[Federal Register: October 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 201)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 61545-61578]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 61545]]


Part II

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 17

 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Piperia yadonii (Yadon's piperia); Proposed Rule

[[Page 61546]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AU34

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Designation of Critical Habitat for Piperia Yadonii (Yadon's Piperia)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
designate critical habitat for the endangered Piperia yadonii (Yadon's 
piperia) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). In total, approximately 2,306 acres (ac) (930 hectares (ha)) 
fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat 
designation. The proposed critical habitat is located in Monterey 
County, California.

DATES: We will accept comments from all interested parties until 
December 18, 2006. We must receive requests for public hearings, in 
writing, at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section by December 4, 

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning this proposal by any one of several methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office (VFWO), 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office, at the above address.
    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
fw8piya@fws.gov. Please see the Public Comments Solicited section below 

for file format and other information about electronic filing.
    4. You may fax your comments to (805) 644-3958.
    5. You may go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov

    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at our VFWO, at the above address (telephone (805) 644-1766).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Noda, Field Supervisor, VFWO, at 
the above address (telephone (805) 644-1766, ext. 319; facsimile (805) 


Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, comments or 
suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the 
scientific community, industry, or any other interested party 
concerning this proposed rule are hereby solicited. Comments 
particularly are sought concerning:
    (1) The reasons 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 Piperia 
yadonii habitat, what areas should be included in the designations that 
were occupied at the time of listing and contain the features that are 
essential for the conservation of the species and why, and what areas 
that were not occupied at the listing are essential to the conservation 
of the species and why;
    (3) Our mapping methodology and criteria used for determining 
critical habitat as well as any additional information on features 
essential for the conservation of the species;
    (4) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (5) The existence of conservation agreements, management plans, or 
strategies that should be considered in determining whether to exclude 
lands from the designation. If the Secretary determines the benefits of 
excluding lands outweigh the benefits of including them, lands will be 
excluded from the final critical habitat designation;
    (6) Any foreseeable economic, national security, or other potential 
impacts resulting from the proposed designation and, in particular, any 
impacts on small entities; and
    (7) Whether our approach to designating critical habitat could be 
improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 
participation and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating 
public concerns and comments.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 
concerning this proposal by any one of several methods (see ADDRESSES 
section). Please submit electronic comments to fw8piya@fws.gov in ASCII 
file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of 
encryption. Please also include ``Attn: Yadon's piperia'' 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 VFWO at phone number (805) 644-1766, ext. 333. Please note that the 
e-mail address fw8piya@fws.gov will be closed out at the termination of 
the public comment period.
    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 names and/or home addresses, etc. but if you wish us to consider 
withholding this information you must state this prominently at the 
beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale 
for withholding this information. This rational must demonstrate that 
disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. 
Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of 
exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be 
released. We will always make submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives of 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Office at the above address.

Role of Critical Habitat in Actual Practice of Administering and 
Implementing the Act

    Attention to and protection of habitat is paramount to successful 
conservation actions. The role that designation of critical habitat 
plays in protecting habitat of listed species, however, is often 
misunderstood. As discussed in more detail below in the discussion of 
exclusions under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, there are significant 
limitations on the regulatory effect of designation under section 
7(a)(2) of the Act. In brief, (1) designation provides additional 
protection to habitat only where there is a federal nexus; (2) the 
protection is relevant only when, in the absence of designation, 
destruction or adverse modification of the critical habitat would in 
fact take place (in other words, other statutory or regulatory 
protections, policies, or other factors relevant to

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agency decision-making would not prevent the destruction or adverse 
modification); and (3) designation of critical habitat triggers the 
prohibition of destruction or adverse modification of that habitat, but 
it does not require specific actions to restore or improve habitat.
    Currently, only 475 species, or 36 percent of the 1,311 listed 
species in the U.S. under the jurisdiction of the Service, have 
designated critical habitat. We address the habitat needs of all 1,311 
listed species through conservation mechanisms such as listing, section 
7 consultations, the section 4 recovery planning process, the section 9 
protective prohibitions of unauthorized take, section 6 funding to the 
States, the section 10 incidental take permit process, and cooperative, 
nonregulatory efforts with private landowners. The Service believes 
that it is these measures that may make the difference between 
extinction and survival for many species.
    In considering exclusions of areas proposed for designation, we 
evaluated the benefits of designation in light of Gifford Pinchot Task 
Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F.3d 1059 (9th Cir 2004) 
(hereinafter Gifford Pinchot). In that case, the Ninth Circuit 
invalidated the Service's regulation defining ``destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat.'' In response, on December 9, 2004, 
the Director issued guidance to be considered in making section 7 
adverse modification determinations. This proposed critical habitat 
designation does not use the invalidated regulation in our 
consideration of the benefits of including areas in this proposed 
designation. The Service will carefully manage future consultations 
that analyze impacts to designated critical habitat, particularly those 
that appear to be resulting in an adverse modification determination. 
Such consultations will be reviewed by the Regional Office prior to 
finalizing to ensure that an adequate analysis has been conducted that 
is informed by the Director's guidance.
    On the other hand, to the extent that designation of critical 
habitat provides protection, that protection can come at significant 
social and economic cost. In addition, the mere administrative process 
of designation of critical habitat is expensive, time-consuming, and 
controversial. The current statutory framework of critical habitat, 
combined with past judicial interpretations of the statute, make 
critical habitat the subject of excessive litigation. As a result, 
critical habitat designations are driven by litigation and courts 
rather than biology, and made at a time and under a timeframe that 
limits our ability to obtain and evaluate the scientific and other 
information required to make the designation most meaningful.
    In light of these circumstances, the Service believes that 
additional agency discretion would allow our focus to return to those 
actions that provide the greatest benefit to the species most in need 
of protection.

Procedural and Resource Difficulties in Designating Critical Habitat

    We have been inundated with lawsuits for our failure to designate 
critical habitat, and we face a growing number of lawsuits challenging 
critical habitat determinations once they are made. These lawsuits have 
subjected the Service to an increasing series of court orders and 
court-approved settlement agreements, which complying with now consumes 
nearly the entire listing program budget. This leaves the Service with 
little ability to prioritize its activities to direct scarce listing 
resources to the listing program actions with the most biologically 
urgent species conservation needs.
    The consequence of the critical habitat litigation activity is that 
limited listing funds are used to defend active lawsuits, to respond to 
Notices of Intent (NOIs) to sue relative to critical habitat, and to 
comply with the growing number of adverse court orders. As a result, 
listing petition responses, the Service's own proposals to list 
critically imperiled species, and final listing determinations on 
existing proposals are all significantly delayed.
    The accelerated schedules of court-ordered designations have left 
the Service with limited ability to provide for public participation or 
to ensure a defect-free rulemaking process before making decisions on 
listing and critical habitat proposals, due to the risks associated 
with noncompliance with judicially imposed deadlines. This in turn 
fosters a second round of litigation in which those who fear adverse 
impacts from critical habitat designations challenge those 
designations. The cycle of litigation appears endless, and is very 
expensive, thus diverting resources from conservation actions that may 
provide relatively more benefit to imperiled species.
    The costs resulting from the designation include legal costs, the 
cost of preparation and publication of the designation, the analysis of 
the economic effects and the cost of requesting and responding to 
public comment, and in some cases the costs of compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These costs, which are not 
required for many other conservation actions, directly reduce the funds 
available for direct and tangible conservation actions.


    It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to 
the designation of critical habitat in this proposed rule and that 
clarify the species description and biology provided in the final 
listing rule. For more information on Piperia yadonii, refer to the 
final listing rule published in the Federal Register on August 12, 1998 
(63 FR 43100).
    Piperia yadonii is a perennial herb in the Orchidaceae (Orchid 
family), which produces one or two basal strap-shaped leaves that grow 
from an underground tuber (the storage organ which persists when the 
species is not present aboveground). P. yadonii leaves emerge in late 
fall or winter, after the soils are saturated by the onset of 
California's wet season rains. Small tubers produce a single leaf, 
which may resemble a grass blade when small (Graff 2006, p. 12). Larger 
tubers produce two basal leaves, often 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 
centimeters (cm)) long and about 1 inch (2 to 3 cm) wide, at maturity. 
Emergence of the single flowering stalk above ground typically begins 
in April (Doak and Graff 2001, p. 2). As the inflorescence grows to its 
full height, usually 8 to 20 inches (20 to 50 cm) tall, the plant's 
basal leaves wither (Morgan and Ackerman 1990, p. 209). Flowering 
occurs in the summer, typically from June to August. The average number 
of flowers recorded on inflorescences in a recent study was 56 (Doak 
and Graff 2001, p. 3). Similar to other orchid species, only a small 
proportion of the plants that produce leaves in a given year will 
produce an inflorescence. Recorded flowering rates for P. yadonii 
plants that have one or more leaves range from 0.4 to 22 percent, and 
vary by site and year (Allen 1996, unpaginated; Doak and Graff 2001, 
pp. 14-15; EcoSystems West Consulting Group (Ecosystems West) 2006, pp. 
71-72). Like other orchid species, the ability to produce flowering 
stalks may be a function of tuber size (indicative of energy reserves), 
rather than age (Wells 1981, pp. 291-293; Rasmussen 1995, pp. 197-200). 
Consequently, an individual that flowers in one year may not be able to 
flower in subsequent years.
    Piperia yadonii requires pollinators to produce seeds. Flowers that 
are not visited by pollinators do not produce seed. Flowers that are 
visited by pollinators and receive self pollen from other flowers on 
the same plant will produce seeds, although they produce

[[Page 61548]]

significantly fewer seeds than result from cross pollinations between 
plants. This is an expression of inbreeding depression in seed set 
(Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 12-15). The presence of inbreeding depression 
in later stages, such as seed germination and establishment, has not 
been studied in P. yadonii. In Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) forest 
habitats, the most abundant insects that have been collected and 
observed visiting P. yadonii flowers are nocturnal short-tongued moths 
in the families Pyralidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, and Pterophoridae. 
Six moth species in these families had Piperia yadonii pollen attached 
to their bodies, confirming that they transport, and can potentially 
transfer, pollen between flowers (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 8-25). 
Nocturnal moths are a commonly reported pollinator of other Piperia 
species (Ackerman 1977a, pp. 256-257). None of the nocturnal moth 
visitors are thought to be rare. Of the moths carrying P. yadonii 
pollen, two species are known to be generalist feeders in the larval 
stage and are found on a variety of native plants and agricultural 
crops. Three species have more exclusive larval feeding habits, having 
been recorded on native shrubs (e.g., coyote brush (Baccharis 
pilularis); California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)) and members of the mint 
family (Lamiaceae) (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 8-25; Graff 2005). A 
bumble bee (Bombus sp.) and one mosquito (species unknown) were also 
collected among P. yadonii flowering plants and had pollen attached to 
their bodies (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 8-25; Graff 2005). Bumblebees 
have been identified as a diurnal visitor by other observers, as well 
(Yadon 2001, unpaginated). In maritime chaparral, rates of insect 
visitation to Piperia yadonii populations were so low that no 
pollinator data was collected (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 8-37). 
Nonnative earwigs (Forficula auricularia) have been documented to 
consume substantial amounts of pollen from P. yadonii flowers in 
several populations found in Monterey pine forest (Doak and Graff 2001, 
p. 9). It is not known if this pollen theft results in depressed seed 
    Each successfully maturing seed capsule of Piperia yadonii can 
contain hundreds of seeds, so a single plant can produce several 
thousand seeds (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 13-31). Orchid seeds are 
typically minute, with a large volume of air compared to the size of 
the embryo. These attributes make the seeds particularly buoyant, 
promoting wind dispersal (Healey et al. 1980, pp. 508, 516; Rasmussen 
1995, pp. 7-10). The distance seeds routinely travel is unknown. In a 
study of an epiphytic (tree growing) orchid, most seeds landed within 
meters of the plant (Ackerman et al. 1996, pp. 195-197). However, 
others have noted that orchids may be one of the earliest colonizers of 
new island habitats hundreds of kilometers from other land masses, 
suggesting that occasional very long distance dispersal can occur 
(Healy et al. 1980, p. 516). Data on many terrestrial orchids indicates 
low genetic differentiation between populations, suggesting that either 
seeds or pollen are moving between populations (Ackerman 1997b).
    In general, orchid seeds lack a sufficient internal food source to 
sustain a germinating seedling. Instead, their nutritional needs are 
fulfilled by an association with a soil fungus (a mycorrhizal 
association) (Hadley 1982, pp. 96-101). Nothing specific has been 
published on the mycorrhizal fungal symbionts of Piperia yadonii, nor 
their distribution in the forest and maritime chaparral soils where 
this orchid grows. In other temperate North American orchid species, 
the primary fungal associates are described as belonging to the genus 
Rhizoctonia or being Rhizoctonia-like fungi (Hadley 1982, pp. 96-99; 
Hadley and Pegg 1989, pp. 61-63). The specificity of the association 
between orchids and their mycorrhizal fungi is a field of active study 
(e.g., Otero et al. 2002, pp. 1852-1858). No broad consensus is 
apparent on whether or not the distributions of temperate North 
American orchids might be limited by their dependence on specific 
fungal symbionts. Once the mycorrhizal association between the orchid 
seed and its fungal partner is established, the orchid tuber continues 
to develop underground. If not established, orchid seeds typically fail 
to germinate or seedlings die at an early subterranean phase of 
development (Rasmussen and Whigham 1998, pp. 61-63). The length of time 
needed for the subterranean P. yadonii tuber to develop, prior to the 
emergence of the first leaf above ground, is unknown. In other orchid 
species, this subterranean phase lasts from 1 to 15 years, with 2 to 4 
years the most common among those reported (Wells 1981, pp. 282-283; 
Rasmussen 1995, pp. 197-200; Rasmussen and Whigham 1998, p. 50).
    In addition to its essential mycorrhizal fungal associates, Piperia 
yadonii is also affected by other fungal infections (tentatively 
identified as Rhizoctonia spp.) that can result in reproductive 
failure. In a study of several populations, fewer of the diseased 
plants set seed, compared to healthy plants, and diseased plants set 
significantly fewer seed than healthy plants (Doak and Graff 2001, p. 
14). Populations differed in their disease incidence. In 2003 at 
Manzanita County Park, of the 100 flowering individuals sampled, 94 
percent appeared affected by disease and consequently set no to little 
fruit (2 to 4 small seed capsules) (Graff 2003). Of 90 P. yadonii 
plants that flowered and were examined on the Monterey Peninsula, about 
9 percent exhibited tip wilt and complete reproductive failure 
(EcoSystems West 2006, p. 57).
    Orchid seeds are not known to have any physical dormancy mechanisms 
(Baskin and Baskin 1998, pp. 146-147; 482-484) and are thought to be 
relatively short-lived, although recent research indicates that some 
species may form persistent soil seedbanks (Whigham et al. 2006, pp. 
24-30). After seed production, mature Piperia yadonii plants persist as 
dormant tubers in the soil through the late summer and early fall. The 
tuber is the primary form of persistence from year to year and it 
likely regenerates annually during the growing season, as in related 
orchids (USFWS 1996, p. 7). Leaves emerge again above ground after the 
first significant fall rains saturate the soil. No evidence of asexual 
reproduction through tuber division has been reported or was present in 
an examination of 13 excavated tubers (Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 12-17).
    Following emergence of the first leaf above ground, an unknown 
number of years are required before the tubers are large enough to 
flower. Annually, a proportion of the tubers in any given population 
remain dormant underground, producing neither leaves nor flowers. This 
prolonged dormancy appears to be fairly common among orchids, and in 
some species, individuals remain dormant for multiple years before 
appearing again above ground (Hutchings 1987, pp. 715-716; Kery et al. 
2005, pp. 311-319). We have no demographic data on the proportion of 
plants that actually reach flowering size in their lifetime or the 
average number of years an individual may flower in a life time. The 
lifespan of Piperia yadonii has not been studied. Few studies of other 
temperate terrestrial orchids have tracked populations for a decade or 
more; those that have, note that some individuals continued to appear 
above ground for the duration of the 8 to15 years of study (Wells 1981, 
pp. 289-292; Hutchings 1987, pp. 719-720; USFWS 1996, p. 9).
    Within occurrences, Piperia yadonii plants often grow in dense 
clusters, sometimes containing hundreds of

