submitted during this comment period will be fully 
considered in the critical habitat determination, which will be made on 
or before August 1, 2005. To meet this date, all comments or proposed 
revisions to the draft economic analysis, draft environmental 
assessment, and proposed rule need to be submitted to us during the 
open comment period (see DATES).
    Please submit electronic comments in ASCII file format and avoid 
the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Please also 
include ``Attn: RIN 1018-AI15'' 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 e-
mail message, contact us directly by calling our New Mexico Ecological 
Services Field Office at (505) 346-2525.
    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.


    On November 22, 1985, we received a petition from Mr. Harold F. 
Olson, Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, to add 
11 species of New Mexican mollusks to the Federal list of endangered 
and threatened wildlife. Roswell springsnail (Pyrgulopsis roswellensis, 
formerly Fontelicella sp. (Hershler 1994)), Koster's springsnail 
(Juturnia kosteri, formerly Tryonia (Hershler et al. 2002)), and Pecos 
assiminea were among the 11 species. We determined the petition 
presented substantial information that the requested action may be 
warranted and published a positive 90-day petition finding in the 
Federal Register on August 20, 1986 (51 FR 29671). A subsequent 12-
month finding published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1987 (52 FR 
24485), concluded that the petitioned action was warranted but 
precluded by other higher priority listing actions. A proposed rule to 
list the three snails as endangered with critical habitat was published 
in the Federal Register on February 12, 2002 (67 FR 6459). The proposed 
rule also included Noel's amphipod, which had been a candidate for 
listing, because this invertebrate shares the same habitats, threats, 
and management needs as the three snails.
    These species occur at sinkholes, springs, and associated spring 
runs and wetland habitats. They are found at Bitter Lake National 
Wildlife Refuge in Chaves County, New Mexico, one site in Pecos County, 
Texas, and one site in Reeves County, Texas.
    In the proposed rule, we determined that these three snails and one 
amphipod have an exceedingly limited distribution and are imperiled by 
local and regional groundwater depletion, surface and groundwater 
contamination, oil and gas extraction activities within the supporting 
aquifer and watershed, and direct loss of their habitat (e.g., through 
burning or removing marsh vegetation, inundating, or filling of 
    If the proposed listing and critical habitat designation is 
finalized, section 7(a)(2) of the Act would require that Federal 
agencies ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or carry out are not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or result 
in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we consider economic and other 
relevant impacts prior to making a final decision on what areas to 
designate as critical habitat. We may revise the proposal, or its 
supporting documents, to incorporate or address new information 
received during the comment period. In particular, we may exclude an 
area from critical habitat if we determine that the benefits of 
excluding the area outweigh the benefits of including the area as 
critical habitat, provided such exclusion will not result in the 
extinction of the species. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) 
completed a Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan in September of 1998 
that provides for protection and management of the four invertebrate 
species and sensitive natural habitats. We believe that there is 
minimal benefit from designating critical habitat for the four 
invertebrates within Bitter Lake NWR lands because these lands are 
already managed for the conservation of wildlife. We did not propose to 
exclude Bitter Lake NWR from the proposed critical habitat designation, 
but we anticipate excluding it from the final designation after further 
analysis and public comment.
    The draft economic analysis estimates that the total post-
designation costs could amount to between $6.4 million to $12.8 million 
over 20 years (or $3.4 to $6.8 million in present value terms and 
$170,000 to $339,000 annually from 2005 to 2025). Approximately 82 
percent of these costs are associated with impacts to oil and gas 
activities on Bureau of Land Management lands within the Bitter Lake 
Habitat Protection Zone. Federal, State, and The Nature Conservancy 
management activities are expected to generate 14 percent of total 
forecast costs.

Corrected Coordinates for Proposed Units of Critical Habitat

    Below we provide corrected legal descriptions for the four 
invertebrates' proposed critical habitat designation. The legal 
descriptions published on February 12, 2002 (67 FR 6459), as part of 
the proposed critical habitat designation, used a less accurate method 
of description and contained errors. In this revised proposed rule, we 
are proposing updated legal descriptions for critical habitat units 
using GIS coordinates, which is our current (and a more precise) method 
of identifying critical habitat units. The general unit locations of 
proposed critical habitat on the maps in the February 12, 2002, 
proposal remain correct, and we are not republishing them in this 
document. The proposed updated legal descriptions using GIS coordinates 
may be found in the rule portion of this document.

