[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 245 (Friday, December 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 77289-77325]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30165]



[[Page 77289]]

Vol. 78

Friday,

No. 245

December 20, 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; Designation of Critical 
Habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan Manzanita); Final 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 245 / Friday, December 20, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 77290]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067; 4500030114]
RIN 1018-AY63


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan Manzanita)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, designate critical 
habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan manzanita) under the 
Endangered Species Act. In total, approximately 230.2 acres (93.1 
hectares) in San Francisco County, California, fall within the 
boundaries of the final critical habitat designation. The effect of 
this regulation is to designate critical habitat for A. franciscana 
under the Endangered Species Act.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 21, 2014.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments and materials received, as well as 
supporting documentation used in preparing this final rule, are 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825; 
telephone 916-414-6600; facsimile 916-414-6612.
    The coordinates or plot points, or both, from which the maps are 
generated are included in the record for this critical habitat 
designation and are available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket 
No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067, and at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
at http://www.fws.gov/Sacramento (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). 
Any additional tools or supporting information that we developed for 
this critical habitat designation will also be available at the Fish 
and Wildlife Service Web site and field office set out above, and may 
also be included in the preamble or at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Leyse, Listing Coordinator, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 
Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825; telephone 916-414-6600; 
facsimile 916-414-6612. 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 a rule. This is a final rule to designate 
critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. Under the Endangered 
Species Act (Act), any species that is determined to be an endangered 
or threatened species requires critical habitat to be designated, to 
the maximum extent prudent and determinable. Designations and revisions 
of critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule.
    We listed Arctostaphylos franciscana as an endangered species on 
September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54434). On the same date we also proposed 
critical habitat for the species (77 FR 54517). We subsequently 
received new information on additional areas that contain the physical 
and biological features needed by the species, and we revised the 
proposed critical habitat on June 28, 2013 (78 FR 38897).
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall 
designate critical habitat on the basis of the best available 
scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, 
national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying 
any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary can exclude an 
area from critical habitat if he determines the benefits of exclusion 
outweigh the benefits of designation, unless the exclusion will result 
in the extinction of the species. The critical habitat areas we are 
designating in this rule constitute our current best assessment of the 
areas that meet the definition of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana. In total, we are designating approximately 230.2 acres 
(ac) (93.1 hectares (ha)), in 12 units in San Francisco County, 
California, as critical habitat for the species. A total of 13.9 ac 
(5.7 ha) (Unit 5) were occupied by the species at the time of listing; 
the remaining designation was not occupied at the time of listing, 
although an additional unit, Unit 2 (21.6 ac (8.7 ha)), is now 
considered occupied due to the recent reintroduction of A. franciscana 
to the unit.
    We have prepared an economic analysis of the designation of 
critical habitat. In order to consider economic impacts, we have 
prepared an analysis of the economic impacts of the critical habitat 
designations and related factors. We announced the availability of the 
draft economic analysis (DEA) in the Federal Register on June 28, 2013 
(78 FR 38897), allowing the public to provide comments on our analysis. 
We have reviewed and incorporated the comments into this rule as 
necessary and have completed the final economic analysis (FEA) 
concurrently with this final determination.
    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from independent 
specialists to ensure that our designation is based on scientifically 
sound data and analyses. We obtained peer reviews from five 
knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise to review our 
technical assumptions and analysis, and to determine whether or not we 
had used the best available information. We received responses from all 
five of the peer reviewers. These peer reviewers generally concurred 
with our methods and conclusions and provided additional information, 
clarifications, and suggestions to improve this final rule. Information 
we received from peer review is incorporated in this final designation. 
We also considered all comments and information we received from the 
public during the comment period.

Previous Federal Actions

    On September 5, 2012, we published in the Federal Register the 
final rule to list the species as endangered under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act) (77 FR 
54434). On the same date, we also published the proposed rule to 
designate critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana (77 FR 54517; 
September 5, 2012). On June 28, 2013, we published a document in the 
Federal Register making available the DEA and reopening the comment 
period on the proposed critical habitat (78 FR 38897). In addition, we 
corrected the acreage calculations for our September 5, 2012, proposal 
due to a mapping error, and increased the proposed designation of 
critical habitat by approximately 73 ac (30 ha).

