[Federal Register: October 10, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 197)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 63064-63065]
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; public hearing announcement.


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 (Manduca blackburni). The public hearing on the 
island of Hawaii and extension of the comment period 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 determination.

[[Page 63065]]

DATES: The comment period for this proposal closes on December 30, 
2002. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in 
the final decision on this proposal. One public hearing will be held on 
the island of Hawaii, on Tuesday, October 29, 2002, in Kailua-Kona from 
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Prior to the public hearing, the Service will be 
available from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. to provide information and to answer 

ADDRESSES: The public hearing in Kailua-Kona will be held at the King 
Kamehameha Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona, 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, PO 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 47 plants from the island of Hawaii 
announced in a separate Federal Register notice are scheduled for the 
same date, time, and location in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 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 47 plants from the island of Hawaii.


    On June 13, 2002, we published a proposed critical habitat rule for 
the Blackburn's sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni) 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.
    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. 
The plaintiffs and the Service entered into a consent decree in a 
separate action agreeing to jointly seek an extension of this deadline 
(Center for Biological Diversity v. Norton, Civ. No. 01-2063 D.D.C. 
October 2, 2001).
    On January 30, 2002, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii approved a 
joint stipulation to modify the terms of the June 2 order to extend the 
deadline to August 10, 2002. Subsequently, the Service determined that 
an additional extension of time was needed to complete this designation 
making process. On August 21, 2002, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii 
approved another joint stipulation extending the date for the final 
rule designating critical habitat for this species to May 30, 2003.
    The proposed rule published June 13, 2002, proposes to designate 
eight separate units, totaling approximately 40,240 hectares (99,433 
acres) on the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and Kahoolawe 
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. The public hearing and extension of the 
comment period allows all interested parties to submit oral or written 
comments on the proposal.
    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 
date. 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 this species, as 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 
designations 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 above species such as those derived from non-
consumptive uses (e.g., hiking, camping, birding, enhanced watershed 
protection, increased soil retention, ``existence values'', and 
reductions in administrative costs); and
    (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.
    The comment period on this proposal closes on December 30, 2002. 
Written comments should be submitted to the Service office listed in 
the ADDRESSES section.


    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: October 1, 2002.
Paul Hoffman,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-25722 Filed 10-9-02; 8:45 am]