[Federal Register: June 20, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 119)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 33046-33047]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH03

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 
Availability of Draft Economic Analysis, Reopening of Comment Period, 
and Notice of Public Hearing for the Proposed Critical Habitat 
Determination for the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of availability of draft economic 
analysis, reopening of public comment period, and notice of public 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announces 
the availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposed 
determination of critical habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly 
(Euphydryas editha quino) and the reopening of the public comment 
period for the proposed determination to allow all interested parties 
to submit written comments on the proposal and on the draft economic 
analysis. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they 
have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully 
considered in the final rule. Additionally, we are announcing that a 
public hearing will be held on the proposed critical habitat 

DATES: The original public comment period on the critical habitat 
proposed determination closed on April 9, 2001. The public comment 
period is reopened, and we will accept comments until July 30, 2001. 
Comments must be received by the 5:00 p.m. on the closing date. Any 
comments that are received after the closing date may not be considered 
in the final decision on this action. The public hearing will be held 
on July 17, 2001, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 
8:00 p.m. in Escondido, California.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Castle Creek Inn 
Resort, 29850 Circle R Way, Escondido, California. Copies of the draft 
economic analysis and proposed critical habitat determination are 
available on the Internet at http://carlsbad.fws.gov or by writing to 
the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, California, 92008. 
Written comments should be sent to the Field Supervisor. You may also 
send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to fws1quino@fws.gov. Please 
submit comments in ASCII file format and avoid the use of special 
characters and encryption. Please include ``Attn: Quino checkerspot 
butterfly'' and your name and return address in your e-mail 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 Carlsbad Fish 
and Wildlife Office at phone number 760-431-9440. Comments and 
materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Krofta, Branch Chief, Listing, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 760-
431-9440; facsimile 760-431-9624).



    The Quino checkerspot butterfly is a member of the family 
Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies) that occurs in open habitat 
patches primarily in coastal sage scrub and native plant communities 
ranging from southwestern Riverside County, California to north-central 
Baja California, Mexico. The primary host plant for Quino checkerspot 
butterfly larvae is Plantago spp. (plantain), while nectar sources for 
adult butterflies primarily include plants of the figwort plant family, 
or closely related plants.
    The adult Quino checkerspot butterfly has a wingspan of 
approximately 4 centimeters (1.5 inches). The top sides of the wings 
have a red, black, and cream colored checkered pattern and the bottom 
sides are dominated by a red and cream marbled pattern. The abdomen of 
Quino checkerspot butterflies has red stripes across the top. Quino 
checkerspot butterfly larvae are black with a row of nine orange 
fleshy/hairy extensions on their back. Pupae are mottled black on a 
pale blue-gray background and extremely well camouflaged.
    Historically, common in southern California and north-central Baja

[[Page 33047]]

California, Mexico, the species had declined to the point of needing 
protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 
On January 16, 1997, the Quino checkerspot butterfly was listed as 
endangered throughout its range (62 FR 2313). The Quino checkerspot 
butterfly's continued survival is threatened primarily by habitat loss 
and degradation, and encroachment by non-native species. On February 7, 
2001, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule proposing critical 
habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly in the Federal Register (66 
FR 9476). We proposed designation of approximately 121,814 hectares 
(301,010 acres) as critical habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly 
pursuant to the Act. Proposed critical habitat is in western Riverside 
and southern San Diego Counties, California, as described in the 
proposed rule.
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall 
designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific and 
commercial data available and after taking into consideration the 
economic impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly and comments received 
during previous comment period, we have prepared a draft economic 
analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation, which is 
available at the above Internet and mailing address.
    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires 
that a public hearing be held if it is requested within 45 days of the 
publication of a proposed rule. In response to a request from the Otay 
Land Company, the Service will hold a public hearing on the date and at 
the address described in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections above.
    Anyone wishing to make an oral statement for the record is 
encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement and present it 
to the Service at the hearing. In the event there is a large 
attendance, the time allotted for oral statements may be limited. Oral 
and written statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits 
to the length of written comments presented at the hearing or mailed to 
the Service. Legal notices announcing the date, time, and location of 
the hearing will be published in newspapers concurrently with the 
Federal Register notice.
    Comments from the public regarding the accuracy of this proposed 
rule are sought, especially regarding:
    (1) The location of any additional populations of Quino checkerspot 
butterflys and the reasons why any habitat should or should not be 
determined to be critical habitat;
    (2) Additional information regarding the validity of the primary 
constituent elements described in the proposed rule; and
    (3) Additional information regarding areas that may be essential as 
travel corridors for connecting individual Quino checkerspot butterfly 
    Reopening of the comment period will enable the Service to respond 
to the request for a public hearing on the proposed action. The comment 
period on this proposal now closes on July 30, 2001. Written comments 
should be submitted to the Service office listed in the ADDRESSES 

Public Hearing

    A public hearing on the proposed determination of critical habitat 
for the Quino checkerspot butterfly is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 
July 17, 2001, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 
p.m. at the Castle Creek Inn Resort, 29850 Circle R Way, Escondido, 
California. Please contact the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at the 
above address with any questions concerning this public hearing.

Public Comment Solicited

    We have reopened the comment period at this time in order to accept 
the best and most current scientific and commercial data available 
regarding the proposed critical habitat determination for the Quino 
checkerspot butterfly and the draft economic analysis of proposed 
critical habitat determination. Previously submitted written comments 
on this critical habitat proposal need not be resubmitted. The current 
comment period on this proposal closes on July 30, 2001. Written 
comments should be submitted to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office 
in the ADDRESSES section.


    The primary author of this notice is Douglas Krofta (see ADDRESSES 


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

    Dated: June 14, 2001.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Region 1.
[FR Doc. 01-15477 Filed 6-19-01; 8:45am]