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plants. Up to 70 plants per square meter were recorded during a habitat 
characterization in Monterey pine forest (EcoSystems West 2006, p. 55). 
Allen (1996, unpaginated) noted that the continuous canopy of Monterey 
pine forest enables more continuous plant aggregations than maritime 
chaparral, where the chaparral shrubs are separated by bare ground.
    The recorded range of Piperia yadonii extends from the hills around 
Prunedale and in the Elkhorn Slough watershed, south to the Palo 
Colorado Canyon area of the Big Sur coast, in northern Monterey County, 
California. This is the same geographic range known at the time of 
listing eight years ago (63 FR 43100). Surveys conducted within this 
range since that time have provided more detailed information on the 
distribution of plants at specific locations and about annual 
variability in plant expression above ground.
    Allen (1996, unpaginated) estimated that about 70 percent of the 
total known population of Piperia yadonii is found near the center of 
this range in the Monterey pine forest of the Monterey Peninsula. 
Recent surveys on the Monterey Peninsula identified greater 
concentrations of P. yadonii in forested areas of the Monterey 
Peninsula (Zander Associates and WWD Corporation 2004, all pp.; 
EcoSystems West 2005, p. 3), so the proportion of plants in that area 
may be greater. While censuses of comparable detail to those recently 
conducted on the Monterey Peninsula have not been completed in maritime 
chaparral, Allen's estimate is not likely to have overestimated the 
importance of the Monterey Peninsula forests to this species. P. 
yadonii is primarily found in two habitat types, central maritime 
chaparral and Monterey pine forest. It also grows in the Bishop Pine--
Gowen cypress (Pinus muricata--Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana) 
forest community which occurs within the Monterey pine forest on the 
Monterey Peninsula and at Point Lobos Ranch.
    Piperia yadonii is present in some locations where disturbance has 
occurred previously, such as abandoned dirt roads, old trails or trail 
margins, and cut slopes created by past road construction (Allen 1996, 
unpaginated; Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 4-5; Graff et al. 2003), but that 
are not affected by ongoing foot and vehicle traffic. Graff (2006, p. 
5) has noted that when surrounding forest canopies or undergrowth is 
dense, P. yadonii may be primarily found along trails and abandoned 
roads, presumably in response to greater available light levels.
    The primary threats to Piperia yadonii are loss and fragmentation 
of habitat from commercial, agricultural, residential, and intensive 
recreational development (e.g., golf courses, manicured ball fields). 
The historical distribution of P. yadonii prior to being described in 
1990 is unknown, but it likely included much of the historical extent 
of the Monterey pine forest where the species is presently known to 
occur. Logging of the Monterey pine forest began in the late 1700s with 
the arrival of the Spanish in the Monterey Bay area; over the last 200 
years, the forest continued to be logged and converted to agriculture 
and other human uses. Recent estimates of the historical and current 
extent of Monterey pine forest indicate that 37 to 50 percent of the 
Monterey pine forest once found in the Monterey region has been 
eliminated (Huffman and Associates 1994, p. iii; Jones and Stokes 
Associates 1994a, pp. 8-14; Monterey County Planning and Building 
Inspection Department (Monterey County) 2005, p. 3-72). On the Monterey 
Peninsula, the proportion of Monterey pine forest eliminated is 
greater. On those marine terraces and old dune soils that underlie most 
of the Peninsula, less than 20 percent of the historical extent of 
Monterey pine forest is estimated to remain, much of it in fragmented 
and increasingly isolated stands (Jones and Stokes Associates 1994a, 
pp. 14, 34-37).
    Although no comparable acreage estimates have been made for 
maritime chaparral habitats in the northern distribution of P. yadonii, 
these shrublands have been reduced and fragmented by rural residential 
development and conversion of native vegetation to row crops on deeper 
valley soils. The extent of maritime chaparral destruction in the 
Monterey Bay area was recognized and discussed 30 years ago (Griffin 
1978, p. 78). To the west of Prunedale, most development is apparent in 
the valleys, leaving the vegetation on the shallow soils of ridgelines 
relatively intact, but isolated (aerial photography; Van Dyke et al. 
2001, pp. 221, 226-227). North and east of Prunedale, greater amounts 
of residential development appear to have occurred on the ridgetops. 
Consequently, maritime chaparral patches exist there as smaller 
fragments than they do to the west (mapping by Van Dyke and Holl 2003).
    Maritime chaparral in the Elkhorn-Prunedale region of Monterey 
County is also changing as a result of plant succession and an absence 
of fire. A recent study of maritime chaparral sites first sampled 30 
years ago found that changes in community composition, seedling 
abundance, and canopy cover are occurring after a 70-year absence of 
fire. Shrub diversity appears to be declining and canopy cover is 
increasing as coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) or large canopied 
manzanitas become dominant (Van Dyke et al. 2001, pp. 225-227). This 
conversion is likely to be slower in the shallow ridgetop soils where 
Piperia yadonii occurs than it is on slopes and more mesic (moist) 
sites, but coast live oak are present now even on these ridgelines (Van 
Dyke et al. 2001, pp. 226-227). Continued fragmentation and isolation 
of ridgetop maritime chaparral habitats in a matrix of residential 
development will reduce the likelihood that fire can be used as a 
management tool in these habitats in the future.
    Other threats that have been identified include invasive nonnative 
plant species and factors that reduce reproduction, such as herbivory, 
disease, and mowing for fuel reduction purposes. The most common 
invasive plant species found in Piperia yadonii habitat throughout its 
range are jubata or pampass grass (Cortaderia jubata) and French broom 
(Genista monspessulana). These are large plants that can form high 
dense canopies, reducing light and space. Jubata grass invades openings 
in maritime chaparral in the Elkhorn-Prunedale region and the 
Huckleberry Hill Reserve on the Monterey Peninsula. French broom is 
more common in Monterey pine forest habitats and was dense in Piperia 
yadonii occurrences at the Naval Postgraduate School and Point Lobos 
Ranch, when abatement was initiated (Graff 2006, appendices IV, VI; 
Greening Associates 1999, p. 4). Other invasive nonnative plants 
documented from occurrences of P. yadonii include rattlesnake grass 
(Briza maxima) and iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) (Allen 1996; Doak and 
Graff 2001, pp. 4-5). Approximately 20 invasive nonnative plant species 
have been identified spreading in the Monterey pine forests in Monterey 
County (Rogers 2002, pp. 58-59).
    Herbivory of Piperia yadonii leaves and flowering stalks by deer 
and rabbits has been frequently reported (Allen 1996, unpaginated, 
Yadon 1997; Doak and Graff 2001, pp. 10-17). Deer are abundant on the 
Monterey Peninsula and reports from a decade ago estimated that 
herbivory removed about 85 percent of the flowering stalks of uncaged 
plants (Allen 1996, unpaginated). In a study of reproduction in seven 
occurrences, herbivory and disease combined caused reproductive failure 
in about 73 percent of monitored plants (Doak and Graff 2001, p. 17). 
More recent herbivory estimates from both maritime chaparral and 
Monterey pine forest range from 0 percent to 78

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percent, with the highest herbivory rates (73 percent in 2003, 78 
percent in 2005) in the Monterey pine forest (Graff 2006, p. 11, 
Appendix VI). EcoSystems West (2006, pp. 54-58) reported that about 26 
percent of vegetative P. yadonii and about 62 to 70 percent of 
flowering stalks were browsed in Monterey pine forest on the Monterey 
    Mowing for fuel reduction purposes has repeatedly removed the 
flowering stalks of some Piperia yadonii occurrences in the Monterey 
Peninsula region (Yadon 1997, 2000, unpaginated; Environmental Science 
Associates 2004, pp. 3-14, 3-15, 3-16). Expanded fuel breaks are 
planned for the maritime chaparral in which one occurrence is found at 
Manzanita Park.

Previous Federal Actions

    For more information on previous Federal actions concerning Piperia 
yadonii, refer to the final listing rule published in the Federal 
Register on August 12, 1998 (63 FR 43100). At the time of listing, we 
found the designation of critical habitat for P. yadonii to be not 
prudent because: (1) There would be no additional benefit beyond 
listing from doing so, and (2) it would increase the risk of 
overcollection. In August 2004, we published a recovery plan for P. 
yadonii and four other plant taxa from Monterey County, California 
(USFWS 2004).
    On August 13, 2004, our decision not to designate critical habitat 
for Piperia yadonii was challenged in Center for Biological Diversity 
and the California Native Plant Society v. Norton (Case No. C 04-3240 
(N.D.Cal.). On December 21, 2004, the Court issued a settlement 
agreement, in which the Service agreed to submit for publication a 
proposal to withdraw the existing ``not prudent'' determination 
together with a new proposed critical habitat determination for P. 
yadonii by October 5, 2006.

Prudency Determination

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 
424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, 
we designate critical habitat at the time a species is listed as 
endangered or threatened. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(a)(1) state 
that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or 
both of the following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened 
by taking or other activity and the identification of critical habitat 
can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species or (2) 
such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the 
species. In our August 12, 1998 final rule (63 FR 43100), we determined 
that designation of critical habitat for P. yadonii was not prudent 
based on both reasons. Specifically, we stated that P. yadonii occurs 
predominantly on private lands where Federal involvement is unlikely. 
Furthermore, we stated that a majority of P. yadonii individuals are on 
lands of a single private landowner, who commissioned the studies that 
documented the species' range and population status; because this 
landowner is well aware of the presence and location of the species on 
its property, there would be no additional benefit to the species from 
providing the same location information to the landowner.
    In addition, we stated that publication of precise maps and 
descriptions of critical habitat would make these plants more 
vulnerable to incidents of vandalism which could contribute to the 
decline of the species and therefore such designation would provide 
little conservation benefit over that provided by listing. However, in 
the past few years, several of our determinations that the designation 
of critical habitat would not be prudent have been overturned by court 
decisions. For example, in Conservation Council for Hawaii v. Babbitt, 
the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii ruled that 
the Service could not rely on the ``increased threat'' rationale for a 
``not prudent'' determination without specific evidence of the threat 
to the species at issue (2 F. Supp. 2d 1280 [D. Hawaii 1998]).
    Additionally, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. 
Department of the Interior, the United States Court of Appeals for the 
Ninth Circuit ruled that the Service must balance, in order to invoke 
the ``increased threat rationale,'' the threat against the benefit to 
the species of designating critical habitat (113 F. 3d 1121, 1125 [9th 
Cir. 1997]).
    We have reconsidered our evaluation of the threats posed by 
vandalism and overcollection in the prudency determination. Since the 
time of listing in 1998, we have gathered information indicating that 
populations of Piperia yadonii continue to be directly and indirectly 
affected by destruction and alteration of habitat due to residential 
development. However, we have no credible information that this species 
has been threatened from vandalism and overcollection, nor can we say 
that critical habitat would not be a benefit to the species. 
Accordingly, we withdraw our previous determination that the 
designation of critical habitat is not prudent for P. yadonii, and 
determine that the designation of critical habitat is prudent for P. 
yadonii. At this time, we have sufficient information necessary to 
identify specific areas that contain features essential to the 
conservation of the species and are, therefore, proposing critical 
habitat (see ``Methods'' sections below for a discussion of information 
used in our reevaluation).

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as--(i) the 
specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, at 
the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found 
those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation 
of the species and (II) that may require special management 
considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed, upon 
a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of 
the species. Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act means 
to use and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to 
bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point when 
measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such 
methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities 
associated with scientific resources management such as research, 
census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, 
propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the 
extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem 
cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the prohibition against destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat with regard to actions carried out, funded, or 
authorized by a Federal agency. Section 7 requires consultation on 
Federal actions that ``may affect'' critical habitat. The designation 
of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a 
refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such 
designation does not allow government or public access to private 
lands. Section 7 is a purely protective measure and does not require 
implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures.
    To be included in a critical habitat designation, the habitat 
within the area occupied by the species must first have features that 
are essential to the conservation of the species. Critical habitat 
designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific 
data available, habitat areas that provide essential life cycle needs 
of the species (i.e., areas on which are found the

[[Page 61551]]

primary constituent elements, as defined at 50 CFR 424.12(b)).
    Habitat occupied at the time of listing may be included in critical 
habitat only if the essential features thereon may require special 
management or protection. Thus, we do not include areas where existing 
management is sufficient to conserve the species. (As discussed below, 
such areas may also be excluded from critical habitat pursuant to 
section 4(b)(2).) Areas outside the geographic area occupied by the 
species at the time of listing may only be included in critical habitat 
if they are essential for the conservation of the species. Accordingly, 
when the best available scientific data do not demonstrate that the 
conservation needs of the species require additional areas, we will not 
designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area 
occupied by the species at the time of listing. An area currently 
occupied by the species but was not known to be occupied at the time of 
listing will likely, but not always, be essential to the conservation 
of the species and, therefore, typically included in the critical 
habitat designation.
    The Service's Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered 
Species Act, published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34271), and Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658) 
and the associated Information Quality Guidelines issued by the 
Service, provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance 
to ensure that decisions made by the Service represent the best 
scientific data available. They require Service biologists to the 
extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific 
data available, to use primary and original sources of information as 
the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat. When 
determining which areas are critical habitat a primary source of 
information is generally the listing package for the species. 
Additional information sources include the recovery plan for the 
species, articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans 
developed by States and counties, scientific status surveys and 
studies, biological assessments, and other unpublished materials and 
expert opinion or personal knowledge. All information is used in 
accordance with the provisions of Section 515 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; H.R. 5658) and the associated Information Quality Guidelines 
issued by the Service.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific data available. Habitat is often 
dynamic, and species may move from one area to another over time. 
Furthermore, we recognize that designation of critical habitat may not 
include all of the habitat areas that may eventually be determined to 
be necessary for the recovery of the species. For these reasons, 
critical habitat designations do not signal that habitat outside the 
designation is unimportant or may not be required for recovery.
    Areas that support populations, but are outside the critical 
habitat designation, will continue to be subject to conservation 
actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act and to the 
regulatory protections afforded by the section 7(a)(2) jeopardy 
standard, as determined on the basis of the best available information 
at the time of the action. Federally funded or permitted projects 
affecting listed species outside their designated critical habitat 
areas may still result in jeopardy findings in some cases. Similarly, 
critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best available 
information at the time of designation will not control the direction 
and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation plans, or 
other species conservation planning efforts if new information 
available to these planning efforts calls for a different outcome.


    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best 
scientific data available in determining areas that contain features 
that are essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii. This 
includes information from the final listing rule; data from research 
and survey observations published in peer-reviewed articles; reports 
and survey forms prepared for Federal, state, local agencies, and 
private corporations; site visits; regional Geographic Information 
System (GIS) layers, including soil and species coverages; and data 
submitted to the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). We have 
also reviewed available information that pertains to the ecology, life 
history, and habitat requirements of this species. This material 
included information and data in peer-reviewed articles, reports of 
monitoring and habitat characterizations, reports submitted during 
section 7 consultations, our recovery plan, and information received 
from local species experts. We are not proposing to designate as 
critical habitat any areas outside the geographical area presently 
occupied by the species.
    The range of Piperia yadoni extends from the Los Lomos area near 
the Santa Cruz County border in the north to approximately 15 miles (25 
kilometers) south of the Monterey Penninsula near Palo Colorado Canyon 
(Morgan and Ackerman 1990, 208-210; Allen 1996, unpaginated). This 
range has been divided into the following 5 geographic areas for the 
purposes of recovery planning efforts: (1) The Monterey Peninsula, (2) 
the area interior of the Monterey Peninsula, (3) northern Monterey 
County-Prunedale-Elkhorn, (4) the Point Lobos Ranch area, and (5) the 
Palo Colorado Canyon area (USFWS 2004, pp. 16-26, 50-52). We make 
reference to these geographic areas when describing the locations of P. 
yadoni populations and lands proposed for critical habitat designation.

Primary Constituent Elements

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas to propose as critical 
habitat, we consider those physical and biological features (PCEs) that 
are essential to the conservation of the species, and within areas 
occupied by the species at the time of listing, that may require 
special management considerations and protection. These include, but 
are not limited to space for individual and population growth and for 
normal behavior; food, water, air, light, minerals, or other 
nutritional or physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for 
breeding, reproduction, and rearing (or development) of offspring; and 
habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of 
the historic geographical and ecological distributions of a species.
    The specific PCEs required for Piperia yadonii are derived from the 
biological needs of P. yadonii as described in the Background section 
of this proposal and below.

Space for Individual and Population Growth, Including Sites for Seed 
Dispersal and Germination

    Piperia yadonii depends on adequate space for growth, reproduction 
between near and far neighbors, and for movement of seeds via wind to 
unoccupied microsites within populations, to population boundaries, and 
to new sites. Once dispersed, seeds must settle into sites with 
characteristics appropriate for germination, including the presence of 
fungal associates necessary for post-germination development. Maritime 
chaparral and pine forest communities in which P. yadonii and its 
fungal symbionts occur, exhibit considerable

[[Page 61552]]

variability in vegetation density, species composition, and unvegetated 
gaps such that microsites appropriate for germination and growth are 
distributed unevenly throughout this mosaic.
    Plant communities such as maritime chaparral, Monterey pine forest, 
and coast live oak woodland are dynamic; in the absence of fire, 
maritime chaparral succeeds to oak woodland in mesic sites and to low-
diversity stands of large old-age manzanitas in drier sites (Van Dyke 
et al. 2001). The patchy distribution of P. yadonii in a given forest 
or chaparral site in a single year is a reflection of the habitat 
conditions at that particular time. Habitat sites that contain the same 
soil characteristics and plant community may become suitable and 
occupied in future decades as vegetation structure changes due to shrub 
or tree death and growth or herbivore population sizes or movements. In 
the same manner, a currently occupied location may diminish in value 
due to these changing conditions. The mosaic of vegetation height, 
density, and species composition in a given area provides opportunities 
for gene flow between occurrences of P. yadonii through seed dispersal 
on prevailing winds, and promotes continuation of ecosystem processes, 
such as the biological interactions necessary to maintain forest canopy 
and dominant manzanita species, and pollinator assemblages.
    Maintaining large and small populations of Piperia yadonii is 
essential for the long-term conservation of the species. Large 
occurrences of plants and those with higher densities of individuals, 
are more likely to attract insect pollinators necessary for the 
production of viable seed and promote gene flow (Kunin 1997, p. 232-
233), to withstand periodic extreme environmental stresses (e.g., 
drought, disease), and may act as important ``source'' populations to 
allow recolonization of surrounding areas following periodic extreme 
environmental stresses. Small populations of plants may serve as 
corridors for gene flow between larger populations, and may harbor 
greater levels of genetic diversity than predicted for their size 
(Lesica and Allendorf 1995, pp. 172-175).

Nutritional and Physiological Requirements, Including Light and Soil 

    Piperia yadonii occurs in maritime chaparral, a coastal shrub 
association dominated by endemic species of manzanitas. It is most 
often found on ridges where exposed sandstone or decomposed granitic 
soils are shallow and where the dominant manzanita species are low-
growing (preliminary measurements indicate an average of 6 inches (15 
cm) tall (Graff 2006, pp. 5-6)), allowing P. yadonii leaves to receive 
filtered sun and the inflorescence to extend above the decumbent 
manzanita branches. In the Elkhorn-Prunedale area, the transition from 
the low-growing manzanitas of the ridgetops to the surrounding slopes 
that support deeper soils and higher vegetation canopies is often 
abrupt (Van Dyke et al. 2001, p. 222).
    Although Piperia yadonii grows among manzanitas, the specific 
manzanita species vary among the geographic areas within the species 
range. Hooker's manzanita (Arctostyphylos hookeri ssp. hookeri) is the 
manzanita species with which P. yadonii most commonly grows at its most 
northern distribution in the hills around Prunedale. Pajaro manzanita 
(Arctostaphylos pajaroensis) and chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) are 
other dominant shrubs in maritime chaparral there. On and south of the 
Monterey Peninsula, several manzanitas (A. hookeri, A. tomentosa, and 
A. glandulosa ssp. zacaensis) are reportedly the dominant shrubs among 
which it grows (Graff 2006, p. 4; EcoSystems West 2006, p. 64). Other 
species of manzanitas (A. glandulosa) and manzanita hybrids are the 
dominant low-growing forms at the southernmost occurrence of P. yadonii 
near Palo Colorado Canyon, where Hooker's manzanita is absent (Norman 
1995, Graff 2006, p. 4).
    In Monterey pine forest, Piperia yadonii grows through pine needle 
duff where the native herbaceous vegetation cover is typically sparse, 
but diverse, and the Monterey pine canopy is of moderate density (20 to 
70 percent, on the Monterey Peninsula), providing filtered sunlight to 
the forest floor (EcoSystems West 2006, pp. 43, 62-68). The understory 
plant species most frequently associated with P. yadonii in the 
Monterey pine forest are the perennial herb common sanicle (Sanicula 
laciniata), leafy bent grass (Agrostis pallens), and spindly forms of 
bush monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus). In a habitat characterization 
of P. yadonii on the Monterey Peninsula, microsites occupied by P. 
yadonii had five times greater cover by other native geophytes 
(perennial plants with underground storage organs, such as bulbs, 
tubers or corms), such as golden brodiaea (Tritelia ixiodes), blue 
dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), and mariposa lilies (Calochortus spp.) 
than did microsites lacking P. yadonii. Where a maritime chaparral 
understory exists with scattered pines, P. yadonii occurs with other 
native herbs in gaps between the shrubs. It occurs in similar gaps 
associated with trails and fire roads in the Bishop pine--Gowen cypress 
forest stand within the Monterey pine forest on the Monterey Peninsula. 
It is not typically found in areas with a coast live oak canopy or 
those with high understory cover of shrubs or vines (EcoSystems West 
2006, pp. 50-51, 62-68).
    It is likely that in some areas the composition and cover of the 
Monterey pine herbaceous understory may remain relatively stable for 
decades due to abiotic factors (e.g., soils, hydrology) and in others 
these appropriate microhabitats may be ephemeral, disappearing as 
shrubs establish or increase in size and appearing elsewhere when 
understory fire; burrowing, trailing, and browsing animals; or shrub 
death, create new gaps. Areas should be of sufficient size to sustain 
the plant communities in which Piperia yadonii grows, and have 
appropriate soil moisture, and mycorrhizal associates (Perry et al. 
1990, pp. 266-274; Field et al. 1999, pp. 1-3; Noss 2001, pp. 581-586).
    Although soils supporting native mycorrhizal symbionts are believed 
to be a requirement for successful growth in Piperia yadonii, this is 
not a habitat feature easily observable in the field or about which we 
have specific information. Therefore, we have not included it as a 
primary constituent element of critical habitat, but assume that 
mycorrhizal associates will be represented in areas which encompass 
appropriate vegetation and soils.
    Piperia yadonii occupies soils that are primarily characterized as 
sands, fine sands, and sandy loams by the Soil Conservation Service 
mapping (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1978, maps; 
EcoSystems West 2006, pp. 23-26). Soils where P. yadonii occurs in the 
Monterey pine forest are typically characterized as sands, rather than 
loams and, on the Monterey Peninsula, soils are frequently underlain by 
a claypan that is 1 to 5 feet (0.3 to 1.5 m) below the surface (USDA 
1978, pp. 53-54; Jones and Stokes Associates 1994b, pp. 16-21; 
EcoSystems West 2006, pp. 23-26)). In a comparison of Monterey pine 
forest sites on and east of the Monterey Peninsula, P. yadonii was 
present in soils that tended to have lower organic matter, lower 
nutrient levels, and lower summer soil moisture levels than areas where 
it was absent (EcoSystems West 2006, pp. 43, 59-61). It is not known if 
P. yadonii actually prefers nutrient-poor soils or if it is

[[Page 61553]]

unable to compete with the denser understory vegetation found on more 
nutrient-rich soils. P. yadonii presence is correlated with the drier 
of the forest soils. It is not found in riparian areas or wetlands on 
the Monterey Peninsula (Allen, unpaginated; EcoSystems West 2006, pp. 
59-61, 64-65).
    In the maritime chaparral at its northern distributional limit, 
Piperia yadonii occurs on ridges supporting shallow, weathered, sandy 
soils with sandstone outcrops, where shrubs are small-statured (USDA 
1978, pp. 10-11; Allen 1996 unpaginated; Graff 2006, p. 4). The average 
shrub canopy height in areas where P. yadonii occurs on these ridges is 
about 6 inches, according to preliminary sampling (Graff 2006, pp 5-6). 
Soils in this region are typically derived from weathered marine 
deposits. These sites often support cryptogamic soil crusts (soil 
surface communities primarily composed of cyanobacteria, lichens, 
mosses, and algae) (Graff 2006, p. 4). Cryptogamic crusts have been 
found to increase nutrient availability to plants, reduce erosion, 
improve plant-water relations, and provide germination and seedling 
growth sites (USDA 1997, pp. 8-11).


