[Federal Register: April 28, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 81)]

[Proposed Rules]               

[Page 21988-21991]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018--AT88


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 

Designation of Critical Habitat for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of availability of draft economic 

analysis and draft environmental assessment, and notice of public 



SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 

availability of the draft economic analysis and draft environmental 

assessment for the proposal to designate critical habitat for 

southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) under the 

Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. The draft economic 

analysis considers the potential economic effects of efforts to protect 

the southwestern willow flycatcher and its habitat, collectively 

referred to as ``flycatcher conservation activities.'' In the case of 

habitat conservation, these costs would reflect the costs associated 

with the commitment of resources to comply with habitat protection 

measures. The analysis also addresses how potential economic impacts 

are likely to be distributed and looks retrospectively at costs that 

have been incurred since the date the species was listed. The draft 

economic analysis finds that over a 10-year time period costs 

associated with southwestern willow flycatcher conservation activities 

are forecast to range from $29.2 to $39.5 million per year. Comments 

previously submitted on the October 12, 2004, proposed rule (69 FR 

60706) and the extensions of comment period published December 13, 2004 

(69 FR 72161), or March 31, 2005 (70 FR 16474) need not be resubmitted 

as they have been

[[Page 21989]]

incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in 

preparation of the final rule. We will hold eight public informational 

sessions and hearings (see DATES and ADDRESSES sections).

DATES: Comments must be submitted directly to the Service (see 

ADDRESSES section) on or before May 31, 2005, or at the public 


    We will hold public informational sessions from 3:30 p.m. to 5 

p.m., followed by a public hearing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on the 

following dates:

    1. May 2, 2005: Escondido, CA.

    2. May 3, 2005: City of Chino, CA.

    3. May 9, 2005: Las Vegas, NV.

    4. May 10, 2005: Lake Isabella, CA.

    5. May 16, 2005: Mesa, AZ.

    6. May 17, 2005: Silver City, NM.

    7. May 18, 2005: Albuquerque, NM.

    8. May 19, 2005: Alamosa, CO.



    The public informational sessions and hearings will be held at the 

following locations:

    1. Escondido, CA: California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido 

Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025.

    2. City of Chino, CA: El Prado Golf Course, 6555 Pine Ave., Chino, 

CA 91710.

    3. Las Vegas, NV: Cashman Center, 850 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las 

Vegas, NV 89101.

    4. Lake Isabella, CA: Lake Isabella Senior Center, Room 1, 6405 

Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, CA 93240.

    5. Mesa, AZ: Mesa Community and Conference Center, 263 N. Center 

St., Mesa, AZ 85211.

    6. Silver City, NM: Western New Mexico University, Global Resource 

Room, 1000 W. College, 12th and E St., Silver City, NM 88061.

    7. Albuquerque, NM: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Special Events 

Center, 2401 12th St. NW., Albuquerque, NM 87104.

    8. Alamosa, CO: Adams State University, Student Union Bldg., Rooms 

308 & 309, First and Stadium Dr., Alamosa, CO 81102.

    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 

participate in the public hearing should contact Steve Spangle, Field 

Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office at the phone 

number and address below as soon as possible. In order to allow 

sufficient time to process requests, please call no later than 1 week 

before the hearing. Information regarding this proposal is available in 

alternative formats upon requests.

    If you wish to comment on the proposed rule, draft economic 

analysis, or draft environmental assessment, you may submit your 

comments and materials by any one of several methods:

    1. You may submit written comments and information by mail or hand-

delivery to the Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological 

Services Field Office, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, 

Arizona 85021.

    2. Written comments may be sent by facsimile to (602) 242-2513.

    3. You may send your comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 

WIFLcomments@fws.gov. For directions on how to submit electronic filing 

of comments, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section below.

    You may obtain copies of the draft economic analysis and draft 

environmental assessment by mail or by visiting our Web site at http://arizonaes.fws.gov/SWWF_PCH_Oct.htm.

