[Federal Register: May 3, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 84)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 22835-22840]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AJ12

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Designation of Critical Habitat for the Jarbidge River, Coastal-Puget 
Sound, and Saint Mary-Belly River Populations of Bull Trout

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and notice of 
availability of draft economic analysis.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the reopening 
of the public comment period on the proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the Jarbidge River, Coastal-Puget Sound, and Saint Mary-
Belly River populations of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), and the 
availability of the draft economic analysis of the proposed designation 
of critical habitat. We are reopening the comment period to allow all 
interested parties to comment simultaneously on the proposed rule and 
the associated draft economic analysis. Comments previously submitted 
need not be resubmitted as they will be incorporated into the public 
record as part of this comment period, and will be fully considered in 
preparation of the final rule. Copies of the draft economic analysis 
and the proposed rule for critical habitat designation are available on 
the Internet at http://pacific.fws.gov/bulltrout or from the Portland 

Regional Office at the address and contact numbers below.

DATES: We will accept public comments until June 2, 2005.

[[Page 22836]]

ADDRESSES: Written comments and materials may be submitted to us by any 
one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to John Young, 
Bull Trout Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232;
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our 
office, at the above address, or fax your comments to 503/231-6243; or
    3. You may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
R1BullTroutCH@r1.fws.gov. For directions on how to submit electronic 
filing of comments, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section. In 
the event that our Internet connection is not functional, please submit 
your comments by the alternate methods mentioned above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Young, at the address above 
(telephone 503/231-6194; facsimile 503/231-6243).


Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this 
reopened comment period. We solicit comments on the original proposed 
critical habitat designation (June 25, 2004, 69 FR 35768) and on our 
draft economic analysis of the proposed designation. We are 
particularly interested in 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 Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), 
including whether the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of 
specifying such area as part of critical habitat;
    (2) Specific information on the amount and distribution of bull 
trout habitat, and what habitat is essential to the conservation of 
this species and why;
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject area and their possible impacts on proposed habitat;
    (4) We request information on how many of the State and local 
environmental protection measures referenced in the draft economic 
analysis were adopted largely as a result of the listing of the bull 
trout, and how many were either already in place or enacted for other 
reasons, such as those enacted for the conservation of federally-listed 
    (5) Whether the draft economic analysis identifies all State and 
local costs attributable to the proposed critical habitat designation. 
If not, what costs are overlooked;
    (6) Whether the draft economic analysis makes appropriate 
assumptions regarding current practices and likely regulatory changes 
imposed as a result of the designation of critical habitat;
    (7) Whether the draft economic analysis correctly assesses the 
effect on regional costs associated with land use controls that derive 
from the designation;
    (8) Our small business screening analysis indicated potentially 
disproportionate impacts to two economic sectors: sand and gravel 
mining on the Olympic Peninsula and real estate development in Skagit, 
Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties. Further investigation showed that 
these impacts are likely to be more narrowly concentrated. Impacts to 
the sand and gravel industry appear to be highest within the Wynoochee 
river watershed, while impacts to Skagit county real estate developers 
appear to occur disproportionately higher in the western portion of the 
county, within the Samish river and Lower Skagit river watersheds. Real 
estate costs also appear disproportionately higher in the western 
portions of Snohomish (Snohomish River watershed) and Whatcom 
(Bellingham Bay, Birch Bay, and Nooksack River watersheds) Counties. 
Based on this information, we are considering excluding these areas 
from the final designation per our discretion under section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act. We are specifically seeking comment along with additional 
information concerning our final determination for these three areas.
    (9) Any foreseeable economic or other impacts resulting from the 
proposed designation of critical habitat, in particular, any impacts on 
small entities or families. Does our conclusion that the proposed 
designation of critical habitat will not result in a disproportionate 
effect to small businesses warrant further consideration, and is there 
other information that would indicate that the designation of critical 
habitat would or would not have any impacts on small entities or 
families (in particular sand and gravel mining on the Olympic Peninsula 
and real estate development in Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom 
    (10) Whether the draft economic analysis appropriately identifies 
all costs that could result from the designation;
    (11) Whether our approach to 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 concern and comments.
    (12) There are no cost estimates associated with bull trout 
conservation that relate to changes in hydroelectric dam operation, 
such as water diversion activities that divert water over dams, as 
compared to sending water through turbines. Because we have not 
estimated these potential costs, we are soliciting information from the 
public for specific case studies where there have been changes in the 
operation of hydroelectric dams that was due to conservation activities 
for bull trout.
    (13) We are requesting comment on excluding dams and water projects 
that are impacted by the proposed designation of critical habitat for 
the bull trout. The draft economic analysis identified economic impacts 
to dams and water projects for the Coastal-Puget Sound population of 
bull trout in section 3.4 of the document, and the Saint Mary-Belly 
population of bull trout in section 5.3 of the document. We are also 
requesting comment on excluding these facilities from the final 
    (14) The proposed critical habitat designation for the Jarbidge 
River population of bull trout spans two counties, Owyhee County in 
Idaho and Elko County in Nevada. As discussed in our draft economic 
analysis, we have determined that the per capita income for Owyhee 
County is $17,251, somewhat less than Idaho State's figure of $24,506, 
and had a poverty rate of 17 percent, greater than the 11.2 percent 
rate of the State. Total employment in Owyhee County is 3,886, and a 
large portion of this employment is related to agricultural production. 
Over 1,000 jobs, or nearly 28 percent of total county employment, are 
in agricultural production, and mainly connected with irrigated 
agriculture and cattle ranching. In Owyhee County, 38 percent of the 
earnings are from jobs directly related to agricultural production. 
Based on this information from the draft economic analysis, we are 
specifically requesting comment on excluding Owyhee County, Idaho from 
the final designation of critical habitat.
    (15) We are considering excluding and are requesting comment on the 
benefits of excluding or including the following areas or programs 
within the Puget Sound Coastal bull trout population final critical 
habitat designation: The areas that form the Washington Department of 
Natural Resources Habitat Conservation Plan; the area covered by the 
Simpson Timber Company Habitat Conservation Plan; the area covered by 
the City of Seattle

