[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 151 (Tuesday, August 5, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45533-45604]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-16813]



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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 Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) 
and Taxonomic Revision; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 5, 2008 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 45534]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[FWS-R8-ES-2008-0014; 92210-1117-0000-B4]
RIN 1018-AV05


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis 
sierrae) and Taxonomic Revision

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 Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis 
canadensis sierrae) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). In total, approximately 417,577 acres (ac) (168,992 
hectares (ha)) fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat 
designation. The critical habitat is located in Tuolumne, Mono, Fresno, 
Inyo, and Tulare Counties, California. We also are finalizing the 
revision of taxonomy of the listed entity from a distinct population 
segment (DPS) of California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis 
californiana) to subspecies, Ovis canadensis sierrae, based on recent 
published information.

DATES: This rule becomes effective on September 4, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The final rule, economic analysis, and maps are available at 
http://www.regulations.gov and at http://www.fws.gov/nevada. Supporting 
documentation we used in the preparation of this final rule is 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial 
Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89523; telephone 775-861-6300; facsimile 
775-861-6301.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert D. Williams, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 
section). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to 
the designation of critical habitat in this rule. For more information 
on the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, refer to the final listing rule 
published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2000 (65 FR 20) and the 
proposed critical habitat rule published in the Federal Register on 
July 25, 2007 (72 FR 40955).
    The bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is a large mammal in the family 
Bovidae described by Shaw in 1804 (Shackleton 1985, p. 1). Cowan (1940, 
pp. 519-569) recognized several subspecies based on geography and skull 
measurements. Recent genetic (Ramey 1993, pp. 62-86; 1995, p. 432-434; 
Boyce et al. 1996, pp. 423-426, 429; Gutierrez-Espeleta et al. 1998, 
pp. 7-9, 11) and morphological data (Wehausen and Ramey 1993, pp. 4-8; 
2000, pp. 148-153), and review and reanalysis of Cowan's data (Ramey 
1993, p. 83), do not support Cowan's original subspecies 
differentiations.
    Ramey (1993, pp. 71-72; 1995, p. 432) found, based on mitochondrial 
DNA (mtDNA), bighorn sheep from the Sierra Nevada to be more allied 
with sheep occupying the adjacent desert area than those to the north. 
Ramey (1993, pp. 67-68; 1995, pp. 433, 435) also found Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep to be a distinctive group in the desert region extending 
east to Utah and New Mexico and south to northern Mexico. Ramey (1993 
p. 54) used mtDNA as a genetic marker to help understand the 
evolutionary history of North American mountain sheep. From the 116 
individuals included in the surveys, 16 different mtDNA haplotypes were 
identified in North America and four in Asia (Ramey 1993, p. 62). Two 
major mtDNA lineages of mountain sheep were indicated in North America 
(Ramey 1993, p. 63). Within the northern Alaska and western North 
America clade, three mtDNA lineages were identified (Ramey 1993, p. 
72). One lineage included bighorn sheep in the desert ranges of the 
southwestern United States and Mexico and the Sierra Nevada (Ramey 
1993, p. 72), where the Sierra Nevada population was found to be more 
closely related to the desert-dwelling sheep than those from the 
Cascade Ranges or Rocky Mountains (Ramey 1993, p. 72). Within the 
desert-dwelling sheep populations, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep differed 
(Ramey 1993, p. 73). Ramey (1995 p. 429) used mtDNA as a genetic marker 
to help understand the evolutionary history of North American mountain 
sheep in the southwest United States. Ten mtDNA haplotypes were 
identified in the southwest, with a common one being found in most 
populations (Ramey 1995, pp. 431-432). The distribution of mtDNA 
variants in the southwest did not support the recognition of O. c. 
cremnobates, O. c. mexicana, and O. c. nelsoni as distinct and separate 
subspecies, but the mtDNA analysis did show a unique fixed haplotype 
for O. c. californiana from the Sierra Nevada (Ramey 1995, p. 433). 
Based on this finding, bighorn sheep from the Sierra Nevada could be 
distinguished from populations of other subspecies of bighorn sheep 
(Ramey 1995, p. 433). Results indicated that significant differences in 
mtDNA haplotype frequencies can be found among populations that are 
adjacent to one another and separated by short distances (Ramey 1995, 
p. 435). A few rare haplotypes were limited in distribution and found 
in only single populations. One of these populations included the 
Sierra Nevada (Ramey 1995, p. 433).
    Wehausen and Ramey (2000, pp. 148-153) used univariate and 
multivariate statistical methods to examine the geographic variation in 
horn and skull characters of 694 bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) from 
the Great Basin to British Columbia and Alberta. California bighorn 
sheep (O. c. californiana) from Washington and British Columbia were 
not distinguishable from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (O. c. 
canadensis); however, they did differ from Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
populations considered to be O. c. californiana. Extirpated populations 
from northeastern California, Oregon, and southwestern Idaho shared a 
horn-related character with Nelson bighorn sheep (O. c. nelsoni) from 
the Great Basin; this shared character was different from Rocky 
Mountain bighorn sheep. Individuals from the Sierra Nevada were 
distinguishable from bighorn sheep from the Great Basin. These results 
agree with geographic patterns identified with the mtDNA studies of 
Ramey (1993, 1995) (Wehausen and Ramey 2000, p. 156). Wehausen and 
Ramey (2000, pp. 153-157) synonymized the extinct Audubon subspecies, 
O. c. auduboni, from east of the Rocky Mountains in eastern Montana and 
Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Nebraska with O. c. 
canadensis. They also assigned extinct and extant native populations of 
O. c. californiana from Washington and British Columbia to O. c. 
canadensis and the extinct native populations of O. c. californiana 
from northeastern California, northern Nevada, southwestern Idaho, and 
Oregon to O. c. nelsoni of the Great Basin desert form. Based on 
genetic and morphometric data, Wehausen and Ramey (2000, p. 156) 
concluded that bighorn sheep in the Sierra Nevada should be recognized 
as a separate subspecies of O. canadensis, but they

[[Page 45535]]

did not recommend a change in nomenclature at that time.
    In a recent investigation of the taxonomy of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep, Wehausen et al. (2005) reexamined the history of bighorn sheep 
nomenclature. Grinnell (1912, p. 144) recognized bighorn sheep from the 
Sierra Nevada of California as a distinct subspecies, Ovis cervina (= 
canadensis) sierrae, designating a 5-year-old ram as the type specimen. 
Cowan (1940, p. 556) did not recognize the subspecies O. c. sierrae as 
valid, but included animals from the Sierra Nevada as O. c. 
californiana. Wehausen and Ramey (2000, pp. 153-157) reassigned 
specimens from north of the central Sierra Nevada to O. c. nelsoni and 
O. c. canadensis. They kept the name O. c. californiana for bighorn 
sheep in central and southern Sierra Nevada (Wehausen and Ramey 2000, 
p. 156), raising the question of the correct subspecific name for 
animals inhabiting this area. Based on this investigation of the 
taxonomy of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and by the Principle of 
Typification (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 
1999), cited in Wehausen et al. (2005, p. 217), Wehausen et al. (2005 
p. 217) concluded, based on Grinnell's original type specimen, that the 
correct nomenclature for native sheep in the central and southern 
Sierra Nevada of California is Ovis canadensis sierrae (Grinnell). 
Therefore, with the publication of this final rule designating critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, we formally revise its 
taxonomy from DPS of California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis 
californiana) to subspecies Ovis canadensis sierrae.
    Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep inhabit portions of the Sierra Nevada 
located along the eastern boundary of California in Tuolumne, Mono, 
Fresno, Inyo, and Tulare Counties. Habitat occurs from the eastern base 
of the range as low as 4,790 feet (ft) (1,460 meters (m)) to peaks 
above 14,100 ft (4,300 m) (Wehausen 1980, pp. 3, 82).
    Based on recent modeling efforts, discussed further in the Criteria 
Used To Identify Critical Habitat section, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat, as well as areas necessary to provide connectivity between 
winter and summer ranges, occur as low as 4,000 ft (1,219 m) in the 
southern portion of its range (Johnson et al. 2005). Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep inhabit open areas where the land is rocky, sparsely 
vegetated, and characterized by steep slopes and canyons (Wehausen 
1980, p. 81; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 
1997, p. 5). Wehausen (1980, pp. 18-25) provides a detailed description 
of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat throughout its range. They 
prefer open ground to better detect predators and allow enough time to 
reach steep, rocky terrain (escape habitat) (Wehausen 1980, p. 81). 
Forests and thick brush are usually avoided if possible (65 FR 21; 
January 3, 2000). Most of the sheep live at higher elevations (10,000-
14,000 ft (3,050-4,270 m)) in subalpine and alpine areas during the 
summer (65 FR 21; January 3, 2000). During winter, these sheep occupy 
high-elevation, windswept ridges and tend to prefer south-facing slopes 
where snow melts more readily (Jones 1950, pp. 44-45; McCullough and 
Schneegas 1966, p. 71; Wehausen 1980, pp. 86-87) or migrate to lower 
elevations (4,800 ft (1,460 m)) in sagebrush-steppe areas to avoid deep 
snow and to find forage.
    Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are gregarious, with group size and 
composition depending on gender and season. Spatial segregation by 
gender occurs outside of the mating season. Bighorn sheep ewes 
generally remain with the same band in which they were born (Cowan and 
Geist 1971, pp. 80-81). Males older than 2 years of age remain apart 
from females and younger males for most of the year (Jones 1950, p. 50; 
Cowan and Geist 1971, p. 65; Wehausen 1980, p. 109). During the late 
fall and winter, the groups come together and concentrate in suitable 
winter habitat.
    Breeding takes place in late fall, generally November and December 
(Jones 1950, pp. 63-64; Cowan and Geist 1971, p. 64; Wishart 1978, p. 
165). Lambing occurs between late April and early July (Wehausen 1996, 
p. 475) on safe, precipitous, rocky slopes (Wehausen 1980, p. 95); most 
lambs in the Sierra Nevada are born in May and June (Wehausen 1980, p. 
94; 1996, p. 475). Ewes and lambs often occupy steep terrain that 
provides a diversity of exposures and slopes for escape cover (65 FR 
21; January 3, 2000). The lifespan for both Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
males and females has been observed as 8 to 12 years (Wehausen 1980, p. 
76; Stephenson 2008, p. 1).
    Bighorn sheep are primarily diurnal (Jones 1950, pp. 54-57). They 
are primarily grazers; however, they may browse woody vegetation at 
times. Plants consumed include various grasses, browse, and forbs, 
depending on season and location (Wehausen 1980, pp. 80-93). Naturally 
occurring and mineral licks provide necessary minerals for bone and 
muscle growth.
    While distribution of bighorn sheep is naturally fragmented on the 
landscape, the maintenance of migration corridors (space) is important 
to allow genetic exchange between Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep herds. 
The population ecology of bighorn sheep has been described as a 
metapopulation with geographically distinct herds interacting in a 
network (Schwartz et al. 1986, p. 184; Bleich et al. 1990, pp. 384-
388). The movements of rams between herds can counteract the effects of 
inbreeding that can develop with small, isolated populations (Schwartz 
et al. 1986, pp. 182-185).

Previous Federal Actions

    On April 20, 1999, we published an emergency rule listing the 
Sierra Nevada DPS of the California bighorn sheep as endangered (64 FR 
19300), providing emergency protection to the DPS until such time that 
we could complete the normal listing process. We also published a 
proposed rule to list the DPS as endangered on the same date (64 FR 
19333). On January 3, 2000, we published a final rule listing the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep as endangered (65 FR 20). The emergency 
rule stated that the designation of critical habitat was not 
determinable due to lack of information sufficient to perform the 
required analysis of impacts of the designation. In the final listing 
rule, we stated our revised determination that there is sufficient 
information to perform the required impact analysis and that the 
designation of critical habitat is prudent.
    During the process of designating critical habitat for the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, we noticed that the final listing rule published 
in 2000 (65 FR 20) inadvertently listed this entity as a DPS rather 
than as a subspecies. While the listing rule addressed the DPS 
question, we failed to include the DPS language in the table found in 
the regulatory section of the rule. However, as stated above, based on 
the work of Wehausen and Ramey (2000, p. 156) and Wehausen et al. 
(2005, p. 217), the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is recognized as a 
subspecies, and the correct nomenclature is Ovis canadensis sierrae. 
Therefore, we are formally providing a taxonomic revision herein to 
amend the final listing rule to subspecies Ovis canadensis sierrae.
    On July 30, 2003, we made available the Service's Draft Recovery 
Plan for the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana) 
(68 FR 44808). On October 9, 2003, we reopened the comment period for 
the draft Recovery Plan (68 FR 58355). On February 13, 2008, we 
published a Notice of Availability for the final recovery plan (73 FR 
8345).

[[Page 45536]]

    On December 8, 2005, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a 
complaint based on the Service's failure to designate critical habitat 
for this subspecies within the time mandated under the Act (Center for 
Biological Diversity v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al. Case No. 
2:05-CB-02492-DFL-KJM). On June 6, 2006, the Service entered into a 
settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity to submit 
a proposed critical habitat designation for this subspecies for 
publication in the Federal Register by July 17, 2007, and to submit a 
final determination on the proposed critical habitat designation for 
publication by July 17, 2008.
    Our proposed critical habitat rule and taxonomic revision for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep was published in the Federal Register on 
July 25, 2007 (72 FR 40956). A notice of availability of the draft 
economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical habitat designation 
was published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2008 (73 FR 6684). 
This final rule satisfies the June 6, 2006, settlement agreement with 
respect to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    For more information on previous Federal actions concerning Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, refer to the final listing rule published in the 
Federal Register on January 3, 2000 (65 FR 20).

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We requested written comments from the public on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
published on July 25, 2007 (72 FR 40956). The 60-day comment period for 
the proposed rule closed on September 24, 2007. A request for a comment 
period extension was received from a private organization on August 20, 
2007, and on October 9, 2007, the comment period was reopened until 
November 23, 2007 (72 FR 57276). A 30-day comment period was opened on 
the DEA and the proposed rule on February 5, 2008, and closed on March 
6, 2008 (73 FR 6684). Comments and new information received in response 
to the proposed rule and the DEA were incorporated in the final rule as 
appropriate and summarized below.
    During the comment periods for the proposed rule, we received a 
total of 28,181 (28,153 in support, 12 opposed, and 16 neutral) 
comments from Federal, State, and local governments, non-governmental 
organizations and private individuals. We received two requests for 
public hearings. The Inyo County Board of Supervisors made a request 
for a public hearing on August 7, 2007, as did two private individuals 
on August 29, 2007. A public hearing was held in Bishop, California, on 
October 25, 2007 (72 FR 57276). We received 12 oral testimonies from 12 
individuals. Of these commenters, three who provided oral comments also 
submitted duplicative written comments. A request was made for a public 
workshop by the Mono County Board of Supervisors on September 5, 2007. 
We held two public meetings in Bridgeport and Bishop, California, on 
October 24 and 25, 2007, respectively (72 FR 57276).

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), 
we solicited expert opinions from three knowledgeable individuals with 
scientific expertise that included familiarity with the species and 
conservation biology principles. We received responses from two peer 
reviewers. In general, the peer reviewers concurred with our methods 
and conclusions and provided suggestions to improve the final critical 
habitat rule.
    We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers and the 
public for substantive issues and new information regarding critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, addressed them in the 
following summary, and incorporated them into the final rule as 
appropriate.

Peer Reviewer Comments

    (1) Comment: Both peer reviewers raised concern that the proposed 
designation did not adequately protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from 
the possible introduction of disease from domestic sheep and goats. One 
suggested that the ``absence of risk of disease transmission'' should 
be explicitly included as a primary constituent element (PCE) as 
pneumonia caused by contact with domestic sheep or goats can be an 
overriding factor affecting habitat suitability.
    Our Response: Conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
depends on addressing both habitat and non-habitat related threats. In 
terms of the consultation process under section 7(a)(2) of the Act, the 
Service is required to analyze both the threats to the individuals 
within a population and the threats to the PCEs of its designated 
critical habitat. Under the Special Management Considerations or 
Protection section, we have indicated that management of domestic 
livestock grazing practices that result in overgrazing or forage 
competition between these domestic species and Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep can be a threat. The concern for overgrazing or competition is a 
habitat-related threat associated with the PCEs (i.e., PCE 2). The 
potential for contact and the possible transmission of disease to 
bighorn sheep exists when domestic sheep or goats are present in 
critical habitat. Management of the threat of disease transmission 
between domestic sheep and goats and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is 
needed to conserve this species; however, this threat is not strictly a 
habitat-related threat. The potential effects of disease transmission 
will be addressed through section 7 consultation with Federal agencies 
under the jeopardy standard and through the section 9 prohibitions of 
the Act to the extent applicable. There would be no benefit gained from 
a critical habitat designation with respect to the effects of disease 
on individual Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep because the regulatory 
effects of critical habitat designations apply to adverse modification 
or destruction of habitat, not to effects that result in the mortality 
of individual Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Because the disease threat 
faced by the species is not habitat-based, there would be no practical 
benefit to including it as a PCE.
    (2) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that buffer zones be 
established around designated critical habitat for management of 
domestic sheep and goats because activities that could pose a risk of 
disease transmission do not need to occur directly within critical 
habitat to affect that habitat.
    Our Response: The units designated as critical habitat for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep contain the features essential for the 
conservation of this subspecies. It is not our practice to establish 
buffers around an area designated as critical habitat. As indicated 
under the Special Management Considerations or Protection section, 
domestic sheep and goat grazing may require management modifications to 
protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in critical habitat in certain 
units. Any buffer distance recommended or suggested in a Federally 
proposed action involving domestic sheep or goat grazing adjacent to a 
designated critical habitat unit to reduce the potential threat of 
disease transmission to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep would be taken into 
consideration during the jeopardy analysis of the consultation process 
under section 7 of the Act.
    (3) Comment: One peer reviewer raised concern for an elevated risk 
of disease transmission with domestic sheep grazing on U.S. Forest 
Service

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(USFS) lands as Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep wander between units.
    Our Response: We are aware of the potential risk of disease 
transmission due to contact between domestic sheep (and goats) and 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. If a disease outbreak were to occur in a 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep population, it could be passed to other 
populations (units) because of, most likely, ram forays. This risk will 
increase if Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep numbers increase as expected 
due to continuing recovery actions. While we believe that this is an 
issue of management concern, we do not believe that this critical 
habitat designation necessarily affects the issue in any significant 
way. Please also see our response to comment (1).
    (4) Comment: Both peer reviewers raised concern that the proposed 
critical habitat designation did not provide biologically based 
corridors or linkage zones for movements among Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep subpopulations. They were unclear how genetic exchange or 
colonization would be allowed with unconnected units of critical 
habitat.
    Our Response: Connectivity, within a critical habitat unit, is a 
PCE for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (i.e., PCE 1). The current 
critical habitat configuration provides for long-term connectivity 
between groups within a particular unit. We recognize the importance of 
migration between critical habitat units, as discussed under 
Metapopulaton Structure in the Space for Individual and Population 
Growth and for Normal Behavior section. However, due to the current 
isolation of occupied herd units and extremely limited knowledge of 
various migration paths that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, especially 
rams, may have taken historically between units, we did not develop 
criteria that would capture migration corridors between units.
    (5) Comment: One peer reviewer was concerned about the fine-scale 
mapping resulting in ``finger-like'' habitats for Units 1, 2, 3, 4, and 
9. The concern was related to possible difficulties in managing such 
areas. The reviewer suggested the boundaries be redrawn to reduce 
sinuosity, possibly along watershed and or drainage boundaries.
    Our Response: The critical habitat units have been developed to be 
consistent with the herd units that the Sierra Nevada bighorn recovery 
plan identifies as essential for recovery of the subspecies. Those herd 
units were originally developed using expert opinion and information on 
current and historical bighorn sheep locations in the Sierra Nevada. 
Those units were later refined using a habitat selection model 
developed by University of California Davis and the California 
Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) (Johnson et al. 2005). Based on our 
analysis of the biological needs of the subspecies, we believe that the 
herd units developed for the recovery plan capture those areas that 
contain the physical and biological features arranged in the 
appropriate quantity and spatial arrangement for the conservation of 
the subspecies.
    It is important to remember that these critical habitat units are 
not being established as Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep preserves or 
management zones. These are regulatory designations of areas that 
contain the features essential to the conservation of the subspecies. 
Critical habitat would serve its regulatory role when analyzing a 
particular Federal action in the consultation process under section 
7(a)(2) of the Act to determine if that action would adversely modify 
or destroy critical habitat by impacting the essential features within 
that unit to such a degree that the unit no longer serves its function 
for conservation.
    It is possible that a Federal action immediately adjacent to these 
units (e.g., between ``fingers'') could indirectly adversely modify 
critical habitat within the units. In such a situation, the action 
would be analyzed through the consultation process under section 
7(a)(2) of the Act against the adverse modification standard. However, 
because our analysis has not identified essential features in these 
locations, unit boundary modification and designation of critical 
habitat therein would not be appropriate.
    (6) Comment: One peer reviewer commented that the indicated 9 to 11 
year lifespan for bighorn sheep seemed short.
    Our Response: We have modified the Background section of the final 
rule to more accurately reflect the observed lifespan for male and 
female bighorn sheep in the Sierra Nevada.

Comments From State Agencies

    (7) Comment: California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) 
suggested a PCE that identifies a ``disease-free zone'' because of the 
risk to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in proximity to domestic sheep.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 1.
    (8) Comment: CDFG recommended establishment of a buffer that 
excludes domestic sheep to ensure the integrity of the critical habitat 
for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and provide additional protections.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 2.
    (9) Comment: CDFG recommended more emphasis be placed on the use of 
fire to maintain critical habitat because fire is an integral part of 
the landscape.
    Our Response: The Special Management Considerations or Protection 
section identifies activities of Federal agencies or those with a 
federal nexus that may impact Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and their 
habitat. The section is not meant to promote or discourage any 
particular activity. We indicated that it may be necessary in some of 
the critical habitat units to reduce forest cover to make habitat more 
suitable for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Prescribed fire can be used 
as a tool to do this. Johnson et al. (2005, p. 34) indicate Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep could gain additional habitat with a reduction in 
forest cover. In addition, the final recovery plan (Appendix H, Genetic 
Management of Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep) provides a specific 
recommendation to use fire in addition to other methods to enhance 
habitat within herd units (Service 2007, p. 174). This would improve 
unit carrying capacity, as well as connectivity with adjacent herd 
units, providing better opportunities for genetic exchange between 
herds.
    (10) Comment: California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) 
commented that there is ``still incomplete agreement in the scientific 
community'' about disease transmission from domestic sheep to bighorn 
sheep, in general, such as how often it occurs and its role in disease 
epizootics in bighorn sheep. The CDFA agrees that a reasonable approach 
is to keep the two species separated. How such separation occurs and 
what measures are used to prevent possible contact are important to 
both the survival of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and the domestic sheep 
industry in Inyo and Mono Counties, California. The CDFA commented that 
further scientific findings will improve understanding of the true 
nature of respiratory disease in bighorn sheep, in general, and that 
interested parties should cooperate on common interests. They also 
noted that at the 111th Annual Meeting of the United States Animal 
Health Association (USAHA) in October 2007, a joint resolution passed 
recommending additional research and formation of a subcommittee. The 
College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the 
University of Nevada Reno (UNR) similarly mentions the USAHA 
resolution.
    Our Response: We are aware that disagreement continues regarding 
the potential for disease transmission to

[[Page 45538]]

occur between domestic livestock, especially sheep and goats, and 
bighorn sheep, in general, under range conditions. We have reviewed 
Resolution No. 15 that reads, ``The United States Animal Health 
Association (USAHA) urges the United States Secretary of Agriculture 
and the United States Secretary of the Interior to seek resources 
through the President's budget to fund research to better elucidate the 
epidemiology and pathogenesis of bighorn/domestic sheep disease 
interactions so informed and effective management decisions can be 
made.'' We, along with others, continue to seek answers to questions 
related to this disease transmission issue. We support continuing 
research efforts to address uncertainties and to assist in the 
decision-making process.
    (11) Comment: The CDFA recommends consideration of the Western 
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' (WAFWA) document, 
``Recommendations for Domestic Sheep and Goat Management in Wild Sheep 
Habitat'', dated June 21, 2007, and the University of California--
Davis' ``Quantifying the Risk of Disease Transmission from Domestic 
Sheep to Bighorn Sheep in the Sierra Nevada'' in future determinations 
of effectively preventing the possibility of disease transmission 
between domestic sheep and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, in addition to 
working with livestock industry representatives.
    Our Response: We are aware of these documents and consider 
information contained within them during section 7 consultations, as 
appropriate. Other documents also support the effective separation of 
domestic sheep from bighorn sheep, in general, as a management tool to 
reduce the risk of contact and possible disease transmission (Wyoming 
State-wide Bighorn/Domestic Sheep Working Group 2004, pp. 7, 11; U.S. 
Forest Service 2006, pp. 18-19). Also, an expert science panel (U.S. 
Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation 2006) was convened in 2006 
to discuss a risk analysis of disease transmission between domestic and 
bighorn sheep on the Payette National Forest in Idaho. The panel 
focused on science-based concerns raised by the risk analysis document, 
specifically the disease/mortality category, and developed six 
statements. References to concerns about domestic sheep also apply to 
domestic goats. Three of these key statements follow: ``(1a) Scientific 
observation and field studies demonstrate that ``contact'' between 
domestic sheep and bighorn sheep is possible under range conditions. 
This contact increases risk of subsequent bighorn sheep mortality and 
reduced recruitment, primarily due to respiratory disease; (1b) The 
complete range of mechanisms/causal agents that lead to epizootic 
disease events cannot be conclusively proven at this point; and (1c) 
Given the previous two statements, it is prudent to undertake 
management to prevent contact between these species'' (U.S. Geological 
Survey and Bureau of Reclamation 2006, p. 1). One panelist dissented 
and preferred ``can increase risk'' in statement 1a because it did not 
imply that any contact will result in disease transmission (U.S. 
Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation 2006, p. 1).
    (12) Comment: The California Department of Transportation 
(CalTrans) states that roads are inconsistently addressed and that it 
is inappropriate to include state highway right-of-ways (ROWs) and 
facilities within critical habitat. It is recommended by CalTrans that 
State Route (SR) 120 in Unit 1 and SR 158 in Unit 2 be excluded from 
critical habitat.
    Our Response: When determining critical habitat boundaries for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, we made every effort to avoid including 
developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, paved areas, and 
other structures that lack PCEs for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. 
The scale of the maps prepared under the parameters for publication 
within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of 
such developed areas. Any such features and the land under them 
inadvertently left inside critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps 
of this final rule have been excluded by text in the final rule and are 
not designated as critical habitat. Therefore, Federal actions limited 
to these areas would not trigger section 7 consultation, unless they 
may affect the species or PCEs in adjacent critical habitat.
    We have determined, however, that the unpaved road right-of-ways of 
SR 120 from Unit 1 and SR 158 from Unit 2 do contain the features 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and 
therefore meet the definition of critical habitat. CalTrans did not 
provide, nor are we aware of any additional information of the benefits 
of excluding ROWs based on ongoing or planned management of these ROWs, 
or how any on-going or planned management of the ROWs would benefit the 
conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep or the sheep itself.
    The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act after taking into consideration the economic 
impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact 
if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of designating such area as critical habitat, unless he 
determines that the exclusion would result in the extinction of the 
species concerned.
    Because we are not aware of any information describing the benefits 
of excluding ROWs based on ongoing or planned management of these ROWs, 
or how any existing or planned management provides the same or better 
level of protection from adverse modification or destruction than that 
provided through a consultation under section 7 of the Act, we have 
determined that exclusion of these lands from the final designation of 
critical habitat pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Act is not 
appropriate at this time.
    (13) Comment: CalTrans states that no bighorn sheep collisions with 
vehicles are listed in their accident database. This is contrary to a 
statement made in our proposed rule that a bighorn sheep collision with 
a vehicle had occurred in the past.
    Our Response: A CDFG employee was made aware of the collision we 
referenced in the proposed rule (72 FR 40956) through a third party. 
The employee contacted the motorist to obtain information about the 
November 2003 collision. The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep ram was 
monitored after the collision by CDFG, and it subsequently died in 
January 2004. No formal report was made by CDFG to CalTrans (Stephenson 
2008, p. 1).
    (14) Comment: CalTrans indicates references to SR 190 should be 
corrected as SR 190 does not occur in or adjacent to critical habitat.
    Our Response: We erroneously indicated SR 190 occurred in or 
adjacent to Unit 10 in the Proposed Critical Habitat Designation and 
the Special Management Considerations or Protection sections. The road 
should have been indicated as Forest Route 16S02. This has been 
corrected in both sections.
    (15) Comment: CalTrans states that, although an alignment has not 
been selected for the proposed Olancha/Cartago U.S. 395 project, an 
alternative might occur on the west side of Los Angeles aqueduct.
    Our Response: We appreciate this information. If the location for 
this new road construction occurs within designated critical habitat or 
may impact the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep or its designated critical 
habitat, consultation under section 7 of the Act will occur as 
appropriate.

[[Page 45539]]

    (16) Comment: The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDOA) stated 
that the disease transmission risk assessment model by Clifford et al. 
(2007) is ``questionable'' as a tool for management and is a problem 
when serving as the basis of a critical habitat designation. The 
College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the 
University of Nevada Reno (UNR) similarly recommends that the disease 
risk assessment by Clifford et al. (2007) should not be used as the 
basis for designating Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep critical habitat.
    Our Response: We agree. Critical habitat as defined in section 3 of 
the Act is; the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by 
a species at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species and which may require special management 
considerations or protection; and specific areas outside the 
geographical 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. Designation of critical habitat is not based on a single 
management issue and, in this case, the concern for transmission of 
diseases from the grazing of domestic sheep or goats in proximity to 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep did not serve as the foundation for this 
critical habitat designation. Domestic sheep grazing is a management 
issue that is properly addressed through the consultation process under 
section 7(a)(2) of the Act.
    (17) Comment: The NDOA recommended that the critical habitat 
designation be suspended until the scientific basis has been 
established for disease transmission between domestic sheep and Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep.
    Our Response: We are designating critical habitat for Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep in accordance with the deadlines established by a court-
approved settlement agreement. We agreed to submit to the Federal 
Register a final determination of critical habitat for Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep by July 17, 2008. We based our designation of critical 
habitat on the best scientific and commercial data available as 
required by Section 4 of the Act. Further, our Policy on Information 
Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in the Federal 
Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information Quality Act 
(section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated 
Information Quality Guidelines provide criteria, establish procedures, 
and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions are based on the best 
scientific data available. We used published scientific literature and 
the expertise of Recovery Team members (including scientists from a 
variety of federal and state agencies, and other publics). We also 
solicited peer review from individuals familiar with bighorn sheep, in 
general, and related issues. We solicited new biological data, invited 
public participation during multiple comment periods, conducted a 
public hearing, and held informational meetings on the proposed rule. 
We have considered peer review, agency, and public comments received 
during the preparation of this final rule. Accordingly, we have used 
the best scientific and commercial information available in this 
designation. Designation of critical habitat is not based on a single 
management issue and, in this case, the concern for transmission of 
diseases from the grazing of domestic sheep or goats in proximity to 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep did not serve as the foundation for this 
critical habitat designation.
    (18) Comment: The NDOA stated that uncertainties in general about 
bighorn sheep epizootics exist per the USAHA meeting in October 2007.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 10.
    (19) Comment: The NDOA stated that the occurrence of bighorn sheep 
disease and die-offs can be associated with bighorn sheep reaching peak 
numbers (Monello et al. 2001). Stagnant bighorn sheep population 
numbers have occurred in association with predation by wolves and 
mountain lions. These factors affect bighorn sheep populations 
``permanently,'' not just ``temporarily'' like domestic sheep grazing.
    Our Response: Bighorn sheep mortalities can be attributed to 
various factors as discussed below in the ``Mortality Factors'' section 
of this rule. These mortality factors may or may not affect bighorn 
sheep populations ``permanently,'' depending on numerous variables. 
Die-offs from diseases possibly transmitted from domestic sheep can 
have long-lasting effects by influencing subsequent population 
recruitment. Lambs born to surviving ewes can experience low survival 
rates for 3 to 5 years after the initial outbreak (Foreyt 1990, p. 100; 
Coggins and Matthews 1992; Ward et al. 1992; Foreyt 1995; Hunter 1995a, 
as cited in Schommer and Woolever 2001, p. 3). We have added a short 
discussion in the Physical and Biological Features section related to 
these long-lasting impacts of pneumonia in bighorn sheep populations.
    (20) Comment: The NDOA and UNR stated that climate and geographical 
factors play a role in the recovery of a species and that the 
``northern recovery unit'' is neither suitable nor essential habitat in 
terms of winter range for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep due to its 
higher elevation and greater snow depths than more southern units.
    Our Response: As indicated in the Criteria Used to Identify 
Critical Habitat section, we used the following criteria to select 
areas occupied by the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the time of 
listing for inclusion in critical habitat:
    (a) Those areas occupied by the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the 
time of listing (1999-2000) as indicated in the final listing rule (65 
FR 20; January 3, 2000). In the final listing rule, we identified five 
subpopulations of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep that existed: (1) Lee 
Vining Canyon (Mount Warren and Mount Gibbs Herd Units), (2) Wheeler 
Crest (Wheeler Ridge Herd Unit), (3) Mount Baxter (Sawmill Canyon and 
Mount Baxter Herd Units), (4) Mount Williamson (Mount Williamson Herd 
Unit), and (5) Mount Langley (Mount Langley Herd Unit) in Mono and Inyo 
counties, California (Wehausen 1999, pp. 1-7; 2000, pp. 1-6);
    (b) Areas that are representative of the distribution of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep throughout the geographical range occupied at the 
time of listing with the goal of maintaining the subspecies' range of 
habitat and genetic variability; and
    (c) Areas that allow for the continued existence of viable 
subpopulations under varying environmental conditions and that can 
serve as locations for source populations. The locations of all five 
subpopulations identified in the original listing rule continue to 
remain occupied today.
    We have determined that the areas occupied at the time of listing 
continue to be occupied, contain features essential to the conservation 
of the subspecies (possess one or more PCEs such that the area supports 
one or more of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep's life processes) that 
may require special management, and provide sufficient habitat to 
protect these populations. Units 1 (Mount Warren) and 2 (Mount Gibbs) 
of the northern recovery unit meet these criteria.
    More specifically, essential habitat is available for Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep in Units 1 (Mount Warren) and 2 (Mount Gibbs). This is 
not only based on historical data indicating their presence as far 
north as Sonora Pass (Grinnell and Storer 1924, as cited in Service 
2007, p. 14), but also on the fact that these units also currently 
support

[[Page 45540]]

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep herds. Mount Warren has a population of 
approximately 26 individuals, and Mount Gibbs has a population of 
approximately 8 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). The 
Mount Gibbs herd spends almost the entire year at elevations above 
11,000 ft (3,353 m). In 2007, all ewes gave birth, and their lambs are 
known to have survived through at least September. This herd continues 
to survive and reproduce, expanding in numbers, although this alpine 
environment is no doubt harsher than lower-elevation areas. It is 
expected this herd will outgrow its carrying capacity of the alpine 
winter ranges and begin using lower-elevation winter ranges in the 
future (California Department of Fish and Game 2007, p. 2). Surveys 
(ground and aerial observations) of the Mount Warren herd conducted 
during the period from 2003 to 2007 indicate individuals are using this 
unit during every month of the year (California Department of Fish and 
Game files--monthly reports, Service files). In addition, a Resource 
Selection Probability Functions model was developed for summer and 
winter habitat and indicates an estimated 20.2 square kilometers (sq 
km) (7.8 square miles (sq mi)) and 9.4 sq km (3.6 sq mi), respectively, 
are available for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the Mount Gibbs and 
Mount Warren units (Johnson et al. 2005, p. 31). As discussed under the 
Primary Constituent Elements for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep section of 
this rule, not all life history functions require all the PCEs, 
therefore, not all areas designated as critical habitat contain all of 
the PCEs. Units are designated based on sufficient PCEs being present 
to support one or more of the subspecies' life history requirements. 
This applies to both the occupied and unoccupied units designated.
    (21) Comment: The NDOA and UNR noted that a memorandum to the 
Director of the Service from the U.S. Department of the Interior's 
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, dated April 28, 
2004, stated that critical habitat adds little additional conservation 
benefit to a listed species and designations must not be based on 
speculation or determinations that lack supporting data. Therefore, the 
designation of critical habitat is of ``dubious value'' as identified 
by your own agency.
    Our Response: Section 4(A)(3) of the Act requires that the Service 
identify those lands on which are found the physical or biological 
features essential to the conservation of the species that may require 
special management considerations or protection, and those areas 
outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of 
listing that are essential to the conservation of the species. In 
identifying those lands, the Service must consider the recovery needs 
of the species, such that, on the basis of the best scientific and 
commercial data available at the time of designation, the habitat that 
is identified, if managed, could provide for the survival and recovery 
of the species.
    The identification of those areas that are essential for the 
conservation of the species and that can, if managed, provide for the 
recovery of a species is beneficial. The process of proposing and 
finalizing a critical habitat rule provides the Service with the 
opportunity to determine the physical and biological features essential 
to the conservation of the species within the geographical area 
occupied by the species at the time of listing, as well as to determine 
other areas essential for the conservation of the species. The 
designation process includes peer review and public comment on the 
identified physical and biological features and essential areas. This 
process is valuable to land owners and managers in developing 
conservation management plans for identified areas, as well as any 
other occupied habitat or suitable habitat that may not have been 
included in the Service's determination of essential habitat.
    The consultation provisions under section 7(a) of the Act 
constitute the regulatory benefits of critical habitat. As discussed 
above, Federal agencies must consult with us on discretionary actions 
that may affect critical habitat and must avoid the destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat. Federal agencies must also 
consult with us on discretionary actions that may affect a listed 
species and refrain from undertaking actions that are likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of such species. The analysis of 
effects to critical habitat is a separate and different analysis from 
that of the effects to the species. Therefore, the difference in 
outcomes of these two analyses represents the regulatory benefit of 
critical habitat. For some species, and in some locations, the outcome 
of these analyses will be similar, because effects on habitat will 
often result in effects on the species. However, the regulatory 
standard is different: The jeopardy analysis looks at the action's 
impact on survival and recovery of the species, while the adverse 
modification analysis looks at the action's effects on the designated 
habitat's contribution to the species' conservation. This may, in many 
instances, lead to different results and different regulatory 
requirements. Thus, critical habitat designations may provide greater 
regulatory benefits to the recovery of a species than would listing 
alone.
    Another benefit of including lands in critical habitat is that 
designation of critical habitat serves to educate landowners, State and 
local governments, and the public regarding the potential conservation 
value of an area. In general, critical habitat designation always has 
educational benefits; however, in some cases, they may be redundant 
with other educational effects.
    (22) Comment: The NDOA states that listing of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep as an endangered species, subspecies, or even distinct 
metapopulation lacks scientific merit.
    Our Response: Please refer to our final rule listing the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep published on January 3, 2000 (65 FR 20), which 
outlines our rationale for listing.
    (23) Comment: The UNR stated designating critical habitat for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep will lead to grazing allotment closures.
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat for Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep does not automatically lead to closing allotments. For 
those areas on Federal lands, consultation under section 7 of the Act 
may be required to examine the effects of grazing on critical habitat. 
Specific actions by the managing Federal agency could include the 
elimination of, or restrictions on, livestock grazing in areas that 
overlap with critical habitat. Please also see our responses to 
Comments 24, 40, 41, and 42.
    (24) Comment: UNR states that short-term, high intensity grazing by 
domestic sheep helps maintain forage production and fuel load 
accumulation. The regrowth of vegetation is more palatable and 
nutritious for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep during the growing season as 
well as during winter. The removal of domestic sheep will lead to 
poorer forage production and an accumulation of fuels.
    Our Response: Regardless of any effects of grazing on fuel loads 
and forage quantity and quality, domestic sheep in some locations may 
pose a disease risk to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The Service will 
recommend the removal of domestic sheep from allotments where contact 
with Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep cannot be prevented through section 7 
of the Act. The Service has proposed actions in the recovery plan for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to maintain and enhance the

[[Page 45541]]

integrity of habitat through the careful use of fire and other habitat 
manipulations that do not involve domestic sheep grazing. These actions 
would include maintenance and enhancement of habitat in areas where 
domestic sheep may be removed to prevent contact with Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep.

