[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 162 (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 49380-49458]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16234]



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Part II





Department of the Interior





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Fish and Wildlife Service



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50 CFR Part 17



Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical 
Habitat for the California Tiger Salamander, Central Population; Final 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 162 / Tuesday, August 23, 2005 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 49380]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AT68


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the California Tiger Salamander, Central 
Population

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are 
designating critical habitat for the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In total, 
approximately 199,109 acres (ac) (80,576 hectares (ha)) fall within the 
boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The critical habitat is 
located within 19 counties in California.

DATES: This rule becomes effective on September 22, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this final rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, 
Sacramento, CA 95825 (telephone (916) 414-6600). The final rule, 
economic analysis, and map will also be available via the Internet at 
http://sacramento.fws.gov or by contacting the Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arnold Roessler, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the address above (telephone (916) 414-6600; 
facsimile (916) 414-6712).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Designation of Critical Habitat Provides Little Additional Protection 
to Species

    In 30 years of implementing the Act, the Service has found that the 
designation of statutory critical habitat provides little additional 
protection to most listed species, while consuming significant amounts 
of available conservation resources. The Service's present system for 
designating critical habitat has evolved since its original statutory 
prescription into a process that provides little real conservation 
benefit, is driven by litigation and the courts rather than biology, 
limits our ability to fully evaluate the science involved, consumes 
enormous agency resources, and imposes huge social and economic costs. 
The Service believes that additional agency discretion would allow our 
focus to return to those actions that provide the greatest benefit to 
the species most in need of protection.

Role of Critical Habitat in Actual Practice of Administering and 
Implementing the Act

    While attention to and protection of habitat is paramount to 
successful conservation actions, we have consistently found that, in 
most circumstances, the designation of critical habitat is of little 
additional value for most listed species, yet it consumes large amounts 
of conservation resources. Sidle (1987) stated, ``Because the Act can 
protect species with and without critical habitat designation, critical 
habitat designation may be redundant to the other consultation 
requirements of section 7.'' Currently, only 473 species or 38 percent 
of the 1,253 listed species in the U.S. under the jurisdiction of the 
Service have designated critical habitat.
    We address the habitat needs of all 1,253 listed species through 
conservation mechanisms such as listing, Section 7 consultations, the 
Section 4 recovery planning process, the Section 9 protective 
prohibitions of unauthorized take, Section 6 funding to the States, and 
the Section 10 incidental take permit process. The Service believes 
that it is these measures that may make the difference between 
extinction and survival for many species.
    We note, however, that the August 6, 2004, Ninth Circuit judicial 
opinion, Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service) found our definition of adverse modification was invalid. In 
response to the decision, the Director provided guidance to the Service 
based on the statutory language.

Procedural and Resource Difficulties in Designating Critical Habitat

    We have been inundated with lawsuits for our failure to designate 
critical habitat, and we face a growing number of lawsuits challenging 
critical habitat determinations once they are made. These lawsuits have 
subjected the Service to an ever-increasing series of court orders and 
court-approved settlement agreements, compliance with which now 
consumes nearly the entire listing program budget. This leaves the 
Service with little ability to prioritize its activities to direct 
scarce listing resources to the listing program actions with the most 
biologically urgent species conservation needs.
    The consequence of the critical habitat litigation activity is that 
limited listing funds are used to defend active lawsuits, to respond to 
Notices of Intent (NOIs) to sue relative to critical habitat, and to 
comply with the growing number of adverse court orders. As a result, 
listing petition responses, the Service's own proposals to list 
critically imperiled species, and final listing determinations on 
existing proposals are all significantly delayed.
    The accelerated schedules of court ordered designations have left 
the Service with almost no ability to provide for adequate public 
participation or to ensure a defect-free rulemaking process before 
making decisions on listing and critical habitat proposals due to the 
risks associated with noncompliance with judicially-imposed deadlines. 
This in turn fosters a second round of litigation in which those who 
fear adverse impacts from critical habitat designations challenge those 
designations. The cycle of litigation appears endless, is very 
expensive, and in the final analysis provides relatively little 
additional protection to listed species.
    The costs resulting from the designation include legal costs, the 
cost of preparation and publication of the designation, the analysis of 
the economic effects and the cost of requesting and responding to 
public comment, and in some cases the costs of compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). None of these costs result in 
any benefit to the species that is not already afforded by the 
protections of the Act enumerated earlier, and they directly reduce the 
funds available for direct and tangible conservation actions.

Background

    A physical description of the California tiger salamander, its 
taxonomy, distribution, life history, biology, habitat requirements and 
characteristics, dispersal and migration, and other relevant 
information is included in the Background sections of the final rule to 
list the California tiger salamander as a threatened species (69 FR 
47212; August 4, 2004) and the proposed rule to designate critical 
habitat for the Central population of California tiger salamander (69 
FR 48570; August 10, 2004). Additional relevant information may be 
found in the final rules to list the Santa Barbara County population of 
the California tiger salamander as endangered (65 FR 57242; September 
21, 2000) and to list the Sonoma County population of the

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California tiger salamander as endangered (68 FR 13498; March 19, 
2003), and the final rule to designate critical habitat for the Santa 
Barbara population (69 FR 68568; November 24, 2004).

Previous Federal Actions

    On August 10, 2004, we published in the Federal Register a proposed 
rule to designate critical habitat for the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander (referred to hereinafter as ``CTS Central 
population'') (69 FR 48570). On October 13, 2004, a complaint was filed 
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California 
(Center for Biological Diversity and Environmental Defense Council v. 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al. (Case No. C-04 4324 FMS)), which 
in part identified the failure of designating critical habitat for the 
California tiger salamander in the central portion of its range. On 
February 3, 2005, the district court approved a settlement agreement 
between the parties that established an August 10, 2005, deadline for 
final designation of critical habitat for the California tiger 
salamander in the central portion of its range to be submitted to the 
Federal Register for publication. This final rulemaking is being made 
in order to meet the date established in accordance with the settlement 
agreement. For a discussion of other previous Federal actions regarding 
the California tiger salamander, please see the final rule to list the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander as a threatened 
species across its range (69 FR 47212, August 4, 2004). Other Federal 
actions regarding California tiger salamander prior to May 2004 are 
summarized in that final rule and are incorporated by reference.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We requested written comments from the public on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for the Central population of 
California tiger salamander in the proposed rule published on August 
10, 2004 (69 FR 48570). We also contacted appropriate Federal, State, 
and local agencies; scientific organizations; and other interested 
parties and invited them to comment on the proposed rule. In addition, 
we held five public meetings/workshops between January 2005 and March 
2005, in the following California locations: Fresno, Merced, Modesto, 
Red Bluff, and Sacramento. During those public meetings we provided 
information on the designation, accepted written comments from the 
public, answered questions related to the designation, and provided 
information on schedules and contacts for additional information and 
subsequent open comment periods.
    During the comment period that opened on August 10, 2004, and 
closed on October 12, 2004, we received comments directly addressing 
the proposed critical habitat designation: one from a peer reviewer, 
one from a Federal agency, six from Department of Defense agencies, one 
from a State agency, two from local government, and 34 from 
organizations or individuals. We received a single request for a public 
hearing prior to the deadline of September 24, 2004. Sacramento Fish 
and Wildlife Office staff met with the requester and discussed the 
Public Hearing process procedures and their client's critical habitat 
concerns regarding Central Valley Region Unit 1 in Yolo County, 
California. On March 9, 2005, we received a written withdrawal of the 
public hearing request (Service in litt. 2005; Neasham in litt. 2005).
    During the comment period that opened on July 18, 2005, and closed 
on August 3, 2005, we received an additional 40 comments directly 
addressing the proposed critical habitat designation and or the draft 
economic analysis. Of these latter comments, three were from peer 
reviewers, one from a Federal agency, and 32 were from organizations or 
individuals. We received no additional State comments.
    The comments we received were reviewed and the significant comments 
were grouped into general issues specifically relating to the proposed 
critical habitat designation for Central population of CTS, and are 
addressed in the following summary and incorporated into the final 
rule, as appropriate.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we solicited expert opinions from 15 knowledgeable individuals 
with scientific expertise that included familiarity with the species, 
the geographic region in which the species occurs, and conservation 
biology principles. We received a response from four of the peer 
reviewers. Peer review comments are addressed in the following summary 
and incorporated into the final rule as appropriate.

Peer Reviewer Comments

    Comment: The peer reviewer agreed with our approach to the long 
term conservation of the species. The peer reviewer agreed that 
conservation of the range of habitat types in which a species occurs 
helps maintain local adaptations that are important for long term 
viability.
    Our Response: In our proposal to designate critical habitat we 
identified those five approaches to conserve the Central population of 
the California tiger salamander, and we continue to apply these 
approaches in this final rule. To ensure the long term conservation of 
the species, Primary Constituent Elements (PCEs) were identified (see 
Primary Constituent Element section), and critical habitat units are 
designated consistent with these five principles.
    Comment: The peer reviewer stated that the term, ``rescue ponds'' 
may be misapplied or misunderstood by the general public and suggested 
using the more easily understood term, ``dispersal ponds'' instead. 
Another reviewer suggested we specifically define the types of breeding 
habitat.
    Our Response: We agree and have replaced that term throughout this 
final rule. The term ``dispersal ponds,'' which is defined as ponds 
located away from the pond in which the adult or juvenile CTS was born, 
encompasses the definition of ``rescue ponds.'' We have further refined 
our description of the primary constituent elements including breeding 
habitat in the final rule.

Issue 1: Department of Defense (DOD)

    Comment: The Army has requested that their lands at Fort Hunter-
Liggett be exempted from final critical habitat designation based on 
their Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) providing a 
benefit to the CTS in accordance with section 4(a)(3) of the Act. 
Section 318 of fiscal year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act 
(Pub. L. 108-136) amended section 4 of the Endangered Species Act to 
address the relationship of INRMPs to critical habitat by adding a new 
section 4(a)(3)(B). This provision prohibits us from designating as 
critical habitat any lands or other geographical areas owned or 
controlled by the DOD, or designated for its use, that are subject to 
an INRMP prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act, if the Secretary 
of the Interior determines, in writing, that such plan provides a 
benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for 
designation.
    Our Response: We have determined that exclusion of Fort Hunter-
Liggett from final critical habitat for CTS under section 4(a)(3) of 
the Act is appropriate.
    Comment: The Army requested that areas identified for development 
in their Installation-wide Multispecies Habitat Management Plan for 
Former Fort Ord be excluded from critical habitat, in

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accordance with section 4(b)(2) of the Act, because they believe that 
designation of critical habitat in those areas would result in economic 
costs and delays such that the benefits of exclusion would outweigh the 
benefits of inclusion. Specifically, they requested exclusion of the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Office (approximately 5 hectares 
(ha)(13 acres(ac))) and Military Operations-Urban Terrain Facility 
(MOUT) (approximately 22 ha (54 ac)) parcels, which are surrounded by 
the approximately 6000-ha (15,000 ac) Natural Resource Management Area 
(NRMA). The NRMA will be managed by BLM with the primary management 
goals being conservation and enhancement of threatened and endangered 
species. They also requested exclusion of a two percent development 
allowance within the NRMA and of all existing paved roads and their 
associated shoulders.
    Our Response: The BLM Office and MOUT parcels are relatively small 
areas which are already partially developed and are identified for 
additional development. It is our intent to avoid developed areas 
because they lack any PCEs in this designation. We have, therefore, not 
included these areas in critical habitat (see description of Central 
Coast Region, Unit 2).
    The two percent development allowance within the NRMA would allow 
for up to two percent of areas with natural vegetation to be converted 
to buildings or other development-oriented uses, such as public access, 
grazing, police and fire training, and education and research. However, 
specific development plans do not exist. We cannot determine the 
effects of excluding unknown development location(s) and, therefore, we 
are not excluding them from critical habitat.
    When determining critical habitat boundaries, we made every effort 
to avoid proposing the designation of developed areas such as 
buildings, paved areas, boat ramps, and other structures that lack PCEs 
for the Central population of the CTS. Any such structures 
inadvertently left inside proposed critical habitat boundaries are not 
considered part of the proposed unit. This also applies to the land on 
which such structures sit directly. Therefore, Federal actions limited 
to these areas would not trigger section 7 consultations, unless they 
affect the species and/or PCEs in adjacent critical habitat.

Issue 2: Habitat and Species Specific Information

    Comment: Habitat/species are not present on some selected lands 
that have been proposed to be designated as critical habitat.
    Our Response: We believe that we used the best scientific and 
commercial information available in determining those areas essential 
for the CTS proposed critical habitat designation. We revised the 
proposed designation based on information received during the comment 
periods and have adjusted the designation accordingly. In this final 
designation, we used additional available information, such as detailed 
aerial imagery, to refine and map critical habitat (please refer to the 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section). The areas 
designated as final critical habitat are occupied and have habitat 
features that are essential for the conservation of the species. Even 
though an area may be mapped as critical habitat, individual 
salamanders may or may not be present on any one parcel at all times 
because some lands may function solely as dispersal habitat for the 
species and individual salamanders would only be found on those lands 
during migration.
    Comment: The Service has not clearly established that the proposed 
critical habitat areas are essential to the conservation of the CTS nor 
provided an explanation of why some other occupied areas are not 
essential. Also, the descriptions of the PCEs do not explain the basis 
of what is essential to species conservation.
    Our Response: To provide for the long term conservation of the 
species, we identified those features essential to the conservation of 
the species (see Primary Constituent Elements section). The criteria 
used to designate critical habitat units is consistent with the 
following five conservation principles: (1) Maintaining the current 
genetic structure across the species range; (2) maintaining the current 
geographic, elevational, and ecological distribution; (3) protecting 
the hydrology and water quality of breeding pools and ponds; (4) 
retaining or providing for connectivity between breeding locations for 
genetic exchange and recolonization; and (5) protecting sufficient 
barrier-free upland habitat around each breeding location to allow for 
sufficient survival and recruitment to maintain a breeding population 
over the long term. We excluded any areas that do not contain one or 
more of the PCEs or that were determined not to be essential for the 
conservation of the species because: (1) The area is highly degraded 
and may not be restorable; (2) the area is small, highly fragmented, or 
isolated and may provide little or no long term conservation value; and 
(3) other areas within the geographic region were determined to be 
sufficient to meet the species needs for conservation.
    Comment: One commenter stated that critical habitat for the species 
is not prudent and determinable.
    Our Response: According to our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, a 
designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both or the 
following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or 
other human activity and identification of critical habitat can be 
expected to increase the degree of such threat to the species, or (2) 
such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the 
species. In the final rule listing the Central population of the CTS as 
threatened (August 4, 2004; 69 FR 47212), we found that a designation 
of critical habitat was prudent and subsequently published a proposed 
rule to designate critical habitat on August 10, 2004 (69 FR 48570). We 
did not find any information indicating that designating critical 
habitat would increase risk to this species and the large body of 
scientific information available on the California tiger salamander 
provides a sufficient basis for us to define PCEs and designate 
critical habitat. Our reasoning is discussed in the final listing rule, 
and we believe this rationale is still applicable.
    Comment: Several comments stated that we have not conducted surveys 
across most of the range of the species and haven't established what is 
critical habitat for the species. Several commenters asserted that we 
lack site-specific information (presence) across the range of the 
species, and more studies are needed to determine critical habitat for 
the species. One commenter requested that we postpone designating 
critical habitat until site-specific surveys are completed over the 
range of the species.
    Our Response: We acknowledge that rangewide surveys over all areas 
that the species may be distributed have not been conducted. 
Nonetheless, we feel that we have sufficient peer-reviewed scientific 
and commercial data regarding the range, distribution, biology, and 
ecology of the Central population of the CTS to designate critical 
habitat. Given the large body of existing CTS scientific and commercial 
data, we feel that additional site-specific data is not necessary to 
designate critical habitat for the Central population of the CTS. We 
have used the best scientific and commercial data

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that is available to determine what habitat features are essential for 
the conservation of this species. We feel that additional surveys at 
this time across the range of this species would be of little 
assistance in developing an improved understanding of the PCEs for this 
species.

    Comment: One commenter stated that critical habitat is not needed 
to stop development because most CTS habitat is not threatened by 
development in the foreseeable future.
    Our Response: The purpose of designating critical habitat is not to 
stop development, but to provide for the conservation of the species. 
The listing rule states that the species is threatened by development 
in the foreseeable future by a variety of factors including habitat 
destruction, degradation, and fragmentation due to urban development 
and conversion to intensive agriculture, hybridization with nonnative 
salamanders, inadequate regulatory mechanisms, nonnative predators, and 
pesticide drift, and CTS continues to be threatened by these factors.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the species is already protected 
enough by private and Federal programs. A total of 15 percent of all 
extant occurrences (96 breeding locations) and 3,326,807 acres of 
habitat are protected by the Williamson Act or Food Security Zones.
    Our Response: A critical habitat designation means that Federal 
agencies are required to consult with the Service on the impacts of 
actions they undertake, fund, or permit on designated critical habitat. 
While in many cases, these requirements may not provide substantial 
additional protection for most species, they do direct the Service to 
consider specifically whether a proposed action will affect the 
functionality of essential habitat to serve its intended conservation 
role for a species rather than to focus exclusively on whether the 
action is likely to jeopardize the species' continued existence. We 
agree, however, that even absent a critical habitat designation, 
Federal agencies are still required to consult on the impacts of their 
activities on listed species and their habitat.
    Fifteen percent of CTS breeding locations is an insufficient amount 
of protected habitat for the conservation of the species, especially 
when more than the breeding ponds themselves need protection in order 
to conserve the species. To ensure the long term conservation of the 
species, we identified those features essential to the conservation of 
the species (see Primary Constituent Element section). The criteria we 
used to designate critical habitat units is consistent with the five-
pronged approach identified earlier.
    The California Land and Conservation Act, more commonly known as 
the Williamson Act, has been an agricultural land protection program 
since its enactment in 1965. In 1998, the California Legislature 
enhanced the Williamson Act with farmland security zone provisions. The 
Williamson Act is a voluntary program that offers tax incentives in 
exchange for voluntary restrictive land uses for agricultural and 
compatible open space uses under a minimum 10-year rolling contract 
with local governments. The food security zone provisions offer a tax 
reduction for a 20-year minimum rolling contract term. These contracted 
areas may offer some limited protection from habitat destruction. 
However, these contracts do not significantly provide for long term 
conservation of the species, as they may not be renewed by the property 
owner upon expiration and they can be canceled prior to the end of the 
contract term, based upon board approval and payment of a cancellation 
fee.
    Comment: One commenter stated that critical habitat is not 
warranted because the species is extant across its historical range and 
half the range remains suitable.
    Our Response: The term, ``not warranted,'' applies to a petition to 
list the species as threatened or endangered and is a result that is 
possible for a petition finding. We do not have a ``not warranted'' 
option for a critical habitat designation. Although we agree that 
salamanders can still be found across their historical range and 
habitat remains suitable, the species continues to be threatened by 
destruction, fragmentation, and degradation of wetland and associated 
upland habitats due to urban development, conversion of habitats to 
intensive agriculture, predation by nonnative species, disease, 
agricultural and landscape contaminants, rodent and mosquito control, 
and hybridization with nonnative tiger salamanders now and in the 
foreseeable future.

Issue 3: Unit Designations

    Comment: One commenter stated that the units need to be connected.
    Our Response: We disagree that all critical habitat units need to 
be connected. We determined that the conservation of the species would 
be best served if the PCEs include dispersal habitat for CTS to meet 
the animal's requisite biological needs. For the proposed critical 
habitat designation, we developed a specific strategy for determining 
which areas would be considered critical habitat. Part of that strategy 
was to connect separated CTS records based on the known dispersal 
capabilities and continuous habitat between occurrences and/or breeding 
locations. Connecting large areas of unknown occupancy which may or may 
not support CTS, or the PCEs, would not materially contribute to the 
conservation of the species. For more information, please see the 
Criteria and Methodology sections.

    Comment: Several commenters stated that the unit descriptions are 
incomplete and, in some cases, inaccurate.
    Our Response: In response to information provided during the two 
public comment periods and the information received during the public 
meeting and workshops, we made corrections to two of the proposed 
critical habitat unit descriptions. We feel that we have provided 
sufficient information for the public to generally understand the 
location of each unit and are ready to assist individuals with any 
additional information requests on the locations of the critical 
habitat units. For further information on this designation and specific 
units, please contact the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section above).
    Comment: One commenter stated that the PCE descriptions are 
unclear.
    Our Response: In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas to propose as 
critical habitat, we are required to base critical habitat 
determinations on the best scientific and commercial data available and 
to consider those physical and biological features, the PCEs, that are 
essential to the conservation of the species and that may require 
special management considerations and protection. These include, but 
are not limited to: Space for individual and population growth and for 
normal behavior; food, water, air, light, minerals, or other 
nutritional or physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for 
breeding, reproduction, and rearing (or development) of offspring; and 
habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of 
the historic geographical and ecological distributions of a species. 
The comment letter did not specify what was unclear about the PCEs 
described in the proposed rule. For a full description of each of the 
PCEs, please refer to the Primary Constituent Element section below.

[[Page 49384]]

Issue 4: Social and Economic Costs/Regulatory Burden

    Comment: Several commenters asserted that critical habitat results 
in an increased regulatory burden, increased landowner costs, and 
restricts land uses and property rights.
    Our Response: The economic analysis identifies the costs which 
accrue as a result of the designation. These costs will be incurred 
when a Federal approval or permit is required, or Federal funds are 
involved with a project proposed on private property, the critical 
habitat designation poses no regulatory burden for private landowners, 
and in particular, should not affect farming and ranching activities on 
private lands. Routine ranching activities are also exempt from take 
under the 4(d) rule at 50 CFR 17.43(c).
    While the designation of critical habitat does not itself result in 
the regulation of non-federal actions on private lands, the listing of 
the Central population of California tiger salamander under the 
Endangered Species Act may affect private landowner's actions. Actions 
which could result in take of California tiger salamanders (e.g., 
ground disturbing activities such as soil compaction or soil 
remediation activities) require authorization for take following 
consultation under Section 7 or an incidental take permit under section 
10 of the Act. Because the Central population of CTS has been listed 
since 2004, proposed actions on private lands that require Federal 
authorization or funding that may affect the listed entity already 
undergo consultation under Section 7 to ensure that their actions are 
not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Future 
consultations involving private lands will also analyze the effect of 
the proposed action on designated critical habitat when a Federal nexus 
exists.
    Comment: One commenter stated that all critical habitat lands, not 
just habitat, are now subject to Service jurisdiction.
    Our Response: Federal agencies have the responsibility to consult 
with us if a Federal action may affect a federally-listed species even 
absent critical habitat designation for that species. This requirement 
exists for all lands. We also determine whether a proposed project will 
adversely modify or destroy any designated critical habitat. Private 
individuals also share the same responsibility but may need to seek 
authorization for incidental take under section 10 of the Act.
    Comment: One commenter stated that critical habitat designation 
burdens landowners with determining if their lands have PCEs and that 
the costs of determining PCEs on private lands should be undertaken by 
the Service. Other commenters stated that the designation of critical 
habitat means that regulatory agencies will oversee agricultural and 
ranching practices, that critical habitat will impact housing 
development by delaying the development process and thereby increase 
costs, and that the designation of critical habitat will increase 
delays in permit processing.
    Our Response: Designation of critical habitat in areas occupied by 
the species does not necessarily result in a regulatory burden above 
that already in place due to the presence of the listed species. The 
Service will work with private landowners to identify activities and 
modifications to activities that will not result in take, to develop 
measures to minimize the potential for take, and to provide 
authorizations for take through sections 7 and 10 of the Act. One 
intention of critical habitat is to inform people of areas that contain 
the features that are essential for the conservation of the species. We 
encourage landowners to work in partnership with us to develop plans 
that allow their land management and development practices to proceed 
in a manner consistent with the conservation of listed species. The 
California tiger salamander is already a federally-listed species, and 
as such, development projects that may result in take of the species 
are already required to consult with the Service under Section 7 or 
Section 10 of the Act. Assuming a federal nexus exists, designation of 
CH will not cause any additional delays to housing developments due to 
consultation requirements.
    Comment: A commenter stated that sections 7 and 10 of the Act 
already sufficiently protect the species. Another commenter stated that 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) already has jurisdiction over 
vernal pools that are used as CTS breeding ponds, so the Clean Water 
Act (CWA) already protects the species and its habitat.
    Our Response: Sections 7 and 10 of the Act function to ensure 
activities that result in incidental take, or that may adversely affect 
the species, will not jeopardize the existence of the species, while 
the larger role of critical habitat functions to conserve the species. 
The Act requires Federal agencies to consult with us on actions they 
undertake, fund, or permit on designated critical habitat to ensure 
that those actions do not adversely modify the designated critical 
habitat. Although these requirements may not provide substantial 
additional protection for many species, they direct the Service to 
consider whether or not a proposed action would affect the 
functionality of critical habitat to serve its intended conservation 
role for a species rather than to focus exclusively on whether or not 
the proposed action would be likely to jeopardize the species' 
continued existence. We agree that even absent a critical habitat 
designation, Federal agencies are still required to consult on the 
effects of their activities on listed species. Finally, the Corps may 
take jurisdiction over some of the aquatic breeding habitat of the CTS, 
such as some vernal pools. However, not all CTS breeding habitat occurs 
on Corps jurisdictional wetlands. Additionally, the CTS is a 
terrestrial species that spends most of its adult life in the 
surrounding uplands that are generally not under the jurisdiction of 
the Corps. Therefore, we conclude that regulation of the discharge of 
fill into waters of the United States by the Corps under Section 404 of 
the CWA is inadequate to protect the Central population of CTS and its 
habitat.
    Comment: Many commenters claimed the Service violated the 
Administrative Procedure Act and the Act because we should have 
prepared an economic analysis first and then proposed critical habitat.
    Our Response: Pursuant to the Act, and clarified in our 
implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.19, we are required to, ``after 
proposing designation of [a critical habitat] area, consider the 
probable economic and other impacts of the designation upon proposed or 
ongoing activities.'' The purpose of the draft economic analysis is to 
determine and evaluate the potential economic effects of the proposed 
designation. In order to develop an economic analysis of the effects of 
designating critical habitat, we need to have identified an initial 
proposal for the designation of critical habitat. Following the 
publication of our proposed designation of critical habitat for the 
CTS, we developed a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation 
that was released for public review and comment. The public was allowed 
60 days to comment on the proposed designation and an additional 17 
days to comment on both the draft economic analysis and proposed 
designation.

Issue 5: Notification and Comment Period Comments

    Comment: Several commenters stated that all private landowners were 
not notified about the proposed designation of critical habitat, that 
additional public

[[Page 49385]]

meetings are needed, and that the public was not given enough 
opportunity to comment because the draft economic analysis was not 
published at the same time or before the proposed rule to designate 
critical habitat. Another commenter stated that the Service admits that 
the proposed critical habitat was made without sufficient public 
participation and without sufficient scientific rigor and review, so 
the rule should be withdrawn until evidence is presented regarding 
species conservation requirements.
    Our Response: The proposed critical habitat designation was 
published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2004 (69 FR 48570), and 
we accepted comments from all interested parties for a 60-day comment 
period, until October 12, 2004. On July 18, 2005, we reopened the 
comment period for 17 days and made available the draft economic 
analysis (70 FR 41183). We held five public workshops to provide 
information on the CTS, and at those workshops, we discussed 
opportunities for the public to comment and provide input and 
information. We solicited comments from peer reviewers on the proposed 
critical habitat designation for the CTS. We received general support 
from experts in the fields of ecology, conservation, genetics, 
taxonomy, and management reviewers of the proposed rule. In addition, 
we are required to base critical habitat designations on the best 
available scientific and commercial data available to us, to consider 
those physical and biological features that are essential to the 
conservation of the species, and to consider whether such areas may 
require special management considerations and protection. Our 
definition and explanation of the PCEs was peer reviewed and the 
results of the review did not indicate that our definition or 
description of the PCEs was lacking. Additionally, we have revised our 
PCEs to more accurately and/or precisely identify those physical and 
biological features essential to the species.
    Comment: The Service should draft a recovery plan for the species 
before critical habitat is proposed to be designated.
    Our Response: Section 4 of the Act requires us to designate 
critical habitat at the time of listing to the maximum extent prudent 
and determinable. While we agree that a recovery plan is a useful tool 
to assist us with determining which areas contain the habitat features 
that are essential for the conservation of a species, we are unable to 
postpone the final designation pending completion of a recovery plan.

Issue 6: Property Rights

    Comment: The proposed critical habitat designation decreases land 
values.
    Our Response: We have finalized our draft economic analysis of the 
impact of critical habitat designation by incorporating all substantive 
comments received during the public comment periods (See Economic 
Analysis section).
    Comment: The Service needs to provide more information on which 
agricultural practices are allowable, and when consultation with us 
would be necessary owing to crop changes.
    Our Response: Some farming practices benefit salamanders while 
other practices may adversely affect salamanders. For example, drawing 
down pond water for frost protection can conflict with CTS biological 
needs; however, creating additional new ponds may benefit CTS if the 
ponds stay inundated long enough during the period of juvenile 
metamorphosis (approximately 12 weeks), with active, regular control of 
nonnative species. Activities carried out, funded, or authorized by a 
Federal agency (i.e., activities with a Federal nexus) require 
consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Act if they may affect a 
federally listed species and/or its designated critical habitat. Our 
experience with consultations on CTS is that few agricultural 
activities have involved a Federal nexus and thus have not required a 
consultation under section 7 of the Act. In regard to grazing, we do 
not foresee any change in the ability of private landowners to graze 
their property as a result of this designation due to the establishment 
of the special 4(d) rule at 50 CFR 17.43(c). In addition, we anticipate 
that many activities, including grazing, presently occurring in areas 
designated as critical habitat can be managed to be compatible with the 
needs of CTS and its habitat. We addressed many agricultural issues 
during the public workshops and hearings that we held during the 
process of listing the species. Any interested parties are welcome to 
write us or call us (see ADDRESSES section) during regular business 
hours to have us answer specific questions regarding agricultural 
practices as they relate to CTS conservation.
    Comment: The Service should compensate private landowners for 
taking because critical habitat is designated.
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat does not mean 
that private lands would be taken by the Federal government or 
reasonable uses would not be allowed. We believe that, in accordance 
with Executive Order 12630, this designation of critical habitat for 
the CTS will not have significant takings implications. We determined 
that: (1) The designation would result in little additional regulatory 
burden above that currently in place due to the species being federally 
listed because the majority of the designation is occupied by the 
species, and (2) the designation of critical habitat will not affect 
private lands in which there is not a Federal nexus. We do not 
anticipate that property values, rights or ownership will be 
significantly affected by the critical habitat designation.