Background

    It is our intent to discuss below only those topics directly 
relevant to designating final critical habitat for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana in this rule. For additional background information, please 
see the September 8, 2011, combined 12-month finding and proposed 
listing rule (76 FR 55623), the September 5, 2012, final listing rule 
for the species (77 FR 54434), and the September 5, 2012, proposed rule 
to designate of critical habitat for A. franciscana (77 FR 54517), 
available at http://ecos.fws.gov.

[[Page 77291]]

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We requested written comments from the public on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana during 
two comment periods. The first comment period began with the 
publication of the proposed rule on September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54517), 
and closed on November 5, 2012. We also requested comments on our 
revisions to the proposed critical habitat designation and associated 
draft economic analysis during a comment period that opened June 28, 
2013, and closed on July 29, 2013 (78 FR 38897). We did not receive any 
requests for a public hearing. We also contacted appropriate Federal, 
State, and local agencies; scientific organizations; and other 
interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposed rule and 
draft economic analysis during these comment periods.
    During the first comment period, we received 425 comment letters 
directly addressing the proposed critical habitat designation. During 
the second comment period, we received 4,499 comment letters, of which 
4,450 were form letters, addressing the proposed critical habitat 
designation or the draft economic analysis. All substantive information 
provided during the comment periods has either been incorporated 
directly into this final determination or is addressed below. Comments 
we received are addressed in the following summary and incorporated 
into the final rule as appropriate.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinions from five knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with 
Arctostaphylos franciscana, its habitat, and biological needs; the 
geographic region in which the species occurs; and principles of 
conservation biology. We received responses from all of the peer 
reviewers.
    We reviewed all comments we received from the peer reviewers for 
substantive issues and new information regarding critical habitat for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana. The peer reviewers generally concurred with 
our methods and conclusions and provided additional information, 
clarifications, and suggestions to improve the final critical habitat 
rule. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the following summary and 
incorporated into the final rule as appropriate.

Peer Reviewer Comments

    (1) Comment: All peer reviewers provided comments on conservation 
measures, recommendations for the recovery plan, information on threats 
to the species, or research needs for Arctostaphylos franciscana.
    Our Response: We appreciate the comments we received on 
conservation measures, recommendations for the recovery plan, threats 
to Arctostaphylos franciscana, and research needs for A. franciscana. 
These comments will be considered fully in the development of our 
recovery plan.
    (2) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that some critical habitat 
units may be or may become unsuitable for Arctostaphylos franciscana 
because of soilborne pathogens or other reasons over time and that, as 
a result, it is important to designate as many independent units as 
feasible to increase the odds that at least some of these would remain 
free of these pathogens into the near future. The same peer reviewer 
stated that by identifying the maximum number of critical habitat 
units, the odds would increase of locating sites where the disease 
potential would be manageable even if pathogenic Phytophthora species 
were introduced.
    Our Response: We selected areas of sufficient size and 
configuration to sustain natural ecosystem components, functions, and 
processes, while designating multiple units to represent a variety of 
suitable habitat while also providing for redundancy across the 
species' historical range.
    (3) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that, if critical habitat 
is designated, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the 
Presidio Trust, the San Francisco Natural Areas Program, and possibly 
others could develop a joint Arctostaphylos franciscana ecosystem 
management program to coordinate agency efforts.
    Our Response: Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 
of the Act through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in 
consultation with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or 
carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat 
does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, 
reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does 
not allow the government or public to access private lands. Such 
designation does not require implementation of restoration, recovery, 
or enhancement measures. However, we expect to work collaboratively 
with others, including the agencies mentioned by the commenter, in 
developing a recovery plan for the species, which could consider 
collaboration on a joint Arctostaphylos franciscana ecosystem 
management program.
    (4) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the threat from 
nonnative, root-rotting Phytophthora species is much greater than that 
posed by the introduction of nonnative plants or nutrient deposition. 
This reviewer suggested language be incorporated into the Special 
Management Considerations or Protections section of the rule. The peer 
reviewer stated that in the section, Application of ``Adverse 
Modification'' Standard, we also failed to explicitly indicate how 
various actions may result in the introduction of pathogenic 
Phytophthora species.
    Our Response: This information has been incorporated into this 
final rule to the extent possible. Please see the Special Management 
Considerations or Protections and the Application of ``Adverse 
Modification'' Standard sections for the revised language.
    (5) Comment: One peer reviewer provided information about Edgewood 
County Park, which is located approximately 23 miles (mi) (36 
kilometers (km)) south of San Francisco, in San Mateo County, and 
suggested that the serpentine chaparral at this park be considered as a 
potential critical habitat site that occurs beyond the known historic 
distribution of Arctostaphylos franciscana. The peer reviewer suggested 
that including an experimental population in a place such as Edgewood 
County Park would provide the opportunity to see if situating A. 
franciscana in pre-existing chaparral might help to facilitate the 
Franciscan manzanita's establishment and long-term survival.
    Our Response: We appreciate the suggestions; however, the Act 
allows for areas that were not occupied by the species at the time of 
listing to be designated as critical habitat only if they are 
considered essential to the conservation of the species. During our 
development of the proposed rule and this final rule, we did consider 
including areas outside the known historic range of the species as 
critical habitat. However, after considering the benefits of including 
these areas or limiting the designation to the historically known 
range, we determined that it was most appropriate not to include areas 
outside the known historical range of the species. This is reflected in 
our criteria and methods for determining the areas essential to and for 
the conservation of the species (see