    Piperia yadonii also requires pollinators for the production of 
viable seeds (PCE 2) (Doak and Graff 2001, p. 15). Size and 
configuration of plant populations, and associated flowering species, 
may influence the degree to which pollinators are attracted to an area 
(Sipes and Tepedino 1995, p. 937). The abundance of pollinators may 
affect reproductive success and persistence of small plant populations 
(Groom 1998, pp. 487-495). As a group, the reproductive output of 
orchids is limited by pollinator availability or activity (Tremblay et 
al. 2005, p. 24) and P. yadonii had reduced seed set under natural 
pollination as compared to manual pollination (Doak and Graff 2001, p. 
12-13), an indication that seed set in this species may be pollinator 
limited. When populations of flowering individuals are small or 
flowering is restricted to a specific season, the individual plant 
population may not be able to sustain a population of insect 
pollinators by itself (Groom 1998, pp. 493-495); therefore, habitats 
that support a variety of other flowering plant species that provide 
nectar and pollen sources throughout spring and summer for pollinator 
populations are likely needed to sustain P. yadonii populations.
    Doak and Graff (2001, p. 13) found that pollinators of Piperia 
yadonii are predominantly nocturnal, short-tongued moths e.g., in the 
families Pyralidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, Pterophoridae) that are 
most active between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Some of these 
pollinator species (e.g., Agrotis ipsilon, Udea profundalis) are 
generalists regarding larval host plants, but others (e.g., Elpiste 
marcescaria, Drepanulatrix baueraia) feed on specific host plants in 
the larval stage (e.g., coyote bush, wild lilac, respectively). P. 
yadonii exists within several plant communities which sustain insect 
pollinators. They do so by supporting those flowering plant species 
needed by pollinators as larval hosts or nectar sources (e.g., 
coyotebush, wild lilac, and species in the mint family).

Primary Constituent Elements for Piperia yadonii

    Pursuant to our regulations, we are required to identify the known 
physical and biological features (Primary Constituent Elements; PCEs) 
essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii. All areas proposed as 
critical habitat for P. yadonii are occupied, within the species' 
historic geographic range, and contain sufficient PCEs to support life 
history functions for this species.
    Based on our current knowledge of the life history, biology, and 
ecology of the species and the requirements of the habitat to sustain 
the essential life history functions of the species, we have determined 
that the Piperia yadonii PCEs are:
    1. A vegetation structure providing filtered sunlight on sandy 
    a. Pine forest (primarily Monterey pine) with a canopy cover of 20 
to 70 percent, and a sparse herbaceous understory on Baywood sands, 
Narlon loamy fine sands, Sheridan coarse sandy loams, Tangair fine 
sands, Santa Lucia shaly clay loams and Chamise shaley clay loams 
underlain by a hardpan.
    b. Maritime chaparral ridges with dwarfed shrub (primarily Hooker's 
manzanita) on Reliz shaly clay loams, Sheridan sandy loams, Narlon 
sandy loams, Arnold loamy sands and soils in the Junipero-Sur complex, 
Rock Outcrop-Xerorthents Association, and Arnold-Santa Ynez complex 
often underlain by rock outcroppings.
    2. Presence of nocturnal, short-tongued moths in the families 
Pyralidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, and Pterophoridae.
    This proposed designation is designed for the conservation of those 
areas containing PCEs necessary to support the life history functions 
that were the basis for the proposal. Because not all life history 
functions require all the PCEs, not all proposed critical habitat will 
contain all the PCEs.
    Units are designated based on sufficient PCEs being present to 
support one or more of the species's life history functions. Some units 
contain all PCEs and support multiple life processes, while some units 
contain only a portion of the PCEs necessary to support the species' 
particular use of that habitat. Where a subset of the PCEs is present 
at the time of designation, this rule protects those PCEs and thus the 
conservation function of the habitat.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best 
scientific data available in determining areas that contain features 
that are essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii. This 
includes information from the final listing rule; data from research 
and survey observations published in peer-reviewed articles; reports 
and survey forms prepared for Federal, state, and local agencies, and 
private corporations; site visits; regional Geographic Information 
System (GIS) layers, including soil and species coverages; and data 
submitted to the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). We are 
not proposing to designate as critical habitat any areas outside the 
geographical area presently occupied by the species.
    We have also reviewed available information that pertains to the 
ecology, life history, and habitat requirements of this species. This 
material included information and data in peer-reviewed articles, 
reports of monitoring and habitat characterizations, reports submitted 
during section 7 consultations, our recovery plan, and information 
received from local species experts.
    We are proposing to designate critical habitat on lands within the 
geographic area occupied by the species at the time of listing and 
continue to be occupied to date. All proposed units contain habitat 
with features essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii. We are 
not proposing any units that are unoccupied.
    We used a multi-step process to identify and delineate proposed 
critical habitat units. First, we mapped and reviewed all known 
occurrences of Piperia yadonii, using the best available information. 
To be meaningful for the purposes of determining proposed critical 
habitat units, survey information had to be evaluated in light of the 
species' life history. Not all individuals produce leaves or flower 
every year. A below-ground P. yadonii tuber can do one of four things 
in any given year: die, remain dormant, send up leaves but not

[[Page 61554]]

flower, or leaf out and flower (Graff 2006, pp. 7 and 8). The length of 
tuber dormancy is not known, but may be from 1 to 4 years based upon 
data from other orchid species with a similar life history. The P. 
yadonii flower is diagnostic (with regard to other Piperia species), 
and the proportion of vegetative plants that flower in any given year 
has been estimated to be from 0.4 percent to 22 percent (Graff 2006, p. 
8), with the lowest estimates coming from the chaparral community. Thus 
it is difficult to precisely determine the extent and abundance of the 
species both within individual occurrences and throughout its 
geographic range. Because a positive identification requires a 
flowering individual, we did not include any occurrences in this 
proposed designation that had not been identified during the flowering 
season as Piperia yadonii.
    Occurrence information included the results of several different 
types of surveys for the species in various locations within its range. 
Allen (1996, unpaginated) conducted a two consecutive year survey to 
better understand the extent of the range, distribution, and overall 
population size of the species. The Allen (1996) study estimated 
populations of Piperia yadonii within polygons overlaid on topographic 
maps, but did not indicate areas where the author looked for, but did 
not find occurrences. Graff (2006, (e.g., pp. 14 and 15) developed a 
long-term monitoring program for P. yadonii, using specific test plots 
in several areas featuring known occurrences, and georeferenced 
individual patches of P. yadonii. Various other surveys were designed 
and conducted for specific purposes, including assessing potential land 
subdivisions/development projects and potential state highway 
realignment. In the case of Pebble Beach Company lands on the Monterey 
Peninsula and areas inland from the peninsula, intensive surveys have 
been conducted in multiple years to aid in planning their Del Monte 
Forest Preservation and Development Plan.
    Next, we evaluated which occupied areas were most likely to 
contribute to the long-term persistence of the species. We focused on 
locations with larger occurrences in larger areas of contiguous native 
habitat (greater than 5 acres (2 ha), see below) that are more likely 
to support intact ecosystem processes and biotic assemblages, provide 
areas for population growth, and opportunities for colonization of 
adjacent areas. These areas also have the highest likelihood of 
persisting through the environmental extremes that characterize 
California's climate and of retaining the genetic variability to 
withstand future introduced stressors (e.g., new diseases, pathogens, 
or climate change). We believe that areas less than 5 acres in size 
that are surrounded by high-density development (e.g., office parks, 
residential neighborhoods, commercial buildings, and parking lots) and 
have become isolated as a result of development may contribute to the 
conservation of the species through educational, research, and other 
mechanisms, but overall have a lower potential for long-term 
preservation and lesser conservation value to the species. Therefore, 
we did not further consider these areas in the proposal. Although we 
have not included these areas within the proposed critical habitat 
designation, because they are, occupied they may still receive indirect 
protection under the Act.
    We then selected sites from among the data set resulting from the 
above evaluation that contain the features essential to the 
conservation of Piperia yadonii, need special management, and would 
result in a designation that: (a) Represents the geographic range of 
the species; (b) captures peripheral populations; (c) includes the 
range of plant communities and soil types in which P. yadonii is found; 
(d) encompasses the elevation range over which the species occurs; and 
(e) maintains the connectivity of occurrences that grow on a continuous 
    Species and plant communities that are protected across their 
ranges are expected to have lower likelihoods of extinction (Soule and 
Simberloff 1986; Scott et al. 2001, p. 1297-1300); therefore, essential 
habitat should include multiple locations across the entire range of 
the species to prevent range collapse. Protecting peripheral or 
isolated populations is highly desirable because they may contain 
genetic variation not found in core populations. The genetic variation 
results from the effects of population isolation and adaptation to 
locally distinct environments (Lesica and Allendorf 1995, pp. 754-757; 
Fraser 2000, pp. 49-51; Hamrick and Godt, pp. 291-295). We also sought 
to include the range of plant communities, soil types, and elevational 
gradients in which P. yadonii is found to preserve the genetic 
variation that may result from adaptation to local environmental 
conditions, documented in other plant species (e.g. see Hamrick and 
Godt pp. 299-301; Millar and Libby 1991 pp. 150, 152-155). Finally, 
habitat fragmentation can result in loss of genetic variation (Young et 
al. 1996, pp. 413-417); therefore, we sought to maintain connectivity 
between patches of plants distributed along ridgetops.
    In determining the extent of lands necessary to ensure the 
conservation and persistence of this species, we identified all areas 
which contain those biological and physical features essential to the 
conservation of the species and are either already protected, managed, 
or otherwise unencumbered by conflicting use (e.g. undeveloped County 
or City parks, proposed preservation areas). These populations are most 
likely to persist into the future and to contribute to the species' 
survival and recovery. We added ownership categories to the proposed 
designation in the following manner: First we included undeveloped 
Federal and State lands, then local agency and private lands with 
recognized resource conservation emphasis (e.g., lands owned by a 
conservation-oriented organization, undeveloped County or City parks), 
and finally other agency and private lands.
    As a result of the above process, we did not include all occupied 
areas in proposed critical habitat. About 13 occurrences or parts of 
occurrences, beyond those in the Pebble Beach Company's proposed 
development areas, are known to the Service and are not included in 
proposed critical habitat: two of these are in the Elkhorn-Prunedale 
area, 10 are on the Monterey Peninsula or interior of the Monterey 
Peninsula, and one is in the Point Lobos Ranch area. These were not 
included in the designation due to the above discussed reasons of small 
size, lack of surrounding native or appropriate habitat, or because we 
lacked evidence that they are extant or accurately identified.


    To map the proposed units of critical habitat, we overlaid Piperia 
yadonii records on soil series data, topographic contours and, where 
available, vegetation data (e.g., maritime chaparral mapped by Van Dyke 
and Holl (2003)). Although P. yadonii occurs predominately on soils 
with a substantial sand component (e.g., Arnold and Narlon series), the 
mapped distribution of such soils extends well beyond the species' 
range. Piperia yadonii also frequently occurs in areas of relatively 
low relief (typically less than 30 percent slope) along ridge tops or 
in patches of low relief amid steeper slopes. Using digital elevation 
data, we mapped the distribution of P. yadonii relative to areas with 
low relief and found that topographic relief, when combined with soils 
and plant

[[Page 61555]]

community data, is a more accurate predictor of the species 
distribution. Therefore, as a first step, we tailored proposed unit 
boundaries using geomorphologic features, vegetation data, and soil 
series data.
    In areas dominated by maritime chaparral, such as the Elkhorn-
Prunedale area, Piperia yadonii occurs primarily among low-growing 
manzanitas on ridgelines underlain by sandstone. In areas with this 
geomorphic setting, we determined that digitizing the centerline of the 
ridgetops where P. yadonii occurs and adding 150 meters (492 feet) on 
either side of the centerline most consistently encompassed known P. 
yadonii occurrences, appropriate soils, and suitable habitat contiguous 
with known occurrences. The resulting 300 meter-(984 foot-) wide area 
encompasses the flat or gently sloping ridgetops with low-growing 
manzanitas and the adjacent slopes supporting maritime chaparral. These 
ridgetops support the P. yadonii occurrences, areas for population 
expansion, germination sites for wind-dispersed seeds, and appropriate 
soils. When maritime chaparral did not extend 150 meters from the 
centerline of the ridgetop, we used closer geographic (e.g., streams) 
and manmade features (e.g., roads, development boundaries, farmed land) 
to constrain and more accurately delineate a unit area boundary.
    In areas dominated by Monterey pine forest, particularly on the 
Monterey Peninsula, topographic features are less distinct, and 
consequently less useful for mapping purposes than in the chaparral-
covered hills of northern Monterey County. The Monterey Peninsula's 
Monterey pine and Gowen cypress-Bishop pine forest stands exist in an 
expanse of residential and recreational development. Additional 
residential and recreational development is proposed. As a consequence, 
on the Monterey Peninsula, we began by delineating the occurrences as 
defined by the most recent set of comprehensive surveys. We then 
encompassed the forested stands and fragments that were within existing 
or proposed conservation or open space areas. In two locations where 
forest connections still existed between forest stands, we included 
these to help maintain continued gene flow between Yadon's piperia 
occurrences. We also used landscape features such as streams, roads, 
and developed areas to delineate unit boundaries on appropriate soils.
    Using the above criteria we identified 8 units that contain 
features essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii: Three units 
are in north Monterey County in the Elkhorn-Prunedale area; one is on 
the Monterey Peninsula; two units are interior from the Monterey 
Peninsula; one unit is at Point Lobos Ranch; and the most southerly 
unit is near Palo Colorado Canyon.
    When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, we made 
every effort to avoid including within the boundaries of the maps 
contained within this proposed rule developed areas, tilled fields, row 
crops, golf course turfgrass, buildings, paved areas, and other areas 
that lack PCEs for Piperia yadonii. The scale of the maps prepared 
under the parameters for publication within the Code of Federal 
Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of all such developed areas. 
Any such structures and the land under them inadvertently left inside 
critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this proposed rule 
have been excluded by text in the proposed rule and are not proposed 
for designation as critical habitat. Therefore, Federal actions limited 
to these structures and underlying lands would not trigger section 7 
consultation, unless they affect the species and/or primary constituent 
elements in adjacent critical habitat.
    We are proposing to designate critical habitat in areas that we 
have determined were occupied at the time of listing, and that contain 
sufficient primary constituent elements (PCEs) to support life history 
functions essential for the conservation of the species. Lands are 
proposed for designation based on sufficient PCEs being present to 
support the life processes of the species. Some lands contain all PCEs 
and support multiple life processes. Some lands contain only a portion 
of the PCEs necessary to support the particular use of that habitat.

Special Management Considerations or Protections

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the areas 
determined to be occupied at the time of listing and to contain the 
primary constituent elements may require special management 
considerations or protections. Many of the known occurrences of Piperia 
yadonii are threatened by one or a combination of the following: 
Habitat fragmentation or loss due to residential, commercial, or 
recreational development; competition with nonnative plants for light, 
space, or water; deer and rabbit herbivory; vegetation cutting for fire 
prevention; changes in light, space, and soil moisture availability due 
to loss or alteration of adjacent vegetation or forest canopy; changes 
in fecundity (number and viability of offspring) or genetic variability 
resulting from loss and fragmentation of populations or potentially low 
pollinator abundance or activity; disease; and trampling. In maritime 
chaparral associations of the Prunedale-Elkhorn region where fire has 
not occurred in many decades, shrub diversity appears to be declining 
as coast live oak or large canopied manzanitas become dominant (Van 
Dyke et al. 2001, pp. 225-227). This conversion may be slow in the 
shallow ridgetop soils where P. yadonii occurs, but increasing 
development surrounding these ridgetops reduces the opportunity to use 
fire as a management tool should it be deemed necessary to maintain the 
open, low canopy conditions of P. yadonii's preferred habitat. These 
threats may require special management and are addressed under the 
critical habitat unit descriptions below.

Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    We are proposing 8 units as critical habitat for Piperia yadonii. 
The critical habitat areas described below constitute our best 
assessment at this time of areas determined to be occupied at the time 
of listing, that contain the primary constituent elements, and that may 
require special management. Table 1, below, identifies the approximate 
area exempt from proposed critical habitat for P. yadonii pursuant to 
section 4(a)(3) of the Act. Exemptions are discussed later in this 
proposed rule under the section Application of Section 4(a)(3) and 
Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

[[Page 61556]]

  Table 1.--Approximate Area Exempt From Proposed Critical Habitat for
         Piperia yadonii Pursuant to Section 4(a)(3) of the Act
                                    Definitional area    exemption area
         Location (unit)           (acres/  hectares)       (acres/
Presidio of Monterey, Monterey     121 ac (49 ha)....  121 ac (49 ha)

    The approximate area encompassed within each proposed critical 
habitat unit is shown in Table 2.