Issue 7: Mapping

    Comment: Several commenters stated that the proposed designation of 
critical habitat goes overboard, includes ``all geographic area,'' is 
poorly defined, and should exclude nonhabitat areas from the 
designation of critical habitat. Other commenters stated that the 
Service made errors in mapping open spaces and developed areas as 
critical habitat and that we used political boundaries as a basis for 
critical habitat units.
    Our Response: Of the estimated 936,204 ac (378,882 ha) of 
California tiger salamander habitat, we have designated 199,109 ac 
(80,576 ha). In our designation, we did not designate all the areas 
where California tiger salamander are found, but instead focused on 
areas where there are high concentrations of known occurrences and the 
habitat is likely to persist in the future. In this designation, not 
all geographic areas are critical habitat if those areas do not possess 
any the PCEs as we identified in the proposed rule and this final rule. 
We feel that we have clearly defined and described the three PCEs. All 
designated critical habitat is occupied and contains at least one of 
the three PCEs. Based on the clear PCE definitions, we believe that 
landowners can identify the areas that contain the PCEs. We stated in 
the proposed and final rules that areas that do not have PCEs are not 
considered to be critical habitat, including roads, buildings, paved 
areas, etc.
    Comment: The Service used poor data and needs to do a better job 
mapping areas that do not contain PCEs, such as buildings, roads, 
parking lots. These mapping errors and inaccuracies need to be 
corrected, and the Service should better describe which areas are and 
are not critical habitat.
    Our Response: In the proposed rule and this final rule, we used the 
best scientific and commercial data available to develop critical 
habitat for the species

[[Page 49386]]

and took into account the many comments that we received in developing 
the final rule. We stated in the proposed rule and again in this final 
rule that we could not map critical habitat in sufficient detail to 
exclude each and every developed area or other areas that are unlikely 
to contain the PCEs. However, when determining critical habitat 
boundaries, we made every effort to avoid designating developed areas 
such as buildings, paved areas, boat ramps, and other structures that 
lack PCEs for the Central population of the California tiger 
salamander. Any such structures inadvertently left inside proposed 
critical habitat boundaries are not considered part of the unit. This 
also applies to the land on which such structures sit directly. 
Therefore, Federal actions limited to these areas would not trigger 
section 7 consultations, unless they affect the species and/or primary 
constituent elements in adjacent critical habitat.
    Comment: A number of commenters identified specific areas that they 
thought should not be designated as critical habitat.
    Our Response: Where site-specific documentation was submitted to us 
providing a rationale as to why an area should not be designated 
critical habitat, we evaluated that information in accordance with the 
definition of critical habitat pursuant to section 3(5)(A) of the Act 
and the provisions of section 4(b)(2) of the Act. We evaluated the 
parcels to determine whether or not modifications to the proposal were 
warranted. We further examined the proposed critical habitat areas and 
refined the boundaries to exclude those areas that did not, or were not 
likely to, contain the PCEs for the species, wherever technically 
feasible. Please refer to the Summary of Changes from the Proposed Rule 
section for a more detailed discussion.
    Comment: The Service violated the Act by not narrowly defining 
critical habitat.
    Our Response: We believe that we have followed the Congressional 
intent of the Act by designating critical habitat to the maximum extent 
prudent and determinable for California tiger salamander based on the 
best scientific and commercial data available. We are required to 
identify critical habitat ``by specific limits using reference points 
and lines as found on standard topographic maps of the area'' (50 CFR 
424.12(c)). We have delineated the boundaries of the critical habitat 
units in this rule based on the best scientific and commercial data 
available. The scale at which we mapped the extent of critical habitat 
was based on the availability and accuracy of aerial photography and 
GIS data layers used to develop the designation. In drawing our lines 
for the proposed rule, we attempted to exclude areas that do not 
contain essential occurrences of the species and habitat as defined by 
the PCEs. On the basis of information obtained through public comments 
and updated imagery and GIS data layers, we have been able to refine 
the boundaries of critical habitat during the development of this final 
rule. However, due to the limitations of our mapping scale, we were not 
able to exclude all areas that do not contain the PCEs. We have 
determined that existing manmade features and structures, such as 
buildings, roads, railroads, airports, runways, other paved areas, 
lawns, and other urban landscaped areas are not likely to contain one 
or more of the PCEs. Because activities in these areas are unlikely to 
affect PCEs (i.e., critical habitat for the species), a consultation 
under section 7 of the Act would not be required.
    Comment: The proposed designation should be withdrawn until the 
consequences of the Gifford Pinchot court decision are appropriately 
codified, after the Service conducts a formal rulemaking process.
    Our Response: We are under an order to designate critical habitat. 
The Director has issued guidance for the evaluation of critical habitat 
effects when the Service consults which is based on the language of the 
statute.
    Comment: The Service lacks evidence for the scale and extent of 
what is essential for the conservation of the species.
    Our Response: To ensure the long term conservation of the species, 
we identified those features essential to the conservation of the 
species (see Primary Constituent Element section). The criteria used to 
designate critical habitat units is consistent with the following five 
conservation principles: (1) Maintaining the current genetic structure 
across the species range; (2) maintaining the current geographic, 
elevational, and ecological distribution; (3) protecting the hydrology 
and water quality of breeding pools and ponds; (4) retaining or 
providing for connectivity between breeding locations for genetic 
exchange and recolonization; and (5) protecting sufficient barrier-free 
upland habitat around each breeding location to allow for sufficient 
survival and recruitment to maintain a breeding population over the 
long term. We excluded areas that do not contain one or more of the 
PCEs or did not contain the habitat features essential for the 
conservation of the species because: (1) The area is highly degraded 
and may not be restorable; (2) the area is small, highly fragmented, or 
isolated and may provide little or no long term conservation value; and 
(3) other areas within the geographic region were determined to be 
sufficient to meet the species needs for conservation. The Act directs 
us to identify specific areas, both occupied and unoccupied by a listed 
species, that have the features essential to the conservation of the 
species and that may require special management. Using the best 
available scientific and commercial information, we have determined 
those areas that would best conserve the species in the long term. 
Those areas are described in terms of PCEs and habitat features and are 
provided in this final rule.
    Comment: The primary constituent elements are arbitrary, overly 
broad, and do not provide for defensible critical habitat boundaries.
    Our Response: We have determined the habitat features (PCEs) to be 
essential for the conservation of the species. To ensure the long term 
conservation of the species, we identified those features essential to 
the conservation of the species (see Primary Constituent Elements 
section). The criteria used to designate critical habitat units is 
consistent with the following five conservation principles: (1) 
Maintaining the current genetic structure across the species range; (2) 
maintaining the current geographic, elevational, and ecological 
distribution; (3) protecting the hydrology and water quality of 
breeding pools and ponds; (4) retaining or providing for connectivity 
between breeding locations for genetic exchange and recolonization; and 
(5) protecting sufficient barrier-free upland habitat around each 
breeding location to allow for sufficient survival and recruitment to 
maintain a breeding population over the long term. We did not designate 
areas that did not contain one or more of the PCEs or that were not 
essential for the conservation of the species because: (1) The area is 
highly degraded and may not be restorable; (2) the area is small, 
highly fragmented, or isolated and may provide little or no long term 
conservation value; and (3) other areas within the geographic region 
were determined to be sufficient to meet the species needs for 
conservation.
    Comment: The Service failed to demonstrate that special management 
considerations are needed to justify a critical habitat designation.
    Our Response: Critical habitat is defined in section 3(5)(A) of the 
Act as: (i) the specific areas within the geographic area occupied by 
the species,

[[Page 49387]]

at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found 
those physical or biological features that are (I) essential to the 
conservation of the species and (II) that may require special 
management considerations or protections; and (ii) specific areas 
outside the geographic area occupied by a species at the time it is 
listed, upon determination that such areas are essential to the 
conservation of the species. In our determination of critical habitat 
for CTS, we have identified those areas of occupied habitat that 
contain those features essential to the conservation of the species. 
Areas that may require special management or protection have also been 
identified (see Critical Habitat Designation section below).

Issue 8: 4(d) Rule

    Comment: The 4(d) rule should include public lands like East Bay 
Regional Park District, not just private lands.
    Our Response: The final rule listing the CTS as threatened (69 FR 
47212) finalized the 4(d) rule for the species rangewide, which exempts 
existing routine ranching activities. Under the 4(d) rule, take of the 
threatened Central population of CTS caused by existing routine 
ranching activities on private or Tribal lands for activities that do 
not have a Federal nexus would be exempt from section 9 of the Act. 
Federal agencies have the responsibility to consult with the Service if 
a Federal action may affect a federally-listed species because of their 
section 7 responsibilities under the Act.

Issue 9: State Comments

    We received one comment from the State of California during the 
initial comment period. We did not receive any additional State 
comments during the second comment period, which opened on July 18, 
2005 (70 FR 41183).
    State Comment: The California Department of Transportation provided 
information regarding labeling errors on the Federal Register map for 
Unit 4 of the Central Coast Region.
    Our Response: We have revised the Federal Register maps to reflect 
changes in the labeling.

Economic Analysis

    Comment: Critical habitat will increase transaction costs, slow 
sales, and reduce rental and developmental incomes.
    Our Response: To the extent that they are documented, the economic 
analysis captures costs related to the designation including those 
enumerated by the commenter.
    Comment: The proposed rule to designate critical habitat for CTS 
violates Executive Order 13211. Specifically, the Service needs to 
exclude energy producing lands or prepare a Statement of Energy Effects 
and include those effects in the EA and discuss benefits and costs to 
the species and energy production.
    Our Response: The draft economic analysis considers potential 
impacts on the energy section. This analysis examines planned power 
production facilities within the study area for proximity to proposed 
critical habitat. It finds the sites fall into one of two categories: 
either they are too far from critical habitat to be affected, or are 
within or near habitat but have already completed the environmental 
mitigation process. In both cases, the incremental impacts of 
designation are zero; the regulation is not expected to impact energy 
production. This final rule to designate critical habitat for the 
Central population of the CTS is not expected to significantly affect 
energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a 
significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is 
required. For more details, please see the draft economic analysis, 
section ``V.2 Economic Impacts on the Energy Industry.''
    Comment: Several comments stated that the DEA underestimated the 
delay in project completion resulting from Section 7 consultation.
    Our Response: Delay times resulting from Section 7 consultation 
were calculated based on a review of available Biological Opinions. 
Delay time was calculated based on the average number of days from 
submission of a completed application to the date of a final decision.
    Comment: Several comments stated that mitigation costs in Alameda, 
Contra Costa and Fresno Counties are higher than the figure used in the 
DEA.
    Our Response: Mitigation costs were derived from a survey of 
mitigation banks, developers and consultants familiar with the 
permitting process. We believe that these data represent the best 
available information on mitigation costs in affected counties.

    Comment: Several comments stated that the avoidance and mitigation 
requirements and mitigation costs used in the DEA are inconsistent with 
the recent Gifford Pinchot decision.
    Our Response: Avoidance and mitigation requirements and mitigations 
costs used in the DEA were based on interviews with those familiar with 
the permitting process as well as a comprehensive examination of the 
Service's consultation history. The Ninth Circuit has recently ruled 
(``Gifford Pinchot'', 378 F.3d at 1071) that the Service's regulations 
defining ``adverse modification'' of critical habitat are invalid. As a 
result, there is some uncertainty involved in considering the costs due 
to the fact that the consequences of designation are more difficult to 
predict as Service cannot rely on decades of factual information based 
on prior experience.
    Comment: One comment stated that the DEA failed to provide a 
balanced assessment of economic benefits and costs in relation to the 
proposed critical habitat designation. The commenter also included a 
general list of potential benefits that may be associated with the 
designation of critical habitat and suggested that the Service should 
include such effects in its economic analysis.
    Our Response: Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires the Secretary to 
designate critical habitat based on the best scientific data available 
after taking into consideration the economic impact, and any other 
relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. 
The Service's approach for estimating economic impacts includes both 
economic efficiency and distributional effects. The measurement of 
economic efficiency is based on the concept of opportunity costs, which 
reflect the value of goods and services foregone in order to comply 
with the effects of the designation (e.g., lost economic opportunity 
associated with restrictions on land use). Where data are available, 
the economic analyses do attempt to measure the net economic impact. 
However, no data was found that would allow for the measurement of such 
an impact, nor was such information submitted during the public comment 
period.
    Most of the other benefit categories submitted by the commenter 
reflect broader social values, which are not the same as economic 
impacts. While the Secretary must consider economic and other relevant 
impacts as part of the final decision-making process under section 
4(b)(2) of the Act, the Act explicitly states that it is the 
government's policy to conserve all threatened and endangered species 
and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Thus the Service believes 
that explicit consideration of broader social values for the species 
and its habitat, beyond the more traditionally defined economic 
impacts, is not necessary as Congress has already clarified the social 
importance.
    The Service notes that as a practical matter, the difficulty in 
being able to

[[Page 49388]]

develop credible estimates of such values as they are not readily 
observed through typical market transactions and can only be inferred 
through advanced, tailor-made studies that are time consuming and 
expensive to conduct. The Service currently lacks both the budget and 
time needed to conduct such research before meeting our court-ordered 
final rule deadline. In sum, the Service believes that society places 
the utmost value on conserving any and all threatened and endangered 
species and the habitats upon which they depend and thus needs only to 
consider whether the economic impacts (both positive and negative) are 
significant enough to merit exclusion of any particular area without 
causing the species to go extinct.
    Comment: Several comments noted that demographic projections used 
in the DEA are inconsistent with certain development projects that are 
either planned or under construction.
    Our Response: The projections used in the analysis are believed by 
CRA to be the best available. In some cases, they may overlook large, 
individual development projects which are difficult to forecast. Where 
such projects stand a reasonably foreseeable chance of being built, the 
FEA has been modified to reflect their presence. Additionally, the FEA 
incorporates up-to-date projections from the Association of Bay Area 
Governments which were not available upon publication of the DEA.
    Comment: Several comments asked that results be presented at a 
finer level of detail than the census tract.
    Our Response: The census tract is the smallest level of 
geographical distinction for which data are readily available and 
credible results can be obtained. Finer levels of detail give a false 
sense of precision which is not supported by the data or model.
    Comment: Several comments stated that the DEA did not adequately 
consider impacts on agricultural landowners.
    Our Response: The DEA calculates impacts on land values according 
to the impact of critical habitat on the likelihood and profitability 
of urban development.
    Comment: One comment stated that the analysis only considered Phase 
I of the SMUD Cosumnes power plant expansion, while ignoring the 
effects of Phase II.
    Our Response: The Phase I and Phase II of the Cosumnes power plant 
have been removed from the designation based the PCEs not being present 
and the area not meeting our criteria for designation (see ``Criteria 
Used To Identify Critical Habitat'').
    Comment: A commenter has asserted that there may be a conflict of 
interest, because we have contracted with Dr. David Sunding and CRA 
International to develop the economic analysis of this designation of 
critical habitat for the Central population of the CTS because he 
previously conducted a study of critical habitat economics funded by 
the building industry and other commercial interests. The commenter 
suggests that the use of an economic model originally developed in the 
course of this study is inappropriate.
    Our Response: We do not believe that hiring Dr. David Sunding and 
CRA International to conduct the economic impact analysis of this 
critical habitat designation, considering his prior receipt of research 
funding from the building industry, establishes a conflict of interest. 
CRA International performed a conflict check prior to initiating work 
on the current study and no conflicts were discovered. Neither CRA nor 
Dr. Sunding holds any financial interests that would be benefited as an 
outcome of the analysis and subsequent critical habitat designation.

Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule

    In preparing the final critical habitat designation for the Central 
population of the CTS, we reviewed comments received on the proposed 
designation. In addition to minor clarifications in the text pertaining 
to the geographic regions, we made changes to our proposed designation, 
as follows:
    (1) We revised the proposed critical habitat units based on 
comments and biological information received during the public comment 
periods.
    (2) Under section 4(a)(3) of the Act, we did not designate DOD 
lands that have approved INRMPs in place which benefit the species. 
Under sections 3(5)(a) and 4(b)(2) of the Act, we excluded properties 
with adequate management plans that cover the CTS and its habitat. For 
more information, refer to ``Application of Section 3(5)(A) and 4(a)(3) 
and Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act'' below.
    (3) We adjusted the boundaries of the proposed units as feasible to 
remove areas that do not contain the primary constituent elements or 
were included in the proposed rule as a result of a mapping error.
    (4) Collectively, we excluded or removed a total of approximately 
183,556 ac (74,284 ha), of land from this final critical habitat 
designation.
    (a) The San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (East Bay 
Region, Unit 4) is excluded from critical habit since it is actively 
managed for the conservation of the species. The San Luis National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex (Central Valley Region, Units 12 and 13) is 
also excluded from critical habitat (see ``Application of Section 
3(5)(A) and 4(a)(3) and Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act'' 
below) for the same reason.
    (b) Fort Hunter-Liggett (Central Coast Region, Unit 5a and 5b), 
portions of Camp Parks (East Bay Region, Unit 18), and the Naval 
Weapons Station at Concord (Central Valley Region, Unit 14) are 
excluded from critical habitat units due to reasons of national 
security and training mission readiness purposes. The Naval Weapons 
Station at Concord has also been identified as an area with increased 
economic costs and would be covered under the Draft East Contra Costa 
Habitat Conservation Plan should this military facility be subject to 
base closure.
    (c) California Department of Fish and Game's Stone Corral 
Ecological Reserve, Tulare Co. (Southern San Joaquin, Units 4 and 5b), 
and Calhoun Cut Ecological Reserve in Solano Co. (portion of Central 
Valley, Unit 2) are excluded from critical habitat based on management 
plans and management practices being implemented for the areas. 
Additionally, a portion of East Bay Region Unit 10 was excluded based 
on an existing management plan for portions of the unit.
    (d) Central Valley Units 14, 15, 16 and portions of Unit 17 (Contra 
Costa Co.) were excluded based on the Draft East Contra Costa Habitat 
Conservation Plan.
    (e) The Southern San Joaquin Units 1, 2 and 3, Central Valley Unit 
3, and East Bay Unit 10 were refined based on information received.
    Please refer to Table 1 for the amount of area changed from 
proposed to final. For a detailed discussion of all exclusions and 
exemptions, please refer to ``Application of Section 3(5)(A) and 
4(a)(3) and Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act'' below.
    (5) We adjusted the Geographic Region boundary as a result of 
published scientific literature (Shaffer et al. 2004). The boundary 
identified in the proposed rule was based on the unpublished manuscript 
(Shaffer et al. unpublished data) from which the final published 
literature was developed. The resulting change in the boundary adjusted 
the number of units in the Central Valley Region, the East Bay Region, 
and the Central Coast Region. Unit 1 of East Bay Region (as identified 
in the proposed rule) is now Unit 19 of the Central Valley Region and 
Unit 4 of Central Coast Region (as identified in the proposed rule) is 
now Unit 17 of the East Bay Region.

[[Page 49389]]



                              Table 1.--Proposed and Final Critical Habitat Changes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Federal lands        State lands         Other lands            Total
        Geographic region        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     ac        ha        ac        ha        ac        ha        ac        ha
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Valley:
    Proposed....................    14,708     5,952     2,416       978   172,013    69,611   189,137    76,541
        Final...................        17         7         0         0    97,028    39,273    97,045    39,280
Southern San Joaquin:
    Proposed....................         0         0     5,386     2,180    27,239    11,023    32,625    13,203
        Final...................         0         0         0         0    20,293     8,212    20,293     8,212
East Bay:
    Proposed....................       691       280     9,350     3,784   105,831    42,828   115,872    46,892
        Final...................        20         8     2,767     1,120    66,086    26,744    68,873    27,872
Central Coast:
    Proposed....................    23,633     9,564       110        45    21,288     8,615    45,031    18,224
        Final...................         0         0       110        45    12,788     5,175    12,898     5,220
Grand Totals:
    Proposed....................    39,032    15,796    17,262     6,986   326,371   132,078   382,665   154,860
        Final...................        37        15     2,877     1,164   196,195    79,397   199,109    80,576
        Change..................    39,002    15,781    14,385     5,822   130,176    52,681   183,556    74,284
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as--(i) 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 (I) essential to the conservation of 
the species and (II) that may require special management considerations 
or protection; and (ii) 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. 
``Conservation'' means the use of all methods and procedures that are 
necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at 
which listing under the Act is no longer necessary.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the prohibition against destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat with regard to actions carried out, funded, or 
authorized by a Federal agency. Section 7 requires consultation on 
Federal actions that are likely to result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat 
does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, 
reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does 
not allow government or public access to private lands.
    To be included in a critical habitat designation, the habitat 
within the area occupied by the species must first have features that 
are ``essential to the conservation of the species.'' Critical habitat 
designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific 
and commercial data available, habitat areas that provide essential 
life cycle needs of the species (i.e., areas on which are found the 
primary constituent elements, as defined at 50 CFR 424.12(b)).
    Habitat occupied at the time of listing may be included in critical 
habitat only if the essential features thereon may require special 
management or protection. Thus, we do not include areas where existing 
management is sufficient to conserve the species. (As discussed below, 
such areas may also be excluded from critical habitat pursuant to 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.) Accordingly, when the best available 
scientific and commercial data do not demonstrate that the conservation 
needs of the species so require, we will not designate critical habitat 
in areas outside the geographic area occupied by the species at the 
time of listing. An area currently occupied by the species but not 
known to be occupied at the time of listing will likely contain those 
features essential to the conservation of the species and, therefore, 
included in the critical habitat designation.
    The Service's Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered 
Species Act, published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34271); and Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658); 
and the associated Information Quality Guidelines issued by the Service 
provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure 
that decisions made by the Service represent the best scientific and 
commercial data available. They require Service biologists, to the 
extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific 
and commercial data available, to use primary and original sources of 
information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical 
habitat. When determining which areas are critical habitat, a primary 
source of information is generally the listing package for the species. 
Additional information sources include the recovery plan for the 
species, articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans 
developed by States and counties, scientific status surveys and 
studies, biological assessments, or other unpublished materials and 
expert opinion or personal knowledge. All information is used in 
accordance with the provisions of Section 515 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; H.R. 5658) and the associated Information Quality Guidelines 
issued by the Service.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of what we know at the time of designation. Habitat is often 
dynamic, and species may move from one area to another over time. 
Furthermore, we recognize that designation of critical habitat may not 
include all of the habitat areas that may eventually be determined to 
be necessary for the recovery of the species. For these reasons, 
critical habitat designations do not signal that habitat outside the 
designation is unimportant or may not be required for recovery.
    Areas that support populations, but are outside the critical 
habitat designation, will continue to be subject to conservation 
actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act and to the 
regulatory protections afforded by the section 7(a)(2) jeopardy 
standard, as determined on the basis of the best available information 
at the time of the action. Federally funded or permitted

[[Page 49390]]

projects affecting listed species outside their designated critical 
habitat areas may still result in jeopardy findings in some cases. 
Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best 
available information at the time of designation will not control the 
direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation 
plans, or other species conservation planning efforts if new 
information available to these planning efforts calls for a different 
outcome.
    As required by section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act, we used the best 
scientific and commercial data available in determining areas that 
contain those features essential to the conservation of the CTS. We 
have reviewed the overall approach to the conservation of the CTS 
undertaken by local, State, and Federal agencies operating within the 
species' range since its proposed listing in 2003 (68 FR 28648; May 23, 
2003). We have also reviewed available information that pertains to the 
upland and aquatic habitat requirements of this species. In our 
designation, we included only areas that were occupied at the time of 
listing. These areas were identified by recognized extant species 
occurrences in CNDDB (2004). We determined critical habitat units on 
the basis of maintaining self-sustaining extant occurrences that are 
necessary for the conservation of the species. The critical habitat 
units represent the genetic range of the Central population of the CTS, 
and they include representative geographical and elevation ranges, as 
well as higher density aggregations of extant occurrences within the 
four geographical regions (see ``Criteria'' section below). The extant 
occurrences within critical habitat units are a result of data 
identified in reports submitted during section 7 consultations, data 
from biologists holding section 10(a)(1)(A) recovery permits; research 
published in peer-reviewed articles and presented in academic theses 
and agency reports, and regional Geographic Information System (GIS) 
coverages.
    The critical habitat units were delineated by creating approximate 
areas for the units by screen digitizing polygons (map units) using 
ArcView (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.), a computer 
GIS program. The polygons were created by overlaying extant CTS 
location points with 0.7 mile buffers (CNDDB 2004) (see ``Criteria'' 
section below), and mapped vernal pool grassland habitats (Holland 
1998a, 2003), or other vernal pool or grassland location information, 
onto SPOT imagery (satellite aerial photography).
    The resulting shape files (delineating historic geographical range 
and potential suitable habitat within each of the four geographic 
regions) were then evaluated. Elevation and hydrologic ranges were 
further refined and land areas identified as non-habitat for the CTS 
(i.e., not containing the primary constituent elements) (see Primary 
Constituent Elements Section below) were avoided. We also included 
applied information received during the comment periods that pertain to 
the lack of suitable habitat areas on specific geographic areas that 
were originally included in the proposed critical habitat designation. 
We removed some areas because the areas do not contain one or more 
PCEs. We excluded areas that do not contain one or more of the primary 
constituent elements or were not essential for the conservation of the 
species because: (1) The area is highly degraded and may not be 
restorable; (2) the area is small, highly fragmented, or isolated and 
may provide little or no long term conservation value; and (3) other 
areas within the geographic region were determined to be sufficient to 
meet the species needs for conservation.

Primary Constituent Elements

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas to propose as critical 
habitat, we are required to base critical habitat determinations on the 
best scientific and commercial data available and to consider those 
physical and biological features, the PCEs, that are essential to the 
conservation of the species, and that may require special management 
considerations and protection. These include, but are not limited to: 
Space for individual and population growth and for normal behavior; 
food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for breeding, 
reproduction, and rearing (or development) of offspring; and habitats 
that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the 
historic geographical and ecological distributions of a species.
    The four geographic regions used for designation as critical 
habitat for the Central population of the CTS are designed to provide 
needed aquatic and upland refugia habitats for adult salamanders to 
maintain and sustain extant occurrences of CTS throughout their 
geographic and genetic ranges and provide those habitat components 
essential for the conservation of the species. Due to the complex life 
history and dispersal capabilities of CTS, and to the dynamic nature of 
the environments in which the species is found, the PCEs described 
below are expected to be found throughout the units that are being 
designated as critical habitat. Special management, such as habitat 
rehabilitation efforts (e.g., removal of nonnative predators, control 
of introduced (other) tiger salamanders, and erosion and sediment 
control measures), may be necessary throughout the areas being 
proposed. Critical habitat for the Central population of the CTS will 
provide for breeding and nonbreeding habitats and for dispersal between 
these habitats, as well as allowing for an increase in the size of CTS 
populations. Critical habitat for the Central population of the CTS 
includes essential aquatic habitat features, essential upland 
(nonbreeding season) habitat features with underground refugia, and 
essential dispersal habitat features connecting occupied CTS locations 
to each other.
    Based on our current knowledge of the life history, biology, and 
ecology of the species and the relationship of its essential life 
history functions to its habitat, we have determined that the Central 
population of the CTS requires the following primary constituent 
elements:
    (1) Standing bodies of fresh water (including natural and manmade 
(e.g., stock)) ponds, vernal pools, and other ephemeral or permanent 
water bodies which typically support inundation during winter rains and 
hold water for a minimum of 12 weeks in a year of average rainfall.
    (2) Upland habitats adjacent and accessible to and from breeding 
ponds that contain small mammal burrows or other underground habitat 
that CTS depend upon for food, shelter, and protection from the 
elements and predation.
    (3) Accessible upland dispersal habitat between occupied locations 
that allow for movement between such sites.
    We describe the relationship between each of these PCEs and the 
conservation of the salamander in more detail below.
    The requisite aquatic habitat described as the first PCE is 
essential for the Central population of the CTS for providing space, 
food, and cover necessary to support reproduction and to sustain early 
life history stages of larval and juvenile CTS. Aquatic and breeding 
habitats consist of fresh water bodies, including natural and 
artificially made (e.g., stock) ponds, vernal pools, and vernal pool 
complexes. To be considered essential, aquatic and breeding habitats 
must have the capability to hold water for a minimum of 12 weeks in the 
winter or spring in a year of average rainfall , the amount of time 
needed for salamander larvae to