[[Page 23085]]

Name Change

    Since the publication of the February 12, 2002, proposed rule, the 
common and scientific names of one of the snails proposed for listing 
as endangered with critical habitat have changed. The proposed rule 
specified this snail as Koster's tryonia (Tryonia kosteri). This snail 
is now identified as Koster's springsnail (Juturnia kosteri). This 
revised proposed rule incorporates the current common and scientific 
names of this snail into the proposed amendatory language. We are not, 
however, republishing the critical habitat unit maps in this proposed 
rule. If this proposal is adopted, the map of the critical habitat for 
Koster's springsnail will be revised to correct the common name in our 
final determination. To view the critical habitat unit maps, refer to 
the February 12, 2002, proposed rule (67 FR 6459).

Required Determinations

    This revised proposed rule affirms the information contained in the 
February 12, 2002, proposed rule (67 FR 6459) concerning Executive 
Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act; Executive Orders 13211, 
12630, 13132, 12988, and 13175; the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act; the 
Paperwork Reduction Act; the National Environmental Policy Act; and the 
President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, ``Government-to-Government 
Relations with Native American Tribal Governments'' (59 FR 22951).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Rule Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter 
I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) as follows:
    a. Add Pecos assiminea snail, Koster's springsnail, and Roswell 
springsnail in alphabetical order under ``SNAILS'; and
    b. Add Noel's amphipod in alphabetical order under ``CRUSTACEANS'', 
to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to read as follows:

Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                                  Critical     Special
                                                            Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened

                                                                      * * * * * * *

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Snail, Pecos assiminea...........  Assiminea pecos.....  U.S.A. (NM, TX),     NA.................  E               ...........     17.95(f)           NA

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Springsnail, Koster's............  Juturnia kosteri....  U.S.A. (NM)........  NA.................  E               ...........     17.95(f)           NA
Springsnail, Roswell.............  Pyrgulopsis           U.S.A. (NM)........  NA.................  E               ...........     17.95(f)           NA

                                                                      * * * * * * *

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Amphipod, Noel's.................  Gammarus desperaturs  U.S.A. (NM)........  NA.................  E               ...........     17.95(h)           NA
                                                                      * * * * * * *

    3. Amend Sec.  17.95 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (f), add critical habitat for Pecos assiminea, 
Koster's springsnail, and Roswell springsnail; and
    b. In paragraph (h), add critical habitat for Noel's amphipod, in 
the same alphabetical order as these species occur in Sec.  17.11(h).

Sec.  17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

* * * * *
    (f) Clams and snails.
* * * * *
    Pecos assiminea (Assiminea pecos)
    1. A portion of the critical habitat for the Pecos assiminea is 
located in paragraph (f) of this section within the text for the 
Koster's springsnail. These species occur together, and critical 
habitat and the primary constituent elements are identical for these 
snails. In addition, critical habitat is depicted for the Pecos 
assiminea in:
    (i) Pecos County, TX, including the Diamond Y Springs complex, 
located at longitude -102.923461 and latitude 30.999271, and 
approximately 6.8 km (4.2 mi) of the spring outflow ending at about 0.8 
km (0.5 mi) downstream of the State Highway 18 bridge crossing 
(approximately longitude -102.885137 and latitude 31.041405). Also 
included is approximately 0.8 km (0.5 mi) of Leon Creek upstream of the 
confluence with Diamond Y Draw. All surrounding riparian vegetation and 
mesic soil environments within the spring, outflow, and portion of Leon 
Creek are also proposed for designation as these areas are considered 
habitat for the Pecos assiminea. Legal description (geographic 
projection, North American Datum 83): Longitude (decimal degrees), 
Latitude (decimal degrees):

-102.905319869746634, 31.022089444891570; -102.887036917654868, 
31.043947412173729; -102.884194716234887, 31.042760908977833; 
102.885135806784476, 31.040116604685526; -102.886447071974004, 
31.038190792077721; -102.886620885824385, 31.037813677269160; 
102.890251036381329, 31.035783323856453;

[[Page 23086]]