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Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat section). The introduction 
of the species outside its historically known range may cause 
additional concerns such as hybridization with other rare manzanitas, 
or exposing the species to other known and unknown threats. To our 
knowledge, Arctostaphylos franciscana has never occurred in San Mateo 
County. We checked information in our files that identified two other 
Arctostaphylos species as occurring at Edgewood Park. Introducing A. 
franciscana to the area may lead to hybridization of all three species 
in the area. We also considered the potential threat posed by nitrogen 
deposition at the park (Weiss 1999, pp. 1477, 1484). Additionally, 
there would not be connectivity between a unit at Edgewood Park and the 
units in San Francisco County. As a result, we have determined that 
areas such as Edgewood County Park, that are outside the species' 
historically known range, are not essential for the conservation of the 
species.
    (6) Comment: A peer reviewer commented that research into 
microclimates available at additional suggested sites, such as Starr 
King Open Space, would be needed to seriously consider the sites for 
designation and to assess the potential impacts due to recreational 
use.
    Our Response: Although we agree that it would be helpful to have 
information about the microclimates available at the suggested sites, 
we have not received any such information during the public comment 
period and we are not aware that any exist. We will consider future 
research needs in the development of the recovery plan for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana.
    (7) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that we include a fifth 
primary constituent element (PCE) ``specific to self-sustaining 
populations'' to highlight the importance of botanical gardens to the 
long-term recovery of Arctostaphylos franciscana, suggesting that, in 
effect, botanical gardens that host different individual genotypes that 
will contribute to restoring genetic diversity in new populations of A. 
franciscana are themselves ``critical habitat'' for the future recovery 
of this species. The reviewer suggested that if the botanical garden 
specimens of A. franciscana are recognized as a PCE, more work could be 
done to determine the provenance of these individuals and to begin 
propagating them for future establishment of A. franciscana 
individuals.
    Our Response: We appreciate the reviewer's suggestion, but refer to 
agency guidelines for identifying PCEs, which are listed in the 
Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat section below. As such, PCEs 
are elements of physical and biological features of the habitat, rather 
than specific areas of habitat, that are essential to the conservation 
of the species. The importance of botanical garden specimens in 
recovering Arctostaphylos franciscana will be addressed in the recovery 
plan.
    The designation of botanical gardens as critical habitat would not 
afford additional funds for research as critical habitat applies only 
to Federal actions or actions that are permitted or funded by a Federal 
agency. In our listing of Arctostaphylos franciscana, we state that the 
plants in botanical gardens collected from historical sites and 
determined to be the listed entity are afforded protection under the 
Act (77 FR 54434; September 5, 2012). As a result, we have already 
identified the botanical garden plants and the places they occur as 
important for conservation.
    (8) Comment: One peer reviewer provided detailed information on the 
threat posed by soilborne Phytophthora species.
    Our Response: In designating critical habitat, we rely on 
information on threats evaluated when we listed the species, but we do 
not include an explicit discussion of threats. The information provided 
will be valuable when we prepare our recovery plan.

Comments From States

    Section 4(i) of the Act states that the Secretary shall submit to 
the State agency a written justification for her failure to adopt 
regulations consistent with the agency's comments or petition. We 
received no comments from the State regarding the proposal to designate 
critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana.

