[Federal Register: December 28, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 249)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 67165-67166]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH96

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Great Plains Breeding 
Population of the Piping Plover; Reopening of Public Comment Period and 
Notice of Availability of Draft Economic Analysis

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposal to 
designate critical habitat for the northern Great Plains breeding 
population of the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We also are providing 
notice of the reopening of the public comment period for the proposal 
to designate critical habitat for this species, and the associated 
draft environmental assessment, to allow all interested parties to 
comment. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they 
have already been incorporated into the public record and will be fully 
considered in the final rule. Comments submitted during this comment 
period also will be incorporated into the public record and will be 
fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: The comment period is opened and will close on January 28, 2002. 
Any comments that are received after the closing date may not be 
considered in the final decision on this proposal.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments and information to Piping 
Plover Comments, South Dakota Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 420 South Garfield Avenue, Suite 400, 
Pierre, South Dakota 57501, or by facsimile to 605-224-9974.
    You may hand-deliver written comments to our South Dakota Field 
Office at the address given above.

[[Page 67166]]

    You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
FW6_PipingPlover@fws.gov. See the Public Comments Solicited section 
below for file format and other information on electronic filing.
    Copies of the draft economic analysis, draft environmental 
assessment, and proposed rule for designation of critical habitat for 
the northern Great Plains breeding population of the piping plover are 
available from the aforementioned address or on the Internet at http://
    You may view comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this proposed rule, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nell McPhillips, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above address or at 605-224-8693, extension 32.



    We published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the 
northern Great Plains breeding population of the piping plover in the 
Federal Register (66 FR 31760, June 12, 2001). Section 4(b)(2) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act) requires that we designate or revise 
critical habitat based upon the best scientific and commercial data 
available and after taking into consideration the economic impacts, and 
any other relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as 
critical habitat. We may exclude an area from critical habitat if we 
determine that the benefits of excluding the area outweigh the benefits 
of including the area as critical habitat, provided such exclusion will 
not result in the extinction of the species.
    The proposed designation includes 11 areas of prairie alkali 
wetlands and reservoir lakes in 5 counties in Montana, 18 counties in 
North Dakota, and 1 county at Lake-of-the-Woods, Minnesota, totaling 
approximately 196,576.5 acres [79,553.1 hectares]. It also includes 
five areas of portions of four rivers in the States of Montana, North 
Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, totaling approximately 1,338 miles 
[2,152.9 kilometers] of river. If this proposal is made final, section 
7 of the Act would prohibit destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat by any activity funded, authorized, or carried out by 
any Federal agency.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this comment 
period. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning this proposal by any one of several methods (see 
ADDRESSES). If you would like to submit comments by electronic format, 
please submit them in ASCII file format and avoid the use of special 
characters and encryption. Please include your name and return e-mail 
address in your e-mail message. Please note that the e-mail address 
will be closed out at the termination of the public comment period. If 
you do not receive confirmation from the system that we have received 
your message, contact us directly by calling our South Dakota Field 
Office at 605-224-8693.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical 
habitat, will be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the above address. Copies of the draft 
Environmental Assessment are available on the Internet at http://
mountain-prairie.fws.gov/pipingplover or by writing to Pete Gober, 
Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES).


    The primary authors of this notice are the South Dakota Field 
Office staff (see ADDRESSES section).


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

    Dated: November 30, 2001.
John A. Blankenship,
Deputy Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 01-31586 Filed 12-27-01; 8:45 am]