 You may review comments and 

materials received, and review supporting documentation used in 

preparation of this proposed rule by appointment, during normal 

business hours, at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, 

Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (telephone 602-242-0210, 

facsimile 602-242-2513) or by electronic mail at 



Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 

be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit 

comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 

agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 

party concerning the proposed rule, the draft economic analysis, and 

the draft environmental assessment. On the basis of public comment, 

during the development of our final determination, we may find that 

areas proposed are not essential, are appropriate for exclusion under 

section 4(b)(2) of the Act, or not appropriate for exclusion. 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 benefits of designation will outweigh any threats to the 

species resulting from designation;

    (2) Specific information on the distribution of the southwestern 

willow flycatcher, the amount and distribution of the species' habitat, 

and which habitat is essential to the conservation of the species, and 


    (3) Land-use designations and current or planned activities in the 

subject area and their possible impacts on the species or proposed 

critical habitat;

    (4) Whether our approach to listing or critical habitat designation 

could be improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 

participation and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating 

public concerns and comments;

    (5) Any foreseeable economic, environmental, or other impacts 

resulting from the proposed designation of critical habitat or 

coextensively from the proposed listing, and in particular, any impacts 

on small entities or families;

    (6) Whether the economic analysis identifies all State and local 

costs. If not, what other costs should be included;

    (7) Whether the economic analysis makes appropriate assumptions 

regarding current practices and likely regulatory changes imposed as a 

result of the listing of the species or the designation of critical 


    (8) Whether the economic analysis correctly assesses the effect on 

regional costs associated with land- and water-use controls that derive 

from the designation;

    (9) Whether the designation will result in disproportionate 

economic impacts to specific areas that should be evaluated for 

possible exclusion from the final designation; and

    (10) Whether the economic analysis appropriately identifies all 

costs that could result from the designation or coextensively from the 


    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 allowable 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 


[[Page 21990]]

    If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 

concerning this proposal by any one of several methods (see ADDRESSES 

section). Please submit electronic comments in ASCII file format and 

avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Please 

also include 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 

Arizona Ecological Services Field Office at (602) 242-0210.


    We proposed to designate for the southwestern willow flycatcher 

376,095 acres (ac) (152,124 hectares (ha)) [including approximately 

1,556 stream miles (2,508 stream kilometers)] of critical habitat, 

which includes various stream segments and their associated riparian 

areas, not exceeding the 100-year floodplain or flood prone area, on 

Federal, State, Tribal, and private lands in southern California, 

southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, south-central Colorado, Arizona, 

and New Mexico. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register 

(69 FR 60706) on October 12, 2004, pursuant to a court order.

    On September 30, 2003, in response to a complaint brought by the 

Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. District Court of New Mexico 

ordered us to propose critical habitat on or by September 30, 2004, and 

complete a final designation by September 30, 2005. Additional 

background information is available in the October 12, 2004, proposal 

to designate critical habitat.

    Critical habitat identifies specific areas that are essential to 

the conservation of a listed species and that may require special 

management considerations or protection. If the proposed rule is made 

final, section 7 of the Act will prohibit adverse modification of 

critical habitat by any activity funded, authorized, or carried out by 

any Federal agency. Federal agencies proposing actions affecting areas 

designated as critical habitat must consult with us on the effects of 

their proposed actions, pursuant to section 7(a)(2) of the Act.

    Section 4 of the Act requires that we consider economic and other 

relevant impacts prior to making a final decision on what areas to 

designate as critical habitat. We are announcing the availability of a 

draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment for the 

proposal to designate certain areas as critical habitat for the 

southwestern willow flycatcher. We may revise the proposal, or its 

supporting documents, to incorporate or address new information 

received during the comment period. In particular, we may exclude an 

area from critical habitat if we determine that the benefits of 

excluding the area outweigh the benefits of including the area as 

critical habitat, provided such exclusion will not result in the 

extinction of the species.

Mapping Corrections for Proposed Units of Critical Habitat in Southern 

California and for the West Fork of the Little Colorado River

    Following the publication of the proposed rule on October 12, 2004, 

we discovered that the coordinates for river reaches in Riverside, 

Orange, and San Diego Counties, California, were not correctly 

projected, causing a shift in the proposed critical habitat polygons of 

approximately 262 feet (ft) (80 meters (m)) to the west. We have since 

corrected the data projections to accurately reflect what we are 

considering for designation or exclusion from proposed critical 

habitat, and we provide the corrected start- and end-point coordinates 

below. Corrected Geographic Information System layers will be available 

at http://crithab.fws.gov. The figures provided for the total amount of 

critical habitat being proposed [376,095 acres (ac) (152,124 hectares 

(ha)) [including approximately 1,556 stream miles (mi) (2,508 stream 

kilometers (km)] remain accurate.