Comments From Other Federal Agencies

    (25) Comment: Yosemite National Park raised a concern about any 
reduction in the proposed critical habitat and protection of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep in the ``northern recovery units'' which would 
constitute the ``Yosemite herd.'' Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the 
northern areas are the ones most likely to reoccupy habitat in 
Yosemite, filling an ecological void and offering park visitors the 
opportunity to observe these animals.
    Our Response: We have not reduced the area of designated critical 
habitat for the two units (Mount Warren and Mount Gibbs) that occur 
within the northern recovery unit because they meet our criteria for 
identifying critical habitat. These units contain the features 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and 
require special management. We also did not identify any areas within 
these units where the benefits of exclusion outweighed the benefits of 
inclusion. Please also see our response to Comment 20.
    (26) Comment: Yosemite National Park supports the proposed critical 
habitat designation and taxonomic revision but recommends expanding 
critical habitat to cover all areas currently occupied by Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep, accommodate further range expansion, and provide buffers 
between domestic sheep and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to prevent 
disease transmission.
    Our Response: As indicated in our response to Comment 2, it is not 
our practice to establish buffers around an area designated as critical 
habitat. A buffer distance indicated in a Federally proposed action 
involving domestic sheep or goat grazing near designated critical 
habitat would be considered during the consultation process under 
section 7 of the Act. As indicated in our response to Comment 36, 
critical habitat should not include the entire area that can be 
occupied by the species. We based our designation on the Recovery 
Team's delineation of essential habitat and as indicated in our final 
approved recovery plan (Service 2007, p. 41). For a more thorough 
discussion of these topics, please see our responses to Comments 2 and 
36.
    (27) Comment: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks indicated 
their commitment to preserving and restoring natural ecosystems. They 
view Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep as an essential component that has 
been lost from much of its historical range within the Parks. By policy 
and law there is a commitment to working with the Service and other 
agencies to help restore the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to their 
former range and abundance. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 
fully support the proposed critical habitat designation.
    Our Response: We appreciate the support and look forward to 
continuing to work with the National Park Service and others to 
conserve the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (28) Comment: The USFS suggested that designating critical habitat 
does not provide any additional benefit to a species and that it 
unnecessarily adds to USFS workload and may lead to re-initiation of 
section 7 consultation for critical habitat where a consultation has 
already been completed.
    Our Response: Designating critical habitat identifies those areas 
that contain the features that are essential to the conservation of a 
particular species, thus signaling to Federal agencies to consider the 
species' conservation in the design and implementation of their 
management actions. The designation provides guidance on why these 
areas need special management considerations or protection and 
indicates activities that are likely to adversely modify or destroy 
critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat assists the 
recovery process by providing information on how actions might impact 
the species' habitat. Including USFS lands as critical habitat is 
significant because this will assist in maintaining the Service's role 
in reviewing potential future impacts to areas that are important for 
the conservation of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep populations. Lands 
administered by the USFS contain a substantial portion of habitat that 
is essential for the conservation of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. 
Designation of critical habitat may also provide protection for 
unoccupied habitat that may not otherwise undergo the section 7 
consultation process due to species' absence. Considering whether 
proposed future projects will result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat in addition to the jeopardy analysis 
will require some additional analysis during the section 7 consultation 
process.
    (29) Comment: The USFS indicated the 2001 Record of Decision for 
the Ansel Adams, John Muir, and Dinky Lakes Wilderness Plans considered 
various impacts on Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and their habitats.
    Our Response: We appreciate this information and have reviewed this 
document. Only one item was found directly related to management of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. This addressed the closure of Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep habitat to dogs. As indicated in the Special 
Management Considerations or Protection section, dogs (with their 
associated recreation activities) are a potential threat to Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep critical habitat. At issue are the effects of 
Wilderness Plans, associated Forest Land and Resource Management Plans, 
and ongoing activities on USFS lands on federally listed species, 
including the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The goal of these plans is 
to describe a strategic direction for the management of the wilderness 
areas over a long period of time (15-20 years). The plans do not make 
any decisions regarding USFS site-specific project proposals for 
implementing the land management plans nor do they require managers to 
implement any specific conservation activities.
    (30) Comment: The USFS stated that management direction was 
established to restrict dogs in Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat 
located in the Mt. Baxter and Mt. Williamson California Bighorn Sheep 
Zoological Areas on the Inyo National Forest.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 29. These 
statements also apply to FS Order No. 04-81-3 which established these 
zoological areas in 1981.
    (31) Comment: The USFS commented that the proposed critical habitat 
designation does not establish migration corridors between the units 
though migration is identified as important. While paths that rams may 
take between units or groups may be unpredictable, the final 
designation would be strengthened if it were to identify dispersal and 
movement corridors that are integral to the habitat elements.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 4.
    (32) Comment: The USFS requests clarification on why disease 
transmission from domestic livestock grazing is included as a 
stochastic event.
    Our Response: This has been corrected. We have removed those 
references specifically identifying the risk of disease transmission 
from domestic livestock from (3) of the Criteria Used To Identify 
Critical

[[Page 45542]]

Habitat section. The remaining reference addresses various diseases of 
North American wild sheep.
    (33) Comment: The USFS suggested that the proposal is not as clear 
as it should be regarding the effects of disease transmission on Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep populations. Incorporating disease-associated 
risks into a PCE would strengthen the proposal.
    Our Response: We have added some additional information in the 
biological background of the Primary Constituent Elements section of 
this rule. Please also see our response to Comment 1.
    (34) Comment: The USFS stated that while it is important to 
decrease the degree of habitat fragmentation in the Sierra Nevada, the 
designation of critical habitat does not actually do that.
    Our Response: Designation of critical habitat offers protection 
from various impacts which may be proposed on the landscape. We believe 
designating critical habitat in 12 units ranging from 22,037 ac (8,918 
ha) to 80,966 ac (32,766 ha) does reduce potential habitat 
fragmentation. Providing protections for currently unoccupied areas 
that decrease the distances between occupied areas also assists in 
reducing habitat fragmentation. The protection of these unoccupied 
habitats will allow for future establishment of herds in these habitats 
through translocation or natural colonization, which will help to 
increase gene flow between populations. The ability to establish and 
maintain regular gene flow between populations of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep is essential to their recovery. Reducing habitat fragmentation 
through protection of these currently unoccupied habitats under a 
critical habitat designation is essential to the subspecies' 
conservation.
    (35) Comment: The USFS recommended that the section discussing 
wildfire be clarified to resolve apparent contradictions identifying 
which management actions and stochastic events are considered 
potentially beneficial or detrimental to critical habitat.
    Our Response: Fires can have beneficial, as well as detrimental, 
effects depending on the situation including location, severity, and 
extent. As indicated in the Special Management Considerations or 
Protection section, management actions such as the suppression of 
wildfires over the past decades has allowed for encroachment of 
forested habitat into Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat. This has 
been detrimental to the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep by increasing 
habitat for predator concealment. Management actions such as prescribed 
fires are carried out in a planned, controlled manner in a specific 
area and can be beneficial to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep by reducing 
selected forested habitat that can conceal predators. Stochastic events 
such as wildfires can be beneficial or detrimental. For example, in 
July 2007, lightning sparked fires in Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat in the Mount Baxter herd unit. The Seven Oaks Fire burned the 
majority of the low elevation winter range [<8,000 ft (2438 m)] 
(California Department of Fish and Game 2007, p. 5). The fire may 
benefit Sierrra Nevada bighorn sheep by opening up forested areas. The 
fire also scorched the above ground vegetation. With appropriate 
moisture levels gained over the winter, sufficient forage may become 
available. The CDFG personnel intend to evaluate the effects of this 
fire on forage availability and quality and habitat selection by Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep in this area (California Department of Fish and 
Game 2007, p. 6).
    (36) Comment: The USFS mentioned that the Mount Warren unit may not 
extend northward enough to encompass currently occupied habitat as a 
few Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep have occurred in the northern areas.
    Our Response: According to 16 U.S.C. 1532(5)(C), ``critical habitat 
should not include the entire geographic area that can be occupied by 
the threatened or endangered species'' absent a finding of exceptional 
circumstances by the Secretary of the Interior. We based our critical 
habitat designation on the Recovery Team's delineation of essential 
habitat and as indicated in our final approved recovery plan (Service 
2007, p. 41). The Recovery Team did not include all areas that have 
documented historical and current use by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, 
but only those areas regarded as essential for the recovery of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. We used the Recovery Plan to assist in the 
preparation of the proposed and final critical habitat designations. 
Integration of these processes strengthens the scientific basis and 
minimizes the potential discrepancies between the two. Please refer to 
the final recovery plan for a more detailed discussion of the recovery 
strategy. The basis for the critical habitat delineation is described 
in the Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section of this rule. 
We did not include the areas to the north of Mount Warren or the Bubbs 
Creek area as critical habitat as these areas did not meet our criteria 
for inclusion as critical habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Not 
including these areas within the critical habitat designation does not 
preclude the continued occupancy or expansion of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep into these areas. We believe the units designated as critical 
habitat contain sufficient PCEs to support the behaviors we have 
determined are essential for the conservation of the subspecies and 
population criteria as identified in the final recovery plan. 
Therefore, we have not included these additional areas as critical 
habitat in the final rule.
    (37) Comment: The USFS stated there appear to be some biological 
contradictions among units that were included and those that were 
``excluded'' in the critical habitat designation. For example, the 
Bubbs Creek Herd Unit is currently occupied yet is excluded; and the 
Mount Warren area does not provide access to low elevation winter range 
yet is included.
    Our Response: No areas were excluded from the final critical 
habitat designation. We did not designate four herd units that were 
mentioned in the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep final recovery plan as 
they were not considered essential in the plan. Please refer to the 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section for our detailed 
rationale for not designating these areas. Please also refer to our 
responses to Comments 36 and 50.
    (38) Comment: The USFS suggested that the ramifications of global 
climate change be considered in the proposal.
    Our Response: As indicated in the final recovery plan (Service 
2007, p. 41), two northern herd units, Mount Warren and Mount Gibbs, 
are included as essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep, in part, to protect this subspecies and its habitat 
across a range of latitudes. Climate change may induce ecological 
changes in the essential herd units in the south. Populations in the 
northern latitudes can help guard the rangewide population against loss 
of populations in areas that occur further south.

General Comments

Comments Related to Designation and Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Biology 
and Management
    (39) Comment: A few commenters stated concern for the areas of 
overlap between proposed critical habitat and Federal domestic sheep 
grazing allotments. The commenter requested that these areas of overlap 
(six areas with an estimated 1,000 ac (405 ha) be excluded from the 
critical habitat designation. If these areas are not excluded, the 
commenter requested specific justification and evaluation of

[[Page 45543]]

the habitat including what contribution these areas make to Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep and why their elimination would be detrimental to 
recovery efforts.
    Our Response: We have determined that there are seven areas of 
overlap between designated critical habitat and Federal domestic sheep 
grazing allotments [Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or USFS], not six 
as the commenter stated. These allotments include: (1) Dunderberg; (2) 
Copper Mountain; (3) Bloody Canyon; (4) McGee; (5) Sherwin; (6) Round 
Mountain; and (7) Rock Creek-Hilton Unit. The overlap areas total 
approximately 2,209 ac (894 ha). At the time critical habitat was 
proposed, all of these allotments were considered vacant, inactive, or 
unalloted with the exception of the Rock Creek-Hilton Unit. The Rock 
Creek-Hilton Unit is the only active domestic sheep grazing allotment 
that overlaps with designated critical habitat. This overlap is 0.9 ac 
(0.4 ha).
    In our proposed rule and this final rule, we included domestic 
livestock grazing as a threat to the essential features that may need 
special management considerations or protection within designated 
critical habitat units. Consultation under the Act by Federal agencies 
may be necessary if proposed actions may adversely affect the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep or its critical habitat. We have determined that 
all seven overlap areas are essential to the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep because they contain the features essential to the conservation 
of the subspecies and meet the definition of critical habitat. Please 
see the Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat section for more 
information. One of our objectives is to provide consistency between 
critical habitat designation and the essential habitat indicated in the 
final recovery plan (Service 2007, p. 41).
    The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act after taking into consideration the economic 
impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impacts 
if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of designating such area as critical habitat, unless he 
determines that the exclusion would result in the extinction of the 
species concerned.
    We have previously consulted with the USFS on grazing issues in 
Units 1, 2, and 4 and have determined that those activities were either 
not likely to adversely affect the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep or were 
not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the subspecies. 
Since critical habitat has not been previously proposed or designated 
for this subspecies, it is anticipated that Federal agencies will 
initiate section 7 consultation as appropriate, for any activities that 
may affect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep or its critical habitat. These 
consultations would include an analysis of destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat as well as a jeopardy analysis. 
Considering whether proposed future projects will result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat in addition to 
the jeopardy analysis will require some additional analysis during the 
section 7 consultation process. We do not believe that the additional 
analysis to determine whether an action will result in the destruction 
or adverse modification of critical habitat constitutes a substantial 
burden.
    According to the final EA, post-designation baseline costs for 
grazing are estimated at $12.5 million (undiscounted) over the next 20 
years, $9.6 million applying a 3 percent discount rate, or $7.1 million 
applying a 7 percent discount rate. Post-designation incremental costs 
for grazing consultations are estimated to be $97,600 (undiscounted) 
over the next 20 years, $74,800 applying a 3 percent discount rate, or 
$55,300 using a 7 percent discount rate.
    These impacts are primarily due to the predicted yearly formal 
section 7 consultations between the Service and the USFS on allotments 
in proximity to critical habitat in Unit 1. There are no forecasted 
post-designation incremental impacts for the other critical habitat 
units. Thus, costs are not considered to be disproportionate. We will 
continue to work with the USFS, BLM, and permittees to address concerns 
related to the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep during the section 7 
consultation process as appropriate.
    Units 1, 2, and 4 all contain the features essential to the 
conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The benefits of 
including these units in critical habitat include access to areas for 
foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, bedding, predator 
avoidance, seasonal elevational movements, and mineral licks.
    We have considered the request by the commenters to exclude the 
areas listed above and the relevant impacts of designation. Based on 
this record, we have chosen not to exclude these areas.
    (40) Comment: Domestic sheep producers have been working with 
Federal agencies informally to prevent contact between domestic sheep 
and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. These practices should be formalized 
by the grazing permit process.
    Our Response: Federal agencies that issue grazing permits that may 
affect federally listed species consult with the Service as required 
under section 7 of the Act, as appropriate, even in the absence of 
critical habitat. The purpose of the section 7 consultation process is 
to analyze the effects of an action (e.g., the issuance of a grazing 
permit) to determine if the action will jeopardize the continued 
existence of the listed species, to provide reasonable and prudent 
measures to avoid and minimize the impact of incidental take, and, if 
necessary, to provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid 
jeopardy. With the designation of critical habitat, Federal agencies 
will also determine whether the proposed action will adversely modify 
or destroy critical habitat under this process. The Service has, and 
will continue to, work with Federal agencies and grazing permittees to 
address concerns related to the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep during the 
section 7 consultation process, as appropriate. Outside of the section 
7 consultation process, the Service has the ability to provide comments 
to other Federal agencies during National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) review.
    (41) Comment: Some commenters urged the continued authorization of 
domestic sheep grazing on lands designated as critical habitat. Others 
did not support domestic sheep grazing within these areas.
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat does not 
automatically eliminate or place restrictions on domestic sheep grazing 
or other land use activities in areas that overlap with critical 
habitat. For those areas on Federal lands, consultation under section 7 
of the Act may be appropriate. Please also see our response to Comments 
23 and 39.
    (42) Comment: A concern was raised that elimination of cattle 
grazing at higher elevations may occur due to the designation of 
critical habitat.
    Our Response: There are several Federal cattle grazing allotments 
(USFS and BLM administered lands) that overlap with critical habitat 
designation in both occupied and unoccupied units. The designation of 
critical habitat does not automatically eliminate or place restrictions 
on cattle grazing or other land use activities in areas that overlap 
with critical habitat. To date, we have not conducted section 7 
consultations with other Federal agencies related to impacts of cattle 
grazing to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. However, if the Federal 
agencies determine that

[[Page 45544]]

issuance of grazing permits may affect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep or 
its critical habitat, they will request consultation under section 7 of 
the Act.
    (43) Comment: One commenter recommended that managed cattle grazing 
be ``protected,'' or retained, within critical habitat as a recovery 
tool.
    Our Response: There are currently several Federal cattle grazing 
allotments located within designated critical habitat. We do not know 
the amount of private lands where cattle grazing may also occur within 
critical habitat, but the total amount is not more than 1,005 ac (407 
ha). Cattle grazing on Federal allotments within critical habitat 
should be reviewed under section 7 of the Act if it may affect Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep or its critical habitat. In addition, the 
suggestion that Federal domestic sheep grazing allotments could be 
converted to cattle grazing allotments to reduce the potential impacts 
of disease transmission from domestic sheep to Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep has been raised. Allotment conversion would require Federal 
agency involvement, as well as willingness and ability on the part of 
the permittee. This suggestion has been included in the final recovery 
plan for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Service 2007, pp. 64 and 70).
    (44) Comment: Habitat protection and disease issues are different 
and should be treated separately.
    Our Response: These issues are treated differently as indicated by 
the definition of critical habitat stated in this rule under the 
Critical Habitat section and the activities addressed under the Special 
Management Considerations or Protection section.
    (45) Comment: Why is 417,000 ac (168,757.6 ha) needed for 400 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep?
    Our Response: The critical habitat designation of 417,577 ac 
(168,992 ha) is not only for the estimated 400 Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep's current population. The area of critical habitat is also for 
the additional animals that are needed for the recovery of the species 
and to provide sufficient area for their life history requirements. 
According to the final recovery plan, there should be an estimated 
minimum total of 305 females at least 1 year of age throughout the four 
recovery units at the time of delisting (Service 2007, p. 47). Based 
upon a natural adult sex ratio of about 70 males:100 females, the 
minimum total population (both sexes) is estimated to be 520 adults at 
delisting. Since this number is based on a minimum requirement for each 
recovery unit, the total population is likely to be higher. This number 
would be higher still with young of the year also included in the total 
(Service 2007, p. 44).
    (46) Comment: Why is it necessary to have critical habitat if 
section 7 is already being used?
    Our Response: Under section 7(a)(2) of the act, Federal agencies 
must consult with the Service to ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of listed species. By designating 
critical habitat, section 7 of the Act also protects the recovery needs 
of the species by requiring Federal agencies to ensure that their 
actions will not result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
designated critical habitat. For additional information, please also 
refer to our response to Comment 28.
    (47) Comment: Several comments were received related to 
recreational activities and what the designation of critical habitat 
signifies now and in the future. Some commenters recommended that 
snowmobiles and off-road vehicles be prohibited in critical habitat and 
existing routes be closed. Others thought it was appropriate to 
``exclude'' dogs or require them to be on leashes at all times. Others 
recommended that no new off-road vehicle trails be built in critical 
habitat. Others expressed support for our ``exclusion'' of particular 
recreational areas from the designation. Others requested no 
restrictions on backcountry use. Others wondered if public use would 
continue as it does currently. Others recommended that any restrictions 
apply to both guided and non-guided public alike. A few commenters 
suggested that the rule be changed to state that most, if not all, 
types of recreation were non-threatening to Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep, especially when bighorn sheep are not overtly threatened and 
have access to escape terrain. Some suggested continued monitoring of 
both Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and the effects of people's 
interaction with them as recreation is an important component of the 
economy.
    Our Response: Proposed and final rules designating critical habitat 
do not automatically eliminate or place restrictions on any 
recreational activities or opportunities within critical habitat. This 
rule did not ``exclude'' any particular recreational area from the 
critical habitat designation; these areas were not included because 
they did not meet our criteria for designating critical habitat for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. For more information on the criteria used 
to delineate critical habitat please see the Criteria Used to Identify 
Critical Habitat section in this rule. The designation of critical 
habitat is not a management plan, nor does it put in effect or restrict 
management activities. The Special Management Considerations or 
Protection section of this final rule lists actions that may impact the 
PCEs for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and serves as a guide to Federal 
agencies that may conduct or permit actions within designated critical 
habitat. The USFS and National Park Service may have restrictions 
(e.g., quotas, seasonal closures, dog prohibitions or leash 
requirements) already in place in some areas to address resource 
concerns, as well as to reduce impacts to wildlife, including Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep. Due to areas of rugged terrain and 
inaccessibility, as well as wilderness designations, some recreational 
activities (e.g., snowmobiling, off-road vehicle use) are not possible 
within portions of the designated critical habitat. Other activities, 
such as rock and ice climbing and peak bagging, are specific to these 
rugged areas. We encourage the public to enjoy the Sierra Nevada while 
treating it with respect. With proper management, recreational 
activities can or may be compatible with Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
conservation and recovery. It is the responsibility of the Federal 
agencies to review the various kinds of recreational activities 
currently allowed, where they are allowed, and the seasonal use of 
these areas among other things, to determine if these activities may 
result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. 
Federal agencies will review all proposed actions in accordance with 
section 7(a)(2) of the act in light of possible increases of sheep-
human interaction due to both increasing Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
and human populations, and subsequent habitat use changes. We will 
continue to work with Federal agencies and those who need Federal 
permits through the section 7 consultation process to address 
recreational activities that may affect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat. We have added some additional information related to bighorn 
sheep and human interactions in the Special Management Considerations 
or Protection section in this rule. As previously stated, we will 
continue to recommend that studies be implemented to clarify any 
potential impacts of different recreational activities on Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep and their habitat to assist with decision-making 
processes.
    (48) Comment: While several commenters expressed support for the 
critical habitat designation as proposed,

[[Page 45545]]

a majority of commenters expressed a desire that additional lands be 
included. Some offered a general statement to expand the critical 
habitat designation while others provided more specific statements of 
additional areas to be included. These recommendations were to include: 
(1) All historical and currently occupied areas; (2) areas north of 
Mount Warren; (3) all occupied and unoccupied habitat essential for 
survival and recovery; (4) all areas identified as of recovery value in 
the recovery plan; and (5) the Bubbs Creek area.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 36.
    (49) Comment: Many ranchers have lost faith in the Service's 
ability to implement Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep recovery and re-
introduction efforts while protecting ranching operations. For example, 
``a rancher lost his Bloody Canyon USFS Allotment, although previously 
promised that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep recovery would not require 
any changes in the use of [the Bloody Canyon] allotment.''
    Our Response: The ``promise'' referred to in the comment above 
relates to two letters, one written by the CDFG dated August 27, 1984, 
and addressed to the Inyo National Forest, and the other written by the 
Forest Service dated December 20, 1989, and addressed to the permittee. 
It is important to note that these letters were written by other 
agencies prior to the Federal listing of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep in 2000, and prior to the Service's involvement with this 
subspecies. Since the listing of the subspecies and development of the 
recovery plan, substantial new information has been gathered regarding 
areas used by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The Service has and will 
continue to coordinate with individual ranchers, the State of 
California, and other Federal agencies to promote the recovery of 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep while balancing the needs of affected 
permittees and conservation of the subspecies through the section 7 
consultation process. Also, please refer to our response to Comment 40.
    (50) Comment: The areas of Twin Lakes, Green Creek, Coyote Ridge, 
and Bubbs Creek should not be ``excluded'' from critical habitat 
designation.
    Our Response: These four areas were not ``excluded'' from the 
critical habitat designation. These four areas were not included within 
our critical habitat designation because they were not determined to be 
essential for the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. 
Please see the Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section for 
our rationale.
    (51) Comment: Some commenters agreed that the four existing plans 
[Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery and Conservation Plan (Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1984); the Bighorn 
Sheep Management Plan (National Park Service 1986); the Inyo National 
Forest Resource & Management Plan (U.S. Forest Service 1988); and A 
Conservation Strategy for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Sierra Nevada 
Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997)] should not result in 
the exclusions of lands covered by these plans from critical habitat 
designation. One commenter thought we should exclude these lands 
because the plans already exist and there are recovery projects in 
place.
    Our Response: We have indicated our rationale for not excluding 
areas covered by these four plans as indicated in the Application of 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act section of this final rule. These plans are 
general in nature and reflect our knowledge at that time. All plans 
were prepared prior to the listing of the subspecies. Specific recovery 
projects and actions are a result of the draft and final recovery 
plans, not these four documents.
    (52) Comment: Does the designation of critical habitat allow for 
management of mountain lions?
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat will not affect 
the management of mountain lions as their control is not a habitat-
based threat. The encroachment of vegetation that provides cover for 
predators of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is a habitat-based threat, 
and actions to manage the vegetation encroachment may require special 
management considerations or protection as discussed in this rule. We, 
along with CDFG, recognize the role that mountain lions have played in 
the status of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Beginning in 2000, CDFG 
began placing radio collars on mountain lions near Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep ranges and monitoring them to assist in the removal of 
selected individuals to benefit Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Mountain 
lions are a necessary and important part of the Sierra Nevada 
ecosystem; Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep have evolved with this predator 
on the landscape. As the numbers of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
increase with recovery, the need for mountain lion control specifically 
for the benefit of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep should be reduced and 
eventually eliminated.
    (53) Comment: One commenter questioned whether land use managers 
would be allowed to use prescribed burning and logging within critical 
habitat.
    Our Response: Prescribed burning and logging would be considered 
habitat-based activities that could affect the PCEs. Federally proposed 
actions would be analyzed during the section 7 consultation process as 
appropriate. As indicated in the rule, prescribed burning can benefit 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep by increasing visibility of the landscape. 
These activities may be able to proceed as determined during the 
section 7 consultation process.
    (54) Comment: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep deaths due to 
tranquilization and horns being ripped off during research activities 
are a management problem.
    Our Response: Since 2001, when CDFG's Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep 
Recovery Program was established, there have been 44 deaths (2 rams, 2 
ewes) among the approximately 150 captures conducted to date (2.7 
percent) (Stephenson 2008, p. 1). Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are not 
tranquilized. One ewe is known to have broken a horn sheath (not horn) 
during capture activities. Documentation of injuries or deaths 
occurring during capture activities must be provided to the Service 
under CDFG's section 10(a)(1)(A) recovery permit issued under the Act. 
The reporting documentation must describe in detail the circumstances 
that led to the injury or mortality and include a description of the 
changes in activity protocols that will be implemented to reduce the 
likelihood of such an injury or mortality from occurring again. All 
incidents are reviewed by the Service and capture procedures are 
changed, if necessary, to reduce subsequent injuries or deaths. The 
recovery permit allows for a determined level of incidental take to 
occur on an annual basis that will not jeopardize the continued 
existence of the species. In addition, the importance and recovery 
value of information obtained during these activities and subsequent 
monitoring of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is utilized in our population 
management and rangewide recovery management decisions. Although we 
acknowledge that certain levels of take may occur when conducting 
authorized activities for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, we make every 
effort to minimize take to the maximum extent practicable.
    (55) Comment: The Special Management Considerations and Protection 
section provides no assurances that existing development

[[Page 45546]]

activities, livestock grazing, mining, recreation, etc. can continue.
    Our Response: The Special Management Considerations or Protection 
section of this rule identifies the types of activities that could 
impact the PCEs in the designated critical habitat units. It is not 
meant to provide assurances but to identify areas of concern for 
Federal agencies to determine if a proposed action may affect Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep habitat and should be addressed under the section 
7 consultation process. Please also refer to our response to Comment 
28.
    (56) Comment: Explicit management recommendations for off-road 
vehicles and domestic sheep grazing should be included in the final 
rule.
    Our Response: In the Special Management Considerations or 
Protection section, we indicate various management activities that may 
affect designated critical habitat. We purposefully do not provide 
explicit management recommendations for the various activities so that 
the action agency and the Service can determine appropriate measures on 
a case-by-case basis during the section 7 consultation process.
    (57) Comment: The purchase of private lands should be a priority to 
reduce the concern of disease transmission from domestic to Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep.
    Our Response: There is little private land (1,005 ac (407 ha)) 
within the units designated as critical habitat. We do not know the 
extent of private acreage, if any, that provides domestic sheep or goat 
grazing. The purchase of private lands for the purposes of critical 
habitat is not within the scope of this final rule; however, purchase 
of private lands from willing sellers would be an option for recovery 
purposes and could, in some areas, reduce the potential of disease 
transmission from domestic to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (58) Comment: One commenter stated there is little definitive 
information or predictive ability regarding avalanches in almost all 
areas recommended as critical habitat. The rule should reflect real and 
practical activities not speculative ones such as avalanche control.
    Our Response: We agree that it is difficult to predict and manage 
avalanche danger in many areas of the Sierra Nevada, and we are not 
proposing a comprehensive plan for control of avalanches to protect 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. However, opportunistic management of 
avalanche danger in some locations may be possible (e.g., SR 120 
corridor). Mortality of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from avalanches is 
a real and documented threat that can result in losses of large numbers 
of individuals. We are working to buffer the subspecies against these 
stochastic losses by establishing additional populations that spread 
the risk across a larger area. We are also working to improve winter 
range habitat, to reduce winter range predation, and to increase 
population sizes. The goal of these activities is to increase use of 
winter range by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, so that they are not at 
high elevation locations during the season of highest avalanche danger. 
However, we do not rule out the possibility of recommending avalanche 
control in areas where we believe it might be effective in protecting 
some populations that are not utilizing winter range.
    (59) Comment: Sheep crossing signs should be installed in the Tioga 
Pass and June Lake Loop areas for the safety of motorists as well as 
the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    Our Response: Sign placement is outside the scope of this rule. 
However, the Service is supportive of continuing efforts to increase 
public awareness of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (60) Comment: The critical habitat overlaps existing wilderness 
designations creating another layer of bureaucracy.
    Our Response: Some of the critical habitat units do overlap 
portions of wilderness; however, these two designations do not achieve 
the same goals. The Wilderness Act of 1964 created a National 
Wilderness Preservation System. Federal lands designated by Congress as 
``wilderness areas'' are to be ``administered for the use and enjoyment 
of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for 
future use as wilderness, and as to provide for the protection of these 
areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the 
gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and 
enjoyment as wilderness.'' A wilderness designation prohibits 
commercial enterprises; permanent roads (with some exceptions); use of 
motorized vehicles, equipment, and boats; aircraft landing; temporary 
roads; and structures or installations (with some exceptions). It does 
not prohibit activities such as some mining and associated activities, 
water resource and development and their associated support facilities, 
grazing, and recreational activities. The Wilderness Act also did not 
affect the ``jurisdiction or responsibilities of the several States 
with respect to wildlife and fish in the national forests.'' The stated 
purpose of the ESA, as amended, is, in part, `` * * * to provide a 
means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and 
threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for 
the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species.'' 
Some activities that are permissible under the Wilderness Act may 
affect the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep as indicated 
in our Special Management Considerations or Protection section. 
Therefore, the designation of critical habitat provides protections to 
the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep that a wilderness designation does not.
    (61) Comment: Manage ``all suitable historic range'' for Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep as events such as fire may create landscape 
changes that may encourage use in areas of historic range not currently 
suitable.
    Our Response: Please see our response to Comment 36.

Comments Related to Criteria and Methods

    (62) Comment: Critical habitat should not be reduced to avoid 
potential difficulties with conflicting uses such as domestic sheep 
grazing in the northern units.
    Our Response: We have not reduced the amount of designated critical 
habitat in this final rule compared to the proposed rule due to 
potential conflicts with domestic sheep grazing. Please review the 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section, as well as our 
response to Comment 39. The two herd units in the northern area, Twin 
Lakes and Green Creek, were not included in the critical habitat 
designation because they did not meet our criteria and are not 
considered essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep. There is scientific uncertainty regarding whether these two herd 
units can support viable herds. There is a lack of historical evidence 
indicating numbers and uncertainty about connectivity between summer 
and winter ranges. Potential conflict with domestic sheep grazing was 
not a factor for not including these two areas in the designation.
    (63) Comment: A concern was raised regarding the use of a road in 
proximity of critical habitat boundaries.
    Our Response: Existing roads and the lands under them are not 
considered critical habitat. Please also refer to our response to 
Comment 12.

Comments Related to Taxonomy

    (64) Comment: The taxonomic revision should not be included in a 
rule on critical habitat.

[[Page 45547]]

    Our Response: While this rule is primarily to designate critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, the Service legally and 
appropriately determined to use this rulemaking process to address and 
correct related issues. The final listing rule published on January 3, 
2000 (65 FR 20), inadvertently listed this entity as a DPS rather than 
as a subspecies. We sought to use our limited resources most 
efficiently by proposing the taxonomic revision to the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep with our proposed critical habitat designation. We are 
revising the scientific name for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from 
Ovis canadensis californiana to Ovis canadensis sierrae based on the 
current understanding of this subspecies' taxonomy.
    (65) Comment: The taxonomic issue was not adequately addressed in 
the proposed rule.
    Our Response: We have provided a more thorough discussion of the 
genetic and morphometric studies supporting the distinctness of Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep as compared with other bighorn sheep populations 
in the Background section of this final rule.
    (66) Comment: One commenter stated that the taxonomic question of 
whether the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is a unique subspecies should 
be answered before proceeding with the critical habitat designation.
    Our Response: The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, at listing, was 
thought to be part of a larger California bighorn sheep subspecies, 
Ovis canadensis californiana. However, based on the best scientific 
information available, genetic and morphologic research now indicates 
it should be classified as a separate subspecies, O. c. sierrae. Please 
see additional information provided in the Background section of this 
rule. We are aware of an unpublished preliminary analysis performed by 
the NDOA suggesting that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep may be part of a 
continuous population of Nevada desert bighorn sheep. This analysis is 
based on microsatellite markers of samples collected from approximately 
100 desert bighorn sheep from Nevada and California and one Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep from California. These results are preliminary and 
limited due to the single sample for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. This 
analysis has not been presented as a technical paper or published in a 
peer reviewed scientific publication. We cannot consider this as 
substantial new information at this time. Until further research is 
conducted either supporting or rejecting the suggestion that Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep is a part of a continuous population of Nevada 
desert bighorn sheep, we will use the best scientific information 
currently available indicating that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep should 
be classified as a separate subspecies, O. c. sierrae.
    (67) Comment: The animals found north of Mammoth Lakes should be 
declared Nelson bighorn or Nelson/Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep hybrids.
    Our Response: The commenter did not provide any data to support 
this statement, nor do we have any data to support this statement. 
Please refer to our response to Comment 66.
    (68) Comment: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep genetic material should 
be released to a third party so additional analyses can be conducted to 
determine whether this is a distinct subspecies.
    Our Response: To conduct research on a listed species, such as 
involving genetic material (considered a body part), a section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the Act permit application must be submitted to the 
Service. The permitting process is described in 50 CFR 17.22, Permits 
for scientific purposes, enhancement of propagation or survival, or for 
incidental taking. Currently, only one entity has applied for and been 
issued a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act for research 
activities involving Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep; this permit covers 
several individuals and institutions specifically listed in the permit.

Comments Related to Legal and Procedural Issues

    (69) Comment: There is public frustration that a lawsuit is 
instigating designation of critical habitat at this time.
    Our Response: The Act requires designation of critical habitat at 
the time of listing unless not prudent or undeterminable. We are 
complying with a court approved settlement agreement to designate 
critical habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. As indicated by the 
settlement agreement, we are required to submit to the Federal Register 
a final determination of critical habitat designation by July 17, 2008. 
Please see our Previous Federal Actions section of the rule for further 
details.
    (70) Comment: A commenter was concerned that the final critical 
habitat designation could be expanded in the future.
    Our Response: Section 4(a)(3)(B) of the Act provides that critical 
habitat designations may, from time-to-time, be revised. A revision can 
propose an expansion or contraction of the boundaries. Any such 
revision would again be published in the Federal Register as a proposed 
rule with an opportunity for public comment before any such revision is 
made final.
    (71) Comment: Why was the designation for critical habitat for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep not completed sooner?
    Our Response: Please refer to the Previous Federal Actions section 
of this final rule for additional information on this topic.
    (72) Comment: The Service must designate sufficient critical 
habitat to support the ``conservation'' and ``recovery'' of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, not just survival.
    Our Response: The process of designating critical habitat as 
described in the Act requires that the Service identify those lands on 
which are found the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species that may require special management 
considerations or protection, and the areas outside the current range 
of the species that are essential for its conservation. In identifying 
those lands, the Service must consider the recovery, as well as the 
survival, needs of the species. Once critical habitat has been 
designated, Federal agencies must consult with the Service under 
section 7(a)(2) of the Act to ensure that their actions will not 
destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat or jeopardize 
the continued existence of the species. As noted in the Ninth Circuit's 
Gifford Pinchot decision, the jeopardy and adverse modification 
standards are distinct. Through the section 7(a)(2) consultation 
process, critical habitat designations provide recovery benefits to 
species by ensuring that Federal actions will not result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.
    This final designation of critical habitat identifies units that 
are identical to those herd units that the recovery plan for the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep identifies as necessary for recovery. Therefore, 
we believe we fully considered the recovery and survival needs of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in this designation of critical habitat.
    (73) Comment: The four herd units not included in the critical 
habitat likely qualify as a significant portion of the range for Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep. If Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are recovered in 
the critical habitat, the subspecies would still be considered 
threatened or endangered in a significant portion of its range due to 
the four units not being included. The designation ignores 
recommendations of scientists that indicate that the Northern Recovery 
Unit is needed for recovery

[[Page 45548]]

and does not meet the recovery plan's objectives for reintroducing 
animals to vacant herd units or for increasing the number of herds by 
increasing geographic distribution and numbers.
    Our Response: The determination of a significant portion of a 
species range is not relevant to the designation of critical habitat. 
Rather, it applies in the context of listing or delisting a particular 
species; therefore, we do not consider what constitutes a significant 
portion of a species range in this final designation of critical 
habitat.
    The recovery plan identifies four specific measurable criteria for 
delisting. Delisting Criterion B2 indicates that Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep must occupy 12 herd units. The recovery plan specifies 12 
essential herd units that would likely contribute to recovery by 
receiving Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep through translocation or natural 
migration. The plan also identifies four non-essential herd units as 
locations that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep could occupy based on 
historical Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep locations and habitat 
characteristics. However, the recovery plan did not identify these four 
herd units as essential to recovery because of uncertainty over whether 
viable populations could persist in these locations long-term. Three of 
the four non-essential herd units are currently unoccupied.
    Because the critical habitat units and essential herd units have 
the same boundaries, we can achieve population size and distribution 
recovery goals for this species if we can establish and maintain 
populations within them. These critical habitat units are consistent 
with the recovery plan's goal of establishing new herds in currently 
unoccupied suitable habitat. Five of the critical habitat units are 
currently unoccupied, but we have designated them as critical habitat 
because these areas are essential to the establishment of herds that 
are necessary for recovery of the species.
    Therefore, the recommendation for retaining the Northern Recovery 
Unit has been addressed through identification of the Mount Gibbs and 
Mount Warren essential herd units in the recovery plan and designation 
of critical habitat encompassing these two units.
    (74) Comment: The rule should be suspended until the ``required 
determinations'' have been made.
    Our Response: As stated in the proposed rule, we indicated we would 
wait on the draft economic analysis to respond to various 
determinations. On February 5, 2008 (73 FR 6684), we published the 
notice of availability of our draft economic analysis, which also 
included our amended required determinations based on the draft 
economic analysis. This final rule contains our final required 
determinations which are based on the final economic analysis of this 
critical habitat designation. Please see the Required Determinations 
section for more information.
    (75) Comment: The Service did not have resumes for the peer 
reviewers.
    Our Response: The Service solicits opinions of independent peer 
reviewers to ensure that our designations are based on ``scientifically 
sound data, assumptions, and analyses.'' Our longstanding practice does 
not require resumes to be submitted by peer reviewers.
    (76) Comment: A commenter noted that one of the solicited peer 
reviewers was included in the literature citations for the proposed 
rule and questioned whether the peer reviewer had input during 
preparation of the proposed critical habitat.
    Our Response: The citation is for a document published by the peer 
reviewer in 2002. The peer reviewer did not have input during the 
preparation of the proposed critical habitat designation. Like the 
public, it is appropriate for a peer reviewer to provide input for a 
final critical habitat designation through comments on the proposed 
designation.
    (77) Comment: An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should be 
required for any proposed project which may affect critical habitat.
    Our Response: Requiring an EIS is beyond the scope of a critical 
habitat designation. The Federal action agency will be responsible for 
the appropriate level of NEPA compliance with respect to any future 
proposed project. The level of such compliance would be determined by 
the action agency at that time.
    (78) Comment: A few comments were received related to the two 
public meetings and one hearing held on the proposed critical habitat 
designation. While some people expressed appreciation of the Service's 
time and the opportunity to review maps, obtain hand out materials, and 
ask questions of Service employees one-on-one, others wanted a formal 
presentation with an opportunity to ask questions in a group setting. 
One commenter objected that public speaking time at the hearing was 
limited when few people had signed up to speak.
    Our Response: Although we have complied with the appropriate legal 
requirement, we appreciate this feedback and will continue to seek 
opportunities to share information on Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep with 
the public.
    (79) Comment: Critical habitat boundary maps should have been 
overlaid on a topographic map.
    Our Response: Maps published in the Federal Register must be 
printed in a simplified format. In addition, due to the remote 
locations of the units, the number of landmarks available to assist 
with location descriptions is limited. The boundary descriptions in the 
Regulation Promulgation section of the final rule indicate the specific 
critical habitat unit boundaries.
    (80) Comment: One commenter stated that the Service was moving too 
quickly and without having documents peer reviewed before citing them 
in the proposed critical habitat rule and DEA. The study by Clifford et 
al. (2007) was used as an example.
    Our Response: As indicated in the Critical Habitat section of this 
rule, we are legally required to use the best scientific and commercial 
data available when designating critical habitat. Under our Policy on 
Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act and the 
Information Quality Act, we are able to use information available to us 
as publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, agency documents, 
reports, etc. Many of these documents are not peer reviewed. Our use of 
Clifford et al. (2007) is not the basis for our designation of critical 
habitat for this subspecies; rather, we used it to provide information 
related to assessing the risk of and potential for a respiratory 
outbreak in Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep due to contact with domestic 
sheep. Addressing the presence of domestic sheep and grazing activities 
within critical habitat relates to the Special Management 
Considerations or Protection section. Please see our response to 
Comment 17.