[[Page 22837]]

Habitat Conservation Plan; the area covered by the Tacoma Water Habitat 
Conservation Plan; the area regulated by the Forest and Fish Report 
rules under the Washington State Forest Practices Rules and 
Regulations; National Forest Lands subject to the Northwest Forest 
Plan; and areas comprising individual tribal reservations located 
within proposed critical habitat areas within the Puget Sound Coastal, 
Jarbidge, and Saint Mary Belly populations of bull trout. An area may 
be excluded from critical habitat if it is determined that the benefits 
of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying a particular area 
as critical habitat, unless the failure to designate such area as 
critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. We may 
exclude an area from designated critical habitat based on economic 
impacts, national security, or any other relevant impact. We are 
requesting comment on such impacts and the benefits of including or 
excluding each of the enumerated areas.
    All previous comments and information submitted during the initial 
comment period need not be resubmitted. Refer to the ADDRESSES section 
for information on how to submit written comments and information. Our 
final determination on the proposed critical habitat will take into 
consideration all comments and any additional information received.
    Please submit electronic comments in an ASCII file format and avoid 
the use of special characters and encryption. Please also include 
``Attn: RIN 1018-AJ12'' and your name and return address in your e-mail 
message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that we 
have received your e-mail message, please contact the Bull Trout 
Coordinator (see ADDRESSES section and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
    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. In some circumstances, we would withhold 
from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as allowable by 
law. If you wish for 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. 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, 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, in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office at 
the above address.
    Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the Internet 
at: http://pacific.fws.gov/bulltrout or from the Bull Trout Coordinator 

at the address and contact numbers above. You may obtain copies of the 
proposed rule from the above address, by calling 503/231-6194, or from 
our Web site at: http://pacific.fws.gov/bulltrout.


