[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 191 (Wednesday, October 2, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 61081-61112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23165]



[[Page 61081]]

Vol. 78

Wednesday,

No. 191

October 2, 2013

Part IV





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; Withdrawal of the 
Proposed Rule To List Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle and Designate 
Critical Habitat; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 191 / Wednesday, October 2, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2012-0053; Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2013-0020; 
4500030113]
RIN 1018-AY11; AZ39


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the 
Proposed Rule To List Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle and Designate 
Critical Habitat

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), withdraw the 
proposed rule to list the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle, Cicindela 
albissima, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act), and designate critical habitat for the species. 
This withdrawal is based on our conclusion that the threats to the 
species as identified in the proposed rule no longer are as significant 
as believed at the time of the proposed rule. We base this conclusion 
on our analysis of current and future threats and conservation efforts. 
We find the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that 
the threats to the species and its habitat have been reduced below the 
statutory definition of threatened or endangered. Therefore, we are 
withdrawing our proposal to list the species as threatened with 
critical habitat.

DATES: The Fish and Wildlife Service is withdrawing the proposed rule 
published October 2, 2012 (77 FR 60208) as of October 2, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The withdrawal of our proposed rule, comments, and 
supplementary documents are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Nos. FWS-R6-ES-2012-0053 and FWS-R6-ES-
2013-0020. Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this withdrawal, are also 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Ecological Services 
Field Office, 2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, Utah 
84119; telephone 801-975-3330; or facsimile 801-975-3331.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, Utah 
Ecological Services Field 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:

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish this document. Under the Endangered Species 
Act, a species may warrant protection through listing if it is 
endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species can 
only be completed by issuing a rule. Accordingly, we had issued a 
proposed rule to list this species. However, this document withdraws 
that proposed rule because we have determined that threats have been 
reduced such that listing is not necessary for this species.
    The basis for our action. Under the Endangered Species Act, we can 
determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based 
on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, 
modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) 
Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors 
affecting its continued existence. We have determined that threats have 
been reduced such that listing is not necessary for this species.
    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from independent 
specialists to ensure that our proposed listing designation is based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these 
peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal. We also considered 
all comments and information received during the comment periods.

Background

Previous Federal Actions

    Please refer to the proposed listing rule for the Coral Pink Sand 
Dunes (CPSD) tiger beetle (77 FR 60208, October 2, 2012) for a detailed 
description of the previous Federal actions concerning this species.
    In 1997, the Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Utah 
Department of Natural Resource's Division of State Parks and Recreation 
(Utah State Parks), and Kane County signed a Candidate Conservation 
Agreement (CCA) and formed a conservation committee with the dual goals 
of protecting CPSD tiger beetle habitat and balancing the needs of this 
rare species with off-road vehicle (ORV) use in the area (Conservation 
Committee 1997, pp. 4-5). These agencies renewed the CCA in 2009 
(Conservation Committee 2009, entire). Coordination under the CCA 
resulted in the establishment of two Conservation Areas that protected 
the CPSD tiger beetle from ORV use--Conservation Areas A and B (see 
Habitat and Factor A for more information on the Conservation Areas).
    In our 2010 Candidate Notice of Review, we identified the CPSD 
tiger beetle as a species for which listing as an endangered or 
threatened species was warranted (with a listing priority number of 2) 
but precluded by our work on higher priority listing actions (75 FR 
69222, November 10, 2010). In the 2011 Candidate Notice of Review, we 
announced that we were not updating our assessment for this species, 
because we received funding to develop a proposed listing rule (76 FR 
66370, October 26, 2011).
    On October 2, 2012, we proposed to list the CPSD tiger beetle as a 
threatened species with designated critical habitat under the Act (77 
FR 60208). Publication of the proposed rule opened a 60-day comment 
period that closed on December 3, 2012. Following publication of our 
proposed rule, the conservation committee reconvened to evaluate 
current species' survey and distribution information and reassess the 
conservation commitments in the 2009 CCA. Based on this evaluation, the 
conservation committee agreed to expand Conservation Area A, which is 
already subject to management under a CCA, and provide protected 
habitat islands for the species in the intervening dunes between 
Conservation Areas A and B as they are defined in the CCA. The 2009 
Conservation Agreement was amended accordingly in 2013 (2013 CCA 
Amendment) (see Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, 
Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range).
    On May 6, 2013 (78 FR 26308), we announced the reopening of the 
public comment period on our October 2, 2012, proposed listing decision 
and proposed designation of critical habitat for the species. At this 
time we also announced the availability of a draft economic analysis 
(DEA), a draft environmental assessment (EA), the 2013 Amendment to the 
2009 Conservation Agreement and Strategy for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes 
tiger beetle (2013 CCA Amendment), and an amended required 
determinations section of the proposal (78 FR 26308). We also announced 
the availability of 2012 CPSD tiger beetle survey results that were not 
available when the proposed rule was being written and the plans to 
hold a public information meeting and public hearing

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on May 22, 2013, in Kanab, Utah (78 FR 26308).

Taxonomy and Species Description

    The CPSD tiger beetle is a member of the family Cicindelidae and 
genus Cicindela. There are 109 species of tiger beetles in the genus 
Cicindela in the United States and Canada (Pearson et al. 2006, p. 4). 
The CPSD tiger beetle occurs only at the CPSD geologic feature in 
southern Utah and is separated from its closest related subspecies, the 
Great Sand Dunes tiger beetle (C. theatina), by over 600 kilometers 
(km) (378 miles (mi)) (Rumpp 1961, p. 182). It shares the typical 
characteristics of other members of the maritima group (a group of 
closely related species of sand dune tiger beetles) and is most similar 
in morphology to other subspecies of Cicindela limbata (no common 
name). It was originally described as C. limbata albissima (Rumpp 1961, 
p. 181). However, more recent genetic analysis revealed that the CPSD 
tiger beetle is different from all other members in the maritima group; 
consequently, we now consider it a distinct species, Cicindela 
albissima (Morgan et al. 2000, p. 1111). This is the accepted taxonomic 
classification (Pearson et al. 2006, p. 77).
    CPSD tiger beetle adults are 11 to 15 millimeters (mm) (0.4 to 0.6 
inches (in)) in size and have striking coloration. The large wing cases 
(known as elytra) are predominantly white except for a thin reddish 
band that runs down the length of the center. Much of the body and legs 
are covered in white hairs. The upper thorax (middle region) has a 
metallic sheen, and the eyes are particularly large (Pearson et al. 
2006, p. 77).

Habitat

    Tiger beetles can occur in many different habitats, including 
riparian habitats, beaches, dunes, woodlands, grasslands, and other 
open areas (Pearson et al. 2006, p. 177). Most tiger beetle species are 
habitat-specific and consequently are useful as indicators of habitat 
quality (Knisley and Hill 1992, p. 140). The CPSD tiger beetle, like 
its close relatives the Great Sand Dunes tiger beetle (Cicindela 
theatina) from the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, C. l. limbata from the 
western Great Plains, and the St. Anthony Dunes tiger beetle (C. 
arenicola) from the St. Anthony Dunes of Idaho, is restricted to sand 
dune habitat.
    The species' current range extends along the CPSD geologic feature. 
The CPSD is a geologic feature named for the deep pink color of its 
sand dunes (Ford et al. 2010, p. 380). The CPSD are located 5 km (3.1 
mi) north of the Utah-Arizona state line and 13 km (8 mi) west of 
Kanab, Utah (see Figure 1 below in Population Distribution). The CPSD 
are about 13 km (8 mi) long, averaging 1.1 km (0.7 mi) in width, and 
1,416 ha (3,500 ac) in surface area.
    The CPSD consist of a series of high, mostly barren, dry dune 
ridges separated by lower, moister, and more vegetated interdunal 
swales (low places between sand dune crests) (Romey and Knisley 2002, 
p. 170). Wind action, primarily blowing from south to north, created 
and continues to shape the CPSD, using sand from nearby eroding Navajo 
sandstone (Doelling and Davis 1989, p. 3). Wind velocity decreases as 
it moves across the sand dunes (from south to north), resulting in a 
dynamic and less vegetated southern CPSD area that transitions to a 
less dynamic, more heavily vegetated, higher elevation northern CPSD 
area (Ford et al. 2010, pp. 387-392).
    The CPSD are in a semiarid climatic zone (Ford et al. 2010, p. 
381). The nearest weather station, in Kanab, has a mean annual 
temperature of 12.4 [deg]Celsius ([deg]C) (54.4[deg]Fahrenheit 
([deg]F)) and mean annual precipitation of 33.8 centimeters (cm) (13.3 
in) (Ford et al. 2010, p. 381). The northern 607 ha (1,500 ac) of CPSD 
is Federal land managed by the BLM. The southern 809 ha (2,000 ac) of 
the CPSD is within Utah's CPSD State Park.
    Adult CPSD tiger beetles use most of the dune areas from the swales 
to the upper dune slopes. Larval CPSD tiger beetles are more restricted 
to vegetated swale areas (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 386), where the 
vegetation supports the larval prey base of flies, ants, and other prey 
(Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14). Larval CPSD tiger beetle habitat 
is typically dominated by the leguminous plants Sophora stenophylla 
(silvery sophora) and Psoralidium lanceolatum (dune scurfpea), and 
several grasses, including Sporobolus cryptandrus (sand dropseed) and 
Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass). Larvae also are closely 
associated with a federally threatened plant species, Asclepius welshii 
(Welsh's milkvetch) (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 385), for which the 
entire CPSD area is designated critical habitat (52 FR 41435, October 
28, 1987).
    We do not have comprehensive analysis or occupancy modeling that 
predicts the habitat preferences of the CPSD tiger beetle. However, a 
preliminary habitat assessment indicated that the beetle exists where 
there is abundant prey and larvae, large swale areas capable of 
supporting the appropriate vegetation, swale sediment characteristics 
appropriate for vegetation and larval burrows, dune migration 
characteristics that permit vegetation to develop and persist within 
dune swales, proper sediment supply, and a proper wind regime (Fenster 
et al. 2012, pp. 2-4).
    Rainfall and associated soil moisture is a critical factor for CPSD 
tiger beetles (Knisley and Juliano 1988, entire) and is likely the most 
important natural environmental factor affecting population dynamics of 
the species. Rainfall and the associated increase in soil moisture have 
a positive effect on CPSD tiger beetle oviposition (egg depositing) and 
survivorship (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 391). The areas in the dune 
field with the highest level of soil moisture and where soil moisture 
is closer to the surface contain the highest densities of CPSD tiger 
beetle larvae (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 22), indicating that both 
proximity to moisture and overall soil moisture are important to the 
CPSD tiger beetle's life cycle. Experimental supplemental watering has 
resulted in significantly more adults and larvae, more oviposition 
events, increased larval survival, and faster larval development 
compared to unwatered control plots (Knisley and Gowan 2011, pp. 18-
22).

Population Distribution

    The CPSD tiger beetle occurs sporadically throughout the CPSD 
geologic feature, but only consistently exists in two populations--
central and northern--which are separated by 4.8 km (3 mi) (Figure 1; 
Knisley 2012, pers. comm.). The total range of the species is 
approximately 202 ha (500 ac) in size (Morgan et al. 2000, p. 1109).
    The central population is the largest and is self-sustaining, but 
at relatively moderate numbers (see Population Size and Dynamics, 
below). The northern population comprises a small number of adults and 
larvae (Knisley 2001, p. 9), which are typically found in only a few 
individual swales (Knisley and Gowan 2013, pp. 8-11). In the proposed 
rule, we stated that the northern population likely persists because of 
adults dispersing from the central population (Knisley and Gowan 2011, 
p. 9). However, we received information from a peer reviewer indicating 
it may sustain itself at low numbers via natural reproduction, and thus 
not be reliant on dispersers from the central population (see Peer 
Review; Knisley 2013, pers. comm.). At this time, we do not have enough 
information to determine which scenario is correct or if it is a 
combination of the two. Regardless, we do not consider the northern 
population to be self-sustaining because only a small number of adults 
and larvae have

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been found at this location since 1998, and insect populations 
typically need to have larger populations to be considered self-
sustaining (Thomas 1990, p. 325; see Small Population Effects under 
Factor E.). Therefore, we conclude that the area between the central 
and northern populations can provide a corridor for dispersal (Knisley 
2013, pers. comm.), and has the potential to provide habitat for 
colonization by CPSD tiger beetles (see Climate Change and Drought 
under Factor E.).
    Low densities of adult CPSD tiger beetles occur in the dune area 
between the central and northern populations (Figure 1; Hill and 
Knisley 1993, p. 9; Knisley 2012, pers. comm.), and suitable swale 
habitat likely exists in this area. This area has not been extensively 
surveyed on a regular basis, and observations of the species in this 
area are from opportunistic and inconsistent surveys. No CPSD tiger 
beetles were observed in this area during 2012 surveys. Regardless, the 
4.8-km (3-mi) long area of dune between the two populations provides 
habitat for the species and may provide a dispersal corridor between 
populations (see Adult Dispersal below; Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 9).
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02OC13.000

BILLING CODE 4310-55-C
    As previously mentioned (see Previous Federal Actions), an 
interagency CCA (as amended in 2013) established Conservation Areas A 
and B and intervening habitat islands between the two conservation 
areas to protect the CPSD tiger beetles from ORV use (see Factor A, The 
Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of its 
Habitat or Range for more information). These Conservation Areas 
generally overlap the central and northern populations of CPSD tiger 
beetles (see Figure 1).

Life History

    Similar to other tiger beetles, the CPSD tiger beetle goes through 
several developmental stages. These include an

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egg, three larval stages (known as ``instars,'' with each instar 
separated by molting), pupa, and adult (Knisley and Shultz 1997, p. 
13).
    CPSD tiger beetle oviposition occurs in a manner typical of most 
tiger beetles, which can include several different methods. For one 
method, the female is positioned vertically and digs a small hole with 
the ovipositor at the end of her body and places an egg in the small 
hole, typically about 6.35 mm (0.25 in) deep. Eggs can also be laid by 
the female within the burrows that tiger beetles typically dig during 
the hot part of the day and at night. These burrows are about 25.4-50.8 
mm (1-2 in) deep and 50.8 mm (2 in) long. This method puts the eggs 
deeper in the soil than the first egg-laying method and can more easily 
deposit eggs in moist soil (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.).
    Moist soil appears necessary for egg laying; however, we have no 
specific information on CPSD tiger beetle egg survival or how various 
factors might affect eggs since the eggs are almost impossible to find 
(about 1 mm (0.04 in) long and inconspicuous in the sand) even when a 
female is observed laying them (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.). For these 
reasons, we do not know how many eggs are laid by tiger beetles in 
their natural environment or the environmental conditions that affect 
eggs in the field (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.). In the lab, various 
species of beetles lay from 20 to 300 eggs and CPSD tiger beetles lay 
30-50 eggs per female over several weeks (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.). 
Most or all eggs are viable and will hatch under suitable conditions, 
particularly moist soil. Many eggs will hatch only after sufficient 
rains, since, as with many insects, the egg coat needs to absorb 
moisture to hatch (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.)
    First instar larvae appear in late spring after hatching from eggs 
that were oviposited in sand the previous late summer or fall (Knisley 
and Hill 1997, p. 2). The first instar larvae dig small vertical 
burrows from the sand surface down 6 to 9 cm (2.4 to 3.5 in) into the 
sand substrate (Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14). After several 
weeks of feeding at the surface, the first instar larva plugs its 
burrow opening, sheds its skin (molts), and becomes a larger second 
instar larva (Conservation Committee 1997, p. 2). The second instar 
stage lasts several months (again emerging from its burrow and feeding 
at the surface for a brief period) before developing into a third 
instar, with most reaching this stage by mid- to late summer 
(Conservation Committee 1997, p. 2). Larvae continue as second or third 
instars into fall, and then hibernate in burrows during the winter 
(Conservation Committee 1997, p. 3). The third instar stage can take 9 
months to over a year to reach full development (Conservation Committee 
1997, p. 3). After the third instar is fully developed, the CPSD tiger 
beetle plugs its burrow opening and transforms into a pupa (Pearson and 
Vogler 2001, p. 34). During the pupal period (stage between third 
instar and adult emergence), the beetle undergoes a metamorphosis where 
many of the adult physical structures develop (i.e., wings and flight 
muscles) (Pearson and Vogler 2001, p. 34). Adults emerge soon after 
this metamorphosis. The CPSD tiger beetle completes its entire life 
cycle from egg to adult reproduction to death within 2 or 3 years 
(Knisley and Hill 1997, p. 3).

Adult Behavior and Ecology

    Adults are active on sunny days along the dunes and swale edges. 
The majority of recently metamorphosed adult CPSD tiger beetles emerge 
from their burrows in late March to early April, reach peak abundance 
by May, begin declining in June, and die by August (Knisley and Hill 
2001, p. 387). A small proportion of a second adult cohort emerges in 
early September and remains active into October before digging 
overwintering burrows (Knisley and Hill 2001, pp. 387-388).
    Adult tiger beetles are active predators, attacking and eating prey 
with their large and powerful mandibles (mouthparts). They can run or 
fly rapidly over the sand surface to capture or scavenge for prey 
arthropods. Adults feed primarily on ants, flies, and other small 
arthropods (Hill and Knisley 1993, p. 13).
    CPSD tiger beetle behavior and distribution, like other tiger 
beetles, is largely determined by their thermoregulation needs. Adult 
tiger beetles dedicate up to 56 percent of their daily activity towards 
behavior that controls their internal body temperature (Pearson and 
Vogler 2001, p. 135). These behaviors include basking (positioning the 
body to maximize exposure to solar radiation); seeking out wet, cool 
substrate or shade; and burrowing (Pearson and Vogler 2001, p. 136). 
Tiger beetles require a high body temperature for maximal predatory 
activity, and at low body temperatures they become sluggish (Pearson 
and Vogler 2001, p. 131). Thus, the numbers of adult CPSD tiger beetles 
observed on rainy or cool, cloudy days are very low (Knisley and Hill 
2001, p. 388). Tiger beetles maintain body temperatures near their 
lethal limits of 47 to 49 [deg]C (116 to 120 [deg]F) (Pearson and 
Vogler 2001, p. 131), so heat refuge is important (Shutlz and Hadley 
1987, p. 363). During peak spring and fall activity, when it is sunny, 
adult CPSD tiger beetles are usually active early (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and 
again in late afternoon (4 p.m.-7 p.m.) (Hill and Knisley 1993, pp. 13-
14). They dig and reside in burrows to avoid unfavorable weather 
conditions such as hot mid-afternoons or cool or rainy daytime 
conditions (Hill and Knisley 1993, p. 14). Shade provided by vegetative 
cover is important for CPSD tiger beetle thermoregulation during warm 
periods (Knisley 2012, pers. comm.).