Comments Related to Economic Issues

    (81) Comment: It was requested that the Pine Creek Mine be excluded 
from the critical habitat designation for economic, national security, 
and safety issues.
    Our Response: When determining critical habitat boundaries for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, we made every effort to avoid including 
developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, paved areas, and 
other structures that lack PCEs for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. 
The scale of the maps prepared under the parameters for publication 
within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of 
such developed areas. Any such features and the land under them

[[Page 45549]]

inadvertently left inside critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps 
of this final rule have been excluded by text in the final rule and are 
not designated as critical habitat. Therefore, Federal actions limited 
to these areas would not trigger section 7 consultation, unless they 
may affect the species or PCEs in adjacent critical habitat.
    We consider activities such as new road construction, maintenance 
activities, road widening, and mining and construction of associated 
facilities as potentially impacting additional lands not within the 
footprint of existing facilities. These activities may affect the 
features that may need special management considerations or protection 
within designated critical habitat units. Federal agencies consult 
under section 7 of the Act to ensure that their proposed actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
or result in the destruction or adverse modification of its critical 
habitat. We have determined that undeveloped areas of the Pine Creek 
Mine are essential to the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep as they contain 
the features essential to the conservation of the subspecies and meet 
the definition of critical habitat. Please see the Criteria Used To 
Identify Critical Habitat section for more information. One of our 
objectives is to provide consistency between critical habitat 
designation and the essential habitat indicated in the final recovery 
plan (Service 2007, p. 41).
    The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act after taking into consideration the economic 
impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact 
if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of designating such area as critical habitat, unless he 
determines that the exclusion would result in the extinction of the 
species concerned.
    We have considered this request by the commenter. We appreciate the 
commenter's willingness to continue to work with California Department 
of Game and Fish and the Service and provide access and use of mine 
roads, the helipad, and parking lots to assist with Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep monitoring activities. We are aware of the revegetation 
of tailings piles during the mine's idle years which have subsequently 
been used by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep during winter months. We have 
previously consulted with the USFS on mining associated activities 
related to this mine and determined that those activities were not 
likely to adversely affect the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Since 
critical habitat has not been previously proposed or designated for 
this species, it is anticipated that the USFS will initiate section 7 
consultation as appropriate for any new activities proposed by the mine 
operators for which action agency authorization is required. These new 
activities may include construction or modification of escapeways and 
other safety facilities and surface stations and reworking of existing 
tailings piles. We will continue to work with the USFS and the 
permittee to address concerns related to the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep during the section 7 consultation process as appropriate.
    According to the final EA, post-designation baseline (due to 
listing) undiscounted costs for habitat management of which Pine Creek 
Mine is a portion is estimated at $14.8 million over the next 20 years 
(including $267,000 for impacts due to mining consultations). Post-
designation incremental undiscounted costs (due to the designation of 
critical habitat) for mining consultations are estimated to be $14,640 
over the next 20 years. These impacts are due to the predicted section 
7 consultations by the USFS to address mining activities. Thus, costs 
are not considered to be disproportionate and we are not excluding 
these lands based on economic impacts.
    The commenter also requested lands be excluded based on national 
security concerns. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136) amended section 4(a)(3)(B) of the Act (16 
U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) to state that the Secretary shall not 
designate 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 integrated natural resource management plan 
(INRMP) prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), 
if the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a 
benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for 
designation. The land in question is not Department of Defense land and 
does not have an INRMP. While the commenter provided information on use 
and application of tungsten in military applications, we do not believe 
that the designation of critical habitat will preclude the continued 
operation of the Pine Creek Mine. Additionally, a designation of 
critical habitat is not likely to preclude further development or 
exploration at the mine. Any future consultations under section 7 of 
the Act will include an analysis of adverse modification of critical 
habitat as well as a jeopardy analysis. We will continue to work with 
the USFS and permittee to address concerns related to the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep during the section 7 consultation process as appropriate. 
Therefore, we are not excluding these lands based on national security 
concerns.
    In conclusion, based on the record before us, we are not excluding 
those USFS lands on which the Pine Creek Mine occurs that meet the 
definition of critical habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (82) Comment: The economic analysis should be conducted in a timely 
manner.
    Our Response: Pursuant to 50 CFR 424.19, we are not required to 
conduct an economic analysis at the time critical habitat is proposed. 
It would be ideal to provide the draft economic analysis with the 
proposal. However, due to the short time frame to complete the 
proposal, we were unable to do so. We published the proposed critical 
habitat designation on July 25, 2007 (72 FR 40956), invited public 
comment, and held one hearing and two informational meetings. We 
reopened the public comment period on the draft economic analysis and 
the proposed critical habitat designation for 30 days beginning on 
February 5, 2008 (73 FR 6684). We believe we provided adequate time for 
the public to provide comment on the proposed rule as well as the 
economic analysis consistent with the court-approved deadline for this 
determination. Comments received during the two open comment periods 
and during the public hearing and informational meetings were reviewed 
and incorporated into our decision making process as appropriate.
    (83) Comment: The economic analysis for the critical habitat 
designation should show the cumulative impacts since listing the 
species.
    Our Response: In the economic analysis, costs were developed as 
pre-designation baseline, post-designation baseline, and post-
designation incremental impacts. The pre-designation baseline and the 
post-designation baseline indicate the costs of the impacts of listing 
of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The post-designation incremental 
impacts are differentiated from the baseline as they are specifically 
related to the critical habitat designation. Thus, the economic 
analysis does provide a cumulative analysis of the economic impacts of 
actions taken to protect the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep since its 
listing. Please refer to the final economic analysis for details.

[[Page 45550]]

Comments Related to the Draft Economic Analysis

Policy Issues

    (84) Comment: One commenter states that the DEA does not state that 
while nearly half of the estimated economic impacts from proposed 
critical habitat are from the Mount Warren and Mount Gibbs habitat 
units, the northern herd units contain less than five percent of the 
total Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep herd population. The comment also 
states that incurring these impacts would be a futile, huge waste of 
money and that the DEA should draw the same conclusion.
    Our Response: As described in the framework of the economic 
analysis (Chapter 1), the purpose of the analysis is to estimate the 
economic impacts of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep conservation measures 
as comprehensively as possible with publicly available data. A judgment 
concerning effectiveness or efficiency of the conservation measures 
that may be required by critical habitat designation is beyond the 
scope of the economic analysis.
    (85) Comment: One commenter is concerned that the DEA does not 
calculate the costs of regulatory takings.
    Our Response: In accordance with E.O. 12630 (``Government Actions 
and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property 
Rights''), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of 
designating critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in a 
takings implications assessment. Critical habitat designation does not 
affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or 
permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation 
programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that 
do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. The takings 
implications assessment concludes that this designation of critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep does not pose significant 
takings implications.
    (86) Comment: A commenter stated that there was not enough time 
provided in the comment period. Instead of designating critical 
habitat, the Service should set up a pilot program in order to get 
insight from the ranchers and biologists together. Information from the 
pilot program could then be used for designating critical habitat.
    Our Response: On October 9, 2007 (72 FR 57276), we extended the 
time period for public comment on the proposed critical habitat 
designation to gather additional information. A second comment period 
was opened for comments on the DEA and the proposed rule on February 5, 
2008 (73 FR 6684). In our proposed rule we asked for ways that we could 
improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat. This 
could include ways to provide greater public participation or ways to 
better accommodate public concerns and comments. We appreciate the idea 
about establishing a pilot program for public participation. We welcome 
details from the commenter on the specifics of how that could be 
implemented.
    (87) Comment: A few commenters stated that the DEA does not 
quantify any benefits. These benefits could be consumptive, non-
consumptive or scenic.
    Our Response: In the context of a critical habitat designation, the 
primary purpose of the rulemaking (i.e., the direct benefit) is to 
designate areas that contain the physical and biological features that 
are essential to the conservation of listed species. The designation of 
critical habitat may result in two distinct categories of benefits to 
society: (1) Use; and (2) nonuse benefits. Use benefits are simply the 
social benefits that accrue from the physical use of a resource. 
Visiting critical habitat to see endangered species in their natural 
habitat would be a primary example. Non-use benefits, in contrast, 
represent welfare gains from the knowledge that a particular listed 
species' natural habitat is being specially managed for the survival 
and recovery of that species. Both use and non-use benefits may occur 
unaccompanied by any market transactions.
    A primary reason for conducting this economic analysis is to 
provide information regarding the economic impacts associated with a 
proposed critical habitat designation. 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. Economic impacts can be both positive and 
negative and, by definition, are observable through market 
transactions.
    Under Executive Order 12866 (E.O. 12866), Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) directs Federal agencies to provide an assessment of both 
the social costs and benefits of proposed regulatory actions. OMB's 
Circular A-4 distinguishes two types of economic benefits: Direct 
benefits and ancillary benefits. Ancillary benefits are defined as 
favorable impacts of a rulemaking that are typically unrelated, or 
secondary, to the statutory purpose of the rulemaking. In the context 
of critical habitat, the primary purpose of the rulemaking (i.e., the 
direct benefit) is to assist in the conservation of the species. The 
published economics literature has documented that social welfare 
benefits can result from the conservation of endangered and threatened 
species. In its guidance for implementing E.O. 12866, OMB acknowledges 
that it may not be feasible to monetize, or even quantify, the benefits 
of environmental regulations due to either an absence of defensible, 
relevant studies or a lack of resources on the implementing agency's 
part to conduct new research. Rather than rely on economic measures, 
the Service believes that the direct benefits of the proposed rule are 
best expressed in biological terms that can be weighed against the 
expected cost impacts of the rulemaking.
    Critical habitat designation may also generate ancillary benefits. 
Critical habitat aids in the conservation of species specifically by 
protecting the primary constituent elements on which the species 
depends. Critical habitat designation can result in maintenance of 
particular environmental conditions that may generate other social 
benefits aside from the preservation of the species. Management actions 
undertaken to conserve a species or habitat may have coincident, 
positive social welfare implications, such as increased recreational 
opportunities in a region. While they are not the primary purpose of 
critical habitat, these ancillary benefits may result in gains in 
employment, output, or income that may offset the direct, negative 
impacts to a region's economy resulting from actions to conserve a 
species or its habitat.
    It is often difficult to evaluate the ancillary benefits of 
critical habitat designation. To the extent that the ancillary benefits 
of the rulemaking may be captured by the market through an identifiable 
shift in resource allocation, they are factored into the overall 
economic impact assessment in the EA. Where data are available, the 
analysis attempts to capture the net economic impact (i.e., the 
increased regulatory burden less any discernable offsetting market 
gains) of species conservation efforts imposed on regulated entities 
and the regional economy.

General Methodology

    (88) Comment: A commenter states that it is not feasible to do an 
economic analysis without preparing environmental impact statements 
because the inability of the DEA to

[[Page 45551]]

predict future restrictions makes the report too vague.
    Our Response: The best predictions possible concerning conservation 
efforts and their impacts have been provided, based on multiple 
interviews with key stakeholders and review of the publicly available 
data. Legally, an EIS is not required for this purpose.
    (89) Comment: One commenter states that the DEA does not estimate 
the true cost of not allowing grazing on a Federal grazing allotment 
and deliberately understates the value of an AUM. The commenter asserts 
that provided documentation proves that this is true.
    Our Response: Additional detail has been added to the DEA to 
address the concerns raised in this comment. Section 2.1.4 has been 
substantially extended; the section now provides a more detailed 
explanation of how valuing public grazing AUMs at the market rate is 
the most appropriate economic methodology and is the method that is 
most commonly used as well. A more recent value of grazing value (the 
2007 market rate of $16.50) is provided; the economic estimates have 
been updated to include this new information. Section 2.1.4 also 
discusses other AUM valuation methodologies (cited in the provided 
information referenced in the comment) and shows how these 
methodologies do not measure the resource value (which the market rate 
does), how estimates based on these methodologies are highly dependent 
on the specific sample that is used to create them, and how different 
assumptions and different studies can produce substantially different 
estimates of AUM values for ranches in the same general vicinity. 
Exhibit 2-3 shows that the value of an AUM from these studies, using 
the same methodology, generates values from $2.41 to $84 per AUM. 
Section 2.6 has been added to address the limitations of the valuation 
methods in Chapter 2. A technical appendix (Appendix D) has also been 
added to the DEA to provide greater detail on how the grazing impacts 
were calculated, and to explain why some information in the 
documentation referenced in the comment was not used in the writing of 
Chapter 2.
    (90) Comment: A commenter states that if formerly available Federal 
allotments are not able to be grazed, then the rancher will have to 
sell the band of sheep and will not be able to ranch anymore. The 
commenter asserts that the grazing restrictions may drive the rancher 
out of business. The commenter asserts that provided documentation 
proves that this is true.
    Our Response: Additions to Section 2.1.4 address this concern. The 
last four paragraphs of Section 2.1.4 explain how one of the research 
papers listed in the provided documentation provides information that 
finds that reductions of up to 30 percent in Federal grazing AUMs can 
be sustained by Northern Nevada ranches without affecting ranch 
profitability. The ranch experiencing Federal grazing AUM reductions, 
as discussed in Section 2.1.4, has a maximum estimated reduction of 11 
percent.
    (91) Comment: Several comments state that the DEA does not present 
an analysis of how the grazing restrictions will affect the larger 
economy. One of these comments states that documentation provided for 
the analysis shows what these impacts would be. This comment states 
that the DEA does not properly account for the expenditures of the 
rancher that grazes in areas proximate to the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep and that the analysis does not address the impact of how smaller 
herd sizes would affect the economies of Mono and Inyo Counties. One 
comment specifically asks where IMPLAN has been used in the analysis.
    Our Response: To address the concerns raised by these comments, a 
regional analysis of the impacts of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep related 
reductions in Federal grazing is provided in Section 2.5. This analysis 
uses IMPLAN, a widely used methodological tool (called an ``Input-
Output'' model) used for regional economic analysis to perform the 
analysis for Mono and Inyo Counties. The results indicate that the 
$261,000 yearly loss of grazing value in Mono County results in 
additional losses of $70,696 per year in that county. The $14,000 
grazing value reductions in Inyo County results in an additional yearly 
$4,445 of indirect and induced impacts to be lost. Section 2.5 also 
explains how the results of the regional analysis represent a change in 
the distribution of economic activity but do not measure the net effect 
on that activity (adjustments are made to behavior following the 
grazing restrictions that regional analysis can not measure). The 
section explains that while the IMPLAN results are valid for a 
distributional analysis, they are not measures of economic welfare 
change and, therefore, are inappropriate to include with the welfare 
analysis measures that are the main subject of the DEA. This issue is 
also discussed in Section 1.2.2.
    (92) Comment: One commenter states that the DEA does not forecast 
the impacts of grazing restrictions far enough into the future.
    Our Response: Section 1.3.5 of the analysis explains that the 
standard for the analysis is to forecast land uses that are reasonably 
foreseeable, which is within a 20-year span. This forecasting period is 
applied equally to all parts of the report.
    (93) Comment: One commenter states that not all impacts that were 
listed in supplied documents are included in the DEA.
    Our Response: Appendix D has been added to clarify what information 
was used in the grazing chapter estimation and how the information was 
used. Section D-1 provides information about how conservation effort 
impact information in the provided documentation was used and how 
calculations were made. Section D-2 discusses information from the 
provided documentation that was not used because it was either 
unuseable (as detailed in Exhibit D-2) or because the DEA already 
estimates the impacts provided in the documentation.
    (94) Comment: One commenter states that the DEA should quantify the 
benefits to users of the watershed, consumers of water from the 
watershed, and the costs that Federal Agencies incur in managing the 
grazing if grazing is discontinued in the Forest Service allotments.
    Our Response: The economic impacts discussed in Section 2.3 are 
those impacts that would be due to a continuation of the policies that 
are currently in place; no estimation of benefits for additional 
closures is warranted.
    (95) Comment: A commenter stated that the opportunity cost of 
forage values are incorrectly measured. The commenter stated that the 
public grazing price ($1.35 per AUM) should be used to measure the lost 
opportunity cost of grazing on allotments instead of the private market 
price. The comment then states that the DEA should have used the Nevada 
private market grazing price.
    Our Response: Section 2.1.4 has been expanded to address this 
concern. More details on the use and rationale for market rate 
valuation are provided, as well as citations concerning the use of the 
methodology by other Federal agencies. The estimates for grazing have 
been updated with the 2007 average grazing value in California from the 
National Agricultural Statistics Service. Since the grazing allotments 
are in California, and not Nevada, it is more appropriate to use the 
California AUM price.

[[Page 45552]]

    (96) Comment: Several comments expressed concern that the DEA did 
not provide more information or estimates about future potential 
restrictions on recreation activities that may result from critical 
habitat designation. These comments stressed the importance of 
recreation activities to the local economies.
    Our Response: Section 4.1 explains how no public agency (Federal or 
State) that is involved with the management of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep habitat can predict any potential restriction on recreational 
activities at this time. Section 4.1.1 has been added to address the 
importance of recreation and tourism to the counties where proposed 
critical habitat is located. Exhibit 4-1 has been added to provide 
specific information about the number and size of recreation and 
tourist businesses and the percentage of employment in these 
industries. Section 4.5 has been added to address the uncertainty that 
is part of the analysis because no predictions about restrictions can 
be made at this time.
    (97) Comment: One commenter stated that only one packer was 
contacted and asked about the impacts of permitting on pack operations. 
The comment asks for more details on who was contacted and questions 
whether a representative sample of each area was questioned. The 
comment states that there is only one pack outfitter in Virginia Lakes.
    Our Response: To respond to the concerns raised in this comment, an 
additional source was contacted. This source confirmed that no direct 
impacts of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep conservation on pack outfit 
permitting could be estimated. This source also provided information on 
the revenues of pack outfit operations in Inyo and Mono counties, which 
have been included in Section 4.1.1.
    (98) Comment: One commenter stated that the estimated impacts in 
Chapter 4 (recreation) do not specify a caveat that the estimates of 
total forecast impacts could be wrong by orders of magnitude if some 
currently unanticipated restriction is put in place.
    Our Response: The DEA cannot provide economic impact estimates for 
events that cannot be predicted. However, to respond to the concerns of 
the commenter, Section 4.1.1 was added to include recreation related 
employment and revenue statistics for the potentially affected 
counties. The chapter now provides information that shows the 
importance of recreation to the local economy. Section 4.5 has also 
been added to address how the uncertainty about future conservation 
measures is a limitation to the analysis.
    (99) Comment: One commenter states that the Avocet Tungsten Mine 
has clearance to resume mining operations this year and plans to do so. 
The comment reiterates the value of the ore and its strategic 
importance.
    Our Response: This comment contains new information. In response to 
the comment, Service Field Office personnel were contacted and 
potential conservation measures were forecast. Section 3.1.3 now 
includes a discussion of these measures, estimates of the costs of 
their implementation, and estimates of the costs for predicted 
consultations.
    (100) Comment: Several commenters asked for more details on the 
grazing portion of the economic analysis, and how it was performed. 
More information on the streams of costs and benefits was requested.
    Our Response: Appendix D has been added to address these concerns. 
This appendix describes the data sources and explains the calculations 
in great detail.
    (101) Comment: One commenter asked for the basis of the discount 
rates used.
    Our Response: The discount rates used are those suggested by the 
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-4 which provides guidance on 
performing economic regulatory analysis. This information is now 
included in Appendix D.
    (102) Comment: One commenter stated that ``actions that eliminate 
ranchers as residents of these rangelands'' would increase risks 
because illegal activity would spread and grow in the forest if the 
sheep ranchers were not there.
    Our Response: There are no publicly available models or data to 
show that an economic loss may result in increased illegal activity in 
that area. If there are minimal impacts on ranch profitability, as 
suggested in the conclusion to Section 2.1.4, such results are less 
likely.
    (103) Comment: One commenter stated that Mono County is concerned 
that a grazing allotment lease they have may be affected.
    Our Response: The DEA includes information on all of the grazing 
restrictions that can be predicted at this time. No Mono County leases 
are known to be considered for restrictions at this time. These 
allotments occur on County lands. They would not be affected by the 
critical habitat designation unless a Federal nexus applies, such as 
where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization of 
an action. Please see the Critical Habitat section of this rule.
    (104) Comment: One commenter asked how many AUMs are restricted in 
the grazing chapter.
    Our Response: This information is provided in Exhibit 2-2. Appendix 
D has been added to explain how the AUM forage values foregone were 
calculated.
    (105) Comment: One commenter stated that the incremental impacts of 
potential yearly consultation on grazing for Humboldt-Toiyabe (HT) 
National Forest allotments over-estimate the true impacts because there 
are likely to be fewer consultations, and HT may decide to close 
grazing on those allotments regardless.
    Our Response: As discussed in Section 2.1.3, there have been yearly 
section 7 consultations for grazing in HT each year from 2004 to 2007. 
These yearly consultations are not expected to stop. Contact with the 
HT officials indicates that yearly consultation is the most probable 
outcome, rather than allotment closure (see footnote 31). The basis for 
allocating a portion of the section 7 consultation costs as incremental 
impacts is described in Section 1.3.2 and illustrated in Exhibit 1-2.
    (106) Comment: One commenter stated that the research costs and 
litigation costs incurred by the sheep grazers should not be included 
in the analysis.
    Our Response: The legal and research costs discussed in Section 
2.1.3 are indirect costs associated with the species listing. 
Quantification of indirect impacts is discussed in section 1.3.2. 
Appendix D has been added to provide information about which 
conservation related expenditures for grazing were used in the analysis 
and which were not.
    (107) Comment: A commenter stated that there is no basis for the 
``administrative costs for complying with regulations'' provided.
    Our Response: This information was based on reported activity 
levels by the affected sheep raiser. This sheep raiser reported the 
effort level and wage, and reported a total that did not correspond to 
the effort level and wage. The estimate is provided in Exhibit 2-1, and 
the explanation in Note 2 provides details about how this 
estimate was calculated. Appendix D has been added to provide 
information about which conservation related expenditures for grazing 
were used in the analysis and which were not.
    (108) Comment: One commenter stated that there is no reference or 
explanation given for stress induced weight loss among lambs.

[[Page 45553]]

    Our Response: Section 2.1.3 discusses this problem, but does not 
specify how it is calculated or what the source is. Appendix D has been 
added to provide information about which conservation related 
expenditures for grazing were used in the analysis and how they were 
used.
    (109) Comment: One commenter asked that all computer software used 
that is more extensive than simple Net Present Value calculations be 
provided.
    Our Response: The economic analysis also uses ArcGIS, and IMPLAN, 
which are both commercially available software packages.

Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule

    In preparing the final critical habitat designation for Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, we reviewed and considered comments from peer 
reviewers and the public on the proposed designation published on July 
25, 2007 (72 FR 40956), and the draft economic analysis published on 
February 5, 2008 (73 FR 6684). This final rule differs from the 
proposed rule in that we made changes in the following sections of the 
proposed rule: Background, Previous Federal Actions, Primary 
Constituent Elements, Special Management Considerations or Protection, 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat, Critical Habitat 
Designation, and Regulation Promulgation. These changes included 
corrections, new information, or clarifications. Changes included 
clarifying Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep biology; adding information on 
bighorn sheep taxonomy; updating information about the latest Federal 
actions related to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep; updating reference to 
the Service's final recovery plan and its information; clarifying the 
Primary Constituent Elements for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep; adding 
information related to the effects of disease transmission to bighorn 
sheep; including cattle in livestock grazing issues; adding information 
on recreational activities and possible habituation by bighorn sheep; 
deleting unsuitable references related to disease issues; correcting a 
landmark used in unit descriptions; clarifying language used with PCEs 
and special management considerations or protection; and changing the 
indicated historic range from U.S.A. (western conterminous States), 
Canada, (south-west), Mexico (north) to U.S.A. (CA)--Sierra Nevada due 
to the change from its range as a DPS of the subspecies Ovis canadensis 
californiana to its range as its own subspecies Ovis canadensis 
sierrae.

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:
    (i) The specific areas within the geographical 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
    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species and
    (b) Which may require special management considerations or 
protection; and
    (ii) Specific areas outside the geographical 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, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means the use 
of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring any 
endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures 
provided under the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and 
procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated 
with scientific resources management such as research, census, law 
enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live 
trapping, transplantation, and in the extraordinary case where 
population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot otherwise be 
relieved, may include regulated taking.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the prohibition against Federal agencies carrying out, funding, 
or authorizing the destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat. Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires consultation on Federal 
actions that may affect 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 the government or public to access private 
lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, 
recovery, or enhancement measures by private landowners. Where a 
landowner requests federal agency funding or authorization for an 
action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the 
consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) would apply.
    For inclusion in a critical habitat designation, the habitat within 
the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing 
must contain the physical or biological features that are essential to 
the conservation of the species, and be included only if those features 
may require special management considerations or protection. Critical 
habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best 
scientific data available, habitat areas that provide essential life 
cycle needs of the species (i.e., areas on which are found those 
physical and biological features laid out in the appropriate quantity 
and spatial arrangement for the conservation of the species). Under the 
Act, we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed as 
critical habitat only when we determine that those areas are essential 
for the conservation of the species.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available. 
Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered 
Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines 
provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure 
that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. 
They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and 
with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and 
original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to 
designate critical habitat.
    When we are determining which areas should be designated as 
critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the 
information developed during the listing process for the species. 
Additional information sources may 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.
    Habitat is often dynamic, and species may move from one area to 
another over time. Furthermore, we recognize that critical habitat 
designated at a particular point in time may not include all of the 
habitat areas that we may later determine are necessary for the 
recovery of the species. For these reasons, a critical habitat 
designation does not signal that habitat outside the designated area is 
unimportant or may not promote the recovery of the species.
    Areas that support populations, but are outside the critical 
habitat designations, will continue to be subject

[[Page 45554]]

to conservation actions. They are also subject to the regulatory 
protections afforded by the section 7(a)(2) jeopardy standard, as 
determined on the basis of the best available scientific information at 
the time of the federal agency action. Federally funded or permitted 
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 (HCPs), or other species conservation planning efforts if 
information available at the time of these planning efforts calls for a 
different outcome.

Primary Constituent Elements

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and the 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas occupied by 
the species at the time of listing to designate as critical habitat, we 
consider the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species that may require special management 
considerations or protection. We consider the physical or biological 
features to be the PCEs laid out in the appropriate quantity and 
spatial arrangement for the conservation of the species. The PCEs 
include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal 
behavior;
    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements;
    (3) Cover or shelter;
    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, and rearing (or development) 
of offspring; and
    (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are 
representative of the historic, geographical, and ecological 
distributions of a species.
    We derive the specific PCEs required for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep from its biological needs.

Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior

    In general, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep inhabit open areas where 
the land is rocky, sparsely vegetated, and characterized by steep 
slopes and canyons (Wehausen 1980, p. 81; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep 
Interagency Advisory Group 1997, p. 5). In the Sierra Nevada, these 
bighorn sheep occur within a wide range of elevations, from alpine 
peaks in excess of 14,100 ft (4,300 m) to the base of the eastern 
escarpment as low as 4,790 ft (1,460 m) (Wehausen 1980, pp. 3 and 82). 
Recent modeling efforts (Johnson et al. 2005) have clarified and 
supported our knowledge that Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat occurs 
as low as 4,000 ft (1,219 m) in the southern portion of its range. 
Within this elevational range, a variety of vegetation communities 
exists, including: (1) Great Basin sagebrush-bitterbrush-bunchgrass 
scrub; (2) pinyon-juniper woodland and mountain mahogany scrub; (3) 
mid-elevation and subalpine forests, woodlands, and meadows; and (4) 
alpine meadows and other alpine habitats varying from cliffs to 
plateaus (Service 2007, p. 3). Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep prefer Great 
Basin scrub and alpine communities due to their visual openness. 
Because of the aridity of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, many 
of the mid-elevation vegetation communities have some locations near 
precipitous rocks with sparse plant cover that allow use by bighorn 
sheep (Wehausen 1980, pp. 18-25, 80-100). The extreme visual openness 
and the steep, rocky nature of alpine environments in the Sierra Nevada 
provide large expanses of habitat broken by canyons containing forests 
and willow stands. These areas of forests and willow stands are 
unlikely to be used by bighorn sheep. In contrast, low elevation winter 
habitat has been limited to small areas where topographic and visual 
features are suitable (Riegelhuth 1965, pp. 34-38; McCullough and 
Schneegas 1966, pp. 71-72, 74-75; Wehausen 1979, pp. 36-53; 1980, pp. 
81-88). Large expanses lacking precipitous escape terrain can represent 
substantial barriers to movement (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep 
Interagency Advisory Group 1997, p. 5).
    Male and female bighorn sheep commonly live in separate groups 
during much of the year, and often occupy different habitats (Geist and 
Petocz 1977, pp. 1,802-1,803; Bleich et al. 1997, pp. 7-14, 22-34, 36-
42; Wehausen 1980, p. 109). In the Sierra Nevada, both sexes may share 
common winter ranges, but they become more segregated as spring nears 
(Wehausen 1980, pp. 112-113). During winter, bighorn sheep occupy high, 
windswept ridges if forage is available or move to lower elevation 
sagebrush-steppe habitat (as low as 4,790 ft (1,460 m)) to escape deep 
winter snows and find nutritious forage. In winter, they show a 
preference for south-facing slopes where snow melts more readily (Jones 
1950, pp. 44-45; McCullough and Schneegas 1966, p. 71; Wehausen 1980, 
pp. 86-87). During summer, the two sexes utilize different habitats, 
with females restricted largely to alpine environments along the crest 
and males often at somewhat lower elevations in subalpine habitats 
(Wehausen 1980, pp. 112-113). Males again join females during the 
breeding season in late fall. Both males and females will inhabit open 
slopes where the area is rough, rocky, sparsely vegetated, and 
characterized by steep slopes and canyons (Wehausen 1980, p. 81; Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, p. 5).
    An indication of winter and summer range size for male and female 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep was provided by Wehausen (1980) and Chow 
(1992). Wehausen (1980, p. 84) determined winter and summer range sizes 
for the Baxter and Williamson herds. He estimated that total winter 
range was 4.1 sq mi (10.65 sq km) and 5.1 sq mi (13.32 sq km), 
respectively. Summer range for ewes, lambs, and yearlings was estimated 
at 20.3 sq mi (52.63 sq km) and 5.9 sq mi (15.41 sq km), respectively. 
Fall range was estimated at 17.3 sq mi (44.81 sq km) and 5.1 sq mi 
(13.12 sq km), respectively. Chow (1992, p. 37) estimated home range 
size for the Lee Vining herd (winter/spring and summer/fall for rams 
and ewes) using the minimum convex polygon method (i.e., completely 
enclose all data points by connecting the outer locations in such a way 
as to create a convex polygon) from 1986 to 1989. During this period, 
ewes covered an area of 1.6 to 7.0 sq mi (4.2 to 18.1 sq km) during 
winter/spring, and rams covered an area of 4.6 to 10.8 sq mi (11.9 to 
28.0 sq km). During this same period, ewes covered 3.7 to 8.6 sq mi 
(9.5 to 22.4 sq km) during summer/fall while rams covered 5.7 to 13.7 
sq mi (14.7 to 35.4 sq km). The mean minimum convex polygon home range 
was 12.1 sq mi (31.4 sq km) for ewes and 32.8 sq mi (84.9 sq km) for 
rams from Mount Warren/Mount Gibbs, Wheeler, Sawmill, and Baxter herds 
(Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program 2004, pp. 9, 17).
    Bighorn sheep have developed philopatric behaviors (reluctance to 
disperse from their home range) such that they are slow to colonize 
unoccupied habitat (Geist 1971, pp. 98-99; Cowan and Geist 1971, p. 
81). This is likely an adaptation to the naturally fragmented habitats 
that bighorn sheep occupy. Both male and female Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep demonstrate seasonal philopatry (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep 
Recovery Program 2004, p. 7). While both males and females show a 
tendency to use the same ranges year after year, males show exceptions

[[Page 45555]]

and demonstrate long-distance movements (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep 
Recovery Program 2004, p. 7). Annual home range diameter provides an 
indication of the extreme distances bighorn sheep can travel. Maximum 
diameters for home ranges for female Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from 
the Mount Warren/Mount Gibbs, Wheeler, and Baxter herds ranged from 
3.95 to 10.41 mi (6.35 to 16.75 km); males from the Mount Warren/Mount 
Gibbs, Wheeler, and Sawmill herds ranged from 5.5 to 36.9 mi (8.9 to 
59.4 km) (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program 2004, pp. 9, 
17).
    Bighorn sheep exhibit a variety of behavioral adaptations to avoid 
predation. Bighorn sheep are primarily diurnal (Jones 1950, pp. 54-57; 
Krausman et al. 1985, pp. 24-26). Coupled with their strong reliance on 
keen eyesight to detect predators, diurnal behavior minimizes predation 
risks. Due to their keen eyesight and agility on rocky slopes, bighorn 
sheep, in general, select open habitats that allow predator detection 
at distances great enough to allow time to reach steep, rocky terrain 
(escape habitat) (Wehausen 1980, p. 81). This precipitous, rocky 
terrain is generally near foraging and resting areas. Bedding areas are 
needed for resting or sleeping purposes. During the day, bedding areas 
are generally wherever the individual is feeding. Bedding areas are 
made in the open but not necessarily in a place with a view of the 
surrounding area; during the night, bedding areas are generally among 
or near rugged, chuted cliffs (Jones 1950, p. 49). Bighorn sheep may 
venture a short distance away from rocky escape terrain to feed; the 
distance they venture from safer habitat varies and is apparently 
influenced by visual openness, wind, gender, season, and abundance of 
predators (Service 2007, p. 5).

Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, and Rearing of Offspring

    In the Sierra Nevada, ewes and rams come together in late fall or 
early winter (November and December) (Jones 1950, pp. 63-64; Cowan and 
Geist 1971, p. 64; Wishart 1978, p. 165) to breed, usually at high 
elevations. Bighorn sheep generally give birth to single young (Wishart 
1978, p. 165). Most bighorn sheep births in the Sierra Nevada occur in 
May and June (Wehausen 1980, p. 94; 1996, p. 475). Lambing habitat is 
in areas of precipitous rocks away from trees (Wehausen 1980, p. 95), 
providing safe areas from predators. Ewes with newborn lambs are 
solitary for a short period of time before joining nursery groups.

Mortality Factors

    Bighorn sheep die from a variety of causes including predation, 
disease, and accidents. Various predators, including wolves (Canis 
lupus), mountain lions (Felis concolor), coyotes (Canis latrans), 
bobcats (Lynx rufus), and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) kill wild 
sheep in North America (Cowan and Geist 1971, p. 75; Bleich 1999, p. 
283). Jones (1950, pp. 67-68) listed golden eagles, mountain lions, 
coyotes, wolverines (Gulo luscus), bobcats, and ravens (Corvus corax) 
as likely predators of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, but thought none of 
these predators caused anything except small losses on the population 
under normal circumstances. He thought predation overall was light 
except during abnormally unfavorable winters. In recent years in the 
Sierra Nevada, mountain lions have been the primary predator of bighorn 
sheep, accounting for 96 percent of losses attributed to predation 
(Service 2007, p. 9). Of 147 bighorn sheep deaths recorded in the 
Sierra Nevada from 1975 to 2000, a minimum of 54.5 percent could be 
attributed to predation (Service 2007, p. 9).
    Numerous diseases of bighorn sheep have been documented (Bunch et 
al. 1999, pp. 209-237). Bighorn sheep show a high susceptibility to 
pneumonia, usually caused by bacteria of the genus Pasteurella (some 
species now called Mannheimia) (Post 1971, pp. 98-101). Pneumonia 
caused by Pasturella alone, or with other pathogens, is an important 
disease threat for bighorn sheep (Bunch et al. 1999, p. 210). Lungworms 
of the genus Protostrongylus can be important contributors to pneumonia 
and mortality in bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains (Forrester 1971, 
p. 158; Woodard et al. 1974, pp. 773-774). Bighorn in the Sierra Nevada 
carry Protostrongylus lungworms, but parasite loads have been too low 
to be considered a management concern (Wehausen 1980, p. 191).
    Although die-offs of bighorn sheep due to disease have occurred 
unrelated to domestic sheep (Miller et al. 1991, pp. 534-540), a 
substantial amount of circumstantial evidence is available that 
indicates that contact with domestic sheep is associated with 
respiratory disease outbreaks resulting in significant morbidity and 
mortality in wild bighorn sheep (Martin et al. 1996, pp. 72, 74). The 
history of bighorn sheep in the United States provides numerous 
examples of major die-offs following believed contact with domestic 
sheep (Foreyt and Jessup 1982, pp. 163-164, 166; Singer et al. 2001, p. 
1,352; Coggins 2002, pp. 166-170), and these pneumonia epizootics can 
extirpate entire populations (Martin et al. 1996, pp. 72, 75). 
Experimental evidence indicates that bighorn sheep can suffer mortality 
from pneumonia after being in contact with domestic sheep (Foreyt 1989, 
p. 342; Callan, et al. 1991, pp. 1,054-1,055). Diseases transferred 
through contact with domestic sheep are suspected to have played a 
major role in the disappearance of certain bighorn sheep herds in the 
Sierra Nevada beginning about 1870 (Wehausen 1988b, p. 100).
    The outcome of contact between the two species likely depends on 
the exposure history and immunity status of both species. The onset of 
pneumonia in affected bighorn sheep may be delayed by days or weeks 
after the initial contact with domestic sheep, and the problem may not 
be detected for months after infection in isolated bighorn sheep herds. 
Those individuals that survive, especially wandering rams, can transmit 
pathogens to nearby populations. Lambs born to surviving ewes can 
experience low survival rates for 3 to 5 years after the initial 
outbreak (Foreyt 1990, p. 100; Coggins and Matthews 1992, Ward et al. 
1992, Foreyt 1995, Hunter 1995a cited in Schommer and Woolever 2001, p. 
3). It is not possible to predict which contacts with domestic sheep 
might result in disease transmission to bighorn sheep, nor which 
bighorn sheep individuals could be susceptible. Contact can occur due 
to stray domestic sheep entering bighorn sheep habitat, or bighorn 
sheep coming into contact with domestic sheep.
    Many early die-offs of bighorn sheep, including some in the Sierra 
Nevada, were attributed to scabies contracted from domestic sheep 
(Jones 1950, p. 69; Buechner 1960, p. 111). In 1987, Clark et al. 
(1988, p. 13) found scabies in three desert bighorn sheep in California 
east of the Sierra Nevada. In a large sampling of 50 populations of 
bighorn sheep in California between 1980 and 1990, 25 populations were 
designated as scabies-positive because at least one seropositive animal 
occurred at the low or high cutoff values, though no clinical evidence 
of scabies was noted (Mazat et al. 1992, pp. 543-545).
    Other infectious diseases may be of concern for bighorn sheep in 
selected instances. Domestic goats are occasionally used as pack 
animals in the back country or for brush control. This use could cause 
concern if it occurs in or near bighorn sheep habitat. For example, a 
recent outbreak of infectious keratoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the 
eye) linked to domestic goats resulted in blindness and several deaths

[[Page 45556]]

(exacerbated by the blindness) in bighorn sheep in Arizona, 
demonstrating the risk of disease outbreak in bighorn sheep from 
interactions with domestic goats (Heffelfinger 2004, cited in Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program 2004, p. 2).
    Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep remaining at high elevations year-round 
likely contributed to population losses over winter (Wehausen 1996, pp. 
474-477). Those losses included losses in snow avalanches (Service 
2007, p. 10). A survey of the Wheeler Ridge herd during the heavy 
winter of 1995 found 12 sheep had died in a single snow avalanche 
(Torres et al. 1996, p. 28).

Metapopulation Structure

    Within mountain ranges like the Sierra Nevada, bighorn sheep 
habitat is patchy and the population structure is one of natural 
fragmentation (Bleich et al. 1990, p. 384). This fragmentation has led 
to the application of a broad landscape approach to their population 
ecology which groups geographically distinct herds into 
metapopulations, or networks of interacting herds (Schwartz et al. 
1986, pp. 182-183; Bleich et al. 1990, p. 386). This approach considers 
long-term viability not of individual herds but rather of entire 
metapopulations; thus, both genetic and demographic factors are 
considered. Decreasing population sizes, over time, can lead to 
decreasing levels of heterozygosity (presence of different forms of a 
gene at a particular location on a chromosome) that may have negative 
demographic effects through inbreeding depression (Lande 1988, p. 
1,456) and loss of adaptability. A small amount of genetic exchange 
among herds by movements of males can counteract inbreeding and 
associated increases in homozygosity (presence of identical forms of a 
gene at a particular location on a chromosome) that might otherwise 
develop within small, isolated populations (Schwartz et al. 1986, p. 
185). Males have a much greater tendency than females to explore new 
ranges. This tendency is likely attributed to males searching for 
females with which to breed. If geographic distances between female 
groups within metapopulations are not great, gene migration by males 
occurs readily. In the absence of such a metapopulation structure, 
populations will be isolated. Because the distribution of bighorn sheep 
in the Sierra Nevada is naturally fragmented, maintenance of migration 
corridors is important to allow for genetic exchange between herd 
units. In the Sierra Nevada this exchange may be more difficult because 
the metapopulations occur mostly in a linear geographic distribution 
pattern; thus, fewer populations may have provided sources of colonists 
(Service 2007, p. 34).
    Substructuring also can occur within what are often thought of as 
single herds of bighorn sheep (Festa-Bianchet 1986, pp. 327-330; Andrew 
et al. 1997, pp. 74-75; Rubin et al. 1998, pp. 543-548). Such 
substructuring is defined by separate home range patterns. Although 
demonstrated more with females, it can occur in both sexes. For 
example, what was once considered the Mount Baxter herd is now 
recognized as two herds, Mount Baxter and Sawmill Canyon.
    Another important long-term process in metapopulation dynamics is 
the balance between rates of natural extinction and colonization among 
populations. Colonization rates must exceed extinction rates for a 
metapopulation to persist (Hanski and Gilpin 1991, pp. 8-9). This 
balance has not occurred for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep since about 
1850 due to the high rate of local extinctions resulting in an 
increasingly fragmented distribution. In addition to fragmentation from 
past extinctions, remaining herds are small, isolated groups of bighorn 
sheep. Because of their small population size, these small groups are 
more vulnerable to extirpation due to random, naturally occurring 
events, disease, or predation (Shaffer 1987, pp. 71-73; Meffe and 
Carroll 1994, pp. 190-197; Service 2007, p. 7).

