USFWS Emblem U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Designated Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl

   The Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) (owl) inhabits canyon and montane forest habitats across a range that extends from southern Utah and Colorado, through Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas, to the mountains of central Mexico.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed the owl on March 16, 1993 (58 FR 14248) without critical habitat. A final rule designating critical habitat for the owl was published on June 6, 1995 (60 FR 29914).  As a result of several court rulings, the Service removed critical habitat designation for the owl on March 25, 1998 (63 FR 14378). On March 13, 2000, the Service was again ordered to propose critical habitat within 4 months of the court order and to complete a final designation by January 15, 2001.  Thus, the Service has now designated approximately 4.6 million acres of critical habitat for the owl in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, on Federal Lands. Mexican Spotted Owl
Critical habitat refers to specific geographic areas that are essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and that may require special management considerations. A critical habitat designation does not set up a preserve or refuge and only applies to situations where Federal funding, authorization or permits are involved. Since no private, state or tribal lands are being designated, the designation will only affect activities on Federal lands.

 
Additionally, not all the areas within the mapped boundaries have habitat elements important to the owl. The Service will require consultations only on the activities that affect those areas that contain the primary constituent elements (physical and biological features necessary for the species’ survival).  Private inholdings may appear in the mapped areas but are not included in the designation.  The primary constituent elements identified in the rule were based on information within the Mexican Spotted Owl Recovery Plan.

A full Press Release is available.
.
On Nov 18th, 2003, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Critical Habitat again, by reopening the comment period on the July 21, 2000 proposed Critical Habitat rule. As such, state-wide and unit-specific critical habitat maps have been provided on this site for public review.

PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT UNIT MAPS REOPENED FOR COMMENT


State-wide maps are available for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
WARNING: The files are large (nearly 1 Mb each), will take some time to download and are best viewed with imaging software, not web browsers.


Unit-specific maps are available for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.


March 29th, 2004:

New documents related to the Critical Habitat Designation are available:

The Proposed Rule reopening the comment period,

The Draft Economic Analysis

and

The Draft Environmental Assessment


The final designation remains in place however, and the bulk of the materials below refer to the standing final designation.

OVERVIEW MAP

Mexican Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Overview Map

CRITICAL HABITAT ACREAGE BY LAND OWNERSHIP AND STATE

  Agency            

Arizona

New Mexico

Colorado

Utah

Total

Forest Service

0

0

375,837

274,616

650,453

Bureau of Land Management

10,473

14,346

148,894

1,646,388

1,820,101

National Park Service

796,292

35,255

0

643,328

1,474,875

Department of Defense

24,038

4,145

0

0

28,183

Bureau of Reclamation

0

0

0

270,276

270,276

Unknown Federal *

0

0

0

385,995

385,995

Total

830,803

53,746

524,731

3,220,603

4,629,883

Critical Habitat Units

11

6

2

5

24

* Includes land identified in the current Utah land ownership file as National Recreation Area or National Recreation Area/ Power Withdrawal; Federal land ownership is unclear (may be NPS, BOR, or other).


CRITICAL HABITAT UNIT MAPS

To view more detailed maps, click on a specific Critical Habitat Unit Code below.

.. . . . . . .
. ARIZONA

Habitat Unit Code

. NEW MEXICO

Habitat Unit Code

.
. BR-W-7 . CP-2 .
. BR-W-11 . SRM-NM-4 .
. BR-W-15 . SRM-NM-6 .
. BR-W-15a . SRM-NM-10 .
. BR-W-18 . SRM-NM-11 .
. CP-6 .

UGM-2

.
. CP-6a . UTAH Habitat Unit Code .
. CP-7 . CP-11 .
. CP-10 . CP-12 .
. UGM-12 . CP-13 .
. UGM-13 . CP-14 .
. COLORADO

Habitat Unit Code

. CP-15 .
. SRM-C-1 . .
. SRM-C-2 . .
. . . . . . .

 

HIGH-QUALITY CRITICAL HABITAT MAPS

To download large, high-quality maps, click/hold and "Save as ..." using the links below.
--- Each image is 300 dpi, approximately 8 inches by 8.25 inches and 0.5 Mb to 1.8 Mb in file size ---

. . . . . . .
. ARIZONA

Habitat Unit Code

. NEW MEXICO

Habitat Unit Code

.
. BR-W-7 . CP-2 .
. BR-W-11 . SRM-NM-4 .
. BR-W-15 . SRM-NM-6 .
. BR-W-15a . SRM-NM-10 .
. BR-W-18 . SRM-NM-11 .
. CP-6 .

UGM-2

.
. CP-6a . UTAH Habitat Unit Code .
. CP-7 . CP-11 .
. CP-10 . CP-12 .
. UGM-12 . CP-13 .
. UGM-13 . CP-14 .
. COLORADO

Habitat Unit Code

. CP-15 .
. SRM-C-1 . .
. SRM-C-2 . .
. . . . . . .

ORDERING PRINTED MAPS

   A limited quantity of printed versions of the High-Quality Maps are available.  These maps are approximately 21 by 21 inches and are essentially identical to those shown above.   When ordering, please be sure to identify the Critical Habitat Unit(s) desired and provide a complete mailing address within the body of your e-mail.

To request printed maps of Critical Habitat Units, click here.


 

GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES

   An ASCII (tab delimited) text file is available which provides every (N = 9,458) legally-defining geographic coordinate pair for each Critical Habitat Unit.  Coordinates are provided as Longitude and Latitude decimal degrees on North American Datum 1983 (NAD83).  NOTE:   Supporting Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata is not yet available.

To download the legal geographic coordinate pairs defining the Critical Habitat Units, click here.


 

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) MAP FILES

   Digital versions of the Critical Habitat Units are available.  These files are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) -ready, but supporting Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata is not yet available.

To request Geographic Information System (GIS) files of the Critical Habitat Units, click here.


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ADDITIONAL ELECTRONIC LIBRARY REFERENCE MATERIALS:

To download / view reference materials, click on the links below.

Title Author(s) Date Digital Library Reference
Final Draft Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Designation for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2004 Draft Economic Analysis 2004
Draft Environmental Assessment of Critical Habitat Designation for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2004 Draft Environmental Assessment 2004
Mexican Spotted Owl Critical Habitat: Proposed rule; reopening of public comment period, notice of availability of draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment, and notice of a public meeting. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Federal Register
2004 Federal Register:  Proposed Rule
Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl - Federal Register. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Federal Register
2000 Federal Register:  Proposed Rule
Proposed Determination of Critical Habitat Designation of the Mexican Spotted Owl - Federal Register. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Federal Register
1994 Federal Register:  Proposed Rule
Final Designation of Critical Habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl - Federal Register. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Federal Register
2001 Federal Register:  Final Rule
Draft Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Designation for the Mexican Spotted Owl. Robert E. Unsworth, Sarah J. Malloy, and Matthew M. Engler. 2000 Draft Economic Analysis
Final (Addendum to Draft) Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Designation for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2001 Final Economic Analysis
Draft Environmental Assessment - Title Page and Table of Contents: Designation of Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2000 Draft Envir Assess-Title Page ToC
Draft Environmental Assessment: Designation of Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2000 Draft Environmental Assessment
Final Environmental Assessment: Designation of Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2001 Final Environmental Assessment
Recovery Plan for the Mexican Spotted Owl by FWS, Albuquerque, NM. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 1995 Recovery Plan
 

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