[Federal Register: July 10, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 132)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 45696-45697]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH00

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating 
Critical Habitat for Deinandra conjugens (Otay tarplant)

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 Deinandra conjugens (Otay tarplant). We are 
also providing notice of the reopening of the comment period to allow 
for all interested parties to submit written comments on the draft 
economic analysis, and the proposed designation. Comments previously 
received need not be resubmitted as they will be incorporated into the 
public record and will be fully considered in the final rule.

DATES: The original public comment period on the critical habitat 
proposal closed on August 13, 2001. The comment period is reopened and 
we will accept comments until August 9, 2002. 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 

ADDRESSES: Written comments and information should be submitted to 
Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 760-431-9440; 
facsimile 760-431-5902).



    Deinandra conjugens (Otay tarplant) was known as Hemizonia 
conjugens when it was listed on October 13, 1998 (63 FR 54938). Since 
then, studies analyzing plant and flower morphology and genetic 
information prompted Baldwin (1999) to revise the Madiinae (tarplants), 
a tribe in the Asteraceae (sunflower family), and to reclassify several 
species into new or different genera. As a result, Deinandra conjugens 
is now the accepted scientific name for Hemizonia conjugens. This 
taxonomic change does not alter the limits or definition of D. 
conjugens. Because this taxonomic change was published and is generally 
accepted by the scientific community, we have proposed to change the 
name of H. conjugens to D. conjugens in 50 CFR 17.12(h) in our proposed 
critical habitat designation, and will use D. conjugens in this notice.
    Deinandra conjugens was first described by David D. Keck (1958) as 
Hemizonia conjugens based on a specimen collected by L.R. Abrams in 
1903 from river bottom land in the Otay Valley area of San Diego 
County, California. Deinandra conjugens is a glandular, aromatic annual 
of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). It has a branching stem that 
generally ranges from 5 to 25 centimeters (2 to 10 inches) in height 
with deep green or gray-green leaves covered with soft, shaggy hairs. 
The yellow flower heads are composed of 8 to 10 ray flowers and 13 to 
21 disk flowers with hairless or sparingly downy corollas (fused 
petals). The phyllaries (small bracts associated with the flower heads) 
are ridged and have short-stalked glands and large, stalkless, flat 
glands near the margins. Deinandra conjugens occurs within the range of 
D. fasciculata [=Hemizonia fasciculata] (fasciculated tarplant) and D. 
paniculata [=H. paniculata] (San Diego tarplant). Deinandra conjugens 
can be distinguished from other members of the genus by its ridged 
phyllaries, black anthers (part of flower that produces pollen), and by 
the number of disk and ray flowers.
    Based on information from herbarium records at the San Diego 
Natural History Museum (SDNHM) and CNDDB (2000) records, Deinandra 
conjugens has a narrow geographic distribution. The Service published a 
final rule on October 13, 1998, listing the species as threatened 
pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, as amended (Act). Additional 
information received after the listing indicates that the historical 
range for D. conjugens in San Diego County, California, is from the 
Mexican border north to Spring Valley and Paradise Valley, a distance 
of about 24 kilometers (km) (15 miles (mi)), and from Interstate 
Highway 805 east to Otay Lakes Reservoir, a distance of about 13 km (8 
mi). Further, based on these museum and database records, the 
elevational range for D. conjugens appears to be between 25 and 300 
meters (m) (80 and 1,000 feet (ft)).
    At the time the species was listed as threatened pursuant to the 
Act, we

[[Page 45697]]

estimated that 70 percent of the suitable habitat for this species 
within its known range had been lost to development or agriculture (63 
FR 54938). Since 1998, additional habitat has been lost to development 
(e.g., urban, commercial, industrial, and residential) and agriculture 
(e.g., grazing, farming). On June 13, 2001, we published a rule in the 
Federal Register (66 FR 32052) proposing to designate approximately 
2,685 hectares (6,630 acres) of land in San Diego County, California, 
as critical habitat for Deinandra conjugens pursuant to the Act.
    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 Deinandra conjugens 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 mailing and internet address (see ADDRESSES 
section). We will accept written comments during this reopened comment 
period. The current comment period on this proposal and draft economic 
analysis closes on August 9, 2002.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this comment 
period. If you wish to comment, you may submit written comments and 
materials concerning this proposal by any of several methods:
    (1) You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).
    (2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
deco@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 include ``Attn: Otay tarplant'' 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 Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 
telephone number 760-431-9440.
    (3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).
    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 Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section). Copies of the draft economic analysis are available 
on the Internet at ``http://carlsbad.fws.gov'' or by writing to the 
Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this notice is available 
upon request from the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 


    The primary author of this notice is Daniel R. Brown (see ADDRESSES 


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

    Dated: June 16, 2002.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-17344 Filed 7-9-02; 8:45 am]