Federal Agencies

    (9) Comment: The Presidio Trust requested that we revise the 
boundary of Unit 4B due to the lack of suitable soils for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana in a portion of the proposed unit.
    Our Response: Based on information provided by the Presidio Trust 
and investigated during a site visit on March 15, 2013, we agree with 
the recommended change to remove an area of deep fill soils from the 
unit, and we have modified the critical habitat designation for Unit 
4B.
    (10) Comment: The Presidio Trust and the GGNRA requested exclusions 
to Units 3 and 5 (subunits 3A, 3B, and 5A) under section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act, due to their concerns that designating these subunits as critical 
habitat would impair the options for managing habitat for other 
federally listed species (Hesperolinon congestum (Marin dwarf flax), 
Clarkia franciscana (Presidio clarkia), or Arctostaphylos hookeri var. 
ravenii (Presidio manzanita)).
    Our Response: We have not excluded these units from critical 
habitat. The Act allows the Secretary of the Interior to exclude areas 
when the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, 
unless the Secretary determines that such exclusion will result in the 
extinction of the species (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(2)). The commenters are 
requesting exclusion under this provision, suggesting that designating 
these units as critical habitat will impair their ability to manage the 
habitats for other federally listed species, and that therefore there 
would be a benefit to be gained from exclusion, i.e., eliminating the 
impairment to their management options, which would outweigh the 
benefits of inclusion. However, the designation of critical habitat 
will not have any negative effect on their options for managing the 
sites for other species. The designation of critical habitat simply 
provides a mechanism for providing for a species' recovery, whereby 
Federal agencies must review their actions to ensure they will not 
destroy or adversely modify those areas determined essential for the 
conservation of the species. It is extremely unlikely that managing 
habitat for the benefit of other federally listed plant species would 
result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat 
for Arctostaphylos franciscana. Therefore, the designation of these 
units will not impair the commenter's ability to manage habitat for 
other federally listed plant species, and, subsequently, there is no 
benefit to be gained by excluding the units. Please note that 
Arctostaphylos hookeri var. ravenii (Presidio manzanita) has recently 
undergone a taxonomic revision to Arctostaphylos montana ssp. ravenii 
(Raven's manzanita). While it is still listed as Arctostaphylos hookeri 
var. ravenii (Presidio manzanita) in the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants at 50 CFR 17.12, in this final rule, we use its 
current scientific name.
    (11) Comment: The National Park Service requested that Units 1 and 
2 be modified to remove portions of these units due to pending soil 
remediation activities involved with two Army-era landfills and areas 
identified as possibly containing lead contamination.
    Our Response: We have reviewed the request. We made minor 
adjustments to remove gun batteries, but we have not modified Unit 1 or 
2 to remove portions of these units that are subject to soil

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remediation. We expect that the soil remediation activities involved 
with the two Army-era landfills will be completed prior to our 
publishing this final rule. Additionally, we expect that the habitat in 
these units will be more suitable as habitat for the species as a 
result of the soil remediation.
    (12) Comment: The National Park Service suggested that we refine 
the proposed critical habitat units by removing areas where the soil 
depth significantly exceeds 39 to 43 centimeters (cm) (15 to 17 inches 
(in)).
    Our Response: We have not refined the critical habitat units by 
removing areas where the soil depth significantly exceeds 39 to 43 cm 
(15 to 17 in). To our knowledge this refined information does not exist 
for the critical habitat units. We looked at soil survey information 
available from the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) (U.S. 
Department of Agriculture 2013), and the scale at which it is done does 
not provide information that we could use to refine the critical 
habitat units. Additionally, we contacted the National Park Service 
staff at the GGNRA and they stated that they also did not have 
similarly refined soil survey information for the area.
    (13) Comment: The Presidio Trust indicated that reestablishing 
additional Arctostaphylos franciscana, or other serpentine chaparral 
species such as A. montanum ssp. ravenii manzanita, would be more 
appropriate in the coastal areas where these types of species are 
typically found.
    Our Response: These two species were not typically found just in 
coastal areas, but also occurred inland. Areas which historically most 
likely supported both Arctostaphylos franciscana and A. montanum ssp. 
ravenii included: (1) The former Laurel Hill Cemetery; (2) the former 
Masonic Cemetery; (3) Mount Davidson; and (4) the Presidio. In 
addition, there is a record of ``Arctostaphylos pumila'' (Behr 1892; a 
misnomer for either A. franciscana or A. montanum ssp. ravenii, or 
perhaps both) at the former Protestant Orphan Asylum (Laguna at Haight 
Street), long urbanized in the late 1800s. The localities at the former 
Laurel Hill Cemetery, the former Masonic Cemetery, and Mount Davidson 
are inland, but subject to influence from summer fog. We have 
designated multiple locations to maximize the potential that suitable 
sites for re-introduction will be available, given the limited habitat 
available on the San Francisco peninsula.

