[Federal Register: September 19, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 182)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 48227-48228]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH82

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Public Comment Period and Notice of Availability of Draft Economic 
Analysis for Proposed Critical Habitat Determination for the 
Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii (Scotts Valley Spineflower)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of a draft economic analysis for the proposed designation 
of critical habitat for Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii (Scotts 
Valley spineflower). We are also providing notice of the reopening of 
the public comment period for the proposal to designate critical 
habitat for this plant to allow all interested parties to comment 
simultaneously on the proposed rule and the associated draft economic 
analysis. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they 
already have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully 
considered in the final rule. Comments submitted during this comment 
period will also be incorporated into the public record and will be 
fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: The comment period is opened and we will accept comments until 
October 19, 2001. Comments must be received by 5 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 proposal.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the 
Internet at ``www.r1.fws.gov'' or by writing to the Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 
Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003.
    All written comments should be sent to the Field Supervisor at the 
above address. You may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) 
to ``fw1svsf@r1.fws.gov''. Please submit electronic comments in ASCII 
file format and avoid the use of special characters and encryption. 
Please include ``Attn: RIN 1018-AH82'' 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 Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office at phone number 805-
644-1766. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catrina Martin, Assistant Field 
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address 
(telephone 805-644-1766; facsimile 805-644-3958).



    Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii is a low-growing herb with rose-
pink involucral margins confined to the basal portion of the teeth and 
an erect habit. The aggregate flowers (heads) are medium in size (1 to 
1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 in.) in diameter) and distinctly aggregate. The 
plant germinates during the winter months and flowers from April 
through June. Although pollination ecology has not been studied for 
this taxon, it is likely visited by a wide array of pollinators; 
observations of pollinators on other species of Chorizanthe that occur 
in Santa Cruz County have included leaf cutter bees (megachilids), at 
least 6 species of butterflies, flies, and sphecid wasps. Each flower 
produces one seed; depending on the vigor of individual plants, dozens, 
if not hundreds, of seeds could be produced. The importance of 
pollinator activity in seed set has been demonstrated in another 
species of Chorizanthe by the production of seed with low viability 
where pollinator access was limited (Harding Lawson Associates 2000). 
Seed dispersal is facilitated by the involucral spines, which attach 
the seed to passing animals. Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii is one 
of two varieties of the species C. robusta. The other variety (C. 
robusta var. robusta), known as the robust spineflower, is known from 
the coast of southern Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties and 
also is listed as endangered.
    Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii is known from two sites about 
one mile apart at the northern end of Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz 
County, California. One site is located north of Casa Way and west of 
Glenwood Drive in northern Scotts Valley, referred to as the 
``Glenwood'' site. The second site, located just east of Highway 17 and 
north of Navarra Road in northern Scotts Valley, is referred to as the 

[[Page 48228]]

Ranch'' site. The plant is found on gently sloping to nearly level, 
fine-textured, shallow soils over outcrops of Santa Cruz mudstone and 
Purisima sandstone (Hinds and Morgan 1995). Chorizanthe robusta var. 
hartwegii occurs with Polygonum hickmanii and other small annual herbs 
in patches within a more extensive annual grassland habitat. These 
small patches have been referred to as ``wildflower fields'' because 
they support a large number of native herbs, in contrast to the 
adjacent annual grasslands that support a greater number of non-native 
grasses and herbs. While the wildflower fields are underlain by 
shallow, well-draining soils, the surrounding annual grasslands are 
underlain by deeper soils with a greater water-holding capacity, and 
therefore more easily support the growth of non-native grasses and 
herbs. The surface soil texture in the wildflower fields tends to be 
consolidated and crusty rather than loose and sandy (Biotic Resources 
Group (BRG) 1998). Elevation of the sites is from 215 to 245 meters (m) 
(700 to 800 feet (ft)) (Hinds and Morgan 1995). The climate in the city 
of Santa Cruz, 13 km (8 mi) to the south, is characterized by an 
average of 76.7 cm (30 in.) of rain per year, and an average 
temperature of 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) per year, 
while the city of Los Gatos, 16 km (10 mi) to the north, averages 129.9 
cm (51 in.) of rain per year, and an average temperature of 15 degrees 
Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit) per year (Worldclimate 1998).
    Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii is associated with a number of 
native herbs including Polygonum hickmanii (Scotts Valley polygonum), 
Lasthenia californica (goldfields), Minuartia douglasii (sandwort), 
Minuartia californica (California sandwort), Gilia clivorum (gilia), 
Castilleja densiflora (owl's clover), Lupinus nanus (sky lupine), 
Brodiaea terrestris (brodiaea), Stylocline amphibola (Mount Diablo 
cottonweed), Trifolium grayii (Gray's clover), and Hemizonia corymbosa 
(coast tarplant). Non-native species present include Filago gallica 
(filago) and Vulpia myuros (rattail) (California Natural Diversity Data 
Base (CNDDB) 1998; Randy Morgan, biological consultant, pers. comm. 
1998). In many cases, the habitat also supports a crust of mosses and 
lichens (Biotic Resources Group 1998).
    Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 
Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii, was listed as endangered on 
February 4, 1994 (59 FR 5499). On February 15, 2001, we published in 
the Federal Register (66 FR 10469) a rule proposing critical habitat 
for the Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii. Approximately 125 hectares 
(310 acres) of land fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical 
habitat designation. Proposed critical habitat is located in Santa Cruz 
County, 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 Chorizanthe robusta var. hartwegii and comments received 
during the previous comment period, we have prepared a draft economic 
analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation. The draft 
economic analysis is available at the above Internet and mailing 

Public Comments 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 Scotts 
Valley spineflower and the draft economic analysis of proposed critical 
habitat determination. Previously submitted written comments on this 
critical habitat proposal need not be resubmitted. We will accept 
written comments during this reopened comment period. The current 
comment period on this proposal closes on October 4, 2001. Written 
comments may be submitted to the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office in 
the ADDRESSES section.

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

    Dated: September 7, 2001.
Daniel S. Walsworth,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office.
[FR Doc. 01-23247 Filed 9-18-01; 8:45 am]