                          Table 2.--Critical Habitat Units Proposed for Piperia yadonii
              [Area estimates reflect all land within critical habitat unit boundaries in ac (ha)]
    Critical habitat unit and                                    --------------------------------
             subunit                   State       Local agency    Conservation-                       Total
                                                                   oriented NGO    Other private
Unit 1: Blohm Ranch.............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............        128 (52)
    subunit 1a..................               0               0         72 (29)               0         72 (29)
    subunit 1b..................               0               0         56 (23)               0         56 (23)
Unit 2: Manzanita Park..........  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............       498 (201)
subunit 2a......................               0               0        231 (93)               0        231 (93)
subunit 2b......................               0               0               0         83 (34)         83 (34)
subunit 2c......................               0        183 (74)               0               0        183 (74)
Unit 3: Vierra Canyon...........  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............         50 (20)
subunit 3a......................               0               0               0          17 (7)          17 (7)
subunit 3b......................          12 (5)               0               0               0          12 (5)
subunit 3c......................          21 (8)               0               0               0          21 (8)
Unit 4: Aguajito................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............        157 (64)
subunit 4a......................               0               0               0         77 (31)         77 (31)
subunit 4b......................               0               0               0         80 (32)         80 (32)
Unit 5: Old Capitol.............               0               0               0          16 (6)          16 (6)
Unit 6: Monterey Peninsula......  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............      1059 (428)
subunit 6a......................               0               0          17 (7)       888 (359)       905 (366)
subunit 6b......................               0               0               0           9 (4)           9 (4)
subunit 6c......................               0               0          23 (9)         47 (19)         70 (28)
subunit 6d......................               0               0          12 (5)               0          12 (5)
subunit 6e......................               0          19 (7)         29 (12)          15 (6)         63 (25)
Unit 7: Point Lobos.............        228 (93)               0         97 (39)               0       325 (131)
Unit 8: Palo Colorado...........               0               0               0         73 (29)         73 (29)
        Total...................       261 (105)        202 (81)       537 (217)      1305 (527)      2306 (931)

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Piperia yadonii, below.

Unit 1: Blohm Ranch

    Unit 1 consists of 128 ac (52 ha) of private lands in northern 
Monterey County in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. It is divided into two 
ridgeline subunits, separated by intervening agricultural fields. The 
two subunits support similar plant communities and need similar types 
of special management; therefore, we discuss them as a unit, except to 
differentiate land ownership. Unit 1 was known to be occupied at the 
time of listing (Service 1998) and is currently occupied. It supports 
one of the two largest occurrences of Piperia yadonii plants in the 
Prunedale-Elkhorn area (several thousand plants (Allen 1996 
unpaginated)) and the northernmost occurrences in the known range of 
the species. This unit contains features that are essential for the 
conservation of P. yadonii, including soils from weathered marine 
sediments that are classified as an Arnold-Santa Ynez complex on the 
ridgetops and as Arnold series soils on the slopes (PCE 1). Vegetation 
is primarily high quality maritime chaparral, with ridgetops dominated 
by low-growing Hooker's manzanita. This unit provides habitat that 
supports germination, growth, and reproduction of P. yadonii. It 
contains ridgetop habitat openings, between and among patches of P. 
yadonii, to allow for population expansion and for shifts in population 
location, should successional vegetation or other changes occur that 
alter microhabitat conditions. Threats that may require special 
management in this unit are: the growth and spread of invasive plant 
species (such as jubata grass); erosion from old roadbeds or past 
earth-moving activities; removal of the P. yadonii occurrence or its 
associated natural community to accommodate road construction, 
agricultural, or other facilities (reservoirs, housing sites); and 
herbivory. Herbivory of flowering stalks was 36 percent in 1999, 
although predators (mountain lion (Puma concolor)) of herbivores were 
recently sighted on these lands. Jubata grass is present on surrounding 
properties and continued colonization of these lands by this species is 
likely. Given that pollen deposition rates and seed production were low 
for the one site studied in this unit, special management may also be 
needed to ensure that the abundance of

[[Page 61557]]

potential pollinators, such as moths or bees, are maintained or 
    Subunit 1a: This subunit consists of 72 ac (29 ha) of private land 
owned by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. 
Although restoration and removal of nonnative invasive plant 
populations are ongoing, a management plan specifically addressing 
Piperia yadonii on properties owned by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation 
and The Nature Conservancy has not yet been developed (Hayes 2006).
    Subunit 1b: This subunit consists of 56 ac (23 ha) of land owned by 
The Nature Conservancy and managed by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, or 
owned and managed by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. A management plan 
specifically addressing Piperia yadonii has not yet been developed.

Unit 2: Manzanita Park

    Unit 2 consists of 498 ac (201 ha) of Monterey County lands north 
of Prunedale. It is divided into 3 subunits that support similar soils 
and vegetation communities and need similar types of special 
management; therefore, we discuss these characteristics for the whole 
unit. Unit 2 was known to be occupied at the time of listing (Service 
1998) and is currently occupied. The lands in this unit support several 
thousand Piperia yadonii plants scattered along the ridges, separated 
by intervening lower elevation areas of oak woodland, farmed lands, and 
residential development (Allen 1996 unpaginated; Environmental Science 
Associates 2003; CNDDB 2005; Graff 2006 appendix IV). This unit 
contains features that are essential for the conservation of P. 
yadonii, including soils from weathered marine sediments that are 
classified as an Arnold-Santa Ynez complex on the ridgetops and as 
Arnold series soils on the slopes and on more undulating topography 
within Manzanita County Park (PCE 1). Vegetation within the subunits is 
primarily maritime chaparral, with some coast live oak woodland at the 
lower elevations. The ridgetops are dominated by low-growing Hooker's 
manzanita. This unit contains the PCEs for P. yadonii that promote 
germination, growth, and reproduction. This unit encompasses a cluster 
of three ridgelines primarily oriented east-west that rise in elevation 
from west to east, and which support P. yadonii and which may be close 
enough for genetic exchange via wind-dispersed seed. In conjunction 
with the Blohm Ranch unit, this unit will encompass the majority of the 
P. yadonii plants known in the northern half of the range of P. 
yadonii. The ridgetop habitat openings, between and among patches of P. 
yadonii, allow for population expansion and for shifts in population 
location, should successional vegetation or other changes occur that 
alter microhabitat conditions. This unit is the central of the three in 
the Elkhorn-Prunedale geographic area. This unit supports one of the 
two largest occurrences in the species northern range and they include 
the largest occupied ridgelines relatively unfragmented by residential 
development in the heart of the species northern distribution. Due to 
their relatively unfragmented condition, lands in this unit may support 
dormant plants among the patches of recorded P. yadonii. Threats that 
may require special management in this unit are: the growth and spread 
of invasive plant species, such as jubata grass, French broom, and 
eucalyptus; elimination or further fragmentation of habitat from 
residential, recreational, or agricultural development; vegetation 
removal for fuel reduction purposes; disease; and herbivory. Special 
management may also be needed to ensure the abundance of potential 
pollinators, such as moths or bees, are maintained or enhanced, to 
ensure the production of sufficient viable seed.
    Subunit 2a: This subunit consists of 231 ac (93 ha) of land owned 
and managed by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation.
    Subunit 2b: This subunit consists of 83 ac (34 ha) of private 
lands. Some of the lands in this subunit were proposed for a 10 lot 
subdivision, residential development, and open space designation in 
2000 (Mercurio 2000, p. 2); this project may be moving forward in the 
near future (Schubert 2006).
    Subunit 2c: This subunit consists of 183 ac (74 ha) within 
Manzanita County Park, owned and managed by the County of Monterey. 
Part of the park has been developed into a sports complex and is not 
part of the proposed designation. A portion of the park within the 
proposed unit is used for hiking and equestrian use. Although 
volunteers have recently begun removing nonnative invasive plants from 
the park, we are not aware of the existence of any management plan that 
specifically addresses Piperia yadonii on properties owned by Monterey 

Unit 3: Vierra Canyon

    Unit 3 consists of 50 ac (20 ha) consisting primarily of State 
lands in northern Monterey County north of Prunedale. It is divided 
into 3 subunits with similarities in vegetation and special management 
needs. Unit 3 was known to be occupied at the time of listing (Service 
1998) and is currently occupied (Childs 2004). The easternmost Piperia 
yadonii occurrences in unit 3 (subunit 3b and 3c) are reported to be 
small, with fewer than 10 flowering individuals; this likely represents 
up to several hundred individuals, based on the observed proportion of 
flowering to vegetative individuals (Doak and Graff 2001). This unit 
contains features that are essential for the conservation of P. 
yadonii, including the following: lands in this unit support soils from 
weathered marine sediments that are classified as an Arnold-Santa Ynez 
complex on the ridgetops and the Arnold series on the slopes (PCE 1). 
Vegetation is primarily maritime chaparral, with coast live oak 
woodland in the lower elevation areas. The ridgetops are dominated by 
low-growing Hooker's manzanita. The lands surrounding these subunits 
are more extensively developed for residential use, than are those to 
the west, severing the once continuous maritime chaparral that 
dominated the ridges. Consequently the subunits are smaller and lack 
the additional habitat for population expansion found in the other 
northern units. This unit contains the PCEs for P. yadonii that promote 
germination, growth, and reproduction. It supports the easternmost 
occurrences of P. yadonii in the Elkhorn-Prunedale region, on the 
northeast periphery of the species' range. Lands in these units have 
the features that are essential to the conservation of the species. 
Threats that may require special management in this unit are 
elimination or further fragmentation of habitat from development; 
grading or other vegetation removal (e.g., for fuel reduction purposes 
or roads); and the spread of invasive plant species.
    Subunit 3a: This subunit consists of 17 ac (7 ha) of private lands 
that are overlain by a Pacific Gas and Electric Company easement. The 
occurrence in this subunit is the largest documented in the unit, 
numbering several thousand plants (Childs 2004).
    Subunit 3b: This subunit consists of 12 ac (5 ha) of State lands 
(California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)). The lands in this 
subunit and in subunit 3c were part of a previous study area for a 
highway alignment. This alignment was eventually excluded from further 
consideration and the State retains the lands (Robison 2006). We are 
not aware of any management plan that addresses Piperia yadonii on 
these State properties.
    Subunit 3c: This subunit consists of 21 ac (8 ha) of State lands.

[[Page 61558]]

Unit 4: Aguajito

    Unit 4 consists of 157 ac (64 ha) of private land east of the 
Monterey Peninsula and north of Jack's Peak County Park. It is divided 
into 2 subunits separated by lower elevation lands. Unit 4 was known to 
be occupied at the time of listing (Service 1998) and is currently 
occupied. Piperia yadonii occurs in these subunits on ridgetops, where 
it grows with Hooker's manzanita (EcoSystems West 2006, p. 61). This 
unit contains features that are essential for the conservation of P. 
yadonii, including the following: soils in this unit are classified as 
the Santa Lucia--Reliz Association, where Reliz series soils occur on 
the ridgetops and Santa Lucia series soils on surrounding slopes (PCE 
1). Reliz series soils are characterized as excessively drained shaley 
clay loams underlain by shale or sandstone (USDA 1978, p. 64). The 
vegetation in the unit is a mix of Monterey pine forest and maritime 
chaparral. Griffin (1978, p. 69) commented that this area was one of 
the only ones in the Monterey Bay area where maritime chaparral grows 
on shale. He also noted that sandstones exist within the shale beds and 
produce sandy loam soils. A related species, Piperia elegans is more 
abundant in the surrounding Monterey pine forest (EcoSystems West 
2005b, p. 7). This unit provides habitat that support germination, 
growth, and reproduction. Unit 4 represents one of only two units 
proposed in the region interior to the Monterey Peninsula. It supports 
the largest undeveloped easternmost occurrence of P. yadonii in the 
central and southern half of the species range. Its preservation would 
help avoid range collapse. Threats that may require special management 
in this unit are fragmentation of habitat from development and the 
colonization and spread of invasive plant species.
    Subunit 4a: This subunit consists of 77 ac (31 ha) of private lands 
(owned by the Pebble Beach Company). Lands in and/or adjacent to this 
subunit and subunit 4b are proposed for preservation in the Pebble 
Beach Company's recent development plan, but the configuration of the 
preservation areas is not yet determined (Monterey County 2005, pp. 2-
89, 2-90).
    Subunit 4b: This subunit consists of 80 ac (32 ha) of private lands 
(owned by the Pebble Beach Company) and proposed for preservation (see 
above), and 3 ac (1ha) of Monterey County road right-of-way.

Unit 5: Old Capitol

    Unit 5 consists of 16 ac (7 ha) of private land (owned by the 
Pebble Beach Company) east of the Monterey Peninsula. Unit 5 was known 
to be occupied at the time of listing (Service 1998) and is currently 
occupied. Surveys in 2005 revealed that the dominant Piperia species at 
this location is P. elegans, which number in the thousands; however, 
several hundred P. yadonii co-occur with P. elegans throughout the unit 
(EcoSystems West 2005b, pp. 5-7). This unit contains features that are 
essential for the conservation of P. yadonii, including the Chamise 
shaley clay loam (PCE 1) soil type. The vegetation is Monterey pine 
forest and coast live oak woodland. This unit provides habitat that 
supports germination, growth, and reproduction of P. yadonii. It is the 
only unit proposed between the Monterey Peninsula (Unit 6) and Aguajito 
(Unit 4) to the east, and therefore provides connectivity between these 
other two units. Threats that may require special management in this 
unit are fragmentation or loss of habitat from development, habitat 
degradation by motorized vehicles and encampments, debris dumping, and 
competition from nonnative invasive plants. The land in Unit 5 is 
proposed for preservation in the Pebble Beach Company's recent 
development plan (Monterey County 2005, pp. 2-89, 2-90).

Unit 6: Monterey Peninsula

    Unit 6 consists of 1,058 ac (428 ha) of private and City lands on 
the Monterey Peninsula. This unit is divided into 5 subunits due to 
intervening development. Most of the lands surrounding this unit are 
developed for residential and recreational (golf) use. The similarities 
among the subunits in soils and vegetation community are discussed 
here; subunit specific details are discussed below. Unit 6 was known to 
be occupied at the time of listing (Service 1998) and is currently 
occupied. It supports the greatest abundance and largest aerial extent 
of Piperia yadonii in the species' range, with close to 100,000 
vegetative plants (Zander Associates and WWD Corporation 2004 all pp.; 
EcoSystems West 2004, pp. 1-9; EcoSystems West 2005a, 2005b all pp.). 
This unit contains features that are essential for the conservation of 
P. yadonii including sands or sandy loam soils that belong to at least 
5 soil series on the Monterey Peninsula unit (Baywood sands, Narlon 
loamy fine sands, Sheridan coarse sandy loams, Tangair fine sands, and 
Santa Lucia shaley clay loam). Vegetation in this unit is primarily 
Monterey pine forest, with maritime chaparral, and Bishop pine/Gowen 
cypress forest in two subunits (PCE 1). Pollinator observations and 
collections were made on lands in this unit (PCE 2) (Doak and Graff 
2001). This unit provides habitat that supports germination, growth, 
reproduction, and space for shifts in the location of P. yadonii, as 
microhabitat conditions change. Threats that may require special 
management in this unit are: Adverse effects from adjacent existing and 
future development, including the loss of adjacent forest canopy, 
increased trampling, potential hydrologic changes, overspray of 
pesticides, the introduction of pathogens or disease, mowing, and the 
introduction and spread of invasive plant species; continuing high and/
or increasing deer populations resulting in high herbivory levels; and 
increased growth of understory vegetation due to exclusion of wildfire.
    Subunit 6a: This subunit consists of 904 ac (366 ha) of private 
lands owned by the Pebble Beach Company and other private owners, 
including 80 ac (33 ha) owned by the Del Monte Forest Foundation 
(DMFF). Protected lands in this subunit include the SFB Morse Botanical 
Reserve (owned by the DMFF) and the Huckleberry Hill Natural Reserve 
(easement held by the DMFF). It also includes lands identified in the 
Pebble Beach Company's most recent development proposal for 
preservation or conservation: Areas PQR, G, H, I, the Corporate Yard 
Preservation Area, and Area D (Monterey County 2005). The Department of 
the Army's Presidio of Monterey is contiguous with the northeastern 
edge of this subunit; those lands are exempted from this proposed 
designation, as described later in this rule. Plant communities in the 
Huckleberry Hill Natural Area and SFB Morse Botanical Preserve are 
Gowen cypress/Bishop pine forest, maritime chaparral, and Monterey pine 
forest. The remaining lands support primarily Monterey pine forest. 
Lands in this subunit support about 90,000 vegetative Piperia yadonii 
plants (Zander Associates and WWD Corporation 2004 all pp.; EcoSystems 
West 2004, pp. 1-9; EcoSystems West 2005a, 2005b all pp.). Although the 
DMFF conducts some monitoring and removal of nonnative invasive plant 
populations, a management plan specifically addressing P. yadonii on 
properties owned by the DMFF has not been developed.
    Subunit 6b: This subunit consists of 9 ac (4 ha) of private lands. 
It is identified in the Pebble Beach Company's most recent development 
proposal as the

[[Page 61559]]

Bristol Curve Conservation Area (Monterey County 2005 Fig. ES-2). 
Vegetation in this subunit is Monterey pine forest with an herbaceous 
    Subunit 6c: This subunit consists of 70 ac (28 ha) of private 
lands, of which about 23 acres (9 ha) are owned by the Del Monte Forest 
Foundation (DMFF). Lands within this unit are referred to as Indian 
Village (owned by the DMFF) and, in the Pebble Beach Company's recent 
development proposal, as Conservation Area K and Preservation Areas J 
and L (Monterey County 2005 Fig. ES-2). Adjacent lands that are 
proposed for development are not included in this subunit. The 
vegetation in this subunit is primarily Monterey pine forest. This 
subunit supports several thousand Piperia yadonii plants. Along with 
subunit 6b and 6d, it encompasses lands in the westernmost region of 
the Monterey Peninsula.
    Subunit 6d: This subunit consists of 13 ac (5 ha) of private lands 
owned by the Del Monte Forest Foundation. It encompasses the Crocker 
Grove, an area of Monterey cypress forest with some adjacent Monterey 
pine forest (PCE 1). This is the westernmost subunit on the peninsula, 
closest to the ocean, and lands it occurs on are mapped as marine 
terrace 2 (Jones and Stokes 1994b, p. 11). It has been documented to 
support about 50 flowering Piperia yadonii plants, which typically 
equates to several hundred vegetative plants.
    Subunit 6e: This subunit consists of 44 ac (18 ha) of private lands 
and 19 ac (7 (ha) owned by the City of Pacific Grove. About 29 ac (12 
ha) of the private lands are owned by the Del Monte Forest Foundation. 
Lands within this unit are referred to as the Navajo tract and as 
Preservation Area B in the Pebble Beach Company's most recent 
development proposal (Monterey County 2005 Fig. ES-2). The vegetation 
in this subunit is a mix of coast live oak and Monterey pine forest 
(PCE 1). It is the northernmost unit we are proposing on the Peninsula. 
It supports several hundred plants of Piperia yadonii.