[[Page 49391]]

metamorphose into juveniles capable of surviving in upland habitats. 
During periods of drought or less-than-average rainfall, these sites 
may not hold water long enough for individuals to complete 
metamorphosis; however, these sites would still be considered essential 
because they constitute breeding habitat in years of average rainfall. 
Without these essential aquatic and breeding habitats, the CTS would 
not survive, reproduce, complete metamorphosis, and survive to 
adulthood.
    Essential upland habitats containing underground refugia described 
as the second PCE are essential for the survival of the Central 
population's adult CTS and juveniles that have recently undergone 
metamorphosis. Adult and juvenile CTS are primarily terrestrial; adult 
CTS enter aquatic habitats only for relatively short periods of time to 
breed. For the majority of their life cycle, CTS survive within upland 
habitats containing underground refugia in the form of small mammal 
burrows. The Central population of the CTS cannot persist without 
upland underground refugia. These underground refugia provide 
protection from the hot, dry weather typical of California in the 
nonbreeding season. The Central population of the CTS also forage in 
the small mammal burrows and rely on the burrows for protection from 
predators. The presence of small burrowing mammal populations is 
essential for constructing and maintaining burrows. Without the 
continuing presence of small mammal burrows in upland habitats, CTS 
would not be able to survive.
    The dispersal habitats described as the third PCE are essential for 
the conservation of the Central population of the CTS. Protecting the 
ability of California tiger salamander to move freely across the 
landscape in search of suitable aquatic and upland habitats is 
essential in maintaining gene flow and for recolonization of sites that 
may become temporarily extirpated. Lifetime reproductive success for 
the Central population of the California and other tiger salamanders is 
naturally low. Trenham et al. (2000) found the average female bred 1.4 
times and produced 8.5 young that survived to metamorphosis per 
reproductive effort. This reproduction resulted in roughly 11 
metamorphic offspring over the lifetime of a female. In part, this low 
reproductive success is due to the extended time it takes for CTS to 
reach sexual maturity; most do not breed until four or five years of 
age. While individuals may survive for more than ten years, many breed 
only once. Combined with low survivorship of metamorphosed individuals 
(in some populations, fewer than 5 percent of marked juveniles survive 
to become breeding adults (Trenham et al. 2000)), reproductive output 
in most years is not sufficient to maintain populations. This trend 
suggests that the species requires occasional large breeding events to 
prevent extirpation (temporary or permanent loss of the species from a 
particular habitat) or extinction (Trenham et al. 2000). With such low 
recruitment, isolated populations are susceptible to unusual, randomly 
occurring natural events, as well as human-caused factors that reduce 
breeding success and individual survival. Factors that repeatedly lower 
breeding success in isolated vernal pools or ponds can quickly 
extirpate an occurrence of the species. Therefore, an essential element 
for successful conservation is the presence and maintenance of sets of 
interconnected sites that are within the dispersal distance of other 
ponds (Trenham et al. 2001).
    Dispersal habitats described as the third PCE are also essential in 
preserving the Central population of the CTS's population structure. 
The life history and ecology of the CTS make it likely that this 
species has a metapopulation structure (Hanski and Gilpin 1991). A 
metapopulation is a set of extant occurrences or breeding sites within 
an area, where typical migration from one local occurrence or breeding 
site to other areas containing suitable habitat is possible, but not 
routine. Movement between areas containing suitable upland and aquatic 
habitats (i.e., dispersal) is restricted due to inhospitable conditions 
around and between areas of suitable habitats. Because many of the 
areas of suitable habitats may be small and support small numbers of 
salamanders, local extinction of these small units may be common. A 
metapopulation's persistence depends on the combined dynamics of these 
local extinctions and the subsequent recolonization of these areas 
through dispersal (Hanski and Gilpin 1991; Hanski 1994).
    Essential dispersal habitats generally consist of upland areas 
adjacent to essential aquatic habitats that are not isolated from 
essential aquatic habitats by barriers that Central population of the 
CTS cannot cross. Essential dispersal habitats provide connectivity 
among CTS suitable aquatic and upland habitats. While the Central 
population of the CTS can bypass many obstacles, and do not require a 
particular type of habitat for dispersal, the habitats connecting 
essential aquatic and upland habitats need to be free of barriers 
(e.g., a physical or biological feature that prevents salamanders from 
dispersing beyond the feature) to function effectively. Examples of 
barriers are areas of steep topography devoid of soil or vegetation. 
Agricultural lands such as row crops, orchards, vineyards, and pastures 
do not constitute barriers to the dispersal of CTS. We are designating 
critical habitat that allows for dispersal between extant occurrences 
within 0.70 mi (1.1 km) of each other. This distance is consistent with 
the final listing rule (69 FR 47212; August 4, 2004) and the final 
critical habitat designation for the CTS in Santa Barbara County (69 FR 
68568; November 24, 2004). Trenham (pers comm. 2004) predicted that a 
distance of 0.70 mi would capture 99 percent of all interpond movements 
between breeding adults. Including interpond movements within the 
critical habitat designation is essential to the conservation of the 
species because these movements capture the extent of genetic exchange 
between individuals and help support a long term conservation strategy 
for this species.
    In summary, the PCEs consist of three components. At a minimum, 
these elements found in aquatic and upland habitats and connected 
dispersal habitats that are free of barriers.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    We are designating critical habitat on lands that we have 
determined are occupied at the time of listing and contain the PCEs and 
those additional features found to be essential to the conservation of 
the Central population of the CTS.
    In our determination of critical habitat for the Central population 
of the CTS, we selected areas that possess the physical and biological 
features that are essential to the conservation of the species and that 
may require special management considerations or protection. After 
identifying the principal PCEs that are essential to the conservation 
of the CTS, we used the PCEs in combination with occurrence data; 
geographic distribution; GIS data layers for habitat mapping; 
vegetation, topography, watersheds, and current land uses; scientific 
information on the biology and ecology of the CTS; and accepted 
conservation principles for threatened or endangered species.
    To identify areas that contain those features which are essential 
to the conservation of the CTS within the occupied range of the Central 
population of the CTS, we first looked at the range of the Central 
population, as was reported and mapped by biologists who had conducted 
CTS

[[Page 49392]]

surveys throughout the range of the species. The range boundaries were 
developed based on the principles of conservation science, genetics of 
the species, topography, geology, soils, vernal pool type distribution, 
and survey information (CNDDB 2004; CDFG 1998). To the best of our 
ability, we did not include non-habitat areas such as subdivisions, 
intensive agricultural areas, or areas containing slopes too steep to 
support aquatic habitats or upland refugia necessary for the 
conservation of CTS.
    We then focused on areas within the range where we had credible 
records (e.g., museum voucher specimens, reports filed by biologists 
holding section 10(a)(1)(A) recovery permits) indicating CTS presence 
(CNDDB 2004). The known locations of Central population of the CTS fall 
into four geographic regions of Central California. These geographic 
regions correspond to the four regions identified by Shaffer et al. 
(2004) outside Sonoma and Santa Barbara Counties and are separated by 
either geological or topographical features, or ecological zones, or 
both. Our conservation strategy for the Central population focuses on 
those extant locations that provide sufficient aquatic and upland 
habitats to ensure high enough adult survival to maintain and sustain 
extant occurrences of CTS in each of these four geographic regions 
within the range of the Central population of the species. Wherever 
possible within these four geographical regions, we included denser 
groups of aggregated extant occurrences that possessed the minimum size 
resolution for long term preserve design and are representative of the 
geographic extents of each separate genetic region. Each of the 
critical habitat units possesses a unique combination of occupied 
aquatic and upland habitat types, landscape features, surrounding land 
uses, vernal pool types, ponds, geographical range, genetic 
composition, and topography.
    We determined that conserving the Central Population of the CTS 
over the long term requires a five pronged approach: (1) Maintaining 
the current genetic structure across the species range; (2) maintaining 
the current geographic, elevational, and ecological distribution; (3) 
protecting the hydrology and water quality of breeding pools and ponds; 
(4) retaining or providing for connectivity between breeding locations 
for genetic exchange and recolonization; and (5) protecting sufficient 
barrier-free upland habitat around each breeding location to allow for 
sufficient survival and recruitment to maintain a breeding population 
over the long term. An explanation of how we determined the amount of 
upland habitat which contained features that are essential for the 
conservation of the CTS in each critical habitat unit is described 
below in more detail.
    Protecting the upland refugia as watersheds of occupied extant 
occurrences of the Central population of the CTS is essential for four 
reasons: (1) To provide terrestrial foraging, cover, and shelter for 
CTS upland existence; (2) to ensure that the amount of water entering 
an extant occupied aquatic habitat is not altered to such an extent to 
allow predators (such as bullfrogs and fish) to colonize the site; (3) 
to maintain the hydrologic functioning of the wetland to ensure 
inundation periods (e.g. 12 week minimum in all but the driest years) 
are maintained; and, (4) to preserve water quality by minimizing the 
entry of sediments and other contaminants to the known occupied 
habitat. Therefore, our critical habitat boundaries include the upland 
refugia of watersheds containing known occupied occurrences within the 
range of the Central population of the CTS.
    We then identified the amount of upland habitat surrounding these 
extant occurrences where adult CTS live during the majority of their 
life cycle. To determine a general guideline for the amount of upland 
habitat necessary to support an occurrence of adult CTS, we reviewed 
the primary literature regarding CTS upland habitat use, including 
Trenham (2000), Trenham et al. (2000 and 2001), and Trenham and Shaffer 
(in review).
    The best scientific peer-reviewed data indicate that CTS do not 
remain primarily in burrows close to aquatic habitats and breeding 
ponds, but instead move some distance out into the surrounding upland 
landscapes. As described in the Background section, CTS have been found 
up to 1.2 mi (2 km) from occupied occurrences. Two studies conducted in 
Monterey and Solano counties provide the best available scientific data 
on upland movement distances. First, the mark-recapture study of 
Trenham et al. (2001) showed that CTS commonly moved between ponds 
separated by 2,200 ft (670 m), suggesting that movements of this 
magnitude are not rare. Second, the ongoing study at Olcott Lake 
(Solano County) has directly documented the presence of high densities 
of juvenile and adult CTS at upland locations at least 1,300 ft (400 m) 
from this high quality breeding pond. In a recent trapping effort, 16 
percent of total captures of juvenile salamanders occurred at 2,300 ft 
(700 m) (Trenham et al. 2001). Trenham and Shaffer (in review) 
determined that conserving upland habitats within 2,200 ft (670 m) of 
breeding ponds would protect 95 percent of CTS at their study location 
in Solano County. Protecting the needed upland habitat area with a 
radius of 2,200 ft (670 m) around a single pond that has a 13 ft (10 m) 
radius may yield a minimum area of 350 ac (140 ha). However, the size 
of any occurrence or breeding pond may increase the total amount of 
necessary aquatic and upland habitat space for survival of any known 
occurrence.
    We used 0.70 mi (1.1 km) dispersal distance (radius) as a guide for 
the amount of upland habitat around known occupied extant occurrences 
to be mapped as critical habitat for the purposes of preserving the 
Central population of the CTS within small mammal burrows (PCE 2). 
However, although the studies discussed above provide an approximation 
of the distances that CTS can move from their aquatic habitats, 
breeding ponds, and known occupied aquatic habitats in search of 
suitable upland refugia, we recognize that upland habitat features will 
influence CTS movements in a particular landscape. As a result, in some 
designated units, we made adjustments to the upland areas to include 
additional areas up to the watershed boundaries or to include habitat 
containing the PCEs. In other cases, the critical habitat units were 
reduced so as not to include non-habitat areas (those not exhibiting 
the PCEs) from the designation.
    Some agricultural lands were included if they were directly 
adjacent to known extant occurrences and considered essential for 
upland refugia or connectivity between occurrences and were not 
considered a barrier to movement.
    To determine the areas to be mapped within each unit for the 
purposes of dispersal (i.e. PCE 3), we used a distance of 0.70 mi (1.1 
km) as a general guide. The only known study we are aware of that 
specifically investigated movement of California tiger salamanders 
between breeding ponds projected that 0.70 mi (1.1 km) would encompass 
99 percent of interpond dispersal (Trenham et al. 2001). However, we 
recognize that (as with movements in search of suitable underground 
refugia) upland habitat features influence CTS movements within a 
particular landscape.
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act authorizes us to issue permits for 
the take of listed species incidental to otherwise lawful activities. 
An incidental take permit application must be supported by a habitat 
conservation plan (HCP) that identifies conservation measures that the 
permittee agrees to

[[Page 49393]]

implement for the species to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the 
requested incidental take. We often exclude from designated critical 
habitat non-Federal public lands and private lands that are covered by 
an existing operative HCP and executed implementation agreement (IA) 
under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act because the benefits of exclusion 
outweigh the benefits of inclusion as discussed in section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act.
    We are aware of five HCPs under various stages of development; 
however, these draft HCPs are not proposed for exclusion because we 
have not made a determination that they meet our issuance criteria nor 
that they provide adequate conservation for CTS. In addition, they are 
not ready for public notice and comment.
    When defining critical habitat boundaries, we made an effort to 
exclude all developed areas, such as towns, housing developments, and 
other lands unlikely to contain primary constituent elements essential 
for CTS conservation. However, our minimum mapping units do not allow 
us to exclude all developed lands, such as outbuildings, roads, paved 
areas, lawns, and other similar areas that are unlikely to contain any 
of the PCEs in this rule. Federal actions limited to these non habitat 
areas would not trigger a section 7 consultation, unless those proposed 
actions would affect other threatened or endangered species and/or the 
PCEs in adjacent critical habitat.
    In summary, we designate as critical habitat four critical 
geographical regions where the Central population of the CTS are known 
to be extant because we believe protection of the units within these 
four regions is essential to the conservation of the species. These 
extant occurrences represent approximately 68 percent of all extant 
occurrences across the range of the Central population of CTS. Using a 
dispersal distance of 0.70 mi (1.1 km) from each of these occurrences, 
the four geographical areas also include some other occurrences of the 
CTS.
    A brief discussion of each area designated as critical habitat is 
provided in the unit descriptions below. Additional detailed 
documentation concerning the essential nature of these areas is 
contained in our supporting record for this rulemaking.

Special Management Considerations or Protections

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the areas 
which contain those features determined to be essential for 
conservation may require special management considerations or 
protections. As we undertake the process of designating critical 
habitat for a species, we first evaluate lands defined by those 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species for inclusion in the designation pursuant to section 3(5)(A) of 
the Act. Secondly, we evaluate lands defined by those features to 
assess whether they may require special management considerations or 
protection.
    We believe that the areas proposed for critical habitat may require 
special management considerations or protections due to the threats 
outlined below:
    (1) Introduction of non-native predators such as bullfrogs and fish 
can be significant threats to the California tiger salamander breeding 
ponds in Sonoma County;
    (2) Activities that could disturb aquatic breeding habitats during 
the breeding season, such as heavy equipment operation, ground 
disturbance, maintenance projects (e.g. pipelines, roads, powerlines), 
off-road travel or recreation;
    (3) Activities that impair the water quality of aquatic breeding 
habitat;
    (4) Activities that would reduce small mammal populations to the 
point that there is insufficient underground refugia used by California 
tiger salamander in Sonoma County for foraging, protection from 
predators, and shelter from the elements;
    (5) Activities that create barriers impassable for salamanders or 
increase mortality in upland habitat between extant occurrences in 
breeding habitat; and
    (6) Activities that disrupt vernal pool complexes' ability to 
support California tiger salamander breeding function.

Critical Habitat Designation

    We are designating 31 units as critical habitat for the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander throughout four 
geographic regions. These final critical habitat areas described below 
constitute our best assessment at this time of the areas that contain 
those habitat features essential for the conservation of the Central 
population of the CTS that may require special management. The four 
regions containing critical habitat are: (1) The Central Valley Region; 
(2) the Southern San Joaquin Valley Region; (3) the East Bay Region 
(including Santa Clara Valley area); and (4) the Central Coast Region. 
The maps in this final rule present a pictorial representation of the 
four geographical areas (see Figure 1) and are not accurate with regard 
to the exact dividing line between the Central Coast, Central Valley, 
East Bay, and Southern San Joaquin geographical regions.
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

[[Page 49394]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.000

BILLING CODE 4310-55-C

[[Page 49395]]

    Although we are aware that some amounts of Federal, State, or local 
government lands occur within these boundaries, the majority of these 
areas of critical habitat designation occur on privately owned land. 
The maps in the rule portion of this document begin with Map 7 and run 
consecutively because they follow Maps 1-6 in the final critical 
habitat rule for the CTS in Santa Barbara County, which was already 
published in the Federal Register (69 FR 68568, November 24, 2004). 
Also, Map 36 in the proposed critical habitat rule for the CTS in 
Sonoma County already published in the Federal Register (70 FR 44301, 
August 2, 2005).
    Table 2 shows the approximate sizes of critical habitat units and 
associated land ownership within each of the four geographical regions.

                             Table 2.--Approximate Sizes and Land Ownership of Critical Habitat Units by Geographical Region
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Federal lands          State lands           Other lands              Total
                 Geographic region/proposed unit                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      ac         ha         ac         ha         ac         ha         ac         ha
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Central Valley Region
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 1..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,730      1,105      2,730      1,105
Unit 2..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      5,699      2,306      5,699      2,306
Unit 3..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      9,966      4,033      9,966      4,033
Unit 4..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      9,603      3,886      9,603      3,886
Unit 5..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      3,128      1,266      3,128      1,266
Unit 6..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........     23,491      9,506     23,491      9,506
Unit 7..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........        562        227        562        227
Unit 8..........................................................         17          7  .........  .........      3,996      1,617      4,013      1,624
Unit 9..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........     17,799      7,203     17,799      7,203
Unit 10.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........     10,585      4,284     10,585      4,284
Unit 11.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      8,291      3,355      8,291      3,355
Unit 18.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      1,178        477      1,178        477
                                                                 ------------
      Area Total................................................         17          7  .........  .........     97,028     39,266     97,045     39,273
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Southern San Joaquin Region
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 1a.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      3,808      1,541      3,808      1,541
Unit 1b.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      3,003      1,215      3,003      1,215
Unit 2..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      4,961      2,008      4,961      2,008
Unit 3a.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      1,626        658      1,626        658
Unit 3b.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,553      1,033      2,553      1,033
Unit 5..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      4,342      1,757      4,342      1,757
                                                                 ------------
      Area Total................................................          0          0          0          0     20,293      8,212     20,293      8,212
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     East Bay Region
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 3..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........        619        251        619        251
Unit 5..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,814      1,139      2,814      1,139
Unit 6..........................................................  .........  .........      2,767      1,120      5,209      2,108      7,976      3,228
Unit 7..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      9,080      3,675      9,080      3,675
Unit 8..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,535      1,026      2,535      1,026
Unit 9..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,934      1,187      2,934      1,187
Unit 10a........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........        194         79        194         79
Unit 10b........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........        698        282        698        282
Unit 11.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      6,991      2,829      6,991      2,829
Unit 12.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      6,642      2,688      6,642      2,688
Unit 13.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,409        975      2,409        975
Unit 14.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,212        895      2,212        895
Unit 15A........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      2,722      1,102      2,722      1,102
Unit 15B........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........        194         79        194         79
Unit 16.........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........     16,952      6,860     16,952      6,860
Unit 17.........................................................         20          8  .........  .........      3,881      1,571      3,901      1,579
                                                                 ------------
      Area Total................................................         20          8      2,767      1,120     66,086     26,744     68,873     27,872
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Central Coast Region
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 3..........................................................  .........  .........        110         45      3,555      1,439      3,665      1,483
Unit 6..........................................................  .........  .........  .........  .........      9,233      3,736      9,233      3,736
                                                                 ------------
      Area Total................................................  .........  .........        110         45     12,788      5,175     12,898      5,219
                                                                 ============
      Grand Totals..............................................         37         15      2,877      1,164    196,195     79,397    199,109     80,576
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 49396]]

    The critical habitat of the Central population of the California 
tiger salamander represents occupied aquatic and upland habitats 
throughout the species' range in California and includes selective 
representative aquatic and upland habitat areas to capture the genetic, 
geographic, and ecological variability of the species, which, when 
taken together, should ensure the long term conservation of the 
species. Genetic variation within the species is represented by units 
within each of four large geographic regions `` Central Valley, 
Southern San Joaquin, East Bay, and Central Coast. Brief descriptions 
of the critical habitat units and reasons why these units are essential 
for the conservation of the California tiger salamander are presented 
below. To the best of our knowledge, each unit contains essential 
occupied aquatic, upland, and dispersal habitat features. Table 3 below 
contains the approximate area of critical habitat designated within 
each county.

                            Table 3.--Approximate Critical Habitat Within Each County
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Proposed  designation       Final designation     Change between  proposed
                                   ----------------------------------------------------  and final  designation
              County                                                                   -------------------------
                                       Acres       Hectares      Acres       Hectares      Acres       Hectares
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alameda...........................       67,599       27,356        1,178          477       66,421       26,880
Amador............................        1,506          609        1,506          609            0            0
Calaveras.........................        4,944        2,001        3,606        1,459        1,338          542
Contra Costa......................       43,232       17,496            0            0       43,232       17,495
Fresno............................       16,375        6,627        7,416        3,001        8,959        3,626
Kern..............................        1,496          605        1,496          605            0            0
Kings.............................          885          358          885          358            0            0
Madera............................       17,413        7,047       15,089        6,106        2,325          941
Mariposa..........................          321          130          321          130            0            0
Merced............................       49,748       20,132       32,963       13,339       16,785        6,793
Monterey..........................       32,392       13,109        4,159        1,683       28,233       11,426
Sacramento........................       10,191        4,124        9,966        4,033          225           91
San Benito........................       24,575        9,945       24,308        9,837          267          108
San Joaquin.......................       21,120        8,547       17,516        7,089        3,604        1,458
San Luis Obispo...................        7,736        3,131        7,736        3,131            0            0
Santa Clara.......................       42,751       17,301       39,450       15,965        3,301        1,336
Solano............................        5,944        2,405        5,699        2,306          245           99
Stanislaus........................       24,406        9,877       17,891        7,240        6,515        2,637
Tulare............................        6,243        2,526        5,197        2,103        1,046          423
Yolo..............................        3,789        1,533        2,730        1,105        1,059          429
                                   --------------
    Total.........................      382,666      154,860      199,109       80,577      183,557       74,283
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
are essential for the conservation of the Central population of the 
CTS, below.

Central Valley Geographic Region

    The Central Valley Geographic Region is generally found in an area 
from northern Yolo County south and southeast to the northern half of 
Madera County, including eastern Solano and Contra Costa counties. It 
is 4.9 million ac (1.9 million ha) in size. Within the Central Valley 
Geographic Region we are designating 12 critical habitat units for the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander that total 
approximately 97,045 ac (39,273 ha). The 12 critical habitat units 
contain PCEs and include a total of 44 extant occurrences of CTS. The 
12 units occur in four of 17 vernal pool regions within California. 
These four regions are Solano-Colusa, Southeastern Sacramento Valley, 
Southern Sierra Foothills, and San Joaquin Valley. The units are 
distributed across the Region and represent the varying habitats and 
environmental conditions available to the California tiger salamander 
within the area. A fundamental concept in conservation biology is that 
species that are protected across their ranges have lower chances of 
extinction (Soule and Simberloff 1986; Noss et al. 2002). By including 
units across the geographic range of the species within this region we 
are conserving the diversity of the species and its habitat across its 
range. Special management requirements for these units include 
management of erosion and sedimentation, pesticide application, 
introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and mosquito fish, 
disturbance activities associated with development that may alter the 
hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat and alter upland refugia 
and dispersal habitat, and activities such as road development that may 
result in barriers to dispersal.

Unit 1, Dunnigan Creek Unit, Yolo County

    This unit is the only unit in Yolo County, encompasses 
approximately 2,730 acres (1,105 ha). This unit contains all three of 
the PCEs. Three extant occurrences of the species have been documented 
within this unit. Unit 1 is essential to the conservation of the 
species because it is needed to maintain the current geographic and 
ecological distribution of the species within the Central Valley 
Geographical Region. Unit 1 represents the northern portion of the 
range and the represents the northern portion of the Solano-Colusa 
vernal pool region. Unit 1 is roughly bordered by Interstate 5 on the 
east, Bird Creek on the south, and Buckeye Creek on the north and west. 
Land ownership is private. Threats that require special management 
considerations for this unit include agricultural land conversion and 
the introduction of predators such as mosquito fish into seasonal 
wetlands for the control of mosquitoes.

Unit 2, Jepson Prairie Unit, Solano County

    This unit encompasses approximately 5,699 ac (2,306 ha), and is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Central Valley

[[Page 49397]]

Geographic Region. Unit 2 represents the northwestern portion of the 
species' distribution and represents the southern end of Solano-Colusa 
vernal pool region in Solano County. This unit contains all three of 
the PCEs and four extant occurrences of the species in one aggregation. 
Unit 2 generally is located south of Dixon, west of State Route 113, 
north of Creed Road, and east of Travis Air Force Base. This unit is 
mostly privately owned but also includes some California Department of 
Fish and Game lands. Threats that require special management 
considerations for this unit include loss and destruction of occupied 
habitat due to agricultural land conversion.

Unit 3, Southeastern Sacramento Unit, Sacramento County

    This unit encompasses approximately 9,966 ac (4,033 ha), is the 
only unit in Sacramento County, and is essential to the conservation of 
the species because it is needed to maintain the current geographic and 
ecological distribution of the species within the Central Valley 
Geographic Region. Unit 3 represents the northern-central portion of 
the range of the species, the southern portion of the Southeastern 
Sacramento Valley vernal pool region, and is only one of a few occupied 
areas in the Sacramento Valley. This unit contains all three of the 
PCEs. A cluster of eight extant occurrences has been documented in this 
unit. Unit 3 generally is bordered on the south by the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin County border dividing line, Laguna Creek on the north, the 
Sacramento and Amador County border dividing line on the east, and Alta 
Mesa Road on the west. Land ownership is private. Threats that require 
special management considerations for this unit include road 
construction, agricultural land conversion, urban development, and 
predators such as bullfrogs. Development and agricultural land 
conversion could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for 
breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat 
essential for growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, 
degrade, or fragment habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity. 
Aquatic predators such as bullfrogs require special management because 
they can impair breeding success.

Unit 4, Northeastern San Joaquin Unit, and Amador Counties

    This unit encompasses approximately 9,603 ac (3,886 ha), is the 
only one in San Joaquin and Amador counties, and is essential to the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 4 is the second unit in the 
Southeastern Sacramento Valley vernal pool region. This unit contains 
all three of the PCEs and five extant occurrences in one aggregation. 
Unit 4 roughly is found over an area south of the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento county dividing line, east of Day Creek Road, north of 
Liberty Road, and west of Comanche and Jackson Valley Roads. Land 
ownership is private. Threats that require special management 
considerations for this unit include developments and associated road 
construction that could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential 
for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat 
essential for growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, 
degrade, or fragment habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 5, Indian Creek Unit, Calaveras County

    This unit encompasses appropriately 3,128 ac (1,266 ha). This unit 
is essential to the conservation of the CTS because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 5 represents 
the northeastern portion of the range and the Southeastern Sacramento 
Valley vernal pool region. Four extant occurrences of the species have 
been documented in this unit. It contains all three PCEs and generally 
is bordered by State Route 26 on the south and east, Warren Road on the 
west, and State Route 12 on the north. Land ownership is private. 
Threats that require special management considerations for this unit 
include urban developments, agricultural land conversions, and 
associated infrastructure including road construction that could 
destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; 
destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, 
feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment 
habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 6, Rock Creek Unit, Calaveras, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus 
Counties

    This 23,491 ac (9,506 ha) unit is essential to the conservation of 
the Central population of the California tiger salamander because it is 
needed to maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution 
of the species within the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 6 
contains all three of the PCEs and represents the northern end of the 
Southern Sierra Foothills vernal pool region and a portion of the east-
central portion of the San Joaquin Valley. This unit contains five 
extant occurrences of the species in one aggregation. This unit is 
approximately located west of San Joaquin County Road J6, north of 
Sonora Road, east of Stanislaus County Road J12, and south of the 
Calaveras River. Land ownership is private. Threats that require 
special management considerations for this unit include urban 
developments, agricultural land conversions, and associated 
infrastructure including road construction, which could destroy or 
degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, 
degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, 
resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat 
essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 7, Rodden Lake Unit, Stanislaus County

    This unit contains approximately 562 ac (227 ha) and is essential 
to the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 7 is located within the 
northern end of the Southern Sierra Foothill vernal pool region in the 
eastern San Joaquin Valley, the only unit near the Stanislaus River. 
Three extant occurrences of the Central CTS have been documented within 
this unit. This unit is roughly bounded by Horseshoe Road on the east, 
Frankenheimer Road on the north, Twenty Eight Mile Road on the west, 
and the Stanislaus River of the south. Land ownership is private. 
Threats that require special management considerations for this unit 
include urban developments, agricultural land conversions, and 
associated infrastructure including road construction, which could 
destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; 
destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, 
feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment 
habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 8, La Grange Ridge Unit, Stanislaus and Merced Counties

    This unit contains approximately 4,013 ac (1,624 ha) and is 
essential for the conservation of the Central CTS because it is needed 
to maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 8 occurs 
within the northeastern area of the 2,167,907 ac (877,352 ha) Southern 
Sierra Foothills vernal pool region and represents the east central 
portion of the species' distribution within the Central Valley 
Geographic Region. It contains

[[Page 49398]]

five extant occurrences of the species and all three of the PCEs. This 
unit is roughly defined as west of Cardoza Ridge, east of Los Cerritos 
Road, south of State Route 132, and north of Fields Road. Land 
ownership is private. Threats that require special management 
considerations for this unit include Threats that require special 
management considerations for this unit include urban developments, 
agricultural land conversions, and associated infrastructure including 
road construction that could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat 
essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment 
upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; 
or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for dispersal and 
connectivity.

Unit 9, Fahrens Creek Unit, Merced County

    This unit contains 17,799 ac (7,203 ha) and is essential for the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 9 represents the 2,167,907 
ac (877,352 ha) South Sierra Foothills vernal pool region in Merced 
County, the central portion of the species' distribution in the eastern 
San Joaquin Valley, and the south-eastern portion of the species' 
distribution in the Central Valley Geographic Region. Twenty extant 
occurrences of the species are documented in this unit. This unit is 
located generally northeast from Merced, east of the Merced and 
Mariposa county dividing line, north of Bear Creek, and south of the 
Merced River. Land ownership of the unit is private. Threats that 
require special management considerations for this unit urban 
developments, agricultural land conversions, and associated 
infrastructure including road construction which could destroy or 
degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, 
degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, 
resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat 
essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 10, Miles Creek Unit, Merced County

    This unit contains approximately 10,585 ac (4,284 ha) and is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 10 is the 
only other unit that occurs within the Southern Sierra Foothill vernal 
pool region in Merced County and represents the central portion of the 
species' distribution in the eastern San Joaquin Valley and the south-
eastern portion of the species' distribution in the Central Valley 
Geographic Region. Nine extant occurrences have been documented within 
this unit, which is located generally east of Owens Lake in Mariposa 
County, west of Cunningham Road in Merced County, south of South Bear 
Creek Road in Merced County, and north of Childs Avenue. Land ownership 
is private. Threats that require special management considerations for 
this unit include urban developments, agricultural land conversions, 
and associated infrastructure including road construction which could 
destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; 
destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, 
feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment 
habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 11, Rabbit Hill Unit, Madera County

    This unit contains 8,291 ac (3,355 ha) and is essential to the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 11 represents the Sierra 
Foothills vernal pool region in Madera County and is the southernmost 
unit within the Central Valley Geographic Region. This unit contains 
all three of the primary constituent elements, including vernal pools 
and upland dispersal habitats that support six extant occurrences of 
the species. Unit 11 is generally located west of Hensley Lake, south 
of Knowles Junction, west of the Daulton Mine, and north of the Fresno 
River. Land ownership is private. Threats that require special 
management considerations for this unit include urban developments, 
agricultural land conversions, and associated infrastructure including 
road construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat 
essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment 
upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; 
or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for dispersal and 
connectivity.
    Units 12-17 have been excluded from the final designation. See 
section ``Relationship of Critical Habitat to Habitat Conservation Plan 
Lands--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act--for more 
information.

Unit 18, Doolan Canyon Unit, Alameda County

    This unit contains approximately 1,178 ac (477 ha) and is essential 
to the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species in the 
Central Valley Geographic Region. Unit 18 represents the 485,120 ac 
(196,328 ha) Livermore vernal pool region and the western portion of 
the Central Valley Geographic Region. Two extant occurrences of the 
species are found in this unit. Unit 18 is south of the Contra Costa 
County line near Collier Canyon Road on the east and the south, and the 
City of Dublin on the west. Land ownership is private. Threats that 
require special management considerations for this unit include urban 
developments, agricultural land conversions, and associated 
infrastructure including road construction which could destroy or 
degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, 
degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, 
resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat 
essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 19, Patterson Unit, Alameda

    Unit 19 has been excluded based on economic reasons. See 
``Relationship of Critical Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions 
Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act'' for more information.