Adult Dispersal

    Dispersal is the movement of individuals from one habitat area to 
another. The ability to disperse is often important to tiger beetle 
species because many species inhabit areas such as sand dunes or 
riverbanks that are prone to disturbance and physical change (Pearson 
and Vogler 2001, pp. 130-142; see Factor E (Sand Dune Movement)). In 
the proposed rule we stated that we did not have information on the 
dispersal habits of the CPSD tiger beetle, so we evaluated information 
for surrogate species that occupy unstable habitats similar to the CPSD 
geologic formation. Peer review comments on our proposed rule (see Peer 
Review) indicate that limited dispersal information exists for the 
species. Available information shows CPSD tiger beetle adults commonly 
move up to 800 m (2,625 ft) within the dune field over a period of 1 or 
2 weeks (Knisley and Gowan, 2004; entire; Knisley 2013, pers. comm.), 
but we do not know the mechanisms by which this dispersal affects 
population persistence. Information on the dispersal habits of other 
species is provided below for comparative purposes.
    The Maricopa tiger beetle, Cicindela oregona maricopa, is an 
example of a species that uses dispersal mechanisms to persist in an 
unstable environment. The Maricopa tiger beetle inhabits moist sandy 
habitat on the banks of small streams and creeks (Pearson and Vogler 
2001, p. 141). Flash flooding periodically scours away this sandy 
habitat and most of the existing population (Pearson and Vogler 2001, 
p. 141). These floods redistribute the scoured sand elsewhere, and 
surviving adult tiger beetles quickly disperse and colonize the newly 
available habitat (Pearson and Vogler 2001, p. 141). Similarly for the 
CPSD tiger beetle, the CPSD geologic formation is continually changing 
as winds redistribute the sands, creating and destroying swale habitat 
and dispersal habitat within and

[[Page 61087]]

between Conservation Areas A and B (see Factor E Sand Dune Movement 
below).
    Often, tiger beetle populations depend upon dispersal among 
separated populations for the survival of individual populations and 
the species (Knisley et al. 2005, p. 557). The extirpation of at least 
one population of the Northeastern Beach tiger beetle, Cicindela 
dorsalis dorsalis, (federally listed as a threatened species) is 
partially attributed to the lack of nearby populations and associated 
dispersal habitats (Knisley et al. 2005, p. 557). Similarly, in the 
CPSD geologic feature, the northern population of the CPSD tiger beetle 
may persist because of dispersal from the central population, across 
the CPSD (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 9), although as we learned in the 
peer review of our proposed rule this dependency is uncertain (see 
Population Distribution; Peer Review). In like fashion, the resilience 
of the central population would be greatly increased if the northern 
population became self-sustaining with a higher population number, and 
thus could more easily and frequently contribute to the central 
population by dispersing across the CPSD.

Larval Behavior and Ecology

    Larval CPSD tiger beetles are ambush predators that wait at the 
mouth of their burrow to capture small arthropod prey when it passes 
nearby. The daily period of activity is highly variable and influenced 
by temperature, moisture levels, and season (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 
388; Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 20). Larvae can be active much of the 
day during cool or cloudy spring and fall days, except during high wind 
periods (Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14). Maximal activity occurs 
in early mornings before the soil becomes dry and warm from the sun and 
again in late afternoon and evening after the soil has cooled 
(Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14).
    Adult females determine the larval microhabitat by their selection 
of an oviposition site (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 6). Recently hatched 
larvae construct burrows in the sand at the site of oviposition and 
subsequently pass through three larval stages before pupating and 
emerging to the adult form (Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14). Most 
larvae occur within the swale bottoms and up the lower slopes of the 
dunes, particularly where the soil or subsoil is moist most of the time 
(Knisley and Hill 1996, p. 11; Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 22). The 
swale vegetation supports the larval prey base of ants, flies, and 
other prey (Conservation Committee 2009, p. 14). Larvae most often 
remain in the same burrow throughout their development and only rarely 
move outside of their burrow to dig a new burrow in a more favorable 
location (Knisley and Hill 1996, p. 11).

Population Size and Dynamics

    Substantial year-to-year population variation is typical of many 
desert arthropods that are greatly affected by climatic factors such as 
rainfall (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 391). Adult abundance in any year 
is a result of many interacting factors that affect recruitment of the 
cohort oviposited 2 or 3 years previous (because of a 2- or 3-year life 
cycle), and also the survivorship of the developmental stages of that 
year's cohort (Knisley 2001, p. 10).
    The central and northern populations were monitored for the last 21 
and 15 years (respectively) to yield a yearly adult CPSD tiger beetle 
population size estimate. In our proposed rule, we presented an adult 
population size estimate based solely on data collected from the 
central population from 1992 to 1997, and after 1997 the adult 
population size estimate was based on both populations. Information 
reported to us in the peer review process (see Peer Review) revealed 
that it was not appropriate to report population estimates from both of 
these periods on the same graph due to changes in population sampling 
methods (Knisley and Gowan 2013, pp. 7-9). Furthermore, the currently 
used (1998-2013) removal method for population estimates is very 
reliable while the previously used (1992-1997) mark-recapture method 
significantly overestimated abundance, often 2-3 fold. Consequently, 
since the estimates made in 1992 to 1997 are overestimates, comparisons 
of population size before and after 1998 are not valid (Knisley and 
Gowan 2013, pp. 7-9). In this document, we focus on population 
estimates from 1998 forward because of these reasons, and because this 
time period encompasses the lowest and highest population estimates 
recorded.
    Population numbers fluctuated greatly over the 1998 to 2013 
timeframe, ranging from a high of 2,944 in 2002 to a low of 558 in 2005 
(Figure 2). The total adult population size estimate in 2013 was 2,494 
(Knisley 2013, pers. comm.). Population monitoring results indicate a 
low, yet stable to increasing, population size since 2003 that 
contrasts with highly variable population estimates in previous periods 
(Knisley and Gowan 2011, pp. 7-8; Knisley and Gowan 2013, p. 8; Knisley 
2013, pers. comm.).

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Population Viability Analysis

    The CPSD tiger population viability analysis (PVA) in the proposed 
rule demonstrated that reductions in growth rate and carrying capacity 
(albeit a moderate effect on PVA compared to growth rate) increase the 
probability of extinction for this species (77 FR 60208, October 2, 
2012). Since publication of the proposed rule, we have further 
investigated the appropriateness of using PVA models to inform the CPSD 
tiger beetle listing decision and rulemaking process. We have 
determined that PVA analysis should not be used as an absolute 
prediction of the likelihood of species extinction due to the intrinsic 
limitations of any model that uses incomplete information to predict 
future events (Reed et al. 2002, pp. 14-15). Instead, PVA analysis is 
more useful to direct conservation actions or decide among a suite of 
alternative management strategies (Schultz and Hammond 2003, p. 1376; 
Beissinger et al. 2006, p. 13). Thus, we do not further discuss PVA 
analysis of CPSD tiger beetle populations, and alternatively will use 
the modeling tool in the future to direct species management options.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on October 2, 2012 (77 FR 60208), we 
requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the 
proposal by December 3, 2012. We also contacted appropriate Federal and 
State agencies, scientific experts and organizations, and other 
interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. A 
newspaper notice inviting general public comment and advertisement of 
the information meeting and public hearing was published in the 
Southern Utah News. We received requests for a public hearing, which 
was held in Kanab, Utah, on May 22, 2013. We reopened the comment 
period on May 6, 2013 (78 FR 26308), to accept comments on several 
rule-related documents (see Previous Federal Actions) and for comments 
received during the public hearing. The final comment period closed 
June 5, 2013.
    During the two comment periods for the proposed rule, we received 
more than 1,000 comment letters directly addressing the proposed 
listing of the CPSD tiger beetle with designated critical habitat. 
Submitted comments were both for and against listing the species with 
designated critical habitat. During the May 22, 2013, public hearing, 
fewer than 10 individuals or organizations commented on the proposed 
rule, all of which were opposed to the proposal. All substantive 
information provided during the comment periods has either been 
incorporated directly into this withdrawal or addressed below.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from three appropriate and 
independent specialists with scientific expertise that included 
familiarity with tiger beetles and their habitat, biological needs, and 
threats. We received responses from two of the peer reviewers.
    We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers for 
substantive

[[Page 61089]]

issues and new information regarding the listing of the CPSD tiger 
beetle. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the following summary 
and incorporated into this withdrawal document as appropriate.
Peer Review Comments
    (1) Comment: One peer reviewer said that questions exist about how 
the northern population fluctuates or is sustained. The peer reviewer 
stated that dispersal from the central population as the factor that 
sustains the northern population; however, this theory is uncertain and 
there is no solid evidence for it except that adults disperse when the 
central population numbers are high. The peer reviewer stated that at 
these times, more adults are observed in peripheral areas. The peer 
reviewer put forth an alternative explanation that the fairly 
consistent numbers of larvae (although highly variable) produce and 
sustain the presence of small numbers of adults seen there, and thus 
the northern population could exist independent of dispersal. The peer 
reviewer noted that regardless of which theory is correct, the area 
between these two populations can provide a corridor for dispersal. The 
peer reviewer further stated that monitoring information shows CPSD 
tiger beetles can disperse as far as 800 m (2,625 ft) within a week or 
less and that no information is available to indicate how important the 
area between A and B is for dispersal, so it is uncertain if and how 
many adults might be killed by ORV activity in these areas.
    Our Response: Although the northern population is not self-
sustaining, it provides an important component to the conservation of 
CPSD tiger beetle. At this time, we do not have enough information to 
determine whether the northern population maintains itself at a low 
level via natural reproduction and recruitment, or is sustained by 
dispersing CPSD tiger beetles from the central population (see 
Population Distribution under Background). Regardless, the habitat 
between Conservation Areas A and B provides important habitat for the 
species for dispersal and potential colonization and will be important 
to offset the effects of climate change. A dispersal corridor is, 
therefore, being permanently protected in this area by 14 habitat 
polygons,that were established through the 2013 CCA Amendment (see 
Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts).
    (2) Comment: One peer reviewer asked why the Service needed to 
designate critical habitat for the CPSD tiger beetle when critical 
habitat is already designated for Welsh's milkweed.
    Our Response: Critical habitat designation is established for 
individual species based on the habitat necessary for the species' 
sustained survival, including primary constituent elements particular 
to an individual species. However, this document withdraws the proposed 
listing for the CPSD tiger beetle; therefore, no critical habitat is 
being designated.
    (3) Comment: One peer reviewer indicated that fairly extensive CPSD 
tiger beetle surveys were conducted in 2012 for the area between the 
central and northern populations, but no adults were found.
    Our Response: Published information regarding this sampling was not 
available prior to the time that the proposed rule was finalized for 
publication. We incorporated the 2012 survey information into this 
final determination.
    (4) Comment: One peer reviewer questioned whether the northern 
occurrence of CPSD tiger beetle should be referred to as a population.
    Our Response: We believe that this occurrence of the species is 
properly described in the proposed rule as it is a localized grouping 
of the species that has been observed separately from the central 
population for over the last 15 years. However, we do not consider the 
northern population to be self-sustaining because only a small number 
of adults and larvae have been found at this location since 1998, and 
insect populations typically need to have larger populations to be 
considered self-sustaining (see Small Population Effects under Factor 
E.).
    (5) Comment: One peer reviewer provided information that CPSD tiger 
beetles are present in smaller numbers south and east of Conservation 
Area A. The reviewer noted the proposed rule incorrectly indicated that 
CPSD tiger beetles are absent from the south-central and southeastern 
portions of Conservation Area A and the general area south of 
Conservation Area A.
    Our Response: CPSD tiger beetle distribution was considered in the 
2013 CCA Amendment and updated for this determination and withdrawal of 
the proposed rule.
    (6) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that the information in the 
proposed rule regarding surveys in northern swales is not fully 
accurate; regular surveys were completed in the northern area swales, 
and adults or larvae were found each year for the past 5-7 years 
including 2012. The peer reviewer noted that in the 1990s, extensive 
surveys over the whole northern area confirmed absence of adults in 
most of the swales; thus, more recent surveys targeted those few swales 
that supported adults or larvae. The peer reviewer stated that enough 
surveys have been completed in Conservation Area B to confirm the 
absence of CPSD tiger beetles and habitat in all but a small part of 
the area, and that area is marginal habitat.
    Our Response: CPSD tiger beetle distribution information was 
updated based on this information (see Population Distribution under 
Background). Although the quality of the habitat in Conservation Area B 
may not currently allow for large populations of CPSD tiger beetles to 
develop, the presence of the species in low numbers indicates that this 
area is important to conservation of the species.
    (7) Comment: One peer reviewer recommended updating the information 
in the proposed rule regarding collection of CPSD tiger beetles by 
amateur beetle collectors. The reviewer is familiar with general 
amateur collector behavior in the United States and stated the 
following regarding the effects of this activity on CPSD tiger beetles: 
(1) Amateur collectors have taken adult CPSD tiger beetles in recent 
years; (2) there are many tiger beetle collectors out there, possibly a 
hundred or more and perhaps increasing; (3) most want to collect all of 
the U.S. species, and it is virtually impossible for State park 
personnel to prevent this; however, it is likely that most collectors 
will take only a small number of adults with limited effects on the 
population.
    Our Response: CPSD tiger beetle amateur collecting information was 
updated based on this information (see Factor B.).
    (8) Comment: One peer reviewer questioned if it was necessary to 
protect Conservation Area B given the small numbers of tiger beetles in 
this area.
    Our Response: Although the proposed rule states that the CPSD tiger 
beetle population at Conservation Area B is not self-sustaining, the 
species is still present in this area and should continue to receive 
the protection provided by Conservation Area B. Continuing to protect 
the species in this location results in improved long-term habitat 
conditions for the CPSD tiger beetle, resulting in increased species' 
resiliency, which makes the species less susceptible to threats such as 
climate change and drought, demographic and environmental 
stochasticity, and catastrophic events (see Factor E. Climate Change 
and Drought and Small Population Effects). Continued protection of 
Conservation Area B is discussed in this withdrawal document

[[Page 61090]]

and included as a conservation measure in the 2013 CCA Amendment (see 
Background, Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts, and PECE 
Analysis).
    (9) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that the area between 
Conservation A and B has not been confirmed as a dispersal corridor.
    Our Response: The proposed rule stated that this area it is likely 
a dispersal corridor. We have updated this information to reflect that 
we are uncertain to what level this area acts as a dispersal corridor, 
but that based on the life history of similar tiger beetle species, 
this area should be protected for CPSD tiger beetle dispersal and 
colonization. Further, the establishment and monitoring of the 
additional habitat polygons in this area will provide additional 
information on the importance and usage of this area by the CPSD tiger 
beetle.
    (10) Comment: One peer reviewer concluded that the CPSD tiger 
beetle must receive significant protection because of its small 
population size and very limited geographical range. The peer reviewer 
stated that over the past decade, populations have been as low as 
several hundred individuals and the core habitat for this population 
consists of just a few dune swales located within the CPSD geologic 
feature. The peer reviewer noted this core habitat is currently 
protected from ORV use, but this does not negate the inherent risk 
posed by small population size and limited habitat.
    Our Response: The Service agrees that the CPSD tiger beetle should 
receive protection in part because of its small population size and 
very limited geographical range. Conservation actions have been 
developed and implemented as part of the 2013 CCA Amendment to address 
the risk posed by ORV use, small population size, and limited habitat. 
In addition, as a result of the existing conservation efforts, CPSD 
tiger beetle numbers have generally been increasing for the past 8 
years.
    (11) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that the critical habitat 
identified in the proposed rule is correct, with the most critical 
habitat currently located in the southern end of the area 
(``Conservation Area A'').
    Our Response: This document withdraws the proposed listing of the 
CPSD tiger beetle. Therefore, critical habitat will not be designated 
for this species.
    (12) Comment: One peer reviewer and another commenter recommended 
that the Service explore opportunities to expand the natural range of 
the beetle beyond the CPSD geologic feature.
    Our Response: We agree that range expansion should be pursued as a 
goal for CPSD tiger beetle conservation, and actions to achieve this 
objective are detailed in the 2013 CCA Amendment.
    (13) Comment: One peer reviewer concluded that the protected areas 
described in the proposed rule (now called ``Conservation Area A'' and 
``Conservation Area B'', with Area A being the most important) should 
be expanded to provide adequate protection from ORV use. However, this 
reviewer also concluded that the beetle would still face extinction due 
to naturally small population sizes and limited habitat, and the 
additional protection provided by the expanded conservation areas would 
not materially improve the species' chances for survival.
    Our Response: We agree that expansion of CPSD tiger beetle 
protective areas should be pursued as a goal for the species' 
conservation, and actions to achieve this objective are included and 
being implemented by the 2013 CCA Amendment. However, as discussed in 
the proposed rule and this withdrawal document, we do not consider 
small population size alone to be a threat. A species that has always 
been rare, yet continues to survive, could be well equipped to continue 
to exist into the future. Many naturally rare species have persisted 
for long periods within small geographic areas, and many naturally rare 
species exhibit traits that allow them to persist despite their small 
population sizes. Consequently, the fact that a species is rare does 
not necessarily indicate that it may be in danger of extinction.
    (14) Comment: One peer reviewer recommended that the Service expand 
Conservation Area A to include: (1) The two dune ridges to the south 
(termed ``the D swales'' in recent reports by Knisley and Gowan); and 
(2) swales immediately to the east and north, numbered as follows in 
the 2013 CCA Amendment: 6, 7, 8, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 
and 27. The peer reviewer further stated that these swales should not 
be protected as individual ``islands.'' Instead, they should be 
included in one expanded, contiguous conservation area (i.e., the 
boundary should be established around the entire set of swales).
    Our Response: Generally, this recommendation is being adopted as 
part of the 2013 CCA Amendment, although not all swales will be 
incorporated into Conservation A so that safe travel corridors can be 
maintained for ORV users within the CPSD feature. Although the entirety 
of the D swales is not incorporated into Conservation Area A, the 
conservation committee agreed to protect this swale habitat as isolated 
polygons. Swales 6 and 7 will be protected in an isolated polygon as 
will swale 8 and 9, and a portion of swale 12 will be protected. The 
remainder of the swales and the lands in between them will be 
incorporated into Conservation Area A.
    (15) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that because the dune field 
is dynamic, the boundaries of newly protected habitat will need to be 
adjusted over time as specific dunes become either more or less 
suitable for tiger beetles. The peer reviewer stated that continued 
monitoring of the distribution and abundance of the beetle, with the 
potential to expand or reduce the areas off-limits to ORVs, is 
necessary, and adaptive management of tiger beetle habitat is key to 
reducing extinction risk.
    Our Response: We agree with this approach for CPSD tiger beetle 
conservation and adaptive management. Actions to achieve this objective 
are detailed in the 2013 CCA Amendment (see Ongoing and Future 
Conservation Efforts).
    (16) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the description and 
analysis of the biology, habitat, population trends, historical and 
current distribution of the species, and factors affecting the species 
contained in the proposed rule are accurate. The peer reviewer further 
stated that the proposed rule cites all the necessary and pertinent 
literature to support the subsequent assumptions, arguments, and 
conclusions.
    Our Response: Comment noted.

