[Federal Register: May 28, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 102)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 36851]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 36851]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG71

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating 
Critical Habitat for Plant Species From the Islands of Kauai and 
Niihau, Hawaii

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 
availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposed 
designations of critical habitat for plant species from the islands of 
Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii. We are also providing notice of the reopening 
of the comment period for the proposal to determine prudency and to 
designate critical habitat for these plants to allow peer reviewers and 
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 reopened comment period and will be fully 
considered in the final rule.

DATES: We will accept public comments until June 27, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and information should be submitted to 
Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001. 
For further instructions on commenting, refer to Public Comments 
Solicited section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, Pacific 
Islands Office, at the above address (telephone: 808/541-3441; 
facsimile: 808/541-3470).



    A total of 95 plant species historically found on Kauai and Niihau 
were listed as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), between 1991 and 1996. Fifty-
seven of these species are endemic to the islands of Kauai and/or 
Niihau, while 38 species are reported from one or more other islands, 
as well as Kauai, and/or Niihau.
    In other published proposals we proposed that critical habitat was 
prudent for 90 of the 95 species from the islands of Kauai and Niihau 
because the potential benefits of designating critical habitat 
essential for the conservation of these species outweigh the risks of 
designation (65 FR 66808, 65 FR 79192, 65 FR 82086, 65 FR 83158, 67 FR 
3940, 67 FR 9806, 67 FR 15856, 67 FR 16492). In addition, we proposed 
that critical habitat designation was not prudent for three species of 
loulu palm (Pritchardia aylmer-robinsonii, P. napaliensis, and P. 
viscosa) because it would likely increase the threats from vandalism or 
collection of these species on Kauai and Niihau, and that critical 
habitat designation was not prudent for Acaena exigua and Melicope 
quadrangularis because they have not been seen recently in the wild, 
and no viable genetic material is known to exist (65 FR 66808, 65 FR 
79192, 67 FR 3940, 67 FR 15856).
    In the January 28, 2002, revised prudency and critical habitat 
proposal (67 FR 3940), we proposed critical habitat for 83 of the 95 
species from the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Critical habitat was not 
proposed for seven of the 95 species (Achyranthes mutica, Hibiscus 
brackenridgei, Isodendrion pyrifolium, Phlegmariurus mannii, Silene 
lanceolata, Solanum incompletum, and Vigna o-wahuensis) which no longer 
occur on the islands of Kauai or Niihau, and for which we were unable 
to identify any habitat that is essential to their conservation on the 
islands of Kauai or Niihau. Critical habitat was not proposed for three 
species of loulu palm nor for Melicope quadrangularis and Acaena exigua 
for the reasons given above.
    We have proposed to designate a total of 15 critical habitat units 
on Kauai and one unit on Niihau covering approximately 40,147 hectares 
(ha) (99,206 acres (ac)) on Kauai and 282 ha (697 ac) on Niihau.
    Critical habitat receives protection from destruction or adverse 
modification through required consultation under section 7 of the Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) with regard to actions carried out, funded, or 
authorized by a Federal agency. 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 plant species from 
Kauai and Niihau, and comments received during the previous comment 
period, we have prepared a draft economic analysis of the proposed 
critical habitat designations. The draft economic analysis is available 
on the Internet and mailing address in the Public Comments Solicited 
section below.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this re-
opened 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, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, 300 
Ala Moana Blvd., P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001.
    (2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: kani--
crithab@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-AG71'' 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 Honolulu Fish and 
Wildlife Office at telephone number 808/541-3441.
    (3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Honolulu 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 http://
pacificislands.fws.gov or by request from the Field Supervisor at the 
address and phone number under (1 and 2) above.


    The primary authors of this notice are Marigold Zoll and Christa 
Russell (see ADDRESSES section).


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

    Dated: May 17, 2002.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-13189 Filed 5-24-02; 8:45 am]