[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 2, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39698-39700]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15746]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2013-0028; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AZ38

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating 
Critical Habitat for Three Plant Species on Hawaii Island

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the reopening 
of the public comment period on our October 17, 2012, proposed 
designation of critical habitat for three plant species (Bidens 
micrantha ssp. ctenophylla (kookoolau), Isodendrion pyrifolium (wahine 
noho kua), and Mezoneuron kavaiense (uhiuhi)) on Hawaii Island under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In response to 
requests we received, we are reopening the comment period to allow all 
interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat and the draft economic analysis. 
Comments previously submitted on the proposed rule or draft economic 
analysis need not be resubmitted as they will be fully considered in 
our determinations on this rulemaking action. We also announce a public 
information meeting on our proposed rule and associated documents.

DATES: Written Comments: We will consider all comments received or 
postmarked on or before September 3, 2013. Comments submitted 
electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, 
below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.
    Public Information Meeting: We will hold a public information 
meeting in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, from 3 
p.m. to 5 p.m. (see ADDRESSES section, below).

ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the proposed 
rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-
R1-ES-2012-0070, or by mail from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 
    Written Comments: You may submit written comments by one of the 
following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2013-0028.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: 
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2013-0028; Division of 
Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    Public Information Meeting: The public information meeting will be 
held in the Council Chambers of the West Hawaii Civic Center located at 
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 (telephone 808-
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

[[Page 39699]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Loyal Mehrhoff, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850; by telephone 
808-792-9400; or by facsimile 808-792-9581. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    We are proposing to designate critical habitat for Bidens micrantha 
ssp. ctenophylla, which we proposed to list as endangered on October 
17, 2012 (77 FR 63928), and for two plant species that are already 
listed as endangered (Isodendrion pyrifolium and Caesalpinia kavaiense 
(we proposed a taxonomic revision for Caesalpinia kavaiense on October 
17, 2012 (77 FR 63928), to change the name to Mezoneuron kavaiense; we 
will refer to this plant species as Mezoneuron kavaiense in this 


    On October 17, 2012, the Service published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register (77 FR 63928) to list 15 species (13 plants and 2 
animals) found on Hawaii Island as endangered. We also proposed 
critical habitat for 1 of those 13 plant species (Bidens micrantha ssp. 
ctenophylla). In addition, we proposed critical habitat for two 
previously listed plant species (Isodendrion pyrifolium and Mezoneuron 
kavaiense) that do not have designated critical habitat and occur in 
the same ecosystem as Bidens micrantha ssp. ctenophylla. In all, the 
critical habitat proposed for these three species is an area totaling 
18,766 acres (7,597 hectares), of which approximately 55 percent is 
already designated as critical habitat for endangered or threatened 
species. The October 17, 2012, proposal had a 60-day comment period, 
ending December 17, 2012.
    On April 30, 2013, we announced the reopening of the comment period 
for the proposed listing of the 15 species and proposed critical 
habitat for 3 species on Hawaii Island, the availability of our draft 
economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat, and the public 
hearing and public information meeting scheduled for May 15, 2013 (78 
FR 25243). The comment period was reopened for 30 days, ending on May 
30, 2013. The Service held a public information meeting and public 
hearing on May 15, 2013, at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Kailua-Kona, 
Hawaii. Additional information may be found in the October 17, 2012, 
proposed rule (77 FR 63928) and the April 30, 2013, reopening of the 
comment period and availability of the draft economic analysis (78 FR 
    Pursuant to a court-ordered deadline, we must make a final 
determination on whether to list the 15 species by September 30, 2013. 
In order to allow additional opportunity for public comment on the 
critical habitat proposal, we plan to publish the final critical 
habitat determination subsequent to the listing determination.

Public Comments

    We are again seeking written comments and information during this 
reopened comment period on our proposed designation of critical habitat 
for three plant species that published in the Federal Register on 
October 17, 2012 (77 FR 63928), and on our draft economic analysis of 
the proposed critical habitat designation and the amended required 
determinations that were made available for review on April 30, 2013 
(78 FR 25243). The October 17, 2012, proposed rule proposed to list 15 
species on the island of Hawaii as endangered, as well as to designate 
critical habitat for 3 species. However, we will be publishing two 
final rules, one making a final determination on the listing proposal 
and another making a final determination on the critical habitat 
    With regard to the proposed critical habitat determination, we are 
particularly interested in comments concerning:
    (1) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as 
``critical habitat'' under section 4 of the Act, including whether 
there are threats to the species from human activity, the degree of 
which can be expected to increase due to the designation, and whether 
that increase in threat outweighs the benefit of designation such that 
the designation of critical habitat is not prudent.
    (2) Specific information on:
    (a) The amount and distribution of the species' habitat;
    (b) What areas occupied by the species at the time of listing that 
contain features essential for the conservation of the species we 
should include in the designation and why;
    (c) Special management considerations or protection that may be 
needed in critical habitat areas we are proposing, including managing 
for the potential effects of climate change; and
    (d) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential to 
the conservation of the species and why.
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat.
    (4) Any foreseeable economic, national security, or other relevant 
impacts that may result from designating any area that may be included 
in the final designation. We are particularly interested in any impacts 
on small entities and the benefits of including or excluding areas from 
the proposed designation that are subject to these impacts.
    (5) 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 submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (77 
FR 63928) during the initial comment period from October 17, 2012, to 
December 17, 2012, or the reopened comment period (78 FR 25243) from 
April 30, 2013, to May 30, 2013, please do not resubmit them. We have 
incorporated them into the public record as part of the original 
comment period, and we will fully consider them in our final 
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed 
rules by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you 
send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that 
includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top 
of your document that we withhold this information from public review. 
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, will be available 
for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-
R1-ES-2013-0028 for the proposed critical habitat designation, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR 

Public Information Meeting

    We are holding a public information meeting on the date listed in 
the DATES section at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section 
(above). We are

[[Page 39700]]

holding this second public information meeting to provide an additional 
opportunity for the public to ask questions or seek clarification on 
the proposed rule and the draft economic analysis. Since this is an 
informational meeting and not a public hearing, no oral testimony will 
be taken.


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

    Dated: June 20, 2013.
 Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2013-15746 Filed 7-1-13; 8:45 am]