    We published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the 
Jarbidge River, Coastal-Puget Sound, and Saint Mary-Belly River 
populations of bull trout on June 25, 2004 (69 FR 35768). The proposed 
critical habitat for the Jarbidge River population designation includes 
approximately 131 miles (mi) (211 kilometers (km)) of streams in Idaho 
and Nevada. For the Coastal-Puget Sound population, the proposed 
critical habitat designation totals approximately 2,290 mi (3,685 km) 
of streams, 52,540 acres (ac) (21,262 hectares (ha)) of lakes, and 
marine areas adjacent to 985 mi (1,585 km) of shoreline in Washington. 
For the Saint Mary-Belly River population, the proposed critical 
habitat designation totals approximately 88 mi (142 km) of streams and 
6,295 ac (2,548 ha) of lakes in Montana. Under the terms of a court-
approved settlement agreement, we are required to submit the final rule 
designating critical habitat to the Federal Register no later than June 
15, 2005.
    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as the specific 
areas within the geographic area occupied by a species, at the time it 
is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical 
or biological features essential to the conservation of the species and 
that may require special management considerations or protection; and 
specific areas outside the geographic area occupied by a species at the 
time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential 
for the conservation of the species. If the proposed rule is made 
final, section 7 of the Act will prohibit destruction or 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(b)(2) of the Act requires that we designate or revise 
critical habitat based upon the best scientific and commercial data 
available, after taking into consideration the economic or any other 
relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical 
habitat for the Jarbidge River, Coastal-Puget Sound, and Saint Mary-
Belly River populations of bull trout, we have prepared a draft 
economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation.
    The draft economic analysis addresses the impacts of bull trout 
conservation efforts on activities occurring on lands proposed for 
designation as well as those proposed for exclusion. The analysis 
measures lost economic efficiency associated with residential and 
commercial development; hydroelectric projects; non-hydroelectric 
projects; Federal land management; Federal and State agencies; grazing; 
mining; recreation; agriculture; private non-Habitat Conservation Plan 
forestry; road maintenance and transportation; commercial and 
recreation mining; utilities; dredging and instream activities; 
culverts; National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
permitted activities; and administrative consultation costs.
    The draft economic analysis considers the potential economic 
effects of actions relating to the conservation of the bull trout, 
including costs associated with sections 4, 7, and 10 of the Act, and 
including those attributable to designating critical habitat. It 
further considers the economic effects of protective measures taken as 
a result of other Federal, State, and local laws that aid habitat 
conservation for the bull trout in essential habitat areas. The 
analysis considers both economic efficiency and distributional effects. 
In the case of habitat conservation, efficiency effects generally 
reflect the ``opportunity costs'' associated with the commitment of 
resources to comply with habitat protection measures (e.g., lost 
economic opportunities associated with restrictions on land use). This 
analysis also addresses how potential economic impacts are likely to be 
distributed, including an assessment of any local or regional impacts 
of habitat conservation and the potential effects of conservation 
activities on small entities and the energy industry. This information 
can be used by decision-makers to assess whether the effects of the 
designation might unduly burden a

[[Page 22838]]

particular group or economic sector. Finally, this analysis looks 
retrospectively at costs that have been incurred since the date the 
species was listed as a threatened species and considers those costs 
that may occur in the 19 years following the designation of critical 
    We solicit data and comments from the public on these draft 
documents, as well as on all aspects of the proposal. 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.
    Costs related to conservation activities for the proposed bull 
trout critical habitat pursuant to sections 4, 7, and 10 of the Act are 
estimated to be approximately $656.6 million from 2005 to 2024 assuming 
a 7 percent discount rate. Overall, the residential and commercial 
industry is calculated to experience the highest of estimated costs, 
followed by administrative consultations and Federal land management. 
Of the three populations that are part of this current proposal, more 
than 99 percent of the costs occur in Coastal-Puget Sound population 
area. Annualized impacts of costs attributable to the designation of 
critical habitat are projected to be approximately $61.8 million.