Southern San Joaquin Valley Geographic Region

    The Southern San Joaquin Valley Geographic Region contains 
approximately 1.4 million ac (566,580 ha) and is found from the 
southern half of Madera County south to northeastern Kings County and 
northwestern Tulare County. Within this Geographic Region we designate 
four critical habitat units that total approximately 20,293 ac (8,212 
ha). The four critical habitat units contain approximately 20 known 
extant occurrences the Central population of the California tiger 
salamander. The critical habitat units represent the San Joaquin Valley 
and Southern Sierra Foothills vernal pool regions in the southern San 
Joaquin Valley. It is critical to conserve the CTS within a range of 
habitat types to capture the geographic, ecological, and genetic 
variability found in nature. Protecting a variety of occupied habitats 
and ecologic conditions will increase the ability of the species to 
survive random environmental (e.g. predators), natural (e.g. disease), 
demographic (e.g. low recruitment) or genetic (e.g. inbreeding) events.

[[Page 49399]]

    The critical habitat units of the Southern San Joaquin Valley 
Geographical Region are essential to the conservation of the California 
tiger salamander because these units represent the range of geographic, 
genetic, and ecological variation found in nature and they contain the 
PCEs that support essential functions including, but not limited to, 
breeding, metamorphosing, dispersing, feeding, sheltering, and 
aestivating. Special management requirements for these units include 
management of erosion and sedimentation, pesticide application, 
introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and mosquito fish, 
disturbance activities associated with development that may alter the 
hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland disturbance 
activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal habitat, and 
activities such as road development and widening that may develop 
barriers for dispersal.

Units 1a and 1b, Millerton Unit, Madera County

    This 6,811 ac (2,756 ha) unit is comprised of two sub-units; Unit 
1a (3,808 ac (1,541 ha)) and Unit 1b (3,003 ac (1,215 ha)). This unit 
is essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species in the Southern San Joaquin Geographic Region. Unit 1 
represents the Southern Sierra Foothills vernal pool region, one of two 
differing vernal pool regions in the Southern San Joaquin Geographic 
Region, and the southeastern portion of the species' distribution in 
the San Joaquin Valley. Unit 1 is the only unit within this vernal pool 
region in Madera County. The two subunits contain nine extant 
occurrences of the species. These subunits are located west of State 
Highway 41 and generally north of the San Joaquin River. The eastern 
boundary is approximately the western side of Millerton Lake, and the 
northern boundary is south of Berry Hill along O'Neal Road. Land 
ownership is private. Threats that require special management 
considerations for this unit include urban development, agricultural 
conversion, and associated infrastructure, including road construction, 
which could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding 
and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for 
growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or 
fragment habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 2, Northeast Fresno, Fresno County

    This unit is approximately 4,961 ac (2,008 ha) and is essential for 
the conservation of the Central population of the California tiger 
salamander because it is needed to maintain the current geographic and 
ecological distribution of the species in the Southern San Joaquin 
Geographic Region. Unit 2 represent the Southern Sierra Foothills 
vernal pool region within Fresno County, the northern end of the 
Southern San Joaquin Geographic Region, and the southern portion of the 
species' distribution in the San Joaquin Valley. This unit contains all 
three of the PCEs and 6 extant occurrence records This unit is located 
northeast of Fresno, southwest of Millerton Lake, east of Friant Road, 
and generally west of Academy. Land ownership is private. Threats that 
require special management considerations for this unit include urban 
development, agricultural conversion, and associated infrastructure 
including road construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic 
habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or 
fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and 
aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for 
dispersal and connectivity.

Units 3a and 3b, Hills Valley Unit, Fresno and Tulare Counties

    This 4,181 ac (1,692 ha) unit is comprised of the two subunits Unit 
3a (1,626 ac (658 ha)) and Unit 3b (2,553 ac (1,033 ha)). This unit is 
essential to the conservation of the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species in the 
Southern San Joaquin Geographic Region. The subunits comprising Unit 3 
represent the foothills of northwest Tulare County, the Southern Sierra 
Foothills vernal pool region, and the southeastern portion of the 
species' distribution within the San Joaquin Valley. These subunits 
contain all three of the PCEs and five extant occurrences of the 
species. This unit is located south of State Highway 180, generally 
west of George Smith and San Creek Roads, north of Curtis Mountain, and 
east of Cove Road. Land ownership is private. Threats that require 
special management considerations for this unit include urban 
development, agricultural conversion, and associated infrastructure 
including road construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic 
habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or 
fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and 
aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for 
dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 4, Seville Unit, Tulare County

    This 415 ac (168 ha) unit has been excluded from the final 
designation. See section ``Relationship of Critical Habitat to State 
Managed Ecological Reserve Land--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act'' for more information

Unit 5, Cottonwood Creek Unit, Tulare County

    Unit 5 is approximately 4,342 ac (1,757 ha) and represents a 
significant area at the very southernmost portion of the range of the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander. This unit was 
originally called unit 5A in the proposed designation. This unit is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Southern San Joaquin Geographic Region. Unit 5 
represents a low-elevation vernal pool complex within the San Joaquin 
Valley vernal pool region. Four extant occurrences have been documented 
within this unit, which is roughly bordered by County Road J36 on the 
north, Dinuba Road on the east, Avenue 352 on the south, and County 
Road 112 on the west. Land ownership is mostly private. Threats that 
require special management considerations for this unit include urban 
development, agricultural conversion, and associated infrastructure 
including road construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic 
habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or 
fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and 
aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for 
dispersal and connectivity.
    Subunit 5B (629 ac (255 ha)) has been excluded from the final 
designation. See section ``Relationship of Critical Habitat to State 
Managed Ecological Reserve Land--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act'' for more information.

East Bay Geographic Region

    The East Bay Geographic Region is found in Alameda County, south to 
Santa Benito and Santa Clara counties, and west to the eastern portions 
of San Joaquin and Merced Counties. The East Bay Region contains 2.4 
million ac (971,280 ha) and has approximately 24,045 ac (9,731 ha) of 
critical habitat. Within the East Bay Geographic Region we are 
designating 14 critical habitat units for the California tiger 
salamander that contain a number of extant occurrences of the Central 
population of

[[Page 49400]]

the California tiger salamander. The 14 critical habitat units within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region occur in the Livermore, Central Coast, 
and San Joaquin vernal pool regions. Special management requirements 
for these units include management of erosion and sedimentation, 
pesticide application, introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and 
mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with development that 
may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland 
disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal 
habitat, and activities such as road development and widening that may 
develop barriers for dispersal.
    It is critical to conserve the Central population of the California 
tiger salamander within the range of habitat types to capture the 
geographic and genetic variability found in nature. Protecting a 
variety of occupied habitats and conditions will increase the ability 
of the species to survive random environmental (e.g. predators), 
natural (e.g. disease), demographic (e.g. low recruitment), or genetic 
(e.g. inbreeding) events. The critical habitat units within the East 
Bay Geographic Region are essential to the conservation of the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander because these units 
collectively maintain the geographic, genetic, and genetic variability 
that currently exists within the range of the species. Some of the 
designated units are in pristine condition as indicated by the best 
scientific and commercial data, and habitat quality was another factor 
which we considered in our determination of what habitat is essential.

Unit 1, Patterson Unit, Alameda County

    This 5,267 ac (2,132 ha) unit was moved to the Central Valley 
Region (see Unit 19 of Central Valley Region above). This unit has been 
excluded based on economic reasons. See ``Relationship of Critical 
Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act'' for more information.
    Unit 2, Mendenhall Unit, Alameda County, was excluded from the 
final designation based on economic reasons. See ``Relationship of 
Critical Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) 
of the Act'' for more information.

Unit 3, Alameda Creek Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit contains 619 ac (251 ha) and is essential to the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 3 represents the north-central 
portion of the Bay Area Geographic Region and the northwestern 
Livermore vernal pool region. This unit contains all three of the PCEs 
and three extant occurrences. Unit 3 generally is located north of 
Calaveras Reservoir, east of Sugar Butte, west of Fremont, and south of 
Livermore. Land ownership is a mixture of county parks and private 
lands. Threats that require special management considerations for this 
unit include urban development, agricultural conversion, and associated 
infrastructure including road construction which could destroy or 
degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, 
degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, 
resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat 
essential for dispersal and connectivity. Feral pigs and bullfrogs may 
require special management because can impair breeding success.

Unit 4, San Francisco Bay Unit, Alameda County

    This 1,073 ac (434 ha) unit was excluded from the final critical 
habitat designation. See section ``Relationship of Critical Habitat to 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge Land--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act'' for more information.

Unit 5, Poverty Ridge Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is approximately 2,814 ac (1,139 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 5 represents the north-central 
portion of the Bay Area Geographic Unit and the southern end of the 
Livermore vernal pool region. It contains all three of the PCEs and six 
extant occurrences of the species. This unit is generally located west 
of Alum Rock, south of the Alameda and Contra Costa Counties dividing 
line, west of Kincaid Road, and north of Master Hill. Land ownership is 
private. Threats include conversion of grazing land to housing and 
commercial development.

Unit 6, Smith Creek Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is approximately 7,976 ac (3,228 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 6 represents the north-central 
part of the range of the species within the Bay Area Geographic region 
and the northern range of the Central Coast vernal pool region. This 
unit contains all three of the PCEs and 10 extant occurrences of the 
species. Unit 6 is generally located west of Sugarloaf Mountain, south 
of Packard Ridge, east of Masters Hill, and north of Panochita Hill. 
This unit contains county, private, and University of California-owned 
lands. Threats that require special management considerations include 
urban development, agricultural conversion, and associated 
infrastructure including road construction which could destroy or 
degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, 
degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, 
resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat 
essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 7, San Felipe Creek Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is approximately 9,080 ac (3,675 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 7 represents the center of the Bay 
Area Geographic Region and the north-central part of the Central Coast 
vernal pool region. It contains all three of the PCEs and four extant 
occurrences of the species. Unit 7 is generally located in west of 
Silver Creek, south of Panochita Hill, east of Bollinger Mountain, and 
north of Morgan Hill. Land ownership is private. Threats that require 
special management considerations include urban development, 
agricultural conversion, and associated infrastructure including road 
construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential 
for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat 
essential for growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, 
degrade, or fragment habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity.

Unit 8, Laurel Hill Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is approximately 2,535 ac (1,026 ha) and is essential for 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 8 represents the northwestern 
portion of the species' range in the Bay Area Geographic Region and the 
northwestern area of the Central Coast vernal pool region on the 
western side of the Santa Clara Valley. This unit contains all three of 
the PCEs and three extant occurrences. Unit 8

[[Page 49401]]

generally is located east of Morgan Hill, south of San Jose, west of 
the Santa Cruz Mountains, and north of Croy Ridge. Land ownership is 
private. Threats that require special management considerations for 
this unit include urban development and associated infrastructure 
including road construction which could destroy or degrade aquatic 
habitat essential for breeding and rearing; destroy, degrade, or 
fragment upland habitat essential for growth, feeding, resting, and 
aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment habitat essential for 
dispersal and connectivity. Bullfrogs present in aquatic habitat may 
require special management because they can impair breeding success.

Unit 9, Cebata Flat Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit contains approximately 2,934 ac (1,187 ha) and is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the East Bay Geographic Area. Unit 9 represents the 
center of the Bay Area Geographic Region and the central area of the 
Central Coast vernal pool region. It contains all three of the PCEs and 
three extant occurrences of the species. Unit 9 is generally located 
west of Gilroy, south of Henry Coe State Park, east of Lake Mountain, 
and north of Canada Road. Land ownership is private. Threats that 
require special management considerations for this unit include urban 
development, and associated infrastructure including road construction 
which could destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding 
and rearing; destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for 
growth, feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or 
fragment habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity. Bullfrogs 
present in aquatic habitat may require special management because they 
can impair breeding success.

Units 10a and 10b, Lions Peak Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is comprised of 892 ac (360 ha) in two subunits: (Unit 
10a (194 ac (79 ha) and Unit 10b (698 ac (282 ha). It is essential for 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 10 represents only the second unit 
on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley within the center of the Bay 
Area Geographic Region and the center of the Central Coast vernal pool 
region. It contains all three of the PCEs and six extant occurrences of 
the species. Unit 10 is generally found east of State Highway 101, 
south of Morgan Hill, north of Hecker Pass Highway, and west of Uvas 
Reservoir. Land ownership is private. Threats that require special 
management considerations for this unit include urban development and 
associated infrastructure including road construction which could 
destroy or degrade aquatic habitat essential for breeding and rearing; 
destroy, degrade, or fragment upland habitat essential for growth, 
feeding, resting, and aestivation; or destroy, degrade, or fragment 
habitat essential for dispersal and connectivity. Bullfrogs present in 
aquatic habitat may require special management because they can impair 
breeding success.

Unit 11, Braen Canyon Unit, Santa Clara County

    This unit is comprised of 6,991 ac (2,829 ha) of habitat and is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 11 represents the 
eastern central portion of the species range within the Bay Area 
Geographic Region and the central portion of the Central Coast vernal 
pool region. It contains all three of the PCEs and five extant 
occurrences of the species. Unit 11 is found in southern Santa Clara 
County generally west of Gilroy, south of Kelly Lake, east of Pacheco 
Lake, and north of Jamison Road. Land ownership is private. Threats 
that may require special management include erosion and sedimentation, 
pesticide application, introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and 
mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with development that 
may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland 
disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal 
habitat, and activities such as road development and widening that may 
develop barriers for dispersal.

Unit 12, San Felipe Unit, Santa Clara and San Benito Counties

    This unit is comprised of 6,642 ac (2,688 ha) of habitat and is 
essential to the conservation of the species because it is needed to 
maintain the current geographic and ecological distribution of the 
species within the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 12 represents part 
of the center of the distribution within the Bay Area Geographic Region 
and the southernmost portion of Santa Clara County, northern San Benito 
County, and center of the Central Coast vernal pool region. It contains 
all three of the PCEs and 10 extant occurrences of the species. Unit 12 
generally is found west of Camadero, south of Kickham Peak, east of San 
Joaquin Peak, and north of Dunneville. Land ownership is private. 
Threats include erosion and sedimentation, pesticide application, 
introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and mosquito fish, 
disturbance activities associated with development that may alter the 
hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland disturbance 
activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal habitat, and 
activities such as road development and widening that may develop 
barriers for dispersal.

Unit 13, Los Banos Unit, Merced County

    This unit is comprised of 2,409 ac (975 ha) and is essential to the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 13 represents a portion of the 
southeastern range of the species within the Bay Area Geographic Region 
and the San Joaquin Valley vernal pool region. It contains all three of 
the PCEs and three extant occurrences of the species. Unit 13 generally 
is located east of Los Banos Reservoir, north of Bullard Mountain, west 
of Cathedral Peak, and south of San Luis Reservoir State Recreation 
Area. Land ownership is private. Threats include erosion and 
sedimentation, pesticide application, introduction of predators such as 
bullfrogs and mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with 
development that may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic 
habitat, upland disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia 
and dispersal habitat, and activities such as road development and 
widening that may develop barriers for dispersal.

Unit 14, Landgon Unit, Merced County

    This unit is comprised of 2,212 ac (895 ha) and is essential to the 
conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. Unit 14 represents the easternmost 
distribution of the species within the Bay Area Geographic Region and 
is the only other unit that occurs within the San Joaquin Valley vernal 
pool region. It contains all of the PCEs and three extant occurrences 
of the species. Unit 14 generally is found west of Sweeney Hill, south 
of Gasten Bide Road, and north of Ortigalita Peak. Land ownership is 
private. Threats include erosion and sedimentation, pesticide 
application, introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and

[[Page 49402]]

mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with development that 
may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland 
disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal 
habitat, and activities such as road development and widening that may 
develop barriers for dispersal.

Units 15A and 15B, Ana Creek Unit, San Benito County

    This unit is approximately 3,165 ac (1,280 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Bay Area Geographic Region. The unit is comprised of two subunits, 
15A (2,722 ac (1,102 ha)) and 15B (194 ac (79 ha)). These subunits 
represent the southwestern portion of the species' range within the Bay 
Area Geographic Region and in the southern Central Coast vernal pool 
region. They contain all three of the PCEs and nine extant occurrences 
of the species. Unit 15A and B are generally located west of Hollister, 
north of Tres Pinos, east of Cibo Peak, and south of Coyote Peak. Land 
ownership is private. Threats include erosion and sedimentation, 
pesticide application, introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and 
mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with development that 
may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland 
disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal 
habitat, and activities such as road development and widening that may 
develop barriers for dispersal.

Unit 16, Bitterwater Unit, San Benito County

    This unit is approximately 16,952 ac (6,860 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the East Bay Geographic Region. Unit 16 represents the southernmost 
range of the species within the Bay Area Geographic Region and the 
southern end of the Central Coast vernal pool region. It contains all 
three of the PCEs and nine extant occurrences of the species. Unit 16 
generally is found south of Pinnacles, east of Hernandez Reservoir, 
north of Lonoak, and west of Murphy Flat. Land ownership is private. 
Threats include erosion and sedimentation, pesticide application, 
introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and mosquito fish, 
disturbance activities associated with development that may alter the 
hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland disturbance 
activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal habitat, and 
activities such as road development and widening that may develop 
barriers for dispersal.

Unit 17, Gloria Valley Unit, Monterey and San Benito Counties (Formerly 
Central Coast Region, Unit 4)

    This unit is comprised of 3,881 ac (1,571 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the East Bay Geographic Region. Unit 17 represents the northeastern 
portion of the range of the species within the Bay Area Geographic 
Region and the western area of the Central Coast vernal pool region. It 
contains all three of the PCEs and 10 extant occurrences of the 
species. Unit 17generally is located north of Soledad, east of the 
Pinnacles National Monument, south of Tres Pinos, and west of Gonzales. 
Land ownership is private. Threats include erosion and sedimentation, 
pesticide application, introduction of predators such as bullfrogs and 
mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with development that 
may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic habitat, upland 
disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia and dispersal 
habitat, and activities such as road development and widening that may 
develop barriers for dispersal.

Central Coast Geographic Region

    The Central Coast Geographic Region is located from Monterey County 
to northeastern San Luis Obispo County and northwestern Tulare County. 
The Central Coast Geographic Region is 3.6 million ac (1.5 million ha) 
in size and contains two critical habitat units for the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander that total approximately 
25,373 ac (10,268 ha). The critical habitat units within the Central 
Coast Geographic Region contain 14 extant occurrences of California 
tiger salamander that encompass a migration distance of 0.70 mi (1.1 
km) from each cluster of known extant occurrences that compose the 
critical habitat units. Critical habitat is designated within the 
Central Coast, Livermore, and Carrizo vernal pool regions. Special 
management requirements for these units include management of erosion 
and sedimentation, pesticide application, introduction of predators 
such as bullfrogs and mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated 
with development that may alter the hydrologic functioning of the 
aquatic habitat, upland disturbance activities that may alter upland 
refugia and dispersal habitat, and activities such as road development 
and widening that may develop barriers for dispersal.
    It is essential to conserve the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander within the range of habitat types to 
capture the geographic and genetic variability found in nature. 
Protecting a variety of occupied habitats and conditions will increase 
the ability of the species to survive random environmental (e.g. 
predators), natural (e.g. disease), demographic (e.g. low recruitment) 
or genetic (e.g. inbreeding) events. The critical habitat units within 
the Central Coast Geographic Region are essential to the conservation 
of the Central population of the California tiger salamander because 
these units collectively maintain the geographic, genetic, and genetic 
variability that currently exists within the range of the species. Some 
of the designated units are in pristine condition as indicated by the 
best scientific and commercial data, and habitat quality was another 
factor we considered in our determination of what habitat is essential.

Unit 1, Crazy Horse Canyon Unit, Monterey County

    This 4,341 ac (1,757 ha) unit was excluded from the final critical 
habitat designation. See section. See ``Relationship of Critical 
Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act'' for more information.

Unit 2, Pilarcitos Canyon Unit, Monterey County

    This 8,135 ac (3,292 ha) unit was excluded from the final critical 
habitat designation. See section. See ``Relationship of Critical 
Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act'' for more information.

Unit 3, Haystack Hill Unit, Monterey County

    This unit is comprised of 3,665 ac (1,483 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Coast Geographic Region. Unit 3 represents the center of 
the Central Coast Geographic Region and the northwestern area of the 
Central Coast vernal pool region. It contains all three of the PCEs and 
10 extant occurrences of the species. Unit 3 generally is located north 
of Soledad, east of Paloma Ridge, west of Jamesberg, and south of 
Carmel Valley. Land ownership within this unit is a mixture of private 
and

[[Page 49403]]

Hastings Natural History State Reserve. Threats include erosion and 
sedimentation, pesticide application, introduction of predators such as 
bullfrogs and mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with 
development that may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic 
habitat, upland disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia 
and dispersal habitat, and activities such as road development and 
widening that may develop barriers for dispersal.

Unit 4, Gloria Valley Unit, Monterey and San Benito Counties

    This unit has been moved to the East Bay Region based on new 
information on geographic boundaries (see unit 17 East Bay Region).

Units 5A and 5B, Fort Hunter Liggett Unit, Monterey County

    These subunits were excluded from the final critical habitat 
designation (15,395 ac (6,230 ha)). See ``Relationship of Critical 
Habitat to Military Lands--Application of Section 4(a)(3) and 
Exclusions under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act'' for more information.

Unit 6, Choice Valley, Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties

    This unit is comprised of 9,233 ac (3,736 ha) and is essential to 
the conservation of the species because it is needed to maintain the 
current geographic and ecological distribution of the species within 
the Central Coast Geographic Region. Unit 6 represents the very 
southern extension of the species' range in the Central Coast 
Geographic Region and is the only unit within the Carrizo vernal pool 
region. It contains all three of the PCEs and four extant occurrences 
of the species. Unit 6 generally is located in an area north of the 
Carrisa Highway, east of Antelope Valley, south of Cottonwood, and west 
of Shandon. Land ownership is private. Threats include erosion and 
sedimentation, pesticide application, introduction of predators such as 
bullfrogs and mosquito fish, disturbance activities associated with 
development that may alter the hydrologic functioning of the aquatic 
habitat, upland disturbance activities that may alter upland refugia 
and dispersal habitat, and activities such as road development and 
widening that may develop barriers for dispersal.

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7 of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or carry out are 
not likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. In our 
regulations at 50 CFR 402.02, we define destruction or adverse 
modification as ``a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably 
diminishes the value of critical habitat for both the survival and 
recovery of a listed species. Such alterations include, but are not 
limited to, alterations adversely modifying any of those physical or 
biological features that were the basis for determining the habitat to 
be critical.''
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is 
proposed or listed as endangered or threatened and with respect to its 
critical habitat, if any is proposed or designated. Regulations 
implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are 
codified at 50 CFR part 402.
    Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with 
us on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of a proposed species or result in destruction or adverse modification 
of critical habitat. Conference reports provide conservation 
recommendations to assist the agency in eliminating conflicts that may 
be caused by the proposed action. We may issue a formal conference 
report if requested by a Federal agency. Formal conference reports on 
proposed critical habitat contain an opinion that is prepared according 
to 50 CFR 402.14, as if critical habitat were designated. We may adopt 
the formal conference report as the biological opinion when the 
critical habitat is designated, if no substantial new information or 
changes in the action alter the content of the opinion (see 50 CFR 
402.10(d)). The conservation recommendations in a conference report are 
advisory.
    If a species is listed or critical habitat is designated, section 
7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they 
authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of such a species or to destroy or adversely modify 
its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species 
or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) 
must enter into consultation with us. Through this consultation, the 
action agency ensures that their actions do not destroy or adversely 
modify critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat, we also provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to the 
project, if any are identifiable. ``Reasonable and prudent 
alternatives'' are defined at 50 CFR 402.02 as alternative actions 
identified during consultation that can be implemented in a manner 
consistent with the intended purpose of the action, that are consistent 
with the scope of the Federal agency's legal authority and 
jurisdiction, that are economically and technologically feasible, and 
that the Director believes would avoid destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat. Reasonable and prudent alternatives 
can vary from slight project modifications to extensive redesign or 
relocation of the project. Costs associated with implementing a 
reasonable and prudent alternative are similarly variable.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where critical 
habitat is subsequently designated and the Federal agency has retained 
discretionary involvement or control over the action or such 
discretionary involvement or control is authorized by law. 
Consequently, some Federal agencies may request reinitiation of 
consultation or conference with us on actions for which formal 
consultation has been completed, if those actions may affect designated 
critical habitat or adversely modify or destroy critical habitat.
    Federal activities that may affect California tiger salamanders or 
their critical habitat will require section 7 consultation. Activities 
on private or State lands requiring a permit from a Federal agency, 
such as a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 
404 of the Clean Water Act, a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit from the 
Service, or some other Federal action, including funding (e.g., Federal 
Highway Administration or Federal Emergency Management Agency funding), 
will also continue to be subject to the section 7 consultation process. 
Federal actions not affecting listed species or critical habitat and 
actions on non-Federal and private lands that are not federally funded, 
authorized, or permitted do not require section 7 consultation.
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and 
describe in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical 
habitat those activities involving a Federal action that may destroy or 
adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such 
designation. Activities that may destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat may also jeopardize the continued existence of the California 
tiger salamander. Federal activities that, when carried out, may 
adversely affect critical habitat for the California tiger salamander 
include, but are not limited to:

[[Page 49404]]

    (1) Actions that would regulate activities affecting waters of the 
United States by the Army Corps under section 404 of the Clean Water 
Act;
    (2) Actions that change water flow regimes, damming, diversion, and 
channelization by any Federal agency;
    (3) Actions that include road construction and maintenance, right-
of-way designation, and regulation funded or permitted by the Federal 
Highway Administration;
    (4) Voluntary conservation measures by private landowners funded by 
the Natural Resources Conservation Service;
    (5) Actions regulating airport improvement activities by the 
Federal Aviation Administration;
    (6) Licensing of construction of communication sites by the Federal 
Communications Commission; and
    (7) Funding of activities by the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
Federal Highway Administration, or any other Federal agency.
    We consider all critical habitat units to be occupied by the 
species at the time of listing. In this designation, we included only 
areas which were occupied at the time of listing. These areas were 
identified by documented extant species occurrences in CNDDB (2004) at 
the time of listing. We consider all of these units included in this 
final designation to be essential to the conservation of the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander because they represent 
the geographic, genetic, and ecological variability found in nature, 
but do not include all areas occupied by the species at the time of 
listing. Collectively, they provide sufficient quantity, quality, and 
distribution of habitat for the Central population of the California 
tiger salamander to survive random environmental (e.g. predators), 
natural (e.g. disease), demographic (e.g. low recruitment) or genetic 
(e.g. inbreeding) events.

Application of Section 3(5)(A) and 4(a)(3) and Exclusions Under Section 
4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 3(5)(A) of the Act defines critical habitat as the specific 
areas within the geographic area occupied by the species on which are 
found those physical and biological features (i) essential to the 
conservation of the species and (ii) which may require special 
management considerations or protection. Therefore, areas within the 
geographic area occupied by the species that do not contain the 
features essential for the conservation of the species are not, by 
definition, critical habitat. Similarly, areas within the geographic 
area occupied by the species that do not require special management or 
protection also are not, by definition, critical habitat. To determine 
whether an area requires special management, we first determine if the 
essential features located there generally require special management 
to address applicable threats. If those features do not require special 
management, or if they do in general but not for the particular area in 
question because of the existence of an adequate management plan or for 
some other reason, then the area does not require special management.
    We consider a current plan to provide adequate management or 
protection if it meets two criteria: (1) The plan provides management, 
protection or enhancement to the PCEs at least equivalent to that 
provided by a critical habitat designation; and (2) the Service has 
reasonable expectation the management, protection or enhancement 
actions will continue for the foreseeable future.
    Section 318 of fiscal year 2004 the National Defense Authorization 
Act (Pub. L. No. 108-136) amended the Endangered Species Act to address 
the relationship of Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans 
(INRMPs) to critical habitat by adding a new section 4(a)(3)(B). This 
provision prohibits the Service from designating as critical habitat 
any lands or other geographical areas owned or controlled by the 
Department of Defense, or designated for its use, that are subject to 
an INRMP prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), 
if the Secretary of the Interior determines in writing that such plan 
provides a benefit to the species for which critical habitat is 
proposed for designation.
    Further, section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that critical habitat 
shall be designated, and revised, on the basis of the best available 
scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, 
national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying 
any particular area as critical habitat. An area may be excluded from 
critical habitat if it is determined that the benefits of 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.
    In our critical habitat designations, we use both the provisions 
outlined in sections 3(5)(A) and 4(b)(2) of the Act to evaluate those 
specific areas that we are consider proposing designating as critical 
habitat as well as for those areas that are formally proposed for 
designation as critical habitat. Lands we have found do not meet the 
definition of critical habitat under section 3(5)(A) or have excluded 
pursuant to section 4(b)(2) include, but are not limited to, those 
covered by the following types of plans if they provide assurances that 
the conservation measures they outline will be implemented and 
effective such as: (1) Legally operative HCPs that cover the species, 
(2) draft HCPs that cover the species and have undergone public review 
and comment (i.e., pending HCPs), (3) Tribal conservation plans that 
cover the species, (4) State conservation plans that cover the species, 
and (5) National Wildlife Refuge System Comprehensive Conservation 
Plans.
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act authorizes us to issue permits for 
the take of listed species incidental to otherwise lawful activities. 
An incidental take permit application must be supported by a HCP that 
identifies conservation measures that the permittee agrees to implement 
for the species to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the requested 
incidental take. We exclude non-Federal public lands and private lands 
that are covered by an existing operative HCP and executed 
implementation agreement (IA) under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act from 
designated critical habitat if the benefits of exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of inclusion as discussed in section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Before addressing the specifics of the benefits of the inclusion 
and the benefits of exclusion of particular areas of the proposed 
designation, we address some general points regarding the uncertainty 
of describing those benefits.
    The key to the benefits of inclusion, and a significant factor in 
the benefits of exclusion, is the application of the prohibition of 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat as a result of 
a federally-related action. The attendant requirement for action 
agencies to consult with the Service in order to avoid adverse 
modification of critical habitat can result in the modification of the 
federal action. Any benefit to the species (or other benefit) caused by 
such a project modification to avoid adverse modification of critical 
habitat in a particular area is a benefit of designating that area as 
critical habitat. Conversely, those project modifications can have 
costs, negative consequences, or result in a loss of other benefits to 
the species or society. Maintenance of the benefits that might 
otherwise be forgone and avoidance of costs can be a primary benefit of 
excluding an area from critical habitat.