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Comments

    (14) Comment: The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department 
(SFRPD) expressed concern with the designation of critical habitat in 
areas where the management recommendations in the 2006 Significant 
Natural Resource Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP) do not align with the 
rare plant conservation and restoration. The SNRAMP divides natural 
areas into one of three management areas that reflect their relative 
conservation value for plants and wildlife. Management areas 1 and 2 
(MA-l and MA-2) offer the highest conservation value because they 
contain the greatest biological diversity, the most intact native plant 
communities, sensitive plant and animal species, and/or high value 
wildlife habitat, while management area 3 (MA-3) areas contain 
predominantly nonnative vegetation and do not support sensitive 
species. The SFRPD provided detailed comments and requested that the 
critical habitat designation contain only MA-1 and MA-2 areas. The 
SFRPD has requested that the Secretary exercise her discretion to 
exclude some areas from the final designation of critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Our Response: We appreciate the thorough and well-considered 
comments from the SFRPD. However, although we have removed some of the 
requested areas because they do not contain the PCEs or because they 
are not essential for conservation of the manzanita, we have not 
recommended that the Secretary exercise her discretion to exclude the 
requested areas from the final designation. We are required by section 
4(b)(2) of the Act to consider the economic and other relevant impacts 
of critical habitat designation. As noted under Federal Agencies, 
above, the Secretary may account for those impacts by excluding any 
area for which the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of 
designation, as long as this will not result in extinction of the 
species. The SFRPD comments and numerous additional comments indicate 
concern that critical habitat designation will negatively affect the 
SFRPD's ability to manage the areas as prescribed in the SNRAMP. We 
disagree. Critical habitat designation in these areas will not have any 
negative effect on management of the three management-area types, as 
described in the SNRAMP. We consider it extremely unlikely that 
management under the SNRAMP would result in the destruction or 
modification of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. Please 
see Modifications to Critical Habitat Unit Information and Boundaries 
for additional information on changes to Units 6 through 13.
    (15) Comment: The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department 
(SFRPD) is concerned that the designation of critical habitat does not 
align with the existing high-intensity recreational activities in some 
areas, especially designated off-leash dog areas. In their comment, 
they noted, ``While portions of the SFRPD natural areas support 
significant populations of sensitive plant and animal species, all 
SFRPD parkland is subject to intensive public use. Typical recreation 
activities in these natural areas include hiking, picnicking, nature 
viewing, walking, jogging, dog walking (both on-and off-leash) and 
sometimes biking.'' In order to identify lands that may successfully 
support the Arctostaphylos franciscana, the SFRPD requested that these 
more active areas, referring especially to the designated off-leash dog 
areas, be removed from consideration as critical habitat.
    Our Response: We reviewed the request, and we removed the existing 
off-leash dog play area from Corona Heights (Unit 6) and eliminated 
Bernal Heights, an off-leash dog play area, from critical habitat. The 
existing off-leash dog play area in Corona Heights is fenced off and 
modified with wood chips. We visited Bernal Heights on November 15, 
2012. The habitat is degraded and is heavily used. Due to the degraded 
nature of these sites, we do not consider these areas to be essential 
to the conservation of Arctostaphylos franciscana, and we have removed 
them from the final designation.
    (16) Comment: The SFPRD provided detailed information regarding 
areas that do not appear to contain the biological and geological 
features to support Arctostaphylos franciscana, and requested that we 
remove these areas from critical habitat.
    Our Response: We appreciate the thorough comments regarding areas 
that do not appear to contain the biological and geological features to 
support Arctostaphylos franciscana. We have made many of the requested 
changes. We did not make changes to remove an area from the final 
critical habitat designation where the integrity of the critical 
habitat unit would be compromised or where the primary constituent 
elements still exist. Areas that do not contain the physical and 
biological features for the species, but are within critical habitat 
units, do not constitute critical habitat although they may still be 
included within the boundaries of the units. When

[[Page 77294]]

determining critical habitat boundaries within this final rule, we made 
every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered 
by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such lands lack 
physical or biological features for Arctostaphylos franciscana. The 
scale of the maps we prepared under the parameters for publication 
within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of 
such developed lands. Any such lands inadvertently left inside critical 
habitat boundaries shown on the maps for of this final rule have been 
excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as critical 
habitat. Therefore, a Federal action involving these lands will not 
trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the 
requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would 
affect the physical or biological features in the adjacent critical 
habitat. Please see Modifications to Critical Habitat Unit Information 
and Boundaries for additional information on changes to Units 6 through 
13.

