[Federal Register: May 7, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 88)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 30641-30642]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG88

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Cirsium loncholepis (La Graciosa thistle), 
Eriodictyon capitatum (Lompoc yerba santa), and Deinandra increscens 
ssp. villosa (Gaviota tarplant)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the reopening 
of the comment period for the proposed designation of critical habitat 
for Cirsium loncholepis (La Graciosa thistle), Eriodictyon capitatum 
(Lompoc yerba santa), and Deinandra increscens ssp. villosa (Gaviota 
tarplant), and the availability of the draft economic analysis for the 
proposed designation of critical habitat. We are reopening the comment 
period for these species 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 
will be incorporated into the public record as part of this extended 
comment period and will be fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: We will accept public comments until June 6, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and information should be submitted to 
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. For 
the electronic mail address, and further instructions on commenting, 
refer to Public Comments Solicited section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information, Connie 
Rutherford or Catrina Martin, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, telephone 805/644-1766; facsimile 805/644-



    Cirsium loncholepis (La Graciosa thistle), Eriodictyon capitatum 
(Lompoc yerba santa), and Deinandra increscens ssp. villosa [=Hemizonia 
increscens ssp. villosa] (Gaviota tarplant) occur along the south 
central California coast. They are restricted to a narrow area in 
northern and western Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo 
County, in declining or altered habitats including central dune scrub, 
central maritime chaparral, valley needlegrass grassland, coastal 
freshwater wetlands, and southern bishop pine forest (Holland 1986, 
Schoenherr 1992).
    Cirsium loncholepis is a short-lived, spreading, mound-like or 
erect and often fleshy, spiny member of the sunflower family 
(Asteraceae). Plants are from 10 to 100 centimeters (cm) (4 to 39 
inches (in)) tall, with purplish flower heads occurring in wide, tight 
clusters at the tips of the stems. There are approximately 17 known 
locations for Cirsium loncholepis, all in San Luis and Santa Barbara 
counties. Ongoing threats to this species include groundwater pumping, 
oil field development and remediation, and competition from aggressive 
native and non-native plants.
    Eriodictyon capitatum is a shrub in the waterleaf family 
(Hydrophyllaceae) with narrow, sticky stems up to 3 m (10 ft) tall, and 
a lavender inflorescence with corollas that are 6 to 15 mm (0.2 to 0.6 
in) long. The four known locations of Eriodictyon capitatum occur in 
western Santa Barbara County. Fire management practices, invasive non-
native plant species, low seed productivity, and naturally occurring 
catastrophic events pose significant threats to the long-term survival 
of this species.
    Deinandra increscens ssp. villosa, a member of the sunflower 
family, is a yellow-flowered, variable gray-green, soft, hairy annual 
that is 30 to 90 cm (12 to 35 in) tall. Deinandra increscens ssp. 
villosa has a highly localized distribution in western Santa Barbara 
County, and is threatened by destruction of individual plants, habitat 
loss, and habitat degradation from the development and decommissioning 
of oil and gas facilities, including pipelines, and competition with 
non-native weeds.
    On June 17,1999, our failure to issue a final rule and to make a 
critical habitat determination for Cirsium loncholepis, Eriodictyon 
capitatum, and Deinandra increscens ssp. villosa was challenged in 
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity and California Native Plant 
Society v. Babbitt (Case No. C99-2992 (N.D.Cal.). Pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), Cirsium loncholepis, Eriodictyon capitatum, and Deinandra 
increscens ssp. villosa, were listed as endangered species on March 20, 
2000 (65 FR 14888). On November

[[Page 30642]]

15, 2001, the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for Cirsium 
loncholepis, Eriodictyon capitatum, and Deinandra increscens ssp. 
villosa, was published in the Federal Register (66 FR 57560). The 
original comment period closed on January 14, 2002. We are reopening 
the comment period for an additional 30 days to allow all interested 
parties to comment simultaneously on the proposed rule and the 
associated draft economic analysis.
    We have proposed to designate approximately 27,046 hectares (66,830 
acres) in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, California, as 
critical habitat for Cirsium loncholepis, Eriodictyon capitatum, and 
Deinandra increscens ssp. villosa. Critical habitat receives protection 
from destruction or adverse modification through required consultation 
under section 7 of the Act with regard to actions carried out, funded, 
or authorized by a Federal agency. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires 
that we designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best 
scientific and commercial data available, after taking into 
consideration the economic or any other relevant impact of specifying 
any particular area as critical habitat. Based upon the previously 
published proposal to designate critical habitat for Cirsium 
loncholepis, Eriodictyon capitatum, and Deinandra increscens ssp. 
villosa, we have prepared a draft economic analysis of the proposed 
critical habitat designation. The draft economic analysis is available 
on the Internet and from the mailing addresses in the Public Comments 
Solicited section below.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this 
reopened comment period. If you wish to comment, you may submit your 
comments and materials concerning this proposal by any of several 
    (1) You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003.
    (2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
fw1coastaltrio@r1.fws.gov. If you submit comments by e-mail, please 
submit them as an ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters 
and any form of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: RIN 1018-AG88'' 
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 telephone number 805/644-1766.
    (3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office at the address given above.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical 
habitat, will be available for inspection, by appointment, during 
normal business hours at the address under (1) above. Copies of the 
draft economic analysis are available on the Internet at 
``www.r1.fws.gov/news'' or by writing to the Field Supervisor at the 
address under (1) above.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others, 
is available upon request from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this notice is Catrina Martin (see ADDRESSES 

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

    Dated: April 24, 2002.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-10999 Filed 5-6-02; 8:45 am]