Food and Nutritional Requirements

    Bighorn sheep are ungulates that consume a wide variety of plant 
species. Due to a large rumen and reticulum relative to body size, they 
have flexibility in the plants they consume which include graminoids 
(grasses, sedges, and rushes) in different phenological stages (Hanley 
1982, p. 148). Bighorn sheep consume a wide variety of plant species. 
While they prefer grasses, sedges, and forbs, different browse species 
become important food during the fall and winter (Wishart 1978, p. 
167).
    Bighorn sheep exhibit seasonal changes in habitat use due to 
seasonal changes in resource availability, habitat and resource 
requirements. Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep rarely utilize surface water; 
instead, these bighorn sheep generally obtain moisture from their 
forage or the occasional consumption of snow. Altitudinal migration by 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep allows them to maximize nutrient intake 
during the year (Wehausen and Hansen 1988, pp. 256-257, 265-267; 
Wehausen 1996, pp. 476-477), as the relationship between elevation and 
temperature (Major 1977, pp. 44-45) influences plant growth (Wehausen 
1980, p. 86-91, 133-135). In general, temperatures decrease with 
increasing altitude (Major 1977, p. 44). In the Sierra Nevada, every 56 
ft (17 m) of elevation gain causes a 1 day delay in the onset of plant 
growth (Wehausen and Hansen 1988, p. 257). Bighorn sheep are able to 
take advantage of early spring growth (usually cold-season grasses) and 
then later change their diet to include warm-season plants that may 
have higher nutrient concentrations than grasses (Wehausen and Hansen 
1988, p. 257). Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep use low-elevation ranges 
extensively in winter and early spring, alpine ranges in summer and 
fall, and some intermediate ranges during transition periods (Wehausen 
1980, pp. 80-100).
    In the following section plant nomenclature has been updated to 
conform to treatments in Hickman (1993). Common names generally conform 
to those given in Hickman (1993) or Abrams et al. (1923-1960). Cited 
scientific names are retained in brackets for ease of reference. The 
following plant species were found to be important winter/spring forage 
for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep: Achnatherum speciosum [Stipa speciosa] 
(desert needlegrass), Eriogonum fasciculatum (California buckwheat), 
Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush), Ephedra viridis (green ephedra), 
Keckiella breviflora (gaping keckiella), Purshia glandulosa (Mojave 
antelope bush), P. tridentata (northern antelope bush), and Ceanothus 
cordulatus (mountain whitethorn) (Wehausen 1980, p. 87). McCullough and 
Schneegas (1966, p. 72) and Riegelhuth (1965, p. 38) provide similar 
lists of plant species observed consumed by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
during winter or summer (Table 1). Wehausen (1980, pp. 124-126) 
provides a list of plants consumed by both sexes in summer (Table 1).

[[Page 45557]]



      Table 1--Plant Species Observed Consumed by Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep During Summer and Fall Months
            [McCullough and Schneegas 1966, p. 72; Riegelhuth 1965, p. 38; Wehausen 1980, p. 124-126]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Sex                    Season              Scientific name                    Common name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ewes and Lambs...............  Summer and fall  Polemonium eximium............  Sky pilot.
                                                Hulsea algida.................  Alpine hulsea.
                                                Carex helleri.................  Heller's sedge.
                                                C. rossii.....................  Ross' sedge.
                                                C. leporinella................  Sierra hare sedge.
                                                Elymus elymoides ssp.           Bottlebrush squirreltail.
                                                 elymoides [Sitanion hystrix].
                                                Phacelia hastata [frigida]....  Timberline phacelia.
                                                Silene sargentii..............  Sargent's campion.
                                                Aquilegia pubescens...........  Coville's columbine.
                                                Ivesia pygmaea................  Dwarf ivesia.
                                                Juncus parryi.................  Parry's rush.
                                                Achnatherum [Stipa] pinetorum.  Pine needlegrass.
                                                Lupinus formosus..............  Summer lupine.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rams.........................  Summer and fall  Juncus parryi.................  Parry's rush.
                                                Carex filifolia var. erostrata  Ross' sedge.
                                                 [exserta] C. rossii.
                                                C. aurea......................  Golden-fruited sedge.
                                                Luzula comosa.................  Hairy wood rush.
                                                Poa cusickii ssp. epilis        Mountain bluegrass.
                                                 [epilis].
                                                Elymus elymoides ssp.           Bottlebrush squirreltail.
                                                 elymoides [Sitanion hystrix].
                                                Danthonia intermedia..........  Mountain oatgrass.
                                                Achnatherum lemmonii [Stipa     Lemmon's stipa.
                                                 columbiana].
                                                Eriogonum lateens.............  Onion-flowered eriogonum.
                                                Trifolium monanthum...........  Carpet clover.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Both sexes...................  Summer.........  Holodiscus microphyllus.......  Small-leaved cream bush.
                                                Jamesia Americana.............  Cliff bush.
                                                Ribes montigenum..............  Alpine prickly currant.
                                                Potentilla fruticosa..........  Shrubby cinquefoil.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to forage needs, mineral licks are specific sites where 
bighorn sheep have access to important minerals to meet nutritional 
needs. These licks contain minerals such as sodium, calcium, iron, and 
phosphorus. Sites are generally found in granite outcroppings in the 
Sierra Nevada. Some known areas occur in the vicinity of Gilcrest Peak 
and Tioga Road (Chow 1992, p. 52), Baxter Pass (Jones 1950, p. 63; 
Hicks and Elder 1979, p. 911; Wehausen 1980, p. 151), and Mayfield 
Canyon (Stephenson 2007, p. 1).

Historical and Geographic Distribution of the Species

    Historically, the range of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep included 
the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, and for at least one 
subpopulation, a portion of the western slope, from Sonora Pass in Mono 
County to Walker Pass in Kern County, a total distance of approximately 
215 mi (346 km) (Jones 1950, pp. 33-35; Wehausen 1979, p. 1). The 
extant range of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep begins in the Lee 
Vining area in Mono County and extends south to the Mount Langley area 
in Inyo County. This is a linear distance of approximately 110 mi (177 
km).
    All currently occupied units that are designated were occupied at 
the time of listing and contain the physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of the subspecies and may require special 
management considerations or protection. The areas designated as 
critical habitat that are currently unoccupied were also not occupied 
at the time of listing; however, these areas are representative of the 
historical and geographical distribution of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep and were all historically occupied (Ober 1914, p. 125; Ober 1931, 
p. 32; Jones 1950, pp. 35, 38-40; Buechner 1960, p. 69; Barrett 1965, 
p. 43; Riegelhuth 1965, p. 35; Dunaway 1971, p. 19; Wehausen et al. 
1987, p. 66; Wehausen 1988a, pp. 100-101; Wehausen 1988b, p. 100; 
Berger 1990, p. 94). Furthermore, we have determined that all 
designated unoccupied habitat is essential for the conservation of the 
subspecies and will decrease the degree of fragmentation within the 
current geographic distribution of the subspecies. For further 
information on occupancy status see Table 3 and the Unit Descriptions 
sections below.

Primary Constituent Elements for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the known physical and biological features within the 
geographical area occupied by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the time 
of listing that are essential to the conservation of the species and 
which may require special management considerations or protection. The 
physical and biological features are those primary constituent elements 
(PCEs) laid out in a specific spatial arrangement and quantity to be 
essential to the conservation of the subspecies. All areas designated 
as critical habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are within the 
subspecies' historical geographic range, and contain sufficient PCEs to 
support at least one life history function.
    Based on the above needs and our current knowledge of the life 
history, biology, and ecology of the subspecies, we have determined 
that the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep's PCEs are:
    (1) Non-forested habitats or forest openings within the Sierra 
Nevada from 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to 14,500 ft (4,420 m) in elevation with 
steep (greater than or equal to 60 percent slope), rocky slopes that 
provide for foraging, mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding 
and that allow for seasonal elevational movements between these areas.
    (2) Presence of a variety of forage plants as indicated by the 
presence of

[[Page 45558]]

grasses (e.g., Achnanthera spp.; Elymus spp.) and browse (e.g., Ribes 
spp.; Artemisia spp., Purshia spp.) in winter, and grasses, browse, 
sedges (e.g., Carex spp.) and forbs (e.g., Eriogonum spp.) in summer.
    (3) Presence of granite outcroppings containing minerals such as 
sodium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus that could be used as mineral 
licks in order to meet nutritional needs.
    We determined that these PCEs contained within the designated 
critical habitat units discussed below provide for the physiological, 
behavioral, and ecological requirements of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep. The first PCE provides for the general biotic communities that 
are known to support Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat in the Sierra 
Nevada of California. Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are not known to 
occur outside of the communities and elevations described in this PCE. 
This PCE further provides the components necessary for foraging (summer 
and winter), breeding, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding, and 
allows for seasonal elevational movements among these areas.
    The second PCE describes the types of food necessary to meet the 
biological needs of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep related to seasonal 
range movements. Altitudinal migration by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
allows them to maximize nutrient consumption during the year (Wehausen 
and Hansen 1988, pp. 256-257, 265-267; Wehausen 1996, pp. 476-477), as 
the relationship between elevation and temperature (Major 1977, pp. 44-
45) influences plant growth (Wehausen 1980, pp. 86-91, 133-135), as 
discussed earlier. Wehausen (1980, p. 86) found winter diet quality was 
improved with warmer winter temperatures that aided plant growth; 
summer diet quality was improved, apparently, by the amount of snowfall 
the previous winter, which may influence soil moisture for alpine 
plants (Wehausen 1980, p. 133).
    The third PCE provides for additional nutritional needs. Mineral 
licks provide necessary nutrients, important in meeting dietary 
requirements.
    This final designation is designed for the conservation of the PCEs 
necessary to support the life history functions of the subspecies and 
the areas containing those PCEs in the appropriate quantity and spatial 
arrangement essential to the conservation of the subspecies. Some units 
contain all of these PCEs and support multiple life processes, while 
some units contain only a portion of these PCEs, those necessary to 
support the species' particular use of that habitat. Because not all 
life history functions require all the PCEs, not all critical habitat 
units will contain all the PCEs.

Special Management Considerations or Protection

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the areas 
occupied by the subspecies at the time of listing contain the features 
that are essential to the conservation of the subspecies, and whether 
these features may require special management considerations or 
protection. As described in more detail in the unit descriptions below, 
we find that the PCEs within the units occupied at the time of listing 
(Units 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10) may require special management 
considerations or protection due to threats to the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep or its habitat. All of these units occur almost 
exclusively on Federal lands managed by the Forest Service, National 
Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Management 
considerations and protection of the essential features may include 
review of various activities proposed in Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat that are authorized, funded, or carried out by these agencies. 
These activities can include habitat enhancement projects to reverse 
fire suppression effects, development activities, livestock grazing, 
mining actions, and recreational activities. In addition, because all 
of the herds are relatively small, management actions to protect Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep habitat from catastrophic, naturally occurring 
events (e.g., wildfires, avalanches) may be necessary.
    Fire suppression can modify the structure of Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep habitat by allowing taller vegetation, such as trees, to become 
established, resulting in cover for predators. Mountain lions, a 
primary predator of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, use vegetative cover 
and terrain to conceal themselves prior to attacks. Fires may have 
burned more frequently in the past in bighorn sheep habitat. Old ground 
and aerial photographs show habitats in the eastern Sierra Nevada had 
little vegetation tall enough to obstruct the vision of bighorn sheep; 
pinyon pine woodlands have mostly developed since 1860 (Miller and 
Tausch 2001, pp. 15-16). Continued suppression of fires in Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep range is a threat, as habitat succession alters 
the abundance of suitable bighorn sheep habitat and increases bighorn 
sheep vulnerability to mountain lion predation (Torres et al. 1996, p. 
29). Performing habitat enhancements, such as prescribed burning, or 
enabling ``let burn'' policies, helps to provide open habitats. Open 
habitats will help to reduce predation by decreasing the effectiveness 
of ambushing by predators (such as mountain lions) from cover. 
Providing more open habitat will allow more opportunity for 
connectivity among herd units and likely promote greater gene flow to 
conserve genetic diversity. According to Johnson et al. (2005, p. 34), 
all of the herd units would benefit from forest reduction in winter 
range; those units that would incur the highest benefit are Units 8 and 
10. Thus, the PCEs in all of the units occupied at the time of listing 
(Units 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10) may require special management 
considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression.
    There is limited development within Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat because most habitat occurs on Federal lands; however, there is 
some recreational development (e.g., resorts). There are several paved 
and unpaved roads that access Federal lands within Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep habitat. For example, State Highway 120 is located 
primarily between Units 1 and 2, but some sections lie within Unit 1. 
Bighorn sheep have been killed due to collisions with vehicles on this 
road (65 FR 28; January 3, 2000). State Route 158 and Road 16S02 occur 
in or adjacent to portions of Units 2 and 10, respectively. The PCE's 
in Units 1, 2, 4, and 10 require special management considerations or 
protection to address the impacts from development activities, 
including road construction and maintenance within Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep habitat.
    Management of domestic livestock (sheep, goats, cattle) grazing 
practices that result in overgrazing or allow for contact between 
domestic sheep, domestic goats, and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is a 
threat. Domestic livestock could compete with Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep for forage at some level in designated critical habitat units. As 
the number of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is still limited, this may 
not be a concern currently on those allotments within or near critical 
habitat. However, some areas can be especially important foraging areas 
for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep during winter. After domestic livestock 
grazing has been completed and they have been removed from the 
allotment, regrowth of forage at higher elevations can be a slow 
process. This may result in less forage being available for Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep during the winter at these higher elevations.
    Although die-offs of bighorn sheep due to disease have occurred 
unrelated to domestic sheep (Miller et al. 1991, pp. 534-540), a major 
contributing

[[Page 45559]]

factor responsible for the decline of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
populations over the years is thought to be the introduction of 
diseases by domestic livestock (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency 
Advisory Group 1997, p. 5; 65 FR 25, January 3, 2000).
    Clifford et al. (2007) used available spatial, demographic, and 
disease data to assess the risk for and potential impact of a 
respiratory disease outbreak in Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep due to 
contact with domestic sheep. They evaluated the risk of disease 
transmission between the two species by determining the probabilities 
of interspecies contact from Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep monitoring 
data and domestic sheep grazing data. A prediction of short-term 
population-level impacts of a respiratory disease outbreak was made 
using an epidemiologic simulation model. While acknowledging the 
study's limitations, Clifford et al. (2007, p. 18) indicate concern for 
the probability of a respiratory disease case occurring from disease 
transmission between domestic sheep and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, 
especially in the northern part of bighorn sheep range.
    Domestic grazing allotments within the vicinity of Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep habitat should be reviewed and activities should be 
modified as necessary to prevent competition and contact between the 
domestic livestock (sheep and goats) and bighorn sheep. These 
modifications could include such variables as the number of domestic 
livestock allowed on an allotment, where the domestic livestock may 
graze on an allotment, and the length and timing of the grazing period. 
These variables can assist in reducing resource competition as well as 
reducing contact between domestic sheep (and goats) and bighorn sheep. 
The PCEs within Units 1, 2, and 4 may require special management 
considerations or protection to address the potential impacts of 
domestic sheep and goat grazing within Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat. The PCEs within Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 12 may require 
special management considerations or protection to address the 
potential impacts of cattle grazing within Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
habitat. While we are addressing the potential for contact and the 
possible transmission of disease to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep due to 
the presence of domestic sheep or goats within critical habitat, it is 
not strictly a habitat-related threat. The concern for disease 
transmission from domestic sheep and goat grazing in proximity to 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep did not serve as the foundation for this 
critical habitat designation.
    Patented mining claims occur within habitat used by the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, but the area of the claims is small. Mining 
activities and associated facilities threaten bighorn sheep by causing 
the loss of vegetation structure required for foraging activities; the 
destruction of habitats used for escape, bedding, lambing, or 
connectivity between ranges; and the disturbance due to ongoing mining 
activities. Disturbance could modify bighorn sheep behavior or cause 
them to flee an area. Mining occurs within the habitat of Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep in Unit 4. These mines are underground, thus reducing 
some impacts of habitat loss. PCEs within this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to address mining and 
associated facility development impacts within Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep habitat.
    It remains unclear how significantly Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
may be affected by human disturbance (Jones 1950, pp. 71-72; Dunaway 
1971, p. 19; Wehausen et al. 1977, p. 31; Hicks and Elder 1979, p. 914; 
Wehausen 1980, pp. 200-201; MacArthur et al. 1982, p. 356; Papouchis et 
al. 2001, pp. 579-580). Additional investigations are needed to 
identify areas of conflict as situations arise where the increased 
presence of humans could be detrimental to the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep or its habitat. These areas of use could displace Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep from important habitats.
    Increases in human uses of bighorn sheep habitat, including 
recreational activities such as rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, 
ski touring, hiking, camping, pack station establishment, snowmobiling, 
and off-road vehicle use may disturb Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in key 
areas. This could result in abandonment of these areas or disruption of 
feeding, resulting in reduced nutrient intake. A cost in biological 
energetics could also occur due to flight. These losses could translate 
into reduced reproductive success. Impacts to the habitat could occur 
through trampling and reduced vegetation structure due to grazing by 
pack animals. The presence of dogs accompanying recreationists is also 
a concern in bighorn sheep habitat as dogs may cause strong alarm 
reactions by bighorn sheep (MacArthur et al. 1982, p. 356).
    Bighorn sheep can be conditioned or habituated to human activities 
such as trail hiking, where bighorn sheep are able to watch humans 
approaching from a distance and from below (Hicks and Elder 1979, p. 
914), road traffic (Papouchis et al. 2001, p. 580), or predictable 
activities such as photographers taking pictures near a road (MacArthur 
et al. 1982, p. 356). This conditioning can minimize alarm reactions. 
Other individuals have shown avoidance of roads (Papouchis et al. 2001, 
p. 580). Particular groups (e.g., ewe-lambs) may demonstrate a more 
extreme alarm reaction at a greater distance than other groups when 
encountered from above as their path is blocked (Wehausen et al. 1977, 
p. 31). Review of recreational activities should take into account 
various factors such as location, ground disturbance, timing of year, 
duration, and noise level to determine if impacts may occur to Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep and its habitats.
    The PCEs within the units occupied at the time of listing (Units 1, 
2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10) may require special management considerations or 
protection to protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and its habitat from 
recreational activities. While recreation could be a threat factor 
throughout an occupied herd unit, it is more likely in some portions of 
units due to their inclusion of these higher use areas or their 
proximity to these areas. These areas include the Virginia Lakes, the 
Lundy Lake, the Saddlebag Lake, and the Lee Vining Canyon recreational 
areas associated with Unit 1; the Lee Vining Canyon recreational area 
associated with Unit 2; the Rock Creek recreational area associated 
with Unit 4; the Baxter Pass and Onion Valley recreational area 
associated with Unit 7; and the Whitney Portal and Trailhead and the 
Cottonwood Lakes recreational areas associated with Units 8 and 10.
    Management actions to protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat 
from catastrophic, naturally occurring events may be necessary. Events 
such as wildfires and avalanches could temporarily destroy large areas 
that provide summer or winter foraging habitat.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    We are designating critical habitat in areas that were occupied by 
the subspecies at the time of listing and that contain PCEs in the 
quantity and spatial arrangement to support life history functions 
essential for the conservation of the subspecies. Some lands contain 
only a portion of the PCEs necessary to support the particular use of 
that habitat during that portion of the life process. We are also 
designating critical habitat in specific unoccupied areas that were not 
occupied by the subspecies at the

[[Page 45560]]

time of listing. We have determined that these areas, which were 
historically occupied, are essential to the conservation of the 
subspecies.
    In our analysis, we reviewed existing data to determine the 
distribution of areas occupied by the subspecies at the time of 
listing. We also reviewed available information related to the habitat 
requirements of the subspecies. We used information from literature 
cited in the final listing rule (65 FR 20; January 3, 2000), the final 
recovery plan, site records, reports prepared by CDFG, and other 
published scientific literature.
    We used the following criteria to select areas occupied by the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the time of listing for inclusion in 
critical habitat:
    (a) Areas occupied by the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the time 
of listing (1999-2000) as indicated in the final listing rule (65 FR 
20; January 3, 2000). In the final listing rule, we identified five 
subpopulations of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep that existed: (1) Lee 
Vining Canyon (Mount Warren and Mount Gibbs Herd Units), (2) Wheeler 
Crest (Wheeler Ridge Herd Unit), (3) Mount Baxter (Sawmill Canyon and 
Mount Baxter Herd Units), (4) Mount Williamson (Mount Williamson Herd 
Unit), and (5) Mount Langley (Mount Langley Herd Unit) in Mono and Inyo 
counties, California (Wehausen 1999, pp. 1-7; 2000, pp. 1-6);
    (b) Areas that are representative of the distribution of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep throughout the geographical range occupied at the 
time of listing with the goal of maintaining the subspecies' range of 
habitat and genetic variability; and
    (c) Areas that allow for the continued existence of viable 
subpopulations under varying environmental conditions and that can 
serve as locations for source populations. The locations of all five 
subpopulations identified in the original listing rule continue to 
remain occupied today.
    Current population estimates of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in 
2006 indicate 350 to 400 individuals occur throughout its range 
(Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7); this is an increase from the 125 
individuals estimated at the time of listing (65 FR 20; January 3, 
2000). Current individual herd numbers in the different subpopulations 
range from 8 to 113 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). 
Current occupancy of these herd units is supported by agency reports 
(Wehausen and Stephenson 2004, pp. 2-10; 2005, pp. 2-6; 2006, pp. 2-6); 
status reports (Wehausen 1999, pp. 1-7; 2000, pp. 1-6); and monthly 
CDFG monitoring reports based on GPS, telemetry, and monitoring data 
collected during 2001 through 2006. We have determined that the areas 
occupied at the time of listing continue to be occupied, contain the 
features essential to the conservation of the subspecies (possess one 
or more PCEs such that the area supports one or more of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep's life processes), and provide sufficient habitat 
to protect these populations.
    In addition, we are designating critical habitat on lands that were 
historically occupied by the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, but were not 
occupied at the time of listing and are not currently occupied. These 
areas were all historically occupied within the past 90 years (Jones 
1950, pp. 33-35) and are essential to the conservation of the 
subspecies. Based on the best available information, we have determined 
that without protection and management of these unoccupied areas, 
conservation of the subspecies will not be possible.
    We applied each of the following criteria to select areas 
historically occupied, but not known to be occupied at the time of 
listing by the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, for inclusion in critical 
habitat:
    (1) Areas where habitat contains sufficient PCEs (e.g., 
characteristics such as non-forested, steep, rocky slopes and foraging 
areas) to support life history functions.
    (2) Areas where habitat has been occupied by the subspecies. In 
some areas this was as long ago as 90 years (Jones 1950, pp. 33-35). In 
all of the areas the habitat has not changed appreciably in size or 
quality during that time.
    (3) Areas where appropriate habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
has been predicted by CDFG based on Resource Selection Probability 
Functions modeling (Johnson et al. 2005) (i.e., contains habitat with 
the PCEs and additional, more specific characteristics that allow for a 
range of the subspecies' biological needs, such as sites for feeding).
    (4) Areas where there is potential for reoccupation by the 
subspecies, either through natural means of dispersal from currently 
occupied areas or by future re-introduction efforts.
    (5) Areas that are geographically separated from currently occupied 
units by approximately 0.5 to 8 mi (0.8 to 12.9 km) to provide 
redundancy of habitat in the event of a natural catastrophe removing 
habitat (PCEs) from currently occupied units.
    The designation of these unoccupied areas would decrease the degree 
of fragmentation within the current geographic distribution of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. We believe that the designation of these 
additional areas is essential for the conservation of the subspecies 
because:
    (1) Population increases, either through natural means or 
reintroductions into the additional units, are expected to increase the 
viability of the herds within occupied areas, as well as the existence 
of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep as a whole (i.e., increase the 
likelihood of persistence at the local population level and of this 
subspecies rangewide).
    (2) The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is recognized as a unique 
subspecies (Wehausen and Ramey 2000, p. 156; Wehausen et al. 2005, p. 
217), and the additional units will serve to decrease the degree of 
fragmentation of the current geographic distribution of the sheep 
(i.e., increase connectivity between areas known to be currently 
occupied). Fragmented distribution across the landscape reduces the 
connectivity between subpopulations. If small populations are isolated 
and remain small, there is an increased risk of genetic drift and risk 
to persistence due to naturally occurring events (Gilpin and Soule 
1986, pp. 25, 33). Maintenance of genetic variation is important in 
reducing inbreeding depression and the ability to respond to 
environmental changes over time, especially in small populations 
(Schwartz et al. 1986, pp. 180-186; Lande 1988, pp. 1,456-1,457). 
Establishing additional units or subpopulations in unoccupied areas 
would fill in range gaps between the other occupied units and/or 
subpopulations. All of the unoccupied units lie within 8 mi (12.9 km) 
of an occupied area. This would reduce migration distances and increase 
the opportunity for genetic exchange between the subpopulations. The 
addition of these unoccupied units would ensure the full geographic 
distribution of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is represented.
    (3) The current overall population size of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep is small, and it must increase to ensure the long-term 
survival of this subspecies, as small populations are more vulnerable 
to extinction (Meffe and Carroll 1994, pp. 190-197; Shaffer 1987, pp. 
71-73). While the occupied units provide habitat for current 
populations, additional units would provide habitat for population 
growth either through natural means or through reintroductions. 
Population increase in the additional units would assist in reducing 
the risk of extinction of the subspecies through stochastic events,

[[Page 45561]]

such as wildfire, disease (Bunch et al. 1999, pp. 209-237), or 
avalanches (Torres et al. 1996, p. 28), as the current isolated 
populations are few in number, small in size, and at risk from such 
stochastic events. Establishing additional subpopulations, increasing a 
subpopulation's size, and increasing the overall distribution of 
subpopulations across the landscape are fundamental to reducing the 
significance of losing any single subpopulation.
    We have determined that the unoccupied Twin Lakes, Green Creek, and 
Coyote Ridge Herd Unit areas, as identified in the final recovery plan 
(Service 2007, p. 41), are not essential for the conservation of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. During the recovery team's efforts to 
finalize the recovery plan, an additional herd unit, Bubbs Creek, was 
included in the final recovery plan due to bighorn sheep occupying this 
area (Wehausen and Stephenson 2004, p. 5; Benz 2007, p. 1; Service 
2007, p. 41). Though these four herd units are mentioned in the final 
recovery plan they were not considered to be essential in the plan. 
These four herd units are considered not essential for the following 
reasons:
    (1) We believe that the 12 units we are designating as critical 
habitat provide the necessary habitat and area to ensure the viability 
and long-term survival of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at the local 
and subspecies levels, as well as provide for sufficient resiliency, 
representation, and redundancy of the subspecies.
    (2) There is uncertainty regarding whether viable Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep herds can become established in the Twin Lakes, Green 
Creek, and Coyote Ridge Herd Unit areas due to the lack of historical 
evidence regarding the number of animals that may have occurred in 
these areas and our limited understanding of the availability and 
connectivity between foraging habitats in these areas. Thus, there is a 
question as to whether there is a potential for reoccupation by the 
subspecies, either through natural means of dispersal or by future 
reintroduction efforts. As a result, these three herd unit areas do not 
meet our criterion number 4 for identification of critical habitat 
outlined above. Therefore, the Twin Lakes, Green Creek, and Coyote 
Ridge Herd Unit areas are not considered essential for recovery.
    (3) Bighorn sheep were discovered in the Bubbs Creek Herd Unit area 
in 2001 and were likely a result of a recent colonization. This herd 
unit area is west of the crest of the Sierra Nevada where snowfall is 
much greater than the east side of the range. Because there are no 
historical records of bighorn sheep winter range in the Bubbs Creek 
area, there is uncertainty as to the long-term viability of this herd 
unit. Consequently, the Bubbs Creek Herd Unit area is not considered 
essential for recovery.
    Further, our concern for disease transmission from domestic sheep 
to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is reduced because we are not including 
the unoccupied herd units as essential to the recovery of the 
subspecies. Twin Lakes and Green Creek overlap with portions of a few 
currently active domestic sheep allotment boundaries. Bubbs Creek and 
Coyote Ridge Herd Units do not occur near domestic sheep allotments. 
While the potential for disease transmission from domestic sheep and 
goat grazing in proximity to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is a 
management concern, it did not serve as the foundation for this 
critical habitat designation.
    We delineated polygon boundaries for each unit for critical habitat 
designation within the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep's historical range 
and around areas occupied at the time of listing, or known to have been 
historically occupied and considered essential for the conservation of 
the subspecies. We based our boundary delineation on the knowledge that 
bighorn sheep are naturally philopatric and fit a metapopulation model. 
Separate female groups tend to be geographically segregated, and these 
groups can be defined by separate home range patterns. The existing 
herds provided information related to home range and habitat use 
patterns. Low-elevation winter range habitat is an important, and 
apparently limiting, factor in the Sierra Nevada that occurs in 
disjunct patches. We defined unit boundaries around those patches and 
geographically connected habitat that provides visually open habitat on 
steeper slopes (Wehausen 2006, p. 1). We also considered factors such 
as knowledge of the range of elevations used by Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep, topographic features known to be needed by the subspecies, 
sighting records, published literature, and the expertise of bighorn 
sheep biologists regarding local conditions (high elevation, snow-free 
winter habitat; lower elevation, south or east-facing habitat; visual 
openness; and high elevation, summer habitat) during boundary 
delineation. In addition, a Resource Selection Probability Functions 
model for winter and summer habitat was developed that can 
quantitatively evaluate habitat conditions (Johnson et al. 2005). This 
modeling effort was used to support and refine unit boundaries 
(Wehausen 2006, p. 2) which contain the PCEs and additional, more 
specific characteristics. The model included variables such as 
elevation, slope, aspect, hillshade, terrain ruggedness, distance to 
escape terrain, and vegetation to determine visibility (Johnson et al. 
2005, pp. 8-9). Pixels (smallest element of an image that can be 
individually processed in a video display system) in the study area 
that received a relative winter and summer probability of use value in 
the 90-100 percent quartile were considered winter and summer ranges. 
Each unit boundary surrounds the areas we consider to be winter and 
summer range, as well as areas necessary to provide connectivity 
between these ranges. These boundary lines translate onto the ground by 
roughly following elevation and geomorphic features. As one progresses 
from south to north along the Sierra Nevada, the lower boundary 
elevation of the units increases. The elevation of the boundary lines 
begins at a low of 4,000 ft (1,219 m) for Unit 12 (Olancha Peak) at the 
southern end of the Sierra Nevada. From this unit northward, the 
remaining units begin at a low elevation of 4,500 ft (1,372 m) or 
higher.
    When determining critical habitat boundaries for this rule, we made 
every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered 
by buildings, paved areas, and other structures that lack PCEs for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The scale of the maps prepared under the 
parameters for publication within the Code of Federal Regulations may 
not reflect the exclusion of such developed areas. Any such structures 
and the land under them inadvertently left inside critical habitat 
boundaries shown on the maps of this final rule have been excluded by 
text in the final rule and are not designated as critical habitat. 
Therefore, Federal actions limited to these areas would not trigger 
section 7 consultation, unless they may affect the subspecies or its 
PCEs in adjacent critical habitat.
    We designate critical habitat (7 units) on lands that we have 
determined were occupied at the time of listing that contain the 
physical and biological features essential for the conservation of the 
subspecies that may require special management considerations or 
protection, and additional areas (5 units) not occupied at the time of 
listing that we have determined to be essential to the conservation of 
the subspecies. The 12 units that we designate as critical habitat 
encompass about 417,577 ac (168,992 ha) within Tuolumne, Mono, Fresno, 
Inyo, and Tulare Counties, California. The designated units contain 
habitat that

[[Page 45562]]

supports biological and population-level functions of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep. A brief discussion of each unit designated as critical 
habitat is provided in the unit descriptions below.
    Units both occupied and unoccupied at the time of listing are 
designated based on sufficient PCEs being present to support Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep life processes. Some units contain all PCEs and 
support multiple life processes. Some units contain only a portion of 
the PCEs necessary to support the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep's 
particular use of that habitat.
    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 
to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the species. 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 under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 
where we determine that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits 
of inclusion in accordance with section 4(b)(2) of the Act. There are 
no existing operative HCPs within the areas designated as critical 
habitat.

Final Critical Habitat Designation

    We are designating 12 units as critical habitat for the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep. The critical habitat areas described below 
constitute our best current assessment of areas determined to be 
occupied at the time of listing, that meet the definition of critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and those additional areas 
that were not occupied at the time of listing but were found to be 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The 
12 areas designated as critical habitat are: Mount Warren, Mount Gibbs, 
Convict Creek, Wheeler Ridge, Taboose Creek, Sawmill Canyon, Mount 
Baxter, Mount Williamson, Big Arroyo, Mount Langley, Laurel Creek, and 
Olancha Peak.
    The approximate area encompassed within each designated critical 
habitat unit is shown in Table 2.

                   Table 2--Designated Critical Habitat Units for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep
                    [Area estimates reflect all land within critical habitat unit boundaries]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         Size of unit in acres
             Critical habitat unit                      Land ownership by type                 (hectares)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Mount Warren...............................  Federal..............................          35,279 (14,277)
                                                Private..............................             568 (230)
                                                Local Government.....................             165 (67)
2. Mount Gibbs................................  Federal..............................          29,702 (12,020)
3. Convict Creek..............................  Federal..............................          36,497 (14,770)
                                                Private..............................              17 (7)
4. Wheeler Ridge..............................  Federal..............................          80,568 (32,605)
                                                Private..............................             398 (161)
5. Taboose Creek..............................  Federal..............................          28,805 (11,657)
6. Sawmill Canyon.............................  Federal..............................          30,508 (12,346)
7. Mount Baxter...............................  Federal..............................          32,198 (13,030)
                                                Private..............................              22 (9)
8. Mount Williamson...........................  Federal..............................          32,560 (13,177)
9. Big Arroyo.................................  Federal..............................          24,987 (10,112)
10. Mount Langley.............................  Federal..............................          32,845 (13,292)
11. Laurel Creek..............................  Federal..............................          22,037 (8,918)
12. Olancha Peak..............................  Federal..............................          30,421 (12,311)
                                                                                      --------------------------
    Subtotal..................................  Federal..............................         416,407 (168,518)
                                                Private..............................           1,005 (407)
                                                Local Government.....................             165 (67)
                                                                                      --------------------------
        Grand Total *.........................  .....................................         417,577 (168,992)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Columns may not sum exactly due to rounding of values.


              Table 3--Occupancy of Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep by Designated Critical Habitat Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Occupied at time of                              Size of unit in acres
                Unit                          listing?          Currently  occupied?           (hectares)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Mount Warren.....................  Yes....................  Yes...................          36,012 (14,574)
2. Mount Gibbs......................  Yes....................  Yes...................          29,702 (12,020)
3. Convict Creek....................  No.....................  No....................          36,514 (14,777)
4. Wheeler Ridge....................  Yes....................  Yes...................          80,966 (32,766)
5. Taboose Creek....................  No.....................  No....................          28,805 (11,657)
6. Sawmill Canyon...................  Yes....................  Yes...................          30,508 (12,346)
7. Mount Baxter.....................  Yes....................  Yes...................          32,220 (13,039)
8. Mount Williamson.................  Yes....................  Yes...................          32,560 (13,177)
9. Big Arroyo.......................  No.....................  No....................          24,987 (10,112)
10. Mount Langley...................  Yes....................  Yes...................          32,845 (13,292)
11. Laurel Creek....................  No.....................  No....................          22,037 (8,918)
12. Olancha Peak....................  No.....................  No....................          30,421 (12,311)
                                                                                      --------------------------
    Total *.........................  .......................  ......................         417,577 (168,992)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Columns may not sum exactly due to rounding of values.


[[Page 45563]]

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep, below.
    Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates and more precise 
legal descriptions of each unit are provided in the Regulation 
Promulgation section.
    Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep throughout their range utilize 
elevations from about 4,790 ft (1,460 m) to above 14,100 ft (4,300 m) 
(Wehausen 1980, pp. 3, 82). As described in the Criteria Used to 
Identify Critical Habitat section above, we used modeling to further 
refine and clarify our knowledge of those areas that may be essential 
to the conservation of the subspecies. Based on these modeling efforts, 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat is known to be available as low as 
elevation 4,000 ft (1,219 m) in the southern portion of its range 
(Johnson et al. 2005). Within this elevational range, a variety of 
vegetation communities occur including (from lowest to highest 
elevations): Sagebrush-bitterbrush-bunchgrass scrub; pinyon-juniper 
woodland and mountain mahogany scrub; mid-elevation and subalpine, 
meadows, forests, and woodlands; and alpine meadows and other habitats 
from cliffs to plateaus (Service 2007, p. 3). All units contain one or 
more of these habitat types in varying amounts.