Unit 7: Point Lobos Ranch

    Unit 7 consists of 228 ac (92 ha) of State land south of the 
Monterey Peninsula on the Big Sur coast, and 97 ac (39 ha) owned by the 
Big Sur Land Trust that are intended to be added to the State Parks 
system in the future. Unit 7 was known to be occupied at the time of 
listing (Service 1998) and is currently occupied. The lands in this 
unit support several thousand Piperia yadonii plants (Graff et al. 
2003, Nedeff et al. 2003). This unit contains features that are 
essential for the conservation of P. yadonii, including the sandy loam 
soils in the Sheridan, Narlon, Junipero-Sur complex series, underlain 
by granitic substrates from which terrace sands have been eroded 
(Griffin 1978, p. 69, USDA 1978 map no. 35). Vegetation is a composite 
of Monterey pine forest, maritime chaparral, Gowen cypress-Bishop pine 
forest, with some redwood forest. Piperia yadonii occurs in this unit 
in Monterey pine forest; on exposed granitic soils in maritime 
chaparral dominated by Hooker's manzanita; and under a canopy of 
Monterey pine, Gowen cypress, and redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) (PCE 
1). This unit provides habitat that supports germination, growth, and 
reproduction of P. yadonii, as well as population expansion and shifts 
in population location. This unit supports P. yadonii growing on soils 
not found in other units and in association with a varied mix of forest 
tree species. This is the second highest unit in elevation and supports 
the largest occurrence of P. yadonii south of the Monterey Peninsula. 
Threats that may require special management in this unit are: The 
growth and spread of invasive plant species, such as French broom; loss 
of habitat from residential development; and erosion. Access by park 
visitors may need to be managed to avoid trailing in Monterey pine 
forest populations and use of herbicides should be controlled to avoid 
or minimize effects to P. yadonii.

Unit 8: Palo Colorado

    Unit 8 consists of 73 ac (29 ha) of private land on the Big Sur 
coast. Unit 8 was known to be occupied at the time of listing (Service 
1998) and is currently occupied. The lands in this unit were reported 
to support 38 flowering Piperia yadonii plants (Norman 1995) which 
likely represents a population of several hundred to several thousand 
vegetative individuals, based on the observed proportions of flowering 
to vegetative individuals (Doak and Graff 2001). This unit contains 
features that are essential for the conservation of P. yadonii 
including the following: A mix of sandy loam soils, shallow soils less 
than 20 inches deep, and rock outcrops classified as the Junipero-Sur 
complex and Rock Outcrop-Xerorthents Association (PCE 1) (USDA 1978, p. 
38). Vegetation in this unit has been described as a unique association 
of maritime chaparral, with low-growing hybrid Arctostaphylos 
glandulosa as the dominant manzanita under which P. yadonii occurs 
(Norman 1995). This unit provides habitat that supports germination, 
growth, and reproduction of P. yadonii. This unit supports the most 
southern and highest elevation (1000 to 1400 feet (300 to 430 m)) 
occurrence in the species' range. Threats that may require special 
management in this unit are habitat fragmentation and habitat 
degradation from road and trail grading and from future development, 
such as the introduction and spread of nonnative plants, removal of 
native vegetation, erosion, and hydrologic changes.

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7 of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or carry out are 
not likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. In our 
regulations at 50 CFR 402.02, we define destruction or adverse 
modification as ``a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably 
diminishes the value of critical habitat for both the survival and 
recovery of a listed species. Such alterations include, but are not 
limited to, alterations adversely modifying any of those physical or 
biological features that were the basis for determining the habitat to 
be critical.'' However, recent decisions by the 5th and 9th Circuit 
Court of Appeals have invalidated this definition (see Gifford Pinchot 
Task Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 (9th Cir 
2004) and Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al., 245 
F.3d 434, 442F (5th Cir 2001)). Pursuant to current national policy and 
the statutory provisions of the Act, destruction or adverse 
modification is determined on the basis of whether, with implementation 
of the proposed Federal action, the affected critical habitat would 
remain functional (or retain the current ability for the primary 
constituent elements to be functionally established) to serve the 
intended conservation role for the species.
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is 
proposed or listed as endangered or threatened and with respect to its 
critical habitat, if any is proposed or designated. Regulations 
implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are 
codified at 50 CFR part 402.
    Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with 
us on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of a proposed species or result in destruction or adverse modification 
of proposed critical habitat. This is a procedural requirement only. 
However, once a proposed species becomes listed, or proposed critical 
habitat is designated

[[Page 61560]]

as final, the full prohibitions of section 7(a)(2) apply to any Federal 
action. The primary utility of the conference procedures is to maximize 
the opportunity for a Federal agency to adequately consider proposed 
species and critical habitat and avoid potential delays in implementing 
a proposed action as a result of the section 7(a)(2) compliance 
process, should those species be listed or the critical habitat 
    Under conference procedures, the Service may provide advisory 
conservation recommendations to assist the agency in eliminating 
conflicts that may be caused by the proposed action. The Service may 
conduct either informal or formal conferences. Informal conferences are 
typically used if the proposed action is not likely to have any adverse 
effects to the proposed species or proposed critical habitat. Formal 
conferences are typically used when the Federal agency or the Service 
believes the proposed action is likely to cause adverse effects to 
proposed species or critical habitat, inclusive of those that may cause 
jeopardy or adverse modification.
    The results of an informal conference are typically transmitted in 
a conference report; while the results of a formal conference are 
typically transmitted in a conference opinion. Conference opinions on 
proposed critical habitat are typically prepared according to 50 CFR 
402.14, as if the proposed critical habitat were designated. We may 
adopt the conference opinion as the biological opinion when the 
critical habitat is designated, if no substantial new information or 
changes in the action alter the content of the opinion (see 50 CFR 
402.10(d)). As noted above, any conservation recommendations in a 
conference report or opinion are strictly advisory.
    If a species is listed or critical habitat is designated, section 
7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities 
they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of such a species or to destroy or adversely modify 
its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species 
or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) 
must enter into consultation with us. As a result of this consultation, 
compliance with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) will be documented 
through the Service's issuance of: (1) A concurrence letter for Federal 
actions that may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect, listed 
species or critical habitat; or (2) a biological opinion for Federal 
actions that may affect, but are likely to adversely affect, listed 
species or its critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to result in jeopardy to a listed species or the destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat, we also provide reasonable 
and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are identifiable. 
``Reasonable and prudent alternatives'' are defined at 50 CFR 402.02 as 
alternative actions identified during consultation that can be 
implemented in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the 
action, that are consistent with the scope of the Federal agency's 
legal authority and jurisdiction, that are economically and 
technologically feasible, and that the Director believes would avoid 
jeopardy to the listed species or destruction or adverse modification 
of critical habitat. Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from 
slight project modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the 
project. Costs associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent 
alternative are similarly variable.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where a new 
species is listed or critical habitat is subsequently designated that 
may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary 
involvement or control over the action or such discretionary 
involvement or control is authorized by law. Consequently, some Federal 
agencies may request reinitiation of consultation with us on actions 
for which formal consultation has been completed, if those actions may 
affect subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat or 
adversely modify or destroy proposed critical habitat.
    Federal activities that may affect Piperia yadonii or its 
designated critical habitat will require section 7 consultation under 
the Act. Activities on State, tribal, local or private lands requiring 
a Federal permit (such as a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (Corps) under section 404 of the Clean Water Act or a permit 
under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act from the Service) or involving 
some other Federal action (such as funding from the Federal Highway 
Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, or the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency) will also be subject to the section 7 
consultation process. Federal actions not affecting listed species or 
critical habitat, and actions on State, tribal, local or private lands 
that are not federally-funded, authorized, or permitted, do not require 
section 7 consultations.

Application of the Jeopardy and Adverse Modification Standards for 
Actions Involving Effects to Piperia Yadonii and Its Critical Habitat

Jeopardy Standard
    The Service has applied an analytical framework for Piperia yadonii 
jeopardy analyses that relies heavily on the importance of core area 
populations to the survival and recovery of P. yadonii. The section 
7(a)(2) analysis is focused not only on these populations but also on 
the habitat conditions necessary to support them.
    The jeopardy analysis usually expresses the survival and recovery 
needs of Piperia yadonii in a qualitative fashion without making 
distinctions between what is necessary for survival and what is 
necessary for recovery. Generally, if a proposed Federal action is 
incompatible with the viability of the affected core area 
population(s), inclusive of associated habitat conditions, a jeopardy 
finding is considered to be warranted, because of the relationship of 
each core area population to the survival and recovery of the species 
as a whole.
Adverse Modification Standard
    For the reasons described in the Director's December 9, 2004 
memorandum, the key factor related to the adverse modification 
determination is whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal 
action, the affected critical habitat would remain functional (or 
retain the current ability for the primary constituent elements to be 
functionally established) to serve the intended conservation role for 
the species. Generally, the conservation role of P. yadonii critical 
habitat units is to support viable core area populations.
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and 
describe in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical 
habitat those activities involving a Federal action that may destroy or 
adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such 
designation. Activities that may destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat may also jeopardize the continued existence of the species.
    Activities that may destroy or adversely modify critical habitat 
are those that alter the PCEs to an extent that the conservation value 
of critical habitat for Piperia yadonii is appreciably reduced. 
Activities that, when carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal 
agency, may affect critical habitat and therefore result in

[[Page 61561]]

consultation for P. yadonii include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Actions that would remove or destroy Piperia yadonii plants or 
remove flowering stalks. Such activities could include, but are not 
limited to, grading, plowing, mowing, burning during the growing or 
flowering season, driving over plants, unrestricted creation of trails 
through occurrences, unrestricted mechanical weed control, and/or 
unlimited use of herbicides.
    (2) Actions that would increase the establishment and spread of 
invasive nonnative species in Piperia yadonii habitat or increase the 
invasability of the plant community within which P. yadonii occurs. 
Such activities could include, but are not limited to: grading; 
plowing; road building and maintenance; introducing seeds or other 
propagules of invasive species during erosion-control practices and/or 
landscaping practices; isolating habitat patches within a matrix of 
residential or other development; off road vehicle traffic; and/or 
livestock grazing. These activities could encourage the establishment 
and spread species such as French broom or jubata grass, which can 
compete with P. yadonii for light and other resources.
    (3) Actions that would directly remove or destroy the low-growing 
maritime chaparral and Monterey pine forest plant communities on which 
Piperia yadonii depends. Such activities could include, but are not 
limited to: road construction; grading; development; plowing; burning 
out-of-season or too frequently; and/or off-road vehicle traffic. These 
activities could reduce or eliminate space and the appropriate light 
and hydrologic conditions for P. yadonii germination, growth, and 
    (4) Actions that would indirectly reduce the presence of low-
growing manzanitas in maritime chaparral, openings in maritime 
chaparral, or forested areas with a diverse assemblage (but low cover) 
of native herbs. Such activities could include, but are not limited to: 
those that isolate or fragment habitat through development; road 
construction that promotes such development; exclusion of fire; reduced 
opportunity for prescribed burns during the fall season; and/or 
increased potential for human-caused fire during the growing season of 
Piperia yadonii. These activities could result in less diverse, 
consistently old-age maritime chaparral stands with fewer openings or 
areas that support low-growing manzanitas and reduced abundance of 
forest patches with filtered light canopies and low cover by vines and 
    (5) Actions that would alter the soil hydrology in Piperia yadonii 
habitat. Such activities could include, but are not limited to: grading 
or excavation that disrupts subsurface hardpan layers that influence 
soil saturation; conversion to agricultural lands; development of golf 
courses, ball fields, or other areas that require irrigation; and/or 
development which increases impermeable surfaces. These activities 
could result in soils that do not retain sufficient moisture through 
the growing season, excessive irrigation that influences P. yadonii 
through altered water availability or indirectly through changes in 
associated vegetation, and changes in drainage patterns which influence 
soil saturation during the growing season.
    (6) Actions that would increase the abundance of herbivores of 
Piperia yadonii leaves and flowers (such as deer and rabbits) or 
encourage the spread and abundance of nonnative species that consume 
pollen (e.g., nonnative earwigs). Such activities could include, but 
are not limited to: residential or commercial development that 
introduces landscaping that favors nonnative garden invertebrates but 
not their predators (e.g., lizards); and/or fencing that excludes 
predators, but not herbivores. These actions could result in increased 
levels of herbivory of P. yadonii leaves and flowers and 
correspondingly reduced levels of reproduction.
    (7) Actions that would diminish the variety or abundance of 
pollinators needed for seed set in Piperia yadonii. Such actions could 
include, but are not limited to: removal of the native maritime 
chaparral and forest plant communities within which P. yadonii grows, 
night-lighting adjacent to areas supporting P. yadonii, and/or 
unlimited pesticide applications. These actions could indirectly reduce 
reproduction in P. yadonii through reduced pollen transfer and could 
alter gene flow between occurrences through changes in pollinator 
    All of the units proposed as critical habitat, as well as that 
portion of one which has been exempted under 4(a)(3) of the Act contain 
features essential to the conservation of Piperia yadonii. All units 
are within the geographic range of the species and all units were 
occupied by the species at the time of listing. In some cases, the 
level of detail regarding the precise location of plants within the 
units was not documented until after the listing. All units are 
occupied by P. yadonii. Because all proposed critical habitat units are 
occupied, Federal agencies already consult with us on activities in 
areas currently occupied by P. yadonii, or if the species may be 
affected by their actions, to ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of P. yadonii.

Application of Section 4(a)(3) and Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act

Section 4(a)(3)
    The Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997 (Sikes Act) (16 U.S.C. 670a) 
required each military installation that includes land and water 
suitable for the conservation and management of natural resources to 
complete, by November 17, 2001, an Integrated Natural Resource 
Management Plan (INRMP). An INRMP integrates implementation of the 
military mission of the installation with stewardship of the natural 
resources found on the base. Each INRMP includes an assessment of the 
ecological needs on the installation, including the need to provide for 
the conservation of listed species; a statement of goals and 
priorities; a detailed description of management actions to be 
implemented to provide for these ecological needs; and a monitoring and 
adaptive management plan. Among other things, each INRMP must, to the 
extent appropriate and applicable, provide for fish and wildlife 
management, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement or modification, 
wetland protection, enhancement, and restoration where necessary to 
support fish and wildlife and enforcement of applicable natural 
resource laws.
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. 
L. 108-136) amended the Act to limit areas eligible for designation as 
critical habitat. Specifically, section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 
U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) now provides: ``The Secretary shall not 
designate as critical habitat any lands or other geographical areas 
owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated for its 
use, that are subject to an integrated natural resources management 
plan prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), if 
the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a benefit 
to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for designation.
    We consult with the military on the development and implementation 
of INRMPs for installations with listed species. INRMPs developed by 
military installations located within the range of the proposed 
critical habitat designation for Piperia yadonii were analyzed for 
exemption under the authority of 4(a)(3) of the Act.
    The Presidio of Monterey (POM) has an INRMP and Endangered Species

[[Page 61562]]

Management Plan (ESMP) in place that provides a benefit for Piperia 
yadonii. The ESMP and INRMP were completed, and the Army began 
implementing each of them, in 1999 and 2001, respectively (Harding ESE 
1999; Harding ESE 2001; Cairns 2006). The conservation goal of the ESMP 
that addresses P. yadonii is to maintain the two occurrences on POM 
lands and protect them from impacts during use of the nearby obstacle/
orienteering course. The plan identifies the following actions that 
will benefit P. yadonii: Monitoring; protecting the populations from 
foot traffic by installing signs and by other means; removing nonnative 
plant species from documented and potential habitat; monitoring deer 
browsing and providing caging, if necessary; and establishing a 
propagation program, if necessary. The POM has carried out the 
following in the past 5 years: Annual population monitoring since 2000, 
installation and maintenance of educational signs, creation of an 
educational brochure highlighting P. yadonii, construction and 
installation of outdoor bulletin boards on which the brochures are 
posted, and removal of infestations of nonnative French broom in over 
13 acres of Monterey pine forest habitat (Cairns 2006).
    Based on the above considerations, and in accordance with section 
4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act, we have determined that conservation efforts 
identified in the ESMP and INRMP will provide benefits to Piperia 
yadonii occurring in habitats within the POM. Therefore, we are not 
including approximately 121 acres (49 ha) of habitat for P. yadonii 
within the POM in this proposed critical habitat designation pursuant 
to section 4(a)(3) of the Act.
Section 4(b)(2)
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that critical habitat shall be 
designated, and revised, on the basis of the best available scientific 
data after taking into consideration the economic impact, national 
security impact, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any 
particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude an area 
from critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such 
exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the 
critical habitat, unless he determines, based on the best scientific 
data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical 
habitat will result in the extinction of the species. In making that 
determination, the Secretary is afforded broad discretion and the 
Congressional record is clear that in making a determination under the 
section the Secretary has discretion as to which factors and how much 
weight will be given to any factor.
    Under section 4(b)(2), in considering whether to exclude a 
particular area from the designation, we must identify the benefits of 
including the area in the designation, identify the benefits of 
excluding the area from the designation, and determine whether the 
benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion. If an 
exclusion is contemplated, then we must determine whether excluding the 
area would result in the extinction of the species. The Service is 
conducting an economic analysis of the impacts of the proposed critical 
habitat designation and related factors, which will be available for 
public review and comment. Based on public comment on that document, 
the proposed designation itself, and the information in the final 
economic analysis, areas may be excluded from critical habitat by the 
Secretary under the provisions of section 4(b)(2) of the Act. This is 
provided for in the Act, and in our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 

Conservation Partnerships on Non-Federal Lands

    Most federally listed species in the United States will not recover 
without the cooperation of non-Federal landowners. More than 60% of the 
United States is privately owned (National Wilderness Institute 1995) 
and at least 80% of endangered or threatened species occur either 
partially or solely on private lands (Crouse et al. 2002). Stein et al. 
(1995) found that only about 12% of listed species were found almost 
exclusively on Federal lands (90-100% of their known occurrences 
restricted to Federal lands) and that 50% of federally listed species 
are not known to occur on Federal lands at all.
    Given the distribution of listed species with respect to land 
ownership, conservation of listed species in many parts of the United 
States is dependent upon working partnerships with a wide variety of 
entities and the voluntary cooperation of many non-federal landowners 
(Wilcove and Chen 1998, Crouse et al. 2002, James 2002). Building 
partnerships and promoting voluntary cooperation of landowners is 
essential to understanding the status of species on non-federal lands 
and is necessary to implement recovery actions such as reintroducing 
listed species, habitat restoration, and habitat protection.
    Many non-Federal landowners derive satisfaction in contributing to 
endangered species recovery. The Service promotes these private-sector 
efforts through the Four Cs philosophy--conservation through 
communication, consultation, and cooperation. This philosophy is 
evident in Service programs such as HCPs, Safe Harbors, CCAs, CCAAs, 
and conservation challenge cost-share. Many private landowners, 
however, are wary of the possible consequences of encouraging 
endangered species on their property, and there is mounting evidence 
that some regulatory actions by the Federal Government, while well-
intentioned and required by law, can under certain circumstances have 
unintended negative consequences for the conservation of species on 
private lands (Wilcove et al. 1996, Bean 2002, Conner and Mathews 2002, 
James 2002, Koch 2002, Brook et al. 2003). Many landowners fear a 
decline in their property value due to real or perceived restrictions 
on land-use options where threatened or endangered species are found. 
Consequently, harboring endangered species is viewed by many landowners 
as a liability, resulting in anti-conservation incentives because 
maintaining habitats that harbor endangered species represents a risk 
to future economic opportunities (Main et al. 1999, Brook et al. 2003).
    The purpose of designating critical habitat is to contribute to the 
conservation of threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems 
upon which they depend. The outcome of the designation, triggering 
regulatory requirements for actions funded, authorized, or carried out 
by Federal agencies under section 7 of the Act, can sometimes be 
counterproductive to its intended purpose on non-Federal lands. 
According to some researchers, the designation of critical habitat on 
private lands significantly reduces the likelihood that landowners will 
support and carry out conservation actions (Main et al. 1999, Bean 
2002, Brook et al. 2003). The magnitude of this negative outcome is 
greatly amplified in situations where active management measures (e.g., 
reintroduction, fire management, control of invasive species) are 
necessary for species conservation (Bean 2002).
    The Department of the Interior's ``4Cs'' philosophy--conservation 
through communication, consultation, and cooperation--is the foundation 
for developing the tools of conservation. These tools include 
conservation grants, funding for Partners for Fish and Wildlife 
Program, the Coastal Program, and cooperative-conservation challenge 
cost-share grants. Our Private Stewardship Grant program and Landowner 
Incentive Program provide assistance to private landowners in their

[[Page 61563]]

voluntary efforts to protect threatened, imperiled, and endangered 
species, including the development and implementation of HCPs.
    Conservation agreements with non-Federal landowners (e.g., Habitat 
Conservation Plans (HCPs), contractual conservation agreements, 
easements, and stakeholder-negotiated State regulations) enhance 
species conservation by extending species protections beyond those 
available through section 7 consultations. In the past decade we have 
encouraged non-Federal landowners to enter into conservation 
agreements, based on a view that we can achieve greater species 
conservation on non-Federal land through such partnerships than we can 
through coercive methods (61 FR 63854; December 2, 1996).
    There are currently no conservation plans for lands supporting 
Piperia yadonii that we have determined contain the features essential 
for its conservation.
    The Pebble Beach Company has submitted a draft conservation 
strategy for some of its lands that are within P. yadonii proposed 
critical habitat units on the Monterey Peninsula (Unit 6), and interior 
to the Monterey Peninsula (Unit 4 and Unit 5). We are continuing to 
work with the Pebble Beach Company to refine that strategy. We also 
invite discussion with other landowners within proposed Critical 
Habitat that have an interest in developing conservation strategies 
that we would evaluate to determine if they provide a greater benefit 
to Yadon's piperia than could be achieved through the final designation 
of critical habitat See more on the section 4(b)(2) balancing process, 
described below.
    We anticipate no impact to national security, Tribal lands, or 
habitat conservation plans from this proposed critical habitat 
designation. The information provided in the section below provides the 
framework for our consideration of Exclusions under 4(b)(2) of the Act.

