[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 72 (Thursday, April 15, 1999)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18596-18597]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-9153]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF36, 1018-AF37


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of 
Comment Periods and Notice of Availability of Draft Economic Analyses 
on Proposed Critical Habitat Determinations for the Cactus Ferruginous 
Pygmy-Owl and the Huachuca Water Umbel, a Plant

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment periods and notice of 
availability of draft economic analyses.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability 
of draft economic analyses of the proposed designation of critical 
habitat for the plant Lilaeopsis schaffneriana ssp. recurva (Huachuca 
water umbel) and the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium 
brasilianum cactorum). We also provide notice of the reopening of the 
comment periods for the two proposals to allow all interested parties 
to submit written comments on the proposals and on the draft economic 
analyses. We have received some comments on the proposals after the 
close of the original comment periods. Those comments will be 
incorporated into the public records as a part of these reopenings and 
do not need to be resubmitted.

DATES: The original comment periods for both critical habitat proposals 
closed on March 1, 1999. The comment periods are reopened and we will 
accept comments until May 15, 1999. Comments must be received by the 
closing date. Any comments that are received after the closing date may 
not be considered in the final decisions on these proposals.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft economic analyses are available on the 
Internet at http://ifw2irm2.irm1.r2.fws.gov/ or by writing to the Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, 
Suite 103, Phoenix, Arizona 85021. Written comments should be sent to 
the Field Supervisor. Comments and materials received will be available 
for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at 
the above Service address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Gatz, Endangered Species 
Coordinator, at the above address (telephone 602-640-2720 ext. 240; 
facsimile 602-640-2730).

[[Page 18597]]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl is one of four subspecies of the 
ferruginous pygmy-owl. It occurs from lowland central Arizona south 
through western Mexico to the States of Colima and Michoacan, and from 
southern Texas south through the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Nuevo 
Leon. Only the Arizona population of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl 
is listed as an endangered species. We proposed designation of 
approximately 730,565 acres of riverine riparian and upland habitat as 
critical habitat for the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Proposed critical 
habitat is in Pima, Cochise, Pinal, and Maricopa counties, Arizona as 
described in the proposed rule (63 FR 71820; December 30, 1999).
    The Huachuca water umbel is a plant found in cienegas (desert 
marshes), streams and springs in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, 
Mexico, typically in mid-elevation wetland communities often surrounded 
by relatively arid environments. These communities are usually 
associated with perennial springs and stream headwaters, have 
permanently or seasonally saturated highly organic soils, and have a 
low probability of flooding or scouring. We proposed critical habitat 
including a total of 83.9 km (52.1 mi) of streams or rivers in Cochise 
and Santa Cruz counties, Arizona (63 FR 71838; December 30, 1999).
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall 
designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific 
data available and after taking into consideration the economic impact 
of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. Based upon the 
previously published proposals to designate critical habitat for the 
Huachuca water umbel and the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl and comments 
received during previous comment periods, we have conducted a draft 
economic analysis of each proposed critical habitat designation. The 
draft economic analyses are available at the above Internet and mailing 
addresses. In order to accept the best and most current scientific data 
regarding the critical habitat proposals and the draft economic 
analyses of the proposals, we reopen the comment periods at this time.
    The Fish and Wildlife Service has previously conducted and recorded 
three public hearings on these critical habitat designation proposals 
as required under Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). Due to the expeditious treatment of these proposed 
critical habitat determinations under Federal District Court order as 
described in the proposed rules, we will not conduct additional 
hearings and will accept only written comments during these reopened 
comment periods. Previously submitted oral or written comments on 
either of these critical habitat proposals need not be resubmitted.
    The current comment period on this proposal closes on May 15, 1999. 
Written comments may be submitted to the Service office in the 
ADDRESSES section.

Author

    The primary author of this notice is Jeffrey A. Humphrey (see 
ADDRESSES).

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(16 U.S.C. 1531-1544).

    Dated: April 7, 1999.
Charlie Sanchez Jr.,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-9153 Filed 4-14-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P