[[Page 49405]]

    There is necessarily some uncertainty involved in considering the 
benefits accruing from either inclusion or exclusion of areas in the 
designation, as required by section 4(b)(2), due to the fact that the 
Service must anticipate the future federal actions and the results of 
future consultations all of which are necessarily speculative. Further 
uncertainty was created when the Ninth Circuit in Gifford Pinchot Task 
Force v. USFWS, 378 F. 3d 1059 (Ninth Cir. 2004) invalidated the 
Service's regulatory definition of ``destruction or adverse 
modification'' at 50 CFR 402.02 As a result, the consequences of 
designation are more difficult than ever to predict as Service cannot 
rely on decades of factual information based on prior experience.
    While the Service has not yet promulgated a new regulatory 
definition, the Director has issued guidance to help ensure that 
section 7 consultations undertaken in the interim are consistent with 
Gifford Pinchot.
    Regarding the relationship between the benefits identified and 
actions that may take place in the absence of critical habitat the 
Service as a general matter engages in a broad consideration of the 
impacts of the designation. However, when ultimately determining what 
areas, if any, to exclude from a final designation, the Service only 
weighs those impacts that will actually be affected by the decision of 
whether or not to exclude the area.
    Section 4(b)(2) requires the Secretary to designate critical 
habitat ``after taking into consideration the economic impact, the 
impact on national security, and any other relevant impact, of 
specifying any particular area as critical habitat.'' The statute 
continues by authorizing the Secretary to ``exclude any area from 
critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion 
outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical 
habitat,'' unless the exclusion will result in extinction of the 
species.
    Admittedly, due to the uncertainties discussed above, as well as 
the additional uncertainty in assigning potential impacts among a 
variety of causes, it is more difficult to identify those impacts 
attributable solely to the designation of critical habitat than to 
identify impacts from section 7 generally, or, even more broadly, 
conservation efforts for the species. Our analysis relies on reasonable 
assumptions about the relationship of the incremental impacts of the 
designation as well as any broader effects we have identified. In many 
cases, lacking a significant factual basis for the impacts due to the 
short time the newer Gifford Pinchot standard has been in effect, we 
rely on qualitative descriptions of those incremental impacts.

Relationship of Critical Habitat to Military Lands--Application of 
Section 4(a)(3)

    The Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997 (Sikes Act) (16 U.S.C. 670a) 
required each military installation that includes land and water 
suitable for the conservation and management of natural resources to 
complete, by November 17, 2001, an Integrated Natural Resource 
Management Plan (INRMP). An INRMP integrates implementation of the 
military mission of the installation with stewardship of the natural 
resources found on military lands. Each INRMP includes an assessment of 
the ecological needs on the installation, including the need to provide 
for the conservation of listed species; a statement of goals and 
priorities; a detailed description of management actions to be 
implemented to provide for the ecological needs of listed species; and 
a monitoring and adaptive management plan. We consult with the military 
on the development and implementation of INRMPs for installations with 
listed species. We are prohibited from designating as critical habitat 
any lands or other geographical areas owned or controlled by the DOD, 
or designated for its use, that are subject to an INRMP prepared under 
section 101 of the Sikes Act, if the Secretary of the Interior 
determines, in writing, that such plan provides a benefit to the 
species for which critical habitat is proposed for designation. In 
order to provide a benefit to the species, the INRMP must meet the 
following three criteria: (1) A current INRMP must be complete and 
provide a benefit to the species; (2) the plan must provide assurances 
that the conservation management strategies will be implemented; and 
(3) the plan must provide assurances that the conservation management 
strategies will be effective, by providing for periodic monitoring and 
revisions (adaptive management) as necessary. An INRMP integrates 
implementation of the military mission of the installation with 
stewardship of the natural resources found there. Each INRMP includes 
an assessment of the ecological needs on the military installation, 
including conservation provisions for listed species; a statement of 
goals and priorities; a detailed description of management actions to 
be implemented to provide for these ecological needs; and a monitoring 
and adaptive management plan.
    We have exempted lands owned by Naval Weapons Station-Concord, Camp 
Parks, and Fort Hunter Liggett from the final critical habitat 
designation pursuant to section 4(a)(3) of the Act based on legally 
operative INRMPs that provide a benefit to the California tiger 
salamander. This includes portions of Central Valley Region Units 14 
and 18 and portions of Central Coast Units 5a and 5b. Detailed 
discussions of the exemptions of military lands are discussed by 
installation below.

Naval Weapons Station--Concord and Camp Parks

    The Department of the Navy, Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach 
Detachment, Concord (Detachment Concord) (Contra Costa County), and the 
Parks Reserve Force Training Area (PRFTA) (Alameda and Contra Costa 
Counties) (referred to as the Concord Naval Weapons Station and Camp 
Parks respectively in the proposed rule) have approved INRMPs in place 
that provide a benefit for the California tiger salamander. These two 
military installations overlap portions of Central Valley Region units 
14 and 18.
    The Naval Weapons Station-Concord completed its INRMP in 1997, and 
it was approved by the Service in July 2003. Conservation measures 
included in the INRMP for the California tiger salamander at Detachment 
Concord include: (1) Restricting military training and construction in 
aquatic habitats known to support the salamander; (2) providing 
information and education programs to base personnel and the public 
regarding sensitive species and their habitats; (3) applying pesticides 
for burrowing rodent control in areas where salamanders may occur in 
accordance with those measures outlined in the final listing rule for 
this species; and (4) providing funding and support for California 
tiger salamander population census and habitat evaluation surveys. In 
addition, the entire area proposed as critical habitat is being leased 
for grazing in accordance with Natural Resource Conservation Service 
guidelines. The purpose of the grazing program is to assist in 
controlling noxious weeds, and the proceeds received from the program 
assist in funding natural resource management programs at Detachment 
Concord. The Secretary has determined that this INRMP provided a 
benefit to the California tiger salamander, and therefore we are 
exempting these lands from this critical habitat designation pursuant 
to section 4(a)(3) of the Act.
    Camp Parks completed its INRMP, and it was approved by the Service 
through a section 7 consultation in July

[[Page 49406]]

2003. The INRMP provides conservation measures for the California tiger 
salamander and provides management direction on conserving listed and 
imperiled species and their habitats on the base. In addition, Camp 
Parks actively consults with us on all actions that may affect 
California tiger salamander on the base and has implemented 
conservation measures as recommended. Camp Parks has worked with us and 
developed an Endangered Species Management Plan (ESMP) as an appendix 
to its INRMP. The ESMP was drafted in part for the California tiger 
salamander and includes nonnative predator control and other 
conservation measures that benefit the salamander. Camp Parks has 
already implemented several portions of the ESMP and had done so prior 
to the final approval of the INRMP. Therefore, we have determined that 
the INRMP, as implemented, provides a conservation benefit to the 
California tiger salamander. As a result, the lands essential to the 
conservation of the California tiger salamander on Camp Parks are 
exempt from this designation of critical habitat pursuant to section 
4(a)(3) of the Act.

Fort Hunter-Liggett

    The Department of the Army, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Hunter-
Liggett (Monterey County) has a completed INRMP in place that provides 
a benefit to the California tiger salamander. We completed formal and 
informal consultations on the effects of the INRMP on listed species in 
March 2005. Central Coast Units 5a and 5b occur almost entirely on land 
managed by Fort Hunter-Liggett. Fort Hunter-Liggett is an unusual case, 
in that the best available information (Doty in litt. 2004) indicates 
that all tiger salamanders there are hybrids between California tiger 
salamanders and eastern tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum). However, the 
INRMP includes commitments by the Army to implement appropriate 
management and coordinate with the Service and researchers regarding 
research on and management of hybrid tiger salamanders. The Army is 
also planning to prepare an Endangered Species Management Plan that 
will address both the California tiger salamander and the vernal pool 
fairy shrimp. This plan should include provisions to protect vernal 
pool habitat and to cooperatively plan and fund research on hybrid 
tiger salamander management at Fort Hunter-Liggett. Because such 
research could be helpful in developing techniques to reduce 
hybridization as a threat to pure native California tiger salamanders, 
we believe that actions at Fort Hunter-Liggett will provide a 
conservation benefit for the California tiger salamander, even though 
it is unlikely that pure populations remain there. Therefore, the lands 
essential to the conservation of the California tiger salamander on 
Fort Hunter-Liggett are exempt from this designation of critical 
habitat pursuant to section 4(a)(3) of the Act.

Relationship of Critical Habitat to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge 
Land--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex
    Portions of the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco 
National Wildlife Refuge were included in the proposed designation of 
critical habitat (East Bay Region Unit 4, Alameda County, 275 ac). A 
Draft Habitat Management Plan (HMP) has been developed by the refuge 
staff for the California tiger salamander and its habitat on the 
refuge. The Draft HMP would integrate seasonal cattle grazing, 
prescribed burning, vegetation mowing, and herbicide treatment 
enhancement measures to assist in the conservation of several listed 
species, including the California tiger salamander. Vegetation 
management through seasonal livestock grazing and properly timed 
prescribed burning is anticipated to promote the establishment of 
native plants and lengthen the vernal pool inundation period, thereby 
enhancing breeding habitat for the California tiger salamander. 
Livestock will be excluded from vernal pools that support high numbers 
of California tiger salamanders until monitoring demonstrates that 
grazing is beneficial to these species. Mowing and herbicide spraying 
is expected to replace isolated stands of unpalatable, nonnative 
vegetation with shorter plant species, which would benefit dispersing 
or migrating California tiger salamander.
    An intra-Service section 7 consultation was conducted on the Draft 
HMP and a concurrence memorandum was completed in June 2003 (Service 
2003). The memorandum stated that the management activities would not 
likely adversely affect the California tiger salamander. The Draft HMP 
is expected to be finalized in 2005. The remainder of the unit has 
undergone section 7 consultation (Service 2004) and either has been 
developed or was part of the on-site avoidance for the project and has 
been protected through conservation easements and management measures 
which have been put in place to conserve the California tiger 
salamander on-site. These lands subsequently were deeded to the Refuge 
and will be managed under the HMP. All essential habitat for the 
California tiger salamander within the San Francisco Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge is excluded under section 4(b)(2) of the Act from 
critical habitat based on the conservation benefits provided to the 
California tiger salamander under the Refuge's draft management plan, 
and conservation easements and ongoing management that has been put in 
place on lands that have been deeded to the Refuge through the section 
7 process.
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex
    Approximately 16,786 ac (6,793 ha) of land are proposed to be 
designated as critical habitat for the California tiger salamander 
within the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in western Merced 
County. Management goals and objectives of the Refuge include the 
following objectives that provide conservation benefit for several 
federally listed species that have been documented on the Refuge, 
including the California tiger salamander: (1) Managing and providing 
habitat for endangered or sensitive species; (2) maintaining and 
enhancing the overall biodiversity associated with the existing mix of 
vegetative communities; and, (3) providing an area for compatible 
management oriented research and education/interpretation and 
recreational programs which may include observation, photography, 
hunting. Building upon the concepts originally outlined in the San 
Joaquin Basin Action Plan, a detailed habitat restoration plan has been 
developed for the West Bear Creek Unit. Fish and Wildlife Service staff 
at San Luis NWR directed all aspects of the project planning, design, 
and implementation. Local contractors and Refuge field crews did the 
actual construction and wetlands development. Refuge staff and 
volunteers implemented the native grassland and woody riparian habitat 
restoration. In addition, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish 
and Game, under a cooperative agreement called the San Joaquin Basin 
Action Plan, are in the process of jointly developing a habitat 
acquisition and wetland enhancement project in approximately 23,500 
acres of lands within the Northern San Joaquin River Basin. All 
essential habitat for the Central population of California tiger 
salamander within the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex is 
excluded under section 4(b)(2) of the

[[Page 49407]]

Act from critical habitat based on the current management goals of the 
refuge to protect and enhance vernal pools and wetlands for threatened 
and endangered species, including the California tiger salamander.
(1) Benefits of Inclusion
    There is minimal benefit from designating critical habitat for the 
California tiger salamander on National Wildlife Refuge lands because 
these lands are already managed for the conservation of wildlife. The 
primary benefit to designation of critical habitat is the requirement 
that federal agencies consult with the Service to ensure that their 
actions are not likely to result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat. If critical habitat were designated 
in these areas, any future consultations would have to be undertaken 
consistent with the decision in Gifford Pinchot. It is highly unlikely 
that any federal action would be proposed, much less take place, that 
would appreciably diminish the value of the habitat on the refuges for 
the conservation of the California tiger salamander. As discussed in 
detail above, a primary purpose of these refuges is to conserve fish, 
wildlife, and plants and their habitat, such as the California tiger 
salamander. As a result, we do not anticipate any action on either 
refuge would destroy or adversely modify the areas proposed as critical 
habitat. Therefore, including those areas in the final designation will 
not lead to any changes to actions on the refuges to avoid destroying 
or adversely modifying that habitat.
    Moreover, both refuges are developing comprehensive resource 
management plans that will provide for protection and management of all 
trust resources, including federally listed species and sensitive 
natural habitats. These plans, and many of the management actions 
undertaken to implement them, have already undergone or will have to 
undergo consultation under section 7 of the Act and be evaluated for 
their consistency with the conservation needs of listed species. 
Another possible benefit of including these lands as critical habitat 
would be to educate the public regarding the conservation value of 
these vernal pool areas and the Central population of California tiger 
salamander. However, giving special management priority and emphasis to 
the conservation of listed species, and public education and 
interpretation, are priorities already established for the National 
Wildlife Refuge System by the National Wildlife Refuge Administration 
Act of 1966, as amended, and the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997. We believe that critical habitat designation 
provides little gain in the way of increased recognition for special 
habitat values on lands that are expressly managed to protect and 
enhance those values. Therefore, we conclude that the California tiger 
salamander currently is realizing conservation benefits from existing 
management on National Wildlife Refuges, and that designation of 
critical habitat will not have any appreciable effect to either cause 
the modification of a Federal action to avoid adverse modification, or 
on the development or implementation of public education programs on 
the two National Wildlife Refuge Complexes.
(2) Benefits of Exclusion
    While the consultation requirement associated with critical habitat 
on National Wildlife Refuge land adds little benefit, it would require 
the use of resources to ensure regulatory compliance that could 
otherwise be used for on-the-ground management of targeted listed or 
sensitive species. Therefore, the benefits of exclusion include the 
reduction of administrative costs of section 7 compliance by 
eliminating the need for reinitiating the section 7 consultation 
process to address newly-designated critical habitat on areas which 
have undergone consultation in the past, and eliminating the need for a 
separate analysis of the effects of an action on critical habitat in 
future consultations.
(3) The Benefits of Exclusion Outweigh the Benefits of Inclusion
    The lands essential for the conservation of the California tiger 
salamander on the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex 
and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge complex already are publicly 
owned and managed to conserve fish, wildlife, and plants and their 
habitats, including the California tiger salamander. In addition, 
environmental education and interpretation are among the priority 
public uses the refuge system. As a result, we conclude that the 
benefits of excluding National Wildlife Refuge lands from the final 
critical habitat designation outweigh the benefits of including them. 
Exclusion of these lands will not increase the likelihood that 
management activities would be proposed which would appreciably 
diminish the value of the habitat for conservation of the species. 
Designation of critical habitat on the San Francisco and San Luis 
National Wildlife Refuge Complexes provides redundant, but no 
additional increment of conservation value for the California tiger 
salamander in terms of management emphasis or public recognition or 
education than currently exists. Further, such exclusion will not 
result in the extinction of the California tiger salamander. In 
accordance with section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we have excluded lands 
within the San Francisco Bay and San Luis National Wildlife Refuge 
Complexes from final critical habitat. The total amount of refuge land 
excluded from the final designation is approximately 17,601 ac (7,123 
ha).

Relationship of Critical Habitat to State Managed Ecological Reserve 
Land--Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    The State of California establishes Ecological Reserves ``to 
protect threatened or endangered native plants, wildlife, or aquatic 
organisms or specialized habitat types, both terrestrial and nonmarine 
aquatic, or large heterogeneous natural gene pools'' (Fish and Game 
Code section 580). They are to ``be preserved in a natural condition, 
or which are to be provided some level of protection as determined by 
the commission, for the benefit of the general public to observe native 
flora and fauna and for scientific study or research'' (Fish and Game 
Code section 584).
    Take of species except as authorized by State Fish and Game Code is 
prohibited on both State Ecological Reserves (section 583). While 
public uses are permitted on most ecological reserves, such uses are 
only allowed at times and in areas where listed and sensitive species 
are not adversely affected (CDFG in litt. 2003). The management 
objectives for these State lands include: ``to specifically manage for 
targeted listed and sensitive species to provide protection that is 
equivalent to that provided by designation of critical habitat; to 
provide a net benefit to the species through protection and management 
of the land; to ensure adequate information, resources, and funds are 
available to properly manage the habitat; and to establish conservation 
objectives, adaptive management, monitoring and reporting processes to 
assure an effective management program * * *'' (CDFG in litt. 2003).
    We proposed as critical habitat, but have now considered for 
exclusion from the final designation, as described below, the 
California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) owned lands within the 
Calhoun Cut and Stone Corral Ecological Reserves (Portion of Unit 2 
Central Valley Region, and Unit 4 Southern San Joaquin Region).

[[Page 49408]]

(1) Benefits of Inclusion
    There is minimal benefit from designating critical habitat for the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander within the 
ecological reserves because these lands are already managed for the 
conservation of wildlife. The primary benefit to designation of 
critical habitat is the requirement that federal agencies consult with 
the Service to ensure that their actions are not likely to result in 
the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. If 
critical habitat were designated in these areas, any future 
consultations would have to be undertaken consistent with the decision 
in Gifford Pinchot. It is highly unlikely that any federal action would 
be proposed, much less take place, that would appreciably diminish the 
value of the habitat on the State ecological reserves for the 
conservation of the California tiger salamander. As discussed in detail 
above, a primary purpose of these reserves is to ``specifically manage 
for targeted listed and sensitive species to provide protection that is 
equivalent to that provided by designation of critical habitat; to 
provide a net benefit to the species through protection and management 
of the land; to ensure adequate information, resources, and funds are 
available to properly manage the habitat; and to establish conservation 
objectives, adaptive management, monitoring and reporting processes to 
assure an effective management program * * *'' (CDFG in litt. 2003). As 
a result, we do not anticipate any action on either State-managed 
ecological reserves which would destroy or adversely modify the areas 
proposed as critical habitat. Therefore, including those areas in the 
final designation will not lead to any changes to actions on the 
ecological reserves to avoid destroying or adversely modifying that 
habitat.
    One possible benefit of including these lands as critical habitat 
would be to educate the public regarding the conservation value of 
these vernal pool areas and the Central population of California tiger 
salamander. However, critical habitat designation provides little gain 
in the way of increased recognition for special habitat values on lands 
that are expressly managed to protect and enhance those values. 
Additionally, the designation of critical habitat will not have any 
appreciable effect on the development or implementation of public 
education programs on these areas.
    The designation of critical habitat would require consultation with 
us for any action undertaken, authorized, or funded by a Federal agency 
that may affect the species or its designated critical habitat. 
However, the management objectives for State ecological reserves 
already include specifically managing for targeted listed and sensitive 
species (CDFG in litt. 2003) such as the California tiger salamander; 
therefore, the benefit from additional consultation is likely also to 
be minimal.
(2) Benefits of Exclusion
    While the consultation requirement associated with critical habitat 
on State-managed ecological reserves adds little benefit, it would 
require the use of resources to ensure regulatory compliance that could 
otherwise be used for on-the-ground management of targeted listed or 
sensitive species. Therefore, the benefits of exclusion include the 
reduction of administrative costs of section 7 compliance by 
eliminating the need for reinitiating the section 7 consultation 
process to address newly-designated critical habitat on areas which 
have undergone consultation in the past, and eliminating the need for a 
separate analysis of the effects of an action on critical habitat in 
future consultations.
(3) The Benefits of Exclusion Outweigh the Benefits of Inclusion
    The lands essential for the conservation of the Califonria tiger 
salamander on the Calhoun Cut and Stone Corral Ecological Reserves 
already are publicly owned and managed for targeted listed and 
sensitive species, including the California tiger salamander. In 
addition, the State has informed us that funds are available to 
properly manage the habitat; and to establish conservation objectives, 
adaptive management, monitoring and reporting processes to assure an 
effective management program as described above. The designation of 
critical habitat will not have any appreciable effect on the 
development or implementation of public education programs because 
these lands already are publicly owned and critical habitat designation 
provides little gain in the way of increased recognition for special 
habitat values on lands that are expressly managed to protect and 
enhance those values.
    Exclusion of these lands will not increase the likelihood that 
management activities would be proposed which would appreciably 
diminish the value of the habitat for conservation of the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander. Thus, designation of 
critical habitat on the Calhoun Cut and Stone Corral Ecological 
Reserves provides redundant, but no additional increment of 
conservation value for the California tiger salamander in terms of 
management emphasis or public recognition than currently exists. We 
therefore conclude that the benefits of excluding the Calhoun Cut and 
Stone Corral Ecological Reserves and from the final critical habitat 
designation outweigh the benefits of including them. Further, such 
exclusion will not result in the extinction of the California tiger 
salamander. In accordance with section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we have 
excluded California Department of Fish and Game owned lands within the 
Calhoun Cut and Stone Corral Ecological Reserves in portions of Unit 2 
(Central Valley Region) and Unit 4 (Southern San Joaquin Region). The 
total amount of State-owned lands excluded within ecological reserves 
is approximately 1,289 ac (522 ha).

Relationship of Critical Habitat to Habitat Conservation Plan Lands--
Exclusions Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires us to consider other relevant 
impacts, in addition to economic impacts, when designating critical 
habitat. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act authorizes us to issue permits 
for the take of listed wildlife species incidental to otherwise lawful 
activities. Development of an HCP is a prerequisite for the issuance of 
an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. 
An incidental take permit application must be supported by an HCP that 
identifies conservation measures that the permittee agrees to implement 
for the species to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the permitted 
incidental take. HCPs vary in size and may provide for incidental take 
coverage and conservation management for one or many federally-listed 
species. Additionally, more than one applicant may participate in the 
development and implementation of an HCP. Large regional HCPs expand 
upon the basic requirements set forth in section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act 
because they reflect a voluntary, cooperative approach to large-scale 
habitat and species conservation planning. Many of the large regional 
HCPs in southern California have been, or are being, developed to 
provide for the conservation of numerous federally-listed species and 
unlisted sensitive species and the habitat that provides for their 
biological needs. These HCPs are designed to proactively implement 
conservation actions to address future projects that are anticipated to 
occur

[[Page 49409]]

within the planning area of the HCP. However, given the broad scope of 
these regional HCPs, not all projects envisioned to potentially occur 
may actually take place. The State of California also has a NCCP 
process that is very similar to the federal HCP process and is often 
completed in conjunction with the HCP process. We recognize that many 
of the projects with HCPs also have State-issued NCCPs. In the case of 
approved regional HCPs and accompanying Implementing Agreements (IAs) 
(e.g., those sponsored by cities, counties, or other local 
jurisdictions) that provide for incidental take coverage, a primary 
goal of these regional plans is to provide for the protection and 
management of habitat essential for species conservation, while 
directing development to other areas. We considered, but did not 
designate as critical habitat, on lands within the Draft East Contra 
Costa County HCP under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. This draft HCP 
includes Central Valley Region Units 14, 15, 16, and a portion of Unit 
17. We believe the benefits of excluding lands within this draft HCP 
from the final critical habitat designation will outweigh the benefits 
of including them. The following represents our rationale for excluding 
these areas.

Draft East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan (ECCHCP)

    The draft ECCHCP has been drafted and we expect it to be available 
for public review and comment in the fall of 2005. We expect a 
finalized plan before the end of 2006. Participants in this HCP include 
the County of Contra Costa; the cities of Brentwood, Clayton, Oakley, 
and Pittsburg, California; the Contra Costa Water District; and the 
East Bay Regional Park District. The draft ECCHCP encompasses the 
eastern portion of Contra Costa County from approximately west of 
Concord to Sand Mound Slough and Clifton Court Forebay on the east. The 
draft ECCHCP is also a subregional plan under the State's Natural 
Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) process and was developed in 
cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game. The draft 
ECCHCP identifies the California tiger salamander as a covered species 
and has identified areas where growth and development are expected to 
occur, as well as several conservation measures, including (1) 
preserving between 24,100-28,800 ac and restoring between 116-118 ac of 
California tiger salamander habitat; (2) preserving major habitat 
connections linking existing public lands; (3) incorporating a range of 
habitat and population management and enhancement measures including 
monitoring; (4) fully mitigating the impacts to covered species; (5) 
maintaining ecosystem processes; and, (6) contributing to the recovery 
of covered species. When the conservation measures are implemented they 
will benefit California tiger salamander conservation by preserving and 
restoring existing wetland and upland habitat and creating new wetland 
habitat for the species. We expect that the draft ECCHCP will provide 
substantial protection for all three of the primary constituent 
elements for the Central population of the California tiger salamander, 
and that protected lands will receive special management they require 
through funding mechanisms that will be implemented under the ECCHCP.
(1) Benefits of Inclusion
    The primary benefit to designation of critical habitat is the 
requirement that federal agencies consult with the Service to ensure 
that their actions are not likely to result in the destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat. If critical habitat were 
designated in these areas, primary constituent elements in these areas 
would be protected from destruction or adverse modification by federal 
actions using a conservation standard based on the Ninth Circuit's 
decision in Gifford Pinchot. This requirement would be in addition to 
the requirement that proposed Federal actions would not be likely to 
jeopardize the species' continued existence. However, inasmuch as these 
areas currently are occupied by the species, consultation for 
activities which might adversely impact the species, including possibly 
significant habitat modification (see definition of ``harm'' at 50 CFR 
17.3) would be required, even without the critical habitat designation. 
The requirement to conduct such consultation would occur regardless of 
whether the authorization for incidental take occurs under either 
section 7 or section 10 of the Act.
    As discussed above, we expect the ECCHCP to provide substantial 
protection of the PCEs and special management of essential habitat for 
the Central population of the California tiger salamander on ECCHCP 
conservation lands. We expect the ECCHCP to provide a greater level of 
management for the Central population of the California tiger 
salamander on private lands than would designation of critical habitat 
on private lands. Moreover, inclusion of these non-Federal lands as 
critical habitat would not necessitate additional management and 
conservation activities that would exceed the approved ECCHCP and its 
implementing agreement. As a result, we do not anticipate any action on 
these lands would destroy or adversely modify the areas proposed as 
critical habitat. Therefore, we do not expect that including those 
areas in the final designation will lead to any changes to actions on 
the conservation lands to avoid destroying or adversely modifying that 
habitat.
    A benefit of including an area as critical habitat designation is 
the education of landowners and the public regarding the potential 
conservation value of these areas. The inclusion of an area as critical 
habitat may focus and contribute to conservation efforts by other 
parties by clearly delineating areas of high conservation values for 
certain species. However, we believe that this conservation benefit has 
largely been achieved for the California tiger salamander through the 
hearings and workshops that have been held in the East Bay area 
associated with the listing of the species and subsequent proposal to 
designate critical habitat.
(2) Benefits of Exclusion
    The benefits of excluding lands within HCPs from critical habitat 
designation include relieving landowners, communities, and counties of 
any additional regulatory burden that might be imposed by a critical 
habitat designation. Many HCPs, particularly large regional HCPs such 
as the ECCHCP, take many years to develop and, upon completion, become 
regional conservation plans that are consistent with the recovery 
objectives for listed species that are covered within the plan area. In 
fact, designating critical habitat in areas covered by a pending HCP 
could result in the loss of species' benefits if participants abandon 
the voluntary HCP process, in part because of the strength of the 
perceived additional regulatory compliance that such designation would 
entail. The time and cost of regulatory compliance for a critical 
habitat designation do not have to be quantified for them to be 
perceived as additional Federal regulatory burden sufficient to 
discourage continued voluntary participation in plans targeting listed 
species conservation.
    Furthermore, an HCP or NCCP/HCP application must itself be 
consulted upon. Such a consultation would review the effects of all 
activities covered by the HCP which might adversely impact the species, 
including possibly significant habitat modification (see definition of 
``harm'' at 50 CFR 17.3), even without the critical habitat 
designation. In addition, Federal actions

[[Page 49410]]

not covered by the HCP in areas occupied by listed species would still 
require consultation under section 7 of the Act and would be reviewed 
for possibly significant habitat modification in accordance with the 
definition of harm referenced above. This standard also would apply to 
all consultation conducted in the interim period prior to finalization 
of the ECCHCP, whether incidental take exemption is provided under 
section 7 or section 10 of the Act.
(3) Benefits of Exclusion Outweigh the Benefits of Inclusion
    We have reviewed and evaluated for the California tiger salamander. 
Based on this evaluation, we find that the benefits of exclusion of the 
lands essential to the conservation of the California tiger salamander 
in the planning area for the draft ECCHCP outweigh the benefits of 
including Central Valley Region, Units 14, 15, 16 and a portion of Unit 
17 as critical habitat.
    The exclusion of these lands from critical habitat will help 
preserve the partnerships that we have developed with the local 
jurisdiction and project proponent in the development of the ECCHCP. 
The educational benefits of critical habitat, including informing the 
public of areas that are essential for the long term conservation of 
the species, are still accomplished from material provided on our Web 
site and through public notice and comment procedures required to 
establish the ECCHCP. The public also has been informed through the 
public participation that occurs during the development of this 
regional HCP. For these reasons, we believe that designating critical 
habitat has little benefit in areas covered by the draft ECCHCP. We do 
not believe that this exclusion would result in the extinction of the 
species because the draft ECCHCP seeks to: (1) Preserve approximately 
34,800 ac and restore between 234-368 ac of habitat that contains the 
PCEs and is essential to the conservation of the Central population of 
the California tiger salamander; (2) preserve major habitat connections 
linking existing public lands; (3) incorporate a range of habitat and 
population management and enhancement measures; (4) fully mitigate the 
impacts of covered species, including the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander; (5) maintain ecosystem processes; and (6) 
contribute to the recovery of covered species.