Unit 1: Mount Warren

    Unit 1 consists of approximately 36,012 ac (14,574 ha) in Tuolumne 
and Mono Counties. Unit 1 is generally located within an area bounded 
on the east by U.S. Highway 395 (located about 1 mi (1.6 km) away), on 
the south by SR 120, on the north by Green Creek, and on the west by 
the ridge connecting Ragged Peak in the south to Camiaca Peak in the 
north. It is located northwest of the town of Lee Vining. Land 
ownership within the unit includes approximately 35,279 ac (14,277 ha) 
of Federal land, 165 ac (67 ha) of Los Angeles Department of Water and 
Power lands, and 568 ac (230 ha) of other private land. The Federal 
land is administered by the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Inyo National Forests, 
Yosemite National Park, and Bureau of Land Management.
    Unit 1 begins at a low elevation of about 7,500 ft (2,286 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to about 12,000 ft (3,658 m) on the west. It 
encompasses some areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 m). 
It is the northernmost unit designated as critical habitat for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. This unit was occupied at the time of 
listing (65 FR 20, January 3, 2000; Wehausen 1996, p. 477; Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 6-7; Wehausen 
1999, pp. 6, 8; 2000, pp. 5-7) and is currently occupied with a minimum 
population estimate of 26 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 
7). Unit 1 contains all of the features essential to the conservation 
of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. It contains steep, rocky terrain 
which provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, 
predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal 
elevational movements; contains a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and 
PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, 
pp. 3-5); and contains mineral licks (PCE 3) (Chow 1992, p. 52). This 
unit has good high- and low-elevation winter habitat in the area north 
of Lee Vining Canyon. Mount Warren has a minimum winter range elevation 
of about 7,546 ft (2,300 m), while Tioga Crest has this type of habitat 
at 9,515 ft (2,900 m). In the Lundy Canyon area there is good low-
elevation south-facing winter range near 8,038 ft (2,450 m). Dunderberg 
Peak can provide large areas free of snow in the winter. It does not 
connect to low-elevation winter range but does connect to summer range 
in Lundy Canyon; visual winter range condition is mixed to open 
(Service 2007, pp. 127, 129).
    The essential features found within Unit 1 may require special 
management considerations or protection to ameliorate the threats of 
overgrazing. Additionally, the PCEs within this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts 
of fire suppression which would provide more open habitat and 
potentially reduce predation, and to protect against the impacts of 
recreation (e.g., Virginia Lakes, Lundy Lake, Lee Vining Canyon) and 
development activities (Sections of State Highway 120 are located in 
this unit). Furthermore, PCEs within Unit 1 may require special 
management considerations or protection in the form of avalanche 
control to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 2: Mount Gibbs

    Unit 2 consists of approximately 29,702 ac (12,020 ha) in Tuolumne 
and Mono Counties. Unit 2 is generally bounded on the north by SR 120 
with U.S. Highway 395 located approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) to the east. 
State Route 158 lies along a portion of the southeastern boundary of 
this unit. The unit is bounded on the west, in part, by Lyell Canyon. 
It is immediately south of Unit 1 (Mount Warren) and is located 
southwest of Lee Vining. Land ownership within the unit includes 
approximately 29,702 ac (12,020 ha) of Federal land administered by the 
Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park.
    Unit 2 begins at a low elevation of about 7,500 ft (2,286 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to 9,000-12,000 ft (2,743-3,658 m) on the west. 
It encompasses areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 m). 
Unit 2 was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 1996, p. 477; 
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 6-7; 
Wehausen 1999, pp. 7-8; 2000, pp. 6-7; 65 FR 20, January 3, 2000) and 
is currently occupied, with a minimum population estimate of 8 
individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 2 contains all 
of the features essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep. It contains steep, rocky terrain which provides for 
foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and 
bedding and also allows for seasonal elevational movements; contains a 
range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 
4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5); and contains mineral 
licks (PCE 3) (Chow 1992, p. 52). An area between Mount Dana and Mount 
Wood provides considerable high-elevation habitat that is blown free of 
snow in the winter and connects to south-facing slopes that decline to 
lower elevations. Winter habitat occurs at a minimum elevation of 9,105 
ft (2,775 m) around Mount Gibbs; 8,859 ft (2,700 m) around Mount Lewis; 
and 7,546 ft (2,300 m) around Mount Wood. Visual winter range condition 
is open (Service 2007, p. 127). The south-facing side of Mount Lewis is 
steep and supports little snow in winter. The slopes above Silver Lake 
offer low-elevation east-facing winter range to 7,599 ft (2,316 m). 
This area may provide birthing habitat in spring during some years 
(Service 2007, p. 129).
    The essential features found within Unit 2 may require special 
management considerations or protection to ameliorate the threats of 
overgrazing. Additionally, PCEs within this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation, and to protect against the impacts of recreation 
(e.g., Lee Vining Canyon) and development activities (sections of SR 
120 are located along the northern boundary of this unit; SR 158 lies 
along a portion of the southeastern boundary of this unit). 
Furthermore, PCEs within Unit 2 may require special management 
considerations or protection in the form

[[Page 45564]]

of avalanche control to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 3: Convict Creek

    Unit 3 consists of approximately 36,514 ac (14,777 ha) in Mono and 
Fresno Counties. Unit 3 is generally located within an area bounded on 
the northeast by U.S. Highway 395 (located about 2 mi (3.2 km) away), 
by Fish Creek and the boundary between Inyo and Sierra National Forests 
on the west, and by Mono Creek on the south. This unit is located about 
3 mi (4.8 km) south of Mammoth Lakes. Land ownership within the unit 
includes approximately 36,497 ac (14,770 ha) of Federal land and 17 ac 
(7 ha) of private land. Federal land is administered by the Inyo and 
Sierra National Forests.
    Unit 3 begins at a low elevation of about 7,500 ft (2,286 m) and 
rises to about 10,500-12,000 ft (3,200-3,658 m). The unit encompasses 
areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 m). This unit was not 
occupied at the time of listing and is not currently occupied, but is 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The 
unit contains steep, rocky terrain which provides for foraging (summer 
and winter), mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding and also 
allows for seasonal elevational movements, and a range of vegetation 
types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-
38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5). Mineral licks (PCE 3) may or may not occur 
in this unit. This unit contains south-facing winter habitat above 
Convict Lake that descends down to 7,874 ft (2,400 m). This habitat is 
connected to high-elevation windswept patches on Laurel and Bloody 
Mountains. McGee Mountain has south-facing winter habitat down to about 
8,005 ft (2,440 m) but only a small amount of high-elevation habitat. 
Nevahbe Ridge has windblown habitat, but it is east-facing and habitat 
occurs down to 8,530 ft (2,600 m) (Service 2007, pp. 127, 130). Visual 
winter range condition is open (Service 2007, p. 127).
    While this unit was not occupied at the time of listing, Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep occupied the area historically (Ober 1931, p. 32; 
Jones 1950, p. 40; Buechner 1960, p. 69; Barrett 1965, p. 43; Dunaway 
1971, p. 19; Wehausen et al. 1987, p. 66; Wehausen 1988a, p. 100). This 
unit is essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep for increasing the number of herds to reduce the significance of 
losing any particular herd, increasing population viability, decreasing 
the degree of fragmentation of the current geographic distribution 
between this unit and Units 4 (Wheeler Ridge) and 2 (Mount Gibbs), 
increasing opportunities for genetic exchange between these units, and 
increasing overall herd numbers to reduce extinction risk from 
stochastic events. Conservation of this unit is necessary to achieve 
the long-term viability of this subspecies within its range.

Unit 4: Wheeler Ridge

    Unit 4 consists of approximately 80,966 ac (32,766 ha) in Fresno, 
Inyo, and Mono Counties. Unit 4 is generally located within an area 
bounded by U.S. Highway 395 (located about 5-17 mi (8-27.4 km) to the 
east; Evolution Creek on the south; Pavilion Dome, Pilot Nob, and Mills 
Creek on the west; and Mono Creek on the north. This unit is located 
about 12 mi (19.3 km) west of Bishop. Land ownership within the unit 
includes approximately 80,568 ac (32,605 ha) of Federal land and 398 ac 
(161 ha) of private land. Federal land is administered by the Inyo and 
Sierra National Forests, Kings Canyon National Park, and the Bureau of 
Land Management.
    Unit 4 begins at a low elevation of about 5,500 ft (1,676 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to about 12,000 ft (3,658 m) on the west. It 
encompasses numerous areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 
m). This unit was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 1996, p. 
477; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 
6-7; Wehausen 1999, pp. 5-6, 8; 2000, pp. 3-5, 7; 65 FR 20, January 3, 
2000) and is currently occupied with a minimum population estimate of 
113 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 4 contains 
features that are essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep. It contains steep, rocky terrain which provides for 
foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and 
bedding and also allows for seasonal elevational movements; contains a 
range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 
4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5); and contains/provides 
mineral licks (PCE 3) (Stephenson 2007, p. 1). The area around Wheeler 
Ridge provides minimum elevation winter habitat at 5,578 ft (1,700 m) 
and is visually open (Service 2007, p. 127). Mount Tom is located south 
of Wheeler Ridge and provides an open winter visual condition and 
winter habitat at a minimum elevation of 6,398 ft (1,950 m) in 
Elderberry Canyon (Service 2007, p. 127, 129-130). High-elevation 
winter habitat is extensive on the west side of Mount Tom's north 
ridge. Narrow ridges on the south side can be snow free. Between Basin 
Mountain and Mount Humphreys, the plateau remains snow free and is 
accessible to sheep traveling ridge lines from Mount Tom by Four Gables 
and along the crest.
    The essential features found within Unit 4 may require special 
management considerations or protection to ameliorate the threats of 
overgrazing. Additionally, PCEs within this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation. Finally, PCEs within Unit 4 may require special 
management considerations or protection for the threats due to mining, 
development, and recreation (e.g., Pine Creek area), and avalanche 
control may be needed to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 5: Taboose Creek

    Unit 5 consists of approximately 28,805 ac (11,657 ha) in Inyo and 
Fresno Counties. Unit 5 is generally located within an area bounded on 
the north by Big Pine Creek and on the south by Taboose Creek. U.S. 
Highway 395 is about 8.5 mi (13.7 km) to the east, and Marion and 
Observation Peaks are located to the west. This unit is located about 5 
mi (8 km) southwest of Big Pine. Land ownership within the unit 
includes approximately 28,805 ac (11,657 ha) of Federal land 
administered by the Inyo National Forest and Kings Canyon National 
Park.
    Unit 5 begins at a low elevation of about 6,000 ft (1,829 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 m) on 
the west. This unit was not occupied at the time of listing and is not 
currently occupied, but the unit is essential to the conservation of 
the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains steep, rocky terrain 
which provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, 
predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal 
elevational movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 
2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 
3-5). Mineral licks (PCE 3) may or may not occur in this unit. High 
windblown areas (9,187 ft (2,800 m)) occur on Birch and Kid Mountains 
that may support bighorn sheep. There appears to be limited low-
elevation south- or east-facing habitat unless animals move south to 
Red Mountain or Taboose Creeks. Taboose Creek offers patches of high-
elevation winter habitat and south-facing, low-elevation habitat where 
it occurs as low as 6,398 ft (1,950 m). The northeast side of Kid 
Mountain provides

[[Page 45565]]

some low habitat near 7,218 ft (2,200 m) (Service 2007, pp. 128, 132). 
The winter range visual condition is open in these areas (Service 2007, 
p. 128).
    While this unit was not occupied at the time of listing, Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep occupied the area historically (Ober 1914, p. 125; 
Jones 1950, p. 38; Buechner 1960, 69; Dunaway 1971 p. 19; Wehausen et 
al. 1987 p. 66; Wehausen 1988a, p. 101; Berger 1990, p. 94). This unit 
is essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for 
increasing the number of herds to reduce the significance of losing any 
particular herd, increasing population viability, decreasing the degree 
of fragmentation of the current geographic distribution between this 
unit and Units 6 (Sawmill Canyon) and 4 (Wheeler Ridge), increasing 
opportunities for genetic exchange between these units, and increasing 
overall herd numbers to reduce extinction risk from stochastic events. 
Conservation of this unit is necessary to achieve the long-term 
viability of this subspecies within its range.

Unit 6: Sawmill Canyon

    Unit 6 consists of about 30,508 ac (12,346 ha) in Fresno and Inyo 
Counties. Unit 6 is generally located within an area bounded on the 
east by U.S. Highway 395 (located about 3 mi (4.8 km) away), on the 
south by Unit 7 (Mount Baxter) and Sawmill Pass and Creek, on the west 
by Woods Creek and the South Fork of Woods Creek, and on the north by 
Taboose Creek. Land ownership within the unit includes approximately 
30,508 ac (12,346 ha) of Federal land administered by the Inyo National 
Forest and Kings Canyon National Park.
    Unit 6 begins at a low elevation of about 4,500 ft (1,372 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to about 10,500 to over 14,000 ft (3,200-4,267 
m). Unit 6 was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 1996, p. 477; 
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 6-7; 
Wehausen 1999, pp. 4-5, 8; 2000, pp. 3, 7; 65 FR 20, January 3, 2000) 
and is currently occupied with a minimum population estimate of 36 
individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 6 has features 
that are essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep. It contains steep, rocky terrain which provides for foraging 
(summer and winter), mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding 
and also allows for seasonal elevational movements, and a range of 
vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-
32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5). It is not known if mineral licks 
(PCE 3) occur on this unit. Unit 6 provides foraging habitat at the 
northern boundary near Mount Pinchot (Service 2007, p. 132). In 
addition, minimum elevations of winter habitat occur in the Goodale 
Creek area at 6,890 ft (2,100 m) and in the Sawmill Creek area at 4,922 
ft (1,500 m); winter visual condition is open (Service 2007, p. 128).
    The essential features found within Unit 6 may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation. The PCEs in Unit 6 may also require special 
management considerations or protection for threats due to recreation, 
and avalanche control may be needed to protect against catastrophic 
events.

Unit 7: Mount Baxter

    Unit 7 consists of approximately 32,220 ac (13,039 ha) in Fresno 
and Inyo Counties. Unit 7 is generally located within an area bounded 
on the east by U.S. Highway 395 (located about 3 mi (4.8 km) away); on 
the south by Bubbs Creek and Forest Route 13S17 to Independence; on the 
west by Mount Bago, Gardiner Lakes, and Mount Clarence King; and on the 
north by Unit 6 (Sawmill Canyon) and Sawmill Pass and Creek. This unit 
is located about 6 mi (9.7 km) west of Independence. Land ownership 
within the unit includes approximately 32,198 ac (13,030 ha) of Federal 
land and 22 ac (9 ha) of private land. Federal land is administered by 
the Inyo National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park.
    Unit 7 begins at a low elevation of about 4,500 ft (1,372 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to about 10,500 to 12,000 ft (3,200-3,658 m) on 
the west. It encompasses areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-
4,267 m). Unit 7 was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 1996, p. 
477; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 
6-7; Wehausen 1999, pp. 3-4, 8; 2000, pp. 2-3, 7; 65 FR 20, January 3, 
2000) and is currently occupied with a minimum population estimate of 
69 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 7 contains 
features that are essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep. It contains steep, rocky terrain which provides for 
foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and 
bedding and also allows for seasonal elevational movements; contains a 
range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 
4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5); and contains mineral 
licks (PCE 3) (Jones 1950, p. 63; Hicks and Elder 1979, p. 911). This 
unit provides foraging habitat along the ridges and in drainages of 
Mount Baxter. Minimum elevations of winter habitat in the Thibaut-Sand 
Mountain area occur at 5,003 ft (1,525 m), and in the Onion Valley area 
at 7,546 ft (2,300 m); winter visual condition is open (Service 2007, 
p. 128).
    In addition to containing the features essential to the 
conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, Unit 7 has additional 
conservation value as it served as a source population, due to its size 
and productivity, for reintroductions to the Wheeler Crest area (1979, 
1980, 1982, 1986, 1988), Mount Langley (1980 and 1982), and Lee Vining 
Canyon area (1986, 1988) (Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency 
Advisory Group 1997, p. 6). Individuals from this population may be 
used for future translocations within the range.
    The essential features found within Unit 7 may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation. PCEs within Unit 7 also may require special 
management considerations or protection for threats due to recreation 
(e.g., Baxter Pass and Onion Valley), and avalanche control may be 
needed to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 8: Mount Williamson

    Unit 8 consists of about 32,560 ac (13,177 ha) in Inyo and Tulare 
Counties. Unit 8 is generally located within an area bounded on the 
east by U.S. 395 (located about 9 mi (14.5 km) away); on the south by 
Tulainyo Lake; on the west by the Kern River (located about 3.5 miles 
(5.6 km) away); and on the north by Forest Route 13S17 to Independence 
(located about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) away). This unit is located southwest of 
Independence and northwest of Lone Pine. Land ownership within the unit 
includes approximately 32,560 ac (13,177 ha) of Federal land 
administered by the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia and Kings Canyon 
National Parks.
    Unit 8 begins at a low elevation of about 6,000 ft (1,829 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to 12,000 to over 14,000 ft (3,658-4,267 m) on 
the west. Unit 8 was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 1996, p. 
477; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 
6-7; Wehausen 1999, pp. 2-3, 8; 2000, pp. 1-2, 7; 65 FR 20, January 3, 
2000) and is currently occupied with a minimum population estimate of 
20 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 8

[[Page 45566]]

contains features that are essential to the conservation of the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains steep, rocky terrain which 
provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, predator 
avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal elevational 
movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 2) (Johnson 
et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 3-5). It is 
not known if mineral licks (PCE 3) occur in this unit. The Shepherd 
Creek-Pinyon Creek area in this unit offers winter habitat at a minimum 
elevation of 6,808 ft (2,075 m); the George Creek-North Bairs Creek 
provides this habitat at 6,234 ft (1,900 m) (Service 2007, p. 128). The 
winter visual condition is mixed (Service 2007, p. 128).
    The essential features found within Unit 8 may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation. This unit could provide an estimated additional 2.2 
sq mi (5.8 sq km) of winter range with a relative probability of equal 
to or greater than 10 percent use if forests were reduced by burning 
(Johnson et al. 2005, p. 34). PCEs within Unit 8 may require special 
management considerations or protection to ameliorate the possible 
threat of overgrazing due to the proximity of this unit to Federal 
grazing allotments. Furthermore, PCEs within Unit 8 also may require 
special management considerations or protection for threats due to 
recreation (e.g., Whitney Portal and Trailhead), and avalanche control 
may be needed to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 9: Big Arroyo

    Unit 9 consists of approximately 24,987 ac (10,112 ha) in Tulare 
County. Unit 9 is generally located within an area bounded on the east 
by the Kern River; on the north by Kern-Kaweah River, Junction Meadow, 
and Wallace Creek area; and on the west and south by the Big Arroyo 
Creek. Land ownership within the unit includes approximately 24,987 ac 
(10,112 ha) of Federal land is administered by Sequoia National Park.
    Unit 9 begins at a low elevation of about 6,500 ft (1,981 m) on the 
eastern slope and rises to about 12,000 ft (3,658 m) on the west. The 
northern boundary encompasses areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft 
(3,658-4,267 m). This unit was not occupied at the time of listing and 
is not currently occupied, but is essential to the conservation of 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains steep, rocky terrain 
which provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, 
predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal 
elevational movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 
2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 
3-5). It is not known if mineral licks (PCE 3) are located within this 
unit. This unit contains no high-elevation wind-swept areas (Service 
2007, p. 134). Winter habitat is provided at a minimum elevation of 
6,890 ft (2,100 m) with a mixed visual condition due to scattered trees 
(Service 2007, pp. 128, 134). From the upper end of the Big Arroyo 
drainage, sheep could find access to alpine habitat on Kaweah Peaks.
    While this unit was not occupied at the time of listing, Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep occupied the area historically (Jones 1950, p 35; 
Buecher 1960, p. 69; Barrett 1965, p. 43; Riegelhuth 1965, p. 35; 
Wehausen 1988b, p. 100). This unit is essential to the conservation of 
the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for increasing the number of herds to 
reduce the significance of losing any particular herd, increasing 
population viability, decreasing the degree of fragmentation of the 
current geographic distribution between this unit and Units 8 (Mount 
Williamson), and 10 (Mount Langley), increasing opportunities for 
genetic exchange between these units, and increasing overall herd 
numbers to reduce extinction risk from stochastic events. Conservation 
of this unit is necessary to achieve the long-term viability of this 
subspecies within its range.

Unit 10: Mount Langley

    Unit 10 consists of approximately 32,845 ac (13,292 ha) in Inyo and 
Tulare Counties. Unit 10 is generally located within an area bounded on 
the east by Forest Route 16S02 located from immediately adjacent to the 
unit to 7 mi (11.3 km) away, on the south by Muah Mountain, on the west 
by Cirque Peak and the Perrin Creek area, and on the north by Lone Pine 
Creek. This unit is located about 7 mi (11.3 km) southwest of Lone 
Pine. Land ownership within the unit includes approximately 32,845 ac 
(13,292 ha) of Federal land administered by the Inyo National Forest, 
Sequoia National Park, and Bureau of Land Management.
    Unit 10 begins at a low elevation of about 4,500 ft (1,372 m) on 
the eastern slope and rises to 9,000 to 12,000 ft (2,743-3,658 m) on 
the west side. It encompasses areas between 12,000 and 14,000 ft 
(3,658-4,267 m). Unit 10 was occupied at the time of listing (Wehausen 
1996, p. 477; Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 
1997, pp. 6-7; Wehausen 1999, pp. 1-2, 8; 2000, pp. 1, 7; 65 FR 20, 
January 3, 2000) and is currently occupied with a minimum population 
estimate of 90 individuals (Wehausen and Stephenson 2006, p. 7). Unit 
10 contains features that are essential to the conservation of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains steep, rocky terrain 
which provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, lambing, 
predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal 
elevational movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 
2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 
3-5). It is not known if mineral licks (PCE 3) occur in this unit. The 
unit provides low elevation (5,742 ft, 1,750 m) mixed winter range in 
the Carroll Creek-Turtle Creek area. It also provides low-elevation 
(4,757 ft, 1,450 m), open winter range in the Slide Canyon-Cottonwood 
Creek area (Service 2007, pp. 128, 133). From this area, it is possible 
that bighorn sheep could cross a short distance of the open south-
facing forest by Wonoga Peak to access the large open plateau country. 
It is also possible that bighorn sheep using the Cottonwood Creek area 
use summer range to the southeast of the Kern Plateau where elevations 
are about 10,000 ft (3,048 m) (Service 2007, p. 130).
    The essential features found within Unit 10 may require special 
management considerations or protection to reverse the impacts of fire 
suppression which would provide more open habitat and potentially 
reduce predation. This unit could provide an estimated additional 1.8 
sq mi (4.7 sq km) of winter range with a relative probability of equal 
to or greater than 10 percent use if forests were reduced by burning 
(Johnson et al. 2005, p. 34). PCEs within Unit 10 may require special 
management considerations or protection to ameliorate the possible 
threat of overgrazing due to the proximity of this unit to Federal 
grazing allotments. PCEs within Unit 10 may also require special 
management considerations or protection for threats due to recreation 
(e.g., Whitney Portal and Trailhead) and development (Forest Route 
16S02 crosses a portion of this unit). Furthermore, PCEs within Unit 10 
may require special management considerations or protection in the form 
of avalanche control to protect against catastrophic events.

Unit 11: Laurel Creek

    Unit 11 consists of approximately 22,037 ac (8,918 ha) in Tulare 
County. Unit 11 is generally located within an

[[Page 45567]]

area bounded on the east by the Kern River; on the south by Pistol, 
Laurel, and Golden Trout Creeks; on the west by a portion of Little 
Kern River; and on the north by Soda Creek. Land ownership within the 
unit includes approximately 22,037 ac (8,918 ha) of Federal land 
administered by the Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park.
    Unit 11 begins at a low elevation of about 6,500 ft (1,981 m) on 
the eastern slope and rises to 10,500 to 12,000 ft (3,200-3,658 m) on 
the west. It includes a few small areas from 12,000 to over 14,000 ft 
(3,658-4,267 m). This unit was not occupied at the time of listing and 
is not currently occupied, but the unit is essential to the 
conservation of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains steep, 
rocky terrain which provides for foraging (summer and winter), mating, 
lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for seasonal 
elevational movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 and PCE 
2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 2007, pp. 
3-5). It is unknown whether mineral licks (PCE 3) occur in this unit. 
This unit contains no high-elevation wind-swept areas (Service 2007, p. 
134). Winter habitat is provided at a minimum elevation of 6,808 ft 
(2,075 m) with a mixed visual condition due to scattered trees (Service 
2007, pp. 128, 134). Laurel Creek provides access to summer range.
    While this unit was not occupied at the time of listing, Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep occupied the area historically (Buechner 1960 p. 
69; Barrett 1965, p. 43; Wehausen 1988b, p. 100). This unit is 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for 
increasing the number of herds to reduce the significance of losing any 
particular herd, increasing population viability, decreasing the degree 
of fragmentation of the current geographic distribution between this 
unit and Unit 10 (Mount Langley), increasing opportunities for genetic 
exchange between these units, and increasing overall herd numbers to 
reduce extinction risk from stochastic events. Conservation of this 
unit is necessary to achieve the long-term viability of this subspecies 
within its range.

Unit 12: Olancha Peak

    Unit 12 consists of approximately 30,421 ac (12,311 ha) in Tulare 
and Inyo Counties. Unit 12 is generally located within an area bounded 
on the east by U.S. Highway 395, on the south by Falls and Walker 
Creeks, on the west by a portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic 
Trail, and on the north by Muah Mountain. This unit is located west of 
the towns of Cartago and Olancha. Land ownership within the unit 
includes approximately 30,421 ac (12,311 ha) of Federal land 
administered by the Inyo National Forest and Bureau of Land Management.
    Unit 12 begins at a low elevation of about 4,000 ft (1,219 m) on 
the eastern slope and rises to about 9,000 to 10,500 ft (2,743-3,200 m) 
on the west. It is the southernmost unit designated as critical habitat 
for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. This unit was not occupied at the 
time of listing and is not currently occupied, but is essential to the 
conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The unit contains 
steep, rocky terrain which provides for foraging (summer and winter), 
mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding and also allows for 
seasonal elevational movements, and a range of vegetation types (PCE 1 
and PCE 2) (Johnson et al. 2005, pp. 4-14, 31-32, 34, 37-38; Service 
2007, pp. 3-5). It is not known if mineral licks (PCE 3) occur within 
this unit. This unit provides bighorn sheep habitat in the areas of 
Ash, Braley, Cartago, Olancha, and Falls Creeks. Cartago, Olancha and 
Falls Creeks connect by Olancha Canyon to Olancha Peak (12,123 ft, 
3,695 m) which provides some alpine summer habitat (southernmost in the 
Sierra Nevada) (Service 2007, p. 133). Winter range occurs as open, 
low-elevation (4,757 ft, 1,450 m), south-facing slopes (Service 2007, 
pp. 128, 133).
    While this unit was not occupied at the time of listing, Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep occupied the area historically (Jones 1950, p. 39; 
Wehausen et al. 1987, p. 66; Wehausen 1988a, p. 101). This unit is 
essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for 
increasing the number of herds to reduce the significance of losing any 
particular herd, increasing population viability, decreasing the degree 
of fragmentation of the current geographic distribution between this 
unit and Unit 10 (Mount Langley), increasing opportunities for genetic 
exchange between these units, and increasing overall herd numbers to 
reduce extinction risk from stochastic events. Conservation of this 
unit is necessary to achieve the long-term viability of this subspecies 
within its range.

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
actions they fund, authorize, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize 
the continued existence of a listed species or destroy or adversely 
modify designated critical habitat. Decisions by the Fifth and Ninth 
Circuit Courts of Appeals have invalidated our definition of 
``destruction or adverse modification'' (50 CFR 402.02) (see Gifford 
Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 
(9th Cir 2004) and Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et 
al., 245 F. 3d 434, 442F (5th Cir 2001)), and we do not rely on this 
regulatory definition when analyzing whether an action is likely to 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Under the statutory 
provisions of the Act, we determine destruction or adverse modification 
on the basis of whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal 
action, the affected critical habitat would remain functional (or 
retain the current ability for the PCEs to be functionally established) 
to serve its intended conservation role for the species.
    Under section 7(a)(2) of the Act, 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. As a result of 
this consultation, we document compliance with the requirements of 
section 7(a)(2) through our issuance of:
    (1) A concurrence letter for Federal actions that may affect, but 
are not likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat; 
or
    (2) A biological opinion for Federal actions that are likely to 
adversely affect listed species or critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we also provide 
reasonable and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are 
identifiable. We define ``Reasonable and prudent alternatives'' 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,
     Can be implemented consistent with the scope of the 
Federal agency's legal authority and jurisdiction,
     Are economically and technologically feasible, and
     Would, in the Director's opinion, avoid jeopardizing the 
continued existence of the listed species or destroying or adversely 
modifying critical habitat.

Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight project 
modifications to

[[Page 45568]]

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 we have 
listed a new species or subsequently designated critical habitat that 
may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary 
involvement or control over the action (or the agency's discretionary 
involvement or control is authorized by law). Consequently, Federal 
agencies may sometimes need to request reinitiation of consultation 
with us on actions for which formal consultation has been completed, if 
those actions with discretionary involvement or control may affect 
subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat.
    Federal activities that may affect the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
or its designated critical habitat will require section 7(a)(2) 
consultation under the Act. Activities on State, Tribal, local or 
private lands requiring a Federal permit (such as a permit from the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act 
(33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or involving some other Federal action (such 
as funding from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation 
Administration, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency) or a permit 
from us under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act) are examples of agency 
actions that may be subject to the consultation process under section 
7(a)(2) of the Act. Federal actions not affecting listed species or 
critical habitat, and actions on State, Tribal, local or private lands 
that are not Federally funded, authorized, or carried out, do not 
require section 7(a)(2) consultations.

Application of the ``Adverse Modification'' Standard

    The key factor related to the adverse modification determination is 
whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the 
affected critical habitat would remain functional (or retain the 
current ability for the PCEs to be functionally established) to serve 
its intended conservation role for the species. Activities that may 
result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat 
are those that alter the physical and biological features to an extent 
that appreciably reduces the conservation value of critical habitat for 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Generally, the conservation role of Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep critical habitat units is to support viable core 
area populations.
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and 
describe in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical 
habitat, activities involving a Federal action that may result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of such habitat, or that may be 
affected by such designation.
    Activities that, when carried out, funded, or authorized by a 
Federal agency, may affect critical habitat and, therefore, should 
result in consultation for Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep include, but are 
not limited to:
    (1) Actions that would significantly reduce ongoing management and 
conservation efforts that benefit the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep on 
public lands. Such activities could include, but are not limited to, 
the sale, exchange, or lease of lands managed by the USFS or other 
Federal agency. These activities could reduce the amount of space that 
is available for individual and population growth and normal behavior, 
as well as reduce or eliminate the number and extent of sites for 
foraging, breeding, reproduction, and rearing of offspring. These 
activities could also reduce the opportunities available to Federal 
agencies to exercise their section 7(a)(1) authorities to carry out 
programs to conserve listed species.
    (2) Actions that would significantly reduce the availability of or 
accessibility to summer and winter ranges. Such activities could 
include, but are not limited to, grazing, mining, and road construction 
activities. These activities could degrade, reduce, fragment or 
eliminate available foraging resources or alter current foraging 
activities of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (3) Actions that would result in the significant expansion of tall, 
dense vegetation, such as timber, within bighorn sheep habitat. Such 
activities could include, but are not limited to, fire suppression. 
These activities could allow expansion of vegetation cover such that 
movement patterns of bighorn sheep are altered by avoidance of these 
areas. Tall, dense vegetation provides cover for predators such as the 
mountain lion, a common predator of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
    (4) Actions that would create significant barriers to movement. 
Such activities could include, but are not limited to, road 
construction and resort or campground facility development or 
expansion. These activities could interfere with movement within and 
between habitats reducing the availability of habitat for foraging, 
breeding, reproduction, sheltering, and rearing of offspring. These 
activities could also reduce opportunities for movement between 
existing populations. Dispersal and interaction between populations 
could be affected, restricting gene flow and jeopardizing the integrity 
of the gene pool. Road construction can result in the direct mortality 
of individuals through collisions with vehicles.
    (5) Actions that would significantly degrade habitat or cause a 
disturbance to Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Such activities could 
include, but are not limited to, recreational activities, such as 
hiking, camping, rock and ice climbing, outfitter guides and pack 
animal expeditions, snowmobiling, and off-road vehicle use. These 
activities could impact the quality and quantity of forage across the 
landscape, or displace animals from key foraging areas. These 
activities could also impact the accessibility to key habitats such as 
escape terrain, breeding sites, or lambing areas. If animals flee these 
areas as a result of these activities, energy is expended which can 
negatively impact the animal's body condition, resulting in possible 
reduced reproductive success.
    We consider all of the units designated as critical habitat to 
contain features essential to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep, including those units which were not occupied at the 
time of listing. All units are within the historical geographic range 
of the subspecies, and those units which were not occupied at the time 
of listing have been determined to be essential for the conservation of 
the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Detailed descriptions of the units and 
their occupancy status can be found in each of the unit descriptions or 
within Table 3. Under section 7 of the Act, Federal agencies already 
consult with us on activities in areas currently occupied by the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep, or if the subspecies may be affected by the 
action, the consultation is to ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

Exclusions

Application of Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary must designate 
and revise critical habitat on the basis of the best available 
scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, 
impact on national security, and any other relevant impact of 
specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may 
exclude an 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 he

[[Page 45569]]

determines, based on the best scientific data available, that the 
failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the 
extinction of the species. In making that determination, the statute on 
its face, as well as the legislative history are clear that the 
Secretary has broad discretion regarding which factor(s) to use and how 
much weight to give to any factor.
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, in considering whether to exclude 
a particular area from the designation, we must identify the benefits 
of including the area in the designation, identify the benefits of 
excluding the area from the designation, and determine whether the 
benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion. If we 
consider an area for exclusion, then we must determine whether 
excluding the area would result in the extinction of the species.
    In the following sections, we address a number of general issues 
that are relevant to the exclusions we are considering. In addition, we 
conducted an economic analysis of the impacts of the proposed critical 
habitat designation and related factors, which was available for public 
review and comment. Based on public comment on that document, the 
proposed designation itself, and the information in the final economic 
analysis, the Secretary may exclude from critical habitat additional 
areas beyond those identified in this assessment under the provisions 
of section 4(b)(2) of the Act. This is also addressed in our 
implementing regulations at 50 CFR 242.19.
    Currently, we are aware of four documents related to the 
conservation and recovery of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. We 
reviewed these documents, but we are not excluding lands covered by 
them for reasons indicated below. These documents include the Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery and Conservation Plan (Sierra Nevada 
Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1984), the Bighorn Sheep 
Management Plan (National Park Service 1986), the Inyo National Forest 
Resource & Management Plan (U.S. Forest Service 1988), and A 
Conservation Strategy for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Sierra Nevada 
Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997). All of these documents 
were prepared prior to the emergency listing of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep in 1999.
    The goal of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery and 
Conservation Plan (Sierra Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 
1984, pp. 1-2) was to improve the status of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep by: (1) Maintaining the health and viability of existing 
populations and promoting the establishment of at least three 
populations that exceeded 100 animals and were geographically distant 
from one another; (2) restoring bighorn sheep to former ranges within 
the Sierra Nevada where ecologically, economically, and politically 
feasible and where favorable to their success; and (3) ensuring genetic 
integrity by using only bighorn sheep from existing Sierra Nevada 
populations to restock historical ranges. Conservation recommendations 
made in A Conservation Strategy for Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Sierra 
Nevada Bighorn Sheep Interagency Advisory Group 1997, pp. 11-14) 
include restoration of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in a 
distribution that assures long-term viability and reestablishment 
throughout its native range and preservation of current populations, 
predator control, fire (let burn policy), addressing grazing by 
domestic sheep and goats, ensuring genetic diversity, reintroductions 
and augmentations, and research and monitoring. The goal of the Bighorn 
Sheep Management Plan (National Park Service 1986, pp. 1-2) was to 
restore and perpetuate bighorn sheep and to protect the integrity of 
the ecosystem. Management was directed toward restoring and maintaining 
populations of bighorn sheep for ecological, scientific, educational, 
aesthetic, and recreational values. The Inyo National Forest's Land & 
Resource Management Plan (U.S. Forest Service 1988, pp. 101-102) 
provided guidance to maintain existing sheep habitat, expand the range 
of bighorn sheep by transplanting animals into suitable unoccupied 
habitats within the historical range, maintain the health of existing 
herds by not allowing an increase in livestock use if disease 
transmission was shown to be harmful to bighorn sheep, and prohibit the 
conversion of livestock type from cattle to sheep on or adjacent to 
existing or approved reintroduction sites for the bighorn sheep.
    The Inyo National Forest also established two California Bighorn 
Sheep Zoological Areas for the Mount Baxter and Mount Williamson herds. 
These areas totaled 4,505 ac (1,823 ha) in addition to existing 
wilderness lands (36,235 ac, 14,664 ha)) occupied by bighorn sheep. In 
1981, forest officials issued Order No. 04-81-3, which prohibited 
entrance into these areas without a valid visitor use permit, 
restricted entrance into closed portions of the zoological areas during 
certain time periods, restricted the presence of dogs, and restricted 
the discharge of firearms unless taking a game animal legally permitted 
by the State of California (U.S. Forest Service 1981, p. 1). Exemptions 
were allowed for certain individuals, duties, and activities. This 
order was issued during a time when recreational use was believed to be 
detrimentally impacting the Mount Baxter and Mount Williamson herds.
    While these plans were prepared to assist in the restoration and 
recovery and habitat protection of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, 
they were written prior to the final listing of this subspecies in 
2000, and they generally offer only guidance and recommendations 
related to translocations, research, monitoring, education, and habitat 
management with little specificity of actions to be implemented. The 
guidance provided in these documents and the recreational prohibitions 
in the California Bighorn Sheep Zoological Areas did not provide a 
basis for excluding lands covered by them.

Economic Analysis

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires us to designate critical 
habitat on the basis of the best scientific information available and 
to consider economic and other relevant impacts of designating a 
particular area as critical habitat. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act allows 
the Secretary to exclude areas from critical habitat for economic 
reasons if the Secretary determines that the benefits of such exclusion 
outweigh the benefits of designating the area as critical habitat. 
However, this exclusion cannot occur if it 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 February 5, 2008 (73 FR 6684). We 
accepted comments on the draft analysis until March 6, 2008. Following 
the close of the comment period, a final analysis of the potential 
economic effects of the designation was developed taking into 
consideration the public comments and any relevant new information.
    The primary purpose of the EA is to estimate the potential economic 
impacts associated with the designation of critical habitat for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. 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 EA considers the

[[Page 45570]]

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 of the economic sector.
    The intent of the economic analysis is to quantify the economic 
impacts of all potential conservation efforts for the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep; some of these costs will likely be incurred regardless 
of whether we designate critical habitat. The economic analysis 
provides estimated costs of the foreseeable potential economic impacts 
of the critical habitat designation (incremental impacts) and other 
conservation-related actions (baseline impacts) for this species over 
the next 20 years. It also considers past costs associated with 
conservation of the species from the time it was listed in 2000 (65 FR 
20, January 3, 2000), until the year the proposed critical habitat rule 
was published (72 FR 40956, July 25, 2007).
    The economic analysis considers the potential economic effects of 
actions relating to the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep, including costs associated with sections 4, 7, and 10 of the 
Act, as well as those attributable to the designation of critical 
habitat. It further considers the economic effects of protective 
measures taken as a result of other Federal, State, and local laws that 
aid habitat conservation for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in areas 
containing features essential to the conservation of the species. The 
analysis considers both economic efficiency and distributional effects. 
In the case of habitat conservation, efficiency effects generally 
reflect the ``opportunity costs'' associated with the commitment of 
resources to comply with habitat protection measures (such as lost 
economic opportunities associated with restrictions on land use).
    The economic analysis also addresses how potential economic impacts 
are likely to be distributed, including an assessment of any local or 
regional impacts of habitat conservation and the potential effects of 
conservation activities on government agencies, private business, and 
individuals. The analysis measures lost economic efficiency associated 
with residential and commercial development and public projects and 
activities, such as economic impacts on water management and 
transportation projects, Federal lands, small entities, and the energy 
industry. Decision-makers can use this information to assess whether 
the effects of the designation might unduly burden a particular group 
or economic sector. Finally, the economic analysis looks 
retrospectively at costs that have been incurred since the date Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep was listed as endangered (65 FR 20, January 3, 
2000) and considers those costs that may occur in the 20 years 
following the designation of critical habitat. Forecasts of economic 
conditions and other factors beyond this point would be speculative.
    Activities associated with the conservation of the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep are likely to primarily impact future domestic sheep 
grazing, recreation management, and habitat management. The EA 
forecasts baseline economic impacts in the areas designated. The 
present value of these impacts, applying a 3 percent discount rate, is 
$21.0 million ($1.41 million annualized), or $15.5 million ($1.46 
million annualized) using a 7 percent discount rate. The EA forecasts 
the present value of the incremental economic impacts to be $120,000 
($8,080 annualized), applying a 3 percent discount rate, or $94,900 
($8,960 annualized) using a 7 percent discount rate.
    We evaluated the potential economic impact of this designation as 
identified in the economic analysis. Based on this evaluation, we 
believe that there are no disproportionate economic impacts that 
warrant exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act at this time. The 
final economic analysis is available at http://www.regulations.gov and 
http://www.fws.gov/nevada or upon request from the Nevada Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).
    After consideration of the impacts under section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act, we have not excluded any areas from the final critical habitat 
designations based on the identified economic impacts, any impact on 
national security, and any other relevant impacts.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this 
rule is not significant and has not reviewed this rule under Executive 
Order 12866 (E.O. 12866). OMB bases its determination upon the 
following four criteria:
    (a) Whether the rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more on the economy or adversely affect an economic sector, 
productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of the government.
    (b) Whether the rule will create inconsistencies with other Federal 
agencies' actions.
    (c) Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, 
user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their 
recipients.
    (d) Whether the rule raises novel legal or policy issues.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA), whenever an agency must 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 
effects 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 the agency 
certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended RFA to require 
Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual 
basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. In this final rule, 
we are certifying that the critical habitat designation for Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The following discussion explains 
our rationale.
    According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 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; as well as small businesses. Small businesses include 
manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, 
wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and 
service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general 
and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in 
annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 
million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with annual 
sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to 
these small entities are significant, we considered the types of 
activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under

[[Page 45571]]

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 authorized, 
funded, or carried out 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 authorize, fund, or carry out 
that may affect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (see Section 7 Consultation 
section). 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 (see Application of the ``Adverse 
Modification'' Standard section).
    In our economic analysis of the critical habitat designation, we 
evaluated the potential economic effects on small business entities 
resulting from conservation actions related to the listing of the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and the designation of critical habitat. 
The analysis estimated prospective economic impacts associated with the 
proposed rulemaking as described in Chapters 2 through 4 and Appendix A 
of the economic analysis and evaluates the potential for economic 
impacts related to three categories: Grazing, recreation management, 
and habitat management.
    The economic analysis identified one domestic sheep grazing 
permittee operating in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and two 
resorts and unidentified outdoor pack companies operating in the 
Humboldt-Toiyabe and Inyo National Forests that qualify as small 
businesses that could be impacted due to their activities within areas 
designated as critical habitat.
    For the one grazing permittee, the economic analysis estimates a 
cost of $13,000 associated with conservation activities for the Sierra 
Nevada bighorn sheep over the next 20 years at a 3 percent discounted 
rate ($875 annualized). For the two resorts and unidentified outdoor 
pack companies, the analysis estimates a cost of $2,730 associated with 
conservation activities for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep over the 
next 20 years at a 3 percent discounted rate ($183 annualized). 
Incremental impacts are expected only to occur in designated critical 
habitat Units 1 and 2. This number of small business entities is not 
considered a substantial number.
    The USFS is expected to incur incremental costs as a result of this 
designation, but it is not considered a small entity by the SBA.
    In summary, we have considered whether the final rule would result 
in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Based on the above reasoning and currently available 
information, we certify that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. 
Therefore, 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 final economic analysis for a 
discussion of the effects of this determination (see ADDRESSES for 
information on obtaining a copy of the final economic analysis).