State and County Comments

    (17) Comment: The Utah Governor's Office does not agree that 
listing the species and designating critical habitat is necessary to 
ensure the protection of the CPSD tiger beetle. The Utah Governor's 
Office stated that instead, conservation of the species should continue 
under direction of the 1997 CCA, its reauthorization in 2009, and the 
2013 Amendment to this agreement. The Utah Governor's Office provided 
examples of the effectiveness of the CCAs, including: establishment of 
two conservation areas that prohibit ORV use; annual monitoring; 
species life-history research; watering research; genetics studies; 
population viability analysis; protection for the species via BLM and 
Utah State Parks law enforcement; an educational program; and 
development of a translocation protocol. The Utah Governor's Office

[[Page 61091]]

also stated that the collaborative partnership of the CCA has 
demonstrated a track record of addressing threats to the CPSD tiger 
beetle based on the best available information, and thus listing is not 
necessary to ensure the species' continued existence into the future.
    Our Response: The Service is signatory to the 1997 CCA and 2009 
reauthorization, and we have worked closely with the other signatories 
to develop and implement the additional conservation measures in the 
2013 CCA Amendment. We agree that the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA 
Amendment provide significant conservation actions to benefit CPSD 
tiger beetle. As part of this rulemaking process, we conducted an 
evaluation consistent with our Policy for Evaluation of Conservation 
Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) (68 FR 15100) to evaluate 
the 2013 CCA Amendment. PECE analysis was performed on the conservation 
actions in the 2013 CCA Amendment to determine if these actions, which 
have yet to be implemented or to show effectiveness, will contribute to 
making listing CPSD tiger beetle as a threatened or endangered species 
unnecessary. The results of that analysis determined that there will be 
certainty of implementation (for those measures not already 
implemented) and certainty of effectiveness for the conservation 
actions specified in the 2013 CCA Amendment. Thus, we have determined 
that the measures will be effective at eliminating or reducing threats 
to the CPSD tiger beetle and the species no longer meets the definition 
of a threatened or endangered species.
    (18) Comment: Utah congressional representatives requested that we: 
(1) Extend the original comment period for the proposed rule by 90 
days; (2) extend the date by which the public can request a hearing on 
the proposal until 60 days into the 90-day extension; and (3) make all 
the resources cited in the proposed rule readily available on the 
Service Web site.
    Our Response: The Service is committed to working closely with the 
public, governmental agencies, and nongovernmental groups to make 
certain that all comments, concerns, and relevant information are 
considered in our rulemaking process. However, court-mandated deadlines 
and statutory limitations of the Act limit the temporal flexibility we 
have to administer this rulemaking process. For example, the Service's 
multi-district litigation settlement (In re Endangered Species Act 
Section 4 Deadline Litigation, No. 10-377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 
(D.D.C May 10, 2011)) mandates completion of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes 
tiger beetle rulemaking within the standard timeline set forth in the 
Act. In addition, the time period by which the public can request a 
public hearing (45 days following publication of a proposal) is 
specified in the Act and cannot be extended. For these reasons, we were 
not able to provide a 90-day extension to the original proposed rule 
comment period. However, on May 6, 2013, we published in the Federal 
Register a notice of availability of the draft economic analysis for 
the proposed rule as well as other documents pertinent to the listing. 
We also reopened the comment period on the proposed rule for 30 days, 
and thus we accepted additional comments on the CPSD tiger beetle 
rulemaking. The two comment periods included: (1) October 2, 2012, to 
December 3, 2013; and (2) May 6, 2013, to June 5, 2013.
    After the publication of the proposed rule in early October 2012, 
the Service received an informal request from Kane County Commissioners 
for a public hearing. In response to this request, we held an 
informational meeting and a public hearing on May 22, 2013, in Kanab, 
Utah. Notification of the meeting and the hearing was provided in the 
Federal Register and the Southern Utah News newspaper, which covers the 
local area.
    The Service realized that we cited a significant number of sources 
for this rulemaking, and we wanted to ensure that those who wished to 
meaningfully comment had access to this information. Thus, during the 
first comment period (October 2012) the Service made available on the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal all information sources cited in the 
proposed rule. These documents can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov with a search for Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2012-0053.
    (19) Comment: One commenter cites Knisley (2011, entire) as 
concluding that there is a lack of scientific evidence of the impacts 
of human-caused disturbances on CPSD tiger beetles, and available 
information is largely anecdotal and observational. In addition, the 
commenter indicated that the proposed rule acknowledges that the last 9 
years of population data suggests that the threat of ORV use will not 
cause imminent extinction of the CPSD tiger beetle. The commenter was 
concerned that the listing of the CPSD tiger beetle could result in the 
closure or restriction of over 70 percent of the dunes to ORVs.
    Our Response: Although Knisley (2011, entire) stated that there is 
relatively little literature or studies on the effects of anthropogenic 
disturbances on tiger beetles, he also reasoned that the sum of this 
information is especially important for assessing habitat disturbance. 
Overall, we used the best scientific and commercial information 
available for the purpose of making a listing determination for the 
CPSD tiger beetle, and we concluded that the species does not require 
listing as a threatened or endangered species under the Act.
    (20) Comment: One commenter concluded that our determination to 
protect the dune area between Conservation Areas A and B is based on 
speculative, anecdotal, and opportunistic information. The commenter 
stated that, by the scientists' own admission, little study of the 
areas outside the two conservation areas has been done in the past 20 
years. However, the commenter notes that the Service supposes that 
beetles might be killed by ORVs operating between the two conservation 
areas, thus ORVs cause impacts to population dispersal. The commenter 
questioned the evidence to support the existence of a dispersal 
corridor between Conservation Areas A and B. The commenter indicated 
that furthermore, the Service previously stated in their Candidate 
Notice of Review (CNOR) for the species that, ``The majority of traffic 
is concentrated in the play areas, and ORV use in these areas has no 
direct impact on the tiger beetle. The play areas have never been 
observed to support beetles, and likely did not have suitable habitat 
prior to ORV use due to vegetative succession, high winds and dune 
movement. Therefore, ORV use is likely only directly impacting the 
areas immediately surrounding the Conservation Areas.''
    Our Response: As stated in our response to Comment (1), additional 
information has been included in this determination and withdrawal 
document (see Background) stating that it is unclear if the 
Conservation Area B population is being maintained via dispersal from 
Conservation Area A. Regardless of whether the northern population 
maintains itself via natural reproduction and recruitment, by 
dispersing CPSD tiger beetles from the central population, or by some 
combination of the two, the dispersal corridor provides important 
habitat for the species for dispersal and potential colonization and 
will be important to offset the effects of climate change. The 
dispersal corridor area between Conservation Area A and B is, 
therefore, being permanently protected by 14 new habitat polygons that 
will be established as part of the 2013 CCA Amendment. Both this 
withdrawal document and the 2013 CCA Amendment incorporate new

[[Page 61092]]

information that became available after the publication of the CNOR in 
2011.
    (21) Comment: State lawmakers are concerned that in the past 
researchers have been studying the CPSD tiger beetle without any input 
from the land managers with regard to the information they need in 
order to make sound management decisions. The commenters noted that 
working collectively, the Service, BLM, Utah State Parks, and Kane 
County can implement strategies and management objectives to improve 
the CPSD tiger beetle population. The commenters recommended that the 
Service withdraw the proposal to list the CPSD tiger beetle and 
continue using the existing CCA as an adaptive management strategy to 
improve CPSD tiger beetle populations.
    Our Response: Management, research, and education efforts for the 
CPSD tiger beetle have been coordinated with land managers. For more 
than 15 years, CPSD tiger beetle management, research, and education 
efforts have been funded by BLM and executed in coordination with BLM 
and Utah State Parks land managers as well as the conservation 
committee that is composed of these agencies as well as the Service and 
Kane County. As part of the rulemaking process, we used the PECE 
process to evaluate the 2013 CCA Amendment. We determined that the CCA 
measures will be effective at eliminating or reducing threats to the 
CPSD tiger beetle and the species no longer meets the definition of a 
threatened or endangered species.
    (22) Comment: State lawmakers stated that decisions that will have 
such a major impact on the land managers and the local economy should 
not be made in a regulatory vacuum. They stated that they would have 
liked greater transparency during the drafting of the CCA, which could 
have precluded the need for the proposed rule. State lawmakers also 
expressed concern that the current dune field was not considered as an 
exclusion area for critical habitat.
    Our Response: Throughout the Service's process to evaluate the CPSD 
tiger beetle for listing and designation of critical habitat, the 
public has had opportunity to provide input. The Service requested 
information from the public as part of our evaluation, including two 
public comment periods following the publication of our proposed 
listing and critical habitat rule (77 FR 60208 and 78 FR 26308). The 
drafting of the 1997, 2009, and 2013 CCAs were also transparent 
processes that involved the signatory agencies of Kane County, Utah 
State Parks, BLM, and the Service. The comment relative to critical 
habitat designation is no longer relevant because we are withdrawing 
our proposed rule to list the CPSD tiger beetle.
    (23) Comment: Multiple commenters stated that the economy of 
southern Utah depends heavily upon tourism and that limiting or closing 
the CPSD State Park to ORVs could have a significant adverse effect on 
the economies of Kanab and Kane County. Commenters stated that economic 
effects should be evaluated more thoroughly. In addition, commenters 
stated that the majority of CPSD State Park visitors come to 
participate in riding or observing ORVs across the sand dunes and 
surrounding areas and significant restriction of ORV use at CPSD would 
force the State of Utah to close CPSD State Park. Commenters indicated 
such a closure would significantly impact the economies in the 
surrounding region. Commenters stated estimates of total positive 
economic impact of the CPSD State Park vary from $733,584 to $780,050.
    Our Response: As discussed in the economic analysis, ORV 
restrictions resulting from the proposed listing of the species and 
designation of critical habitat are not expected to result in changes 
in visitation to CPSD State Park. Future shifting of dunes has the 
potential to restrict access such that ORV visitation would be expected 
to decrease. If ORV use decreased sufficiently to cause CPSD State Park 
to close, the resultant loss of $780,050 in economic output associated 
with CPSD State Park is less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the 
county's total output. Thus, limiting or closing ORV use would not 
significantly affect the county's economy, although individual 
businesses may be impacted more than others. Regardless, this document 
withdraws our proposed rule to list the CPSD tiger beetle and designate 
critical habitat for the species.
    (24) Comment: Kane County asked if the boundary lines along the 
southern and northern portion of Conservation Area A, as delineated by 
Figure 4 of the 2012 Conservation Studies Final Report, were intended 
to eliminate ORV traffic from traveling along the east side of the 
habitat areas.
    Our Response: The recommendation of the researchers who wrote the 
report was to eliminate ORV traffic from traveling along the east side 
of Conservation Area A. However, this closure was not incorporated into 
the 2013 CCA Amendment due to concerns for human safety, and the 
related expansion of Conservation Area A has allowed for the continued 
use of ORVs in these areas.
    (25) Comment: Kane County asked us to discuss the survival rates of 
the CPSD tiger beetle eggs that are laid in the late summer and hatched 
in the spring of the following year, as well as the number of eggs that 
are viable/fertilized when they are laid. They also asked for 
information on the level of predation of the eggs or the loss from 
disease or parasites.
    Our Response: We are not aware of any additional published 
information regarding CPSD tiger beetle egg ecology beyond what was 
provided in the proposed rule. However, additional information 
regarding CPSD tiger beetle egg ecology was provided by Dr. Barry 
Knisley via personal communication and has been incorporated into this 
final determination and withdrawal document (see Life History under 
Background).
    (26) Comment: Some commenters noted that the Environmental 
Assessment that the Service prepared for the critical habitat 
designation stated that the Service does not have information on the 
dispersal habits of the CPSD tiger beetle, and it only presented 
population monitoring information from the central and northern 
populations. The commenters recommend that additional study should be 
done on the CPSD tiger beetle dispersal habits and population dynamics 
and that, if a decision to list the species under the Act were made 
now, it would be with incomplete information.
    Our Response: The Act requires us to use the best commercial and 
scientific information available to make listing determinations. The 
best available information is often incomplete. As such, dispersal 
habitat of other tiger beetle species comprised the best information 
available at the time and was used to infer what the dispersal 
characteristics are of the CPSD tiger beetle. Similarly, past 
monitoring of the species primarily occurred at the central and 
northern populations. Additional studies are being planned through the 
2013 CCA Amendment to better assess the dispersal habits and population 
dynamics of the CPSD tiger beetle.
    (27) Comment: The commenters referred to Page 14, section 2.1.9 of 
the Environmental Assessment and asked what are the other natural or 
manmade factors that are specifically referred to and how are these 
evaluated by the EA or the process of managing the CPSD tiger beetle 
through the CCAs.
    Our Response: This section of the Environmental Assessment that was 
prepared for the critical habitat designation is a summary of the 
significant threats identified in the proposed rule that are affecting 
the

[[Page 61093]]

CPSD tiger beetle. The phrase ``other natural or manmade factors 
affecting its continued existence'' refers to listing Factor E, and 
includes: (1) Sand dune movement; (2) climate change and drought; (3) 
small population effects; and (4) cumulative effects of all threats 
that may impact the species. In this withdrawal, we determined that 
these ``other natural or manmade factors'' are not a threat to the CPSD 
tiger beetle. These factors are being managed and their threat is 
reduced through the 2013 CCA Amendment by protecting key occupied, 
dispersal, and future colonization habitats for the species throughout 
the CPSD geologic feature.
    (28) Comment: The commenters stated that the area proposed as 
designated critical habitat includes the entirety of the northern 80 
percent of the CPSD geologic feature, but much of this area does not 
currently support the CPSD tiger beetle. They requested an explanation 
of why the entirety of this area was proposed as critical habitat.
    Our Response: CPSD tiger beetles are primarily found in 
conservation areas in the northern and central areas of the CPSD 
geologic feature; however, the species is found in significant numbers 
outside of Conservation Area A and thought to disperse from the central 
area to the northern area. Because CPSD tiger beetle habitat is dynamic 
and changes based on the effects of wind-driven dune movement, the 
habitat adjacent to occupied swales was included in the proposed 
critical habitat designation. In addition, habitat between the central 
and northern populations was included in the proposed critical habitat 
designation to include habitat that could be used for dispersal and 
could be colonized by new populations, thus providing redundancy for 
current populations and resiliency to climate change and drought. 
Regardless, we have determined that it is appropriate to withdraw the 
proposed listing rule for the CPSD tiger beetle, and critical habitat 
will not be designated for this species.
    (29) Comment: Commenters expressed concern that designation of 
critical habitat may not include all habitat eventually determined as 
necessary to recover the species.
    Our Response: As explained in the proposed rule, proposed 
designated critical habitat for this species was delineated to include 
the physical and biological features that are essential to the 
conservation of the CPSD tiger beetle. Furthermore, the species was 
never known to occur outside of the CPSD geologic feature, and we 
concluded that designating critical habitat outside of the historical 
range of the species was not necessary to conserve this species.
    (30) Comment: One commenter found the economic analysis seriously 
flawed in that it focuses mainly on the costs of the Act's Section 7 
consultations, development of incidental take permits (federal and 
state enforcement), and consumer surplus losses. The commenter requests 
that the analysis investigate and analyze the effects on local 
businesses in Kane County and surrounding areas.
    Our Response: Although the primary purpose of the economic analysis 
is to identify and value the direct coextensive impacts of the listing 
and critical habitat designation, the analysis also considers the 
indirect impact of the proposed action on the regional economy in 
Section 3.2 and small businesses in Section 6 (USFWS 2013, entire). The 
analysis recognizes that particular businesses catering exclusively to 
ORV users may experience larger impacts relative to other businesses; 
however, the total impact to the county is not expected to be 
significant because (1) the proposed action has the potential to 
restrict ORV use but does not eliminate ORV use, (2) any decline in 
visitation to CPSD State Park has the potential to increase visitation 
to other ORV areas resulting in benefits to businesses in those areas, 
and (3) the county contains several other tourism attractions that 
account for the majority of the local tourism-based economy.
    (31) Comment: The commenter states that the conservation benefits 
section of the Environmental Assessment implies that the decision has 
already been made to close the CPSD State Park to ORV traffic. The 
commenter requests that prior to finalizing the Economic Analysis, the 
Environmental Assessment should have been reviewed for its analysis and 
conclusions.
    Our Response: It should be noted that the proposed rule did not 
suggest eliminating ORV use. The conservation benefits section of the 
draft environmental assessment does not indicate the extent to which 
ORVs would be restricted as it had not yet been determined. However, 
the proposed rule to list the CPSD tiger beetle is being withdrawn, and 
critical habitat is not being designated. The 2013 CCA Amendment 
provides some increased ORV restrictions and protection for the CPSD 
tiger beetle.
    (32) Comment: One commenter suggested that the purpose of the 
economic analysis is to determine what is best for the CPSD tiger 
beetle and still allow all forms of recreation on the CPSD.
    Our Response: The purpose of the economic analysis is to evaluate 
the potential economic impacts associated with the proposed critical 
habitat designation for CPSD tiger beetle. The analysis considers 
current and future impacts to both the economic efficiency and 
distribution that may result from efforts to protect the CPSD tiger 
beetle and its habitat.
    (33) Comment: One commenter stated that the revenue generated by 
ORV use in Kane County, and particularly at the CPSD State Park, should 
be evaluated in more detail than is presented in the economic analysis.
    Our Response: The economic analysis provides information regarding 
the revenue generated by ORV use in Utah on page 3-8. It should be 
noted that the proposed action had the potential to restrict ORV use 
but did not propose to eliminate ORV use. However, under this 
withdrawal, the species is not being listed under the Act and critical 
habitat is not being designated.
    (34) Comment: The commenter finds the definition of ``surplus 
losses'' in the economic analysis to be highly subjective and of little 
value when determining financial losses to local businesses.
    Our Response: The definition of and methodology for consumer 
surplus loss estimates presented in the economic analysis are widely 
recognized in the field of economic analysis. Consumer surplus loss 
measures losses only to consumers, not to businesses. The objective of 
the economic analysis is to determine the economic impact of the 
proposed rule. The proposed action was not anticipated to have a 
significant impact overall on local businesses given the limited number 
of visitors and businesses impacted (see Section 3.2). However, under 
this withdrawal, the species is not being listed under the Act and 
critical habitat is not being designated.
    (35) Comment: The commenter requests clarification of the following 
statement from the economic analysis: ``costs associated with 
uncertainty and misperception of the regulatory burden imposed by 
critical habitat designation'' and a definition of ``misperception of 
regulatory burden.''
    Our Response: The misperception of regulatory burden refers to the 
difference between the actual restrictions imposed as a result of the 
proposed critical habitat designation and the way the public perceives 
the restrictions. In some cases, the public may perceive restrictions 
to be above and beyond the actual restrictions implemented as a result 
of the proposed action. Costs associated with

[[Page 61094]]

uncertainty and misperception of the regulatory burden imposed by 
critical habitat refers to any economic impacts resulting from this 
difference in actual versus perceived restrictions.
    (36) Comment: The commenter states that the economic analysis did 
not include contact with business owners (motels/hotels, gas stations, 
mechanics, restaurants, or ATV rental businesses) in Kane County, or 
else did not provide documentation of those contacted.
    Our Response: We contacted 10 hotels, 1 RV Park, and 2 ORV rental 
businesses in Kanab, UT, to collect information for the economic 
analysis. Only three of the hotels responded to our calls.