Relationship of Critical Habitat to Other Land--Exclusions Under 
Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

East Bay Region Unit 10
    A portion of East Bay Region Unit 10 warrants exclusion from the 
final critical habitat designation. Based on information received 
during the comment period, approximately 281 ac (114 ha) of the unit 
currently consists of commercially or agriculturally developed property 
and no longer contains one or more of the PCEs. Because the features 
considered essential for the California tiger salamander are no longer 
present as a result of the development, we have removed these lands 
from the critical habitat designation.
    An additional 591 ac (239 ha) has been designated as open space 
areas as a result of the development. Conservation easements 
specifically including measures to protect, preserve, and enhance 
habitat for the California tiger salamander have been placed on the 
open space areas. These open spaces areas still contain those features 
considered essential for the California tiger salamander as identified 
in this final rule and will be managed to protect those features.
(1) Benefits of Inclusion
    There is minimal benefit from designating critical habitat for the 
California tiger salamander within the open space areas because these 
lands are already managed for the conservation of the California tiger 
salamander. One possible benefit of including these lands as critical 
habitat would be to educate the public regarding the conservation 
values of these areas and the habitat they support. However, critical 
habitat designation provides little gain in the way of increased 
recognition for special habitat values on lands that are expressly 
managed to protect and enhance those values. Additionally, the 
designation of critical habitat will not have any appreciable effect on 
the development or implementation of public education programs in these 
areas.
    Another possible benefit to including these lands is that the 
designation of critical habitat can serve to educate landowners and the 
public regarding the potential conservation values of an area. This may 
focus and contribute to conservation efforts of other parties by 
clearly delineating areas of high conservation value for certain 
species. However, this area already is publicly-owned by a non-Federal 
entity, and we believe that critical habitat designation provides 
little gain in the way of increased recognition for special habitat 
values on lands that are expressly managed to protect and enhance those 
values. Additionally, we believe that this education benefit has 
largely been achieved. The additional educational benefits that might 
arise from critical habitat designation are largely accomplished 
through the proposed rule and request for public comment that 
accompanied the development of this critical habitat regulation. We 
have accordingly determined that the benefits of designating critical 
habitat on this property covered by the described conservation measures 
above are small.
    The designation of critical habitat would require consultation with 
us for any action undertaken, authorized, or funded by a Federal agency 
that may affect the species or its designated critical habitat. 
However, the open space area management plan already includes specific 
management actions targeting listed and sensitive species, including 
the California tiger salamander; therefore, the benefit from additional 
consultation is likely also to be minimal.
    In summary, we conclude that the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander currently is realizing conservation 
benefits from existing management of these areas, and that designation 
of critical habitat will not have any appreciable effect to either 
cause the modification of a Federal action to avoid adverse 
modification, or on the development or implementation of public 
education programs.
(2) Benefits of Exclusion
    While the consultation requirement associated with critical habitat 
on the open space areas would provide little benefit, it would require 
the use of resources to ensure regulatory compliance that could 
otherwise be used for on-the-ground management of the targeted listed 
or sensitive species, including the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander. The benefits of exclusion include the 
reduction of administrative costs by eliminating the need for a 
separate analysis of the effects of an action on critical habitat in 
future consultations, whether incidental take exemption is provided 
through section 7 or section 10. The open space areas are currently 
managed through a mitigation, monitoring, and reporting program (MMRP); 
a Wildlife Management Plan (WMP); and a conservation easement that is 
funded in perpetuity. The MMRP, WMP, and the conservation easement 
specifically identify measures designed to protect, preserve, and 
enhance habitat for the California tiger salamander. Such

[[Page 49411]]

measures include: (1) Create three new salamander breeding ponds; (2) 
enhance an existing breeding pond; (3) place signage around sensitive 
habitat; (4) implement a permanent bullfrog control program; (5) 
prohibit new introduction of fish to any waters on the property; (6) 
limit use of rodenticides and extent of rodent control; and (7) monitor 
for noxious chemicals in ground and surface water. Therefore, the 
benefits of exclusion include relieving additional regulatory burden 
that might be imposed by the critical habitat, which could divert 
resources from substantive resource protection to procedural regulatory 
efforts.
(3) The Benefits of Exclusion Outweigh the Benefits of Inclusion
    Based on the above considerations, and consistent with the 
direction provided in section 4(b)(2) of the Act and the Federal 
District Court decision concerning critical habitat (Center for 
Biological Diversity v. Norton, Civ. No. 01-409 TUC DCB D. Ariz. Jan. 
13, 2003), we have determined that the benefits of excluding a portion 
of East Bay Region unit 10 as critical habitat outweigh the benefits of 
including it as critical habitat for the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander. This is because these lands are already 
managed to protect and enhance unique and important natural resource 
values specifically for the California tiger salamander. Exclusion of 
these lands will not increase the likelihood that management activities 
would be proposed which would appreciably diminish the value of the 
habitat for the conservation of the species. In addition, we believe 
that critical habitat designation provides little gain in the way of 
increased public recognition for special habitat values on public lands 
that are expressly managed to protect and enhance those values. We do 
not believe that this exclusion would result in the extinction of the 
species because the MMRP, WMP, and conservation easement seek to: (1) 
Preserve approximately 591 ac of habitat; (2) enhance and create 
breeding habitat; (3) incorporate a range of habitat and population 
management and enhancement measures beneficial to the salamander; (4) 
limit use of rodenticides and extent of rodent control; and (5) monitor 
for noxious chemicals in ground and surface water.

Relationship of Critical Habitat to Economic Impacts--Exclusions Under 
Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    This section allows the Secretary to exclude areas from critical 
habitat for economic reasons if she determines that the benefits of 
such exclusion exceed the benefits of designating the area as critical 
habitat, unless the exclusion will result in the extinction of the 
species concerned. This is a discretionary authority Congress has 
provided to the Secretary with respect to critical habitat. Although 
economic and other impacts may not be considered when listing a 
species, Congress has expressly required their consideration when 
designating critical habitat.
    In general, we have considered in making the following exclusions 
that all of the costs and other impacts predicted in the economic 
analysis may not be avoided by excluding the area, due to the fact that 
all of the areas in question are currently occupied by the Central 
population of CTS and there will be requirements for consultation under 
Section 7 of the Act, or for permits under section 10 (henceforth 
``consultation''), for any take of this species, which should also 
serve to protect the species and its habitat, and other protections for 
the species exist elsewhere in the Act and under State and local laws 
and regulations. In conducting economic analyses, we are guided by the 
10th Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling in the New Mexico Cattle Growers 
Association case (248 F.3d at 1285), which directed us to consider all 
impacts, ``regardless of whether those impacts are attributable co-
extensively to other causes.'' As explained in the analysis, due to 
possible overlapping regulatory schemes and other reasons, there are 
also some elements of the analysis that may overstate some costs.
    Conversely, the Ninth Circuit has recently ruled (``Gifford 
Pinchot'', 378 F.3d at 1071) that the Service's regulations defining 
``adverse modification'' of critical habitat are invalid because they 
define adverse modification as affecting both survival and recovery of 
a species. The Court directed us to consider that determinations of 
adverse modification should be focused on impacts to recovery. While we 
have not yet proposed a new definition for public review and comment, 
compliance with the Court's direction may result in additional costs 
associated with the designation of critical habitat (depending upon the 
outcome of the rulemaking). In light of the uncertainty concerning the 
regulatory definition of adverse modification, our current 
methodological approach to conducting economic analyses of our critical 
habitat designations is to consider all conservation-related costs. 
This approach would include costs related to sections 4, 7, 9, and 10 
of the Act, and should encompass costs that would be considered and 
evaluated in light of the Gifford Pinchot ruling.
    In addition, we have received several credible comments on the 
economic analysis contending that it underestimates, perhaps 
significantly, the costs associated with this critical habitat 
designation. Both of these factors should be considered in the test and 
balancing against the possibility that some of the costs shown in the 
economic analysis might be attributable to other factors, or are overly 
high, and so would not necessarily be avoided by excluding the area for 
which the costs are predicted from this critical habitat designation.
    We recognize that we have excluded a significant portion of the 
proposed critical habitat. Congress expressly contemplated that 
exclusions under this section might result in such situations when it 
enacted the exclusion authority. House Report 95-1625, stated on page 
17: ``Factors of recognized or potential importance to human activities 
in an area will be considered by the Secretary in deciding whether or 
not all or part of that area should be included in the critical habitat 
* * * In some situations, no critical habitat would be specified. In 
such situations, the Act would still be in force prevent any taking or 
other prohibited act * * * '' (emphasis supplied). We accordingly 
believe that these exclusions, and the basis upon which they are made, 
are fully within the parameters for the use of section 4(b)(2) set out 
by Congress. In reaching our decision about which areas should be 
excluded from the final critical habitat designation for economic 
reasons, we considered the following factors to be important: (1) The 
most costly census tracts, approximately the top 80 percent; (2) at or 
near the 80 percent threshold, a substantial break in costs from one 
census tract to the next that indicates disproportionate impacts; and 
(3) costs of public works projects such as transportation or other 
infrastructure.
    The draft economic analysis published in the Federal Register on 
July 18, 2005 (70 FR 41183) analyzed the economic effects of the 
proposed critical habitat designation for the Central population of 
California tiger salamander in 20 California counties. The economic 
impacts of critical habitat designation vary widely among counties, and 
even within counties. The counties most impacted by the critical 
habitat designation to the new housing industry and public projects 
include Alameda ($193 million), Contra Costa ($91 million), Monterey 
($67 million),

[[Page 49412]]

Santa Clara ($33 million), San Benito ($23 million), and Fresno ($15 
million). Further, economic impacts are unevenly distributed within 
counties. The analysis was conducted at the census tract level, 
resulting in a high degree of spatial precision.
    Mitigation requirements increase the cost of development and 
avoidance requirements are assumed to reduce the construction of new 
housing. In the base scenario where critical habitat reduces the amount 
of new housing, designation of critical habitat for the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander is expected to impose 
losses of over $441 million relating to lost development opportunity 
over a 20-year period, between the present and 2025. A second scenario, 
in which increased costs and the reduction in developable land are 
accommodated through densification, or in other words, in the event 
that on-site avoidance can be accomplished through density increases 
alone, welfare losses from critical habitat for the Central population 
of the California tiger salamander would be approximately $370 million 
over the same 20-year period.
    Alameda County is expected to experience the largest economic 
impacts from critical habitat--over $193 million in surplus lost in the 
rationed housing or base scenario. As shown in the map of impacts in 
Alameda County, these impacts are concentrated in census tracts 
northwest of Livermore and southeast of Pleasanton. Economic impacts 
generally decline in those census tracts which are progressively 
further of the developed city centers. The four most impacted counties 
are the same in both scenarios: Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, and 
Santa Clara. These counties appear to experience impacts that are 
significantly larger than is the case in other counties `` nearly twice 
as large as the next most impacted county. The ten most impacted 
counties are identical under the two scenarios.
    A copy of the final economic analysis with supporting documents are 
included in our administrative record and may be obtained by contacting 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Endangered Species (see 
ADDRESSES section).

Application of Section 4(b)(2)--Economic Exclusion to 12 Census Tracts

    We have considered, but are excluding from critical habitat for the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander essential habitat 
in the 12 census tracts and counties listed in Table 2.

                                   Table 2.--Excluded Census Tracts and Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Adjusted welfare
                Census tract                             County             Welfare impact in   impact in final
                                                                              draft EA  ($)         EA  ($)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
06001450721................................  Alameda......................        $54,235,596        $68,357,184
06013355104................................  Contra Costa.................         37,728,800         43,721,380
06053010501................................  Monterey.....................         42,654,944         42,654,944
06001450701................................  Alameda......................         44,538,812         37,760,320
06001451101................................  Alameda......................         15,160,546         32,343,348
06001450100................................  Alameda......................          8,283,346         30,483,876
06053014103................................  Monterey.....................         22,393,324         22,393,324
06085512100................................  Santa Clara..................         14,745,986         22,264,860
06001441503................................  Alameda......................          2,085,401         19,553,670
06013355200................................  Contra Costa.................         21,156,608         17,426,460
06069000600................................  San Benito...................         14,625,198         14,625,198
06019005515................................  Fresno.......................         13,393,774         13,393,774
                                            --------------------------------
    Total..................................  .............................  .................        364,978,338
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The notice of availability of the draft economic analysis (70 FR 
41183, July 18, 2005) solicited public comment on the potential 
exclusion of high cost areas. As we finalized the economic analysis, we 
identified high costs associated with the proposed critical habitat 
designation to public projects in San Benito County. These public 
projects were the widening of State Routes 25 and 156. The final 
economic analysis indicates additional costs in census tracts in which 
these projects were located were approximately $4.9 million for the two 
projects. On the basis of the significance of these costs, we 
determined that these two routes be excluded from the designation. In 
addition, the economic analysis also identified a section of Highway 
680 in Alameda County as having significant costs as a result of the 
designation of critical habitat. The critical habitat unit associated 
with the project area is one of those identified in Table 2 above for 
exclusion and no additional exclusion of this area is necessary.
(1) Benefits of Inclusion of the 12 Excluded Census Tracts
    The areas excluded are currently occupied by the Central population 
of the California tiger salamander, as shown in Table 2. If these areas 
were designated as critical habitat, any actions with a Federal nexus 
which may adversely affect the critical habitat would require a 
consultation with us, as explained above in the section of this notice 
entitled ``Effects of Critical Habitat Designation''. Primary 
constituent elements in these areas would be protected from destruction 
or adverse modification by federal actions using a conservation 
standard based on the Ninth Circuit's decision in Gifford Pinchot. This 
requirement would be in addition to the requirement that proposed 
Federal actions avoid likely jeopardy to the species' continued 
existence. However, inasmuch as all these units are currently occupied 
by the species, consultation for activities which may adversely affect 
the species, including possibly significant habitat modification (see 
definition of ``harm'' at 50 CFR 17.3), would be required, even without 
the critical habitat designation. The requirement to conduct such 
consultation would occur regardless of whether the authorization for 
incidental take occurs under either section 7 or section 10 of the Act. 
For the occupied areas there is still a requirement for a jeopardy 
analysis to ensure Federal actions are note likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of the species.
    We determined, however, in the economic analysis that designation 
of critical habitat could result in approximately $364,978,338 in costs 
in

[[Page 49413]]

these 12 census tracts, the majority of which are directly related to 
residential development impacts. We believe that the potential decrease 
in residential housing development that could be caused by this 
designation of critical habitat for the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander would minimize impacts to and potentially 
provide some protection to the species, the vernal pool complexes and 
ponds where they reside, and the physical and biological features 
essential to the species' conservation (i.e., the primary constituent 
elements). Thus, this decrease in residential housing development would 
directly translate into a potential benefit to the species that would 
result from this designation.
    Another possible benefit of a critical habitat designation is 
education of landowners and the public regarding the potential 
conservation value of these areas. This may focus and contribute to 
conservation efforts by other parties by clearly delineating areas of 
high conservation values for certain species. However, we believe that 
this education benefit has largely been achieved, or is being achieved 
in equal measure by other means. Although we have not yet begun the 
recovery planning process for the Central population of the California 
tiger salamander the designation of critical habitat would assist in 
the identification of potential core recovery areas for the species. 
The critical habitat designation and recovery plan would provide 
information geared to the general public, landowners, and agencies 
about areas that are important for the conservation of the species and 
what actions they can implement to further the conservation of the 
Central population of the California tiger salamander within their own 
jurisdiction and capabilities, and contains provisions for ongoing 
public outreach and education as part of the recovery process.
    In summary, we believe that inclusion of the 12 census tracts as 
critical habitat would provide some additional Federal regulatory 
benefits for the species. However, that benefit is limited to some 
degree by the fact that the proposed critical habitat is occupied by 
the species, and therefore there must, in any case, be consultation 
with the Service over any Federal action which may affect the species 
in those 12 census tracts. The additional educational benefits which 
might arise from critical habitat designation are largely accomplished 
through the multiple opportunities for public notice and comments which 
accompanied the development of this regulation, publicity over the 
prior litigation, and public outreach associated with the development 
of the draft and, ultimately, the implementation of the final recovery 
plan for the Central population of the California tiger salamander.
(2) Benefits of Exclusion of the 12 Excluded Census Tracts
    The economic analysis conducted for this proposal estimates that 
the costs associated with designating these 12 census tracts would be 
approximately $364,978,338. Costs would be associated with the Central 
population of the California tiger salamander in amounts shown in Table 
2 above. By excluding these census tracts, some or all of these costs 
will be avoided. Two important public-sector projects, widening of 
State Routes 25 and 156, will avoid the costs associated with critical 
habitat designation.
(3) Benefits of Exclusion Outweigh the Benefits of Inclusion of the 12 
Census Tracts
    We believe that the benefits from excluding these lands from the 
designation of critical habitat--avoiding the potential economic and 
human costs, both in dollars and jobs, predicted in the economic 
analysis--exceed the educational and regulatory benefits which could 
result from including those lands in this designation of critical 
habitat.
    We have evaluated and considered the potential economic costs on 
the residential development industry relative to the potential benefit 
for the Central population of the California tiger salamander and its 
primary constituent elements derived from the designation of critical 
habitat. We believe that the potential economic impact of up to 
approximately $365 million on the development industry significantly 
outweighs the potential conservation and protective benefits for the 
species and their primary constituent elements derived from the 
residential development not being constructed as a result of this 
designation.
    We also believe that excluding these lands, and thus helping 
landowners avoid the additional costs that would result from the 
designation, will contribute to a more positive climate for Habitat 
Conservation Plans and other active conservation measures which provide 
greater conservation benefits than would result from designation of 
critical habitat--even in the post-Gifford Pinchot environment--which 
requires only that the there be no adverse modification resulting from 
actions with a Federal nexus. We therefore find that the benefits of 
excluding these areas from this designation of critical habitat 
outweigh the benefits of including them in the designation.
    We believe that the required future recovery planning process would 
provide at least equivalent value to the public, State and local 
governments, scientific organizations, and Federal agencies in 
providing information about habitat that contains those features 
considered essential to the conservation of the Central population of 
the California tiger salamander, and in facilitating conservation 
efforts through heightened public awareness of the plight of the listed 
species. Draft recovery plans would contains explicit objectives for 
ongoing public education, outreach, and collaboration at local, state, 
and federal levels, and between the private and public sectors, in 
recovering the Central population of the California tiger salamander.
(4) Exclusion Will Not Result in Extinction of the Species
    We believe that exclusion of these lands will not result in the 
extinction of the Central population of the California tiger salamander 
as these areas are considered occupied habitat. Actions which might 
adversely affect the species are expected to have a Federal nexus, and 
would thus undergo a section 7 consultation with the Service. The 
jeopardy standard of section 7, and routine implementation of habitat 
preservation through the section 7 process, as discussed in the 
economic analysis, provide assurance that the species will not go 
extinct. In addition, the species is protected from take under section 
9 of the Act. The exclusion leaves these protections unchanged from 
those that would exist if the excluded areas were designated as 
critical habitat.
    Critical habitat is being designated for the species in other areas 
that will be accorded the protection from adverse modification by 
Federal actions using the conservation standard based on the Ninth 
Circuit decision in Gifford Pinchot. Additionally, the species occurs 
on lands protected and managed either explicitly for the species, or 
indirectly through more general objectives to protect natural values, 
this provides protection from extinction while conservation measures 
are being implemented. For example, the Central population of 
California tiger salamander is protected on lands such as conservation 
banks and other natural areas protected by perpetual conservation 
easements and managed specifically for the species e.g., Jepson 
Prairie. The species also occurs on lands

[[Page 49414]]

managed to protect and enhance wetland values under the Wetlands 
Reserve Program of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The 
Central population of the California tiger salamander are protected on 
lands such as conservation banks protected by perpetual conservation 
easements and managed specifically for the species and its habitat, 
e.g., , Fitzgerald Ranch Conservation Bank, Ohlone Conservation Bank, 
and Viera Sandy Mush Conservation Bank; National Wildlife Refuges, 
e.g., San Luis NWR Complex, and San Francisco Bay NWR Complex; and also 
on a variety of natural areas managed to maintain and enhance natural 
values, e.g., Grasslands Ecological Area.
    We believe that exclusion of the 12 census tracts will not result 
in extinction of the Central population of the California tiger 
salamander as they are considered occupied habitat. Federal Actions 
which might adversely affect the species would thus undergo a 
consultation with the Service under the requirements of section 7 of 
the Act. The jeopardy standard of section 7, and routine implementation 
of habitat preservation as part of the section 7 process, as discussed 
in the draft economic analysis, provide insurance that the species will 
not go extinct. The exclusion leaves these protections unchanged from 
those that would exist if the excluded areas were designated as 
critical habitat.
    Critical habitat is being designated for the Central population of 
the California tiger salamander in other areas that will be accorded 
the protection from adverse modification by federal actions using the 
conservation standard based on the Ninth Circuit decision in Gifford 
Pinchot. Additionally, the species occurs on lands protected and 
managed either explicitly for the species, or indirectly through more 
general objectives to protect natural values, this factor acting in 
concert with the other protections provided under the Act for these 
lands absent designation of critical habitat on them, and acting in 
concert with protections afforded each species by the remaining 
critical habitat designation for the species, lead us to find that 
exclusion of these 12 census tracts will not result in extinction of 
the Central population of the California tiger salamander.

Economic Analysis

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires us to designate critical 
habitat on the basis of the best scientific and commercial information 
available and to consider the economic and other relevant impacts of 
designating a particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude areas 
from critical habitat upon a determination that the benefits of such 
exclusions outweigh the benefits of specifying such areas as critical 
habitat. We cannot exclude such areas from critical habitat when such 
exclusion will result in the extinction of the species concerned.
    Following the publication of the proposed critical habitat 
designation, we conducted an economic analysis to estimate the 
potential economic effect of the designation. The draft analysis was 
made available for public review on July 18, 2005 (70 FR 41183). We 
accepted comments on the draft analysis until August 3, 2005.
    The primary purpose of the economic analysis is to estimate the 
potential economic impacts associated with the designation of critical 
habitat for the Central population of the CTS. This information is 
intended to assist the Secretary in making decisions about whether the 
benefits of excluding particular areas from the designation outweigh 
the benefits of including those areas in the designation. This economic 
analysis considers the economic efficiency effects that may result from 
the designation, including habitat protections that may be co-extensive 
with the listing of the species. It also addresses distribution of 
impacts, including an assessment of the potential effects on small 
entities and the energy industry. This information can be used by the 
Secretary to assess whether the effects of the designation might unduly 
burden a particular group or economic sector.
    This analysis focuses on the direct and indirect costs of the rule. 
However, economic impacts to land use activities can exist in the 
absence of critical habitat. These impacts may result from, for 
example, local zoning laws, State and natural resource laws, and 
enforceable management plans and best management practices applied by 
other State and Federal agencies. Economic impacts that result from 
these types of protections are not included in the analysis as they are 
considered to be part of the regulatory and policy baseline.
    A copy of the draft economic analysis with supporting documents is 
included in our administrative record and may be obtained by contacting 
us (see ADDRESSES section) or by downloading from the Internet at 
http://sacramento.fws.gov/.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review
    In accordance with Executive Order 12866, this document is a 
significant rule in that it may raise novel legal and policy issues, 
but will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more or affect the economy in a material way. Due to the tight timeline 
for publication in the Federal Register, the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) has not formally reviewed this rule. As explained above, 
we prepared an economic analysis of this action. We used this analysis 
to meet the requirement of section 4(b)(2) of the Act to determine the 
economic consequences of designating the specific areas as critical 
habitat. We also used it to help determine whether to exclude any area 
from critical habitat, as provided for under section 4(b)(2), if we 
determine that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of 
specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless we 
determine, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, 
that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result 
in the extinction of the species.

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

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (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. The SBREFA amended the RFA to 
require Federal agencies to provide a statement of factual basis for 
certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA also amended the RFA 
to require a certification statement.
    Small entities include small organizations, such as independent 
nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including 
school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 
50,000 residents; and small businesses. Small businesses include 
manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than

[[Page 49415]]

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 consider the types 
of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this rule, as 
well as the 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 the rule could significantly affect a substantial 
number of small entities, we consider the number of small entities 
affected within particular types of economic activities (e.g., housing 
development, grazing, oil and gas production, timber harvesting). We 
apply the ``substantial number'' test individually to each industry to 
determine if certification is appropriate. However, the SBREFA does not 
explicitly define ``substantial number'' or ``significant economic 
impact.'' Consequently, to assess whether a ``substantial number'' of 
small entities is affected by this designation, this analysis considers 
the relative number of small entities likely to be impacted in an area. 
In some circumstances, especially with critical habitat designations of 
limited extent, we may aggregate across all industries and consider 
whether the total number of small entities affected is substantial. In 
estimating the number of small entities potentially affected, we also 
consider whether their activities have any Federal involvement.
    Designation of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, 
funded, or permitted by Federal agencies. Some kinds of activities are 
unlikely to have any Federal involvement and so will not be affected by 
critical habitat designation. In areas where the species is present, 
Federal agencies already are required to consult with us under section 
7 of the Act on activities they fund, permit, or implement that may 
affect CTS. Federal agencies also must consult with us if their 
activities may affect critical habitat. Designation of critical 
habitat, therefore, could result in an additional economic impact on 
small entities due to the requirement to reinitiate consultation for 
ongoing Federal activities.
    In general, two different mechanisms in section 7 consultations 
could lead to additional regulatory requirements for the approximately 
four small businesses, on average, that may be required to consult with 
us each year regarding their project's impact on the Central population 
of the CTS and its habitat. First, if we conclude, in a biological 
opinion, that a proposed action is likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of a species or adversely modify its critical habitat, we can 
offer ``reasonable and prudent alternatives.'' Reasonable and prudent 
alternatives are alternative actions that can be implemented in a 
manner consistent with the scope of the Federal agency's legal 
authority and jurisdiction, that are economically and technologically 
feasible, and that would avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of 
listed species or result in adverse modification of critical habitat. A 
Federal agency and an applicant may elect to implement a reasonable and 
prudent alternative associated with a biological opinion that has found 
jeopardy or adverse modification of critical habitat. An agency or 
applicant could alternatively choose to seek an exemption from the 
requirements of the Act or proceed without implementing the reasonable 
and prudent alternative. However, unless an exemption were obtained, 
the Federal agency or applicant would be at risk of violating section 
7(a)(2) of the Act if it chose to proceed without implementing the 
reasonable and prudent alternative(s).
    Second, if we find that a proposed action is not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of a listed animal or plant species, 
we may identify reasonable and prudent measures designed to minimize 
the amount or extent of take and require the Federal agency or 
applicant to implement such measures through non-discretionary terms 
and conditions. We may also identify discretionary conservation 
recommendations designed to minimize or avoid the adverse effects of a 
proposed action on listed species or critical habitat, help implement 
recovery plans, or develop information that could contribute to the 
recovery of the species.
    Based on our experience with consultations pursuant to section 7 of 
the Act for all listed species, virtually all projects-including those 
that, in their initial proposed form, would result in jeopardy or 
adverse modification determinations in section 7 consultations can be 
implemented successfully with, at most, the adoption of reasonable and 
prudent alternatives. These measures, by definition, must be 
economically feasible and within the scope of authority of the Federal 
agency involved in the consultation. We can only describe the general 
kinds of actions that may be identified in future reasonable and 
prudent alternatives. These are based on our understanding of the needs 
of the species and the threats it faces, as described in the final 
listing rule and this critical habitat designation. Within the final 
critical habitat units, the types of Federal actions or authorized 
activities that we have identified as potential concerns are:
    (1) Activities affecting waters of the United States by the Corps 
under section 404 of the Clean Water Act;
    (2) Water flows, damming, diversion, and channelization implemented 
or licensed by Federal agencies;
    (3) Timber harvest, grazing, mining, and recreation by the U.S. 
Forest Service and BLM;
    (4) Road construction and maintenance, right-of-way designation, 
and regulation of agricultural activities;
    (5) Hazard mitigation and post-disaster repairs funded by the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency; and
    (6) Activities funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. 
Department of Energy, or any other Federal agency.
    It is likely that a developer or other project proponent could 
modify a project or take measures to protect the Central population of 
the CTS. The kinds of actions that may be included if future reasonable 
and prudent alternatives become necessary include conservation set-
asides, management of competing nonnative species, restoration of 
degraded habitat, and regular monitoring. These are based on our 
understanding of the needs of the species and the threats it faces, as 
described in the final listing rule and proposed critical habitat 
designation. These measures are not likely to result in a significant 
economic impact to project proponents.
    In summary, we have considered whether this would result in a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. 
We have determined, for the above reasons and based on currently 
available information, that it is not likely to affect a substantial 
number of small entities. Federal involvement, and thus section 7 
consultations, would be limited to a subset of the area designated. The 
most likely Federal involvement could include Corps permits, permits we 
may issue under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, Federal Highway 
Administration funding for road improvements, hydropower licenses 
issued by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and regulation of 
timber harvest, grazing, mining, and recreation by the U.S.

[[Page 49416]]

Forest Service and BLM. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et 
seq.)

    Under SBREFA, this rule is not a major rule. Our detailed 
assessment of the economic effects of this designation is described in 
the economic analysis. Based on the effects identified in the economic 
analysis, we believe that this rule will not have an annual effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more, will not cause a major increase in 
costs or prices for consumers, and will not have significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with 
foreign-based enterprises. Refer to the draft economic analysis for a 
discussion of the effects of this determination.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This final rule to 
designate critical habitat for the Central population of the CTS is not 
expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. 
Therefore, this action is not a significant energy 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 
et seq.), we make 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, 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; AFDC 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. While non-Federal entities who 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, 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) We do not believe that this rule will significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments because it will not produce a Federal mandate 
of $100 million or greater in any year; that is, it is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. The designation of critical habitat imposes no obligations on 
State or local governments. As such, Small Government Agency Plan is 
not required.

Federalism

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. In keeping with DOI and Department of Commerce policy, we 
requested information from, and coordinated development of, this final 
critical habitat designation with appropriate State resource agencies 
in California. The designation of critical habitat in areas currently 
occupied by the Central population of the CTS imposes no additional 
restrictions to those currently in place and, therefore, has little 
incremental impact on State and local governments and their activities. 
The designation may have some benefit to these governments in that the 
areas essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly 
defined, and the PCEs of the habitat necessary to the survival of the 
species are specifically identified. While making this definition and 
identification does not alter where and what federally sponsored 
activities may occur, it may assist these local governments in long-
range planning (rather than waiting for case-by-case section 7 
consultations to occur).

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order. We are designating critical habitat in accordance with 
the provisions of the Act. This final rule uses standard property 
descriptions and identifies the PCEs within the designated areas to 
assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the Central 
population of the CTS.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule 
will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or 
local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency 
may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, 
a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    It is our position that, outside the Tenth Circuit, we do not need 
to prepare environmental analyses as defined by the NEPA in connection 
with designating critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this 
determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244). This assertion was upheld in the courts of the Ninth Circuit 
(Douglas County v.

[[Page 49417]]

Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. Ore. 1995), cert. denied 116 S. Ct. 698 
(1996).

Government-to-Government Relationships With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and the Department 
of the Interior's Manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. We have determined that 
there are no tribal lands essential for the conservation of the Central 
population of the CTS. Therefore, designation of critical habitat for 
the Central population of the CTS has not been designated on Tribal 
lands.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rulemaking is 
available upon request from the Field Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).

Author

    The primary author of this package is the Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

0
Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.