Required Determinations--Amended

Regulatory Planning and Review

    In accordance with Executive Order 12866, this document is a 
significant rule because it may raise novel legal and policy issues. 
However, it is not anticipated to have an annual effect on the economy 
of $100 million or more or affect the economy in a material way. Due to 
the timeline for publication in the Federal Register, the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has not formally reviewed the proposed 

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make 
available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 
describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). 
However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of 
an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. In our proposed rule, 
we withheld our determination of whether this designation would result 
in a significant effect as defined under SBREFA until we completed our 
draft economic analysis of the proposed designation so that we would 
have the factual basis for our determination.
    According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small 
entities include small organizations, such as independent nonprofit 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents, as well as small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small 
businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 
500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, 
retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual 
sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 
million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than 
$11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with 
annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic 
impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the 
types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this 
designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. 
In general, the term significant economic impact is meant to apply to a 
typical small business firm's business operations.
    To determine if this proposed designation of critical habitat for 
the bull trout would affect a substantial number of small entities, we 
considered the number of small entities affected within particular 
types of economic activities (e.g., residential and commercial 
development, mining, sand and gravel, and agriculture). We considered 
each industry or category individually to determine if certification is 
appropriate. In estimating the numbers of small entities potentially 
affected, we also considered whether their activities have any Federal 
involvement; some kinds of activities are unlikely to have any Federal 
involvement and so will not be affected by the designation of critical 
habitat. Designation of critical habitat only affects activities 
conducted, funded, permitted or authorized by Federal agencies; non-
Federal activities are not affected by the designation.
    If this proposed critical habitat designation is made final, 
Federal agencies must consult with us if their activities may affect 
designated critical habitat. Consultations to avoid the destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat would be incorporated into the 
existing consultation process.
    In our economic analysis of this proposed designation, we evaluated 
the potential economic effects on small business entities resulting 
from conservation actions related to the listing of this species and 
proposed designation of its critical habitat. We determined from our 
analysis that the small business entities that may be affected are land 
development, and sand and gravel businesses in the Coastal-Puget Sound 
region, and irrigated farming in the Milk River Basin of the Saint 
Mary-Belly region. There are no anticipated effects on small business 
entities in the Jarbidge region.
    On the basis of our analysis of bull trout conservation measures, 
we determined that this proposed designation of critical habitat for 
the bull trout would result in potential economic effects to the land 
development sector in counties of the eastern Puget Sound. The percent 
of land development revenues attributable to small businesses ranges 
from 45 to 100 percent in these counties. The anticipated effect of the 
proposed designation as a percent of small business sales in these 
counties is approximately 2.3 percent. The highest percent effects 
occur in Skagit (8.4 percent), Snohomish (3.4 percent), and Whatcom 
(3.03 percent) Counties. However, these effects appear to be highly 
concentrated in these counties; in Skagit County, the Samish River and 
Lower Skagit River/Nookachamps Creek watersheds contain 98 percent of 
the real estate development impacts within the county, and therefore, 
impacts to small businesses likely occur in these areas. Similarly, in 
Snohomish County, the Snohomish River watershed contains approximately 
78 percent of real estate impacts, and in Whatcom County, Bellingham 
Bay, Birch Bay, and Nooksack River watersheds contain 98 percent of 
real estate impacts. However, as part of our analysis we relied on one 
North American Industry Classification System code, which may place a 
burden on too few small businesses and the number of small businesses 
associated with land development in Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom 
Counties may be understated thereby driving the effect per small 
business up and resulting in the 3 to 8.4 percent impact

[[Page 22839]]