Public Comments

    The majority of the public comments we received were form letters 
regarding designating SFRPD lands as critical habitat for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana. During the two public comment periods, we 
received 4,801 form letters that did not provide substantial 
information, but expressed the opinion that the designation of critical 
habitat on SFRPD land was either appropriate or not appropriate.
    (17) Comment: Many commenters think that there would be 
restrictions placed on SFRPD land due to the designation of critical 
habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. The commenters asked us not to 
designate any of the city parks as critical habitat and expressed 
concerns that designation of critical habitat in San Francisco city 
natural areas park lands would: (1) Mean that all activities must be 
approved by the Service, in essence giving the Federal Government 
control over large parts of the city park lands; (2) lead to 
restrictions on public access and public use of these areas thereby 
negatively affecting recreation and people's health in a densely 
populated city; and (3) mean that healthy trees will have to be cut 
down wherever A. franciscana is planted to let the sun reach the plants 
thereby affecting the esthetic appeal of the parks and impacting the 
wind resistance these trees currently provide.
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat is not expected 
to put restrictions on management of SFRPD land and does not mean that 
activities in these areas (such as building a new trail) must be 
approved by the Service. Additionally, the designation of critical 
habitat only has any bearing on Federal actions, in that Federal 
agencies will need to consult with us to ensure their actions will not 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. The designation of 
critical habitat only affects actions that are either carried out, 
authorized, or funded by a Federal agency. Very few, if any, activities 
that take place on SFRPD land have Federal involvement (what we call a 
Federal nexus). Because critical habitat only applies to activities 
implemented by a Federal agency or that require Federal authorization 
or funding, we do not expect the operations of city park lands to 
change due to critical habitat designation. The DEA (RTI International 
2013b) identified only one informal consultation that the SFRPD might 
need during the 20-year timeframe, should they acquire Federal funding 
to complete a trail maintenance project that might occur in McLaren 
Park (Units 12 and 13). With regard to other activities on nonfederal 
lands, the potential for Federal nexus is very low (RTI International 
2013b, p. 3-1, 3-2, and 3-7).
    The designation of critical habitat does not require the 
implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures. 
Additionally, designation of critical habitat does not establish a 
refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area.
    We also note that several areas the public expressed concern over 
(McKinley Park and Starr King open space near Potrero Hill, Grandview 
Park, the rock outcropping on 14th Ave., and Golden Gate Heights Park) 
are not areas that we are designating as critical habitat.
    (18) Comment: A couple commenters indicated that the taxonomy of 
Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan manzanita) is ambiguous. Some 
commenters suggested that the individual manzanita plant that was 
discovered on Doyle Drive is possibly a hybrid. One commenter stated 
that the East Bay Regional Park District botanical garden in Tilden 
Park has planted one of the clones of the individual plant from Doyle 
Drive and that it is labeled as a hybrid of A. uva-ursi.
    Our Response: The identification of the Doyle Drive manzanita as a 
wild representative of Arctostaphylos franciscana was confirmed by 
species experts (Vasey and Parker 2010, pp. 1, 5-7). The genetics and 
taxonomy of A. franciscana are addressed in the final listing rule (77 
FR 54434; September 5, 2012) and are not the subject of this critical 
habitat rule.
    (19) Comment: One commenter stated that Arctostaphylos franciscana 
has been sold by commercial nurseries for about 50 years and suggested 
that it is considered endangered due to an anomaly of the Act. Many 
other commenters stated that exact clones of A. franciscana relocated 
from Laurel Hill in the 1940s can be bought at Bay Area nurseries and 
asked why we would close access to SFRPD lands to plant something that 
can be bought in Berkeley.
    Our Response: In our final listing rule (77 FR 54434; September 5, 
2012), we addressed the uncertain genetic make-up of Arctostaphylos 
franciscana and heritage of nursery stock sold by commercial nurseries. 
As a result, we did not include these plants as part of the listed 
entity. We did include the transplanted plants with documented 
provenance as A. franciscana as part of the listed entity.
    In response to the closure of areas, as noted above, critical 
habitat designation does not close areas or direct management changes 
or changes in activity. The purpose of the Act is to provide a means 
whereby the ecosystem upon which endangered species and threatened 
species depend may be conserved. Reliance on planting Arctostaphylos 
franciscana in botanical gardens or conserving the species on seed 
storage alone does not protect the species in its natural habitat. 
Critical habitat designations affect only Federal agency or federally 
funded or permitted actions. Critical habitat designations do not have 
bearing on activities by private landowners, or by local or State 
government agencies, if there is no Federal nexus.
    (20) Comment: One commenter stated that additional land farther 
inland that meets the criteria for Arctostaphylos franciscana habitat 
should be designated, and suggested designating habitat north into 
Marin County and east into Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, in order 
to preserve the species in the long term due to climate change from sea 
level rise. Other commenters suggested locations at Marin Headlands and 
near Crystal Springs Reservoir as potential critical habitat sites. No 
specific areas were provided.
    Our Response: Critical habitat can be revised should it become 
necessary to designate additional units due to sea level rise. We 
recognize that critical habitat designated at a particular point in 
time may not include all of the habitat areas that we may later 
determine are necessary for the recovery