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O. 
13211; ``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'') on regulations that 
significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. E.O. 13211 
requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when 
undertaking certain actions. OMB has provided guidance for implementing 
this Executive Order that outlines nine outcomes that may constitute 
``a significant adverse effect'' when compared without the regulatory 
action under consideration. The economic analysis finds that none of 
these criteria are relevant to this analysis. Thus, based on 
information in the economic analysis, energy-related impacts associated 
with Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep conservation activities within the 
final critical habitat designation are not expected. As such, the 
designation of critical habitat 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, or Tribal 
governments, or the private sector, and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments'' with two 
exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of Federal assistance.'' It also 
excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal 
program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing Federal 
program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, 
local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' if the 
provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of assistance'' 
or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's 
responsibility to provide funding,'' and the State, local, or Tribal

[[Page 45572]]

governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. At the time of 
enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families 
with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; 
Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; 
Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family 
Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. ``Federal 
private sector mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose an 
enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of 
Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a 
voluntary Federal program.''
    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally 
binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. 
Under section 7 of the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal 
agencies must ensure that their actions do not result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. Non-Federal 
entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that 
otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for 
an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical 
habitat. However, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal 
agency. Furthermore, to the extent that non-Federal entities are 
indirectly impacted because they receive Federal assistance or 
participate in a voluntary Federal aid program, the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act would not apply, nor would critical habitat shift the costs 
of the large entitlement programs listed above onto 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. By definition, Federal agencies are not 
considered small entities, although the activities they fund or permit 
may be proposed or carried out by small entities. As such, a Small 
Government Agency Plan is not required.

Executive Order 12630--Takings

    In accordance with E.O. 12630 (``Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property 
Rights''), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of 
designating critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in a 
takings implications assessment. Critical habitat designation does not 
affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or 
permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation 
programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that 
do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. The takings 
implications assessment concludes that this designation of critical 
habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep does not pose significant 
takings implications.

Federalism

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of 
Commerce policy, we requested information from, and coordinated 
development of, this designated critical habitat designation with 
appropriate State resource agencies in California. The designation of 
critical habitat in areas currently occupied by the Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep 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 that contain the physical and 
biological features essential to the conservation of the subspecies are 
more clearly defined, and the PCEs of the habitat necessary to the 
conservation of the subspecies are specifically identified. This 
information does not alter where and what federally sponsored 
activities may occur. However, it may assist local governments in long-
range planning (rather than having them wait for case-by-case section 7 
consultations to occur).

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), the 
regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in 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 physical and 
biological features essential to the conservation of the subspecies 
within the designated areas to assist the public in understanding the 
habitat needs of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 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 (NEPA)

    It is our position that, outside the Jurisdiction of the U.S. Court 
of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we do not need to prepare 
environmental analyses as defined by the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) 
in connection with designating critical habitat under the Act. We 
published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the 
Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was 
upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas 
County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 
1042 (1996)).

Government-to-Government Relationship 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), E.O. 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. In accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997, ``American Indian Tribal 
Rights, Federal--Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered 
Species Act,'' we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work 
directly with Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to 
acknowledge that Tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as 
Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to 
make information available to tribes. We have determined that there are 
no Tribal lands occupied at the time of listing that contain the 
features essential for the conservation, and no unoccupied Tribal lands 
that are essential for the conservation of the Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep. Therefore, critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
has not been designated on Tribal lands.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rulemaking is 
available on the

[[Page 45573]]

Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.fws.gov/nevada/.

Author(s)

    The primary authors of this rulemaking are staff members of the 
Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, Reno, Nevada, and the Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office, Ventura, California.

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 ``Sheep, Sierra Nevada 
bighorn'' under ``MAMMALS'' in the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife to read as follows:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Species                                                Vertebrate
----------------------------------------------------                      population where                                                       Special
                                                       Historic range       endangered or        Status        When listed    Critical habitat    rules
          Common name              Scientific name                           threatened
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Mammals
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Sheep, Sierra Nevada bighorn...  Ovis canadensis     U.S.A. (CA)--       U.S.A. (CA)--       E              660E, 675.......  17.95(a)........        NA
                                  sierrae.            Sierra Nevada.      Sierra Nevada.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. In Sec.  17.95(a), add an entry for ``Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep 
(Ovis canadensis sierrae)'' in the same alphabetical order in which the 
subspecies appears in the table in Sec.  17.11(h) to read as follows:


Sec.  17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

    (a) Mammals.
* * * * *
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae)
    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Mono, Fresno, Inyo, 
Tulare, and Tuolumne Counties, California, on the maps below.
    (2) The primary constituent elements of critical habitat for the 
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are the habitat components that provide:
    (i) Non-forested habitats or forest openings within the Sierra 
Nevada from 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to 14,500 ft (4,420 m) in elevation with 
steep (greater than or equal to 60 percent slope), rocky slopes that 
provide for foraging, mating, lambing, predator avoidance, and bedding 
and that allow for seasonal elevational movements between these areas.
    (ii) Presence of a variety of forage plants as indicated by the 
presence of grasses (e.g., Achnanthera spp.; Elymus spp.) and browse 
(e.g., Ribes spp.; Artemisia spp., Purshia spp.) in winter, and 
grasses, browse, sedges (e.g., Carex spp.) and forbs (e.g., Eriogonum 
spp.) in summer.
    (iii) Presence of granite outcroppings containing minerals such as 
sodium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus that could be used as mineral 
licks in order to meet nutritional needs.
    (3) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures, such as 
buildings, aqueducts, airports, roads, and other paved areas, and the 
land on which they are located, existing on the effective date of this 
rule and not containing one or more of the primary constituent 
elements.
    (4) Critical Habitat Map Units--Boundaries of designated critical 
habitat were derived from Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Herd Units 
developed by the California Department of Fish and Game for the final 
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep recovery plan. The designated critical 
habitat unit boundaries differ from Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep Herd 
Unit polygons by the removal of developed areas and private parcels 
that are unlikely to contain the primary constituent elements. The data 
were projected to Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), zone 11, on the 
North American Datum of 1983.
    (5) Note: Index map of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep critical habitat 
follows:

BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45574]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.000

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45575]]

    (6) Unit 1 (Mount Warren); Mono and Tuolumne Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Dunderberg Peak, Lundy, 
Tioga Pass, and Mount Dana. Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 
NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 300786, 4215918; 301348, 4215650; 301467, 
4215784; 302384, 4216077; 303459, 4215689; 303626, 4215452; 303452, 
4215254; 303072, 4215278; 302764, 4215064; 302495, 4214977; 302218, 
4214677; 302052, 4214558; 301783, 4214281; 300486, 4214005; 300351, 
4213839; 299853, 4213704; 299442, 4213475; 299007, 4213079; 298991, 
4212842; 299252, 4212723; 299640, 4212755; 300185, 4212913; 300359, 
4213103; 300525, 4213166; 300565, 4213498; 300952, 4213562; 301111, 
4213158; 301435, 4212858; 301593, 4213150; 301807, 4213253; 302566, 
4213245; 303396, 4213317; 303902, 4213419; 304227, 4214044; 304567, 
4214092; 304891, 4213752; 305310, 4213467; 305864, 4213158; 306239, 
4212945; 306714, 4212984; 307362, 4212747; 307474, 4212940; 307514, 
4213252; 307539, 4213822; 307697, 4214242; 307964, 4214386; 308395, 
4214515; 308841, 4214450; 308846, 4214218; 308653, 4213802; 308499, 
4213297; 308529, 4212618; 308692, 4211980; 308673, 4211876; 308514, 
4211856; 308366, 4211891; 307853, 4211988; 307236, 4212146; 306682, 
4212162; 306073, 4212186; 305788, 4211948; 305694, 4211640; 305788, 
4211165; 305970, 4210944; 306192, 4210991; 306643, 4210857; 306801, 
4210588; 306785, 4209932; 306813, 4209244; 306995, 4208658; 307596, 
4208532; 307920, 4208532; 308173, 4208674; 308252, 4209244; 308315, 
4209418; 308647, 4209275; 308774, 4208951; 308861, 4208635; 309082, 
4208500; 309320, 4208184; 309415, 4207425; 309810, 4206847; 309023, 
4206191; 308628, 4206151; 308177, 4206547; 308177, 4206927; 307679, 
4207037; 307275, 4206863; 306856, 4206444; 306761, 4206033; 306991, 
4205724; 307220, 4205701; 307560, 4205495; 307623, 4205179; 307797, 
4204973; 307916, 4204649; 308074, 4204325; 308398, 4204182; 309134, 
4204348; 309846, 4203850; 309960, 4203534; 310316, 4202846; 310490, 
4202284; 310569, 4201841; 310585, 4201240; 310640, 4201098; 310799, 
4200900; 310759, 4200655; 310672, 4200584; 310261, 4200536; 309984, 
4200513; 309513, 4200252; 309102, 4200370; 308865, 4200418; 308651, 
4200592; 308525, 4201043; 308303, 4201343; 308058, 4201644; 307837, 
4202047; 307362, 4202403; 307180, 4202458; 307062, 4202268; 307165, 
4202015; 306919, 4202023; 306477, 4202150; 306081, 4202300; 305599, 
4202632; 305231, 4202751; 304456, 4203210; 304369, 4203344; 303989, 
4203637; 303720, 4203913; 303420, 4204119; 303183, 4204870; 303325, 
4205329; 303396, 4205661; 303345, 4206057; 303202, 4206278; 303052, 
4206294; 302688, 4205582; 302894, 4205092; 302720, 4204799; 302736, 
4204467; 303036, 4204198; 303036, 4203637; 303195, 4203399; 303487, 
4203178; 303622, 4203036; 304120, 4202806; 304353, 4202577; 304529, 
4202575; 304667, 4202584; 304837, 4202460; 304869, 4202391; 304869, 
4202134; 304626, 4201784; 304263, 4201582; 304024, 4201380; 303875, 
4201200; 303803, 4201210; 303746, 4201218; 303578, 4201335; 303363, 
4201575; 303353, 4201611; 303344, 4201642; 303314, 4201600; 303309, 
4201636; 303304, 4201627; 303289, 4201621; 303104, 4201636; 302748, 
4201612; 302416, 4201770; 301988, 4202118; 301648, 4202442; 301387, 
4202695; 301150, 4203099; 300897, 4203431; 300826, 4203787; 301024, 
4204032; 301126, 4204412; 301142, 4205092; 300652, 4205970; 300253, 
4206191; 299794, 4206294; 299311, 4206365; 298916, 4206349; 298584, 
4205900; 298544, 4205764; 298853, 4205614; 299375, 4205622; 300142, 
4204847; 300197, 4204617; 300166, 4204412; 300071, 4204174; 299565, 
4204214; 298963, 4204174; 298315, 4204151; 298149, 4203953; 298188, 
4203257; 298378, 4202893; 298350, 4202526; 298268, 4202121; 298476, 
4201913; 298679, 4202026; 298698, 4202381; 298628, 4202634; 298691, 
4202950; 299115, 4202552; 299185, 4202324; 298875, 4201482; 298647, 
4201236; 298324, 4200742; 298369, 4200337; 298122, 4200388; 298116, 
4200685; 298192, 4201109; 298160, 4201261; 298078, 4201337; 297970, 
4201318; 297685, 4200983; 297319, 4200888; 297186, 4200793; 297091, 
4200748; 296901, 4200951; 296654, 4200976; 296287, 4201008; 295857, 
4200660; 295579, 4200200; 295506, 4200236; 295139, 4199793; 294924, 
4199483; 294734, 4199641; 294582, 4199932; 294449, 4200109; 294095, 
4200084; 293583, 4200369; 293323, 4200710; 293108, 4200609; 292950, 
4200268; 292608, 4200369; 292754, 4200748; 292944, 4200964; 293228, 
4201248; 293614, 4201014; 293874, 4200723; 294127, 4200571; 294563, 
4200635; 295196, 4200805; 295310, 4200957; 295247, 4201122; 295367, 
4201406; 295702, 4201318; 296031, 4201375; 296265, 4201622; 296474, 
4201982; 296803, 4202349; 296942, 4202539; 296936, 4202849; 296635, 
4202969; 296426, 4202994; 296078, 4202703; 295990, 4202507; 295541, 
4202406; 294756, 4202697; 294674, 4202800; 294642, 4203007; 294813, 
4203134; 295560, 4203178; 295661, 4203184; 295882, 4203418; 295927, 
4203703; 295383, 4203855; 295326, 4203943; 295927, 4204057; 296135, 
4204241; 296015, 4204405; 295522, 4204405; 295427, 4204608; 295569, 
4205032; 295746, 4205354; 295980, 4205677; 296252, 4206012; 296347, 
4206265; 296322, 4206778; 296328, 4207126; 296566, 4207328; 296800, 
4207721; 296850, 4207948; 296743, 4208214; 295971, 4208777; 295813, 
4208891; 295674, 4209163; 295212, 4209492; 294408, 4209555; 294161, 
4209378; 293801, 4209239; 293776, 4209473; 294070, 4209967; 294620, 
4210454; 295057, 4210327; 295215, 4210315; 295272, 4210625; 295234, 
4210776; 295316, 4211010; 295689, 4211156; 295816, 4211023; 295879, 
4210776; 295765, 4210618; 295898, 4210485; 296215, 4210416; 296297, 
4210232; 296335, 4209954; 296436, 4209682; 296866, 4209384; 296923, 
4209043; 297113, 4208904; 297160, 4209239; 296945, 4210163; 296926, 
4210220; 296964, 4210511; 296838, 4210852; 296699, 4211542; 296578, 
4211789; 296411, 4212206; 296316, 4212814; 296202, 4213219; 296316, 
4213693; 296664, 4213959; 297094, 4213826; 297372, 4213535; 297676, 
4213402; 297942, 4213301; 298157, 4213320; 298429, 4213434; 298625, 
4213769; 298517, 4214085; 298464, 4214465; 298666, 4214705; 298919, 
4214819; 299122, 4214832; 299267, 4214857; 299368, 4215136; 299027, 
4215585; 299033, 4215781; 299210, 4215926; 299533, 4215711; 299988, 
4215528; 300071, 4215756; 300090, 4215983; 299697, 4216559; 299546, 
4216654; 299410, 4216907; 299359, 4217034; 299416, 4217413; 299454, 
4217729; 299391, 4218002; 299410, 4218318; 299479, 4218577; 299529, 
4218766; 299885, 4218821; 300296, 4218734; 300755, 4218505; 300865, 
4218101; 300858, 4217690; 300731, 4217445; 300525, 4217247; 300446, 
4216796; 300470, 4216409; returning to 300786, 4215918; excluding land 
bounded by 304870, 4211718; 304755, 4211663; 304590, 4211666; 304426, 
4211699; 304273, 4211615; 304237, 4211614; 304100, 4211575; 304119, 
4211576; 304068, 4211562; 304036, 4211567; 303925, 4211593; 303824, 
4211552; 303714, 4211495; 303668, 4211501; 303558, 4211486; 303473, 
4211423; 303421, 4211366; 303381, 4211308; 303223, 4211322; 303176, 
4211295; 303181, 4211202; 303103, 4211161; 303208, 4210962; 303418,

[[Page 45576]]

4211073; 303481, 4211022; 303500, 4211020; 303617, 4211098; 303675, 
4211109; 303894, 4211096; 303983, 4211127; 304053, 4211125; 304053, 
4211124; 304106, 4211121; 304460, 4211207; 304518, 4211250; 304590, 
4211261; 304644, 4211303; 304747, 4211336; 304863, 4211395; 304882, 
4211457; 305018, 4211524; 305128, 4211543; 305289, 4211677; 305397, 
4211739; 305477, 4211807; 305515, 4211863; 305405, 4211903; 305374, 
4211907; 305176, 4211813; 305029, 4211770; returning to 304870, 
4211718.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 1 Mount Warren for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:

BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45577]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.001

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45578]]

    (7) Unit 2 (Mount Gibbs); Mono and Tuolumne Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mount Dana, Vogelsang 
Peak, Kiop Peak, and June Lake. Land bounded by the following UTM zone 
11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 305185, 4201586; 305855, 4201263; 306124, 
4201406; 306203, 4201516; 306615, 4201390; 307214, 4201220; 307539, 
4200758; 307946, 4200481; 308191, 4199870; 308255, 4199529; 308437, 
4199297; 308728, 4198949; 308679, 4198612; 308778, 4198157; 309188, 
4197993; 309259, 4197840; 308990, 4197698; 308498, 4197676; 308268, 
4197570; 308079, 4197576; 307891, 4197582; 307737, 4197512; 307657, 
4197364; 307500, 4197181; 307271, 4197113; 307075, 4196893; 307221, 
4196737; 307673, 4196685; 308081, 4196446; 308575, 4196543; 308912, 
4196457; 309062, 4196415; 309890, 4196313; 309934, 4195897; 309443, 
4195913; 309141, 4195923; 308877, 4195931; 308572, 4195866; 308570, 
4195790; 308525, 4195566; 308481, 4195379; 308053, 4194978; 307970, 
4194755; 308120, 4194712; 308418, 4194590; 308675, 4194356; 308668, 
4194130; 308697, 4193865; 308613, 4193604; 308382, 4193461; 308112, 
4193281; 307734, 4193293; 307728, 4193105; 307761, 4192953; 308063, 
4192944; 308472, 4192742; 308775, 4192770; 308930, 4192878; 309271, 
4192905; 309416, 4192712; 309403, 4192298; 309382, 4191659; 309372, 
4191358; 309323, 4190983; 309238, 4190684; 309151, 4190348; 308920, 
4190204; 308879, 4190093; 309026, 4189975; 309327, 4189928; 309478, 
4189923; 309626, 4189843; 309582, 4189656; 309389, 4189511; 309271, 
4189365; 309114, 4189181; 308699, 4189195; 308470, 4189127; 308167, 
4189099; 308163, 4188986; 308347, 4188829; 308683, 4188705; 308907, 
4188623; 309244, 4188537; 309241, 4188424; 309232, 4188161; 309187, 
4187936; 309219, 4187747; 309325, 4187517; 309475, 4187475; 309740, 
4187504; 309966, 4187459; 310116, 4187454; 310418, 4187445; 310796, 
4187433; 310981, 4187314; 311089, 4187160; 311233, 4186929; 311450, 
4186621; 311820, 4186383; 312166, 4186560; 312582, 4186585; 312850, 
4186689; 313267, 4186713; 313537, 4186893; 313956, 4186993; 314142, 
4186911; 314210, 4186683; 313896, 4186317; 313515, 4186216; 313165, 
4185888; 312814, 4185560; 312729, 4185262; 312376, 4184859; 312069, 
4184718; 312061, 4184454; 312163, 4184112; 312082, 4183926; 312340, 
4183730; 312407, 4183464; 312433, 4183087; 312500, 4182821; 312680, 
4182551; 312860, 4182282; 312892, 4182093; 312627, 4182063; 312476, 
4182068; 312249, 4182075; 312208, 4182071; 311998, 4182077; 311586, 
4182088; 311587, 4181967; 311448, 4181837; 311217, 4181694; 310862, 
4181818; 310494, 4182132; 310199, 4182367; 310100, 4182822; 309769, 
4183096; 309149, 4183794; 308929, 4183989; 308630, 4184112; 308254, 
4184162; 307917, 4184248; 307768, 4184328; 307399, 4184603; 307064, 
4184765; 306876, 4184771; 306831, 4184546; 306859, 4184244; 307079, 
4184049; 307309, 4184154; 307832, 4183949; 307980, 4183869; 308206, 
4183824; 308386, 4183555; 308415, 4183290; 308521, 4183061; 308890, 
4182785; 309001, 4182707; 309101, 4182289; 309206, 4182022; 309387, 
4181790; 309493, 4181561; 309480, 4181147; 309469, 4180808; 309422, 
4180509; 309346, 4180511; 308934, 4180599; 308710, 4180682; 308336, 
4180807; 307916, 4180670; 307577, 4180718; 307056, 4180961; 307062, 
4181149; 307103, 4181261; 307594, 4181245; 307821, 4181238; 307972, 
4181233; 308421, 4181105; 308651, 4181211; 308583, 4181439; 308513, 
4181630; 308597, 4181891; 308640, 4182040; 308456, 4182197; 308228, 
4182166; 308186, 4182017; 308104, 4181831; 307987, 4181722; 307724, 
4181768; 307615, 4181885; 307621, 4182073; 307627, 4182261; 307712, 
4182559; 307685, 4182899; 307543, 4183205; 307282, 4183289; 307129, 
4183256; 307044, 4182957; 306921, 4182660; 306760, 4182326; 306600, 
4182068; 306519, 4181882; 306400, 4181697; 306253, 4181853; 306186, 
4182118; 306269, 4182342; 306507, 4182711; 306589, 4182897; 306638, 
4183234; 306530, 4183426; 306339, 4183357; 306140, 4183024; 306019, 
4182802; 305780, 4182395; 305402, 4182407; 304992, 4182571; 304691, 
4182618; 304390, 4182666; 304162, 4182635; 303858, 4182570; 303478, 
4182506; 303058, 4182369; 302790, 4182265; 302558, 4182084; 302321, 
4181752; 302167, 4181682; 302174, 4181908; 302245, 4182357; 302609, 
4183099; 303409, 4183300; 303569, 4183558; 303767, 4183853; 303915, 
4183773; 304140, 4183691; 304291, 4183686; 304371, 4183834; 304419, 
4184171; 304505, 4184470; 304744, 4184876; 305210, 4185276; 305624, 
4185225; 305819, 4185407; 305910, 4185894; 305808, 4186236; 305819, 
4186575; 305677, 4186881; 305456, 4187038; 305266, 4187007; 305033, 
4186826; 304725, 4186647; 304426, 4186732; 304291, 4186912; 304361, 
4187073; 304630, 4187215; 304639, 4187479; 304380, 4187675; 303774, 
4187619; 303538, 4187326; 303336, 4186918; 302983, 4186515; 302551, 
4186001; 302008, 4185567; 301544, 4185242; 301242, 4185252; 301103, 
4185633; 301045, 4186162; 301023, 4186653; 300708, 4187454; 300429, 
4188178; 300069, 4188717; 299821, 4189253; 299469, 4190055; 299301, 
4190701; 299206, 4191269; 298879, 4191693; 298557, 4192269; 298227, 
4192581; 297610, 4193354; 297507, 4193696; 297853, 4193873; 298117, 
4193865; 298670, 4193433; 299225, 4193038; 299810, 4192455; 300248, 
4191951; 300500, 4191566; 300693, 4191711; 300702, 4191974; 300710, 
4192237; 300763, 4192688; 301153, 4193090; 301573, 4193227; 301797, 
4193144; 301901, 4192840; 301743, 4192619; 301656, 4192283; 301725, 
4192054; 301910, 4191935; 301638, 4191718; 301556, 4191495; 301664, 
4191341; 301928, 4191332; 301999, 4191179; 301875, 4190844; 301831, 
4190657; 301974, 4190389; 302007, 4190237; 302072, 4189934; 302332, 
4189775; 302708, 4189725; 302857, 4189645; 302775, 4189459; 302842, 
4189194; 303031, 4189188; 303109, 4189260; 303151, 4189410; 303419, 
4189514; 303412, 4189288; 303441, 4189024; 303428, 4188610; 303908, 
4188255; 304058, 4188213; 304396, 4188165; 304735, 4188116; 304855, 
4188338; 304939, 4188599; 304950, 4188938; 304957, 4189164; 305187, 
4189269; 305269, 4189455; 305127, 4189761; 305504, 4189711; 305763, 
4189552; 305714, 4189215; 305825, 4189136; 305907, 4189322; 306137, 
4189427; 306323, 4189346; 306553, 4189452; 306809, 4189180; 306998, 
4189174; 307228, 4189279; 307030, 4189587; 307033, 4189700; 307043, 
4190001; 306899, 4190231; 306523, 4190281; 306299, 4190364; 306043, 
4190635; 305976, 4190901; 306020, 4191088; 306175, 4191196; 306371, 
4191416; 306346, 4191831; 306166, 4192101; 306021, 4192293; 305873, 
4192411; 305718, 4192266; 305637, 4192117; 305145, 4192096; 304781, 
4192521; 304448, 4192720; 304155, 4193031; 303859, 4193229; 303716, 
4193460; 303612, 4193764; 303468, 4193995; 303328, 4194338; 303076, 
4194723; 302596, 4195078; 302527, 4195268; 302718, 4195337; 303205, 
4195209; 303469, 4195200; 303808, 4195152; 304074, 4195219; 304642, 
4195238; 304872, 4195344; 304913, 4195455; 304954, 4195567; 304921, 
4195719; 304545, 4195768; 304283, 4195852; 304096, 4195896; 303835, 
4196017; 303572, 4196063; 302817, 4196087; 302749, 4196316; 302916, 
4196800; 303270, 4197241; 303129, 4197546; 302755, 4197671; 302575,

[[Page 45579]]

4197941; 302696, 4198201; 302856, 4198459; 302985, 4198945; 303114, 
4199430; 303351, 4199762; 303767, 4199786; 304175, 4199547; 304351, 
4199127; 304677, 4198702; 305313, 4198494; 305467, 4198602; 305372, 
4199170; 305153, 4199403; 304741, 4199529; 304600, 4199835; 304504, 
4200365; 304630, 4200775; 304836, 4201296; returning to 305185, 
4201586.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 2 (Mount Gibbs) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:

BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45580]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.002

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45581]]

    (8) Unit 3 (Convict Creek); Fresno and Mono Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Crystal Crag, Bloody 
Mountain, Convict Lake, Graveyard Peak, and Mount Abbot. Land bounded 
by the following UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 327481, 4161516; 
327397, 4161255; 327279, 4161108; 327082, 4160851; 327076, 4160663; 
327184, 4160508; 327409, 4160464; 327720, 4160717; 327917, 4160975; 
328080, 4161346; 328312, 4161527; 328424, 4161486; 328373, 4161073; 
328322, 4160660; 328009, 4160294; 327814, 4160112; 327619, 4159930; 
327573, 4159668; 327755, 4159436; 327980, 4159391; 328058, 4159464; 
328100, 4159613; 328112, 4159989; 328455, 4160091; 328333, 4159794; 
328366, 4159642; 328515, 4159600; 329004, 4159509; 329304, 4159462; 
329223, 4159276; 329061, 4158942; 329089, 4158640; 329077, 4158264; 
329260, 4158070; 329631, 4157870; 329891, 4157711; 330272, 4157812; 
330655, 4157988; 330812, 4158171; 330677, 4158665; 330869, 4158772; 
330951, 4158957; 330667, 4159531; 330492, 4159989; 330469, 4160441; 
330231, 4160072; 329887, 4159970; 329706, 4160202; 329604, 4160582; 
329624, 4161184; 329708, 4161445; 329829, 4161705; 329701, 4162424; 
329860, 4162683; 330161, 4162636; 330229, 4162605; 330305, 4162536; 
330367, 4162498; 330436, 4162454; 330524, 4162442; 330650, 4162448; 
330788, 4162473; 330908, 4162473; 331083, 4162492; 331140, 4162504; 
331203, 4162517; 331272, 4162523; 331366, 4162555; 331511, 4162561; 
331699, 4162599; 331781, 4162643; 331938, 4162661; 332095, 4162680; 
332208, 4162712; 332277, 4162768; 332465, 4162862; 332534, 4162913; 
332635, 4162969; 332817, 4163076; 333112, 4163170; 333338, 4163252; 
333477, 4163271; 333769, 4163236; 333886, 4163345; 333999, 4163342; 
334489, 4163289; 334674, 4163170; 334896, 4163012; 335120, 4162930; 
335271, 4162925; 335385, 4162959; 335499, 4162993; 335873, 4162868; 
335986, 4162864; 336135, 4162784; 336130, 4162634; 336050, 4162486; 
335971, 4162375; 335815, 4162230; 335736, 4162119; 335467, 4161977; 
335312, 4161869; 335113, 4161536; 335031, 4161351; 334948, 4161090; 
334944, 4160977; 334971, 4160637; 335037, 4160334; 335176, 4159953; 
335396, 4159757; 335442, 4160020; 335634, 4160089; 335816, 4159895; 
336039, 4159775; 336234, 4159957; 336206, 4160259; 336107, 4160714; 
336230, 4161011; 336572, 4161076; 336860, 4160652; 337102, 4159929; 
337085, 4159402; 336881, 4158919; 336718, 4158548; 336744, 4158170; 
336769, 4157793; 336716, 4157305; 336743, 4156965; 336896, 4157036; 
337058, 4157370; 337147, 4157781; 337196, 4158156; 337552, 4158634; 
337948, 4159224; 338069, 4159446; 338416, 4159661; 338643, 4159692; 
339127, 4159450; 339575, 4159285; 339958, 4159462; 340015, 4160062; 
339770, 4160673; 339893, 4160970; 340382, 4160917; 340644, 4160833; 
340942, 4160711; 341461, 4160393; 341779, 4159705; 341840, 4159251; 
341780, 4158537; 341470, 4158284; 340960, 4157697; 340383, 4157377; 
339777, 4157321; 339130, 4157191; 338931, 4156858; 339034, 4156553; 
339306, 4156771; 339537, 4156914; 340337, 4157115; 340640, 4157143; 
341134, 4157240; 341505, 4157040; 341686, 4156770; 341995, 4156987; 
342165, 4157584; 342517, 4157949; 342774, 4157715; 342913, 4157334; 
343193, 4156647; 343330, 4156191; 343594, 4155015; 343725, 4154371; 
343966, 4153647; 343986, 4153082; 344111, 4152249; 343944, 4151765; 
343522, 4151553; 343113, 4151754; 342857, 4152026; 342402, 4151965; 
342317, 4151666; 342226, 4151180; 342065, 4150883; 341869, 4150664; 
341671, 4150369; 341818, 4150251; 341851, 4150099; 341956, 4149833; 
342177, 4149637; 342286, 4149521; 342403, 4149630; 342560, 4149813; 
342900, 4149803; 343043, 4149572; 342844, 4149239; 342499, 4149100; 
342680, 4148830; 342942, 4148747; 343179, 4149078; 343456, 4149484; 
343790, 4149285; 343627, 4148913; 343392, 4148657; 343149, 4148138; 
343258, 4148021; 343285, 4147681; 343274, 4147305; 343051, 4147425; 
342828, 4147545; 342597, 4147402; 342331, 4147373; 342146, 4147492; 
341968, 4147836; 341938, 4148063; 342128, 4148095; 342311, 4147938; 
342503, 4148008; 342621, 4148154; 342698, 4148227; 342665, 4148379; 
342076, 4148850; 341633, 4149165; 341530, 4149507; 341467, 4149886; 
340838, 4150320; 340536, 4150330; 340193, 4150228; 339889, 4150162; 
339587, 4150171; 339398, 4150177; 339018, 4150114; 338825, 4149970; 
338896, 4149817; 339009, 4149813; 339161, 4149846; 339187, 4149469; 
339290, 4149164; 339520, 4149270; 339943, 4149482; 339780, 4149111; 
339617, 4148739; 339785, 4148094; 339553, 4147913; 339226, 4148338; 
339052, 4148795; 338679, 4148958; 338273, 4149234; 338126, 4149389; 
337938, 4149395; 337855, 4149172; 337743, 4149213; 337593, 4149256; 
337372, 4149413; 337145, 4149421; 336956, 4149427; 336767, 4149395; 
336649, 4149248; 336606, 4149099; 336751, 4148906; 336861, 4148789; 
337006, 4148597; 336889, 4148487; 336627, 4148571; 336405, 4148729; 
336376, 4148993; 336231, 4149186; 335967, 4149194; 335890, 4149159; 
335775, 4149088; 335555, 4149321; 335298, 4149555; 335219, 4149444; 
335214, 4149294; 335317, 4148952; 335422, 4148685; 335343, 4148574; 
335155, 4148618; 334974, 4148849; 334791, 4149044; 334636, 4148935; 
334377, 4149094; 334726, 4149385; 334810, 4149646; 335042, 4149826; 
335274, 4149970; 335582, 4150148; 335517, 4150489; 335252, 4150460; 
334801, 4150550; 334430, 4150750; 334326, 4151054; 334556, 4151160; 
334815, 4151001; 335077, 4150917; 335122, 4151142; 335386, 4151134; 
335508, 4151393; 335481, 4151733; 335604, 4152030; 335946, 4152095; 
335919, 4152435; 335770, 4152515; 335428, 4152450; 335229, 4152118; 
334800, 4151717; 334460, 4151690; 334193, 4151623; 333778, 4151637; 
333556, 4151794; 333602, 4152057; 333834, 4152200; 334068, 4152456; 
333925, 4152686; 333513, 4152813; 333101, 4152939; 332646, 4152878; 
332309, 4152964; 332579, 4153144; 332958, 4153169; 332736, 4153327; 
332481, 4153636; 332603, 4153896; 332905, 4153886; 333240, 4153725; 
333470, 4153831; 333326, 4154061; 332997, 4154411; 332816, 4154642; 
332323, 4154583; 331984, 4154631; 331786, 4154336; 331739, 4154036; 
331544, 4153854; 331056, 4153945; 330870, 4154064; 330929, 4153535; 
330955, 4153158; 330490, 4152796; 330298, 4152689; 329759, 4152367; 
329452, 4152226; 328877, 4151981; 328610, 4151876; 328051, 4152120; 
327499, 4152590; 327096, 4152979; 326655, 4153370; 326660, 4153520; 
326891, 4153664; 327222, 4153389; 327255, 4153238; 327701, 4152997; 
328038, 4152911; 328485, 4152709; 328936, 4152619; 329510, 4152865; 
329784, 4153157; 330092, 4153336; 330406, 4153702; 330418, 4154079; 
330544, 4154489; 330398, 4154644; 330064, 4154843; 329848, 4155189; 
329897, 4155526; 330114, 4155218; 330372, 4155021; 330745, 4154859; 
330825, 4155007; 330829, 4155120; 330800, 4155422; 330658, 4155690; 
330699, 4155802; 330882, 4155608; 331136, 4155298; 331392, 4155027; 
331581, 4155021; 331776, 4155203; 331783, 4155428; 331529, 4155775; 
331387, 4156044; 331135, 4156428; 331029, 4156658; 330886, 4156926; 
330742, 4157156; 330441, 4157204; 330252, 4157172; 329987, 4157180; 
329609, 4157155; 329273, 4157278; 329088, 4157397; 328941, 4157553;

[[Page 45582]]

328787, 4157445; 328668, 4157260; 328468, 4156927; 328161, 4156787; 
328003, 4156566; 327921, 4156342; 327877, 4156155; 327758, 4155971; 
327559, 4155676; 327286, 4155383; 327201, 4155085; 327007, 4154940; 
326815, 4154833; 326772, 4154684; 326727, 4154460; 326612, 4154388; 
326271, 4154361; 326126, 4154554; 325531, 4154874; 325086, 4155114; 
324787, 4155237; 324378, 4155438; 324118, 4155560; 323895, 4155680; 
323635, 4155838; 323259, 4155888; 322877, 4155750; 322732, 4155943; 
322737, 4156093; 322896, 4156352; 323125, 4156420; 323018, 4156611; 
322684, 4156810; 322343, 4156783; 321782, 4156952; 321290, 4156930; 
320875, 4156943; 320497, 4156955; 320162, 4157117; 319826, 4157240; 
319673, 4157170; 319511, 4156836; 319276, 4156580; 319088, 4156586; 
318974, 4156589; 318478, 4156417; 318176, 4156426; 317723, 4156441; 
317349, 4156566; 317047, 4156575; 316698, 4156285; 316351, 4156070; 
316118, 4155889; 315930, 4155895; 315745, 4156014; 315795, 4156427; 
316149, 4156868; 316383, 4157086; 316545, 4157420; 317188, 4157437; 
317494, 4157578; 318140, 4157670; 318786, 4157801; 319280, 4157898; 
319619, 4157849; 320036, 4157911; 320491, 4157935; 321164, 4157725; 
322066, 4157583; 322813, 4157296; 323329, 4156903; 323662, 4156666; 
324374, 4156493; 324515, 4156187; 324658, 4155919; 325033, 4155832; 
325413, 4155895; 325671, 4155698; 325961, 4155313; 326257, 4155115; 
326599, 4155179; 326800, 4155549; 327035, 4155806; 327234, 4156138; 
327403, 4156698; 327602, 4157030; 327877, 4157361; 328071, 4157505; 
328272, 4157875; 328618, 4158090; 328548, 4158243; 328136, 4158369; 
328410, 4158662; 328343, 4158927; 328427, 4159188; 328470, 4159375; 
328242, 4159307; 328161, 4159159; 327707, 4159136; 327489, 4159407; 
327232, 4159641; 327165, 4159906; 327061, 4160211; 326614, 4160414; 
326550, 4160755; 326336, 4161176; 326306, 4161403; 326647, 4161429; 
326949, 4161420; 326992, 4161607; 327347, 4162047; 327465, 4162194; 
327587, 4162492; 327642, 4163017; 327766, 4163352; 328145, 4163378; 
328207, 4162961; 328235, 4162659; 328223, 4162283; 328027, 4162063; 
327795, 4161882; 327560, 4161626; returning to 327481, 4161516.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 3 (Convict Creek) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45583]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.003

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45584]]