 Federal Agency Comments

    (37) Comment: The BLM stated that implementation of the CCA has 
been an effective tool in the management and recovery of the CPSD tiger 
beetle. They indicated as habitat management changes become necessary, 
such as adjustments in conservation area boundaries due to shifting 
dunes or tiger beetle population migration, these actions are easily 
accommodated by the CCA. The BLM is concerned that, should the beetle 
become listed, the management flexibility currently provided by the CCA 
would be unavailable and replaced by the more formal mandates of the 
Act.
    Our Response: The Service makes listing determinations solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available after 
conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into 
account efforts to protect the species. Thus, the issue of future 
management flexibility cannot be taken into consideration as part of 
the determination. Regardless, our decision in this document is to 
withdraw the listing proposal for the CPSD tiger beetle. The beetle 
will continue to be managed under the 2013 CCA Amendment.
    (38) Comment: The BLM noted that the proposed designated critical 
habitat located on BLM-administered lands is located within the Moquith 
Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA). They stated that ORV use is 
restricted in the WSA to open dune areas, and no land disturbances or 
uses that would affect the wilderness characteristics of the area are 
allowed. They indicated that it can reasonably be assumed that no BLM-
authorized activities would adversely modify the proposed critical 
habitat for the CPSD tiger beetle.
    Our Response: The proposed rule states that the northern portion of 
the CPSD feature is located within the WSA, and that the northern 
population of the CPSD tiger beetle is located in Conservation Area B, 
which is a 150-ha (370-ac) protected area within the WSA. Our decision 
in this document is to withdraw the proposed rule to list the CPSD 
tiger beetle; therefore, the critical habitat designation is also 
withdrawn.
    (39) Comment: The BLM stated that the Service's not warranted 12-
month finding on four Great Basin butterflies gave significant 
consideration to BLM's management regulations and policies, which 
included: (1) Numerous laws, regulations, and policies that have been 
developed to assist the agency in management of their lands, including 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis; (2) BLM's usage of 
Resource Management Plans (RMPs) to provide a framework and 
programmatic guidance for site-specific activity plans regarding 
livestock grazing, oil and gas development, travel management, wildlife 
habitat management and other activities; and (3) BLM policy and 
guidance for species of concern occurring on BLM-administered lands as 
addressed under BLM's 6840 Manual ``Special Status Species 
Management''. As a result of the conservation benefit that these 
regulations and policies provide to CPSD tiger beetle, the Service 
should not list the species.
    Our Response: The Service described the BLM's management 
regulations and policies in the proposed rule and acknowledged the 
conservation benefits these actions provide to the CPSD tiger beetle. 
We are withdrawing the proposed rule to list the CPSD tiger beetle in 
large part due to conservation measures that are ongoing and have been 
implemented through the CCA, including the most recent 2013 CCA 
amendment, as described in this withdrawal.
    (40) Comment: The BLM agrees that ORV use is a factor affecting 
CPSD tiger beetle population numbers and habitat. However, the BLM 
stated greater credence should be given to climate-related factors that 
are beyond the control of any management agency, especially rainfall. 
The BLM cited Dr. Knisley's 2008 study, ``As a result of our long term 
studies with this beetle and additional experience with tiger beetles, 
we have become convinced that rainfall is the primary factor 
controlling population size and the changing dynamics.''
    Our Response: Although rainfall amounts, drought, and other 
climate-related factors cannot be directly affected by management 
actions, corresponding conservation actions such as controlling ORV use 
can have a positive effect on the CPSD tiger beetle and its habitat, 
thus making the species more resilient to climate-related factors.
    Likewise, increasing the number of populations of the species on 
the landscape increases the species' redundancy by allowing for 
geographically distinct populations that have the potential of being 
acted on separately by climatic threats. The 2013 CCA amendment 
addresses all threat factors and provides appropriate conservation 
actions to address ORV use and impacts to habitat caused by climate 
change
    (41) Comment: BLM agrees that the population trend is currently 
stable to increasing. BLM does not think that the assumption can be 
made that the overall trend since 1992 is in decline as there was a 
major change in inventory and monitoring methods in 1997. BLM states 
that any discussion on population trends should be based only on data 
obtained since 1997, as the method used prior to that time tended to 
overestimate population numbers and cannot be compared to the current 
inventory method. BLM notes that as Dr. Kinsley notes in his reports, 
comparisons of population size before and after 1998 are not valid.
    Our Response: We agree with this interpretation of CPSD population 
data and have adjusted our analysis accordingly (see Population Size 
and Dynamics in Background).
    (42) Comment: BLM suggested that the Service provide information 
with Figure 2 in the proposed rule, which shows annual and monthly 
precipitation amounts. They stated that the correlation between 
precipitation and beetle populations is striking and lends credibility 
to the thesis that climate is the primary factor in beetle population 
trends. BLM is planning to install a climate monitoring station at the 
CPSD feature to ensure availability of more accurate climate data.
    Our Response: We agree that precipitation is a significant natural 
environmental factor affecting the species, and we support the addition 
of climatic data in the future to associate with CPSD tiger beetle 
population trends. We believe our rulemaking process properly evaluated 
the potential effects of precipitation and climate change.
    (43) Comment: BLM concludes that ORV use is a rather minor impact 
compared to natural climatic events and patterns. They stated that the 
discussion in the proposed rule leads the reader to understand that ORV 
use is the major cause of population decline, which is not the case. 
The BLM indicated that the issue is further complicated by the 
discussion on page 60217 (first column,

[[Page 61095]]

second paragraph) in which the Service states that, ``We do not have 
specific data regarding the level of impact ORVs have on the CPSD tiger 
beetle in the unprotected area between Conservation Area A and B.'' 
They stated that more study is needed to determine the actual impact 
that ORV use has on the beetle.
    Our Response: ORV use was the most significant human-induced threat 
to CPSD tiger beetle that was identified in the proposed rule. It is 
true that we do not have specific data regarding the level of impact of 
ORVs. We agree that precipitation is a significant natural 
environmental factor affecting the species. However, we have determined 
that neither factor results in a need to list the species as threatened 
or endangered, and we are withdrawing our proposed rule.
    (44) Comment: BLM asked what the precipitation pattern was the year 
preceding the information provided on Page 60217 of the proposed rule 
that, ``The year following removal of ORV use, the tiger beetle density 
on this swale more than doubled to 150 beetles. . . .'' BLM wondered if 
the precipitation pattern could have been a factor in the increase of 
beetle numbers.
    Our Response: We have included the precipitation information in our 
discussion of ORV use in this document (see ORV use under Factor A.).
    (45) Comment: The BLM stated that the data in Table 1 of the 
proposed rule is out of date and should be updated with new survey 
information that used more accurate monitoring procedures implemented 
in 1998.
    Our Response: In the proposed rule, Table 1 presents information 
regarding number of adult CPSD tiger beetles found injured or killed 
(by ORVs) before and after high ORV use holiday weekends. More recent 
data are not available, but we believe the available data are an 
accurate portrayal of the direct impacts to CPSD tiger beetle that can 
be expected from ORVs.
    (46) Comment: BLM agrees with the discussion and conclusions for 
Factors B and C in the proposed rule.
    Our Response: Comment noted.
    (47) Comment: BLM concurs with the discussion of sand dune movement 
in the proposed rule. They stated that it will be necessary to 
continually adjust the boundaries on the Conservation Areas to 
compensate for dune movement. BLM believes that this is best done 
through continued implementation of the CCA and the flexibility that it 
provides.
    Our Response: Adaptive management of conservation boundaries in 
response to dune movement is included in the 2013 CCA Amendment, as 
discussed in this document.
    (48) Comment: BLM asked for clarification on information the 
Service provided in the proposed rule (Page 60229), stating that, ``The 
remaining 460 ha (1,138 ac.) are open to ORV use.'' The BLM does not 
believe this statement is technically correct. They stated that the 
2000 amendment to the Vermilion Management Framework Plan affirmed 
allowable ORV traffic over open sand dunes within the Moquith Mountain 
WSA but outside of the conservation area for the beetle. They also 
stated that the 2008 Kanab Resource Management Plan continued that 
action, but also specified that ``all vehicles on the dunes are 
required to stay at least 10 feet from vegetation.''
    Our Response: Within the CPSD feature, BLM-managed lands include 
150 ha (370 ac) that are closed to ORV use; and approximately 445 ha 
(1,100 ac) that are available for ORV use outside of the Conservation 
Area B on BLM lands, but with the stipulation that ORVs stay on open 
dunes and maintain a 3-m (10-ft) buffer around vegetation. BLM and Utah 
State Parks sufficiently enforce ORV restrictions for Conservation 
Areas A and B. However, enforcement is minimal on lands that are not 
designated for protection with carsonite posts and primarily relies on 
voluntary compliance. Thus, we have no record of enforcement effort or 
success of the buffer around vegetation, but Service staff have 
observed ORV tracks though vegetation and within the vegetation buffer 
distance.
    (49) Comment: BLM assumed that Dr. Knisley would be one of the peer 
review experts and indicated they fully support his inclusion as a peer 
reviewer. They stated that Dr. Knisley has a long history of quality 
work with the beetle, and BLM trusts his findings. The BLM recommended 
that the other peer review experts be chosen from local universities 
who have experience working with the CPSD tiger beetle. They asked that 
the Service notify them of the selected peer reviewers and their 
findings.
    Our Response: We asked Dr. Knisley, Dr. Charles Gowan, and Dr. Leon 
Higley to provide peer review of the CPSD tiger beetle proposed rule, 
and Dr. Knisley and Dr. Gowan provided their reviews of the rule. Their 
comments are part of the rulemaking record and are available to the 
public through the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. This withdrawal 
also incorporates information and addresses the comments provided by 
the peer reviewers.

Public Comments

    (50) Comment: Commenters stated that the Service relied upon 
insufficient evidence to analyze threats to the CPSD tiger beetle and 
that the Service selectively overlooked uncertainties and data gaps as 
well as evidence of increases in the species' population. Comments 
reflected dissatisfaction with the use of population monitoring 
information that did not cover the entire CPSD geologic feature; that 
sampling methods had changed during the period of record reported and 
this was not disclosed; and that the population viability analysis was 
used as a basis for listing.
    Our Response: We acknowledge that the science regarding the CPSD 
tiger beetle may not be complete, but we must base our decisions on the 
best scientific information available when making listing 
determinations under the Act. We corrected the discrepancy portraying 
data that were collected using different methods, and it is included in 
this withdrawal. In our proposed rule and this final determination, we 
used the best available scientific information to support our decision. 
Any new information that was provided, such as the 2012 surveys, was 
incorporated into the information in Species Information, above. The 
appropriateness of including PVA analysis in our decision is addressed 
above as well (see Population Viability Analysis under Background).
    (51) Comment: Multiple commenters stated that the allegations of 
climate change-based threats are speculative, artificially conflated 
with harms from ORV use, and not supported by the record.
    Our Response: In summary, climate change is occurring and there is 
strong scientific support for projections that warming will continue 
through the 21st century (see Climate Change and Drought under Factor 
E.). Regional projections indicate the Southwest, including southern 
Utah, may experience the greatest temperature increase of any area in 
the lower 48 States. Because of increased temperature, Utah soils are 
expected to dry more rapidly and this is likely to result in reduced 
soil moisture levels in CPSD tiger beetle habitat. This analysis is 
well documented and supported in the proposed and this final 
determination. In addition, the proposed rule thoroughly explains the 
effects ORVs can have to CPSD tiger beetle habitat and the species 
reliance on soils with the correct moisture levels. Please see the 
discussion on Climate Change and Drought, below, for

[[Page 61096]]

additional discussion. However, our conclusion is that the effects of 
climate change are not a threat to the CPSD tiger beetle, and we are 
withdrawing our proposal to list the species.
    (52) Comment: A commenter stated that the Act does not authorize 
the Service to list a species that is not in need of recovery.
    Our Response: Under the Act, we can determine that a species is an 
endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The 
present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its 
habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, 
scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The 
inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or 
manmade factors affecting its continued existence. However, our 
analysis of these factors shows that the species does not warrant 
listing as threatened or endangered, and we are withdrawing our 
proposal to list the species.
    (53) Comment: One commenter stated that if the Service lists the 
CPSD tiger beetle as threatened and counts climate change as among the 
threats to the species, then the Service should consider proposing a 
special rule under section 4(d) of the Act to exclude otherwise lawful 
activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions, from those actions that 
others may allege to constitute as ``take'' of the CPSD tiger beetle.
    Our Response: A special rule under section 4(d) can be issued for 
species listed as threatened species under the Act; however, we are 
withdrawing our proposal to list the CPSD tiger beetle as a threatened 
species.
    (54) Comment: Several commenters stated that the CPSD tiger beetle 
should be listed with designated critical habitat as detailed in the 
proposed rule, and that the previous CCA as well as the 2013 CCA 
Amendment do not fully address the threat of ORV use. These commenters 
indicated that extensive ORV use is permitted across the majority of 
CPSD State Park and in the areas between the `islands of habitat' (as 
specified in the 2013 CCA Amendment) located between the two 
populations. The commenters stated the use of ORVs is also permitted 
(although restricted) on the BLM lands surrounding the northern 
population. The commenters believe the tiger beetle remains vulnerable 
to impacts from illegal ORV use, both in its occupied habitat and in 
the area between the two populations.
    Our Response: At the time of publication of the proposed rule, 
threats to CPSD tiger beetle included negative effects of ORV use. The 
threat of ORV use has been addressed in the 2013 CCA Amendment by 
creating additional protective habitat surrounding Conservation Area A 
(24 ha (59 ac)), and in polygons between Conservation Areas A and B 
(106 ha (263 ac)) that will allow for CPSD tiger beetle dispersal and 
colonization. See answer to Comment (48), Factor D. The Inadequacy of 
Existing Regulatory Mechanisms, and Ongoing and Future Conservation 
Efforts for additional information.
    (55) Comment: One commenter stated that the 2013 CCA Amendment 
should be adequate to protect CPSD tiger beetle if the proposed open 
area on the east side of Conservation Area A is reduced to a carefully 
sited and clearly demarcated trail, no more than two vehicles wide, 
through the area of unstable dunes on the east side, that is laid out 
with direction of Dr. Knisley and the Service, with the cooperation of 
CPSD State Park and a representative of the ORV community.
    Our Response: We did not demarcate an ORV trail on the east side of 
Conservation Area A as part of the conservation actions of the 2013 CCA 
Amendment. This option was discussed but deemed unsafe for ORV use by 
CPSD Park personnel.
    (56) Comment: One commenter stated that Dr. Knisley's methods are 
pioneering, consistent, detailed, reliable, and as thorough as possible 
given limited time and budget. The commenter stated that his work 
supports the conclusion that the species is habitat limited and that 
its habitat is subject to change and has changed over the period of 
study.
    Our Response: We have included the analysis of much of Dr. 
Knisley's CPSD tiger beetle work in our proposed rule and this 
withdrawal of the proposed rule.
    (57) Comment: One commenter concluded that it is clear that the 
dunes are moving, and cited Dr. Knisley's work over the past decade as 
evidence of consistent movement of the dune crests. This commenter 
believed that restricting critical habitat to the currently occupied 
habitat would not allow the freedom of the dunes to move as natural 
forces dictate. The commenter opined that to protect the dunes 
ecosystem, including the CPSD tiger beetle and all of the resources 
upon which it depends, the dunes must have room to move and a source of 
sand and wind consistent with the history of the ecosystem over 
ecological time.
    Our Response: We are withdrawing our proposed listing and critical 
habitat designation. The 2013 CCA Amendment includes adaptive 
management processes that are intended to account for dune movement 
(see Table 2).
    (58) Comment: One commenter stated that carsonite posts and the 
potential threat of being ticketed by an overworked ranger are not 
sufficient barriers to ORV use. The same commenter expressed concern 
that funding of the CCA could be cut, discontinued, or weakened.
    Our Response: Demarcation of Conservation Area A with carsonite 
posts has been effective at protecting CPSD tiger beetle for the last 
15 years, and we are confident that this method will be effective for 
new locations as well. Conservation actions directed by the 1997 and 
2009 versions of the CCA have been consistently funded by the Service, 
BLM, and Utah State Parks since the CCA was signed, funding has been 
committed for the next 10 years as part of the 2013 CCA Amendment, and 
we are confident that it will continue into the future. Since signing 
of the original CCA in 1997, the document was renewed on a standard 
timeline (2009) and has since become even stronger and provided more 
conservation with the 2013 amendment.
    (59) Comment: Commenters urge the Service to continue ongoing 
discussions with the BLM, Utah State Parks, and Kane County 
Commissioners about updating the existing Conservation Agreement. The 
commenters stated that any protections necessary for the CPSD area are 
best developed through this process, and this process serves the local 
community best.
    Our Response: We agree. The 2013 CCA Amendment was signed by these 
entities in March 2013 and discussions will continue on an annual basis 
to further conservation of the CPSD tiger beetle through associated 
monitoring, research, education, and habitat protection actions.
    (60) Comment: One commenter stated that the area currently under 
consideration for designation as critical habitat exceeds the area that 
is absolutely necessary to conserve CPSD tiger beetle.
    Our Response: The area considered in the proposed rule for critical 
habitat designation included those areas that provide sufficient 
elements of physical or biological features necessary to support CPSD 
tiger beetle life-history processes. However, we have withdrawn our 
proposal to list the CPSD tiger beetle and designate critical habitat. 
The 2013 CCA Amendment provides sufficient habitat protection to reduce 
threats to the species from ORV use, small population size, drought, 
and climate change.

[[Page 61097]]

    (61) Comment: One commenter shared that, 20 years ago, motorized 
versus non-motorized use at the CPSD feature was divided 50/50; 
however, more recently, a 2001 CPSD State Park visitor survey indicated 
a conflict between motorized and non-motorized use, stating that 80 to 
90 percent of visitors were offended by issues involving safety, 
tracks, and noise. The commenter noted that as reported in the Southern 
Utah News (September 19, 2001), visitor surveys indicate visitors 
oppose motorized use at the Sand Dunes. The commenter said the article 
further stated that, although motorized use constitutes the majority of 
activity on holiday weekends, visitor expectation is for a more 
pristine experience like they have at the Grand Canyon and Zion 
National Parks. The commenter indicated that these data make clear that 
motorized use within the CPSD State Park and the Moquith Mountain WSA 
is not the economic driver of the area. The commenter additionally 
stated that, based on these data, it is likely that economic benefit 
may actually flow from critical habitat designation as a substantial 
number of non-motorized users begin to revisit both the CPSD State Park 
and the Moquith Mountain WSA as a result of restricted ORV use.
    Our Response: The Service has limited information regarding user 
conflicts or preferences at the CPSD dune geologic feature; however, 
this issue is outside of the scope of our rulemaking process. Please 
see Comment (23) for information on the economic benefits of motorized 
use in the CPSD to the economy of Kane County. Nevertheless, the 
proposed listing is withdrawn by this document and therefore no 
critical habitat will be designated.

Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    Based upon our review of the public comments, comments from other 
Federal and State agencies, peer review comments, issues addressed at 
the public hearing, and any new relevant information that may have 
become available since the publication of the proposal, we reevaluated 
our proposed rule and made changes as appropriate. Other than minor 
clarifications and incorporation of additional information on the 
species' biology, this determination differs from the proposal by:
    (1) Based on our analyses, the Service has determined that the CPSD 
tiger beetle should not be listed as a threatened species. This 
document withdraws the proposed rule as published on October 2, 2012 
(77 FR 60208).
    (2) The addition of the Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts 
section prior to the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section, 
below. The conservation agreements are no longer discussed in detail in 
Factor D. Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms, but are 
included in the Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts section.
    (3) The Service reevaluated population sampling information and has 
adjusted how sampling information is reported. This information is 
included in the Background section.

Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts

    Below we summarize the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment that 
provide conservation benefits to the CPSD tiger beetle. We describe the 
significant conservation efforts that are already occurring and those 
that are expected to occur in the future. We have also completed an 
analysis of the newly initiated efforts pursuant to our PECE policy on 
the 2013 CCA Amendment (Conservation Committee 2013, entire).
    After the CPSD tiger beetle became a candidate species in 1997, a 
variety of conservation initiatives were put in place to conserve the 
species' habitat, while continuing ORV activities in the area. The 
document that served as the foundation for the conservation of CPSD 
tiger beetle was the 1997 CCA, which was renewed in 2009 and amended in 
2013 (Conservation Committee 1997, entire; Conservation Committee 2009, 
entire; Conservation Committee 2013, entire). This CCA provided the 
conservation framework necessary for the development of several 
collaborative conservation efforts that have benefited the CPSD tiger 
beetle. The proposed rule details these conservation measures in 
several locations within the document (77 FR 60208). In summary, the 
1997 and 2009 CCAs coordinated or enacted conservation efforts over the 
last 15 years including:
    (a) Two conservation areas were established. Conservation Area A 
was 207 ac (84 ha), and Conservation Area B was 150 ha (370 ac) at the 
time of the 2009 CCA. ORVs were not allowed in these areas, and Utah 
State Parks and BLM staff have enforced this restriction. These 
conservation areas have protected significant CPSD tiger beetle habitat 
from ORV impacts.
    (b) Annual monitoring was conducted to evaluate population status, 
and habitat and population response to conservation actions.
    (c) Research efforts clearly defined the CPSD tiger beetle 
lifecycle and observed population fluctuations relative to fluctuations 
in rainfall.
    (d) A 2-year field study was completed that indicates supplemental 
watering has a significant and positive effect on recruitment of new 
CPSD tiger beetle larvae, their survival, and their speed of 
development.
    (e) Genetic studies were conducted and demonstrated that the CPSD 
tiger beetle is an independent species, rather than the subspecies it 
was considered when the original 1997 CCA partnership was established.
    (f) A population viability analysis was developed to determine the 
likelihood of extinction and the range of habitat required for the 
species to persist. The population viability model will serve as a 
useful tool to evaluate, adapt, and prioritize conservation strategies.
    (g) Educational materials were developed and are displayed and 
distributed at the CPSD State Park and BLM office.
    (h) A protocol for translocation was developed and beetles were 
translocated in a pilot effort to establish a more secure population at 
Conservation Area B.
    (i) The BLM Kanab Field Office revised its land use plan and 
included direction to implement measures identified in the CCA for CPSD 
tiger beetle management.
    Despite the positive accomplishments of the 1997 CCA and 2009 CCA, 
the proposed rule identified several threats that were still negatively 
acting on CPSD tiger beetle and its habitat. Residual threats 
identified in the proposed rule included: (1) Continued habitat loss 
and degradation caused by ORV use; (2) small population effects, such 
as vulnerability to random chance events; (3) the effects of climate 
change and drought; (4) and cumulative interaction of the individual 
factors listed above (77 FR 60208, October 2, 2012). The proposed rule 
also determined that existing regulatory mechanisms were not adequately 
addressing the ORV-related threats to the species.
    Based on information provided in the proposed rule, discussions 
with researchers, and onsite evaluations with the CCA partners, 
signatory agencies established a 2013 amendment to the 2009 CCA. This 
amendment outlined several new conservation actions that will be 
enacted to address the threats that were identified in our October 2, 
2012, proposed rule (77 FR 60208) (Table 1). The 2013 CCA Amendment 
evaluated the most recent tiger beetle survey information and peer 
review

[[Page 61098]]

comments from our proposed rule and concluded that modifications to the 
boundaries of the Conservation Areas are needed to ensure continued 
protection of the tiger beetle from ongoing threats (see Figure 1; 
Table 1; Conservation Committee 2013, entire).
    Current survey information identified the species occurring in 
significant numbers south and east of the Conservation Area A boundary, 
as defined by the 2009 CCA (Knisley and Gowan 2013, entire). Therefore, 
the 2013 CCA Amendment will enlarge Conservation Area A from 207 ac (81 
ha) to 266 ac (108 ha) (see Figure 1) to protect most of the known 
occupied habitats--the expansion of Conservation Area A protects 88 
percent of the central population's habitat. Posting of new habitat 
began in summer 2013 and will be completed by the end of the year. The 
Amendment also commits to evaluating areas farther to the south of 
Conservation Area A where adults and larvae were found in 2012--this 
process was initiated in the spring of 2013, and the conservation 
committee is evaluating the need to provide additional protection to 
some of this habitat. In addition, the 2013 CCA Amendment provides 
protection for islands of habitat, totaling an additional 263 ac (106 
ha), between Conservation Areas A and B (see Figure 1), with the intent 
of providing dispersal habitat for the species. Additional conservation 
measures of the 2013 CCA Amendment are listed in Table 1 and were 
evaluated for certainty of implementation and certainty of 
effectiveness with the PECE process. The Service's detailed PECE 
analysis on the 2013 CCA Amendment is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/coralpinksanddunestigerbeetle/index.html.

 Table 1--Summary of Conservation Measures in the CPSD Tiger Beetle 2013
                              CCA Amendment
                  [Conservation Committee 2013, entire]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Threat             Conservation measure         Status
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Habitat loss/degradation and   Utah State    Posting of
 mortality associated with     Parks agrees to       the new
 ORV use                       expand the boundary   Conservation Area A
                               of Conservation       boundary began in
                               Area A to protect     summer 2013 and
                               additional habitat    will be completed
                               while addressing      by the end of the
                               diversity in          year.
                               recreation and        Posting of
                               maintaining safety    14 new habitat
                               standards for dune    patches began in
                               visitors. This area   summer 2013 and
                               will be permanently   will be completed
                               expanded in 2013      by the end of the
                               from 207 ac (84 ha)   year.
                               to 266 ac (108 ha)    Habitat
                               (Figure 1), thus      south of
                               increasing            Conservation Area A
                               protection of tiger   was identified for
                               beetle occupied       protection by the
                               swales from 48        Conservation
                               percent to 88         Committee in spring
                               percent for the       2013. Will have
                               central population.   final configuration
                               All new or expanded   and be posted by
                               habitat areas will    end of 2013.
                               be demarcated with    Analysis of
                               carsonite marking     historical dune
                               posts to facilitate   imagery will ocurr
                               compliance by CPSD    in combination with
                               State Park visitors.  3-year boundary
                                                     analysis. Baseline
                                                     dune analysis has
                                                     been completed by
                                                     Fenster et al.
                                                     (2012).
                                                     Plans to
                                                     perform vegetation
                                                     treatments have
                                                     been discussed
                                                     informally, but
                                                     this action will be
                                                     a low priority
                                                     until new habitat
                                                     areas are posted.
                                                    
                                                     Conservation
                                                     boundaries will be
                                                     reassessed in 2016.
                               Utah State    Enforcement
                               Parks and the BLM     of conservation
                               will protect          areas is ongoing.
                               vegetated habitat
                               islands of
                               connectivity
                               between the central
                               and northern
                               conservation areas
                               and monitor to
                               ensure compliance.
                               This action will
                               occur in 2013 and
                               will protect 263 ac
                               (106 ha) of
                               additional sand
                               dune habitat
                               comprising 14
                               individual habitat
                               patches (Figure 1),
                               which range in size
                               from 2.6 ac (1.0
                               ha) to 37.1 ac (15
                               ha) each. All new
                               or expanded habitat
                               areas will be
                               demarcated with
                               carsonite marking
                               posts to facilitate
                               compliance by CPSD
                               State Park visitors.
                               CPSD tiger
                               beetle adults and
                               larvae were found
                               south of
                               Conservation Area A
                               in 2012. The
                               conservation
                               committee visited
                               this area in spring
                               of 2013 to
                               determine which
                               additional habitats
                               will be protected
                               to support the
                               tiger beetle
                               (Figure 1). All
                               conservation
                               committee members
                               agreed that several
                               swales should be
                               protected. The
                               exact size and
                               configuration of
                               these protected
                               areas are currently
                               being determined by
                               CPSD tiger beetle
                               researchers and
                               members of the
                               conservation
                               committee. All new
                               or expanded habitat
                               will be finalized
                               by late 2013 and
                               demarcated with
                               carsonite posts to
                               facilitate
                               compliance by CPSD
                               State Park
                               visitors.

[[Page 61099]]

 
                               The
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               analyze available
                               historical aerial
                               imagery, and other
                               data, to better
                               understand dune
                               movement and
                               associated
                               vegetation changes
                               as they relate to
                               beetle occupation
                               and suitable
                               habitat over time.
                               Knowledge of dune
                               movement patterns
                               will be used in
                               adaptive management
                               planning to
                               accommodate dune
                               changes and the
                               need to alter
                               conservation area
                               boundaries.
                               The
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               conduct
                               experimental
                               vegetation
                               treatments within
                               existing
                               conservation areas
                               to determine if
                               this could be an
                               effective mechanism
                               to increase
                               suitable habitat.
                               The
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               revisit
                               conservation area
                               boundaries on a
                               routine cycle
                               (every 3 years) and
                               make necessary
                               adjustments to
                               these boundaries as
                               a result of
                               shifting dunes,
                               vegetation changes,
                               population
                               increases and
                               decreases, and
                               resulting changes
                               to suitable
                               habitat.
                               Utah State
                               Parks and the BLM
                               will continue
                               efforts in law
                               enforcement,
                               education, and
                               outreach.
Vulnerability to stochastic    We are not    Utah DNR
 events due to small           aware of any          has successfully
 population size.              additional            advertised
                               populations of CPSD   (proposal
                               tiger beetle          submitted) a
                               outside of the CPSD   request-for-
                               formation. However,   proposals to begin
                               the conservation      effort to search
                               committee believes    for potential
                               it is appropriate     habitat within 50
                               to continue surveys   mile radius.
                               for this species in   Annual
                               the area. The         monitoring which
                               conservation          happens each spring
                               committee will        will include newly
                               identify potential    protected habitat
                               habitat within a 50-  and will include
                               mile radius of the    translocation
                               CPSD formation        efforts as
                               using aerial          appropriate.
                               imagery and survey
                               for CPSD tiger
                               beetle presence and
                               habitat
                               suitability. If
                               appropriate habitat
                               is found, the area
                               will be considered
                               for experimental
                               introduction.
                               The
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               increase research
                               effort in
                               experimental
                               translocations in
                               Conservation Area B
                               and evaluate new
                               habitat islands for
                               appropriateness for
                               reintroduction
                               efforts.
                               The
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               introduce
                               individuals into
                               suitable habitats
                               (potential sites
                               have been
                               identified between
                               Conservation Areas
                               A and B), monitor
                               these sites, and
                               revise
                               translocation
                               activities via an
                               adaptive management
                               process.
Inadequacy of existing         Utah State    Status of
 regulatory mechanisms.        Parks and the BLM     habitat protection
                               have done a           actions as
                               creditable job of     described above
                               enforcing the         will regulate ORV
                               protection            use.
                               boundaries of         Enforcement
                               Conservation Areas    of conservation
                               A and B for           areas is ongoing
                               approximately the
                               last 15 years. This
                               amendment increases
                               the size of
                               Conservation Area A
                               by 59 ac (24 ha),
                               and the
                               conservation
                               committee will
                               consider further
                               protection of
                               habitats to the
                               south of
                               Conservation Area A
                               (see Habitat loss/
                               degradation and
                               mortality
                               associated with ORV
                               use, above). In
                               addition, the 2013
                               CCA Amendment
                               establishes 14
                               habitat patches to
                               support dispersal
                               of tiger beetles
                               between
                               Conservation Areas
                               A and B, increasing
                               the total protected
                               area by an
                               additional 263 ac
                               (106 ha). Because
                               these signatory
                               agencies have
                               complied with the
                               Conservation
                               Agreement and
                               Strategy for the
                               last 15 years, it
                               can reasonably be
                               concluded that the
                               BLM and Utah State
                               Parks will continue
                               to properly enforce
                               the boundaries of
                               all protected areas.

[[Page 61100]]

 
Climate change and drought..   The BLM       Weather
                               began installing a    station was
                               weather station       installed in summer
                               onsite in spring      2013 and is
                               2013 to better        providing data.
                               correlate weather     Posting of
                               patterns with CPSD    14 new habitat
                               tiger beetle          patches began in
                               abundance (note--     summer 2013 and
                               this action will be   will be completed
                               completed in fall     by the end of the
                               2013).                year.
                               Understanding the
                               effects of weather
                               patterns on CPSD
                               tiger beetle
                               populations will
                               help the
                               conservation
                               committee develop
                               adaptive management
                               strategies by
                               identifying
                               important habitat
                               use areas during
                               particularly dry or
                               warm years.
                               The
                               establishment of 14
                               additional habitat
                               patches totaling
                               263 ac (106 ha)
                               will occur at
                               higher elevations
                               in the sand dune
                               area, and at
                               locations that
                               provide significant
                               vegetated habitat.
                               This has the
                               potential to offset
                               the drying and
                               warming effects of
                               climate change and
                               drought on CPSD
                               tiger beetle
                               habitat. In
                               addition, these
                               habitat polygons
                               will provide
                               dispersal habitat
                               and connectivity
                               between
                               Conservation Areas
                               A and B. This will
                               better allow the
                               tiger beetle to
                               disperse to
                               potentially cooler
                               and wetter habitat
                               that occurs in
                               Conservation Area B.
Cumulative effects of the      Addressing    Some
 above.                        the threats listed    conservation
                               above independently   actions have been
                               will prevent these    completed, some are
                               threats from acting   ongoing, and the
                               cumulatively.         most significant
                                                     ones (habitat
                                                     protection) will be
                                                     completed by the
                                                     end of 2013. See
                                                     above for more
                                                     information
                                                     regarding status of
                                                     individual actions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PECE Analysis

    The purpose of PECE is to ensure consistent and adequate evaluation 
of recently formalized conservation efforts when making listing 
decisions. The policy provides guidance on how to evaluate conservation 
efforts that have not yet been implemented or have not yet demonstrated 
effectiveness. The evaluation focuses on the certainty that the 
conservation efforts will be implemented and effectiveness of the 
conservation efforts. The policy presents nine criteria for evaluating 
the certainty of implementation and six criteria for evaluating the 
certainty of effectiveness for conservation efforts. These criteria are 
not considered comprehensive evaluation criteria. The certainty of 
implementation and the effectiveness of a formalized conservation 
effort may also depend on species-specific, habitat-specific, location-
specific, and effort-specific factors. We consider all appropriate 
factors in evaluating formalized conservation efforts. The specific 
circumstances will also determine the amount of information necessary 
to satisfy these criteria.
    To consider that a formalized conservation effort contributes to 
forming a basis for not listing a species, or listing a species as 
threatened rather than endangered, we must find that the conservation 
effort is sufficiently certain to be (1) implemented, and (2) 
effective, so as to have contributed to the elimination or adequate 
reduction of one or more threats to the species identified through the 
section 4(a)(1) analysis. The elimination or adequate reduction of 
section 4(a)(1) threats may lead to a determination that the species 
does not meet the definition of threatened or endangered, or is 
threatened rather than endangered.
    An agreement or plan may contain numerous conservation efforts, not 
all of which are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective. 
Those conservation efforts that are not sufficiently certain to be 
implemented and effective cannot contribute to a determination that 
listing is unnecessary, or a determination to list as threatened rather 
than endangered. Regardless of the adoption of a conservation agreement 
or plan, however, if the best available scientific and commercial data 
indicate that the species meets the definition of ``endangered 
species'' or ``threatened species'' on the day of the listing decision, 
then we must proceed with appropriate rulemaking activity under section 
4 of the Act. Further, it is important to note that a conservation plan 
is not required to have absolute certainty of implementation and 
effectiveness in order to contribute to a listing determination. 
Rather, we need to be certain that the conservation efforts will be 
implemented and effective such that the threats to the species are 
reduced or eliminated.
    Using the criteria in PECE (68 FR 15100, March 28, 2003), we 
evaluated the certainty of implementation (for those measures not 
already implemented) and effectiveness of conservation measures 
pertaining to the CPSD tiger beetle. We have determined that the 
measures will be effective at eliminating or reducing threats to the 
species because they protect occupied and suitable habitat, provide 
habitat and additional management information to address the effects of 
climate change and drought, and institute on-the-ground changes to 
better manage and regulate protected habitat and ORV use. We have a 
high degree of certainty that the measures will be implemented because 
the conservation committee partners have an impressive track record of 
implementing conservation measures and CCAs for this species since 
1997. Over approximately the past 15 years of implementation, BLM and 
Utah State Parks have effectively implemented conservation measures 
from the 1997

[[Page 61101]]

CCA and have monitored the CPSD tiger beetle population, conducted 
translocation and other research, established and enforced protection 
areas, and educated the public on the occurrence and importance of the 
species at the CPSD formation.
    New conservation measures are prescribed by the 2013 CCA Amendment 
and are already being implemented, such as establishment of additional 
protected habitat areas and deployment of a weather station (see Table 
1 in Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts for more information on 
status of conservation efforts). The 2013 CCA Amendment has sufficient 
annual monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that all of the 
conservation measures are implemented as planned, and are effective at 
removing threats to the CPSD tiger beetle and its habitat. The 
collaboration between the Service, Kane County, Utah Parks, and BLM 
requires regular committee meetings and involvement of all parties in 
order to fully implement the conservation agreement. Based on the 
successes of previous actions of the conservation committee, we have a 
high level of certainty that the conservation measures in the 2013 CCA 
Amendment will be implemented (for those measures not already begun) 
and effective, and thus they can be considered as part of the basis for 
our final listing determination for the CPSD tiger beetle.
    Our full analysis of the 2013 CCA Amendment pursuant to PECE can be 
found at http://www.regulations.gov.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) 
set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be 
determined to be an endangered or threatened species due to one or more 
of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (A) The 
present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its 
habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, 
scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the 
inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or 
manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may 
be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in 
combination. Each of these factors is discussed below.

Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or 
Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

ORV Use
    Loss of habitat is the leading cause of species extinction (Pimm 
and Raven 2000, p. 843). Insects are highly vulnerable to extinction 
through habitat loss (McKinney 1997, pp. 501-507), and ORV use has 
significantly impacted several species of tiger beetle nationwide. More 
specifically, ORV use has significantly impacted the CPSD tiger 
beetle's habitat, range, and the beetle itself by directly killing 
beetles, damaging vegetation that supports prey items, directly killing 
prey items, and reducing soil moisture.
    Nationwide Context--Nationwide, ORV use has drastically reduced or 
extirpated several tiger beetle populations. For example, ORV use and 
pedestrian traffic extirpated the Northeastern Beach tiger beetle, 
Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis, in several localities (Knisley 2011, p. 
45). Similarly, within several years of the Assateague Island National 
Seashore (Maryland, USA) opening for ORV use, the White Beach tiger 
beetle, C. d. media, was extirpated from all but those areas where ORVs 
were restricted (Knisley and Hill 1992, pp. 138-139). Additionally, ORV 
use is responsible for eliminating tiger beetle populations in coastal 
southern California (Hairy-necked tiger beetle, C. hirticollis 
gravida), Oregon and Washington (Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle, C. 
h. siuslawensis), and Idaho (St. Anthony Dune tiger beetle, C. 
arenicola) (Knisley 2011, p. 45).
    CPSD Tiger Beetle Mortality--ORVs run over and thereby kill and 
injure CPSD tiger beetles (Hill and Knisley 1993, p. 14; Knisley and 
Gowan 2008, p. 23). The likelihood of being injured or killed increases 
if adult CPSD tiger beetle are run over on wet or compact substrates 
(e.g., moist swales) as compared to soft sands (e.g., dune faces) 
(Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 390). The likelihood of being hit by ORVs 
also increases based on the level of ORV use. For example, the numbers 
of adult CPSD tiger beetles found injured or killed by ORVs increases 
substantially during periods of heavy use, such as during the Memorial 
Day holiday (Table 2; Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 390). We have no 
information quantifying the direct injury or mortality that ORVs cause 
to eggs or larval CPSD tiger beetle because these stages are 
underground and not easily monitored.

Table 2--A Comparison of the Number of Adult Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetles Found Injured or Killed (by Off-
   Road Vehicles) Before and After a High ORV Use Holiday Weekend (Memorial Day) From 1993 to 1998 (No Survey
                                               Conducted in 1995)
                                         [Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 390]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Before Memorial Day Weekend         After Memorial Day Weekend
                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Year                                       Number observed                     Number observed
                                            Total number        killed or       Total number        killed or
                                              observed           injured          observed           injured
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1993....................................             (\1\)             (\1\)               179                14
1994....................................               363                 0               125                 6
1996....................................               231                 2               287                41
1997....................................               256                 2                64                 6
1998....................................               168                 1               278                 8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ No data.

