[Federal Register: January 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 12)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 4782-4783]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG71

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determinations of 
Whether Designation of Critical Habitat is Prudent for 81 Plants and 
Proposed Designations for 76 Plants From the Islands of Kauai and 
Niihau, Hawaii

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and public hearing.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) gives notice of a 
public hearing on the prudency determinations for 81 plants and the 
proposed critical habitat designations for 76 plants from the islands 
of Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii. In addition, the comment period which 
originally closed on January 8, 2001, will be reopened. The new comment 
period and hearing will allow all interested parties to submit oral or 
written comments on the proposal. We are seeking comments or 
suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the 
scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties 
concerning the proposed rule. Comments already submitted on the 
proposed rule need not be resubmitted as they will be fully considered 
in the final determination.

DATES: The comment period for this proposal now closes on February 19, 
2001. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in 
the final decision on this proposal. The public hearing will be held 
from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 
February 6, 2001, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Prior to the public 
hearing, the Service will be available from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. and from 
5:30 to 6:00 p.m. to provide information and to answer questions.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Radisson Kauai Beach 
Resort, Pakalana Room, 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai. Comments 
and materials concerning this proposal should be sent to the Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Ecoregion 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, 
Hawaii 96850. Comments and materials received will be available for 
public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, at the above address, 
phone 808-541-3441, facsimile 808-541-3470.



    On November 7, 2000, the Service published a notice of prudency 
determinations for 81 plants species and proposed designations of 
critical habitat for 76 plant species from the islands of Kauai and 
Niihau, Hawaii, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act) in the Federal Register (65 FR 66808). The original 
comment period closed on January 8, 2001. The comment period now closes 
on February 19, 2001. Written comments should be submitted to the 
Service (see ADDRESSES section).
    A total of 95 species historically found on Kauai and Niihau were 
listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act, between 1991 
and 1996. Some of these species may also occur on other Hawaiian 
islands. At the time each plant was listed, we determined that 
designation of critical habitat was not prudent because designation 
would increase the degree of threat to the species and/or would not 
benefit the species.
    Due to litigation, we reconsidered our previous prudency 
determinations for the 95 plants. From this review, we are proposing 
that critical habitat is prudent for 76 of these species because the 
potential benefits of designating critical habitat essential for the 
conservation of these species outweigh the risks of designation. We are 
proposing that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent for 
five species. The remaining 14 species historically found on Kauai and/
or Niihau, no longer occur on these islands. However, these species do 
occur on other islands, so proposed prudency determinations will be 
made in future rules addressing plants on those islands.
    This proposed rule also proposes designation of critical habitat 
for the 76 species. Twenty-three critical habitat units, covering a 
total of 24,539.23 hectares (60,636.42 acres), are proposed for 
designation on the islands of Kauai and Niihau.
    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 a 
government agency of the State of Hawaii, 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 

[[Page 4783]]

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 reasons why critical habitat for any of these species is 
prudent or not prudent;
    (2) The reasons why any particular area should or should not be 
designated as critical habitat for any of these species;
    (3) Specific information on the amount and distribution of habitat 
for any of these species;
    (4) Land use practices and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (5) Any economic or other relevant impacts resulting from the 
proposed designations of critical habitat, including any impacts on 
small entities or families; and
    (6) Economic and other potential values associated with designating 
critical habitat for the 76 plant species such as those derived from 
non-consumptive uses (e.g., hiking, camping, birding, enhanced 
watershed protection, increased soil retention, ``existence values'', 
and reductions in administrative costs).
    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 February 19, 2001. Written 
comments should be submitted to the Service office listed in the 
ADDRESSES section.


    The primary authors of this notice Benton Pang and Christa Russell 
(see ADDRESSES section).

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

    Dated: January 3, 2001.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-659 Filed 1-17-01; 8:45 am]