0
2. In Sec.  17.11(h), revise the entry for ``Salamander, California 
tiger, in Santa Barbara County Population'' in the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife as follows:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                                  Critical     Special
                                                            Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Amphibians
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Salamander, California tiger.....  Ambystoma             U.S.A. (CA)........  U.S.A. (CA--         T                667E, 702,     17.95(d)     17.43(c)
                                    californiense.                             California).                                744
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. In Sec.  17.95(d), amend the entry for the designation of critical 
habitat for California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) in 
Santa Barbara County as follows:
0
a. Revise the entry's heading;
0
b. Immediately following the heading, add a new subheading;
0
c. Immediately following the map in paragraph (d)(10)(iii), add a new 
subheading; and
0
d. Add paragraphs (11) through (51); to read as set forth below:


Sec.  17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

* * * * *
    (d) Amphibians
* * * * *
California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)
California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)in Santa Barbara 
County
* * * * *
Central Population of the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma 
californiense)

    (11) Critical habitat units are depicted for the Central population 
of the California tiger salamander in California on the maps below.
    (12) The PCEs of critical habitat for the Central population of the 
California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) are the habitat 
components that provide:
    (i) Standing bodies of fresh water (including natural and manmade 
(e.g., stock)) ponds, vernal pools, and other ephemeral or permanent 
water bodies which typically support inundation during winter rains and 
hold water for a minimum of 12 weeks in a year of average rainfall;
    (ii) Upland habitats adjacent and accessible to and from breeding 
ponds that contain small mammal burrows or other underground habitat 
that CTS depend upon for food, shelter, and protection from the 
elements and predation; and
    (iii) Accessible upland dispersal habitat between occupied 
locations that allow for movement between such sites.
    (13) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures existing 
on the effective date of this rule and not containing one or more of 
the PCEs, such as buildings, aqueducts, airports, and roads, and the 
land on which such structures are located.
    (14) Critical habitat units are described below. Data layers 
defining map units were created by screen digitizing habitat boundaries 
using ArcMap GIS.
    (15) Note: Map 7 (Index map) follows:
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

[[Page 49418]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.001


[[Page 49419]]


    (16) Central Valley Region: Unit 1, Yolo County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Wildwood School, Dunnigan, 
Bird Valley, Zamora. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 586407, 4303194; 585908, 4303117; 585550, 4303309; 
585255, 4303424; 584910, 4303603; 584500, 4303795; 584231, 4303962; 
583975, 4304179; 583783, 4304551; 583988, 4305229; 584116, 4305537; 
584321, 4305729; 584602, 4305997; 584615, 4306446; 584654, 4306689; 
584922, 4306830; 585089, 4306906; 585370, 4307047; 585486, 4307355; 
585914, 4307355; 586996, 4307355; 587000, 4306558; 587204, 4306457; 
587208, 4305759; 587600, 4305747; 587609, 4305701; 587617, 4304857; 
587488, 4304855; 587486, 4304740; 587486, 4304618; 586854, 4304617; 
586795, 4304534; 586983, 4304309; 586935, 4304197; 586912, 4304035; 
586970, 4303827; 586715, 4303400; returning to 586407, 4303194.
    (ii) Note: Map 8 (Central Valley Region, Unit 1) follows:

[[Page 49420]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.002


[[Page 49421]]


    (17) Central Valley Region: Unit 2, Solano County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Dozier, and Birds Landing. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 
601869, 4237342; 601865, 4236938; 601654, 4236932; 601647, 4237125; 
601764, 4237131; 601764, 4237339; 601264, 4237328; 601264, 4237123; 
601288, 4237127; 601297, 4236925; 601267, 4236923; 601266, 4236556; 
601589, 4236551; 601590, 4236740; 601703, 4236734; 601710, 4236549; 
602349, 4236539; 602884, 4237289; 602883, 4237336; returning to 601869, 
4237342.; excluding land bounded by: 603666, 4238548; 604112, 4238500; 
604463, 4238516; 604510, 4237050; 604494, 4233370; 601674, 4233354; 
600161, 4233354; 599699, 4233386; 599667, 4238197; 602105, 4238197; 
602375, 4238548; 602822, 4238548; 603666, 4238548
    (ii) Note: Map 9 (Central Valley Region, Unit 2) follows:

[[Page 49422]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.003


[[Page 49423]]


    (18) Central Valley Region: Unit 3, Sacramento County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Clay, and Goose Creek. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 
664836, 4248038; 665672, 4248010; 668028, 4248080; 667972, 4246477; 
668014, 4245543; 668070, 4244525; 668098, 4244093; 667735, 4243954; 
667443, 4243758; 667178, 4243424; 666927, 4242866; 666982, 4242588; 
666885, 4242323; 666718, 4242016; 666606, 4241667; 666216, 4241361; 
665644, 4241193; 665337, 4241207; 664947, 4241249; 664766, 4241124; 
664362, 4241138; 664125, 4241110; 663790, 4240970; 663246, 4242100; 
663149, 4242323; 662884, 4242936; 663316, 4243312; 663302, 4243758; 
663051, 4243898; 662633, 4243954; 662563, 4244121; 662563, 4244665; 
662368, 4244679; 661713, 4244706; 660626, 4244623; 660626, 4244804; 
660723, 4245013; 660514, 4245180; 660500, 4245613; 660514, 4245919; 
660654, 4246337; 660960, 4246672; 661072, 4247048; 660779, 4247146; 
660695, 4247369; 660793, 4247732; 660904, 4248219; 661211, 4248526; 
661629, 4248721; 664822, 4248735; 664905, 4248554; returning to 664836, 
4248038; excluding land bounded by: 663699, 4245563; 663773, 4245470; 
663872, 4245529; 663908, 4245484; 664132, 4245487; 664193, 4245525; 
664343, 4245508; 664446, 4245534; 664455, 4245223; 664686, 4245225; 
664681, 4245603; 664669, 4245660; 664669, 4245731; 664793, 4245767; 
664776, 4245798; 664712, 4245836; 664686, 4245962; 664629, 4246000; 
664643, 4246107; 664517, 4246081; 664512, 4246171; 664315, 4246178; 
664236, 4246190; 663987, 4246188; 663813, 4245903; 663732, 4245860; and 
returning to 663699, 4245563.; and excluding land bounded by: 663893, 
4245225; 663790, 4245261; 663740, 4245213; 663759, 4244776; 663937, 
4244476; 664146, 4244482; 664133, 4245143; returning to 663893, 
4245225.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 3 is depicted on Map 10--
Units 3 and 4--see paragraph (19)(ii).
    (19) Central Valley Region: Unit 4, Amador County, California, and 
San Joaquin County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Goose Creek, Ione, 
Clements, and Wallace. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 672313, 4240429; 672654, 4240270; 672756, 4240232; 
673017, 4240134; 673290, 4239940; 673438, 4239952; 673699, 4239838; 
674062, 4239736; 674380, 4239498; 674698, 4239304; 674925, 4239089; 
675039, 4238646; 675084, 4238248; 675039, 4237771; 675050, 4237658; 
675175, 4237396; 675130, 4236954; 675346, 4236613; 675323, 4236045; 
675198, 4235738; 675152, 4235409; 674653, 4235398; 674499, 4235346; 
674346, 4235295; 674119, 4235023; 673812, 4234989; 673449, 4234864; 
673188, 4234841; 673040, 4234455; 672961, 4234114; 672506, 4233944; 
672313, 4234069; 672154, 4234160; 671723, 4233910; 671257, 4233774; 
670905, 4233796; 670587, 4233830; 670246, 4233898; 670099, 4234160; 
669905, 4234455; 669656, 4234637; 669292, 4234682; 669054, 4234682; 
668883, 4234932; 668815, 4235295; 668747, 4235602; 668815, 4235977; 
668622, 4236227; 668281, 4236499; 668020, 4236613; 667736, 4236806; 
667566, 4237022; 667452, 4237408; 667566, 4237976; 667657, 4238135; 
667816, 4238328; 667861, 4238441; 667804, 4238623; 667589, 4238827; 
667555, 4239111; 667623, 4239339; 668009, 4239600; 668202, 4239827; 
668497, 4240134; 668940, 4240395; 669201, 4240372; 669440, 4240327; 
669803, 4240338; 670064, 4239906; 670269, 4239520; 670564, 4239463; 
670928, 4239657; 671212, 4240099; 671564, 4240429; 671916, 4240406; 
returning to 672313, 4240429.
    (ii) Note: Unit 4 is depicted on Map 10--Units 3 and 4--which 
follows:

[[Page 49424]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.004


[[Page 49425]]


    (20) Central Valley Region: Unit 5, Calaveras County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Goose Creek, Ione, 
Clements, and Wallace. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 683568, 4220263; 682958, 4220198; 682573, 4220519; 
682460, 4220664; 682316, 4221113; 682316, 4221499; 682348, 4221772; 
682508, 4222125; 682589, 4222494; 682974, 4222976; 683343, 4223345; 
683279, 4223762; 683375, 4224067; 683343, 4224501; 683183, 4224790; 
683086, 4225352; 683215, 4225657; 683456, 4225994; 683632, 4226170; 
683953, 4226283; 684114, 4226411; 684467, 4226411; 684804, 4226267; 
685157, 4226026; 685334, 4225496; 685350, 4224982; 685334, 4224549; 
685510, 4224115; 685494, 4223682; 685382, 4223297; 685173, 4222976; 
685029, 4222719; 684852, 4222205; 684772, 4221900; 684643, 4221483; 
684531, 4220985; 684306, 4220664; 683921, 4220391; returning to 683568, 
4220263.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 5 is depicted on Map 11--
Units 5, 6, and 7--see paragraph (22)(ii).
    (21) Central Valley Region: Unit 6, Calaveras County, California, 
Stanislaus County, California, and San Joaquin County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Valley Springs SW, Jenny 
Lind, Farmington, and Bachelor Valley. Land bounded by the following 
UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 686359, 4213033; 686987, 4212296; 
687479, 4211559; 687315, 4210958; 687542, 4210371; 687779, 4209756; 
687643, 4209128; 687725, 4208582; 688134, 4208308; 688544, 4207789; 
688844, 4207298; 688571, 4206424; 688349, 4206061; 688544, 4205714; 
688708, 4205277; 688372, 4204505; 686597, 4204505; 685277, 4204505; 
684693, 4204235; 684316, 4203393; 683884, 4202567; 683811, 4201719; 
683900, 4199972; 683710, 4199678; 683164, 4199104; 682563, 4198831; 
682285, 4198727; 682126, 4198667; 681470, 4198503; 680869, 4198858; 
680665, 4199223; 680627, 4200080; 679933, 4200062; 679777, 4200279; 
679777, 4201016; 679882, 4201242; 680596, 4201279; 680584, 4201670; 
680077, 4201672; 679832, 4202382; 679764, 4202757; 679752, 4203304; 
679504, 4203338; 679531, 4203829; 679149, 4204048; 678630, 4204212; 
678220, 4204649; 677810, 4204976; 677346, 4205495; 677264, 4206069; 
677264, 4206834; 677483, 4207817; 678329, 4208145; 678603, 4208308; 
678684, 4209100; 678821, 4209483; 680253, 4210794; 681850, 4211270; 
681985, 4211350; 682777, 4211817; 683589, 4212297; 684384, 4212766; 
685533, 4212474; 685557, 4212491; returning to 686359, 4213033.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 6 is depicted on Map 11--
Units 5, 6, and 7--see paragraph (22)(ii).
    (22) Central Valley Region: Unit 7, Stanislaus County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Oakdale. Land bounded by 
the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 693428, 4186960; 
693463, 4186942; 693504, 4186969; 693517, 4186960; 693709, 4186853; 
693941, 4186479; 694034, 4186323; 694003, 4186260; 693941, 4186198; 
693900, 4186166; 693816, 4186086; 693771, 4186059; 693646, 4186006; 
693588, 4185993; 693544, 4185975; 693544, 4185930; 693517, 4185877; 
693526, 4185792; 693495, 4185805; 693459, 4185836; 693423, 4185823; 
693397, 4185863; 693352, 4185859; 693330, 4185828; 693303, 4185756; 
693298, 4185712; 693218, 4185689; 693191, 4185645; 693138, 4185640; 
693080, 4185676; 693026, 4185671; 693000, 4185645; 692964, 4185582; 
693000, 4185511; 693049, 4185493; 693018, 4185440; 693022, 4185386; 
692995, 4185333; 692991, 4185284; 693058, 4185261; 693098, 4185243; 
693093, 4185168; 692986, 4185177; 692527, 4185172; 692514, 4185243; 
692506, 4185297; 692501, 4185303; 692478, 4185364; 692456, 4185413; 
692420, 4185449; 692456, 4185515; 692509, 4185627; 692523, 4185716; 
692523, 4185774; 692523, 4185823; 692433, 4185841; 692179, 4185850; 
692152, 4185903; 692157, 4185966; 691916, 4186028; 691925, 4186064; 
692010, 4186122; 692041, 4186175; 692090, 4186220; 692121, 4186260; 
692179, 4186327; 692246, 4186349; 692277, 4186389; 692291, 4186421; 
692273, 4186461; 692228, 4186470; 692144, 4186447; 692108, 4186434; 
692108, 4186376; 692099, 4186323; 692019, 4186314; 691987, 4186345; 
691970, 4186345; 691921, 4186345; 691880, 4186345; 691858, 4186385; 
691858, 4186434; 691840, 4186452; 691800, 4186470; 691782, 4186496; 
691747, 4186532; 691729, 4186568; 691738, 4186621; 691773, 4186675; 
691818, 4186719; 691858, 4186746; 691903, 4186764; 691947, 4186795; 
691987, 4186804; 692045, 4186804; 692144, 4186608; 692228, 4186626; 
692326, 4186639; 692398, 4186644; 692478, 4186644; 692540, 4186768; 
692607, 4186755; 692634, 4186786; 692670, 4186849; 692790, 4186933; 
692848, 4186969; 692911, 4187000; 693026, 4187005; 693067, 4186951; 
693125, 4186947; 693174, 4186951; 693200, 4187027; 693379, 4186987; 
returning to 693428, 4186960.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 7 is depicted on Map 11--
Units 5, 6, and 7--which follows:

[[Page 49426]]

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[[Page 49427]]


    (23) Central Valley Region: Unit 8, Stanislaus County, California, 
and Merced County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles La Grange, and Snelling. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 
725431, 4171496; 725601, 4170824; 725374, 4170317; 725561, 4169703; 
725374, 4168849; 725587, 4168488; 725787, 4167394; 725257, 4165657; 
725200, 4165472; 725093, 4164938; 724466, 4164337; 724132, 4164284; 
723759, 4164284; 723267, 4164611; 723238, 4164631; 722571, 4165765; 
722250, 4166366; 721817, 4167393; 723498, 4167406; 723802, 4167803; 
723935, 4168465; 724279, 4168677; 724252, 4169047; 723894, 4169053; 
723869, 4168849; 723432, 4168835; 723458, 4168663; 722664, 4168650; 
722651, 4169074; 722584, 4170027; 723086, 4170091; 723352, 4169961; 
723869, 4170371; 724200, 4170411; 724133, 4170861; 724199, 4171065; 
724438, 4171245; 724888, 4171192; 724914, 4171391; 725153, 4171457; 
returning to 725431, 4171496.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 8 is depicted on Map 12--
Units 8, 9, and 10--see paragraph (25)(ii).
    (24) Central Valley Region: Unit 9, Merced County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Yosemite Lake, Haystack 
Mtn., Merced, and Planada. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, 
NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 737111, 4141220; 736885, 4140606; 736578, 
4140319; 735779, 4139868; 735411, 4139418; 735001, 4138885; 734755, 
4138516; 734345, 4138352; 733977, 4138291; 733198, 4137390; 732850, 
4137308; 732625, 4137738; 732707, 4138230; 732359, 4138414; 732133, 
4138373; 731990, 4138230; 731969, 4138127; 731744, 4137922; 731457, 
4137308; 731129, 4137082; 730904, 4137349; 730638, 4137697; 730310, 
4137656; 729900, 4137717; 729593, 4137758; 729409, 4138127; 729368, 
4138332; 729081, 4138516; 729224, 4138783; 729532, 4139008; 729511, 
4139315; 729204, 4139418; 728897, 4139520; 729429, 4140278; 729224, 
4140667; 728897, 4140933; 728692, 4140892; 728282, 4140708; 728118, 
4140667; 727914, 4140729; 727729, 4141077; 727606, 4141077; 727442, 
4141179; 727238, 4141282; 726848, 4141302; 726725, 4141445; 726643, 
4141753; 726725, 4141937; 726562, 4142654; 726562, 4142838; 726439, 
4142982; 726172, 4143084; 725660, 4143105; 725476, 4143187; 725599, 
4143412; 725476, 4143822; 725333, 4143965; 725087, 4144026; 724943, 
4144149; 724902, 4144477; 725066, 4144948; 725455, 4145235; 725968, 
4145399; 726193, 4145522; 726480, 4145890; 726930, 4146095; 727381, 
4146136; 727729, 4146485; 728180, 4146874; 728630, 4147263; 728897, 
4147591; 729388, 4147795; 729900, 4147816; 730392, 4147857; 730945, 
4148103; 731478, 4148021; 732010, 4147714; 732297, 4147283; 732338, 
4146915; 732625, 4146525; 733034, 4146157; 733260, 4145890; 733260, 
4145276; 733116, 4144784; 733362, 4144211; 733608, 4143801; 733854, 
4143514; 734120, 4143289; 734550, 4142982; 735370, 4142797; 736189, 
4142593; 736619, 4142470; 737111, 4141978; returning to 737111, 
4141220.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 9 is depicted on Map 12--
Units 8, 9, and 10--see paragraph (25)(ii):
    (25) Central Valley Region: Unit 10, Merced County, California, and 
Mariposa County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Planada, and Owens 
Reservoir. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates 
(E,N): 745886, 4137625; 746150, 4137196; 746265, 4136981; 746447, 
4136371; 746447, 4136305; 746529, 4136041; 746530, 4136009; 746546, 
4135595; 746645, 4135364; 746760, 4135315; 746880, 4135309; 747140, 
4135298; 747338, 4135067; 747519, 4134655; 747750, 4134226; 748031, 
4133945; 748229, 4133533; 748311, 4133170; 748353, 4132808; 748361, 
4132741; 748394, 4132625; 748394, 4132394; 748344, 4132047; 748328, 
4131750; 748212, 4131371; 748064, 4131123; 747866, 4130579; 747684, 
4130414; 747288, 4130232; 746826, 4130117; 746562, 4129952; 746100, 
4129589; 745820, 4129275; 745605, 4128978; 745292, 4128714; 744863, 
4128648; 744367, 4128632; 743856, 4128665; 743608, 4129209; 743608, 
4129572; 743608, 4130232; 743641, 4130579; 743493, 4130793; 743179, 
4130942; 743014, 4131107; 742684, 4131123; 742404, 4131255; 742288, 
4131684; 742024, 4131750; 741727, 4131783; 741628, 4131684; 741150, 
4131453; 741117, 4131932; 740820, 4132180; 740407, 4132163; 740061, 
4132444; 740358, 4132757; 740589, 4132922; 740919, 4133153; 741249, 
4133351; 741414, 4133417; 741826, 4133681; 742156, 4133929; 742585, 
4134308; 742618, 4134556; 742371, 4134721; 742437, 4134853; 742470, 
4135067; 742453, 4135331; 742486, 4135595; 742618, 4135727; 742668, 
4135859; 742684, 4136255; 742668, 4136437; 742585, 4136800; 742783, 
4136981; 742882, 4137097; 743146, 4137344; 743460, 4137410; 743740, 
4137460; 744103, 4137559; 744450, 4137542; 744632, 4137592; 744863, 
4137757; 745077, 4137790; 745393, 4137760; 745424, 4137757; returning 
to 745886, 4137625.
    (ii) Note: Central Valley Region, Unit 10 is depicted on Map 12--
Units 8, 9, and 10--which follows:

[[Page 49428]]

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[[Page 49429]]


    (26) Central Valley Region: Unit 11, Madera County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Raymond. Land bounded by 
the following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 236646, 4118534; 
236735, 4119457; 236919, 4119535; 237364, 4119940; 237297, 4120289; 
237671, 4120535; 237749, 4120814; 237895, 4121224; 238305, 4121557; 
238526, 4121737; 238726, 4121829; 239329, 4121896; 239728, 4121811; 
240005, 4121943; 240340, 4122266; 240817, 4122475; 241265, 4122461; 
241503, 4122431; 241714, 4122463; 242088, 4122454; 242236, 4122430; 
242404, 4122240; 242517, 4121903; 242649, 4121386; 242729, 4121007; 
242656, 4120563; 242498, 4120423; 242265, 4120288; 242025, 4120049; 
241933, 4119770; 241837, 4119447; 241973, 4119229; 242224, 4118929; 
242164, 4118469; 242064, 4118071; 242454, 4117612; 242521, 4117249; 
242406, 4116852; 242463, 4116564; 242691, 4116146; 242868, 4115880; 
243004, 4115423; 242888, 4115011; 242718, 4114693; 241980, 4114620; 
241532, 4114633; 241135, 4114733; 240843, 4114856; 240549, 4115174; 
240283, 4115221; 239933, 4115138; 239492, 4115032; 239192, 4115021; 
238894, 4115279; 238776, 4115541; 238564, 4115973; 238623, 4116194; 
238668, 4116431; 238374, 4116988; 238226, 4117252; 237848, 4117650; 
237318, 4117788; 236903, 4118099; 236797, 4118315; returning to 236646, 
4118534.
    (ii) Note: Map 13 (Central Valley Region, Unit 11) follows:

[[Page 49430]]

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[[Page 49431]]


    (27) Central Valley Region: Unit 18, Alameda County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Tassajara, and Livermore. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 
606493, 4148131; 606445, 4148064; 606428, 4148018; 606432, 4147932; 
606450, 4147848; 606466, 4147818; 606558, 4147771; 606599, 4147772; 
606755, 4147834; 606834, 4147825; 606924, 4147745; 606959, 4147723; 
606992, 4147438; 606865, 4146951; 606716, 4146634; 606357, 4146443; 
606039, 4146380; 605807, 4146487; 605801, 4146507; 605762, 4146550; 
605680, 4146592; 605678, 4146593; 605573, 4146697; 605446, 4146951; 
605479, 4147194; 605495, 4147179; 605532, 4147116; 605552, 4147114; 
605551, 4147218; 605591, 4147274; 605593, 4147302; 605461, 4147339; 
605440, 4147342; 605404, 4147396; 605341, 4147607; 605300, 4147660; 
605329, 4147701; 605322, 4147708; 605273, 4147694; 605244, 4147731; 
605245, 4147738; 605236, 4147742; 605192, 4147798; 605044, 4148010; 
605102, 4148319; 605127, 4148265; 605220, 4148111; 605251, 4148083; 
605294, 4148086; 605431, 4148129; 605537, 4148188; 605655, 4148273; 
605680, 4148317; 605768, 4148412; 605818, 4148448; 605900, 4148447; 
605946, 4148417; 606075, 4148398; 606134, 4148371; 606201, 4148308; 
606331, 4148228; 606492, 4148189; 606500, 4148167; returning to 606493, 
4148131.
    (ii) Note: Map 14 (Central Valley Region, Unit 18) follows:

[[Page 49432]]

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[[Page 49433]]


    (28) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 1a, Madera County, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Little Table Mtn., 
Millerton Lake West, Lanes Bridge, and Friant. Land bounded by the 
following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 253140, 4094581; 
253210, 4094842; 253281, 4095121; 253387, 4095398; 253645, 4095559; 
253861, 4095616; 253852, 4096041; 253748, 4096349; 253653, 4096816; 
253632, 4097047; 253685, 4097593; 253940, 4097984; 254341, 4098171; 
254443, 4098377; 254346, 4098808; 254531, 4099222; 254727, 4099510; 
254695, 4099849; 254591, 4100174; 254965, 4100204; 255341, 4100552; 
255900, 4100711; 256220, 4100727; 256431, 4101262; 256505, 4101877; 
256706, 4102254; 256840, 4102405; 257279, 4102626; 257811, 4102645; 
258162, 4102587; 258498, 4102301; 258635, 4101955; 258734, 4101560; 
258553, 4100933; 258138, 4100535; 257954, 4100347; 257908, 4100348; 
257918, 4100725; 257542, 4100727; 257557, 4101144; 257113, 4101161; 
256981, 4098268; 256639, 4098365; 255431, 4098363; 255427, 4097540; 
256213, 4097523; 256203, 4096729; 254978, 4096742; 254920, 4094736; 
254503, 4094762; 254503, 4094758; 253976, 4094771; 253976, 4094613; 
253892, 4094501; 253919, 4094443; 253916, 4094397; 253914, 4094362; 
253868, 4094365; 253822, 4094362; 253718, 4094252; 253710, 4094201; 
253710, 4094200; 253701, 4094209; 253429, 4094386; 253140, 4094581.
    (ii) Note: Southern San Joaquin Region, Unit 1a is depicted on--
Units 1a, 1b, and 2--see paragraph (30)(ii).
    (29) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 1b, Madera County, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Lanes Bridge. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 251184, 4092207; 
251205, 4092542; 251262, 4093159; 252944, 4093159; 253152, 4093075; 
253259, 4093191; 253246, 4093164; 253246, 4092760; 253951, 4092757; 
254008, 4092773; 254065, 4092790; 254068, 4092831; 254018, 4092849; 
253977, 4092852; 253939, 4092895; 253937, 4092936; 253960, 4092986; 
253988, 4093030; 254024, 4093028; 254075, 4093024; 254098, 4092992; 
254134, 4092985; 254195, 4092981; 254190, 4092910; 254216, 4092832; 
254223, 4092791; 254226, 4092744; 254465, 4092734; 254461, 4092342; 
254633, 4092331; 254636, 4092535; 254698, 4092551; 254738, 4092615; 
254757, 4092670; 254772, 4092746; 254777, 4092832; 254817, 4092901; 
254877, 4092959; 254914, 4092978; 254971, 4092712; 254985, 4092375; 
254980, 4092021; 254713, 4091436; 254292, 4091214; 253805, 4091086; 
253542, 4090837; 253614, 4090584; 253836, 4090446; 253770, 4090238; 
253503, 4089936; 253348, 4089733; 253173, 4089528; 253141, 4089490; 
253105, 4089475; 252915, 4089348; 252875, 4089294; 252838, 4089192; 
252842, 4089126; 252835, 4089116; 252636, 4088822; 252641, 4088627; 
252573, 4088288; 252564, 4088242; 252170, 4087611; 251840, 4087437; 
251615, 4087239; 251458, 4087089; 251407, 4087039; 251122, 4087288; 
251185, 4087726; 251211, 4088132; 251215, 4088486; 251168, 4088861; 
251100, 4089184; 251100, 4089751; 251111, 4089927; 251999, 4089960; 
252301, 4089976; 252328, 4090400; 252364, 4090982; 252307, 4091198; 
251941, 4091292; 251477, 4091232; 251191, 4091481; 251185, 4091658; 
returning to 251184, 4092207.
    (ii) Note: Southern San Joaquin Region, Unit 1b is depicted on Map 
15--Units 1A, 1B, and 2--see paragraph (30)(ii).
    (30) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 2, Fresno County, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Friant. Land bounded by the 
following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 259307, 4097734; 
259442, 4097902; 259483, 4097988; 259743, 4097901; 260153, 4097663; 
260490, 4097393; 260773, 4097110; 260916, 4096853; 261506, 4096656; 
261810, 4096708; 262107, 4097203; 262261, 4097388; 262718, 4097625; 
263193, 4097577; 263655, 4097318; 263988, 4096978; 264104, 4096298; 
263703, 4095827; 263821, 4095465; 264110, 4095270; 264211, 4095169; 
264294, 4094979; 264329, 4094398; 264769, 4094484; 264988, 4094446; 
265443, 4094298; 265672, 4094337; 266030, 4094264; 265865, 4093902; 
265521, 4093499; 265441, 4093345; 265199, 4093165; 264774, 4093047; 
264401, 4093181; 264044, 4093188; 263971, 4093270; 264002, 4093471; 
263856, 4093802; 263594, 4093711; 263462, 4093422; 263323, 4093192; 
263373, 4093166; 263222, 4092989; 262867, 4092976; 262704, 4093198; 
262451, 4093108; 262142, 4092986; 261885, 4092843; 261639, 4092593; 
261510, 4092512; 261139, 4092518; 260841, 4092572; 260715, 4092261; 
260534, 4092127; 260512, 4092123; 260039, 4092041; 259874, 4092120; 
259842, 4092143; 259838, 4092231; 259887, 4092407; 259978, 4092494; 
260034, 4092547; 260200, 4092731; 260241, 4092941; 260482, 4093245; 
260433, 4093402; 260625, 4093897; 260461, 4094183; 260327, 4094416; 
260317, 4094701; 260313, 4094838; 259541, 4096215; 259541, 4096227; 
259623, 4096279; 259542, 4096507; 259542, 4096570; 259485, 4096704; 
259472, 4096979; 259490, 4097262; 259412, 4097426; 259331, 4097555; 
returning to 259307, 4097734.
    (ii) Note: Southern San Joaquin Valley Region, Unit 2 is depicted 
on Map 15--Units 1a, 1b, and 2--which follows:

[[Page 49434]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.009


[[Page 49435]]


    (31) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 3a, Fresno County, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Orange Cove North. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 290111, 
4064680; 291311, 4064655; 292277, 4064495; 292897, 4064406; 293304, 
4064906; 293877, 4065270; 294584, 4065309; 294577, 4064940; 294973, 
4064926; 294962, 4064261; 294150, 4064279; 294132, 4063716; 293340, 
4063754; 293311, 4063118; 292970, 4062774; 292103, 4062528; 291469, 
4062793; 291158, 4063413; 291086, 4063868; 290091, 4063956; returning 
to 290111, 4064680.
    (ii) Note: Southern San Joaquin Region, Unit 3a is depicted on Map 
16--Units 3A and 3B--see paragraph (32)(ii).
    (32) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 3b, Fresno County, 
California, and Tulare County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Orange Cove North, and 
Tucker Mtn. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 296384, 4058957; 296398, 4059181; 296564, 4059658; 
298431, 4059652; 298432, 4059676; 298529, 4061925; 298738, 4062217; 
298933, 4062407; 299169, 4062400; 299471, 4062349; 299655, 4062030; 
299619, 4061457; 299860, 4060916; 299700, 4060350; 299740, 4059797; 
300013, 4059606; 300483, 4059275; 301039, 4058965; 301116, 4058185; 
300650, 4057538; 299855, 4057238; 299218, 4057453; 298847, 4057926; 
298453, 4058427; 297933, 4058509; 297411, 4058567; 297115, 4058636; 
296596, 4058743; returning to 296384, 4058957.
    (ii) Note: Southern San Joaquin Valley Region, Unit 3b is depicted 
on Map 16--Units 3a and 3b--which follows:

[[Page 49436]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.010


[[Page 49437]]