              River                 Start  latitude    Start  longitude      End  latitude      End  longitude


(5) Santa Ynez Management Unit:

    Santa Ynez River............          34.5972867        -120.1744120          34.6596711        -120.4394929

(6) Santa Ana Management Unit:

    Bear Creak..................          34.1609651        -117.0151013          34.2422080        -116.9772861

    Mill Creek..................          34.0766521        -116.8443877          34.0911038        -117.1189177

    Oak Glen Creek..............          34.0386250        -117.0646375          34.0483423        -116.9394664

    San Timoteo Wash............          34.0044045        -117.1657189          34.0696468        -117.4534886

    Santa Ana River.............          34.1513001        -116.7350693          33.9673435        -117.4534886

    Waterman Creek..............          34.2169729        -117.2909403          34.1863475        -117.2721230

    Wilson Creek................          34.0102690        -117.1074706          34.0386049        -117.0646183

    Yucaipa Creek...............          34.0102933        -117.1075071          34.0044047        -117.1656724

(7) San Diego Management Unit:

    Christianitos Creek.........          33.4202297        -117.5711573          33.4702954        -117.5643999

    San Mateo Creek.............          33.4193065        -117.5369622          33.3859065        -117.5935937

    San Onofre Creek............          33.3947622        -117.5253484          33.3810809        -117.5783356

(8) San Diego Management Unit:

    Deluz Creek.................          33.3631634        -117.3233833          33.4283909        -117.3215173

    Las Flores Creek............          33.3386714        -117.4116194          33.2917863        -117.4657736

    Las Pulgas Creek............          33.3612114        -117.3905836          33.3386355        -117.4115600

    Pilgrim Creek...............          33.2412419        -117.3359159          33.3115680        -117.2982166

    San Luis Rey River..........          33.2026115        -117.3901467          33.2408111        -116.7646876

    Santa Margarita River.......          33.4331091        -117.1976515          33.2326142        -117.4168773

    Temecula Creek..............          33.4982324        -116.9773975          33.3637228        -116.7592014

(9) San Diego/Salton Management


    Agua Hedionda Creek.........          33.1568123        -117.2241974          33.1394463        -117.3150591

    Agua Hedionda Lagoon........          33.1396776        -117.3150857          33.1426464        -117.3411351

    Cuyamaca Reservoir..........          32.9897875        -116.5871030          32.9922459        -116.5626160

    San Dieguito River..........          32.9771651        -117.2515713          33.0907715        -116.9646098

    San Felipe Creek............          33.1455161        -116.5448283          33.1848207        -116.6238274

    Santa Ysabel River..........          33.1184844        -116.7865468          33.0909411        -116.9646660

    Temescal Creek..............          33.2308371        -116.8251816          33.1203200        -116.8528263

(10) San Diego Management Unit:

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    San Diego River.............          32.8847273        -116.8112102          32.8281759        -117.0527358

(11) Owens Management Unit:

    Owens River.................          37.5877424        -118.6992268          37.1354380        -118.2419417

(12) Kern Management Unit:

    Kern River--South Fork......          35.7176912        -118.1808882          35.6629518        -118.3705422

(13) Mohave Management Unit:

    Deep Creek..................          34.2871220        -117.1269778          34.3404079        -117.2457049

    Holcomb Creek...............          34.2870519        -117.1270054          34.3049219        -116.9646522

    Mojave River................          34.4701947        -117.2546695          34.5838662        -117.3374023


    In our proposed rule we inaccurately mapped the extent of essential 

habitat on the West Fork of the Little Colorado River in Arizona. We 

are correcting that error by adding a Service Road 113 (longitude -

109.507567, latitude 33.959677) to a new endpoint approximately 170 ft 

(51.8 m) east of the Mt. Baldy Wilderness boundary (longitude -

109.516209, latitude 33.958302).

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 

Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: April 20, 2005.

David P. Smith,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

[FR Doc. 05-8488 Filed 4-25-05; 1:06 pm]