    We do not have specific data regarding the level of impact ORVs 
have on CPSD tiger beetles in the previously unprotected area between 
Conservation Areas A and B. It is likely that many of the beetles run 
over by ORVs in this area were injured or killed. Thus, the ability of 
adults to disperse between the central population and the northern 
population was likely negatively impacted by ORVs. The result of these 
ORV impacts is that the habitat between

[[Page 61102]]

the central and northern populations has not provided a sufficient 
dispersal corridor for beetles or habitat for colonization (see 
Population Distribution). Thus, the proposed rule concluded that BLM 
protection of only Conservation Area B, and the absence of protection 
in the dispersal corridor, would result in the continued threat of ORV 
use to the CPSD tiger beetle. However, the 2013 CCA Amendment provides 
for additional protected habitat surrounding Conservation Area A and 
for islands of habitat between Conservation Areas A and B, thus 
alleviating this threat to CPSD tiger beetles (see Ongoing and Future 
Conservation Efforts).
    Impacts to Vegetation--As discussed above (see Background, Habitat) 
larval CPSD tiger beetles are more restricted to vegetated swale areas 
where the vegetation supports the larval prey base of flies, ants, and 
other prey species. Although adult CPSD tiger beetles are more mobile 
and can hunt prey species over a wider range of habitat types, 
vegetated swale habitat is still necessary to support adult prey items 
(see Background, Habitat). The effects of ORVs on vegetation are well 
documented and include crushing and uprooting of foliage and root 
systems and the accompanying erosion and drying of soils (Ouren et al. 
2007, pp. 4-5; Switalski and Jones 2012, p. 14). The protection of 
Conservation Areas A and B, and islands of habitat between the 
Conservation Areas includes the protection of vegetated swale habitat, 
thus reducing the threat of ORV impacts to vegetation.
    Prey Mortality--Food limitation has a significant impact on tiger 
beetle growth, survival, and fecundity, especially for desert species. 
Adult CPSD tiger beetles are, in some years, extremely food limited and 
exhibit reduced fecundity (Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 19). Food 
limitation is at least partly caused by ORV use. ORVs reduce CPSD tiger 
beetle prey density and prey species diversity in the CPSD (Knisley and 
Gowan 2006, p. 19). Ants, a primary prey item, occur in much lower 
densities in areas frequented by ORVs than in areas with no ORV traffic 
(Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 23). In addition, low ORV use areas in the 
CPSD geologic feature have a higher diversity of prey species and 
higher numbers of prey items than high ORV use areas (Knisley and Hill 
2001, p. 389).
    Prey availability significantly affects the number of larvae 
produced by adult tiger beetles (Pearson and Knisley 1985, p. 165) and 
the survival of larval tiger beetles (Knisley and Juliano 1988, p. 
1990). Low prey densities can result in prolonged development and 
decreased survivorship in larval tiger beetles and reduced size in 
adults, which lowers fecundity in females (Pearson and Knisley 1985, p. 
165; Knisley and Juliano 1988, p. 1990). Low prey densities also 
require larval and adult tiger beetles to spend more time searching for 
food. For larval tiger beetles, this means more time near burrow 
entrances searching for prey, resulting in increased susceptibility to 
parasitism and predators (Pearson and Knisley 1985, p. 166). Similarly, 
adults that spend more time out of their burrows searching for food 
have an increased susceptibility to predation. The 2013 CCA Amendment 
protects the majority of known CPSD tiger beetle occupied habitat, thus 
reducing the threat of ORV impacts to prey availability.
    Reduction of Soil Moisture--ORV use degrades larval habitat by 
reducing soil moisture. ORV use can reduce soil moisture by churning up 
soils and exposing the moisture that is locked between soil particles 
(beneath the surface) to greater evaporative pressure (Shultz 1988, p. 
28; Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 10). It also reduces soil moisture by 
increasing soil compaction (Adams et al. 1982, p. 167). Compaction 
reduces water infiltration and reduces moisture retention in soils 
(Belnap 1995, p. 39).
    As we discussed earlier (see Habitat), soil moisture is essential 
to the CPSD tiger beetle's life history. Extreme drying or desiccation 
kills tiger beetles (Knisley and Juliano 1988, p. 1990). In a dry 
environment, such as the CPSD geologic feature, organisms are 
constantly struggling to acquire and maintain enough water to survive. 
Reduced water availability is limiting to tiger beetles in CPSD, as 
evidenced by the fact that experimental water supplementation increased 
larval CPSD tiger beetle survival by 10 percent (Knisley and Gowan 2008 
p. 20). CPSD areas protected from ORV use have significantly higher 
soil moistures and higher numbers of CPSD tiger beetles than adjacent 
ORV use areas (Knisley and Gowan 2008, pp. 10-11), therefore the 
protection of Conservation Areas A and B, as well as the islands of 
habitats between these two areas, reduces the threat associated with 
the loss of soil moisture from ORVs.
    Population Level Effects--Available information shows the effects 
of ORV use on CPSD tiger beetle population numbers. For example, swales 
adjacent to but outside of Conservation Area A are similar in all 
apparent environmental conditions to swales within Conservation Area A 
with the exception of ORV impacts. However, CPSD tiger beetle abundance 
in ORV-impacted occupied swales is consistently lower than adjacent 
protected occupied swales, potentially because of ORV impacts (Figure 
3).
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

[[Page 61103]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02OC13.002

BILLING CODE 4310-55-C
    For example, one swale with ORV use had population counts of 60 or 
more CPSD tiger beetles in most years (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 11). 
Utah State Park staff, at the recommendation of the conservation 
committee, protected this swale from ORV use in 2010 (Knisley and Gowan 
2011, p. 11). The year following removal of ORV use, the tiger beetle 
density on this swale more than doubled to 150 beetles, which also is 
the highest number recorded for the swale (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 
11). This increase could not be attributed to an increase in moisture 
as rainfall levels were low and declining at this time (Knisley and 
Gowan 2011, p. 11). This action provides an example of how the 
conservation committee has used adaptive management to benefit the CPSD 
tiger beetle and demonstrates a rapid population response to removed 
ORV disturbance. The increased protection for Conservation Area A and 
islands of habitat between Conservation

[[Page 61104]]

Areas A and B provided by the 2013 CCA Amendment reduces the potential 
threat of ORV use to population-level effects. In fact, it is likely 
the increased protection will result in increased tiger beetle 
populations in these areas.
    CCA Protections--The 2009 CCA conservation actions evaluated in the 
proposed rule protected the entirety of the northern population of CPSD 
tiger beetle but only 48 percent of the swale habitat occupied by the 
CPSD tiger beetle in the central population and none of the dispersal 
corridor habitat (see Table 1). Since the publication of the proposed 
rule, the 2013 CCA Amendment has been signed and the conservation 
committee has committed to: (1) Expanding Conservation Area A 
boundaries to protect 88 percent of the central population from ORV 
use; (2) protecting a total of 263 ac (106 ha) of vegetated habitat 
islands of connectivity between the central and northern conservation 
areas from ORV use and monitoring to ensure compliance; and (3) 
visiting the area south of Conservation Area A (where significant 
numbers of CPSD tiger beetle larvae and adults have been found) in 
spring of 2013 to determine what additional habitats should be 
protected from ORV use to support the tiger beetle. The size and 
configuration of any protected areas south of Conservation Area A will 
be determined during the 2013 field season with input from all members 
of the conservation committee.
    All new or expanded protected habitat areas will be demarcated with 
carsonite posts to facilitate compliance by CPSD State Park visitors. 
The conservation committee will revisit conservation area boundaries on 
a routine cycle (every 3 years) and make necessary adjustments as a 
result of shifting dunes, vegetation changes, population increase and 
decreases, and resulting changes to suitable habitat.
    Historical ORV use has reduced available habitat and the CPSD tiger 
beetle population size. This has previously resulted in a population 
that faces threats from minor stochastic events and minor environmental 
perturbations. However, we find that recent protections agreed to and 
implemented by the 2013 CCA Amendment now provide an adequate amount of 
habitat protected from ORV use to allow the conservation of the central 
and northern populations of CPSD tiger beetle and the dispersal and 
colonization habitat between the two populations.
Summary of Factor A
    The proposed rule identified ORV use as a threat to the CPSD tiger 
beetle through direct mortality and injury, and by reducing prey base 
and soil moisture. We still conclude that ORV use can substantially 
reduce habitat qualities essential to the CPSD tiger beetle's life 
cycle (e.g., soil moisture and prey availability) (Knisley and Hill 
2001, p. 389; Knisley and Gowan 2008, pp. 10-11). Reduction in habitat 
quality can reduce reproductive success and the tiger beetle population 
growth rate (e.g., Klok and de Roos 1998, pp. 205-206). In the proposed 
rule, we acknowledged the very important protections of Conservation 
Areas A and B from ORV use. However, despite these conservation 
efforts, we determined at that time that only 48 percent of occupied 
swale habitat in the central population was protected, and none of the 
dispersal corridor habitat was protected (Figure 3, Knisley and Gowan 
2009, p. 8). In addition, we concluded that the degradation of habitat 
(both occupied and potential) by ORV use reduced the ability of the 
population to expand or disperse in areas outside of the Conservation 
Areas and thereby reduced the population's carrying capacity.
    Since the publication of the proposed rule, the CPSD tiger beetle 
conservation committee signed the 2013 CCA Amendment that now provides 
an adequate amount of protected habitat for both the central and 
northern populations of CPSD tiger beetle and the dispersal and 
colonization habitat between the two populations. Specific protections 
include increasing the Conservation Area A boundary to protect 88 
percent of CPSD tiger beetle occupied habitat at the central 
population, and an additional 263 ac (106 ha) of CPSD habitat between 
the Conservation Areas A and B. We are also working with our partners 
to evaluate and potentially protect additional occupied habitat south 
of Conservation Area A.
    We conclude that, by restricting ORV use to areas outside of 88 
percent of CPSD tiger beetle occupied habitat at the central 
population, all of the occupied habitat of the northern population, and 
263 ac (106 ha) of the dispersal corridor (see Ongoing and Future 
Conservation Efforts), the species will have a sufficient amount of 
quality habitat to persist into the future. This protection is being 
provided through the 2013 CCA Amendment's commitment to eliminate ORV 
use in Conservation Areas A and B and on islands of habitat within the 
dispersal corridor. These habitat areas will be protected and be able 
to sustain sufficient vegetation that supports prey items for larval 
and adult CPSD tiger beetle, and soil moisture levels that are 
unaltered by ORV use. Additionally, protected areas will not have ORV 
use that results in direct killing of CPSD tiger beetles or their prey. 
Quality habitat and the absence of ORV use will allow for CPSD tiger 
beetle populations to continue to grow in number and provide resilience 
to the effects of climate change, drought, and small population size 
(see Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued 
Existence). Thus, the best scientific and commercial information 
available indicates that the destruction, modification, or curtailment 
of the CPSD tiger beetle's habitat or range due to ORV use is not a 
threat to the species now or in the future.

Factor B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Tiger beetles are one of the most sought-after groups of insects by 
amateur collectors because of the unique metallic colors and patterns 
present in the various species and subspecies, as well as their 
fascinating habits (Pearson et al. 2006, pp. 3-5). Interest in the 
genus Cicindela is reflected in the scientific journal entitled 
``Cicindela,'' which is published quarterly (since 1969) and is 
exclusively devoted to the genus. In certain circumstances, collection 
of these insects can add valuable information regarding biogeography, 
taxonomy, and life history of the species. However, some collection is 
purely recreational and adds little to no value to the scientific 
understanding or conservation of tiger beetles.
    Collection of adult CPSD tiger beetles before they mate and lay 
their eggs may result in reduced population size of subsequent 
generations. In the proposed rule, we reported that the magnitude of 
recreational collection cannot be accurately determined for the CPSD 
tiger beetle, but it is likely that some number of adults were taken in 
the past. We further reported that as agreed to in the CCA, CPSD State 
Park and BLM personnel now enforce restrictions on recreational 
collecting of CPSD tiger beetles, and consequently, collection levels 
were expected to be low (Conservation Committee 2009, p. 17). However, 
a peer reviewer and prominent tiger beetle researcher stated that 
amateur collectors have taken adult tiger beetle from CPSD in recent 
years, and that there are many tiger beetle collectors out there, 
possibly 100 or more nationwide, and perhaps the number could be 
increasing (see Peer Review). But the peer reviewer expected that most 
collectors will take small

[[Page 61105]]

numbers of adults and considers collecting of adult CPSD tiger beetles 
to have a limited effect on the population (Knisley 2013, pers. comm.).
    Although scientific collection is not restricted by any formal 
permitting process, only one researcher has collected CPSD tiger 
beetles in approximately the last 14 years. Over this time period, 
approximately 70 adults were collected (Knisley 2012, pers. comm.). The 
adults were collected in late May after they had mated and oviposited 
eggs (Knisley 2012, pers. comm.).
Summary of Factor B
    CPSD tiger beetles are not overutilized for commercial, 
recreational, scientific, or educational purposes. A limited number of 
CPSD tiger beetles are collected from wild populations for recreational 
purposes; however, CPSD State Park and BLM personnel enforce 
restrictions on recreational collecting. Collection of CPSD tiger 
beetles for scientific investigation and some recreational purposes 
occurs on occasion, but the level of collection is small. The best 
scientific and commercial information available indicates that 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes is not a threat to the CPSD tiger beetle now nor 
will be in the future.

Factor C. Disease or Predation

    We know of no diseases that are a threat to the CPSD tiger beetle. 
Natural mortality through predation and parasitism accounts for some 
individual loss of adult and larval CPSD tiger beetles (Knisley and 
Hill 1994, p. 16). Known predators of adult tiger beetles include 
birds, shrews (Soricidae), raccoons (Procyon lotor), lizards 
(Lacertilia), toads (Bufonidae), ants (Formicidae), robber flies 
(Asilidae), and dragonflies (Anisoptera) (Knisley and Shultz 1997, pp. 
57-59).
    Known tiger beetle parasites include ant-like wasps of the family 
Tiphiidae, especially the genera Methoca, Karlissa, and Pterombrus, and 
flies of the genus Anthrax (Knisley and Shultz 1997, pp. 53-57). 
Parasites predominantly target larval tiger beetles (Pearson and Vogler 
2001, pp. 170-171). There are two known natural parasites of larval 
CPSD tiger beetles. Bee flies (Bombyliidae) are known to flick their 
eggs into beetle burrows (Knisley and Hill 1995, p. 14). When these 
eggs hatch, the larval parasite feeds on beetle bodily fluids, often 
resulting in death of the tiger beetle larvae. Wasps of the genus 
Methoca also can parasitize CPSD tiger beetle larvae (Knisley and Hill 
1995, p. 14). These wasps deposit their larvae in the burrows of larval 
tiger beetles. The wasp larvae then consume the tiger beetle larvae. 
Despite documented parasitism to larval CPSD tiger beetle, effects to 
the species are low and not considered a threat to the CPSD tiger 
beetle (Conservation Committee 1997, p. 7).
Summary of Factor C
    We have found no information that indicates that disease negatively 
affects the CPSD tiger beetle population. There is some information 
documenting mortality of CPSD tiger beetles by natural predators and 
parasites; however, not to a level that significantly affects the 
species. Thus, disease, parasites, and predation are not a threat to 
the species now or likely to become so in the future.

Factor D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The Act requires us to examine the inadequacy of existing 
regulatory mechanisms with respect to extant threats that place CPSD 
tiger beetle in danger of becoming either an endangered or threatened 
species. Regulatory mechanisms affecting the species fall into three 
general categories: (1) Land management; (2) State mechanisms; and (3) 
Federal mechanisms.
Land Management
    The CPSD geologic feature is approximately 1,416 ha (3,500 ac). The 
southern 809 ha (2,000 ac) of the CPSD is within the CPSD State Park 
and is categorized as public land with a recreational emphasis 
(Conservation Committee 2009, p. 17). The State Park's mission, as 
described in the most recent general management plan (Franklin et al. 
2005, p. 3), is ``to provide visitors [[hellip]] recreation experiences 
while preserving and interpreting the park's natural, scenic, and 
recreation resources.'' The northern 1,500 ac (607 ha) is Federal land 
managed by the BLM's Kanab Field Office (BLM 2000, p. 14). The northern 
area is partly within the Moquith Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA). 
Public education for both areas includes signage, brochures, and 
interpretive programs.
    As discussed in the proposed rule and stated previously in this 
document (see Factor A; Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts), the 
Utah Department of Natural Resources (which oversees the Utah State 
Parks), the BLM, the Service, and Kane County developed and signed a 
CCA in 1997 (Conservation Committee 1997), renewed the agreement in 
2009 (Conservation Committee 2009, entire), and further amended the 
agreement in 2013 (Conservation Committee 2013, entire).
    The 2009 CCA recommended conservation objectives and actions 
designed to protect and conserve the CPSD tiger beetle. Despite the 
positive and ongoing accomplishments of the 2009 CCA, the proposed rule 
identified several threats that were still negatively acting on CPSD 
tiger beetle and its habitat (see Ongoing and Future Conservation 
Efforts). Based on information provided in the proposed rule, 
discussions with researchers, and onsite evaluations with the CCA 
partners, signatory agencies established a 2013 amendment to the 2009 
CCA. This amendment outlined several new conservation actions that will 
be enacted to address the threats that were identified in the Service's 
October 2, 2012, proposed rule (77 FR 60208) (see Table 2). The degree 
to which the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment have ameliorated 
identified threats is discussed above and is also discussed below.
    Protection for the tiger beetle in Conservation Area A is codified 
and enforced according to the CPSD State Park's special closure 
(Conservation Committee 1997, p. 13) and Utah's Administrative Code R 
651-633. Of the 809-ha (2,000-ac) CPSD State Park, the conservation 
actions agreed to in the 2013 CCA Amendment will protect 266 ac (108 
ha) of occupied habitat at Conservation Area A, or 88 percent of CPSD 
tiger occupied swale habitat in the central population. In addition, 
CPSD tiger beetle adults and larvae were found to the south of 
Conservation Area A in 2012. The conservation committee visited this 
area in spring of 2013 to determine any additional habitats that should 
be protected to support the tiger beetle. The size and configuration of 
any protected areas will be determined during the remainder of the 2013 
field season with input from all members of the conservation committee.
    Through regulatory protections established as an outcome of the 
1997 CCA, and maintained in the 2013 CCA Amendment, Conservation Area B 
provides protection to the northern population's entire habitat as we 
have defined its boundary (see Figure 1). In this area, 370 ac (150 ha) 
is closed to ORV use to protect a small population of CPSD tiger 
beetles. Under the original 1997 CCA, approximately 445 ha (1,100 ac) 
was available for ORV use outside of the Conservation Area B on BLM 
lands (within the dispersal corridor), but with the stipulation that 
ORVs stay on open dunes and maintain a 3-m (10-ft) buffer around 
vegetation. BLM and Utah State

[[Page 61106]]