General Principles of Section 7 Consultation Used in the 4(b)(2) 
Balancing Process

    The most direct, and potentially largest, regulatory benefit of 
critical habitat is that federally authorized, funded, or carried out 
activities require consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Act to 
ensure that they are not likely to destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat. There are two limitations to this regulatory effect. First, it 
only applies where there is a Federal nexus--if there is no Federal 
nexus, designation itself does not restrict actions that destroy or 
adversely modify critical habitat. Second, it only limits destruction 
or adverse modification. By its nature, the prohibition on adverse 
modification is designed to ensure those areas that contain the 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species or unoccupied areas that are essential to the conservation of 
the species are not eroded. Critical habitat designation alone, 
however, does not require specific steps toward recovery.
    Once consultation under section 7 of the Act is triggered, the 
process may conclude informally when the Service concurs in writing 
that the proposed Federal action is not likely to adversely affect the 
listed species or its critical habitat. However, if the Service 
determines through informal consultation that adverse impacts are 
likely to occur, then formal consultation would be initiated. Formal 
consultation concludes with a biological opinion issued by the Service 
on whether the proposed Federal action is likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of a listed species or result in destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat, with separate analyses being 
made under both the jeopardy and the adverse modification standards. 
For critical habitat, a biological opinion that concludes in a 
determination of no destruction or adverse modification may contain 
discretionary conservation recommendations to minimize adverse effects 
to primary constituent elements, but it would not contain any mandatory 
reasonable and prudent measures or terms and conditions. Mandatory 
measures and terms and conditions to implement such measures are only 
specified when the proposed action would result in the incidental take 
of a listed animal species. Reasonable and prudent alternatives to the 
proposed Federal action would only be suggested when the biological 
opinion results in a jeopardy or adverse modification conclusion.
    We also note that for 30 years prior to the Ninth Circuit Court's 
decision in Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 378 F.3d 1059 (9th Cir 2004) (hereinafter Gifford Pinchot), 
the Service conflated the jeopardy standard with the standard for 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat when evaluating 
federal actions that affect currently occupied critical habitat. The 
Court ruled that the two standards are distinct and that adverse 
modification evaluations require consideration of impacts on the 
recovery of species. Thus, under the Gifford Pinchot decision, critical 
habitat designations may provide greater benefits to the recovery of a 
species. However, we believe the conservation achieved through 
implementing habitat conservation plans (HCPs) or other habitat 
management plans is typically greater than would be achieved through 
multiple site-by-site, project-by-project, section 7 consultations 
involving consideration of critical habitat. Management plans commit 
resources to implement long-term management and protection to 
particular habitat for at least one and possibly other listed or 
sensitive species. Section 7 consultations only commit Federal agencies 
to prevent adverse modification to critical habitat caused by the 
particular project, and they are not committed to provide conservation 
or long-term benefits to areas not affected by the proposed project. 
Thus, any HCP or management plan which considers enhancement or 
recovery as the management standard will often provide as much or more 
benefit than a consultation for critical habitat designation conducted 
under the standards required by the Ninth Circuit in the Gifford 
Pinchot decision.
    The information provided in this section applies to all the 
discussions below that discuss the benefits of inclusion and exclusion 
of critical habitat in that it provides the framework for the 
consultation process.

Educational Benefits of Critical Habitat

    A benefit of including lands in critical habitat is that the 
designation of critical habitat serves to educate landowners, State and 
local governments, and the public regarding the potential conservation 
value of an area. This helps focus and promote conservation efforts by 
other parties by clearly delineating areas of high conservation value 
for Piperia yadonii. In general the educational benefit of a critical 
habitat designation always exists, although in some cases it may be 
redundant with other educational effects. For example, HCPs have 
significant public input and may largely duplicate the educational 
benefit of a critical habitat designation. This benefit is closely 
related to a second, more indirect benefit: that designation of 
critical habitat would inform State agencies and local governments 
about areas that could be conserved under State laws or local 

Benefits of Excluding Lands With HCPs or Other Approved Management 
Plans From Critical Habitat

    The benefits of excluding lands with HCPs or other approved 
management plans from critical habitat designation include relieving 
landowners, communities, and counties of any

[[Page 61564]]

additional regulatory burden that might be imposed by a critical 
habitat designation. Most HCPs and other conservation plans take many 
years to develop and, upon completion, are consistent with the recovery 
objectives for listed species that are covered within the plan area. In 
fact, designating critical habitat in areas covered by a pending HCP or 
conservation plan could result in the loss of some species' benefits if 
participants abandon the planning process, in part because of the 
strength of the perceived additional regulatory compliance that such 
designation would entail. Although plants are not subject to the 
prohibition on take in Section 9 of the Act, the Service encourages 
applicants to include them as covered species in HCPs by incorporating 
measures to protect them and their habitat under the plans. If as a 
result of the federal nexus created by such inclusion, plants are 
subjected to increased numbers of consultations under Section 7 due to 
designation of critical habitat, applicants will likely be discouraged 
from incorporating conservation measures for plants in their HCPs. The 
time and cost of regulatory compliance for a critical habitat 
designation do not have to be quantified for them to be perceived as 
additional Federal regulatory burden sufficient to discourage continued 
participation in plans targeting listed species' conservation.
    The benefits of excluding lands within approved management plans 
from critical habitat designation include relieving landowners, 
communities, and counties of any additional regulatory burden that 
might be imposed by critical habitat. Many conservation plans provide 
conservation benefits to unlisted sensitive species. Imposing an 
additional regulatory review as a result of the designation of critical 
habitat may undermine conservation efforts and partnerships in many 
areas. Designation of critical habitat within the boundaries of 
management plans that provide conservation measures for a species could 
be viewed as a disincentive to those entities currently developing 
these plans or contemplating them in the future, because one of the 
incentives for undertaking conservation is greater ease of permitting 
where listed species are affected. Addition of a new regulatory 
requirement would remove a significant incentive for undertaking the 
time and expense of management planning.
    A related benefit of excluding lands within management plans from 
critical habitat designation is the unhindered continued ability to 
seek new partnerships with future plan participants including States, 
counties, local jurisdictions, conservation organizations, and private 
landowners, which together can implement conservation actions that we 
would be unable to accomplish otherwise. If lands within approved 
management plan areas are designated as critical habitat, it would 
likely have a negative effect on our ability to establish new 
partnerships to develop these plans, particularly plans that address 
landscape-level conservation of species and habitats. By preemptively 
excluding these lands, we preserve our current partnerships and 
encourage additional conservation actions in the future.
    As noted above, there are currently no approved HCPs or management 
plans in place that provide conservation benefits to P. yadonii. 
However, The Pebble Beach Company has submitted a draft conservation 
strategy for some of its lands that are within P. yadonii proposed 
critical habitat units on the Monterey Peninsula (Unit 6), and interior 
to the Monterey Peninsula (Unit 4 and Unit 5), and we are continuing to 
work with the Pebble Beach Company to refine that strategy. If the 
strategy is finalized and assured of implementation prior to final 
critical habitat designation, we will evaluate it to determine whether 
it provides a greater benefit to Yadon's piperia than could be achieved 
through the final designation of critical habitat.

Economic Analysis

    An analysis of the economic impacts of proposing critical habitat 
for Piperia yadonii is being prepared. We will announce the 
availability of the draft economic analysis as soon as it is completed, 
at which time we will seek public review and comment. At that time, 
copies of the draft economic analysis will be available for downloading 
from the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ventura/, or by contacting the 

Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office directly (see ADDRESSES section).

Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy published in the Federal 
Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert 
opinions of at least three appropriate and independent specialists 
regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of such review is to ensure 
that our critical habitat designation is based on scientifically sound 
data, assumptions, and analyses. We will send these peer reviewers 
copies of this proposed rule immediately following publication in the 
Federal Register. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment, 
during the public comment period, on the specific assumptions and 
conclusions regarding the proposed designation of critical habitat.
    We will consider all comments and information received during the 
comment period on this proposed rule during preparation of a final 
rulemaking. Accordingly, the final decision may differ from this 

Public Hearings

    The Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, 
if requested. Requests for public hearings must be made in writing at 
least 15 days prior to the close of the public comment period. We will 
schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and 
announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings in the Federal 
Register and local newspapers at least 15 days prior to the first 

Clarity of the Rule

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations and 
notices that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to 
make this proposed rule easier to understand, including answers to 
questions such as the following: (1) Are the requirements in the 
proposed rule clearly stated? (2) Does the proposed rule contain 
technical jargon that interferes with the clarity? (3) Does the format 
of the proposed rule (grouping and order of the sections, use of 
headings, paragraphing, and so forth) aid or reduce its clarity? (4) Is 
the description of the notice in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section 
of the preamble helpful in understanding the proposed rule? (5) What 
else could we do to make this proposed rule easier to understand?
    Send a copy of any comments on how we could make this proposed rule 
easier to understand to: Office of Regulatory Affairs, Department of 
the Interior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. You 
may e-mail your comments to this address: Exsec@ios.doi.gov.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review

    In accordance with Executive Order 12866, this document is a 
significant rule in that it may raise novel legal and policy issues, 
but it is not anticipated to have an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more or affect the economy in a material way. Due to 
the tight timeline for publication in the Federal Register, the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) has not formally reviewed this rule. We 
are preparing a draft economic analysis of this proposed action, which 
will be

[[Page 61565]]

available for public comment, to determine the economic consequences of 
designating the specific area as critical habitat. This economic 
analysis also will be used to determine compliance with Executive Order 
12866, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act, and Executive Order 12630.
    Within these areas, the types of Federal actions or authorized 
activities that we have identified as potential concerns are listed 
above in the section on Section 7 Consultation. The availability of the 
draft economic analysis will be announced in the Federal Register and 
in local newspapers, so that it is available for public review and 
comments. The draft economic analysis can be obtained from the Internet 
Web site at http://www.fws.gov/ventura/ or by contacting the Ventura 

Fish and Wildlife Office directly (see ADDRESSES section).

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make 
available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 
describes the effects of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). 
However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of 
the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) to require Federal agencies to 
provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    At this time, the Service lacks the available economic information 
necessary to provide an adequate factual basis for the required RFA 
finding. Therefore, the RFA finding is deferred until completion of the 
draft economic analysis prepared pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Act 
and E.O. 12866. This draft economic analysis will provide the required 
factual basis for the RFA finding. Upon completion of the draft 
economic analysis, the Service will publish a notice of availability of 
the draft economic analysis of the proposed designation and reopen the 
public comment period for the proposed designation for an additional 60 
days. The Service will include with the notice of availability, as 
appropriate, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis or a 
certification that the rule will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities accompanied by the factual 
basis for that determination. The Service has concluded that deferring 
the RFA finding until completion of the draft economic analysis is 
necessary to meet the purposes and requirements of the RFA. Deferring 
the RFA finding in this manner will ensure that the Service makes a 
sufficiently informed determination based on adequate economic 
information and provides the necessary opportunity for public comment.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O. 
13211) on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, 
distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to 
prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. 
This proposed rule to designate critical habitat for Piperia yadonii is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, and it 
is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, 
or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and 
no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 
1501), the Service makes the following findings:
    (a) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a 
Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute or regulation 
that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, tribal 
governments, or the private sector and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments'' with two 
exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of Federal assistance.'' It also 
excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal 
program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing Federal 
program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, 
local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' if the 
provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of assistance'' 
or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's 
responsibility to provide funding,'' and the State, local, or tribal 
governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. At the time of 
enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; AFDC work 
programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; 
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; Foster Care, Adoption 
Assistance, and Independent Living; Family Support Welfare Services; 
and Child Support Enforcement. ``Federal private sector mandate'' 
includes a regulation that ``would impose an enforceable duty upon the 
private sector, except (i) a condition of Federal assistance or (ii) a 
duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.''
    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally 
binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. 
Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must 
ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat under section 7. While non-Federal entities that receive 
Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require 
approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be 
indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally 
binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the 
extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they 
receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid 
program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply; nor would 
critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs 
listed above on to State governments.
    (b) We do not believe that this rule will significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments because only 7 percent (209 ac/84 ha) of the 
total proposed critical habitat designation for Piperia yadonii is 
owned by small government entities; these entities include the City of 
Pacific Grove and Monterey County. Furthermore, a large portion of 
these lands are designated as parks or open space and managed at least 
in part for conservation of natural resources. As such, Small 
Government Agency Plan is not required. We will, however, further 
evaluate this issue as we conduct our economic analysis and revise this 
assessment if appropriate.


    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 

[[Page 61566]]

Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not required. In keeping 
with DOI policy, we requested information from, and coordinated 
development of, this proposed critical habitat designation with 
appropriate State resource agencies in California. The designation of 
critical habitat in areas currently occupied by Piperia yadonii imposes 
no additional restrictions to those currently in place and, therefore, 
has little incremental impact on State and local governments and their 
activities. The designation may have some benefit to these governments 
in that the areas that contain the features essential to the 
conservation of the species are more clearly defined, and the primary 
constituent elements of the habitat necessary to the conservation of 
the species are specifically identified. While making this definition 
and identification does not alter where and what federally sponsored 
activities may occur, it may assist these local governments in long-
range planning (rather than waiting for case-by-case section 7 
consultations to occur).

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order. We have proposed designating critical habitat in 
accordance with the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This 
proposed rule uses standard property descriptions and identifies the 
primary constituent elements within the designated areas to assist the 
public in understanding the habitat needs of Piperia yadonii.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule 
will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or 
local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency 
may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, 
a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    It is our position that, outside the Tenth Circuit, we do not need 
to prepare environmental analyses as defined by the NEPA in connection 
with designating critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this 
determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244). This assertion was upheld in the courts of the Ninth Circuit 
(Douglas County v. Babbitt, 48 F. 3d 1495 (9th Cir. Ore. 1995), cert. 
denied 116 S. Ct. 698 (1996).

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and the Department 
of Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. We have determined that 
there are no tribal lands occupied at the time of listing or currently 
that contain the features essential for the conservation of Piperia 
yadonii and no tribal lands that are unoccupied that are essential for 
the conservation of Piperia yadonii. Therefore, critical habitat for 
Piperia yadonii has not been proposed for designation on Tribal lands.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rulemaking is 
available upon request from the Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this package is the Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation 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. In Sec.  17.12(h), revise the entry for ``Piperia yadonii'' 
under ``FLOWERING PLANTS'' to read as follows:

Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules
         Flowering Plants

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Piperia yadonii..................  Yadon's piperia.....  U.S.A. (CA)........  Orchidaceae          E                      1998     17.96(a)           NA

                                                                      * * * * * * *

    3. In Sec.  17.96(a), add an entry for Piperia yadonii under family 
Orchidaceae'' in alphabetical order to read as follows:

Sec.  17.96  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
    Family Orchidaceae:
    Piperia yadonii (Yadon's piperia)
    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Monterey County, 
California, on the maps below.
    (2) The primary constituent elements of critical habitat for 
Piperia yadonii are the habitat components that provide:
    (i) A vegetation structure providing filtered sunlight on sandy 
    (A) Pine forest (primarily Monterey pine) with an open canopy and 
sparse herbaceous understory on Baywood sands, Narlon loamy fine sands, 
Sheridan coarse sandy loams, Tangair fine sands, Santa Lucia shaly clay 
loams, and Chamise shaley clay loams underlain by a hardpan; and

[[Page 61567]]

    (B) Maritime chaparral ridges with dwarfed shrubs (primarily 
Hooker's manzanita) on Reliz shaly clay loams, Sheridan sandy loams, 
Narlon sandy loams, Arnold loamy sands and soils in the Junipero-Sur 
complex, Rock Outcrop-Xerorthents Association, and Arnold-Santa Ynez 
complex often underlain by rock outcroppings.
    (ii) Presence of nocturnal, short-tongued moths in the families 
Pyralidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, and Pterophoridae.
    (3) Critical habitat does not include man-made structures existing 
on the effective date of this rule and not containing one or more of 
the primary constituent elements. Such structures include buildings, 
aqueducts, airports, and roads, and the land on which they are located.
    (4) Critical Habitat Map Units--Data layers defining map units were 
created on base maps using aerial imagery from the National 
Agricultural Imagery Program; aerial imagery captured June 2005. Data 
were project to Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) zone 11, North 
American Datum (NAD) 1983.
    (5) Note: (Index map) of critical habitat for Piperia yadonii (Map 
1) follows:


[[Page 61568]]


[[Page 61569]]

