[Federal Register: July 22, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 140)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 47758-47760]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AI61

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Sonoma 
County Distinct Population Segment of the California Tiger Salamander 
as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to make 
permanent the provisions of the emergency rule listing the Sonoma 
County distinct population segment (DPS) of the California tiger 
salamander (Ambystoma californiense), as endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The emergency rule 
listing the population is published concurrently in this issue of the 
Federal Register. The Sonoma County DPS of the California tiger 
salamander is currently known from only seven viable breeding sites and 
associated uplands.
    This species is imperiled by a variety of factors including habitat 
destruction, degradation, and fragmentation due to urban development. 
Other threats include road construction, pesticide drift, collection, 
and inadequate regulatory mechanisms. Extinction also could occur by 
naturally occurring events due to the small, isolated nature of the 
remaining breeding sites. We find these threats constitute a 
significant and immediate risk to the Sonoma County DPS of the 
California tiger salamander.
    We solicit additional data and information that may assist us in 
making a final decision on this proposed action. This proposal, if made 
final, would extend the Federal protection and recovery provisions of 
the Act to this species.

DATES: We will accept comments until the close of business on September 
20, 2002. Public hearing requests must be received by September 5, 

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials by any one of several methods:
    (1) You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor (Attn: SCCTS), Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, 
CA 95825.
    (2) You may hand-deliver written comments to our Sacramento Fish 
and Wildlife Office at the address given above.
    (3) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
fw1sccaliforniatiger@r1.fws.gov. See the Public Comments Solicited 
section below for file format and other information on electronic 

Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section) (telephone 
916/414-6600; facsimile 916/414-6713).



    For a discussion of biological background information, previous 
Federal action, factors affecting the species, critical habitat, and 
conservation measures available to listed and proposed species, consult 
the emergency rule on the Sonoma County Distinct Vertebrate Population 
Segment of the California tiger salamander (Sonoma County California 
tiger salamander) published concurrently in this issue of the Federal 

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we are 
soliciting comments from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other

[[Page 47759]]

interested party concerning this proposed rule. We are particularly 
seeking comments concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to the Sonoma County California tiger 
    (2) The location of any additional populations or breeding sites of 
this species, and the reasons why any habitat should or should not be 
determined to be critical habitat pursuant to section 4 of the Act;
    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population size of this species; and
    (4) Current or planned activities or land use practices in the 
subject area and their possible impacts on this species.
    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-AI61]'' 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 Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
at 916/414-6600.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home addresses from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowed by law. There also may be circumstances in which we 
would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as 
allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, 
you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. 
However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
    In making any final decision on this proposal, we will take into 
consideration the comments and any additional information we receive, 
and such communications may lead to a final regulation that differs 
from this proposal.

Public Hearings

    The Act requires that we hold one or more public hearings on this 
proposal, if requested within 45 days of the date of publication of a 
proposed rule. Such requests must be made in writing and be addressed 
to the Field Supervisor, (Attn: SCCTS), Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES section). Should a public hearing be requested, 
then we will announce the date, time, and place for the hearing in the 
Federal Register, through legal notices in area newspapers, and in news 
releases to the media.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we will seek the expert opinions of at least three appropriate 
and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose 
of this review is to ensure listing decisions are based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We will send the 
peer reviewers copies of this proposed rule, as well as the emergency 
rule, immediately following publication in the Federal Register. We 
will invite them to comment, during the public comment period, on 
specific assumptions and conclusions regarding the proposed rule to 
list the Sonoma County California tiger salamander.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an environmental assessment and 
environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in 
connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the 
Endangered Species Act as amended. We published a notice outlining our 
reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 
1983 (48 FR 49244).

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to write regulations that 
are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to make this 
proposal easier to understand including answers to questions such as 
the following: (1) Is the discussion in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of the preamble helpful in understanding the proposal? (2) Does 
the proposal contain technical language or jargon that interferes with 
its clarity? (3) Does the format of the proposal (grouping and order of 
the sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce its 
clarity? What else could we do to make the proposal easier to 
    Send a copy of any comments that concern how we could make this 
notice easier to understand to: Office of Regulatory Affairs, 
Department of the Interior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, 
DC 20240. You may e-mail your comments to this address: 

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not include any new collections of information other 
than those already approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and assigned Office of Management and Budget 
control number 1018-0094 which expires on July 31, 2004. An agency may 
not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control 
number. For additional information concerning permit and associated 
requirements for endangered species, see 50 CFR 17.21 and 17.22.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare 
Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This 
rule is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, 
distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not significant energy 
action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.


    The primary author of this proposed rule is Chris Nagano, Deputy 
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
record-keeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons given in the preamble to the emergency rule listing 
the Sonoma County Distinct Vertebrate Population of the California 
tiger salamander as endangered, published concurrently in this issue of 
the Federal Register, we hereby propose to amend part 17, subchapter B 
of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth 


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

[[Page 47760]]

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend Sec. 17.11(h) by adding the following, in alphabetical 
order under AMPHIBIANS, to the List of Endangered and Threatened 

Sec. 17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                       When       Critical     Special
                                                           Historic  range       endangered or         Status         listed      habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened

                    *                  *                  *                *                  *                  *                  *

                    *                  *                  *                *                  *                  *                  *
Salamander, California tiger.....  Ambystoma             U.S.A. (CA)........  U.S.A. (CA--Sonoma   E                       729           NA           NA
                                    californiense.                             County).

                    *                  *                  *                *                  *                  *                  *

    Dated: July 16, 2002.
Marshall P. Jones,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-18451 Filed 7-19-02; 8:45 am]