Parks have the authority to issue a ticket to ORV users who do not 
comply with closed areas that are identified with carsonite posts 
(essentially all of Conservation Areas A and B, and all protected 
habitat polygons between these two areas) (Conservation Committee 1997, 
p. 13).
    At the time of the proposed rule, we had no record of enforcement 
effort or success of the closures at either Conservation Area A or B, 
or the degree of compliance with the 3-m no-ride buffer around 
vegetation on BLM land. Since that time we have visited the CPSD dune 
feature and discussed the issue of compliance with BLM and Utah State 
Parks staff. Our visits to the area have observed almost no ORV tracks 
within Conservation Areas A or B but a moderate amount of tracks in the 
vicinity of some of the vegetated areas on BLM lands that are not in 
Conservation Area B. BLM and State Park enforcement officers indicate 
that violation of areas that are currently protected is not a problem 
and that the large majority of ORV users voluntarily comply with closed 
areas (Anderson 2013, pers. comm.).
    At the time of the proposed rule there was no protection from ORV 
use for the CPSD tiger beetle in the dispersal corridor between 
Conservation Areas A and B. As explained above (see Adult Dispersal), 
this area is potentially important for dispersal of tiger beetles or 
habitat occupancy in the areas between Conservation Area A to 
Conservation Area B. As part of the 2013 CCA Amendment, Utah Parks and 
the BLM will protect vegetated habitat islands of connectivity between 
the southern and northern conservation areas and monitor to ensure 
compliance. This action was initiated in 2013 and protects 263 ac (106 
ha) of additional sand dune habitat comprising 14 individual habitat 
patches (Figure 4), which range in size from 2.6 to 37.1 ac (1.0 to 15 
ha) each.
    Overall, the 2013 CCA Amendment increased protected habitat to 
include 88 percent of the occupied swale habitat of the central 
population, and an additional 263 ac (106 ha) of habitat between 
Conservation Areas A and B. In addition, the conservation committee is 
considering protection of additional occupied swale habitat south of 
Conservation Area A.
    In general, a species' resiliency to demographic and environmental 
perturbations is related to its ability to disperse within and across 
habitats, to track the preferred climate space, and to expand rapidly 
following disturbance as dictated by its reproductive rates and 
dispersal ability (Williams et al. 2008, p. 2). The expanded protection 
provided by the 2013 CCA Amendment results in improved long-term 
habitat conditions for the CPSD tiger beetle, resulting in increased 
species' resiliency, which makes the species less susceptible to other 
threats such as climate change and drought, demographic and 
environmental stochasticity, and catastrophic events (see Factor E. 
Climate Change and Drought and Small Population Effects). Previously 
(see the Background: Population Distribution), the central population 
of CPSD tiger beetle occupied a smaller portion of Conservation Area A, 
and based on population and habitat sampling results to date, we 
believed it was not likely that the species would expand to other areas 
in Conservation Area A due to insufficient habitat conditions. With the 
additional protections of the 2013 CCA Amendment, Conservation Area A 
will protect additional occupied habitat that is already being used by 
the species but is at levels that are artificially low due to the 
effects of ORVs (see Population Viability Analysis and Factor A).
    In the proposed rule, we recommended that the population at 
Conservation Area B be managed such that it becomes self-sustaining 
(see Population Viability Analysis and Factor A). Overall, it remains 
unclear from a biological or regulatory perspective what will be 
necessary to achieve this. It is possible that, by expanding 
Conservation Area A, the central population will increase such that it 
will be sufficient to provide adequate numbers of dispersers to bolster 
the population at Conservation Area B, thus making it self-sustaining. 
This should now be achievable since the conservation committee agreed 
to put additional regulatory measures in place to protect the dispersal 
corridor between Conservation Areas A and B to allow for a safe and 
sufficient level of CPSD tiger beetle dispersal between the two areas. 
In addition, the additional 263 ac (106 ha) of protected habitat in the 
dispersal corridor will be available to CPSD tiger beetle for 
colonization.
    Although the CCAs are not regulatory mechanisms by themselves, the 
signatory agencies have implemented the conservation actions specified 
in the CCA through the use of regulatory mechanisms since 1997, 
including the legal restriction of ORVs from occupied habitats and 
dispersal corridor.
State Mechanisms
    Utah's Administrative Code R 651-633 prohibits motorized vehicle 
use in designated nonmotorized sand dune areas of CPSD State Park. 
Conservation Area A is a designated nonmotorized sand dune area, and 
thus the State Code protects tiger beetle habitat in this area. In 
addition, State Code will now provide protection to the islands of 
habitat within the portion of the dispersal corridor that is on State 
Park land. CPSD State Park's dual purpose mission statement of 
providing recreational experiences while preserving natural resources 
(Franklin et al. 2005, p. 3) has assisted with the conservation of CPSD 
tiger beetle because the State Park has closed areas (Conservation Area 
A) to ORV use to protect CPSD tiger beetle.
    As described above, the 2009 CCA and 2013 CCA Amendment provide 
long-term protection of the tiger beetle. The 2013 CCA Amendment 
expands protection based on our current knowledge of the species' 
distribution. Although the CCAs are not regulatory mechanisms, the 
State has shown a consistent commitment and ability to implement the 
protective measures, by using its regulatory authorities to restrict 
motorized use through its Administrative Code Process. Therefore, we 
conclude that adequate State regulatory mechanisms are in place to 
reduce threats to the CPSD tiger beetle.
Federal Mechanisms
    The FLPMA is the primary Federal law governing most land uses on 
BLM-administered lands. Section 102(a)(8) of FLPMA specifically 
recognizes wildlife and fish resources as being among the uses for 
which these lands are to be managed. Regulations pursuant to FLPMA and 
the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) that address wildlife 
habitat protection on BLM-administered land include 43 CFR 3162.3-1 and 
43 CFR 3162.5-1; 43 CFR 4120 et seq.; and 43 CFR 4180 et seq. 
Cumulatively, BLM regulations allow the agency to formally recognize 
sensitive species for special management and protection, include them 
as such in their land management plans, and to enforce protective 
closures of posted species habitat. See below for more information.
    The BLM manages the CPSD tiger beetle as a ``sensitive species,'' 
that is managed under BLM Manual 6840--Special Status Species 
Management (BLM 2008, entire). The BLM Manual 6840 requires that 
Resource Management Plans (RMPs) should address sensitive species, and 
that implementation ``should consider all site-specific methods and 
procedures needed to bring species and their habitats to the condition 
under which management under the Bureau sensitive species policies 
would no longer be necessary'' (BLM 2008, p. 2A1). The BLM will 
continue to manage the CPSD

[[Page 61107]]

tiger beetle as a sensitive species under the BLM Manual 6840 (Bolander 
2013, pers. comm.). As a designated sensitive species under BLM Manual 
6840, CPSD tiger beetle conservation must be addressed in the 
development and implementation of RMPs on BLM lands.
    The RMPs are the basis for all actions and authorizations involving 
BLM-administered lands and resources. They establish allowable resource 
uses, resource condition goals and objectives to be attained, program 
constraints and general management practices needed to attain the goals 
and objectives, general implementation sequences, and intervals and 
standards for monitoring and evaluating the plan to determine its 
effectiveness and the need for amendment or revision (43 CFR 1601 et 
seq.).
    The RMPs provide a framework and programmatic guidance for activity 
plans, which are site-specific plans written to implement decisions 
made in an RMP. Activity plan decisions normally require additional 
planning and NEPA analysis (see below). If an RMP contains specific 
direction regarding sensitive species habitat, conservation, or 
management, it represents an enforceable regulatory mechanism to ensure 
that the species and its habitats are considered during permitting and 
other decisionmaking regarding BLM lands.
    The 2008 Kanab RMP establishes guidance and objectives for the 
management of the northern portion of CPSD (BLM 2008, entire). In the 
RMP, the BLM commits to ``implement conservation actions identified in 
the Conservation Agreement and Strategy for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes 
tiger beetle, including maintaining the established 370-acre 
conservation area'' (BLM 2008, p. 32). In addition to maintaining 
Conservation Area B, the BLM has funded and continues to fund CPSD 
tiger beetle monitoring and research activities. BLM was signatory to 
the 2013 CCA Amendment and agreed to provide the continued protection 
of Conservation Area B and expanded protection on BLM lands within the 
dispersal corridor between Conservation Areas A and B (see Ongoing and 
Future Conservation Efforts). Although CCAs are not a regulatory 
mechanism per se, CCAs can implement conservation measures via 
regulatory mechanisms, and the BLM has used its regulatory authority to 
implement the specific protections for the CPSD tiger beetle as 
outlined in the CCA via its 2008 RMP.
    BLM Manual 6840--Special Status Species Management (BLM 2008, 
entire) also states that ``Bureau sensitive species will be managed 
consistent with species and habitat management objectives in land use 
and implementation plans to promote their conservation and to minimize 
the likelihood and need for listing under the ESA'' (BLM 2008, pp. 26, 
32, 41, 64, and 65). As such, BLM manual 6840 establishes management 
policy and direction for BLM's continued involvement in the CCA and its 
membership on the conservation committee (Conservation Committee 2009, 
p. 7).
    With respect to regulatory mechanisms that address climate change, 
on December 15, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
published in the Federal Register (74 FR 66496) a rule titled, 
``Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases 
under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.'' In this rule, the EPA 
Administrator found that the current and projected concentrations of 
the six long-lived and directly emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs)--carbon 
dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, 
and sulfur hexafluoride--in the atmosphere threaten the public health 
and welfare of current and future generations; and that the combined 
emissions of these GHGs from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle 
engines contribute to the GHG pollution that threatens public health 
and welfare (74 FR 66496). In effect, the EPA has concluded that the 
GHGs linked to climate change are pollutants, whose emissions can now 
be subject to the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) (see 74 FR 
66496). However, specific regulations to limit GHG emissions were 
proposed in 2010 and have not been finalized and, therefore, cannot be 
considered an existing regulatory mechanism. At present, we have no 
basis to conclude that implementation of the Clean Air Act in the 
future (40 years, based on global climate projections) will 
substantially reduce the current rate of global climate change through 
regulation of GHG emissions.
    However, the establishment of 263 ac (106 ha) of protected habitat 
on BLM and Utah State Parks managed lands between Conservation Area A 
and B will occur in locations of the CPSD dune feature that are at a 
significantly higher elevation than habitat in the central population. 
The northern half of the CPSD dune feature is also more densely 
vegetated and (see Habitat in Background) should be able to provide 
better habitat as the effects of climate change are seen in the CPSD 
area. As a result, establishment of this new habitat will allow CPSD 
tiger beetle to adjust to the effects of climate change and monitoring 
of the species' use of this area will inform any adaptive management 
for the species.
    NEPA may provide additional protection to CPSD tiger beetle and its 
habitat. As explained previously, Federal land management agencies, 
such as the BLM, have legislation that specifies how their lands are 
managed for sensitive species. The NEPA provides authority for the 
Service to assume a cooperating agency role for Federal projects 
undergoing evaluation for significant impacts to the human environment. 
This includes participating in updates to RMPs. As a cooperating 
agency, we have the opportunity to provide recommendations to the 
action agency to avoid impacts or enhance conservation for CPSD tiger 
beetle and its habitat where it occurs on Federal land. For projects 
where we are not a cooperating agency, we often review proposed actions 
and provide recommendations to minimize and mitigate impacts to fish 
and wildlife resources. However, acceptance of our NEPA recommendations 
is not required and is at the discretion of the action agency.
Summary of Factor D
    The BLM and Utah State Parks use their regulatory authorities to 
implement their commitments in the 2009 CCA, and the 2013 CCA 
Amendment. State management of land in Conservation Area A provides 
protection for 88 percent of CPSD tiger beetle occupied habitat in the 
central population. By the end of 2013, State and Federally managed 
lands between Conservation Areas A and B will provide an additional 263 
ac (106 ha) of protected habitat for CPSD tiger beetle for dispersal 
and colonization. Federal land management by the BLM in the northern 
portion of CPSD geologic feature includes 150 ha (370 ac) of protected 
habitat and fully protects the northern population. Utah's 
Administrative Code prohibits motorized vehicle use in designated 
nonmotorized sand dune areas of CPSD State Park (Conservation Area A 
and habitat islands within the dispersal corridor), and the BLM's 
federal sensitive species and RMP authorities protect CPSD tiger beetle 
habitat in Conservation Area B and habitat islands within the dispersal 
corridor.
    While the Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority to limit GHGs 
linked to climate change, our analysis concludes that current 
regulation of these gases is not adequate to reduce the current rate of 
global climate change. However,

[[Page 61108]]

establishment of newly protected habitat between Conservation Areas A 
and B (as managed by State and Federal regulatory agencies) will allow 
CPSD tiger beetle to adjust habitat usage to areas that are more 
resilient to the effects of climate change.
    As evidenced by the discussion above, the species is adequately 
protected by the existing regulatory mechanisms; thus, we conclude that 
the existing regulatory mechanisms are not inadequate, now or in the 
future.

Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued 
Existence

    Natural and manmade factors affecting the CPSD tiger beetle 
include: (1) Sand dune movement; (2) climate change and drought; (3) 
small population effects; and (4) cumulative effects of all threats 
that may impact the species.
Sand Dune Movement
    Movement of the swales due to sand dune movement naturally occurs 
in the CPSD system as wind action continues to shape the dunes. Major 
dune ridgelines moved approximately 22 m (72 ft) (Knisley and Gowan 
2005, p. 4) between 2001 and 2002, and most ridgelines moved 45 m (150 
ft) between 2002 and 2010 (Knisley and Gowan 2011, p. 25). Dune 
movement can result in a change in suitable habitat conditions for the 
CPSD tiger beetle (Knisley and Gowan 2008, pp. 21-22). For example, 
dune movement has buried previously occupied swale habitat (Knisley and 
Gowan 2008, pp. 21-22). It is likely that dune movement is uncovering 
potential habitat as well; however, comprehensive surveys to determine 
this have not been conducted (Knisley 2012, pers. comm.). Wind action 
created and continues to shape the current CPSD (Ford et al. 2010, p. 
387), and we have no evidence to suggest that the rate of dune movement 
is increasing. Because CPSD tiger beetle presumably evolved in this 
environment, it is likely that the species is adapted to the continual 
movement of dunes. We have no evidence demonstrating that dune movement 
is a threat to the species now or is likely to become so in the future; 
however, additional study of dune movement is recommended.
Climate Change and Drought
    Our analyses under the Act include consideration of environmental 
changes resulting from ongoing and projected changes in climate. The 
terms ``climate'' and ``climate change'' are defined by the 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ``Climate'' refers to 
the mean and variability of different types of weather conditions over 
time, with 30 years being a typical period for such measurements, 
although shorter or longer periods also may be used (IPCC 2007a, p. 
78). The term ``climate change'' thus refers to a change in the mean or 
variability of one or more measures of climate (e.g., temperature or 
precipitation) that persists for an extended period, typically decades 
or longer, whether the change is due to natural variability, human 
activity, or both (IPCC 2007a, p. 78).
    Scientific measurements spanning several decades demonstrate that 
changes in climate are occurring, and that the rate of change has been 
faster since the 1950s. Based on extensive analyses of global average 
surface air temperature, the most widely used measure of change, the 
IPCC concluded that warming of the global climate system over the past 
several decades is ``unequivocal'' (IPCC 2007a, p. 2). In other words, 
the IPCC concluded that there is no question that the world's climate 
system is warming.
    Examples of other changes include substantial increases in 
precipitation in some regions of the world and decreases in other 
regions (for these and additional examples, see IPCC 2007a, p. 30; 
Solomon et al. 2007, pp. 35-54, 82-85). Various environmental changes 
(e.g., shifts in the ranges of plant and animal species, increasing 
ground instability in permafrost regions, conditions more favorable to 
the spread of invasive species and of some diseases, changes in amount 
and timing of water availability) are occurring in association with 
changes in climate (see IPCC 2007a, pp. 2-4, 30-33; and Global Climate 
Change Impacts in the United States 2009, pp. 27, 79-88).
    Results of scientific analyses presented by the IPCC show that most 
of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid-
20th century cannot be explained by natural variability in climate and 
is ``very likely'' (defined by the IPCC as 90 percent or higher 
probability) due to the observed increase in GHG concentrations in the 
atmosphere as a result of human activities, particularly carbon dioxide 
emissions from fossil fuel use (IPCC 2007a, pp. 5-6 and figures SPM.3 
and SPM.4; Solomon et al. 2007, pp. 21-35). Further confirmation of the 
role of GHGs comes from analyses by Huber and Knutti (2011, p. 4), who 
concluded it is extremely likely that approximately 75 percent of 
global warming since 1950 has been caused by human activities.
    Scientists use a variety of climate models, which include 
consideration of natural processes and variability, as well as various 
scenarios of potential levels and timing of GHG emissions, to evaluate 
the causes of changes already observed and to project future changes in 
temperature and other climate conditions (e.g., Meehl et al. 2007, 
entire; Ganguly et al. 2009, pp. 11555, 15558; Prinn et al. 2011, pp. 
527, 529). All combinations of models and emissions scenarios yield 
very similar projections of average global warming until about 2030. 
Although projections of the magnitude and rate of warming differ after 
about 2030, the overall trajectory of all the projections is one of 
increased global warming through the end of this century, even for 
projections based on scenarios that assume that GHG emissions will 
stabilize or decline. Thus, there is strong scientific support for 
projections that warming will continue through the 21st century, and 
that the magnitude and rate of change will be influenced substantially 
by the extent of GHG emissions (IPCC 2007a, pp. 44-45; Meehl et al. 
2007, pp. 760-764; Ganguly et al. 2009, pp. 15555-15558; Prinn et al. 
2011, pp. 527, 529).
    In addition to basing their projections on scientific analyses, the 
IPCC reports projections using a framework for treatment of 
uncertainties (e.g., they define ``very likely'' to mean greater than 
90 percent probability, and ``likely'' to mean greater than 66 percent 
probability; see Solomon et al. 2007, pp. 22-23). Some of the IPCC's 
key projections of global climate and its related effects include: (1) 
It is virtually certain there will be warmer and more frequent hot days 
and nights over most of the earth's land areas; (2) it is very likely 
there will be increased frequency of warm spells and heat waves over 
most land areas; (3) it is very likely that the frequency of heavy 
precipitation events, or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy 
falls, will increase over most areas; and (4) it is likely the area 
affected by droughts will increase, that intense tropical cyclone 
activity will increase, and that there will be increased incidence of 
extreme high sea level (IPCC 2007b, p. 8, Table SPM.2). More recently, 
the IPCC published additional information that provides further insight 
into observed changes since 1950, as well as projections of extreme 
climate events at global and broad regional scales for the middle and 
end of this century (IPCC 2011, entire).
    Various changes in climate may have direct or indirect effects on 
species. These may be positive, neutral, or negative, and they may 
change over time, depending on the species and

[[Page 61109]]