    (9) Unit 4 (Wheeler Ridge); Fresno, Inyo and Mono Counties, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mount Abbot, Mount Morgan, 
Mount Hilgard, Mount Tom, Tungsten Hills, Mount Henry, Mount Darwin and 
Mount Thompson. Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 NAD83 
coordinates (E, N): 351676, 4150867; 352490, 4150441; 352738, 4150510; 
353065, 4150282; 353442, 4150500; 353779, 4150847; 354294, 4150817; 
354552, 4150341; 354641, 4149994; 354681, 4149558; 354453, 4149439; 
354245, 4149221; 354463, 4148953; 354522, 4148735; 354413, 4148398; 
354532, 4148140; 354493, 4147862; 354909, 4147912; 354711, 4147119; 
355098, 4146296; 355132, 4146201; 355158, 4146034; 355162, 4145681; 
355123, 4145288; 355123, 4144981; 355035, 4144787; 354974, 4144489; 
354895, 4144120; 354745, 4143840; 354537, 4143588; 354359, 4143519; 
354349, 4143132; 354329, 4142934; 354141, 4142686; 353967, 4141942; 
353729, 4141853; 353600, 4141804; 353610, 4141566; 353729, 4141328; 
353610, 4141219; 353600, 4141000; 354066, 4140584; 354463, 4140584; 
354780, 4140286; 355068, 4140019; 355256, 4139642; 355425, 4139136; 
355395, 4138799; 355489, 4138412; 355499, 4138254; 355618, 4138144; 
355737, 4137748; 356035, 4137639; 356560, 4137272; 356818, 4136984; 
356828, 4136617; 356996, 4136211; 357016, 4135715; 356649, 4135477; 
356243, 4135299; 356084, 4135239; 356144, 4135011; 356491, 4135090; 
356848, 4134892; 357046, 4134614; 357140, 4134515; 356932, 4134019; 
356714, 4133771; 356476, 4133652; 356357, 4133405; 356486, 4133216; 
356535, 4132839; 356307, 4132740; 355990, 4132611; 355782, 4132542; 
355583, 4132294; 355197, 4132125; 355038, 4131907; 354671, 4131709; 
354265, 4131739; 353898, 4131778; 353590, 4131719; 352817, 4131709; 
352688, 4131421; 352787, 4131223; 353283, 4131263; 354235, 4131382; 
354473, 4131253; 354721, 4131233; 355018, 4131144; 355157, 4131025; 
355068, 4130757; 354721, 4130450; 354656, 4130281; 354746, 4130241; 
354835, 4130132; 355103, 4130063; 355202, 4129944; 354934, 4129488; 
354755, 4129111; 354865, 4128556; 355103, 4128189; 355222, 4127842; 
355202, 4127385; 354993, 4127247; 354795, 4127544; 354458, 4127822; 
354240, 4128020; 354081, 4128010; 353922, 4127792; 353893, 4127584; 
354369, 4127524; 354398, 4127247; 354508, 4127038; 354438, 4126612; 
354508, 4126443; 354364, 4126196; 354106, 4126086; 353888, 4125670; 
353898, 4125491; 354215, 4125402; 354334, 4125204; 354721, 4124956; 
355960, 4125313; 355940, 4125095; 355603, 4124926; 355197, 4124619; 
354701, 4124411; 354126, 4123994; 353808, 4123806; 353828, 4123707; 
354156, 4123508; 354661, 4123627; 354453, 4123449; 354354, 4123122; 
353967, 4123042; 354512, 4122715; 355613, 4122546; 356089, 4122675; 
356416, 4122497; 356501, 4122179; 356431, 4121832; 356035, 4121713; 
355846, 4121644; 355638, 4121406; 355291, 4121436; 354835, 4121644; 
354567, 4121674; 354160, 4121793; 353932, 4121862; 353843, 4121753; 
353794, 4121406; 354527, 4120970; 355013, 4120742; 354954, 4120305; 
354270, 4119691; 354022, 4119770; 353675, 4119730; 353357, 4119562; 
353169, 4119413; 353159, 4119224; 352792, 4119304; 352653, 4119215; 
352217, 4119224; 351553, 4119334; 351280, 4119026; 351250, 4118679; 
351389, 4118570; 351617, 4118649; 351766, 4118471; 351914, 4118193; 
352024, 4117945; 351984, 4117132; 351776, 4117013; 351468, 4116845; 
350576, 4117102; 350080, 4117271; 349971, 4117152; 349406, 4117102; 
349644, 4117549; 349911, 4117747; 350645, 4117618; 350982, 4117638; 
351012, 4117945; 350725, 4118511; 350100, 4118600; 349545, 4118332; 
349178, 4118342; 348712, 4117787; 348464, 4117142; 348196, 4116884; 
348077, 4116914; 348057, 4117122; 347819, 4117142; 347750, 4117370; 
347908, 4117737; 348156, 4117836; 348325, 4118154; 348176, 4118332; 
347879, 4118352; 347175, 4118570; 346798, 4118848; 346937, 4119096; 
347651, 4119294; 347482, 4119572; 346847, 4119532; 346728, 4119572; 
346748, 4119750; 347165, 4120057; 347065, 4120295; 347065, 4120494; 
346946, 4120583; 346788, 4120345; 346599, 4119998; 346461, 4119958; 
346153, 4120256; 345801, 4120038; 345682, 4119661; 345414, 4119581; 
345206, 4119373; 345018, 4119334; 344601, 4119026; 344403, 4118996; 
344086, 4118610; 343848, 4118689; 343243, 4118877; 342846, 4118947; 
342767, 4119096; 342836, 4119383; 343223, 4119691; 343620, 4119740; 
344006, 4119899; 344343, 4120077; 344224, 4120256; 343887, 4120305; 
343630, 4120414; 343798, 4120761; 343580, 4120890; 343064, 4120811; 
342757, 4120910; 342678, 4120990; 342628, 4121366; 342886, 4121813; 
342816, 4121912; 342549, 4121892; 342410, 4121991; 342122, 4122160; 
341934, 4122209; 341825, 4121951; 342033, 4121753; 342043, 4121396; 
341736, 4121198; 341755, 4120791; 341438, 4120424; 341150, 4120514; 
341150, 4120752; 341061, 4120900; 340992, 4121366; 340541, 4121684; 
340273, 4121654; 339757, 4121644; 339648, 4121505; 339351, 4121475; 
339222, 4121555; 339222, 4121922; 339361, 4122298; 339787, 4122338; 
340065, 4122249; 340263, 4122110; 340630, 4122070; 340987, 4121872; 
341245, 4121743; 341384, 4121783; 341473, 4121942; 341324, 4122061; 
341403, 4122417; 341284, 4122646; 341403, 4122854; 341691, 4122725; 
341820, 4122774; 341859, 4122983; 341701, 4123241; 341542, 4123290; 
341215, 4123161; 340947, 4123151; 340620, 4123211; 340313, 4123340; 
340104, 4123538; 340164, 4123677; 340600, 4123657; 340937, 4123756; 
341235, 4123816; 341354, 4124262; 341651, 4124192; 341790, 4123994; 
341800, 4123707; 341969, 4123498; 342137, 4123389; 342355, 4123241; 
342445, 4123022; 342564, 4122963; 342564, 4123290; 342425, 4123945; 
342534, 4124252; 342831, 4124391; 342930, 4124500; 343208, 4124401; 
342950, 4123915; 343020, 4123558; 342891, 4123022; 342901, 4122784; 
343258, 4122616; 343387, 4122675; 343565, 4123191; 343555, 4123746; 
343644, 4124083; 343773, 4124163; 343952, 4124034; 343962, 4123667; 
344319, 4123746; 344269, 4123528; 343942, 4123300; 343922, 4122844; 
343664, 4122298; 343506, 4122070; 343674, 4121832; 343922, 4121634; 
344200, 4121614; 344497, 4121813; 344755, 4121882; 344775, 4122606; 
344943, 4123241; 345241, 4123687; 345409, 4123161; 345350, 4122497; 
345261, 4121664; 345340, 4121307; 345920, 4121237; 346416, 4121158; 
346694, 4121128; 346912, 4121327; 346961, 4121604; 346832, 4121872; 
346644, 4122120; 346446, 4122398; 346495, 4122546; 346743, 4122427; 
347150, 4122239; 347368, 4121912; 347507, 4121991; 347665, 4122229; 
347834, 4122189; 347675, 4121783; 347725, 4121585; 347388, 4121466; 
347239, 4121099; 347417, 4120851; 347437, 4120623; 347576, 4120385; 
347755, 4120206; 347953, 4120186; 348151, 4120305; 348102, 4120523; 
348558, 4121456; 348667, 4121416; 348657, 4120434; 348697, 4120256; 
348568, 4119978; 348300, 4119938; 348012, 4119938; 347923, 4119800; 
348231, 4119472; 348488, 4119324; 348637, 4119145; 348786, 4119016; 
349292, 4119423; 349242, 4119780; 349510, 4120038; 349530, 4120295; 
349877, 4120295; 350244, 4120236; 350095, 4120028; 349827, 4119978; 
349659, 4119810; 349659, 4119502; 349768, 4119234; 349817, 4118897; 
350283, 4118907; 350710, 4119036; 350992, 4119552; 351141,

[[Page 45585]]

4119810; 350883, 4120434; 350814, 4120950; 350943, 4121426; 351091, 
4121892; 350834, 4122328; 350596, 4122765; 350576, 4123003; 350655, 
4123181; 350987, 4123112; 351592, 4123250; 351919, 4123746; 352088, 
4124192; 352405, 4124678; 352286, 4125095; 351800, 4125372; 351463, 
4125650; 351057, 4125888; 350700, 4126017; 350491, 4125868; 350194, 
4126007; 350333, 4126255; 350660, 4126245; 350868, 4126414; 350819, 
4126701; 350472, 4126850; 349986, 4126820; 349827, 4126662; 349629, 
4126493; 349510, 4126652; 349371, 4127068; 349292, 4127227; 349113, 
4127435; 348320, 4126840; 348161, 4126681; 347884, 4126681; 347794, 
4126781; 347636, 4126751; 347536, 4126523; 347368, 4126295; 346912, 
4126037; 346604, 4125769; 346545, 4125521; 346356, 4125333; 346029, 
4125353; 345598, 4124986; 344963, 4124906; 344348, 4125115; 343962, 
4125412; 343515, 4125809; 342891, 4125958; 342673, 4126156; 342722, 
4126315; 343109, 4126562; 344110, 4126840; 344696, 4126949; 345538, 
4127038; 346381, 4126999; 347046, 4127078; 347611, 4127247; 348057, 
4127614; 348156, 4128090; 348275, 4128328; 348622, 4128447; 348969, 
4128774; 349069, 4129200; 348945, 4129577; 348726, 4129736; 348350, 
4129964; 348032, 4130003; 348350, 4130142; 348855, 4129914; 349153, 
4129904; 349153, 4130261; 348984, 4130380; 348518, 4131035; 348231, 
4131649; 348001, 4131812; 347610, 4131751; 346976, 4131497; 346488, 
4131121; 345930, 4130538; 345600, 4130086; 344777, 4129685; 344366, 
4129451; 343719, 4129106; 342627, 4129131; 341637, 4129314; 340922, 
4129396; 340478, 4129563; 340320, 4129769; 340454, 4130269; 340201, 
4130832; 340772, 4130769; 340978, 4130872; 341105, 4131166; 341113, 
4131411; 341390, 4131760; 341494, 4132244; 341565, 4132387; 341763, 
4132292; 341787, 4132165; 341985, 4132236; 342021, 4132578; 341902, 
4132847; 341617, 4133117; 341371, 4133276; 340918, 4133339; 340696, 
4133307; 340101, 4133347; 339586, 4133101; 339284, 4133061; 338737, 
4133014; 338253, 4132800; 337650, 4132816; 337448, 4132887; 337432, 
4133196; 337345, 4133442; 337392, 4133656; 337916, 4133775; 338027, 
4134132; 338249, 4134339; 338360, 4134315; 338479, 4134132; 338328, 
4133966; 338305, 4133736; 338400, 4133664; 338662, 4133736; 338939, 
4133783; 339114, 4134005; 339106, 4134474; 339368, 4134688; 339439, 
4134513; 339439, 4134243; 339606, 4134045; 340010, 4133910; 340177, 
4133887; 340335, 4134132; 340288, 4134378; 340097, 4134719; 339883, 
4134910; 339463, 4135053; 339375, 4135140; 339344, 4135529; 339399, 
4135640; 339621, 4135759; 340177, 4135592; 340581, 4135061; 340883, 
4134973; 340922, 4134831; 340851, 4134569; 340788, 4134442; 340859, 
4134362; 341176, 4134513; 341462, 4134656; 341668, 4134664; 341775, 
4135219; 341886, 4135624; 342053, 4135862; 342116, 4136068; 342410, 
4136235; 343163, 4136211; 343290, 4136433; 343275, 4136576; 343052, 
4136719; 342751, 4136687; 342529, 4136933; 342204, 4137234; 342283, 
4137440; 342648, 4137440; 342973, 4137210; 343084, 4137298; 343060, 
4137472; 342902, 4137631; 342616, 4137750; 342418, 4137948; 342398, 
4138361; 342009, 4138670; 341652, 4138472; 341605, 4138242; 341375, 
4138020; 341359, 4137837; 341145, 4137615; 340970, 4137298; 340891, 
4137147; 340669, 4137012; 340312, 4136980; 340208, 4137052; 340034, 
4137020; 339780, 4136695; 339709, 4136520; 339439, 4136385; 339320, 
4136251; 339233, 4136028; 339130, 4135830; 338519, 4135830; 338419, 
4135487; 338438, 4135279; 338210, 4134912; 337943, 4134872; 337397, 
4134803; 337199, 4134803; 336852, 4134912; 336495, 4135408; 336247, 
4135765; 336059, 4135903; 335632, 4135933; 335236, 4135775; 334898, 
4135537; 334571, 4135338; 334125, 4135338; 334095, 4135884; 334482, 
4136568; 334700, 4136845; 335216, 4137242; 335751, 4137718; 336019, 
4137956; 336039, 4138174; 335771, 4138313; 335513, 4138571; 335513, 
4138948; 335920, 4139245; 336168, 4139444; 336148, 4139672; 335930, 
4139959; 335617, 4140653; 335548, 4141228; 335310, 4141357; 334953, 
4141942; 334943, 4142200; 335379, 4142399; 335766, 4142389; 336113, 
4142200; 336480, 4141417; 336599, 4141109; 336986, 4140752; 337105, 
4140455; 337630, 4140197; 337948, 4139473; 338453, 4138601; 338543, 
4138214; 338473, 4137817; 338275, 4137550; 338334, 4137391; 338632, 
4137341; 338860, 4137490; 338900, 4137797; 339128, 4137847; 339266, 
4137470; 339257, 4137321; 339623, 4137202; 339772, 4137510; 339723, 
4138035; 340060, 4138333; 340357, 4138402; 340972, 4138690; 340947, 
4139037; 340957, 4139265; 341265, 4139265; 341384, 4139106; 341731, 
4139136; 341701, 4139354; 341463, 4139533; 341304, 4139701; 340917, 
4139850; 340818, 4140138; 340412, 4140534; 339807, 4141040; 339252, 
4141347; 338795, 4141615; 338627, 4141744; 338141, 4141734; 337943, 
4141595; 337665, 4141675; 337239, 4141942; 337040, 4142190; 336792, 
4142488; 336505, 4142875; 336321, 4143360; 337382, 4143261; 337521, 
4143668; 337680, 4143797; 337729, 4143559; 337710, 4143033; 337789, 
4142835; 338086, 4142666; 338205, 4142765; 338265, 4142944; 338047, 
4143142; 338186, 4143390; 338652, 4142894; 338622, 4142468; 339465, 
4142200; 339485, 4142537; 339108, 4142706; 339009, 4142984; 339157, 
4143370; 339465, 4143549; 339812, 4143767; 340109, 4143965; 340228, 
4144302; 340496, 4144372; 340585, 4143777; 340109, 4142706; 340208, 
4142289; 340288, 4142180; 340278, 4141714; 340456, 4141516; 340655, 
4141893; 340556, 4142280; 340922, 4142736; 341041, 4143112; 341022, 
4143906; 340942, 4144441; 340873, 4144937; 341190, 4145334; 341458, 
4145235; 341557, 4145512; 341666, 4145532; 341924, 4145264; 341825, 
4144620; 341914, 4144015; 341626, 4143479; 341825, 4143132; 341329, 
4142557; 341428, 4141893; 341200, 4141675; 340962, 4141199; 340903, 
4141060; 341041, 4141040; 341170, 4141060; 341141, 4140852; 341210, 
4140643; 341398, 4140663; 341537, 4140514; 341696, 4140842; 341874, 
4141179; 342038, 4141694; 342058, 4142349; 342127, 4143093; 342445, 
4143291; 342306, 4143856; 342564, 4144511; 342752, 4144481; 343218, 
4144025; 343287, 4143757; 343059, 4143499; 342772, 4142974; 342802, 
4142835; 342970, 4142815; 343010, 4142448; 342980, 4142200; 342990, 
4142042; 343238, 4141833; 343783, 4142101; 343922, 4142309; 344130, 
4142458; 344606, 4142428; 344557, 4142151; 344408, 4141764; 344180, 
4141347; 344041, 4140941; 344081, 4140554; 344497, 4140157; 344596, 
4139721; 344626, 4139394; 344715, 4139245; 344973, 4139374; 344943, 
4140058; 345171, 4140157; 345598, 4140386; 345727, 4140673; 345697, 
4141080; 345568, 4141417; 345647, 4142002; 345717, 4142607; 345955, 
4142785; 346133, 4143073; 346342, 4143698; 346550, 4144243; 346639, 
4144808; 346847, 4145235; 347001, 4145631; 347298, 4145929; 347447, 
4145879; 347586, 4145562; 347546, 4145135; 347556, 4144699; 347725, 
4144174; 347715, 4143846; 347586, 4143539; 347527, 4143172; 347874, 
4143598; 348211, 4143817; 348201, 4144084; 348449, 4144382; 348548, 
4144419; 348838, 4144480; 348970, 4144480; 349110, 4144489; 349189, 
4144489; 349295, 4144480; 349374, 4144498; 349461, 4144489; 349549, 
4144489; 349602, 4144471; 349698, 4144436; 349795, 4144445; 349979,

[[Page 45586]]

4144471; 350190, 4144550; 350321, 4144594; 350453, 4144673; 350452, 
4144878; 350432, 4145562; 350442, 4146236; 350551, 4146672; 350501, 
4147158; 350670, 4147436; 350878, 4147664; 350591, 4148061; 350283, 
4148229; 350353, 4148933; 350402, 4149459; 350348, 4150371; 350606, 
4150788; 350992, 4151016; returning to 351676, 4150867; excluding land 
bounded by 352666, 4139452; 352330, 4139197; 352261, 4139018; 352280, 
4139004; 352300, 4138988; 352332, 4138964; 352634, 4139235; 352732, 
4139417; 352718, 4139424; 352718, 4139425; 352694, 4139437; 352694, 
4139437; 352690, 4139439; 352687, 4139441; 352687, 4139441; returning 
to 352666, 4139452; excluding land bounded by 350254, 4136280; 350216, 
4136187; 350216, 4136187; 350178, 4136094; 350363, 4136018; 350402, 
4136111; 350402, 4136111; 350440, 4136204; 350478, 4136296; 350305, 
4136368; 350300, 4136361; 350295, 4136351; 350293, 4136348; 350287, 
4136341; 350283, 4136338; 350280, 4136335; 350276, 4136333; 350276, 
4136333; returning to 350254, 4136280; excluding land bounded by 
349527, 4136002; 349500, 4136201; 349450, 4136194; 349408, 4136200; 
349404, 4136201; 349391, 4136206; 349321, 4136238; 349317, 4136223; 
349126, 4136278; 349099, 4136181; 349045, 4135990; 349139, 4135963; 
349138, 4135962; 349235, 4135934; 349212, 4135851; 349308, 4135823; 
349406, 4135799; 349478, 4135988; 349478, 4135995; returning to 349527, 
4136002.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 4 (Wheeler Ridge) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45587]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.004

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45588]]

    (10) Unit 5 (Taboose Creek); Fresno and Inyo Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Coyote Flat, North 
Palisade, Split Mountain, Fish Springs, Mount Pinchot, and Aberdeen. 
Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
376756, 4109414; 376837, 4109413; 376838, 4109467; 376865, 4109466; 
377166, 4109426; 377588, 4109383; 377647, 4109351; 377738, 4109348; 
377949, 4109341; 378189, 4109273; 378307, 4109179; 378423, 4109025; 
378417, 4108844; 378288, 4108608; 378131, 4108402; 377943, 4108197; 
377878, 4108048; 377872, 4107868; 377869, 4107777; 378016, 4107622; 
378227, 4107615; 378408, 4107610; 378649, 4107602; 378949, 4107502; 
378970, 4107230; 378903, 4107022; 378751, 4106996; 378625, 4106820; 
378498, 4106643; 378218, 4106381; 378030, 4106176; 377814, 4106032; 
377809, 4105881; 377958, 4105817; 378200, 4105809; 378319, 4105745; 
378467, 4105650; 378524, 4105558; 378552, 4105466; 378547, 4105316; 
378483, 4105198; 378299, 4105113; 378206, 4105056; 378232, 4104904; 
378410, 4104808; 378404, 4104628; 378341, 4104539; 378248, 4104452; 
378126, 4104426; 378006, 4104459; 377826, 4104495; 377612, 4104412; 
377461, 4104416; 377400, 4104418; 377007, 4104401; 376822, 4104286; 
376728, 4104169; 376786, 4104106; 377240, 4104122; 377424, 4104207; 
377787, 4104225; 378148, 4104184; 378360, 4104177; 378631, 4104169; 
378992, 4104097; 379233, 4104089; 379320, 4103966; 379283, 4103756; 
378943, 4103526; 378788, 4103380; 378511, 4103239; 378355, 4103063; 
378316, 4102793; 378220, 4102615; 378126, 4102528; 377794, 4102538; 
377432, 4102550; 377312, 4102584; 377221, 4102587; 376947, 4102505; 
376851, 4102327; 376876, 4102176; 376992, 4102021; 377135, 4101776; 
377222, 4101653; 377248, 4101531; 377278, 4101500; 377365, 4101407; 
377570, 4101190; 377685, 4101005; 377766, 4100702; 377727, 4100432; 
377722, 4100251; 377713, 4099980; 377856, 4099735; 377972, 4099581; 
378422, 4099476; 378659, 4099318; 378563, 4099140; 378468, 4099023; 
378282, 4098848; 378125, 4098672; 377937, 4098467; 377751, 4098322; 
377623, 4098085; 377528, 4097938; 377462, 4097789; 377306, 4097614; 
377026, 4097381; 376873, 4097296; 376869, 4097175; 377043, 4096959; 
377279, 4096771; 377430, 4096766; 377522, 4096793; 377673, 4096819; 
377887, 4096872; 378039, 4096898; 378249, 4096861; 378578, 4096760; 
378698, 4096726; 378967, 4096627; 379089, 4096684; 379571, 4096608; 
379781, 4096571; 380053, 4096563; 380202, 4096498; 380257, 4096346; 
380221, 4096166; 380069, 4096111; 379856, 4096087; 379613, 4096035; 
379459, 4095949; 379305, 4095864; 379182, 4095777; 378998, 4095692; 
378874, 4095606; 378844, 4095607; 378751, 4095550; 378627, 4095433; 
378532, 4095316; 378350, 4095291; 378168, 4095267; 377956, 4095243; 
377831, 4095127; 377766, 4094978; 377722, 4095010; 377686, 4094830; 
377563, 4094744; 377407, 4094598; 377257, 4094633; 377106, 4094638; 
376865, 4094675; 376779, 4094799; 376630, 4094894; 376207, 4094877; 
375932, 4094795; 375628, 4094714; 375475, 4094659; 374990, 4094614; 
374778, 4094621; 374629, 4094656; 374445, 4094571; 374327, 4094665; 
374149, 4094791; 374001, 4094886; 373852, 4094951; 373761, 4094924; 
373728, 4094835; 373783, 4094682; 373748, 4094533; 373656, 4094475; 
373477, 4094541; 373359, 4094635; 373150, 4094732; 373059, 4094705; 
372935, 4094619; 372930, 4094468; 373017, 4094345; 372984, 4094256; 
372949, 4094106; 372732, 4093932; 372517, 4093818; 372366, 4093823; 
372188, 4093919; 372167, 4094221; 372117, 4094554; 372151, 4094673; 
372216, 4094822; 372313, 4095030; 372682, 4095229; 372838, 4095375; 
373206, 4095544; 373388, 4095568; 373626, 4095440; 373747, 4095436; 
373900, 4095522; 373933, 4095581; 373906, 4095703; 373849, 4095795; 
373820, 4095856; 373676, 4096071; 373527, 4096136; 373351, 4096292; 
373142, 4096389; 372962, 4096425; 372841, 4096429; 372626, 4096315; 
372446, 4096351; 372387, 4096383; 372332, 4096566; 372306, 4096717; 
372068, 4096815; 371887, 4096821; 371648, 4096919; 371440, 4097015; 
371287, 4096960; 371191, 4096812; 371041, 4096847; 371079, 4097087; 
371235, 4097233; 371298, 4097321; 371571, 4097343; 371661, 4097340; 
371963, 4097330; 372056, 4097388; 372059, 4097478; 372062, 4097598; 
372068, 4097779; 372131, 4097867; 372278, 4097742; 372485, 4097585; 
372753, 4097456; 372962, 4097389; 373146, 4097474; 373153, 4097684; 
373065, 4097777; 372952, 4098022; 372899, 4098265; 373024, 4098381; 
373145, 4098377; 373387, 4098400; 373391, 4098520; 373396, 4098671; 
373283, 4098915; 373167, 4099070; 373018, 4099135; 372559, 4098968; 
372437, 4098942; 372349, 4099005; 372291, 4099097; 372174, 4099221; 
372026, 4099316; 371875, 4099321; 371785, 4099324; 371695, 4099357; 
371515, 4099393; 371363, 4099368; 371240, 4099311; 371118, 4099285; 
370871, 4099112; 370782, 4099145; 370755, 4099266; 370452, 4099246; 
370267, 4099131; 370291, 4098919; 370103, 4098714; 369949, 4098629; 
369733, 4098485; 369636, 4098277; 369478, 4098071; 369421, 4098164; 
369397, 4098375; 369247, 4098410; 368883, 4098361; 368578, 4098251; 
368421, 4098075; 368236, 4097960; 368408, 4097683; 368555, 4097528; 
368516, 4097258; 368782, 4097069; 368900, 4096975; 368983, 4096732; 
369070, 4096608; 369216, 4096453; 369333, 4096329; 369664, 4096288; 
369960, 4096098; 370169, 4096031; 370227, 4095939; 370311, 4095726; 
370395, 4095512; 370478, 4095268; 370471, 4095058; 370317, 4094972; 
370228, 4095005; 370143, 4095189; 370086, 4095311; 370033, 4095554; 
369852, 4095559; 369759, 4095472; 369754, 4095321; 369931, 4095195; 
370052, 4095192; 369896, 4095046; 369683, 4094992; 369532, 4094997; 
369377, 4094851; 369310, 4094673; 369183, 4094466; 369211, 4094405; 
369359, 4094310; 369449, 4094277; 369688, 4094179; 370050, 4094167; 
370288, 4094039; 370281, 4093829; 370067, 4093745; 369857, 4093812; 
369530, 4093973; 369319, 4093980; 369109, 4094046; 368894, 4093933; 
368830, 4093814; 368917, 4093691; 369065, 4093596; 369099, 4093715; 
369248, 4093650; 369486, 4093522; 369694, 4093425; 369843, 4093361; 
369959, 4093206; 369715, 4093124; 369443, 4093132; 369292, 4093137; 
369229, 4093049; 369285, 4092926; 369737, 4092882; 370010, 4092903; 
370348, 4093074; 370470, 4093130; 370718, 4093303; 370874, 4093479; 
370969, 4093596; 371087, 4093502; 371205, 4093408; 371198, 4093197; 
371193, 4093047; 371183, 4092716; 370931, 4092392; 370682, 4092159; 
370465, 4092015; 370342, 4091929; 370126, 4091785; 369852, 4091734; 
369636, 4091590; 369421, 4091476; 369237, 4091391; 368843, 4091344; 
368665, 4091470; 368548, 4091594; 368360, 4091841; 368334, 4091992; 
368373, 4092262; 368409, 4092442; 368479, 4092741; 368637, 4092977; 
368673, 4093156; 368709, 4093336; 368531, 4093432; 368410, 4093436; 
368414, 4093556; 368453, 4093826; 368457, 4093977; 368495, 4094216; 
368565, 4094515; 368542, 4094727; 368574, 4094786; 368698, 4094903; 
368789, 4094900; 368883, 4095018; 368919, 4095197; 368924, 4095348; 
368868, 4095500; 368715, 4095445; 368595, 4095448; 368472, 4095392; 
368227, 4095279; 368044, 4095225; 368078, 4095344; 368205, 4095551; 
368331, 4095698;

[[Page 45589]]

368364, 4095787; 368307, 4095909; 368194, 4096154; 368168, 4096305; 
368052, 4096430; 367957, 4096312; 367742, 4096198; 367646, 4096021; 
367429, 4095847; 367213, 4095703; 367067, 4095888; 367194, 4096065; 
367350, 4096211; 367413, 4096299; 367418, 4096450; 367606, 4096685; 
367759, 4096740; 367882, 4096796; 368006, 4096913; 368070, 4097001; 
368013, 4097124; 367892, 4097127; 367710, 4097103; 367467, 4097050; 
367410, 4097173; 367536, 4097319; 367660, 4097436; 367724, 4097524; 
367728, 4097675; 367734, 4097855; 367741, 4098066; 367655, 4098219; 
367475, 4098255; 367205, 4098324; 366941, 4098573; 366794, 4098698; 
366678, 4098853; 366739, 4098881; 366947, 4098784; 367216, 4098685; 
367456, 4098617; 367575, 4098553; 367756, 4098548; 367879, 4098604; 
368093, 4098688; 368185, 4098745; 368340, 4098860; 368404, 4098979; 
368408, 4099099; 368413, 4099250; 368295, 4099344; 368022, 4099322; 
367900, 4099296; 367718, 4099272; 367507, 4099278; 367328, 4099344; 
367241, 4099468; 367424, 4099522; 367668, 4099605; 367791, 4099661; 
367824, 4099750; 367735, 4099813; 367676, 4099845; 367556, 4099879; 
367347, 4099946; 367135, 4099923; 367103, 4099894; 366918, 4099779; 
366800, 4099843; 366619, 4099879; 366379, 4099916; 366200, 4099982; 
366106, 4099895; 365983, 4099809; 366017, 4099928; 366051, 4100077; 
366055, 4100198; 365817, 4100296; 365759, 4100388; 365764, 4100538; 
365707, 4100661; 365468, 4100728; 365289, 4100825; 365262, 4100916; 
365238, 4101097; 365242, 4101248; 365305, 4101306; 365338, 4101395; 
365461, 4101482; 365583, 4101508; 365707, 4101595; 365977, 4101556; 
366008, 4101555; 366064, 4101433; 366149, 4101249; 366112, 4101040; 
366107, 4100889; 366194, 4100766; 366281, 4100643; 366337, 4100520; 
366394, 4100398; 366634, 4100330; 366906, 4100352; 367057, 4100347; 
367270, 4100370; 367542, 4100392; 367636, 4100479; 367759, 4100566; 
367793, 4100685; 367768, 4100837; 367771, 4100927; 367534, 4101085; 
367235, 4101185; 367092, 4101430; 367124, 4101490; 367185, 4101518; 
367366, 4101512; 367606, 4101444; 367787, 4101438; 367910, 4101525; 
368004, 4101612; 367978, 4101764; 367950, 4101825; 367743, 4101952; 
367539, 4102199; 367574, 4102349; 367786, 4102372; 367993, 4102215; 
368261, 4102086; 368496, 4101868; 368612, 4101714; 368728, 4101559; 
368932, 4101342; 369076, 4101127; 369126, 4100794; 369116, 4100463; 
368958, 4100257; 368834, 4100140; 368738, 4099993; 368643, 4099845; 
368729, 4099692; 368852, 4099748; 369094, 4099771; 369240, 4099615; 
369508, 4099486; 369412, 4099309; 369169, 4099286; 368986, 4099232; 
368953, 4099142; 369102, 4099077; 369344, 4099070; 369771, 4099207; 
369894, 4099263; 369926, 4099323; 370111, 4099437; 370208, 4099645; 
370427, 4099879; 370519, 4099906; 370610, 4099934; 370672, 4099992; 
370707, 4100141; 370743, 4100321; 370868, 4100437; 371083, 4100551; 
371115, 4100610; 371028, 4100734; 370728, 4100803; 370514, 4100720; 
370122, 4100732; 370126, 4100883; 370163, 4101092; 370288, 4101209; 
370533, 4101322; 370744, 4101285; 370922, 4101189; 371195, 4101240; 
371378, 4101265; 371409, 4101294; 371412, 4101414; 371358, 4101597; 
371421, 4101685; 371541, 4101651; 371686, 4101466; 371830, 4101251; 
371977, 4101125; 372163, 4101270; 372198, 4101420; 372147, 4101692; 
372058, 4101755; 371972, 4101909; 372009, 4102119; 372133, 4102235; 
372138, 4102386; 372050, 4102449; 371932, 4102543; 371809, 4102486; 
371747, 4102428; 371629, 4102522; 371477, 4102497; 371327, 4102532; 
371331, 4102652; 371182, 4102717; 371001, 4102723; 370879, 4102696; 
370699, 4102732; 370400, 4102832; 370157, 4102810; 370092, 4102661; 
370179, 4102538; 370358, 4102472; 370384, 4102351; 370381, 4102230; 
370284, 4102052; 370043, 4102060; 369801, 4102068; 369442, 4102169; 
369050, 4102212; 368692, 4102344; 368607, 4102527; 368855, 4102730; 
369133, 4102902; 369262, 4103169; 369148, 4103384; 369067, 4103687; 
369165, 4103925; 369441, 4104037; 369619, 4103941; 369732, 4103697; 
369879, 4103571; 370210, 4103531; 370366, 4103677; 370400, 4103796; 
370434, 4103915; 370500, 4104094; 370416, 4104308; 370421, 4104458; 
370544, 4104545; 370549, 4104695; 370497, 4104968; 370506, 4105239; 
370688, 4105263; 370743, 4105080; 370857, 4104866; 370970, 4104621; 
370933, 4104412; 370928, 4104261; 370924, 4104111; 370982, 4104049; 
371073, 4104046; 371227, 4104161; 371263, 4104341; 371360, 4104519; 
371490, 4104816; 371501, 4105177; 371446, 4105329; 371364, 4105603; 
371340, 4105815; 371315, 4105966; 371229, 4106119; 371082, 4106245; 
371001, 4106548; 370978, 4106790; 370984, 4106971; 370989, 4107121; 
371055, 4107300; 371210, 4107415; 371395, 4107530; 371668, 4107582; 
371718, 4107249; 371740, 4106977; 371758, 4106615; 371873, 4106430; 
372109, 4106242; 372322, 4106266; 372390, 4106505; 372276, 4106749; 
372192, 4106963; 371960, 4107271; 371880, 4107605; 371891, 4107936; 
371868, 4108178; 371847, 4108450; 371856, 4108751; 371860, 4108871; 
371957, 4109079; 372145, 4109284; 372207, 4109342; 372301, 4109429; 
372518, 4109603; 372702, 4109688; 373006, 4109738; 373158, 4109764; 
373430, 4109785; 373856, 4109862; 374282, 4109969; 374583, 4109930; 
375005, 4109886; 375212, 4109759; 375603, 4109686; 375630, 4109681; 
375627, 4109522; 376032, 4109425; 376434, 4109419; 376474, 4109418; 
376515, 4109417; 376595, 4109416; 376635, 4109416; 376676, 4109415; 
376716, 4109414; returning to 376756, 4109414.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 5 (Taboose Creek) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45590]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.005

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45591]]

    (11) Unit 6 (Sawmill Canyon); Fresno and Inyo Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mount Pinchot, Aberdeen, 
Mount Clarence King and Kearsarge Peak. Land bounded by the following 
UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 380512, 4083384; 380416, 4083207; 
380321, 4083059; 380256, 4082940; 380133, 4082854; 379980, 4082799; 
379859, 4082802; 379709, 4082837; 379527, 4082813; 379374, 4082757; 
379265, 4082696; 379160, 4082674; 379038, 4082647; 378867, 4082568; 
378795, 4082595; 378516, 4082363; 378327, 4082128; 378166, 4081831; 
378065, 4081503; 377933, 4081146; 377834, 4080878; 377738, 4080700; 
377610, 4080493; 377442, 4080457; 377339, 4080502; 377219, 4080536; 
376984, 4080754; 376746, 4080882; 376628, 4080946; 376239, 4081079; 
376030, 4081176; 375641, 4081278; 375519, 4081252; 375032, 4081147; 
374788, 4081064; 374635, 4081009; 374295, 4080749; 373983, 4080457; 
374028, 4080221; 373860, 4080371; 373684, 4080557; 373540, 4080772; 
373455, 4080956; 373288, 4081413; 373050, 4081541; 372934, 4081695; 
372606, 4081826; 372340, 4082015; 372244, 4082045; 372121, 4082062; 
371940, 4082079; 371706, 4082035; 371156, 4081842; 370857, 4081941; 
370503, 4082224; 370199, 4082263; 369698, 4082060; 368468, 4081749; 
367602, 4081695; 367089, 4081384; 366778, 4081235; 366399, 4081303; 
366264, 4081871; 366778, 4082344; 367143, 4082763; 367427, 4083358; 
367548, 4083750; 367616, 4084237; 367778, 4084629; 367995, 4084724; 
368279, 4084669; 368495, 4084764; 368738, 4084940; 368968, 4085237; 
369198, 4085400; 369536, 4085481; 369769, 4085771; 369933, 4086158; 
370188, 4086602; 370528, 4086832; 370742, 4086916; 370782, 4087216; 
370816, 4087335; 370850, 4087454; 370978, 4087691; 371016, 4087931; 
371050, 4088051; 371089, 4088321; 371394, 4088401; 371664, 4088363; 
371848, 4088447; 371973, 4088564; 372034, 4088592; 372340, 4088703; 
372640, 4088633; 372970, 4088562; 373118, 4088467; 373447, 4088367; 
373629, 4088361; 373659, 4088360; 373750, 4088387; 373842, 4088414; 
373968, 4088591; 373971, 4088682; 374007, 4088861; 374100, 4088949; 
374253, 4089004; 374464, 4088967; 374645, 4088962; 374768, 4089048; 
374801, 4089137; 374776, 4089289; 374686, 4089322; 374443, 4089269; 
374323, 4089303; 374265, 4089365; 374147, 4089459; 374089, 4089551; 
374033, 4089674; 374071, 4089913; 374164, 4090001; 374256, 4090058; 
374379, 4090115; 374439, 4090113; 374535, 4090260; 374479, 4090413; 
374486, 4090623; 374585, 4090891; 374648, 4090980; 374742, 4091067; 
374806, 4091186; 374869, 4091274; 374873, 4091394; 374944, 4091724; 
375104, 4092020; 375353, 4092253; 375506, 4092308; 375784, 4092480; 
376026, 4092503; 376146, 4092469; 376298, 4092494; 376391, 4092582; 
376454, 4092670; 376548, 4092757; 376700, 4092783; 376851, 4092778; 
377125, 4092860; 377249, 4092946; 377375, 4093123; 377410, 4093272; 
377564, 4093358; 377719, 4093474; 378147, 4093641; 378302, 4093756; 
378486, 4093841; 378704, 4094045; 378951, 4094218; 379315, 4094267; 
379468, 4094322; 379649, 4094316; 379894, 4094399; 380136, 4094421; 
380289, 4094477; 380473, 4094561; 380690, 4094735; 380873, 4094790; 
381053, 4094754; 381294, 4094716; 381411, 4094592; 381403, 4094351; 
381394, 4094081; 381389, 4093900; 381322, 4093691; 381288, 4093572; 
381041, 4093429; 380797, 4093346; 380552, 4093234; 380575, 4093022; 
380630, 4092839; 380441, 4092604; 380495, 4092392; 380611, 4092238; 
380818, 4092111; 380998, 4092045; 381116, 4091981; 381142, 4091829; 
381107, 4091680; 380983, 4091593; 380798, 4091479; 380494, 4091398; 
380431, 4091340; 380366, 4091191; 380361, 4091041; 380386, 4090859; 
380532, 4090704; 380796, 4090454; 381061, 4090235; 381269, 4090108; 
381504, 4089920; 381771, 4089761; 381913, 4089455; 381966, 4089213; 
381956, 4088912; 381975, 4088550; 382088, 4088305; 382178, 4088272; 
382237, 4088240; 382297, 4088238; 382537, 4088170; 382775, 4088042; 
383039, 4087793; 383123, 4087580; 383323, 4087242; 383434, 4086907; 
383638, 4086690; 383908, 4086621; 384089, 4086615; 384330, 4086578; 
384450, 4086544; 384718, 4086445; 384987, 4086346; 385137, 4086311; 
385317, 4086245; 385466, 4086180; 385554, 4086117; 385552, 4086057; 
385399, 4085971; 385278, 4085975; 385186, 4085948; 385065, 4085922; 
384944, 4085926; 384792, 4085900; 384672, 4085934; 384490, 4085910; 
384369, 4085914; 384277, 4085856; 384185, 4085829; 384094, 4085802; 
383696, 4085634; 383574, 4085607; 383452, 4085581; 383330, 4085525; 
383178, 4085499; 383086, 4085472; 382963, 4085386; 382749, 4085332; 
382537, 4085309; 382385, 4085283; 382231, 4085198; 381960, 4085206; 
381842, 4085300; 381721, 4085304; 381628, 4085217; 381595, 4085127; 
381529, 4084949; 381466, 4084890; 381429, 4084681; 381331, 4084443; 
381176, 4084297; 381080, 4084150; 381016, 4084031; 380956, 4084033; 
380773, 4083979; 380619, 4083893; 380582, 4083683; 380513, 4083414; 
returning to 380512, 4083384.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 6 (Sawmill Canyon) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45592]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.006

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45593]]

