[Federal Register: November 15, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 221)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 69179-69180]
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; notice of availability of draft economic 


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 the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
(Manduca blackburni) on the islands of Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and 
Kahoolawe, Hawaii. The comment period to allow peer reviewers and all 
interested parties to comment simultaneously on the proposed rule (67 
FR 54763) and the associated draft economic analysis currently ends on 
December 30, 2002. Over a 10-year period, the draft economic analysis 
shows a range of direct costs from $1.2 to 1.9 million, and the 
possibility of indirect costs approaching $500 million. However, many 
of the indirect costs shown in the analysis result from uncertain and 
possibly unlikely future private and governmental actions, and we 
expressly request comments as to the likelihood of these actions 
occurring and of the indicated costs from these possible actions being 
incurred. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they 
will be incorporated into the public record as part of this extended 
comment period and will be fully considered in preparation of the final 

DATES: We will accept public comments until December 30, 2002. Any 
comments received by the closing date will be considered in the final 
decision on this proposal.

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. 
Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the Internet at 
http://pacificislands.fws.gov or by request from the Field Supervisor 
at above address and 808/541-3441. 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).



    An initial comprehensive Notice of Review for Invertebrate Animals 
was published in the Federal Register on May 22, 1984 (49 FR 21664). In 
that notice, we identified Blackburn's sphinx moth as a category 3A 
taxon. Category 3A taxa were those for which we had persuasive evidence 
of extinction. We published an updated Notice of Review for animals on 
January 6, 1989 (54 FR 554). Although Blackburn's sphinx moth had been 
rediscovered by 1985, in the 1989 Notice of Review this taxon was again 
identified as category 3A. In the next Notice of Review on November 15, 
1994 (59 FR 58982), this species was reclassified as a category 1 
candidate for listing. Category 1 candidates were those taxa for which 
we had on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and 
threats to support preparation of listing proposals. Beginning with our 
February 28, 1996, Notice of Review (61 FR 7596), we discontinued the 
designation of multiple categories of candidates, and only those taxa 
meeting the definition of former category 1 candidates are now 
considered candidates for listing purposes. In the February 28, 1996, 
Notice of Review, we identified Blackburn's sphinx moth as a candidate 
species (61 FR 7596). A proposed rule to list Blackburn's sphinx moth 
as endangered was published on April 2, 1997 (62 FR 15640). In the 
September 19, 1997, Notice of Review (62 FR 49398), this species was 
included as proposed for endangered status.
    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, 
Civil No. 99-00603) to publish the final critical habitat designation 
for Blackburn's sphinx moth by February 1, 2002. The plaintiffs and the 
Service have entered into a consent decree agreeing to extend the 
deadline to May 30, 2003. Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. 
Norton, Civ. No. 99-00603 (Aug. 22, 2002).
    In response to the court order, on June 13, 2002, we published a 
proposed critical habitat rule for the Blackburn's sphinx moth. The 
species is 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). We proposed a total of approximately 
40,240 hectares (99,433 acres) on the islands of Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, 
and Kahoolawe.
    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 designate 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. We have prepared a draft economic analysis of the 
proposed critical habitat designation. The draft economic analysis is 
available on the Internet and from the mailing address in

[[Page 69180]]

the Public Comments Solicited section below.
    The public comment period for the June 13, 2002, proposal 
originally closed on August 12, 2002. On August 26, 2002, we published 
a Federal Register notice (67 FR 54763) extending the comment period 
for the proposed designation of critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx 
moth. We are now announcing the availability of the draft economic 
analysis. We will accept public comments on the proposal and the 
associated draft economic analysis for the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
until December 30, 2002. Comments already submitted on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for the Blackburn's sphinx moth do not 
need to be resubmitted as they will be fully considered in the final 
determinations. Written comments should be submitted to us (see 

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information on the proposed 
critical habitat designation and draft economic analysis for 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. If you wish to comment, you may submit your 
comments and materials concerning the proposal and draft economic 
analysis by the following methods:
    (1) You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor by mail, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001, 
or by facsimile, (808) 541-3470.
    (2) 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) above.


    The primary author of this notice is Mike Richardson (see 


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

    Dated: November 5, 2002.
Paul Hoffman,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-29049 Filed 11-12-02; 3:04 pm]