-102.892481680821120, 31.034679908957198; -102.893548121939546, 
31.033842414359302; -102.893785401930572, 31.033086360646934; -
102.893745950415067, 31.032373282069056; -102.894097678233564, 
31.031429114358268; -102.895544792411911, 31.030835296062797; -
102.896058768051944, 31.030036256911551; -102.898010410716566, 
31.029070675153459; -102.898781252646117, 31.029130733495535; -
102.899944293890798, 31.028912200684612; -102.900716178554276, 
31.028924768711160; -102.901441262661692, 31.028556604651808; -
102.901948928625941, 31.028042412007075; -102.901688880906221, 
31.027325744767865; -102.901714918210303, 31.026138774702297; -
102.901732622700223, 31.025331634924694; -102.901817954640350, 
31.023955646131167; -102.902125889274174, 31.022488286611136; -
102.902640803335373, 31.021641737279424; -102.903610272253857, 
31.020185129479138; -102.903508335417825, 31.019803505987209; -
102.904231258688768, 31.019530280313123; -102.905008267695379, 
31.019305424852949; -102.905627160458280, 31.018745526192433; -
102.905862223627835, 31.018084401107885; -102.907438011441329, 
31.016637604571564; -102.908402165790250, 31.015418349965021; -
102.909312205831228, 31.014150714293240; -102.909665778900688, 
31.013111534294385; -102.910342839052220, 31.012410065631975; -
102.911174902560035, 31.012186062876218; -102.912113070098556, 
31.012153756020012; -102.912844195573911, 31.011500644598044; -
102.913370338091369, 31.010131773029197; -102.914161736135028, 
31.009242148253836; -102.915610463748450, 31.008553125409257; -
102.917106029547554, 31.008244810453860; -102.918875138268959, 
31.008035883431738; -102.919664405186026, 31.007241180720893; -
102.920460878479304, 31.006114116159939; -102.920933820519480, 
31.004649359449264; -102.921603523207537, 31.004280181687651; -
102.921961044126064, 31.003051041389284; -102.922105288280434, 
31.001485991578242; -102.923062919493049, 31.000551488397821; -
102.924338893382782, 31.000192054013731; -102.925434072210962, 
31.000542142822137; -102.925748330937964, 31.001307135185360; -
102.925543882342382, 31.003108703491051; -102.924514657475115, 
31.004802011677008; -102.923332386691257, 31.005922892971402; -
102.922655466250575, 31.006624436236699; -102.921313967399342, 
31.007457756682811; -102.921298502243019, 31.008169949149053; -
102.921890429628803, 31.008844431891216; -102.922088249987723, 
31.009892533060658; -102.920305700167233, 31.010718735844538; -
102.918990962464960, 31.010317563552466; -102.917661775715189, 
31.010581089582509; -102.915939472406691, 31.011170723093645; -
102.915640066348502, 31.012258293740160; -102.915233503111892, 
31.013201643466406; -102.914004171668253, 31.013941704157816; -
102.912955733451284, 31.013972240169043; -102.912389969275623, 
31.014628028040637; -102.912099833183859, 31.015288275173923; -
102.912212159226485, 31.015195101507882; -102.910513768505638, 
31.017209923999967; -102.908484529126227, 31.019219357013320; -
102.906961764318297, 31.020762017382609; -102.906510334381181, 
31.021229648922475; -102.906323124324715, 31.022224022537589; -
102.905476410341578, 31.023112694758801; -102.904572468616138, 
31.024095422710321; -102.904098125726293, 31.025607579972412; -
102.904512146691772, 31.026849198511329; -102.904475741511831, 
31.028510959127807; -102.903447935740203, 31.030109108839046; -
102.901831302956197, 31.030890242225727; -102.900225068829968, 
31.031196566903024; -102.897834397853146, 31.032060033587637; -
102.896823149655987, 31.032898465556570; -102.895449713462554, 
31.035155846795476; -102.894484140543042, 31.036422464608236; -
102.892135869908444, 31.037856459486278; -102.890355694384951, 
31.038539777638526; -102.889015567482971, 31.039277771567470; -
102.888427464446750, 31.040930483816535; -102.887036917654868, 

    (ii) Reeves County, TX, at the East Sandia Spring complex. East 
Sandia Spring is located at longitude -103.728918, latitude 30.991012. 
The designation includes the springhead itself, surrounding seeps, and 
all submergent vegetation and moist soil habitat found at the margins 
of these areas. These areas are considered habitat for the Pecos 
assiminea. Legal description (geographic projection, North American 
Datum 83): Longitude (decimal degrees), Latitude (decimal degrees):

-103.729296238487009, 30.990656960487129; -103.731179077171333, 
30.989695620405591; -103.730160658036496, 30.991850361242875; -
103.727182653076312, 30.992477028891606; -103.729159475230986, 
30.988608062418542; -103.731179077171333, 30.989695620405591.

