[Federal Register: August 19, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 160)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 51416-51417]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AT57

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of the 
Public Comment Period and Notice of Public Hearings for the Proposed 
Designation of Critical Habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of public comment period and notice of 
public hearings.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 
that we are reopening a 30-day public comment period and holding public 
hearings on the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Santa 
Ana sucker (Catostomus santaanae). Comments previously submitted on the 
February 26, 2004, proposed rule (69 FR 8911) need not be resubmitted 
as they have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully 
considered in the final decision.

DATES: The public comment period for this proposed designation of 
critical habitat is now reopened, and we will accept comments and 
information until 5 p.m. PST on September 20, 2004.
    The public hearings on the proposed designation will be held on 
September 9, 2004, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in 
Pasadena, California.

ADDRESSES: The public hearings will be held at the Pasadena Hilton, 168 
S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, California.
    Written comments and materials may be submitted to us by one of the 
following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to the Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, 
Carlsbad, California 92009.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at the above address, or fax your 
comments to (760) 431-9618.
    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
fw1sasu@r1.fws.gov. Please see the Public Comments Solicited section 

below for file format and other information about electronic filing.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposed critical habitat rule 
for the Santa Ana sucker will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address. Any 
comments received after the closing date may not be considered in the 
final decisions on this action. You may obtain copies of the proposed 
critical habitat designation by contacting the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 
(760) 431-9440; facsimile (760) 431-9618).


Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or 
any other interested parties concerning our proposed designation of 
critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker. We particularly seek 
comments concerning:
    (1) The reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined 
to be critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act, including 
whether the benefit of designation will outweigh any threats to the 
species due to designation;
    (2) Specific information on the amount and distribution of Santa 
Ana sucker habitat, and what habitat is essential to the conservation 
of the species and why;
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (4) Any foreseeable economic, national security, or other potential 
impacts resulting from the proposed designation and, in particular, any 
impacts on small entities; and
    (5) Whether our approach to designating critical habitat could be 
improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 

[[Page 51417]]

and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating public concerns and 
    If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 
concerning this rule by any one of several methods (see ADDRESSES 
section). Please submit Internet comments to fw1sasu@r1.fws.gov in 
ASCII file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form 
of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: Santa Ana Sucker Critical 
Habitat'' in your e-mail subject header and your name and return 
address in the body of your message. If you do not receive a 
confirmation from the system that we have received your Internet 
message, contact us directly by calling our Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
    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 address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. 
There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold 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 comments. However, we will not consider anonymous 
comments. To the extent consistent with applicable law, 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.

Public Hearings

    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 hearings. 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 on the 
length of written comments submitted to us. If you have any questions 
concerning the public hearings, please contact the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES above). This notice is being published 
in the Federal Register to provide the public and interested parties 
with a minimum of 15 days' notification about the public hearings.
    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 
participate in the public hearings 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 requests.


    On February 26, 2004, we concurrently published in the Federal 
Register a final rule and a proposed rule to designate critical habitat 
for the Santa Ana sucker (69 FR 8839; 69 FR 8911). In order to comply 
with the designation deadline established by the district court, we 
were unable to open a public comment period, hold a public hearing, or 
complete an economic analysis of the final rule. Please refer to the 
final rule (69 FR 8839) for a complete explanation of our reasons for 
dispensing with the notice and comment procedures generally required 
under the Administrative Procedure Act.
    However, we fully recognize the value and importance of public 
input in developing a critical habitat designation for the Santa Ana 
sucker. Therefore, in order to allow members of the public an 
opportunity to comment on the critical habitat designation for the 
Santa Ana sucker, and to enable the Service to seek peer review of such 
designation, and to complete and circulate for public review an 
economic analysis of critical habitat designation, we published and 
solicited comment on a proposed rule (69 FR 8911) to designate critical 
habitat for the Santa Ana sucker on approximately 21,129 acres (ac) 
(8,550 hectares (ha)) of land in Los Angeles and San Bernardino 
counties. The original comment period on the proposed rule closed on 
April 26, 2004.
    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that a public hearing be held if it is requested within 45 days of the 
publication of a proposed rule. In response to several requests for a 
public hearing from citizens concerned with the designation of critical 
habitat in the Angeles National Forest, we will conduct public hearings 
on the date and at the address described in the DATES and ADDRESSES 
sections above.


    The primary authors of this notice are the staff of the Carlsbad 
Fish and Wildlife office (see ADDRESSES section).


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

    Dated: August 12, 2004.
David P. Smith,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 04-18987 Filed 8-18-04; 8:45 am]