    (6) Unit 1: Blohm Ranch, Monterey County, California
    (i) Subunit 1a: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 611901, 
4079098; 611902, 4079137; 611917, 4079156; 611974, 4079198; 612002, 
4079216; 612037, 4079247; 612049, 4079272; 612042, 4079293; 611982, 
4079311; 611952, 4079324; 611943, 4079354; 611929, 4079419; 611930, 
4079454; 611972, 4079486; 611987, 4079543; 612012, 4079583; 612011, 
4079594; 612038, 4079619; 612190, 4079608; 612190, 4079539; 612216, 
4079511; 612324, 4079491; 612343, 4079504; 612387, 4079471; 612456, 
4079471; 612514, 4079509; 612558, 4079614; 612558, 4079724; 612489, 
4079761; 612455, 4079807; 612459, 4079821; 612511, 4079847; 612550, 
4079852; 612589, 4079847; 612625, 4079832; 612654, 4079812; 612673, 
4079796; 612655, 4079782; 612630, 4079752; 612603, 4079744; 612647, 
4079619; 612734, 4079691; 612754, 4079691; 612762, 4079710; 612785, 
4079745; 612846, 4079723; 612827, 4079702; 612815, 4079690; 612804, 
4079670; 612797, 4079645; 612795, 4079611; 612746, 4079599; 612716, 
4079588; 612674, 4079586; 612655, 4079569; 612683, 4079496; 612666, 
4079450; 612629, 4079411; 612638, 4079375; 612651, 4079353; 612661, 
4079323; 612665, 4079286; 612624, 4079249; 612624, 4079222; 612635, 
4079209; 612646, 4079194; 612662, 4079183; 612713, 4079155; 612682, 
4079133; 612642, 4079112; 612585, 4079109; 612530, 4079112; 612521, 
4079147; 612509, 4079197; 612576, 4079313; 612588, 4079337; 612589, 
4079337; 612580, 4079358; 612579, 4079358; 612563, 4079371; 612537, 
4079381; 612497, 4079398; 612474, 4079403; 612398, 4079417; 612367, 
4079417; 612350, 4079399; 612346, 4079383; 612357, 4079360; 612369, 
4079340; 612383, 4079316; 612395, 4079275; 612390, 4079255; 612380, 
4079233; 612350, 4079218; 612286, 4079200; 612233, 4079178; 612196, 
4079184; 612165, 4079184; 612143, 4079168; 612128, 4079150; 612128, 
4079119; 612127, 4079094; 611959, 4078999; 611958, 4078999; 611931, 
4079027; 611911, 4079061; returning to 611901, 4079098.
    (ii) Subunit 1b: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
611998, 4078651; 611999, 4078664; 611999, 4078665; 612044, 4078765; 
612187, 4078803; 612213, 4078825; 612254, 4078844; 612284, 4078853; 
612336, 4078871; 612385, 4078907; 612423, 4078925; 612458, 4078940; 
612479, 4078947; 612520, 4078956; 612604, 4078959; 612662, 4078959; 
612704, 4078960; 612812, 4078958; 612850, 4078951; 612897, 4078953; 
612988, 4078967; 613045, 4078913; 613060, 4078936; 613099, 4078949; 
613101, 4078961; 613094, 4078978; 613084, 4079005; 613073, 4079060; 
613062, 4079129; 613051, 4079222; 613044, 4079306; 613056, 4079376; 
613064, 4079397; 613082, 4079431; 613099, 4079501; 613130, 4079602; 
613168, 4079601; 613177, 4079580; 613180, 4079551; 613198, 4079533; 
613212, 4079488; 613220, 4079438; 613212, 4079355; 613203, 4079303; 
613176, 4079297; 613165, 4079281; 613166, 4079253; 613195, 4079224; 
613195, 4079212; 613176, 4079198; 613174, 4079174; 613177, 4079155; 
613196, 4079139; 613205, 4079091; 613208, 4079041; 613195, 4078982; 
613186, 4078964; 613182, 4078941; 613177, 4078906; 613172, 4078906; 
613162, 4078914; 613153, 4078927; 613130, 4078938; 613103, 4078930; 
613086, 4078918; 613073, 4078906; 613061, 4078885; 613061, 4078882; 
612802, 4078842; 612765, 4078826; 612627, 4078767; 612606, 4078767; 
612578, 4078759; 612552, 4078744; 612445, 4078722; 612278, 4078704; 
612253, 4078701; 612170, 4078702; 612124, 4078719; 612110, 4078724; 
612055, 4078722; 612071, 4078638; returning to 611998, 4078651.
    (7) Note: Map of Units 1, 2, and 3 (Map 2) follows:

[[Page 61570]]


[[Page 61571]]

    (8) Unit 2: Manzanita Park, Monterey County, California.
    (i) Subunit 2a: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 615541, 
4076005; 615651, 4076047; 615859, 4076125; 616111, 4076311; 616209, 
4076287; 616278, 4076318; 616316, 4076335; 616416, 4076435; 616503, 
4076520; 616659, 4076565; 616566, 4076763; 616534, 4076874; 616515, 
4076874; 616454, 4077003; 616562, 4077020; 616677, 4077028; 616820, 
4077021; 616876, 4077008; 616925, 4076975; 617013, 4076959; 617053, 
4076962; 617137, 4077017; 617176, 4077025; 617224, 4077020; 617259, 
4077038; 617271, 4077094; 617286, 4077095; 617333, 4077097; 617481, 
4077105; 617482, 4077105; 617488, 4076972; 617540, 4076890; 617565, 
4076771; 617594, 4076701; 617703, 4076645; 617728, 4076486; 617830, 
4076204; 617787, 4076190; 617729, 4076197; 617671, 4076233; 617643, 
4076273; 617579, 4076433; 617565, 4076533; 617468, 4076615; 617445, 
4076631; 617435, 4076657; 617402, 4076656; 617361, 4076620; 617305, 
4076601; 617309, 4076551; 617377, 4076484; 617396, 4076450; 617407, 
4076402; 617403, 4076354; 617377, 4076301; 617341, 4076268; 617287, 
4076245; 617229, 4076245; 617167, 4076273; 617079, 4076356; 616934, 
4076322; 616910, 4076259; 616884, 4076229; 616851, 4076207; 616814, 
4076195; 616775, 4076192; 616737, 4076200; 616702, 4076217; 616655, 
4076267; 616599, 4076383; 616511, 4076307; 616465, 4076283; 616430, 
4076225; 616388, 4076189; 616213, 4076130; 616160, 4076127; 616111, 
4076139; 616092, 4076133; 615967, 4076012; 615897, 4075959; 615835, 
4075931; 615776, 4075922; 615706, 4075898; 615620, 4075896; 615575, 
4075879; returning to 615541, 4076005.
    (ii) Subunit 2b: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
616488, 4074150; 616505, 4074167; 616533, 4074172; 616573, 4074209; 
616573, 4074219; 616555, 4074267; 616557, 4074347; 616567, 4074401; 
616736, 4074502; 616746, 4074512; 616760, 4074521; 616779, 4074536; 
616804, 4074543; 616826, 4074543; 616853, 4074543; 616876, 4074540; 
616890, 4074537; 616915, 4074552; 616943, 4074575; 617092, 4074595; 
617327, 4074410; 617348, 4074387; 617367, 4074354; 617374, 4074335; 
617379, 4074301; 617380, 4074258; 617379, 4074219; 617379, 4074218; 
617346, 4074185; 617298, 4074145; 617219, 4074073; 617199, 4074072; 
617186, 4074083; 617159, 4074076; 617134, 4074069; 617131, 4074058; 
617114, 4074034; 616994, 4073984; 616944, 4073991; 616918, 4074001; 
616981, 4074157; 617003, 4074188; 616891, 4074250; 616860, 4074246; 
616845, 4074178; 616845, 4074160; 616853, 4074117; 616747, 4074137; 
616712, 4074146; 616701, 4074171; 616673, 4074179; 616646, 4074104; 
616652, 4074081; 616642, 4074056; 616620, 4074046; 616591, 4074041; 
616568, 4074035; 616546, 4074023; 616532, 4074006; 616531, 4074006; 
616490, 4074054; returning to 616488, 4074150.
    (iii) Subunit 2c: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
616931, 4073371; 616936, 4073410; 616951, 4073446; 616975, 4073477; 
617003, 4073500; 617077, 4073542; 617094, 4073556; 617142, 4073581; 
617382, 4073670; 617411, 4073676; 617450, 4073676; 617435, 4073712; 
617512, 4073743; 617549, 4073763; 617598, 4073810; 617636, 4073830; 
617694, 4073860; 617739, 4073865; 617774, 4073887; 617847, 4073880; 
617879, 4073885; 617960, 4073894; 618016, 4073916; 618064, 4073947; 
618117, 4073965; 618279, 4073927; 618244, 4074007; 618138, 4074038; 
618106, 4074053; 618104, 4074059; 618103, 4074108; 618076, 4074150; 
618071, 4074184; 618081, 4074204; 618095, 4074224; 618117, 4074247; 
618176, 4074299; 618229, 4074318; 618261, 4074316; 618307, 4074300; 
618370, 4074293; 618407, 4074278; 618448, 4074248; 618468, 4074227; 
618507, 4074173; 618519, 4074146; 618533, 4074088; 618553, 4074051; 
618566, 4074011; 618572, 4073986; 618574, 4073952; 618568, 4073913; 
618533, 4073788; 618521, 4073761; 618495, 4073722; 618496, 4073601; 
618482, 4073567; 618369, 4073570; 618365, 4073277; 618364, 4073029; 
618261, 4072958; 618212, 4072996; 618157, 4073061; 618131, 4073086; 
618090, 4073147; 618078, 4073173; 618064, 4073256; 618067, 4073314; 
618081, 4073377; 618072, 4073413; 618044, 4073404; 618015, 4073401; 
617985, 4073404; 617957, 4073413; 617931, 4073426; 617902, 4073452; 
617885, 4073476; 617873, 4073501; 617927, 4073549; 618040, 4073586; 
618063, 4073730; 618123, 4073826; 618134, 4073831; 618168, 4073834; 
618228, 4073818; 618235, 4073822; 618191, 4073875; 618082, 4073823; 
618062, 4073827; 618042, 4073815; 618025, 4073781; 617967, 4073798; 
617970, 4073818; 617934, 4073823; 617913, 4073790; 617874, 4073780; 
617778, 4073781; 617786, 4073711; 617701, 4073663; 617644, 4073637; 
617551, 4073622; 617545, 4073563; 617491, 4073517; 617470, 4073382; 
617262, 4073305; 617237, 4073287; 617138, 4073233; 617100, 4073222; 
617071, 4073221; 617032, 4073229; 616997, 4073246; 616968, 4073272; 
616946, 4073305; 616934, 4073342; returning to 616931, 4073371.
    (9) Unit 3: Vierra Canyon, Monterey County, California.
    (i) Subunit 3a: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 618886, 
4071622; 618896, 4071742; 619157, 4071722; 619431, 4071664; 619441, 
4071576; 619441, 4071573; 619385, 4071569; 619171, 4071553; 619166, 
4071601; 618901, 4071615; 618892, 4071615; returning to 618886, 
    (ii) Subunit 3b: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Prunedale. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
620707, 4073069; 620865, 4073146; 620890, 4073140; 620917, 4073128; 
620941, 4073111; 620961, 4073089; 620977, 4073064; 620987, 4073037; 
620992, 4072992; 620897, 4072908; 620886, 4072879; 620778, 4072930; 
620784, 4072971; 620736, 4072950; 620709, 4072963; returning to 620707, 
    (iii) Subunit Unit 3c: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle 
Prunedale. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates 
(E, N): 620984, 4073724; 621030, 4073752; 620987, 4073916; 620997, 
4073968; 620996, 4073974; 621079, 4074094; 621133, 4074174; 621144, 
4074209; 621084, 4074270; 621123, 4074335; 621127, 4074380; 621146, 
4074396; 621173, 4074395; 621273, 4074227; 621256, 4074215; 621246, 
4074203; 621206, 4074150; 621177, 4074089; 621151, 4074025; 621163, 
4073968; 621171, 4073965; 621179, 4073920; 621159, 4073901; 621160, 
4073898; 621124, 4073845; 621131, 4073829; 621129, 4073827; 621153, 
4073753; 621073, 4073708; 621025, 4073710; returning to 620984, 
    (10) Unit 4: Aguajito, Monterey County, California
    (i) Subunit 4a: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Seaside. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 602332, 
4048354; 602347, 4048427; 602354, 4048439; 602362, 4048452; 602366, 
4048456; 602401, 4048489; 602508, 4048576; 602697, 4048582; 602735, 
4048574; 602762, 4048562; 602786, 4048545; 602817, 4048507; 602832, 
4048471; 602858, 4048345; 603034, 4048312; 603069, 4048294; 603115, 
4048262; 603136, 4048241; 603158, 4048209; 603171, 4048172; 603173, 

[[Page 61572]]

603166, 4048094; 603143, 4048051; 603107, 4048018; 603072, 4048000; 
603024, 4047993; 602966, 4048004; 602522, 4048105; 602451, 4048153; 
602400, 4048198; 602373, 4048240; 602351, 4048287; returning to 602332, 
    (ii) Subunit 4b: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Seaside. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 601574, 
4047589; 601594, 4047664; 601625, 4047701; 601657, 4047723; 601695, 
4047736; 601778, 4047749; 601839, 4047778; 601926, 4047801; 601965, 
4047804; 602014, 4047795; 602048, 4047863; 602058, 4047918; 602064, 
4047991; 602022, 4048044; 602000, 4048080; 601988, 4048107; 601973, 
4048163; 601962, 4048239; 602022, 4048231; 602007, 4048253; 602060, 
4048243; 602206, 4048211; 602231, 4048211; 602246, 4048135; 602250, 
4048108; 602256, 4048082; 602264, 4048071; 602278, 4048051; 602309, 
4048008; 602318, 4047990; 602345, 4047913; 602355, 4047883; 602350, 
4047838; 602325, 4047746; 602278, 4047654; 602262, 4047623; 602199, 
4047551; 602130, 4047497; 602054, 4047470; 601996, 4047474; 601864, 
4047460; 601773, 4047445; 601743, 4047440; 601704, 4047440; 601657, 
4047454; 601611, 4047490; 601582, 4047540; returning to 601574, 
    (iii) Note: Map of Units 4, 5, and 6 (Map 3) follows:

[[Page 61573]]


[[Page 61574]]

    (11) Unit 5: Old Capitol, Monterey County, California. From USGS 
1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. Land bounded by the following UTM 
Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 599314, 4048918; 599497, 4049056; 
599551, 4048997; 599551, 4048976; 599552, 4048959; 599562, 4048939; 
599593, 4048923; 599625, 4048931; 599640, 4048934; 599655, 4048928; 
599675, 4048937; 599685, 4048913; 599666, 4048844; 599649, 4048821; 
599603, 4048784; 599561, 4048761; 599516, 4048757; 599437, 4048777; 
599370, 4048808; 599329, 4048864; returning to 599314, 4048918.
    (12) Unit 6: Monterey Peninsula, Monterey County, California.
    (i) Subunit 6a: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 594042, 
4049355; 594060, 4049389; 594080, 4049435; 594120, 4049486; 594160, 
4049538; 594186, 4049560; 594186, 4049560; 594199, 4049572; 594209, 
4049570; 594210, 4049577; 594211, 4049584; 594214, 4049592; 594216, 
4049600; 594219, 4049607; 594226, 4049621; 594226, 4049621; 594201, 
4049634; 594188, 4049620; 594183, 4049623; 594186, 4049648; 594202, 
4049675; 594225, 4049725; 594236, 4049745; 594285, 4049805; 594296, 
4049823; 594348, 4049799; 594414, 4049772; 594480, 4049792; 594500, 
4049738; 594525, 4049669; 594536, 4049664; 594558, 4049652; 594572, 
4049654; 594574, 4049654; 594584, 4049655; 594594, 4049663; 594613, 
4049676; 594636, 4049703; 594659, 4049725; 594680, 4049752; 594698, 
4049786; 594718, 4049834; 594730, 4049866; 594741, 4049919; 594754, 
4049979; 594759, 4049994; 594762, 4050006; 594767, 4050021; 594788, 
4050040; 594822, 4050057; 594856, 4050064; 594888, 4050101; 594890, 
4050107; 594890, 4050107; 594890, 4050107; 594893, 4050118; 594893, 
4050118; 594897, 4050135; 594923, 4050178; 594929, 4050187; 594942, 
4050217; 594960, 4050255; 594977, 4050293; 594984, 4050307; 595002, 
4050317; 595010, 4050319; 595029, 4050323; 595043, 4050348; 595059, 
4050386; 595076, 4050442; 595095, 4050490; 595117, 4050527; 595139, 
4050569; 595145, 4050580; 595154, 4050597; 595176, 4050568; 595176, 
4050568; 595176, 4050568; 595177, 4050567; 595179, 4050562; 595191, 
4050537; 595193, 4050537; 595299, 4050514; 595410, 4050489; 595534, 
4050334; 595574, 4050254; 595621, 4050214; 595660, 4050192; 595699, 
4050182; 595717, 4050202; 595734, 4050221; 595727, 4050281; 595736, 
4050293; 595873, 4050316; 595930, 4050395; 595864, 4050455; 595764, 
4050427; 595707, 4050454; 595647, 4050504; 595634, 4050564; 595487, 
4050691; 595467, 4050714; 595431, 4050724; 595392, 4050744; 595365, 
4050761; 595352, 4050767; 595321, 4050788; 595289, 4050807; 595247, 
4050821; 595216, 4050825; 595193, 4050821; 595168, 4050807; 595149, 
4050788; 595133, 4050854; 595118, 4050877; 595103, 4050891; 595065, 
4050904; 595041, 4050911; 595023, 4050924; 595020, 4050951; 595024, 
4050979; 595026, 4051003; 595020, 4051027; 595009, 4051050; 595004, 
4051061; 594998, 4051078; 595000, 4051101; 595019, 4051141; 595021, 
4051141; 595096, 4051140; 595283, 4050888; 595286, 4050883; 595302, 
4050862; 595316, 4050843; 595326, 4050829; 595340, 4050811; 595353, 
4050793; 595360, 4050788; 595368, 4050784; 595378, 4050779; 595393, 
4050779; 595401, 4050778; 595945, 4051094; 595954, 4051085; 595953, 
4051067; 595953, 4051052; 595956, 4051034; 595962, 4051011; 595972, 
4050988; 595984, 4050968; 595999, 4050949; 596034, 4050912; 596120, 
4050848; 596127, 4050849; 596411, 4050626; 596492, 4050566; 596499, 
4050555; 596505, 4050545; 596510, 4050531; 596514, 4050504; 596513, 
4050484; 596493, 4050421; 596436, 4050261; 596403, 4050199; 596363, 
4050134; 596358, 4050092; 596367, 4050043; 596369, 4050008; 596347, 
4049956; 596334, 4049923; 596338, 4049884; 596364, 4049835; 596419, 
4049811; 596418, 4049788; 596386, 4049777; 596366, 4049761; 596351, 
4049725; 596344, 4049705; 596331, 4049695; 596302, 4049685; 596300, 
4049645; 596303, 4049619; 596310, 4049598; 596310, 4049570; 596298, 
4049555; 596282, 4049541; 596269, 4049528; 596260, 4049515; 596257, 
4049491; 596272, 4049459; 596281, 4049429; 596298, 4049389; 596297, 
4049372; 596273, 4049351; 596257, 4049328; 596165, 4049100; 596121, 
4048994; 596115, 4048961; 596149, 4048916; 596170, 4048889; 596213, 
4048863; 596294, 4048862; 596317, 4048787; 596334, 4048725; 596363, 
4048682; 596382, 4048673; 596404, 4048692; 596418, 4048724; 596441, 
4048707; 596482, 4048660; 596510, 4048641; 596535, 4048624; 596560, 
4048606; 596597, 4048578; 596650, 4048554; 596670, 4048550; 596714, 
4048542; 596828, 4048530; 596877, 4048530; 596953, 4048515; 597027, 
4048494; 597074, 4048467; 597083, 4048454; 597095, 4048440; 597101, 
4048435; 597113, 4048427; 597129, 4048418; 597144, 4048412; 597144, 
4048412; 597179, 4048380; 597185, 4048367; 597188, 4048353; 597190, 
4048340; 597188, 4048335; 597185, 4048334; 597181, 4048335; 597167, 
4048347; 597155, 4048355; 597142, 4048360; 597130, 4048364; 597110, 
4048364; 597093, 4048361; 597077, 4048357; 597061, 4048349; 597050, 
4048339; 597040, 4048327; 597033, 4048313; 597025, 4048298; 597008, 
4048250; 596999, 4048219; 596952, 4048161; 596940, 4048145; 596932, 
4048120; 596924, 4048089; 596907, 4048061; 596894, 4048049; 596832, 
4048022; 596755, 4047999; 596739, 4047993; 596727, 4047994; 596689, 
4047953; 596684, 4047941; 596673, 4047919; 596661, 4047899; 596648, 
4047880; 596633, 4047862; 596542, 4047754; 596521, 4047739; 596505, 
4047733; 596457, 4047724; 596448, 4047722; 596433, 4047716; 596297, 
4047644; 596283, 4047635; 596219, 4047584; 596203, 4047567; 596197, 
4047557; 596189, 4047539; 596162, 4047442; 596143, 4047424; 596132, 
4047419; 596115, 4047406; 596102, 4047389; 596085, 4047359; 596074, 
4047346; 596073, 4047346; 596048, 4047336; 596016, 4047368; 595973, 
4047400; 595909, 4047425; 595871, 4047443; 595866, 4047522; 595864, 
4047593; 595869, 4047666; 595879, 4047727; 595867, 4047743; 595873, 
4047766; 595843, 4047773; 595787, 4047843; 595837, 4047877; 595879, 
4047903; 595911, 4047941; 595919, 4047961; 595892, 4047965; 595863, 
4047958; 595831, 4047945; 595805, 4047942; 595710, 4047940; 595700, 
4047952; 595604, 4048051; 595588, 4048057; 595588, 4048057; 595526, 
4048089; 595503, 4048118; 595500, 4048132; 595501, 4048132; 595523, 
4048139; 595564, 4048156; 595629, 4048169; 595633, 4048198; 595675, 
4048232; 595672, 4048266; 595697, 4048321; 595839, 4048309; 595893, 
4048311; 595982, 4048325; 595982, 4048326; 595973, 4048416; 595974, 
4048417; 596135, 4048438; 596250, 4048453; 596208, 4048594; 596220, 
4048603; 596230, 4048623; 596230, 4048640; 596214, 4048726; 596218, 
4048781; 596209, 4048811; 596194, 4048831; 596092, 4048892; 596065, 
4048812; 596032, 4048759; 596003, 4048730; 595973, 4048714; 595902, 
4048696; 595860, 4048696; 595816, 4048699; 595797, 4048707; 595797, 
4048707; 595762, 4048723; 595761, 4048723; 595761, 4048723; 595738, 
4048743; 595724, 4048754; 595691, 4048770; 595647, 4048782; 595603, 
4048789; 595535, 4048794; 595498, 4048787; 595467, 4048768; 595434, 
4048737; 595412, 4048700; 595390, 4048656; 595347, 4048557; 595329, 
4048521; 595307, 4048501; 595284,