[[Page 23087]]

    (iii) [Reserved for maps.]
    (2) The primary constituent elements of critical habitat for Pecos 
assiminea are found in paragraph (f) of this section within the text 
for Koster's springsnail. In addition, Pecos assiminea requires moist 
soil at stream or spring run margins with hydrophytic vegetation such 
as salt grass or sedges.
* * * * *

Koster's springsnail (Juturnia kosteri)

    1. Critical habitat is depicted for the Koster's springsnail in 
Chaves County, NM, and includes areas within the Bitter Lake National 
Wildlife Refuge (Sago Springs; Bitter Creek; the adjacent gypsum 
sinkholes; portions of impoundments 3, 5, 6, 7, and 15; and Hunter 
Marsh). The designation includes all springs, seeps, sinkholes, and 
outflows surrounding Bitter Creek, Refuge impoundments, and the Sago 
Springs complex. Legal description (geographic projection, North 
American Datum 83):
    (i) Northern section, Longitude (decimal degrees), Latitude 
(decimal degrees):

-104.419336674151936, 33.480203681366007; -04.414762751950349, 
33.493436689238095; -104.413741244431790, 33.493858608357627; -
104.413235764174928, 33.493287218778512; -104.413241520912933, 
33.492433750334044; -104.416057124033827, 33.477653104239650; -
104.413198374410456, 33.473656611934771; -104.412039061275550, 
33.469383625617866; -104.413065082074766, 33.468250489397242; -
104.426263172009314, 33.474429023268044; -104.427054732772433, 
33.483109918607781; -104.414762751950349, 33.493436689238095.

    (ii) Southern section, Longitude (decimal degrees), Latitude 
(decimal degrees):

-104.407815889404233, 33.439996838454036; -104.409173042255944, 
33.466525002302781; -104.408145058265191, 33.467942596606910; -
104.405096865849373, 33.466932257051440; -104.401378674109566, 
33.464638361172135; -104.398868290382183, 33.459505219451806; -
104.398411239598261, 33.451963754012681; -104.402906045391788, 
33.439894210503255; -104.406341045861339, 33.433793930997410; -
104.414701913408763, 33.426721133987094; -104.414714323491111, 
33.424871931927768; -104.415228007298339, 33.424163100410929; -
104.414770632086643, 33.416479392467984; -104.411547814481665, 
33.416464147038482; -104.411687860032401, 33.414562203832219; -
104.413726146639021, 33.414145099835672; -104.414498731965509, 
33.412761800276868; -104.419587179207483, 33.412785710373186; -
104.419816772583573, 33.416520876242608; -104.418406720890829, 
33.418114597973172; -104.417627026091026, 33.420564769753462; -
104.418122394589631, 33.422594170420631; -104.418493402187309, 
33.424196232957904; -104.418992363923280, 33.425692205299626; -
104.418728660053802, 33.427077915542149; -104.415788743879105, 
33.429091176930797; -104.413227534105900, 33.431532911399167; -
104.411304551549236, 33.433657558361652; -104.407946281311240, 
33.441003035157820; -104.402389579193624, 33.453352149735451; -
104.403497024026549, 33.458905233151292; -104.403742086416045, 
33.460293348887326; -104.404494096955176, 33.462003962340610; -
104.404482425097086, 33.463710904744133; -104.407020866535930, 
33.464789946839218; -104.409173042255944, 33.466525002302781.

    (2) [Reserved for map.]
    (3) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements include 
permanent, flowing, unpolluted fresh to moderately saline water; slow 
to moderate velocities of water over substrates (a surface on which a 
plant or animal grows or is attached) ranging from deep organic silts 
to limestone cobble and gypsum substrates; presence of algae, 
submergent vegetation, and detritus in the substrata; water 
temperatures in the approximate range of 10-20 degrees Centigrade (50-
68 degrees Fahrenheit) with natural diurnal and seasonal variation 
slightly above and below that range.

Roswell springsnail (Pyrgulopsis roswellensis)

    The critical habitat map and description for the Roswell 
springsnail is located in paragraph (f) of this section within the text 
for the Koster's springsnail. These species occur together, and 
critical habitat and the primary constituent elements are identical for 
these snails.
* * * * *
    (h) Crustaceans.
* * * * *

Noel's amphipod (Gammarus desperatus)

    The critical habitat map and description, including the primary 
constituent elements, for the Noel's amphipod is located in paragraph 
(f) of this section, within the text for the Koster's springsnail. 
These species occur together, and critical habitat and the primary 
constituent elements are identical for this snail and the Noel's 
* * * * *

    Dated: April 26, 2005.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 05-8836 Filed 5-3-05; 8:45 am]