other relevant considerations, such as interactions of climate with 
other variables such as habitat fragmentation (for examples, see Franco 
et al. 2006; IPCC 2007b, pp. 8-14, 18-19; Forister et al. 2010; 
Galbraith et al. 2010; Chen et al. 2011). In addition to considering 
individual species, scientists are evaluating possible climate change-
related impacts to, and responses of, ecological systems, habitat 
conditions, and groups of species; these studies include 
acknowledgement of uncertainty (e.g., Deutsch et al. 2008; Berg et al. 
2009; Euskirchen et al. 2009; McKechnie and Wolf 2009; Sinervo et al. 
2010; Beaumont et al. 2011; McKelvey et al. 2011; Rogers and Schindler 
2011).
    Many analyses involve elements that are common to climate change 
vulnerability assessments. In relation to climate change, vulnerability 
refers to the degree to which a species (or system) is susceptible to, 
and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including 
climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the 
type, magnitude, and rate of climate change and variation to which a 
species is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity (IPCC 
2007a, p. 89; see also Glick et al. 2011, pp. 19-22). No single method 
for conducting such analyses applies to all situations (Glick et al. 
2011, p. 3). We use our expert judgment and appropriate analytical 
approaches to weigh relevant information, including uncertainty, in our 
consideration of various aspects of climate change.
    As is the case with all stressors that we assess, even if we 
conclude that a species is currently affected or is likely to be 
affected in a negative way by one or more climate-related impacts, it 
does not necessarily follow that the species meets the definition of an 
``endangered species'' or a ``threatened species'' under the Act. If a 
species is listed as an endangered or threatened species, knowledge 
regarding its vulnerability to, and known or anticipated impacts from, 
climate-associated changes in environmental conditions can be used to 
help devise appropriate strategies for its recovery.
    The IPCC predicts that the resiliency of many ecosystems is likely 
to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented combination of climate 
change, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire, and 
insects), and other global drivers (IPCC 2007, pp. 31-33). With medium 
confidence, IPCC predicts that approximately 20 to 30 percent of plant 
and animal species assessed by the IPCC so far are likely to be at an 
increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature 
exceed 1.5 to 2.5 [ordm]C (3 to 5 [ordm]F) (IPCC 2007a, p. 48).
    Regional projections indicate the Southwest, including southern 
Utah, may experience the greatest temperature increase of any area in 
the lower 48 States (IPCC 2007a, p. 30). Drought probability is 
predicted to increase in the Southwest (Karl et al. 2009, pp. 129-134), 
with summers warming more than winters, and annual temperature 
increasing approximately 2.2 [deg]C (4[emsp14][deg]F) by 2050 (Ray et 
al. 2008, p. 29). Additionally, the number of days over 32 [deg]C 
(90[emsp14][deg]F) could double by the end of the century (Karl et al. 
2009, p. 34). Projections also show declines in snowpack across the 
West, with the most dramatic declines at lower elevations (below 2,500 
m (8,200 ft)) (Ray et al. 2008, p. 29). A 10 to 30 percent decrease in 
precipitation in mid-latitude western North America is projected by the 
year 2050, based on an ensemble of 12 climate models (Milly et al. 
2005, p. 1). Overall, future projections for the Southwest include 
increased temperatures; more intense and longer-lasting heat waves; and 
increased probability of drought exacerbated by higher temperatures, 
heavier downpours, increased flooding, and increased erosion (Karl et 
al. 2009, pp. 129-134).
    Utah is projected to warm more than the average for the entire 
globe (Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change 
(GBRAC) 2008, p. 14). The expected consequences of this warming are 
fewer frost days, longer growing seasons, and more heat waves (GBRAC 
2008, p. 14). For Utah, the projected increase in annual mean 
temperature by year 2100 is about 4.5 [deg]C (8[emsp14][deg]F) (GBRAC 
2008, p. 14). Because of increased temperature, Utah soils are expected 
to dry more rapidly (GBRAC 2008, p. 20); this is likely to result in 
reduced soil moisture levels in CPSD tiger beetle habitat.
    Utah is projected to have more frequent heavy precipitation events, 
separated by longer dry spells as a result of climate change (GBRAC 
2008, p. 15). Drought is a localized dry spell. Drought conditions are 
a potential stressor to the CPSD tiger beetle, as rainfall indirectly 
controls population size and the changing dynamics of the species 
(Knisley and Gowan 2009, p. 8).
    Previous drought-like conditions have resulted in drastic CPSD 
tiger beetle population declines. For example, low rainfall amounts 
from 2001 to 2003 resulted in reduced adult numbers in 2004 and 2005 
(Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 8). Conversely, high adult numbers in 1996 
and 2002 followed several years of higher than average rainfall 
(Knisley and Gowan 2008, p. 8). These observed population responses to 
rainfall are most likely caused by reductions and increases in prey and 
soil moisture. Prey is more abundant during wet years, and this 
abundance reduces the effects of starvation, decreases development 
time, and increases fecundity (Knisley and Hill 2001, p. 391). Soil 
moisture seems to have the greatest effect on oviposition and larval 
survival. As stated in Factor A, reduced water availability is limiting 
to tiger beetles in CPSD, and this is evidenced by the fact that in one 
experiment water supplementation increased larval CPSD tiger beetle 
survival by 10 percent (Knisley and Gowan 2006, p. 7).
    To help the species adapt and be resilient to changing climates, 
the 2013 CCA Amendment protects an additional 263 ac (106 ha) (see 
Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts) of CPSD tiger beetle habitat 
in the northern area of the CPSD feature at a high elevation and where 
swale habitat exists with dense vegetation. This northern area of the 
CPSD area will be more resistant to the warming and drying effects of 
climate change as temperatures in this area will be somewhat cooler 
than where the majority of CPSD tiger beetle are currently found at the 
central population. In addition, many swale habitats in this area are 
over-vegetated and drying related to climate change would be expected 
to reduce vegetation amounts as the effects of climate change take 
place in the future. This scenario is expected to result in habitat 
that is more moderately vegetated and thus more appropriate CPSD tiger 
beetle habitat. Also, expanded habitat in the vicinity of the central 
population as a result of the 2013 CCA Amendment will result in a 
larger population, which will make the species more resilient to 
climate change.
    In summary, the limited geographic range of CPSD tiger beetle to 
sand dunes and swales within the CPSD geologic feature somewhat limits 
the ability of the species to adapt by shifting its range in response 
to changing climatic conditions. CPSD tiger beetle survival and 
reproduction, as described above, are highly dependent upon soil 
moisture, which in turn is dependent upon climatic conditions 
(precipitation and temperature). Climate change is predicted to 
increase temperatures and increase the likelihood and duration of 
drought conditions in Utah. Both of these effects will reduce soil 
moisture in CPSD and could impact the CPSD tiger beetle. However, newly 
protected CPSD tiger beetle habitat will be located in the higher 
elevation northern portion of the

[[Page 61110]]

park. Swale habitats in this area will provide protected dispersal 
habitat between Conservation Areas A and B and will also provide 
habitat for colonization and population expansion. Some of this habitat 
is currently over-vegetated and not currently suitable habitat for the 
CPSD tiger beetle, but will become less vegetated and thus more 
suitable for the species as temperatures warm and dry the area. For 
these reasons, we conclude that environmental changes resulting from 
climate change, including drought, will be moderated as a result of 
conservation measures in the 2013 CCA Amendment and we do not consider 
climate change to be a threat to the species, now or in the future.
Small Population Effects
    Here we consider that the CPSD tiger beetle has one of the smallest 
geographical ranges of any known insect (Romey and Knisley 2002, p. 
170). It is restricted to the CPSD geologic feature and occupies only 
202 ha (500 ac) (Morgan et al. 2000, p. 1109).
    A species may be considered rare because of a limited geographical 
range, specialized habitat, or small population size (Primack 1998, p. 
176). In the absence of information identifying threats to a species 
and linking those threats to the rarity of a species, we do not 
consider rarity alone to be a threat. A species that has always been 
rare, yet continues to survive, could be well equipped to continue to 
exist into the future. Many naturally rare species have persisted for 
long periods within small geographic areas, and many naturally rare 
species exhibit traits that allow them to persist despite their small 
population sizes. Consequently, the fact that a species is rare does 
not necessarily indicate that it may be in danger of extinction.
    CPSD tiger beetle has a very limited occupied range and a very 
small population size (558 adults in 2005 to a high of 2,944 adults in 
2002). It has several characteristics typical of species vulnerable to 
extinction including: (1) A very narrow geographic range; (2) only one 
known self-sustaining population; and (3) a small population size.
    Extinction may be caused by demographic stochasticity due to chance 
realizations of individual probabilities of death and reproduction, 
particularly in small populations (Shaffer 1981, p. 131; Lande 1993, 
pp. 911-912). Environmental stochasticity can result in extinction 
through a series of small or moderate perturbations that affect birth 
and death rates within a population (Shaffer 1981, p. 131; Lande 1993, 
p. 912). Lastly, extinction can be caused by random catastrophes 
(Shaffer 1981, p. 131; Lande 1993, p. 912). The proposed rule stated 
that the CPSD tiger beetle was vulnerable to extinction due to: (1) 
Demographic stochasticity due to its small population size; (2) 
environmental stochasticity due to continued small perturbations caused 
by ongoing modification and curtailment of its habitat and range from 
ORV use; and (3) the chance of random catastrophe such as an extended 
drought. However, the enactment of the 2013 CCA Amendment has provided 
conservation actions that address these potential threats. The CPSD 
tiger beetle population has been increasing in population size for the 
last 8 years and is of sufficient size to provide dispersers into newly 
protected habitat; newly protected habitat will remove the threat of 
ORV use; and the effects of drought and climate change will be offset 
by protected habitat that occurs at higher elevations that are cooler 
and have an over-abundance of vegetation.
    Small populations also can be vulnerable due to a lack of genetic 
diversity (Shaffer 1981, p. 132). We have no information regarding 
genetic diversity of CPSD tiger beetle. A minimum viable population 
(MVP) will vary depending on the species. An MVP of 1,000 may be 
adequate for species of normal genetic variability, and an MVP of 
10,000 should permit long-term persistence and continued genetic 
diversity (Thomas 1990, p. 325). These estimates should be increased by 
at least 1 order of magnitude (to 10,000 and 100,000) for insects, 
because they usually have greater population variability (Thomas 1990, 
p. 326). Based upon available information, CPSD tiger beetle likely 
does not meet these minimum population criteria for maintaining genetic 
diversity because the estimated population size ranges from 558 to 
2,944 individuals. However, the conservation measures that expand 
Conservation Area A, and create 263 ac of protected habitat between 
Conservation Areas A and B, are expected to bolster CPSD tiger beetle 
population numbers, increase the species' resiliency, and thus offset 
the species' potential vulnerability to a lack of genetic diversity.
    In summary, we do not find that small population size on its own is 
a threat to CPSD tiger beetle. Despite, the species' relatively small 
population size, the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment conservation 
actions will reduce the species vulnerability to extinction due to 
demographic stochasticity, environmental stochasticity, and random 
catastrophe by removing the threat of ORV use, and by providing 
additional protected habitat to allow the species to adjust to drought 
and climate change. In addition, the estimated adult CPSD tiger beetle 
population has been increasing in size over the last 8 years, and it 
was estimated at 2,494 in 2013. This is close to its largest estimated 
size (2,944), which occurred in 2002 (see Background). Thus, we do not 
consider small population size a threat to the species, now or in the 
future.
Cumulative Effects
    Some of the threats discussed in this finding could work in concert 
with one another to cumulatively create situations that potentially 
impact the CPSD tiger beetle beyond the scope of the threats that we 
have already analyzed. However, we believe that the suite of 
conservation measures in the 1997/2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment 
address and alleviate all of the threats to the CPSD tiger beetle 
adequately for the species to persist into the future. Additional 
habitat protection areas have removed the threat of ORV use and will 
allow the CPSD tiger beetle population to increase in numbers in 
habitat where they are currently present but in low numbers. Population 
increases will make the species more resilient to the effects of 
climate change and small populations. In addition, increased protected 
habitat will allow the species to better disperse between the two 
existing populations, and newly protected habitat that exists between 
the two conservation areas is now available for colonization.
Summary of Factor E
    Wind action created and continues to shape the CPSD geologic 
feature (Ford et al. 2010, p. 387). Sand dune movement naturally occurs 
in this system as wind action continues to shape the dunes. Dune 
movement can result in a change in suitable habitat conditions (Knisley 
and Gowan 2008, pp. 21-22); however, it is likely that dune movement is 
uncovering potential habitat as well as covering previously occupied 
habitat (e.g., Gregory 1950, p. 188). CPSD tiger beetle evolved in a 
dynamic dune-dominated system, and we have no evidence to suggest that 
the rate of dune movement is increasing or decreasing. Thus, we have no 
information indicating that dune movement is a threat to this species, 
now or is likely to become so in the future.
    Utah is projected to have increased temperatures and more frequent 
heavy precipitation events, separated by longer dry spells, as a result 
of climate change (GBRAC 2008, p. 15). Utah soils are expected to dry 
more rapidly as a result

[[Page 61111]]

of increased temperatures (GBRAC 2008, p. 20). Drought duration and 
intensity in CPSD will likely increase in the future, magnifying the 
soil moisture reductions expected from temperature increases alone. 
Precipitation and soil moisture levels currently limit the CPSD tiger 
beetle population in the CPSD (Knisley and Gowan 2006, p. 7), and 
reductions in soil moisture associated with climate change and drought 
could further reduce the CPSD tiger beetle population size. However, a 
suite of conservation measures in the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA 
Amendment address the threats of climate change and drought by 
providing protected dispersal habitat, at different elevations, between 
Conservation Areas A and B and also providing habitat for population 
expansion. Some of this habitat is currently over-vegetated, and not 
currently suitable habitat for the species. This will change as 
temperatures warm and dry the area--CPSD tiger beetles prefer areas 
that are not over-vegetated. In addition, the 2013 CCA Amendment 
includes a conservation action to perform vegetation treatments, which 
would more quickly transition these areas to more suitable habitat. 
Based on the analysis in Factor E, we find environmental changes 
resulting from climate change and drought will not become threats to 
the CPSD tiger beetle in the future.
    The restricted range of the species does not constitute a threat in 
itself. However, the species' small population size makes the species 
more vulnerable to extinction due to demographic stochasticity, 
environmental stochasticity, and random catastrophe, when combined with 
the specific threats of ORV use, drought, and climate change. However, 
the enactment of the 2013 CCA Amendment has provided conservation 
actions that address these potential threats. Newly protected habitat 
is of sufficient size to provide dispersal habitat, protection of the 
habitat will remove the threat of ORV use, and the effects of drought 
and climate change will be offset by protected habitat that occurs at 
higher elevations that are cooler and have an over-abundance of 
vegetation. Furthermore, the CPSD tiger beetle population has been 
increasing in population size for the last 8 years. Therefore, we do 
not consider small population size to be a threat to the species, now 
or in the future.
    Threats can work in concert with one another to cumulatively create 
conditions that will impact CPSD tiger beetle beyond the scope of each 
individual threat. However, the Service concludes that addressing the 
threats identified in the proposed rule independently will prevent 
these threats from acting cumulatively.

Determination

    As required by the Act, we considered the five factors in assessing 
whether the CPSD tiger beetle meets the definition of a threatened or 
endangered species. We examined the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
faced by the species. Based on our review of the best available 
scientific and commercial information, we find that the current and 
future threats are not of sufficient imminence, intensity, or magnitude 
to indicate that the CPSD tiger beetle is in danger of extinction 
(endangered), or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable 
future (threatened), throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range. Therefore, the CPSD tiger beetle does not meet the definition of 
a threatened or endangered species, and we are withdrawing the proposed 
rule to list the CPSD tiger beetle as a threatened species. Our 
rationale for this finding is outlined below.
    The CPSD tiger beetle is not in danger of extinction now because 
the population has an increasing trend over the past 8 years, and it 
has persisted in its current distribution and has been thus far 
resilient to random natural impacts. Conservation measures currently 
being enacted will expand protected habitat in the central population 
area and also increase additional protected habitat for dispersal and 
colonization, which is expected to increase resilience to future random 
natural impacts. Further, its distribution encompasses and is 
representative of the known genetic diversity of the species. As such, 
the species has not currently declined to the point that it is subject 
to impacts from stochastic events that would result in a change in the 
status of the species as a whole. In other words, if the species 
continues to persist in its current distribution and in the additional 
areas into which it is expected to colonize and disperse, we conclude 
that it will have sufficient resiliency, redundancy, and representation 
to persist now and in the foreseeable future.
    In our proposed rule, we identified several threats that we 
expected to significantly impact the status of the species as a whole 
into the foreseeable future, which was an appropriate conclusion based 
on the best available scientific and commercial information available 
at that time. However, since that time, significant ongoing and new 
conservation efforts have reduced the magnitude of potential impacts in 
the future such that the species no longer meets the definition of a 
threatened or endangered species.
    In our proposed rule, we identified direct (killing of CPSD tiger 
beetles) and indirect effects (habitat loss due to drying, impacts to 
vegetation, killing of prey items) of ORV use, small population 
effects, and the effects of climate change and drought as threats to 
the continued existence of the CPSD tiger beetle. Our conclusion was 
based on information about past and current impacts to tiger beetle 
habitat due to these stressors, information about continued and future 
ORV use within tiger beetle habitat, and the lack of dispersal areas 
and high-elevation colonization areas protected from these stressors.
    Since the time of our proposed listing, the conservation committee 
has made a significant effort to develop and implement additional 
conservation measures (2013 CCA Amendment) for the CPSD tiger beetle. 
The 2009 CCA contains conservation measures that have been implemented 
by the Utah State Parks, BLM, Kane County, and the Service, and have 
reduced or eliminated threats to the CPSD tiger beetle (see Ongoing and 
Future Conservation Efforts). In addition, through the 2013 CCA 
Amendment, the conservation committee has implemented several 
conservation measures that address the threat of ORV use by increasing 
protected habitat surrounding Conservation Area A; designating 
protected habitat areas between Conservation Areas A and B; reassessing 
conservation area boundaries on a routine cycle (every 3 years) to 
account for shifting dunes, vegetation changes, population increases 
and decreases, and resulting changes to suitable habitat; and by 
continuing Utah State Parks and BLM law enforcement, education, and 
outreach.
    When the 2009 and 2013 CCA measures are considered together, 
Conservation Area A will protect CPSD tiger beetle occupied swales by 
restricting ORV use from 88 percent of the species' central 
population's occupied habitat. In addition, ORVs will be restricted 
from using a number of habitat islands within the dispersal corridor 
between Conservation Areas A and B. This protection will increase the 
resiliency of the CPSD tiger beetle and offset the threat of small 
population effects by providing additional habitat for the species to 
increase in number at the central population, and also by providing 
habitat for colonization and dispersal between Conservation Areas A

[[Page 61112]]

and B. The additional colonization and dispersal habitat occurs in 
areas that are higher and more heavily vegetated than habitat for the 
central population, and thus will offset the threat of climate change 
and drought.
    Conservation measures that are identified in the 2013 CCA Amendment 
can be viewed as having regulatory authority because the signatory 
agencies that have implementation authority have the regulatory 
controls in place to assure that these measures will be adequately 
implemented. In addition, independently addressing and eliminating the 
significance of each of the threats identified in the proposed rule 
will prevent them from acting cumulatively.
    As summarized in the Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts and 
PECE Analysis sections above, we have a high degree of certainty that 
the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment will continue to be 
implemented. See Table 1 under Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts 
for the status of the 2013 CCA Amendment conservation actions. Our 
level of certainty is high because: Signatory agencies have been 
compliant with implementation of the conservation actions of the 
original 1997 CCA and its 2009 reauthorization; the authorities for 
expending funds are in place and CPSD tiger beetle research and 
population monitoring has been funded by signatory agencies for the 
last 20+ years; signatory agencies have been responsive to designating 
additional protected habitat for the species; monitoring and 
documentation of compliance with the conservation measures are in 
place; annual reports of monitoring have been completed; adaptive 
management will be used to reassess conservation boundaries on a 
regular basis; and all parties have the legal authorities to carry out 
their responsibilities under the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment. 
In addition, the estimated adult CPSD tiger beetle population has been 
increasing in size over the last 8 years, and it was estimated at 2,494 
in 2013. This is close to its largest estimated size (2,944), which 
occurred in 2002.
    We also have high certainty that the suite of conservation measures 
in the 2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment will be effective at 
reducing and eliminating threats to the CPSD tiger beetle to the point 
that the species no longer meets the definition of threatened or 
endangered species. Our certainty arises from the fact that the 
population has been increasing for the past 8 years, and that the 
primary effect of both plans is to move current and future ORV impacts 
outside of occupied and potential swale habitat. Further, the 
agreements have annual monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure 
that all of the conservation measures are implemented as planned, and 
are effective at removing threats to the CPSD tiger beetle and its 
habitat. Non-compliance ORV issues will be discussed at annual meetings 
and the adaptive management process will be used to address any 
identified issues until they are resolved. Potential solutions to ORV 
non-compliance include increasing enforcement, increasing posting of 
closed areas, and educational programs. The collaboration between the 
Service and other stakeholders requires regular meetings and 
involvement of all parties in order to implement the agreement fully.
    In summary, we conclude that the conservation efforts have 
sufficient certainty of implementation and effectiveness that they can 
be relied upon in this final listing determination. Further, we 
conclude that conservation efforts have reduced or eliminated current 
and future threats to the CPSD tiger beetle to the point that the 
species is no longer in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable 
future. Therefore, we are withdrawing our proposed rule to list the 
CPSD tiger beetle as a threatened species.
    We will continue to monitor the status of the species through 
monitoring requirements in the 2009 CCA and 2013 CCA Amendment, and our 
evaluation of any other information we receive. These monitoring 
requirements will not only inform us of the amount of CPSD tiger beetle 
habitat conserved and reclaimed, but will also help inform us of the 
status of the CPSD tiger beetle population. Additional information will 
continue to be accepted on all aspects of the species. We encourage 
interested parties, outside of those parties already signatories to the 
2009 CCA and the 2013 CCA Amendment, to become involved in the 
conservation of the species.
    If at any time data indicate that the protective status under the 
Act should be reinstated, for example, we become aware of declining 
enforcement of or participation in the CCA or CCA amendment or 
noncompliance with the conservation measures, or if there are new 
threats or increasing stressors that rise to the level of a threat, we 
can initiate listing procedures, including, if appropriate, emergency 
listing pursuant to section 4(b)(7) of the Act.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this document is 
available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. 
FWS-R6-ES-2012-0035 or upon request from the Field Supervisor, Utah 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section).

Authors

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the 
Utah Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1979, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: September 12, 2013.
Daniel M. Ashe,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-23165 Filed 10-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P