[[Page 61575]]

4048492; 595254, 4048491; 595253, 4048560; 595225, 4048650; 595206, 
4048683; 595202, 4048703; 595204, 4048726; 595225, 4048780; 595225, 
4048914; 595221, 4048940; 595134, 4049008; 595110, 4049027; 595080, 
4049069; 595055, 4049143; 595117, 4049144; 595138, 4049143; 595159, 
4049139; 595177, 4049133; 595194, 4049129; 595211, 4049127; 595227, 
4049127; 595274, 4049131; 595291, 4049131; 595308, 4049127; 595322, 
4049123; 595348, 4049121; 595406, 4049120; 595417, 4049125; 595437, 
4049123; 595459, 4049128; 595480, 4049130; 595499, 4049127; 595516, 
4049127; 595527, 4049129; 595545, 4049126; 595578, 4049110; 595609, 
4049085; 595627, 4049083; 595670, 4049080; 595745, 4049061; 595776, 
4049065; 595849, 4049113; 595883, 4049145; 595905, 4049177; 595928, 
4049224; 595759, 4049459; 595669, 4049397; 595607, 4049449; 595585, 
4049455; 595551, 4049447; 595530, 4049431; 595480, 4049433; 595477, 
4049360; 595505, 4049358; 595511, 4049327; 595522, 4049306; 595551, 
4049280; 595538, 4049206; 595524, 4049167; 595514, 4049162; 595495, 
4049184; 595407, 4049319; 595397, 4049331; 595379, 4049347; 595359, 
4049358; 595245, 4049401; 595233, 4049415; 595233, 4049456; 595168, 
4049481; 595109, 4049477; 595063, 4049473; 595058, 4049541; 595079, 
4049564; 595101, 4049570; 595119, 4049575; 595140, 4049583; 595150, 
4049614; 595159, 4049642; 595129, 4049673; 595089, 4049729; 595067, 
4049769; 595039, 4049810; 595027, 4049835; 595027, 4049850; 595037, 
4049882; 595060, 4049943; 595073, 4050017; 595084, 4050057; 595080, 
4050092; 595068, 4050106; 595039, 4050113; 595011, 4050113; 595000, 
4050110; 594992, 4050092; 594983, 4050071; 594980, 4050052; 594952, 
4049976; 594931, 4049939; 594909, 4049900; 594877, 4049856; 594837, 
4049828; 594813, 4049826; 594781, 4049831; 594762, 4049831; 594743, 
4049814; 594724, 4049770; 594673, 4049654; 594653, 4049610; 594587, 
4049530; 594576, 4049518; 594569, 4049501; 594573, 4049485; 594616, 
4049457; 594661, 4049433; 594719, 4049386; 594766, 4049332; 594781, 
4049301; 594781, 4049266; 594774, 4049243; 594767, 4049231; 594766, 
4049230; 594743, 4049236; 594740, 4049237; 594731, 4049252; 594720, 
4049264; 594713, 4049273; 594705, 4049278; 594675, 4049290; 594647, 
4049296; 594627, 4049311; 594614, 4049320; 594602, 4049334; 594583, 
4049337; 594573, 4049332; 594557, 4049320; 594543, 4049303; 594543, 
4049289; 594547, 4049271; 594547, 4049252; 594538, 4049237; 594472, 
4049167; 594453, 4049150; 594437, 4049127; 594416, 4049094; 594390, 
4049038; 594378, 4049025; 594360, 4049005; 594350, 4048993; 594342, 
4048973; 594275, 4048961; 594283, 4049001; 594348, 4049199; 594354, 
4049218; 594277, 4049241; 594269, 4049243; 594268, 4049246; 594262, 
4049270; 594243, 4049267; 594200, 4049304; 594176, 4049324; 594099, 
4049332; 594097, 4049332; 594090, 4049333; 594078, 4049335; 594059, 
4049339; returning to 594042, 4049355.
    (ii) Subunit 6b: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 593410, 
4048743; 593463, 4048782; 593479, 4048793; 593532, 4048832; 593564, 
4048847; 593574, 4048849; 593597, 4048853; 593599, 4048854; 593636, 
4048853; 593671, 4048844; 593790, 4048784; 593794, 4048779; 593794, 
4048778; 593777, 4048726; 593769, 4048678; 593768, 4048678; 593706, 
4048686; 593678, 4048693; 593650, 4048707; 593605, 4048738; 593570, 
4048750; 593539, 4048752; 593451, 4048741; 593442, 4048741; 593414, 
4048743; 593410, 4048743; 593601, 4048844; 593601, 4048844; 593602, 
4048844; 593601, 4048844; returning to 593601, 4048844.
    (iii) Subunit 6c: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
592908, 4049902; 592972, 4049927; 593056, 4049908; 593067, 4049902; 
593075, 4049896; 593086, 4049892; 593095, 4049890; 593100, 4049881; 
593101, 4049853; 593115, 4049858; 593117, 4049855; 593199, 4049893; 
593232, 4049897; 593269, 4049895; 593297, 4049885; 593330, 4049880; 
593343, 4049884; 593353, 4049883; 593381, 4049882; 593410, 4049883; 
593424, 4049883; 593464, 4049885; 593496, 4049890; 593497, 4049882; 
593523, 4049886; 593522, 4049894; 593568, 4049900; 593624, 4049900; 
593672, 4049895; 593693, 4049886; 593719, 4049869; 593720, 4049870; 
593753, 4049842; 593772, 4049821; 593778, 4049813; 593858, 4049767; 
593921, 4049727; 593938, 4049721; 593954, 4049700; 593866, 4049654; 
593835, 4049631; 593788, 4049596; 593647, 4049542; 593623, 4049506; 
593620, 4049504; 593616, 4049502; 593613, 4049501; 593609, 4049500; 
593606, 4049499; 593466, 4049474; 593458, 4049472; 593458, 4049472; 
593485, 4049508; 593505, 4049526; 593524, 4049558; 593550, 4049606; 
593560, 4049626; 593597, 4049668; 593601, 4049683; 593600, 4049694; 
593592, 4049700; 593587, 4049706; 593595, 4049726; 593595, 4049735; 
593581, 4049746; 593564, 4049751; 593530, 4049751; 593504, 4049743; 
593486, 4049731; 593473, 4049706; 593459, 4049689; 593427, 4049662; 
593407, 4049643; 593375, 4049625; 593349, 4049607; 593329, 4049575; 
593318, 4049552; 593315, 4049537; 593309, 4049515; 593290, 4049495; 
593258, 4049449; 593233, 4049441; 593224, 4049449; 593213, 4049463; 
593201, 4049478; 593188, 4049506; 593175, 4049525; 593136, 4049566; 
593102, 4049575; 593011, 4049600; 592952, 4049640; 592936, 4049694; 
592929, 4049732; 592917, 4049759; 592919, 4049789; 592938, 4049832; 
592929, 4049862; 592911, 4049885; returning to 592908, 4049902.
    (iv) Subunit 6d: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 591851, 
4048564; 591855, 4048576; 591861, 4048580; 591868, 4048583; 591873, 
4048588; 591879, 4048594; 591884, 4048602; 591887, 4048610; 591889, 
4048617; 591889, 4048625; 591891, 4048632; 591918, 4048685; 591925, 
4048690; 591925, 4048690; 591935, 4048688; 591945, 4048672; 591953, 
4048660; 591961, 4048648; 591969, 4048636; 592120, 4048437; 592141, 
4048411; 592144, 4048397; 592144, 4048351; 592144, 4048317; 592136, 
4048297; 592116, 4048287; 592116, 4048287; 592116, 4048287; 592096, 
4048293; 592073, 4048322; 592062, 4048334; 592050, 4048344; 592038, 
4048354; 591992, 4048388; 591951, 4048418; 591951, 4048418; 591933, 
4048448; 591931, 4048452; 591928, 4048456; 591924, 4048461; 591920, 
4048466; 591920, 4048466; 591912, 4048476; 591908, 4048485; 591907, 
4048489; 591905, 4048496; 591902, 4048503; 591899, 4048510; 591895, 
4048517; 591891, 4048523; 591886, 4048529; 591882, 4048534; 591877, 
4048538; 591872, 4048543; 591866, 4048548; 591860, 4048552; 591855, 
4048556; returning to 591851, 4048564.
    (v) Subunit 6e: From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Monterey. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 595291, 
4052402; 595329, 4052406; 595339, 4052409; 595340, 4052409; 595341, 
4052409; 595343, 4052408; 595345, 4052408; 595347, 4052408; 595347, 
4052408; 595348, 4052408; 595350, 4052408; 595352, 4052408; 595354, 
4052408; 595355, 4052408; 595357, 4052408; 595359, 4052408; 595359, 
4052408; 595361, 4052408; 595362, 4052409; 595364, 4052409; 595366, 
4052409; 595367, 4052409; 595368, 4052409; 595369, 4052410; 595371,

[[Page 61576]]

4052410; 595373, 4052410; 595375, 4052411; 595376, 4052411; 595378, 
4052411; 595380, 4052412; 595381, 4052412; 595383, 4052413; 595385, 
4052413; 595386, 4052414; 595388, 4052415; 595390, 4052415; 595391, 
4052416; 595393, 4052417; 595395, 4052417; 595396, 4052418; 595398, 
4052419; 595399, 4052420; 595401, 4052421; 595402, 4052421; 595404, 
4052422; 595405, 4052423; 595407, 4052424; 595408, 4052425; 595410, 
4052426; 595411, 4052427; 595413, 4052428; 595413, 4052429; 595425, 
4052437; 595487, 4052472; 595545, 4052518; 595568, 4052552; 595573, 
4052559; 595784, 4052447; 595838, 4052419; 595828, 4052400; 595798, 
4052339; 595762, 4052252; 595750, 4052224; 595736, 4052189; 595703, 
4052124; 595687, 4052091; 595683, 4052085; 595672, 4052070; 595634, 
4052047; 595633, 4052045; 595631, 4052043; 595630, 4052041; 595629, 
4052039; 595628, 4052036; 595627, 4052034; 595626, 4052032; 595625, 
4052030; 595624, 4052028; 595623, 4052025; 595622, 4052023; 595621, 
4052021; 595620, 4052019; 595619, 4052016; 595618, 4052014; 595618, 
4052012; 595617, 4052009; 595616, 4052007; 595616, 4052005; 595615, 
4052002; 595615, 4052000; 595614, 4051998; 595614, 4051995; 595613, 
4051993; 595613, 4051991; 595613, 4051988; 595613, 4051986; 595612, 
4051983; 595612, 4051981; 595612, 4051978; 595612, 4051976; 595612, 
4051974; 595612, 4051971; 595612, 4051969; 595612, 4051966; 595612, 
4051964; 595612, 4051961; 595612, 4051959; 595613, 4051957; 595613, 
4051954; 595613, 4051952; 595614, 4051949; 595614, 4051947; 595614, 
4051945; 595615, 4051942; 595615, 4051940; 595616, 4051938; 595617, 
4051935; 595617, 4051933; 595618, 4051931; 595619, 4051928; 595619, 
4051926; 595620, 4051923; 595624, 4051913; 595628, 4051903; 595633, 
4051892; 595638, 4051881; 595643, 4051871; 595654, 4051846; 595656, 
4051842; 595662, 4051823; 595552, 4051784; 595422, 4051737; 595412, 
4051790; 595404, 4051836; 595403, 4051843; 595403, 4051846; 595402, 
4051858; 595401, 4051872; 595399, 4051887; 595397, 4051902; 595394, 
4051917; 595391, 4051931; 595389, 4051946; 595386, 4051961; 595382, 
4051975; 595378, 4051990; 595375, 4052004; 595370, 4052018; 595370, 
4052020; 595369, 4052021; 595366, 4052033; 595361, 4052047; 595356, 
4052061; 595351, 4052075; 595346, 4052089; 595340, 4052103; 595334, 
4052116; 595331, 4052120; 595329, 4052123; 595324, 4052129; 595324, 
4052130; 595323, 4052138; returning to 595291, 4052402.
    (13) Unit 7: Point Lobos Ranch, Monterey County, California. From 
USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Monterey and Soberanes Point. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 595261, 
4040950; 595269, 4041010; 595302, 4041071; 595344, 4041106; 595399, 
4041136; 595410, 4041165; 595402, 4041291; 595387, 4041367; 595377, 
4041400; 595365, 4041437; 595365, 4041463; 595389, 4041491; 595453, 
4041513; 595516, 4041504; 595570, 4041472; 595597, 4041500; 595597, 
4041536; 595602, 4041585; 595627, 4041649; 595635, 4041663; 595716, 
4041696; 595759, 4041700; 595783, 4041693; 595801, 4041670; 595825, 
4041613; 595827, 4041585; 595813, 4041551; 595807, 4041531; 595812, 
4041518; 595844, 4041470; 595915, 4041508; 595889, 4041596; 595951, 
4041638; 595966, 4041648; 595986, 4041664; 595850, 4041803; 595867, 
4041802; 595891, 4041808; 595893, 4041869; 595904, 4041919; 595915, 
4041930; 595910, 4041935; 595945, 4041988; 595990, 4042022; 596063, 
4042063; 596142, 4042098; 596156, 4042104; 596211, 4042114; 596241, 
4042109; 596269, 4042011; 596275, 4041978; 596276, 4041975; 596317, 
4041764; 596343, 4041583; 596373, 4041510; 596515, 4041436; 596694, 
4041433; 596927, 4041428; 597048, 4041584; 597068, 4041628; 597136, 
4041714; 597204, 4041766; 597235, 4041783; 597291, 4041803; 597332, 
4041812; 597381, 4041807; 597425, 4041787; 597461, 4041754; 597484, 
4041711; 597492, 4041663; 597484, 4041614; 597467, 4041579; 597441, 
4041550; 597408, 4041528; 597363, 4041511; 597341, 4041491; 597323, 
4041415; 597248, 4041313; 597288, 4041280; 597098, 4041279; 597103, 
4041079; 597060, 4041079; 597045, 4041092; 596996, 4041118; 596889, 
4041130; 596702, 4041138; 596646, 4041140; 596553, 4041137; 596503, 
4041119; 596451, 4041086; 596363, 4041006; 596211, 4040900; 596003, 
4040843; 595913, 4040829; 595905, 4040827; 595884, 4040824; 595865, 
4040825; 595753, 4040829; 595629, 4040826; 595611, 4040841; 595574, 
4040832; 595575, 4040825; 595539, 4040822; 595537, 4040822; 595497, 
4040858; 595465, 4040822; 595393, 4040831; 595371, 4040840; 595366, 
4040838; 595297, 4040891; returning to 595261, 4040950. Note: Map of 
Units 7 and 8 (Map 4) follows:

[[Page 61577]]



[[Page 61578]]

    (14) Unit 8: Palo Colorado, Monterey County, California. From USGS 
1:24,000 scale quadrangle Soberanes Point. Land bounded by the 
following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 598818, 4027785; 
598823, 4027824; 598834, 4027852; 598855, 4027884; 598877, 4027904; 
599017, 4027985; 599111, 4028022; 599176, 4028075; 599179, 4028121; 
599198, 4028182; 599233, 4028238; 599262, 4028268; 599316, 4028304; 
599373, 4028315; 599431, 4028304; 599479, 4028271; 599498, 4028249; 
599518, 4028204; 599522, 4028146; 599508, 4028099; 599476, 4028056; 
599471, 4028019; 599511, 4027964; 599527, 4027921; 599543, 4027880; 
599551, 4027832; 599546, 4027793; 599531, 4027757; 599514, 4027733; 
599484, 4027707; 599430, 4027685; 599362, 4027687; 599326, 4027702; 
599282, 4027741; 599266, 4027766; 599135, 4027707; 599026, 4027647; 
598988, 4027637; 598949, 4027637; 598893, 4027655; 598855, 4027686; 
598830, 4027728; 598821, 4027756; returning to 598818, 4027785.
* * * * *

    Dated: October 3, 2006.
David M. Verhey,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 06-8600 Filed 10-17-06; 8:45 am]