    (33) Southern San Joaquin Region: Unit 5, Kings County, California, 
and Tulare County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Burris Park, Traver, 
Monson, and Remnoy. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 11, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 274730, 4029784; 275563, 4029744; 276147, 4030226; 
276443, 4030631; 276461, 4031301; 277082, 4031301; 277215, 4031301; 
278021, 4031581; 278032, 4031768; 279633, 4031751; 279157, 4032817; 
280534, 4032802; 281370, 4033174; 282087, 4033164; 282812, 4033837; 
282978, 4034239; 283924, 4034298; 284654, 4035065; 288568, 4034950; 
288557, 4035728; 287806, 4035763; 287831, 4036538; 289234, 4036569; 
289420, 4036545; 289388, 4034511; 288623, 4034511; 288596, 4034089; 
287738, 4034107; 287670, 4034524; 286957, 4034603; 286918, 4034358; 
284966, 4034398; 284896, 4033837; 283612, 4033835; 283601, 4033647; 
283093, 4033631; 283051, 4033140; 282531, 4033101; 282523, 4032784; 
282074, 4032765; 282062, 4031058; 280018, 4031127; 280070, 4030841; 
278735, 4030571; 278537, 4030418; 278407, 4030226; 278030, 4030026; 
278008, 4030027; 276325, 4030062; 276285, 4029617; 275634, 4029551; 
275660, 4028843; 275341, 4028816; 275122, 4028323; 274758, 4027969; 
274702, 4028196; returning to 274730, 4029784.
    (ii) Note: Map 17 (Southern San Joaquin Valley Region, Unit 5) 
follows:

[[Page 49438]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.011


[[Page 49439]]


    (34) East Bay Region: Unit 3, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Calaveras Reservoir. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 606493, 
4148131; 606445, 4148064; 606428, 4148018; 606432, 4147932; 606450, 
4147848; 606466, 4147818; 606558, 4147771; 606599, 4147772; 606755, 
4147834; 606834, 4147825; 606924, 4147745; 606959, 4147723; 606992, 
4147438; 606865, 4146951; 606716, 4146634; 606357, 4146443; 606039, 
4146380; 605807, 4146487; 605801, 4146507; 605762, 4146550; 605680, 
4146592; 605678, 4146593; 605573, 4146697; 605446, 4146951; 605479, 
4147194; 605495, 4147179; 605532, 4147116; 605552, 4147114; 605551, 
4147218; 605591, 4147274; 605593, 4147302; 605461, 4147339; 605440, 
4147342; 605404, 4147396; 605341, 4147607; 605300, 4147660; 605329, 
4147701; 605322, 4147708; 605273, 4147694; 605244, 4147731; 605245, 
4147738; 605236, 4147742; 605192, 4147798; 605044, 4148010; 605102, 
4148319; 605127, 4148265; 605220, 4148111; 605251, 4148083; 605294, 
4148086; 605431, 4148129; 605537, 4148188; 605655, 4148273; 605680, 
4148317; 605768, 4148412; 605818, 4148448; 605900, 4148447; 605946, 
4148417; 606075, 4148398; 606134, 4148371; 606201, 4148308; 606331, 
4148228; 606492, 4148189; 606500, 4148167; returning to 606493, 
4148131.
    (ii) Note: Map 18 (East Bay Region, Unit 3) follows:

[[Page 49440]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.012


[[Page 49441]]


    (35) East Bay Region: Unit 5, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Calaveras Reservoir, and 
Mt. Day. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates 
(E,N): 611993, 4142407; 612080, 4142353; 612254, 4142429; 612417, 
4142559; 612570, 4142679; 612668, 4142744; 612896, 4142712; 613157, 
4142614; 613375, 4142483; 613560, 4142265; 613625, 4142113; 613669, 
4141950; 613778, 4141819; 613963, 4141656; 614180, 4141406; 614246, 
4141123; 614333, 4140851; 614267, 4140513; 614300, 4140296; 614191, 
4139991; 614061, 4139795; 613832, 4139599; 613691, 4139480; 613527, 
4139458; 613299, 4139534; 613081, 4139599; 612983, 4139686; 612809, 
4139774; 612613, 4139752; 612504, 4139861; 612439, 4139948; 612254, 
4139893; 612091, 4139991; 611971, 4140067; 610905, 4139741; 610208, 
4139850; 609588, 4140546; 609621, 4141188; 609936, 4141656; 610415, 
4141950; 610698, 4142026; 610763, 4142396; 610850, 4142570; 611025, 
4142777; 611177, 4142918; 611340, 4142951; 611612, 4142799; 611884, 
4142570; returning to 611993, 4142407.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 5 is depicted on Map 19--Units 5, 
6, 7, and 8--see paragraph (38)(ii).
    (36) East Bay Region: Unit 6, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Lick Observatory, and 
Isabel Valley. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 622442, 4134132; 622178, 4133537; 621384, 4132677; 
620789, 4132346; 620326, 4131817; 619664, 4131156; 619003, 4131090; 
618341, 4130891; 617283, 4130957; 616688, 4131553; 616489, 4132413; 
615894, 4132876; 614769, 4133206; 613976, 4133008; 613248, 4133008; 
612520, 4133140; 611793, 4133537; 611197, 4134198; 611131, 4135058; 
612057, 4135654; 613050, 4135786; 613711, 4135852; 614637, 4135786; 
615629, 4135654; 616026, 4135257; 616158, 4134860; 616555, 4134397; 
617283, 4134198; 617746, 4133802; 618540, 4134000; 619069, 4134595; 
620061, 4135654; 620921, 4135852; 621847, 4135786; 622442, 4135455; 
622905, 4134661; returning to 622442, 4134132.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 6 is depicted on Map 19--Units 5, 
6, 7, and 8--see paragraph (38)(ii).
    (37) East Bay Region: Unit 7, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Lick Observatory, Isabel 
Valley, Morgan Hill, and Mt. Sizer. Land bounded by the following UTM 
Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 619400, 4126459; 619796, 4126327; 
621053, 4126459; 621582, 4126393; 622641, 4126592; 623434, 4126592; 
623964, 4126129; 624096, 4125467; 624096, 4124872; 623633, 4124277; 
623699, 4123681; 622575, 4123417; 621384, 4123747; 620656, 4124210; 
619796, 4124541; 619201, 4124078; 618540, 4123086; 618077, 4122094; 
618143, 4120837; 618010, 4119779; 617217, 4118919; 616555, 4118919; 
616158, 4119249; 615563, 4120043; 615100, 4121035; 614637, 4122028; 
614703, 4122755; 615232, 4123218; 615629, 4123681; 615894, 4124343; 
616026, 4124938; 616225, 4125070; 616489, 4126658; 616754, 4127187; 
617217, 4127650; 617878, 4127650; 618804, 4127121; returning to 619400, 
4126459.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 7 is depicted on Map 19--Units 5, 
6, 7, and 8--see paragraph (38)(ii).
    (38) East Bay Region: Unit 8, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Santa Teresa Hills. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 607465, 
4115477; 607584, 4115457; 607783, 4115457; 607902, 4115457; 608219, 
4115417; 608517, 4115913; 608735, 4115913; 608973, 4115834; 609112, 
4115695; 609291, 4115497; 609410, 4115338; 609529, 4115536; 609588, 
4115675; 609727, 4115715; 609707, 4115834; 609767, 4116052; 609866, 
4116211; 609927, 4116356; 609946, 4116348; 609990, 4116306; 610036, 
4116246; 610131, 4116099; 610087, 4116065; 609930, 4115808; 609958, 
4115742; 610012, 4115687; 610086, 4115410; 610096, 4115322; 610135, 
4115089; 610138, 4115056; 610146, 4114967; 610194, 4114679; 610388, 
4114391; 610474, 4114261; 610507, 4113796; 610840, 4113506; 610342, 
4113592; 610045, 4113770; 609807, 4113850; 609092, 4114485; 608239, 
4114068; 607584, 4114008; 606691, 4113909; 606036, 4114028; 605699, 
4114266; 605401, 4114763; 605421, 4115080; 605461, 4115556; 605401, 
4115715; 605123, 4115993; 605024, 4116152; 605084, 4116449; 605024, 
4116648; 604945, 4116767; 605123, 4117144; 605481, 4117223; 605758, 
4117104; 606076, 4116985; 606393, 4116826; 606671, 4116668; 606830, 
4116449; 607108, 4116072; 607306, 4115953; 607247, 4115775; 607247, 
4115695; 607346, 4115576; returning to 607465, 4115477.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 6 is depicted on Map 19--Units 5, 
6, 7, and 8--which follows:

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[[Page 49443]]


    (39) East Bay Region: Unit 9, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Gilroy. Land bounded by 
the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 631716, 4102121; 
631597, 4102061; 631279, 4102081; 630982, 4102220; 630644, 4102478; 
630466, 4102915; 630466, 4103312; 630545, 4103669; 630823, 4103966; 
631061, 4104205; 631220, 4104324; 631418, 4104621; 631418, 4104760; 
631101, 4104978; 630922, 4105177; 630525, 4105673; 630347, 4106110; 
630307, 4106506; 630188, 4106784; 630029, 4107280; 630267, 4107558; 
630466, 4107657; 630704, 4107836; 631021, 4108015; 631299, 4108074; 
631608, 4108074; 632003, 4107936; 632368, 4107679; 632506, 4107363; 
632605, 4107017; 632921, 4105822; 632990, 4105289; 632704, 4104716; 
632506, 4104410; 632487, 4103985; 632704, 4103531; 632743, 4103156; 
632664, 4102879; 632566, 4102682; 632368, 4102405; 632093, 4102121; 
returning to 631716, 4102121.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 9 is depicted on Map 20--Units 9, 
10a, 10b, 11, and 12--see paragraph (43)(ii).
    (40) East Bay Region: Unit 10a, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Mt. Madonna. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 621036, 4103975; 
620814, 4103967; 620501, 4104023; 620498, 4104024; 620493, 4104030; 
620454, 4104197; 620640, 4104325; 620875, 4104403; 620983, 4104462; 
621101, 4104491; 621238, 4104580; 621415, 4104727; 621611, 4104854; 
621807, 4104903; 622072, 4104707; 622162, 4104667; 622146, 4104640; 
621926, 4104390; 621741, 4104273; 621587, 4104150; 621234, 4104025; 
returning to 621036, 4103975.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 10a is depicted on Map 20--Units 
9, 10a, 10b, 11, and 12--see paragraph (43)(ii).
    (41) East Bay Region: Unit 10b, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Gilroy, and Mt. Madonna. 
Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 
623013, 4101932; 623082, 4101638; 623121, 4101363; 623131, 4100981; 
623033, 4100804; 622895, 4100755; 622758, 4100657; 622591, 4100500; 
622573, 4100477; 622408, 4100545; 622373, 4100472; 622228, 4100526; 
622167, 4100637; 622181, 4100752; 622102, 4100840; 621967, 4100895; 
621852, 4101162; 621524, 4101274; 621477, 4101239; 621444, 4101255; 
621189, 4101265; 621022, 4101353; 620787, 4101520; 620777, 4101706; 
620885, 4101922; 620910, 4101980; 620947, 4101966; 621114, 4101924; 
621263, 4101903; 621314, 4101852; 621397, 4101845; 621533, 4101885; 
621594, 4102028; 621627, 4102049; 621676, 4102210; 621751, 4102302; 
621833, 4102372; 621944, 4102424; 622126, 4102445; 622288, 4102596; 
622376, 4102520; 622601, 4102442; 622788, 4102334; 622935, 4102158; 
returning to 623013, 4101932.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 10b is depicted on Map 20--Units 
9, 10a, 10b, 11, and 12--see paragraph (43)(ii).
    (42) East Bay Region: Unit 11, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Gilroy Hot Springs. Land 
bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N):639775, 
4106027; 640158, 4105923; 640506, 4105923; 641028, 4106271; 641272, 
4106062; 641550, 4105471; 641724, 4105192; 642385, 4105018; 642594, 
4104670; 642629, 4104183; 642803, 4103730; 642768, 4103138; 643221, 
4102616; 643847, 4102477; 644404, 4101676; 644056, 4101537; 643847, 
4101363; 643743, 4100632; 643256, 4100180; 642629, 4100180; 641968, 
4100388; 641376, 4100214; 640854, 4100075; 640088, 4100180; 639740, 
4100597; 639427, 4101259; 639531, 4101920; 639322, 4102268; 638905, 
4102686; 638417, 4102999; 637860, 4103521; 637129, 4103904; 636990, 
4104148; 636851, 4104983; 636920, 4105366; 637129, 4105679; 637582, 
4106271; 638139, 4106584; 638626, 4106445; 639009, 4106376; 639392, 
4106306; returning to 639775, 4106027.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 11 is depicted on Map 20--Units 9, 
10a, 10b, 11, and 12--see paragraph (43)(ii).
    (43) East Bay Region: Unit 12, Santa Clara County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Gilroy Hot Springs, and 
San Felipe. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 643914, 4095004; 643892, 4094772; 643829, 4094369; 
643956, 4093946; 644013, 4093764; 644006, 4093721; 644006, 4093721; 
643977, 4093529; 643977, 4093529; 643891, 4092970; 643891, 4092969; 
643891, 4092969; 643890, 4092963; 643849, 4092776; 643849, 4092775; 
643848, 4092770; 643848, 4092768; 643832, 4092624; 643832, 4092620; 
643832, 4092615; 643832, 4092614; 643837, 4092282; 643838, 4092065; 
643838, 4091759; 643837, 4091756; 643835, 4091751; 643834, 4091746; 
643832, 4091741; 643832, 4091736; 643831, 4091731; 643831, 4091726; 
643831, 4091722; 643831, 4091719; 643842, 4091603; 643851, 4091516; 
643851, 4091516; 643854, 4091478; 643856, 4091367; 643856, 4091367; 
643856, 4091358; 643856, 4091355; 643857, 4091350; 643858, 4091345; 
643858, 4091342; 643929, 4091037; 643974, 4090778; 643946, 4090690; 
643913, 4090588; 643897, 4090567; 643894, 4090563; 643891, 4090559; 
643889, 4090555; 643887, 4090550; 643887, 4090549; 643885, 4090546; 
643885, 4090545; 643859, 4090480; 643830, 4090454; 643640, 4090475; 
643365, 4090560; 643069, 4090729; 642709, 4090729; 642497, 4090878; 
642370, 4091026; 642222, 4091216; 641989, 4091428; 641800, 4091569; 
641735, 4091618; 641418, 4091809; 641227, 4092063; 641312, 4092317; 
641333, 4092550; 641143, 4092656; 641164, 4092952; 640994, 4093079; 
640993, 4093078; 640782, 4092994; 640529, 4092994; 640528, 4092994; 
640527, 4092994; 640379, 4092846; 640042, 4092867; 639767, 4092888; 
639534, 4092922; 639470, 4092931; 639415, 4092984; 639320, 4093078; 
639172, 4093438; 639123, 4093490; 639085, 4093565; 639045, 4093645; 
638953, 4093932; 638852, 4094180; 638579, 4094348; 638410, 4094221; 
638357, 4094075; 638356, 4094072; 638325, 4093988; 638108, 4093823; 
638054, 4093568; 638023, 4093382; 637914, 4092762; 637744, 4092545; 
637310, 4092402; 636884, 4093142; 636699, 4093626; 636543, 4094032; 
634886, 4094373; 634553, 4094838; 635056, 4095202; 635335, 4095039; 
635676, 4095551; 635869, 4095659; 635916, 4095992; 636218, 4096062; 
636815, 4096054; 637246, 4095872; 637712, 4096063; 638093, 4096084; 
638833, 4095893; 639236, 4095724; 639553, 4095661; 639913, 4095512; 
640146, 4095428; 640590, 4095110; 640929, 4094877; 640930, 4094879; 
640931, 4094878; 641248, 4095217; 641481, 4095365; 641672, 4095513; 
641968, 4095767; 642307, 4096021; 642771, 4096190; 643342, 4096042; 
643660, 4095682; 643871, 4095280; returning to 643914, 4095004.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 12 is depicted on Map 20--Units 9, 
10a, 10b, 11, and 12--which follows:

[[Page 49444]]

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[[Page 49445]]


    (44) East Bay Region: Unit 13, Merced County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mariposa Peak, and Los 
Banos Valley. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N):670740, 4094185; 670879, 4093959; 670965, 4093691; 
671019, 4093455; 670890, 4093358; 670632, 4093262; 670450, 4093101; 
670299, 4093004; 670171, 4092864; 670010, 4092703; 669870, 4092242; 
669645, 4092038; 669387, 4091802; 669248, 4091609; 669140, 4091383; 
668947, 4091254; 668636, 4091233; 668314, 4091233; 668099, 4091169; 
667949, 4090868; 667756, 4090729; 667380, 4090611; 667090, 4090428; 
666886, 4090417; 666682, 4090568; 666210, 4090922; 666060, 4091104; 
665996, 4091437; 665963, 4091974; 666232, 4092285; 666457, 4092424; 
666800, 4092585; 667058, 4092661; 667273, 4092725; 667402, 4092832; 
667616, 4092940; 667874, 4092929; 668153, 4092875; 668357, 4093079; 
668421, 4093122; 668529, 4093326; 668400, 4093562; 668228, 4093669; 
668228, 4093809; 668357, 4093991; 668582, 4094120; 668786, 4094131; 
668872, 4094131; 668990, 4094152; 669173, 4094152; 669334, 4094152; 
669559, 4094142; 669763, 4094163; 669956, 4094313; 670181, 4094399; 
670439, 4094346; 670589, 4094292; returning to 670740, 4094185.
    (ii) Note: Map 21 (East Bay Region, Unit 13) follows:

[[Page 49446]]

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[[Page 49447]]


    (45) East Bay Region: Unit 14, Merced County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Ruby Canyon, and 
Ortigalita Peak. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 
coordinates (E,N): 679370, 4078644; 679558, 4078303; 679567, 4078064; 
679490, 4077773; 679396, 4077671; 679149, 4077483; 678901, 4077253; 
679003, 4076945; 678799, 4076800; 678483, 4076536; 678295, 4076186; 
678184, 4075947; 678082, 4075537; 677894, 4075401; 677646, 4075162; 
677382, 4075042; 676989, 4075000; 676742, 4075017; 676409, 4075187; 
676161, 4075477; 676008, 4075682; 676213, 4075862; 676349, 4075964; 
676409, 4076143; 676366, 4076331; 676272, 4076442; 676119, 4076604; 
676085, 4076647; 676042, 4076707; 676042, 4076886; 675999, 4077031; 
675931, 4077210; 676025, 4077441; 676170, 4077475; 676469, 4077475; 
676665, 4077569; 676836, 4077705; 677015, 4077893; 677279, 4077970; 
677476, 4077927; 677732, 4078029; 677988, 4078234; 677954, 4078542; 
677663, 4078618; 677390, 4078593; 677365, 4078576; 677365, 4078695; 
677510, 4078968; 677595, 4079156; 677681, 4079233; 677826, 4079233; 
678022, 4079267; 678372, 4079335; 678585, 4079352; 678816, 4079386; 
679029, 4079327; 679353, 4079079; 679345, 4078926; 679336, 4078823; 
returning to 679370, 4078644.
    (ii) Note: Map 22 (East Bay Region, Unit 14) follows:

[[Page 49448]]

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[[Page 49449]]


    (46) East Bay Region: Unit 15a, San Benito County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Tres Pinos. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 648975, 4074659; 
648866, 4074439; 648756, 4074518; 648584, 4074486; 648443, 4074424; 
648345, 4074265; 647958, 4074729; 647957, 4074730; 647957, 4074730; 
647737, 4074980; 647737, 4074980; 647686, 4075039; 647685, 4075039; 
647683, 4075042; 647572, 4075156; 647267, 4075490; 647264, 4075493; 
647261, 4075496; 647260, 4075497; 647205, 4075544; 647201, 4075547; 
647197, 4075550; 647195, 4075551; 647136, 4075588; 647134, 4075589; 
647129, 4075592; 647128, 4075592; 647066, 4075622; 647062, 4075623; 
647059, 4075625; 646994, 4075648; 646992, 4075649; 646988, 4075650; 
646985, 4075651; 646870, 4075678; 646867, 4075679; 646866, 4075679; 
646057, 4075828; 646057, 4075828; 646015, 4075835; 646015, 4075836; 
646014, 4075836; 645999, 4075838; 645995, 4075946; 645992, 4076037; 
645986, 4076234; 645971, 4076906; 645969, 4077086; 645965, 4077530; 
645965, 4077566; 645956, 4077596; 645946, 4077933; 645946, 4077933; 
645953, 4077979; 645953, 4078182; 645953, 4078495; 645953, 4078809; 
645953, 4079075; 645796, 4079341; 645828, 4079686; 646109, 4079873; 
646313, 4080014; 646423, 4080265; 646517, 4080469; 646830, 4080672; 
647080, 4080656; 647487, 4080641; 647738, 4080343; 647926, 4079920; 
648036, 4079482; 647910, 4078903; 648004, 4078605; 648020, 4078245; 
647910, 4077932; 647738, 4077728; 647534, 4077493; 647441, 4077258; 
647503, 4077039; 647769, 4076929; 648145, 4076788; 648270, 4076679; 
648396, 4076381; 648458, 4076052; 648458, 4075739; 648490, 4075598; 
648662, 4075442; 648897, 4075175; returning to 648975, 4074659.
    (ii) East Bay Region, Unit 15a is depicted on Map 23--Units 15a and 
15b--see paragraph (47)(ii).
    (47) East Bay Region: Unit 15b, San Benito County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Tres Pinos. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 648559, 4073866; 
648564, 4073866; 648565, 4073866; 648646, 4073750; 648239, 4073453; 
647816, 4073500; 647566, 4073750; 647628, 4074283; 647628, 4074471; 
647613, 4074690; 647558, 4074952; 647572, 4074937; 647623, 4074880; 
647623, 4074880; 647623, 4074879; 647842, 4074630; 648249, 4074142; 
648251, 4074140; 648254, 4074137; 648366, 4074023; 648373, 4074013; 
648374, 4074012; 648377, 4074008; 648381, 4074004; 648384, 4074001; 
648513, 4073885; 648514, 4073885; 648518, 4073882; 648522, 4073879; 
648526, 4073876; 648530, 4073874; 648535, 4073872; 648540, 4073870; 
648544, 4073868; 648549, 4073867; 648554, 4073866; returning to 648559, 
4073866.
    (ii) Note: East Bay Region, Unit 15b is depicted on Map 23--Units 
15a and 15b--which follows:

[[Page 49450]]

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[[Page 49451]]


    (48) East Bay Region: Unit 16, San Benito County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles San Benito, Topo Valley, 
Rock Springs Peak, Pinalito Canyon, and Lonoak. Land bounded by the 
following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 674357, 4038468; 
674568, 4038151; 674859, 4038204; 675098, 4038733; 675468, 4038944; 
676050, 4038918; 676262, 4038547; 676341, 4038230; 676791, 4038098; 
677214, 4037965; 677664, 4037965; 678008, 4037965; 678908, 4037674; 
679252, 4037357; 679622, 4037357; 680310, 4037542; 680813, 4037383; 
681289, 4036881; 681448, 4036325; 681315, 4035822; 681157, 4035108; 
680892, 4034843; 679992, 4034896; 679622, 4035187; 678961, 4035293; 
678749, 4035029; 679490, 4034552; 679992, 4034129; 680231, 4033732; 
680231, 4033362; 679860, 4033044; 679754, 4032806; 679754, 4032330; 
679860, 4031854; 679754, 4031430; 679992, 4031060; 680310, 4030636; 
680866, 4030266; 681077, 4029869; 680892, 4029578; 680601, 4029075; 
680522, 4028705; 680866, 4028202; 681051, 4027832; 680892, 4027144; 
680680, 4026694; 680389, 4026350; 679887, 4026059; 679728, 4025874; 
679622, 4025477; 679199, 4025027; 678881, 4024763; 678564, 4024339; 
677982, 4024075; 677585, 4023863; 677082, 4023916; 676764, 4024101; 
676659, 4024525; 676421, 4024657; 676050, 4025001; 675944, 4025398; 
675997, 4025662; 676024, 4025874; 676500, 4026271; 676738, 4026403; 
676923, 4026668; 677056, 4026774; 677294, 4027065; 677638, 4027197; 
677876, 4027144; 678114, 4027356; 678220, 4027832; 678061, 4028626; 
677982, 4028996; 677532, 4029340; 677267, 4029763; 676712, 4030319; 
676526, 4030927; 676923, 4031298; 677611, 4031642; 677849, 4032409; 
677585, 4032912; 677214, 4033097; 676712, 4033282; 676156, 4033626; 
675706, 4034155; 675389, 4034685; 675071, 4035055; 674542, 4035214; 
674251, 4035452; 673933, 4035822; 673854, 4036007; 673669, 4036695; 
673325, 4036907; 673060, 4037119; 672690, 4037410; 672452, 4037648; 
672293, 4037912; 671658, 4038309; 671261, 4038759; 671076, 4039394; 
671102, 4039897; 671023, 4040214; 670600, 4040611; 670176, 4040744; 
669885, 4041167; 669674, 4041802; 669938, 4042384; 670309, 4042754; 
670600, 4042860; 671129, 4042860; 671579, 4042675; 671790, 4042384; 
671711, 4041908; 671499, 4041484; 671764, 4041193; 672028, 4041167; 
672346, 4040929; 672663, 4040717; 672928, 4040400; 673060, 4040320; 
673351, 4040109; 673854, 4039659; 674145, 4039288; 674277, 4038891; 
returning to 674357, 4038468.
    (ii) Note: Map 24 (East Bay Region, Unit 16) follows:

[[Page 49452]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.018


[[Page 49453]]


    (49) East Bay Region: Unit 17, San Benito County, California, and 
Monterey County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Mount Johnson. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 654222, 4043469; 
654725, 4043363; 655413, 4043442; 655651, 4043072; 656048, 4042543; 
656259, 4042331; 656392, 4041617; 656074, 4041405; 655571, 4041511; 
655148, 4041326; 654803, 4041088; 654725, 4041035; 654381, 4041078; 
654301, 4041087; 653719, 4041220; 653713, 4041222; 653474, 4041307; 
653349, 4041352; 653301, 4041352; 653086, 4041352; 653060, 4041352; 
652873, 4041352; 652555, 4041167; 652479, 4041178; 652474, 4041179; 
652049, 4041243; 652026, 4041246; 651775, 4040954; 651708, 4040876; 
651686, 4040872; 651417, 4040823; 651285, 4041114; 651308, 4041306; 
651338, 4041564; 651345, 4041581; 651444, 4041828; 651444, 4041831; 
651550, 4042252; 651593, 4042303; 651973, 4042754; 651990, 4042771; 
652003, 4042784; 652449, 4043231; 652545, 4043638; 652555, 4043680; 
651655, 4043866; 651364, 4044315; 651259, 4044845; 650941, 4045347; 
650968, 4045824; 651166, 4045978; 651206, 4046009; 651232, 4046141; 
651603, 4046353; 652079, 4046538; 652608, 4046538; 653217, 4046168; 
653481, 4045744; 653508, 4045003; 653455, 4044342; 653587, 4043786; 
returning to 654222, 4043469.
    (ii) Note: Map 25 (East Bay Region, Unit 17) follows:

[[Page 49454]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.019


[[Page 49455]]


    (50) Central Coast Region: Unit 3, Monterey County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Rana Creek. Land bounded 
by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates (E,N): 627509, 4030548; 
627840, 4030382; 628072, 4030440; 628412, 4030573; 628645, 4030498; 
628902, 4030506; 629208, 4030564; 629590, 4030473; 630029, 4030282; 
630294, 4029984; 630361, 4029602; 630353, 4029296; 630278, 4028939; 
630236, 4028649; 630427, 4028450; 630610, 4028201; 630701, 4027903; 
630726, 4027588; 630684, 4027273; 630477, 4026991; 630319, 4026742; 
629623, 4026518; 629233, 4026560; 628926, 4026684; 628711, 4026825; 
628487, 4027074; 628155, 4027231; 627923, 4027463; 627650, 4027613; 
627252, 4027596; 626845, 4027687; 626456, 4027969; 626373, 4028218; 
626257, 4028591; 626074, 4028732; 625908, 4028906; 625784, 4029113; 
625701, 4029403; 625701, 4029694; 625751, 4030034; 625933, 4030299; 
626306, 4030606; 626688, 4030730; 627011, 4030763; 627301, 4030722; 
returning to 627509, 4030548.
    (ii) Note: Map 26 (Central Coast Region, Unit 3) follows:

[[Page 49456]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.020


[[Page 49457]]


    (51) Central Coast Region: Unit 6, Kern County, California, and San 
Luis Obispo County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Orchard Peak, and Holland 
Canyon. Land bounded by the following UTM Zone 10, NAD83 coordinates 
(E,N): 757032, 3945151; 757374, 3944871; 757614, 3944675; 758116, 
3944463; 758513, 3944172; 758831, 3943590; 759016, 3943193; 759360, 
3942929; 759519, 3942770; 759545, 3942399; 759386, 3941950; 759254, 
3941447; 758884, 3941076; 758487, 3941156; 758090, 3941553; 757693, 
3941711; 757561, 3941579; 757481, 3941632; 757243, 3942002; 756873, 
3942055; 756503, 3942241; 756264, 3942505; 755920, 3942876; 755815, 
3943114; 755709, 3943431; 755497, 3943537; 755391, 3943616; 755180, 
3943881; 754941, 3944093; 754730, 3944331; 754439, 3944516; 754068, 
3944569; 754015, 3944860; 753724, 3944939; 753592, 3944860; 753275, 
3945098; 752851, 3945151; 752428, 3945204; 752084, 3945521; 751925, 
3945760; 751819, 3946104; 751793, 3946447; 751766, 3947030; 751608, 
3947559; 751502, 3947903; 751026, 3948061; 750840, 3948405; 750814, 
3948776; 750814, 3949120; 750523, 3949384; 750100, 3949622; 750047, 
3949887; 750020, 3950152; 749835, 3950734; 749650, 3951025; 749676, 
3951342; 749756, 3951739; 749888, 3952030; 750444, 3952295; 750840, 
3952533; 751131, 3952718; 751634, 3952586; 751899, 3952559; 752243, 
3952480; 752613, 3952030; 752878, 3951554; 752666, 3951051; 753063, 
3950707; 753248, 3950390; 753328, 3950046; 753566, 3949781; 753804, 
3949411; 753777, 3949014; 753804, 3948723; 754062, 3948505; 754306, 
3948300; 754598, 3948035; 754862, 3947717; 755418, 3947321; 755629, 
3946924; 755868, 3946421; 756238, 3946024; 756529, 3945680; 756820, 
3945416; returning to 757032, 3945151.
    (ii) Note: Map 27 (Central Coast Region, Unit 6) follows:

[[Page 49458]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR23AU05.021


    Dated: August 10, 2005.
Julie MacDonald,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 05-16234 Filed 8-22-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-C