[Federal Register: August 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 165)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 54763-54764]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH94

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Blackburn's Sphinx Moth

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period, and public hearing 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) gives notice of a 
public hearing on the proposed critical habitat designation for 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. In addition, the comment period which 
originally closed on August 12, 2002, has been extended. The new 
comment period and hearing will allow all interested parties to submit 
oral or written comments on the proposal. We are seeking comments or 
suggestions from the public, other concerned agencies, the scientific 
community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning the 
proposed rule. Comments already submitted on the proposed rule need not 
be resubmitted as they will be fully considered in the final 

DATES: The comment period for this proposal now closes on December 30, 
2002. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in 
the final decision on this proposal. The public hearing will be held 
from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2002, on the 
island of Maui, Hawaii. Prior to the public hearing, the Service will 
be available from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. to provide information and to 
answer questions. The Service will also be available for questions 
after the hearing.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Maui Arts and 
Cultural Center Meeting Room, One Cameron Way, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. 
Comments and materials concerning this proposal should be sent to the 
Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, 
HI 96850. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, at the above address, 
(telephone 808/541-3441, facsimile 808/541-3470).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The public hearing for the proposed rule to 
designate critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx moth announced in 
this Federal Register notice and the public hearing for the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for 61 plants from the islands of Maui 
and Kahoolawe announced in a separate Federal Register notice are 
scheduled for the same date, time, and location on Maui as a matter of 
convenience to the public. We will accept comments at this public 
hearing on the proposed designation of critical habitat for Blackburn's 
sphinx moth, as well as the proposed designation of critical habitat 
for 61 plants from the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe.


    On June 13, 2002, we published a proposed critical habitat rule for 
the Blackburn's sphinx moth listed under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.), known historically 
from the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, and known 
currently from the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, and Maui (67 FR 
40633). The original comment period closed on August 12, 2002. The 
comment period now closes on December 30, 2002. Written comments should 
be submitted to us (see ADDRESSES section).
    A final listing rule, listing the Blackburn's sphinx moth as 
endangered, was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2000 
(65 FR 4770). In that final rule, we determined that critical habitat 
designation for the moth would be prudent, and we also indicated that 
we were not able to develop a proposed critical habitat designation for 
the species at that time due to budgetary and workload constraints.
    On June 2, 2000, we were ordered by the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Hawaii (in Center for Biological Diversity v. Babbitt and 
Clark, Civ. No. 99-00603 (D. Haw.)) to publish the final critical 
habitat designation for Blackburn's sphinx moth by February 1, 2002. 
This was extended on October 2, 2001 to August 10, 2002. The plaintiffs 
and the Service have agreed on an extension. On August 21, 2002, the 
parties to the litigation anticipate filing a joint stipulation that, 
if approved would extend the final critical habitat deadline for this 
species to May 30, 2003. It would also extend another deadline and 
require other actions. This notice is being issued in anticipation of 
the court's approval. Should the court disapprove the stipulation, we 
may have to issue a further notice modifying the schedule and process 
for completing the final critical habitat determinations for these 
species. This proposed rule is in response to these requirements. 
Within eight separate units, a total of approximately 40,240 hectares 
(99,433 acres) on the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and 
Kahoolawe are proposed for designation as critical habitat for 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. For locations of these proposed units, please 
consult the proposed rule (67 FR 40633).
    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act requires that a public hearing be 
held if it is requested within 45 days of the publication of a proposed 
rule. In response to requests from various parties, we will hold a 
public hearing on the date and at the address described in the DATES 
and ADDRESSES sections above. An additional Federal Register notice 
will be published when a public hearing can be scheduled for the Island 
of Hawaii.
    Anyone wishing to make an oral statement for the record is 
encouraged to provide a written copy of their statement and present it 
to us at the hearing. In the event there is a large attendance, the 
time allotted for oral statements may be limited. Oral and written 
statements receive equal consideration. There are no limits to the 
length of written comments presented at the hearing or mailed to us. 
Legal notices announcing the date, time, and location of the public 
hearing will be published in newspapers concurrently with the Federal 
Register notice.
    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 
participate in the public hearing should contact Patti Carroll at 503/
231-2080 as soon as possible. In order to allow sufficient time to 
process requests, please call no later than one week before the hearing 
    Information regarding this proposal is available in alternative 
formats upon request.
    Comments from the public regarding this proposed rule are sought, 
especially regarding:
    (1) The reasons why any particular area should or should not be 
designated as critical habitat for the Blackburn's

[[Page 54764]]

sphinx moth, as critical habitat is defined by section 3 of the Act;
    (2) Specific information on the amount, distribution, and quality 
of habitat for the species, and what habitat is essential to the 
conservation of the species and why;
    (3) Land use practices and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas, and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (4) Any economic or other impacts resulting from the proposed 
designation of critical habitat, including any impacts on small 
entities, energy development, low-income households, and local 
    (5) Economic and other potential values associated with designating 
critical habitat for the Blackburn's sphinx moth such as those derived 
from nonconsumptive uses (e.g., hiking, camping, birding, enhanced 
watershed protection, increased soil retention, ``existence values''); 
    (6) Information for use, under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, in 
determining if the benefits of excluding an area from critical habitat 
outweigh the benefits of specifying the area as critical habitat.
    Extension of the comment period will enable us to respond to the 
request for a public hearing on the proposed action. The comment period 
on this proposal now closes on December 30, 2002. Written comments 
should be submitted to the Service office listed in the ADDRESSES 


    The primary author of this notice is Mike Richardson (see ADDRESSES 

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

    Dated: August 16, 2002.
David P. Smith,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-21702 Filed 8-23-02; 8:45 am]