    (12) Unit 7 (Mount Baxter); Fresno and Inyo Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Aberdeen, Mount Clarence 
King and Kearsarge Peak. Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 
NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 374028, 4080221; 373983, 4080457; 374295, 
4080749; 374635, 4081009; 374788, 4081064; 375032, 4081147; 375519, 
4081252; 375641, 4081278; 376030, 4081176; 376239, 4081079; 376628, 
4080946; 376746, 4080882; 376984, 4080754; 377219, 4080536; 377339, 
4080502; 377442, 4080457; 377610, 4080493; 377738, 4080700; 377834, 
4080878; 377933, 4081146; 378065, 4081503; 378166, 4081831; 378327, 
4082128; 378516, 4082363; 378795, 4082595; 378867, 4082568; 379038, 
4082647; 379160, 4082674; 379265, 4082696; 379374, 4082757; 379527, 
4082813; 379709, 4082837; 379859, 4082802; 379980, 4082799; 380133, 
4082854; 380256, 4082940; 380321, 4083059; 380416, 4083207; 380512, 
4083384; 380727, 4083498; 380880, 4083553; 381125, 4083666; 381307, 
4083660; 381760, 4083676; 382157, 4083814; 382374, 4083988; 382561, 
4084163; 382902, 4084423; 382969, 4084632; 383097, 4084869; 383261, 
4085256; 383416, 4085401; 383537, 4085398; 383692, 4085513; 383967, 
4085625; 384119, 4085650; 384182, 4085709; 384213, 4085738; 384244, 
4085767; 384367, 4085853; 384670, 4085874; 384852, 4085898; 385092, 
4085830; 385213, 4085827; 385396, 4085881; 385515, 4085817; 385631, 
4085663; 385715, 4085479; 385770, 4085297; 385765, 4085147; 385729, 
4084967; 385662, 4084758; 385564, 4084520; 385498, 4084342; 385402, 
4084164; 385277, 4084047; 385184, 4083960; 385117, 4083751; 385113, 
4083631; 385078, 4083481; 385073, 4083331; 385069, 4083210; 385124, 
4083028; 385088, 4082848; 385084, 4082728; 385114, 4082697; 385234, 
4082693; 385384, 4082658; 385383, 4082598; 385318, 4082480; 385255, 
4082391; 385162, 4082304; 385128, 4082184; 385124, 4082064; 385023, 
4081736; 384960, 4081647; 384898, 4081619; 384777, 4081593; 384649, 
4081386; 384581, 4081147; 384392, 4080912; 384386, 4080702; 384320, 
4080523; 384199, 4080527; 384108, 4080530; 383867, 4080537; 383745, 
4080511; 383682, 4080423; 383584, 4080185; 383519, 4080036; 383422, 
4079858; 383385, 4079619; 383318, 4079410; 383126, 4079084; 382787, 
4078884; 382573, 4078801; 382268, 4078720; 382054, 4078636; 381899, 
4078491; 381864, 4078341; 381857, 4078130; 382123, 4077941; 382299, 
4077785; 382598, 4077685; 382685, 4077562; 382772, 4077439; 382798, 
4077317; 382762, 4077138; 382693, 4076869; 382628, 4076720; 382592, 
4076541; 382467, 4076394; 382431, 4076214; 382422, 4075944; 382420, 
4075853; 382415, 4075703; 382411, 4075582; 382376, 4075433; 382219, 
4075257; 382127, 4075200; 382006, 4075204; 381917, 4075237; 381828, 
4075300; 381588, 4075367; 381498, 4075370; 381257, 4075408; 380982, 
4075296; 380831, 4075301; 380799, 4075242; 380856, 4075149; 381004, 
4075054; 381064, 4075022; 381215, 4075018; 381455, 4074980; 381605, 
4074945; 381725, 4074911; 381844, 4074847; 382054, 4074810; 382239, 
4074925; 382392, 4074981; 382544, 4075006; 382632, 4074913; 382593, 
4074643; 382436, 4074467; 382281, 4074351; 382129, 4074296; 382216, 
4074203; 382393, 4074047; 382659, 4073858; 382774, 4073673; 382858, 
4073460; 382822, 4073280; 382787, 4073131; 382753, 4073011; 382778, 
4072860; 382835, 4072737; 382895, 4072736; 383014, 4072672; 383010, 
4072551; 382977, 4072462; 382885, 4072404; 382761, 4072318; 382640, 
4072322; 382489, 4072327; 382488, 4072266; 382575, 4072173; 382694, 
4072109; 382968, 4072161; 382965, 4072071; 382933, 4072011; 382902, 
4071982; 382839, 4071924; 382810, 4071955; 382750, 4071957; 382686, 
4071869; 382565, 4071842; 382502, 4071754; 382409, 4071696; 382314, 
4071549; 382310, 4071428; 382273, 4071219; 382268, 4071068; 382264, 
4070918; 382141, 4070861; 381900, 4070869; 381691, 4070966; 381361, 
4071037; 381238, 4070980; 380965, 4070929; 380812, 4070873; 380627, 
4070759; 380476, 4070763; 380386, 4070796; 380329, 4070888; 380183, 
4071044; 380004, 4071140; 379946, 4071202; 379823, 4071145; 379698, 
4070999; 379600, 4070761; 379445, 4070645; 379050, 4070567; 378715, 
4070487; 378534, 4070493; 378263, 4070532; 378142, 4070536; 377869, 
4070514; 377753, 4070668; 377635, 4070762; 377516, 4070796; 377272, 
4070744; 377151, 4070717; 376969, 4070723; 376700, 4070792; 376551, 
4070857; 376068, 4070872; 375768, 4070942; 375405, 4070953; 375071, 
4070903; 374892, 4070969; 374774, 4071063; 374477, 4071223; 374114, 
4071205; 373869, 4071092; 373301, 4071291; 373065, 4071479; 372945, 
4071628; 373168, 4071877; 373380, 4072302; 373305, 4073027; 373293, 
4073252; 373093, 4073577; 372943, 4073790; 372693, 4073852; 372480, 
4073752; 372330, 4073514; 372255, 4073289; 371993, 4073327; 371693, 
4073689; 371543, 4074102; 371843, 4074765; 372030, 4075127; 372243, 
4075427; 372205, 4075727; 371980, 4075927; 371824, 4076302; 371812, 
4077578; 371661, 4078453; 371486, 4078640; 371024, 4078703; 370743, 
4078628; 370443, 4078490; 370226, 4078314; 370197, 4078295; 370023, 
4078503; 370037, 4078955; 369931, 4079410; 369948, 4079952; 370023, 
4080401; 370216, 4080787; 370463, 4080930; 370861, 4081098; 371163, 
4081088; 371407, 4081171; 371836, 4081368; 372051, 4081482; 372322, 
4081443; 372676, 4081161; 372814, 4080765; 372865, 4080462; 373090, 
4079913; 373259, 4079546; 373580, 4079174; 373739, 4079410; 373866, 
4079617; 374025, 4079883; 374061, 4080063; 374035, 4080184; returning 
to 374028, 4080221.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 7 (Mount Baxter) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
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    (13) Unit 8 (Mount Williamson); Inyo and Tulare Counties, 
California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangle Kearsarge Peak, Mount 
Brewer, Mount Williamson, Manzanar, Mount Whitney and Mount Langley. 
Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 
384282, 4069770; 384492, 4069703; 384612, 4069699; 384763, 4069694; 
384974, 4069658; 385152, 4069562; 385148, 4069441; 384994, 4069356; 
384934, 4069358; 384840, 4069270; 384627, 4069217; 384623, 4069096; 
384617, 4068886; 384580, 4068676; 384570, 4068345; 384463, 4067836; 
384390, 4067447; 384376, 4066995; 384334, 4066635; 384385, 4066332; 
384439, 4066120; 384495, 4065998; 384611, 4065813; 384637, 4065692; 
384753, 4065538; 384810, 4065445; 384959, 4065380; 385077, 4065286; 
384980, 4065079; 384910, 4064780; 384839, 4064450; 384862, 4064209; 
384918, 4064056; 385100, 4064081; 385438, 4064281; 385590, 4064306; 
385804, 4064360; 386017, 4064413; 386229, 4064437; 386532, 4064457; 
386649, 4064333; 386769, 4064299; 386886, 4064205; 387004, 4064111; 
387091, 4063988; 387176, 4063804; 387171, 4063654; 387194, 4063412; 
387310, 4063258; 387397, 4063135; 387484, 4063042; 387660, 4062855; 
387746, 4062702; 387828, 4062458; 387887, 4062396; 387883, 4062276; 
387817, 4062097; 387843, 4061976; 387870, 4061855; 387898, 4061794; 
387989, 4061791; 388140, 4061786; 388260, 4061782; 388319, 4061720; 
388316, 4061630; 388344, 4061569; 388460, 4061414; 388579, 4061350; 
388606, 4061229; 388631, 4061078; 388595, 4060898; 388555, 4060598; 
388580, 4060417; 388546, 4060297; 388542, 4060177; 388630, 4060084; 
388839, 4060017; 388928, 4059954; 388773, 4059838; 388618, 4059722; 
388402, 4059579; 388397, 4059398; 388391, 4059217; 388447, 4059065; 
388594, 4058940; 388774, 4058904; 388864, 4058871; 389100, 4058713; 
389155, 4058531; 389363, 4058404; 389540, 4058278; 389596, 4058155; 
389626, 4058124; 389745, 4058090; 389835, 4058057; 389834, 4058027; 
389832, 4057967; 389829, 4057877; 389793, 4057697; 389668, 4057551; 
389602, 4057372; 389476, 4057225; 389472, 4057075; 389497, 4056923; 
389524, 4056832; 389490, 4056683; 389393, 4056505; 389239, 4056419; 
389119, 4056423; 388970, 4056488; 388908, 4056460; 388935, 4056339; 
388928, 4056128; 388917, 4055767; 388912, 4055616; 388873, 4055346; 
388742, 4055019; 388615, 4054812; 388579, 4054633; 388511, 4054394; 
388566, 4054241; 388716, 4054177; 388927, 4054170; 388956, 4054139; 
389047, 4054136; 389195, 4054041; 389404, 4053974; 389523, 4053910; 
389613, 4053877; 389637, 4053696; 389606, 4053667; 389515, 4053669; 
389362, 4053584; 389208, 4053498; 388962, 4053355; 388780, 4053331; 
388597, 4053277; 388261, 4053167; 388014, 4053024; 387829, 4052879; 
387458, 4052620; 387303, 4052504; 387118, 4052389; 386845, 4052338; 
386600, 4052255; 386356, 4052172; 386230, 4052026; 385918, 4051704; 
385734, 4051619; 385550, 4051535; 385187, 4051516; 385006, 4051522; 
384674, 4051532; 384346, 4051663; 384167, 4051759; 383870, 4051919; 
383573, 4052079; 383456, 4052203; 383402, 4052416; 383346, 4052538; 
383319, 4052629; 383116, 4052907; 382907, 4053004; 382548, 4053105; 
382245, 4053085; 382121, 4052998; 381970, 4052973; 381696, 4052921; 
381422, 4052870; 381087, 4052760; 380627, 4052563; 380323, 4052513; 
380085, 4052610; 380029, 4052763; 379974, 4052945; 380013, 4053215; 
380141, 4053422; 380360, 4053686; 380609, 4053919; 380948, 4054120; 
381137, 4054355; 381414, 4054527; 381478, 4054645; 381571, 4054703; 
381610, 4054972; 381611, 4055033; 381616, 4055183; 381592, 4055365; 
381537, 4055547; 381513, 4055759; 381430, 4055972; 381345, 4056156; 
381109, 4056344; 380873, 4056532; 380604, 4056631; 380274, 4056701; 
380091, 4056647; 379968, 4056560; 379993, 4056409; 380049, 4056257; 
380102, 4056044; 380036, 4055865; 379851, 4055751; 379547, 4055670; 
379304, 4055647; 378973, 4055688; 378731, 4055665; 378518, 4055642; 
378304, 4055558; 378158, 4055714; 378223, 4055862; 378114, 4056227; 
377969, 4056443; 377946, 4056654; 378101, 4056770; 378405, 4056851; 
378590, 4056965; 378715, 4057082; 378841, 4057259; 378934, 4057316; 
379088, 4057402; 379180, 4057459; 379273, 4057546; 379521, 4057719; 
379646, 4057866; 379741, 4058014; 379896, 4058129; 380108, 4058153; 
380260, 4058178; 380561, 4058138; 380806, 4058251; 380993, 4058426; 
380972, 4058698; 380976, 4058848; 380712, 4059098; 380536, 4059254; 
380206, 4059324; 379996, 4059391; 379902, 4059274; 379722, 4059310; 
379631, 4059312; 379453, 4059408; 379369, 4059622; 379312, 4059744; 
379080, 4060053; 378929, 4060027; 378803, 4059881; 378768, 4059731; 
378794, 4059580; 378759, 4059430; 378755, 4059310; 378691, 4059191; 
378537, 4059106; 378325, 4059082; 378175, 4059117; 378049, 4058971; 
377834, 4058857; 377650, 4058772; 377526, 4058656; 377492, 4058536; 
377306, 4058391; 377186, 4058425; 377161, 4058607; 377077, 4058790; 
377052, 4058972; 376908, 4059187; 376820, 4059280; 376702, 4059374; 
376581, 4059378; 376525, 4059501; 376711, 4059645; 376924, 4059699; 
377053, 4059966; 377151, 4060204; 377277, 4060350; 377435, 4060587; 
377600, 4061003; 377637, 4061243; 377703, 4061422; 377738, 4061571; 
377771, 4061660; 377898, 4061837; 377992, 4061955; 378115, 4062011; 
378327, 4062035; 378478, 4062030; 378900, 4061986; 379110, 4061950; 
379325, 4062063; 379420, 4062181; 379485, 4062329; 379672, 4062534; 
379860, 4062739; 380015, 4062855; 380292, 4063027; 380417, 4063144; 
380483, 4063322; 380579, 4063500; 380562, 4063922; 380460, 4064498; 
380261, 4064896; 380149, 4065201; 379947, 4065478; 379629, 4065940; 
379428, 4066278; 379342, 4066431; 379258, 4066644; 379299, 4066975; 
379427, 4067211; 379584, 4067387; 379680, 4067565; 379718, 4067805; 
379784, 4067983; 379940, 4068159; 380098, 4068365; 380252, 4068451; 
380591, 4068651; 380653, 4068709; 380777, 4068826; 380840, 4068884; 
380901, 4068912; 380964, 4069001; 381026, 4069059; 381120, 4069146; 
381180, 4069144; 381242, 4069173; 381362, 4069169; 381453, 4069166; 
381543, 4069163; 381785, 4069156; 381935, 4069121; 382146, 4069114; 
382297, 4069109; 382358, 4069107; 382478, 4069104; 382539, 4069102; 
382572, 4069191; 382725, 4069246; 382815, 4069244; 382906, 4069241; 
383119, 4069294; 383210, 4069322; 383243, 4069411; 383310, 4069590; 
383403, 4069677; 383616, 4069731; 383828, 4069754; 383919, 4069751; 
384010, 4069748; returning to 384282, 4069770.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 8 (Mount Williamson) for Sierra Nevada 
bighorn sheep follows:
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    (14) Unit 9 (Big Arroyo); Tulare County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Triple Divide Peak, Mount 
Kaweah, and Chagoopa Falls. Land bounded by the following UTM zone 11 
NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 367856, 4049078; 368038, 4049073; 368311, 
4049124; 368644, 4049144; 368824, 4049108; 369090, 4048919; 369207, 
4048795; 369203, 4048644; 369201, 4048584; 369169, 4048525; 369072, 
4048347; 368645, 4048210; 368224, 4048284; 367925, 4048383; 367593, 
4048394; 367503, 4048397; 367260, 4048374; 366955, 4048293; 366591, 
4048244; 366345, 4048102; 365916, 4047904; 365549, 4047765; 365361, 
4047560; 364989, 4047270; 364864, 4047124; 364797, 4046915; 364973, 
4046759; 365395, 4046715; 365735, 4046946; 366102, 4047085; 366467, 
4047164; 366891, 4047211; 367465, 4047193; 367920, 4047269; 368407, 
4047374; 368560, 4047429; 369013, 4047415; 368911, 4047057; 368632, 
4046825; 368322, 4046593; 367802, 4046399; 367406, 4046291; 366767, 
4046130; 366404, 4046141; 366068, 4046031; 365913, 4045886; 365868, 
4045435; 366038, 4045068; 366392, 4044786; 366506, 4044572; 367012, 
4044315; 366916, 4044167; 366999, 4043924; 367179, 4043858; 367575, 
4043966; 367970, 4044044; 368277, 4044185; 368402, 4044331; 368714, 
4044653; 369028, 4045005; 369348, 4045597; 369454, 4046076; 369830, 
4046486; 370175, 4046897; 370518, 4047247; 370783, 4047028; 370644, 
4046430; 370695, 4046127; 370690, 4045977; 370534, 4045831; 370317, 
4045657; 370041, 4045515; 369914, 4045338; 369817, 4045130; 369781, 
4044951; 369897, 4044797; 370077, 4044731; 370292, 4044844; 370507, 
4044958; 370665, 4045194; 370946, 4045487; 371279, 4045506; 371607, 
4045345; 372024, 4045152; 372379, 4044929; 372551, 4044623; 372817, 
4044434; 373092, 4044546; 373223, 4044843; 373304, 4045503; 373323, 
4046105; 373219, 4046650; 372992, 4047109; 372919, 4047684; 372692, 
4048143; 372701, 4048414; 373011, 4048675; 373283, 4048667; 373432, 
4048602; 373602, 4048265; 373805, 4047988; 373975, 4047621; 374080, 
4047105; 374277, 4046647; 374322, 4046164; 374308, 4045712; 374200, 
4045174; 374158, 4044783; 374181, 4044572; 374200, 4044210; 374217, 
4043787; 374236, 4043425; 374288, 4043152; 374391, 4042607; 374467, 
4042122; 374516, 4041759; 374537, 4041488; 374470, 4041279; 374347, 
4041192; 374136, 4041229; 374014, 4041173; 373950, 4041054; 373904, 
4040574; 373897, 4040333; 373915, 4039971; 373903, 4039579; 373888, 
4039098; 373877, 4038737; 373895, 4038375; 373915, 4038043; 373877, 
4037773; 373839, 4037533; 373619, 4037269; 373549, 4036970; 373479, 
4036670; 373530, 4036368; 373518, 4035976; 373478, 4035676; 373263, 
4035563; 373112, 4035567; 373019, 4035480; 373040, 4035208; 373120, 
4034844; 373172, 4034601; 373171, 4034571; 373195, 4034360; 373188, 
4034149; 373125, 4034061; 373093, 4034001; 372881, 4033978; 372671, 
4034015; 372489, 4034020; 372278, 4034027; 372096, 4034002; 372005, 
4034005; 371642, 4033987; 371403, 4034054; 371161, 4034062; 371012, 
4034127; 370652, 4034198; 370474, 4034294; 370386, 4034387; 369997, 
4034520; 369847, 4034555; 369670, 4034681; 369253, 4034875; 368900, 
4035187; 368785, 4035372; 368611, 4035588; 368408, 4035866; 368444, 
4036045; 368544, 4036343; 368613, 4036612; 368531, 4036916; 368483, 
4037309; 368432, 4037582; 368318, 4037827; 368114, 4038044; 367910, 
4038291; 367764, 4038447; 367616, 4038542; 367411, 4038759; 367265, 
4038914; 366971, 4039194; 366588, 4039508; 366295, 4039788; 366005, 
4040159; 365710, 4040409; 365323, 4040602; 364940, 4040885; 364704, 
4041073; 364407, 4041233; 364172, 4041451; 363937, 4041670; 363675, 
4041979; 363294, 4042383; 363033, 4042722; 362830, 4043000; 362598, 
4043309; 362513, 4043462; 362550, 4043702; 362773, 4044056; 362873, 
4044354; 362976, 4044743; 362987, 4045104; 362907, 4045438; 362796, 
4045743; 362624, 4046049; 362419, 4046267; 362243, 4046423; 362434, 
4046718; 362771, 4046888; 363048, 4047030; 363355, 4047201; 363540, 
4047316; 363809, 4047217; 363990, 4047211; 364085, 4047329; 364213, 
4047566; 364430, 4047740; 364638, 4047643; 364880, 4047635; 364946, 
4047814; 364918, 4047875; 364772, 4048061; 364751, 4048332; 364757, 
4048543; 364885, 4048750; 365096, 4048743; 365274, 4048647; 365419, 
4048432; 365540, 4048458; 365753, 4048482; 365964, 4048475; 366116, 
4048500; 366302, 4048645; 366454, 4048671; 366638, 4048755; 366736, 
4048993; 366926, 4049288; 367023, 4049466; 367148, 4049613; 367333, 
4049727; 367635, 4049718; 367747, 4049443; 367652, 4049296; 367648, 
4049175; 367736, 4049082; returning to 367856, 4049078.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 9 (Big Arroyo) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

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    (15) Unit 10 (Mount Langley); Inyo and Tulare Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mount Whitney, Mount 
Langley, Lone Pine, Johnson Peak, Cirque Peak, and Bartlett. Land 
bounded by the following UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 391201, 
4048676; 391835, 4048656; 392289, 4048672; 392648, 4048570; 393008, 
4048499; 393517, 4048332; 393840, 4048051; 393861, 4047749; 393701, 
4047453; 393997, 4047263; 394301, 4047313; 394691, 4047241; 394959, 
4047112; 394980, 4046810; 394761, 4046576; 394545, 4046432; 394209, 
4046322; 393872, 4046182; 393805, 4045973; 393952, 4045848; 394346, 
4045866; 394557, 4045859; 394797, 4045822; 394914, 4045698; 395096, 
4045722; 395312, 4045836; 395435, 4045922; 395609, 4045676; 395357, 
4045352; 395142, 4045239; 394955, 4045064; 394737, 4044860; 394607, 
4044562; 394630, 4044351; 394785, 4044466; 394972, 4044641; 395189, 
4044815; 395465, 4044957; 395741, 4045069; 396017, 4045211; 396292, 
4045323; 396624, 4045312; 396865, 4045275; 397011, 4045120; 396916, 
4044972; 396912, 4044852; 396906, 4044671; 396989, 4044427; 397139, 
4044392; 397225, 4044239; 397130, 4044092; 397004, 4043945; 396941, 
4043856; 396910, 4043827; 396816, 4043710; 396872, 4043588; 397085, 
4043611; 397269, 4043726; 397424, 4043841; 397610, 4043986; 397705, 
4044134; 397826, 4044130; 397974, 4044035; 397988, 4043910; 398032, 
4043812; 398101, 4043709; 398135, 4043591; 398258, 4043464; 398459, 
4043386; 398630, 4043312; 398832, 4043175; 399028, 4043028; 399145, 
4042939; 399209, 4042895; 399312, 4042807; 399366, 4042758; 399410, 
4042704; 399454, 4042670; 399582, 4042567; 399694, 4042459; 399758, 
4042385; 399846, 4042312; 399944, 4042199; 400033, 4042101; 400096, 
4041978; 400219, 4041836; 400286, 4041643; 400252, 4041523; 400128, 
4041437; 400005, 4041380; 399883, 4041324; 399698, 4041209; 399455, 
4041157; 399327, 4040950; 399383, 4040797; 399592, 4040731; 399927, 
4040810; 400292, 4040889; 400718, 4040966; 401019, 4040957; 401230, 
4040920; 401313, 4040742; 401218, 4040743; 401216, 4040470; 401215, 
4040469; 401123, 4040411; 400849, 4040330; 400699, 4040395; 400579, 
4040398; 400425, 4040313; 400272, 4040257; 400151, 4040261; 399969, 
4040237; 399818, 4040242; 399727, 4040214; 399573, 4040129; 399364, 
4040196; 399184, 4040231; 399001, 4040177; 398875, 4040030; 398718, 
4039824; 398769, 4039552; 398794, 4039370; 398816, 4039098; 398776, 
4038798; 398854, 4038404; 398936, 4038130; 399265, 4038030; 399537, 
4038021; 399838, 4037982; 400353, 4038026; 400864, 4037949; 401406, 
4037902; 402036, 4037732; 402453, 4037568; 403052, 4037399; 403265, 
4037370; 403437, 4037350; 403454, 4037349; 403451, 4037001; 403437, 
4037001; 402801, 4037105; 402468, 4037086; 401954, 4037072; 401743, 
4037078; 401474, 4037177; 401200, 4037095; 400986, 4037012; 400832, 
4036926; 400587, 4036813; 400582, 4036663; 400580, 4036603; 400666, 
4036449; 400841, 4036263; 401078, 4036105; 401286, 4036008; 401736, 
4035904; 402332, 4035644; 402478, 4035459; 402592, 4035244; 402736, 
4035029; 402939, 4034751; 403054, 4034567; 403316, 4034257; 403521, 
4034040; 403693, 4033764; 403840, 4033638; 403988, 4033543; 404106, 
4033449; 404311, 4033232; 404456, 4033047; 404629, 4032770; 404746, 
4032646; 404742, 4032526; 404646, 4032378; 404481, 4032210; 404371, 
4031974; 404270, 4031915; 404169, 4031814; 404034, 4031695; 403840, 
4031602; 403679, 4031476; 403510, 4031223; 403325, 4031113; 403114, 
4030986; 402911, 4030843; 402683, 4030682; 402455, 4030471; 402345, 
4030421; 402016, 4030302; 401797, 4030311; 401611, 4030311; 401256, 
4030370; 401079, 4030370; 400767, 4030328; 400404, 4030286; 400100, 
4030159; 399880, 4030100; 399745, 4030286; 399661, 4030640; 399568, 
4030868; 399652, 4031501; 399492, 4031881; 399323, 4032202; 399070, 
4032464; 398876, 4032742; 398758, 4033029; 398606, 4033527; 398766, 
4033823; 398859, 4034354; 398867, 4034473; 398867, 4034574; 398867, 
4034692; 398859, 4034768; 398867, 4034878; 398859, 4034962; 398842, 
4035047; 398817, 4035156; 398825, 4035292; 398817, 4035418; 398783, 
4035553; 398775, 4035671; 398741, 4035787; 398591, 4035822; 398442, 
4035887; 398294, 4035982; 398026, 4036080; 397844, 4036086; 397727, 
4036104; 397729, 4036166; 397321, 4036177; 397117, 4036180; 397065, 
4036291; 397073, 4036532; 397229, 4036678; 397565, 4036818; 397899, 
4036868; 398144, 4036950; 398575, 4037208; 398760, 4037323; 398826, 
4037501; 398587, 4037599; 398285, 4037609; 398074, 4037615; 397779, 
4037835; 397573, 4038023; 397247, 4038214; 396925, 4038555; 396808, 
4038679; 396694, 4038894; 396521, 4039140; 396440, 4039474; 396020, 
4039548; 395687, 4039528; 395353, 4039478; 395015, 4039308; 394354, 
4039419; 393996, 4039551; 393553, 4039896; 393199, 4040148; 392841, 
4040310; 392599, 4040288; 392388, 4040324; 392208, 4040360; 392026, 
4040336; 391845, 4040341; 391695, 4040376; 391607, 4040469; 391464, 
4040715; 391168, 4040905; 391019, 4040970; 390717, 4040979; 390615, 
4040870; 390526, 4040776; 390443, 4040719; 390324, 4040646; 390241, 
4040657; 390158, 4040641; 390080, 4040574; 390002, 4040480; 389955, 
4040018; 390023, 4039509; 389862, 4039176; 389441, 4038958; 389108, 
4038818; 389015, 4038797; 388682, 4038673; 388527, 4038553; 388246, 
4038309; 388225, 4038111; 388142, 4038091; 388054, 4038169; 387992, 
4038413; 387898, 4039083; 387695, 4039478; 387443, 4039666; 387108, 
4039586; 386653, 4039541; 386445, 4039637; 386479, 4039787; 386788, 
4039988; 387154, 4040097; 387492, 4040267; 387587, 4040415; 387626, 
4040685; 387539, 4040808; 387242, 4040968; 387030, 4040945; 386663, 
4040805; 386571, 4040778; 386423, 4040873; 386520, 4041081; 386706, 
4041226; 386895, 4041461; 387083, 4041696; 387183, 4041994; 387197, 
4042415; 387266, 4042684; 387125, 4043020; 387068, 4043112; 386891, 
4043269; 386710, 4043274; 386617, 4043187; 386370, 4043014; 386328, 
4042654; 386323, 4042503; 386227, 4042325; 386193, 4042206; 386187, 
4042025; 386181, 4041815; 386147, 4041695; 385866, 4041403; 385677, 
4041168; 385489, 4040963; 385424, 4040814; 385175, 4040581; 384687, 
4040446; 384085, 4040495; 383395, 4040667; 382950, 4040922; 382597, 
4041234; 382557, 4041868; 382965, 4042368; 383585, 4042860; 383899, 
4043242; 383974, 4043692; 384083, 4044291; 384064, 4044653; 384347, 
4045005; 384752, 4045384; 385209, 4045490; 385338, 4045757; 385674, 
4045867; 386068, 4045915; 386432, 4045964; 386733, 4045925; 387003, 
4045856; 387456, 4045842; 387935, 4045706; 388454, 4045870; 388701, 
4046043; 388853, 4046069; 389062, 4046002; 389305, 4046024; 389585, 
4046287; 389713, 4046524; 389873, 4046790; 390029, 4046966; 390102, 
4047355; 390199, 4047563; 390149, 4047896; 390462, 4048217; 390866, 
4048596; returning to 391201, 4048676.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 10 (Mount Langley) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45600]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.010

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45601]]

    (16) Unit 11 (Laurel Creek); Tulare County, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Mineral King, Chagoopa 
Falls, Quinn Peak, and Kern Lake. Land bounded by the following UTM 
zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 373174, 4031891; 373186, 4031558; 
373154, 4031248; 373234, 4030979; 373246, 4030646; 373240, 4030446; 
373299, 4030200; 373294, 4030045; 373311, 4029867; 373368, 4029577; 
373315, 4029290; 373265, 4029114; 373238, 4028981; 373232, 4028782; 
373228, 4028671; 373244, 4028471; 373261, 4028292; 373235, 4028160; 
373118, 4027986; 373114, 4027853; 373201, 4027784; 373307, 4027625; 
373303, 4027492; 373295, 4027248; 373288, 4027026; 373370, 4026802; 
373343, 4026647; 373335, 4026403; 373361, 4025803; 373349, 4025426; 
373426, 4025046; 373542, 4024488; 373421, 4024158; 373270, 4024319; 
373084, 4024791; 372982, 4025082; 372972, 4025460; 373002, 4025726; 
372967, 4026015; 372813, 4026087; 372622, 4026381; 372567, 4026738; 
372492, 4027184; 372494, 4027251; 372544, 4027449; 372683, 4027600; 
372797, 4027685; 372844, 4027773; 372868, 4027839; 372850, 4027950; 
372627, 4027957; 372493, 4027939; 372334, 4027833; 372088, 4027819; 
371867, 4027848; 371735, 4027896; 371467, 4027883; 371376, 4027819; 
371153, 4027804; 370951, 4027743; 370794, 4027704; 370614, 4027665; 
370368, 4027628; 370167, 4027590; 369942, 4027531; 369740, 4027471; 
369540, 4027477; 369315, 4027417; 369225, 4027376; 369088, 4027291; 
368842, 4027232; 368686, 4027237; 368416, 4027135; 368191, 4027075; 
368057, 4027057; 367878, 4027018; 367675, 4026936; 367474, 4026920; 
367297, 4026970; 367076, 4027021; 366900, 4027093; 366656, 4027101; 
366475, 4027018; 366339, 4026933; 366202, 4026827; 366128, 4026607; 
365901, 4026481; 365715, 4026220; 365708, 4025999; 365794, 4025885; 
366031, 4025655; 366097, 4025609; 366225, 4025450; 366418, 4025199; 
366479, 4025020; 366407, 4024844; 366270, 4024760; 366159, 4024741; 
365979, 4024680; 365753, 4024599; 365468, 4024718; 365362, 4024899; 
365163, 4024950; 365047, 4024798; 365032, 4024310; 364847, 4024094; 
364692, 4024121; 364515, 4024171; 364294, 4024222; 364143, 4024360; 
363697, 4024352; 363475, 4024359; 363204, 4024257; 362979, 4024175; 
362728, 4023983; 362562, 4023655; 362372, 4023284; 362190, 4023156; 
361949, 4023275; 361734, 4023526; 361439, 4024046; 361355, 4024226; 
361276, 4024539; 361283, 4024739; 361287, 4024894; 361272, 4025116; 
361278, 4025294; 361376, 4025579; 361426, 4025778; 361250, 4025827; 
361010, 4025990; 360838, 4026196; 360688, 4026378; 360408, 4026675; 
360260, 4026924; 360046, 4027197; 359897, 4027402; 359791, 4027583; 
359529, 4027746; 359063, 4027783; 358774, 4027814; 358531, 4027866; 
358309, 4027895; 358180, 4028033; 358116, 4028124; 358009, 4028282; 
357927, 4028485; 357931, 4028618; 358005, 4028837; 358096, 4028901; 
358170, 4029143; 358309, 4029316; 358871, 4029476; 359141, 4029579; 
359257, 4029708; 359484, 4029857; 359667, 4030028; 359672, 4030184; 
359521, 4030322; 359325, 4030483; 359243, 4030686; 359295, 4030928; 
359325, 4031171; 359351, 4031282; 359270, 4031551; 359321, 4031749; 
359261, 4031973; 359113, 4032221; 358851, 4032407; 358587, 4032504; 
358259, 4032692; 358269, 4033003; 358344, 4033267; 358592, 4033348; 
358837, 4033362; 358952, 4033470; 359201, 4033617; 359530, 4033452; 
359660, 4033336; 359907, 4033395; 359976, 4033482; 360158, 4033587; 
360425, 4033579; 360624, 4033550; 360800, 4033478; 361106, 4033313; 
361280, 4033175; 361405, 4032904; 361468, 4032769; 361508, 4032613; 
361594, 4032521; 361719, 4032251; 361664, 4031919; 361657, 4031698; 
361918, 4031512; 362074, 4031507; 362141, 4031505; 362367, 4031609; 
362415, 4031740; 362396, 4031852; 362578, 4031957; 362711, 4031931; 
362842, 4031860; 362907, 4031814; 363107, 4031785; 363177, 4031894; 
363224, 4031959; 363248, 4032025; 363250, 4032092; 363320, 4032178; 
363564, 4032148; 363742, 4032143; 363940, 4032092; 364228, 4032039; 
364294, 4032015; 364472, 4032009; 364583, 4032005; 364830, 4032064; 
364966, 4032127; 365212, 4032186; 365326, 4032249; 365371, 4032269; 
365553, 4032397; 365712, 4032503; 365780, 4032523; 365916, 4032607; 
366029, 4032671; 366122, 4032779; 366147, 4032889; 366152, 4033022; 
366154, 4033088; 366317, 4033327; 366406, 4033325; 366516, 4033277; 
366602, 4033185; 366665, 4033072; 366816, 4032912; 366948, 4032864; 
367016, 4032884; 367175, 4032990; 367310, 4033030; 367512, 4033090; 
367623, 4033087; 367799, 4033015; 367930, 4032944; 367993, 4032809; 
367812, 4032726; 367632, 4032665; 367429, 4032582; 367248, 4032477; 
367132, 4032325; 366969, 4032108; 366718, 4031916; 366739, 4031871; 
366849, 4031823; 366916, 4031844; 367049, 4031839; 367250, 4031833; 
367384, 4031851; 367499, 4031958; 367588, 4031978; 367634, 4032021; 
367749, 4032128; 367815, 4032126; 367880, 4032057; 367852, 4031859; 
367892, 4031724; 367957, 4031678; 368048, 4031741; 368183, 4031782; 
368397, 4031508; 368486, 4031506; 368664, 4031500; 368891, 4031626; 
368958, 4031646; 369050, 4031732; 369297, 4031791; 369564, 4031783; 
369809, 4031797; 370121, 4031810; 370520, 4031753; 370984, 4031649; 
371185, 4031643; 371741, 4031626; 372030, 4031617; 372432, 4031648; 
372543, 4031667; 372702, 4031751; 372753, 4031949; 372714, 4032150; 
372652, 4032285; 372548, 4032533; 372578, 4032776; 372564, 4033021; 
372571, 4033264; 372624, 4033507; 372783, 4033635; 372942, 4033719; 
373052, 4033671; 373028, 4033628; 373070, 4033537; 373088, 4033404; 
373101, 4033115; 373095, 4032937; 373087, 4032671; 373125, 4032470; 
373138, 4032159; returning to 373174, 4031891.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 11 (Laurel Creek) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45602]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.011

BILLING CODE 5310-55-C

[[Page 45603]]

    (17) Unit 12 (Olancha Peak); Inyo and Tulare Counties, California.
    (i) From USGS 1:24,000 scale quadrangles Cirque Peak, Bartlett, 
Templeton Mountain, Olancha, and Haiwee Pass. Land bounded by the 
following UTM zone 11 NAD83 coordinates (E, N): 403133, 4029453; 
403358, 4029282; 403619, 4029209; 403945, 4029133; 404369, 4029021; 
404658, 4028816; 404816, 4028614; 405104, 4028376; 405331, 4028270; 
405620, 4028065; 405682, 4027932; 405805, 4027666; 405734, 4027504; 
405863, 4027434; 406060, 4027428; 406290, 4027421; 406385, 4027320; 
406479, 4027153; 406544, 4027151; 406674, 4027081; 406738, 4027046; 
406835, 4026978; 406993, 4026776; 407086, 4026610; 407116, 4026510; 
407176, 4026345; 407206, 4026245; 407201, 4026082; 407131, 4025953; 
407161, 4025854; 407158, 4025755; 407190, 4025722; 407251, 4025589; 
407282, 4025522; 407279, 4025424; 407210, 4025328; 407206, 4025197; 
407203, 4025099; 407234, 4025032; 407263, 4024933; 407291, 4024768; 
407287, 4024637; 407250, 4024507; 407178, 4024313; 407042, 4024153; 
406975, 4024123; 406909, 4024125; 406811, 4024128; 406841, 4024061; 
406903, 4023928; 406933, 4023829; 406963, 4023763; 407057, 4023596; 
407118, 4023463; 407282, 4023458; 407411, 4023355; 407439, 4023223; 
407499, 4023025; 407524, 4022795; 407487, 4022632; 407350, 4022473; 
407214, 4022313; 407044, 4022154; 407010, 4022123; 406941, 4021994; 
406870, 4021832; 406765, 4021639; 406663, 4021511; 406627, 4021414; 
406622, 4021283; 406686, 4021215; 406682, 4021085; 406739, 4020821; 
406701, 4020658; 406634, 4020595; 406565, 4020498; 406562, 4020400; 
406557, 4020237; 406553, 4020106; 406515, 4019943; 406508, 4019747; 
406537, 4019615; 406434, 4019487; 406336, 4019490; 406301, 4019425; 
406296, 4019262; 406194, 4019167; 406127, 4019103; 406121, 4018939; 
406086, 4018842; 405983, 4018714; 405817, 4018654; 405649, 4018561; 
405584, 4018563; 405583, 4018530; 405611, 4018398; 405572, 4018203; 
405538, 4018139; 405435, 4018011; 405400, 4017946; 405332, 4017883; 
405395, 4017783; 405428, 4017782; 405460, 4017748; 405620, 4017612; 
405779, 4017443; 405875, 4017374; 405935, 4017209; 405999, 4017141; 
405962, 4017011; 405959, 4016913; 405955, 4016782; 405919, 4016685; 
405885, 4016653; 405816, 4016557; 405749, 4016494; 405747, 4016428; 
405843, 4016360; 405942, 4016356; 406040, 4016353; 406104, 4016286; 
406134, 4016219; 406131, 4016121; 406063, 4016025; 406026, 4015895; 
405988, 4015732; 406018, 4015666; 406016, 4015600; 406108, 4015368; 
406101, 4015172; 406062, 4014976; 406055, 4014747; 405918, 4014555; 
405816, 4014460; 405812, 4014329; 405703, 4014005; 405598, 4013811; 
405530, 4013715; 405491, 4013520; 405488, 4013422; 405480, 4013192; 
405405, 4012900; 405336, 4012771; 405329, 4012542; 405353, 4012279; 
405416, 4012179; 405313, 4012051; 405109, 4011828; 404843, 4011738; 
404673, 4011547; 404541, 4011551; 404414, 4011686; 404316, 4011689; 
404187, 4011758; 404086, 4011696; 403921, 4011668; 403724, 4011675; 
403625, 4011678; 403527, 4011681; 403365, 4011751; 403199, 4011691; 
403002, 4011697; 402935, 4011667; 402706, 4011707; 402610, 4011775; 
402480, 4011845; 402250, 4011819; 402186, 4011887; 401989, 4011893; 
401860, 4011962; 401729, 4011999; 401598, 4012003; 401366, 4011945; 
401165, 4011820; 401032, 4011759; 400764, 4011604; 400498, 4011514; 
400367, 4011518; 400040, 4011561; 399878, 4011631; 399816, 4011764; 
399787, 4011896; 399790, 4011995; 399794, 4012093; 399732, 4012226; 
399669, 4012326; 399540, 4012396; 399444, 4012464; 399349, 4012598; 
399327, 4012927; 399402, 4013219; 399406, 4013350; 399445, 4013546; 
399515, 4013674; 399520, 4013838; 399557, 4013968; 399563, 4014164; 
399600, 4014294; 399608, 4014556; 399611, 4014654; 399615, 4014785; 
399590, 4015016; 399595, 4015179; 399404, 4015382; 399177, 4015487; 
399182, 4015618; 399286, 4015812; 399294, 4016073; 399398, 4016234; 
399566, 4016360; 399635, 4016456; 399737, 4016551; 399901, 4016546; 
399960, 4016347; 400087, 4016212; 400183, 4016111; 400341, 4015910; 
400463, 4015611; 400557, 4015477; 400849, 4015337; 400916, 4015400; 
401120, 4015590; 401351, 4015648; 401360, 4015910; 401368, 4016172; 
401440, 4016367; 401443, 4016465; 401381, 4016598; 401321, 4016764; 
401226, 4016898; 401164, 4016998; 401067, 4017066; 400906, 4017170; 
400742, 4017175; 400640, 4017047; 400342, 4016991; 400311, 4017057; 
400313, 4017123; 400383, 4017252; 400419, 4017349; 400455, 4017446; 
400490, 4017511; 400525, 4017575; 400592, 4017638; 400597, 4017769; 
400471, 4017970; 400179, 4018077; 399917, 4018118; 399692, 4018256; 
399663, 4018388; 399666, 4018487; 399735, 4018583; 399935, 4018675; 
399939, 4018806; 399745, 4018910; 399617, 4019012; 399357, 4019119; 
398800, 4019169; 398672, 4019272; 398480, 4019441; 398298, 4019906; 
398237, 4020072; 398082, 4020371; 397992, 4020636; 397996, 4020767; 
398000, 4020898; 398005, 4021062; 398011, 4021226; 398122, 4021648; 
398191, 4021744; 398332, 4022035; 398442, 4022392; 398584, 4022748; 
398657, 4022975; 398663, 4023171; 398935, 4023458; 399006, 4023619; 
399074, 4023683; 399072, 4023617; 399110, 4023780; 399181, 4023941; 
399119, 4024074; 399094, 4024337; 399000, 4024471; 398813, 4024805; 
398716, 4024841; 398527, 4025109; 398467, 4025275; 398472, 4025438; 
398510, 4025601; 398514, 4025732; 398553, 4025927; 398622, 4026023; 
398722, 4026086; 398791, 4026182; 398928, 4026341; 399031, 4026502; 
399002, 4026634; 398945, 4026898; 399113, 4027024; 399214, 4027086; 
399283, 4027182; 399254, 4027314; 399194, 4027513; 399136, 4027744; 
399140, 4027875; 399143, 4027973; 399180, 4028103; 399218, 4028266; 
399226, 4028527; 399329, 4028655; 399466, 4028815; 399568, 4028943; 
399902, 4029096; 399971, 4029225; 400106, 4029319; 400270, 4029314; 
400401, 4029310; 400666, 4029367; 400864, 4029393; 400930, 4029391; 
400995, 4029389; 401356, 4029378; 401586, 4029371; 401783, 4029365; 
402145, 4029386; 402443, 4029442; 402676, 4029533; 403004, 4029523; 
returning to 403133, 4029453.
    (ii) Note: Map of Unit 12 (Olancha Peak) for Sierra Nevada bighorn 
sheep follows:
BILLING CODE 5310-55-P

[[Page 45604]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR05AU08.012

* * * * *

    Dated: July 16, 2008.
David M. Verhey,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. E8-16813 Filed 8-4-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-C