in these counties. Therefore, we believe that the proposed designation 
will not result in a disproportionate effect to these small business 
entities. However, we are seeking comment on potentially excluding 
these watersheds from the final designation if it is determined that 
there will be a substantial and significant impact to small real estate 
development businesses in these particular watersheds.
    For the sand and gravel mining sector, we determined that the 
revenues in this sector attributable to small businesses were 76 
percent of Snohomish County and 100 percent for Whatcom County, which 
are both located in the Puget Sound region, and 100 percent for Grays 
Harbor, which is located in the Olympic region. The anticipated annual 
effect to these small sand and gravel mining businesses was determined 
to be 0.6 to 1.5 percent in Puget Sound counties, and approximately 4.5 
percent for Grays Harbor County in the Olympic region; however, these 
effects appear to be concentrated in the Wynoochee River watershed. 
Because there are few sand and gravel mining businesses located in this 
one watershed, we believe that the anticipated annual effect to small 
sand and gravel mining businesses will not be substantial. However, we 
are also seeking comment on potentially excluding the Wynoochee River 
watershed from the final designation if it is determined that there 
will be a substantial and significant impact to small sand and gravel 
mining businesses in this watershed.
    We determined that this proposed designation of critical habitat 
for the bull trout would result in a potential economic effect to 
irrigated farming as part of the Milk River Project from allocation of 
instream flow in Swiftcurrent Creek, and subsequent reduction in water 
for irrigation. Since the Milk River Project is managed by the Bureau 
of Reclamation, we assumed that the costs would be equally shared for 
the benefit of all irrigators, which would result in an average share 
of revenue impact per farm of $33 to $115. When the total costs are 
compared to average sales per farm that represent small businesses, 
they would account for 0.06 to 0.20 percent of annual revenues.
    Based on this data, we have determined that this proposed 
designation would not result in a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, in particular to land developers 
or sand and gravel mining businesses in the Coastal-Puget Sound region, 
and irrigators farming as part of the Milk River Project located in the 
Saint Mary-Belly region. We may also exclude these watersheds from the 
final designation if it is determined that these localized areas have 
an impact to a substantial number of businesses and a significant 
proportion of their annual revenues. As such, we are certifying that 
this proposed designation of critical habitat would not result in a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Please refer to Appendix A of our draft economic analysis of this 
designation for a more detailed discussion of potential economic 
impacts to small business entities.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13211 
on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, 
and use. E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 
Effects when undertaking certain actions. This proposed rule is 
considered a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 because it 
raises novel legal and policy issues, but it is not expected to 
significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, 
this action is not a significant action and no Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 
1501), the Service makes the following findings:
    (a) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a 
Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation 
that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal 
governments, or the private sector, and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments,'' with 
two exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of federal assistance.'' It 
also excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary 
Federal program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing 
Federal program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually 
to State, local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' 
if the provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of 
assistance'' or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal 
Government's responsibility to provide funding'' and the State, local, 
or tribal governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. (At the 
time of enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food 
Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State 
Grants; Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; 
Family Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement.) 
``Federal private sector mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would 
impose an enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a 
condition of Federal assistance; or (ii) a duty arising from 
participation in a voluntary Federal program.''
    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally 
binding duty on non-Federal government entities or private parties. 
Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must 
ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat under section 7. Non-Federal entities that receive Federal 
funding, assistance, permits, or otherwise require approval or 
authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly 
impacted by the designation of critical habitat. However, the legally 
binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the 
extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they 
receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid 
program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply; nor would 
critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs 
listed above on to State governments.
    (b) As discussed in the draft economic analysis of the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for the bull trout, there are some 140 
small government entities located adjacent to the boundaries of the 
proposed designation. However, there is no record of consultations 
between the Service and any of these governments since the bull trout 
was listed in 1998. It is likely that small governments involved with 
developments and infrastructure projects will be interested parties or 
involved with projects involving section 7 consultations for the bull 
trout within their jurisdictional areas. Any costs associated with this 
activity are likely to represent a small portion of a city's budget. 
Consequently, we do not believe that the designation of critical 
habitat for the bull trout will significantly or uniquely affect these 
small governmental entities. As such, a Small Government Agency Plan is 
not required.

[[Page 22840]]


    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (``Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property 
Rights''), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of 
proposing critical habitat for bull trout. Critical habitat designation 
does not affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding 
or permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation 
programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that 
do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. In conclusion, the 
designation of critical habitat for the bull trout does not pose 
significant takings implications.


    The primary author of this notice is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 


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

    Dated: April 26, 2005.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 05-8837 Filed 5-2-05; 8:45 am]