[[Page 77295]]

of the species. For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does 
not signal that habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or 
may not be needed for recovery of the species. See our response to 
Comment 5, above, for additional information on planting areas outside 
the species' historic range.
    (21) Comment: One commenter suggested that we expand the critical 
habitat areas to include all the remaining serpentine outcrops in the 
City and County of San Francisco that contain the primary constituent 
elements. The commenter suggested that conditions are likely to be 
appropriate in areas such as Rocky Outcrop, Tank and Kite Hill, 
Edgehill Mountain, and McLaren Park. Another commenter suggested the 
U.S. Mint; McLaren Park; Bayview Hill; UCSF, Laurel Hill Campus; Buena 
Vista Park; Corona Heights Park; Starr King Open Space; and Hunters 
Point Serpentine Grassland as sites worthy of consideration for 
planting Arctostaphylos franciscana but provided no justification for 
the specified locations.
    Our Response: As part of our criteria for determining which areas 
to designate as critical habitat, we reviewed whether a selection of 
areas were of sufficient size and appropriate configuration (spatial 
arrangement and amount of fragmentation) to sustain natural ecosystem 
components, functions, and processes such as full sun exposure, summer 
fog, natural fire and hydrologic regimes, and intact mycorrhizal or 
edaphic interactions. We also considered factors such as the protection 
of existing substrate continuity and structure, connectivity among 
groups of plants to facilitate gene flow among the sites through 
pollinator activity and seed dispersal, and sufficient adjacent 
suitable habitat for vegetative reproduction and population expansion. 
During our development of the proposed rule, we looked at all the 
prospective areas associated with serpentine, greenstone, or Franciscan 
formations within San Francisco City and County that met our criteria 
as potential critical habitat, including most of the areas mentioned by 
the commenter. We also conducted site visits to confirm suitability of 
sites that we had initially identified using satellite imagery. Based 
on this process, we identified the units that were included in the 
September 5, 2012, proposed critical habitat (77 FR 54517). Some of the 
originally identified sites were not selected as critical habitat due 
to their small size. We remain concerned that small sites will not 
sufficiently support the pollinator, fruit dispersal, and mycorrhizal 
communities that are thought to be necessary for the successful 
establishment of the species.
    Bayview Park and Corona Heights were included in our original 
proposed designation (77 FR 54517). We added two additional units at 
McLaren Park and additional subunits at Diamond Heights in our June 28, 
2013, revised proposal (78 FR 38897).
    (22) Comment: As evidence against designating critical habitat for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana outside of the Presidio, one commenter 
stated that: (1) The close relationship between A. montanum ssp. 
ravenii and A. franciscana and the failure to propagate A. montanum 
ssp. ravenii in the 30 plus years since it has been listed as an 
endangered species suggests that it is unlikely to be possible to 
establish a population of A. franciscana in the wild; (2) the 
horticultural requirements for propagating A. franciscana cannot be met 
in San Francisco's public parks because it requires fire to germinate 
seeds; and (3) the soil in the proposed critical habitat may have been 
damaged by heavy herbicide use and without testing, we cannot assume 
that the soil will support A. franciscana as the species is dependent 
on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil for its long-term survival and the use 
of certain herbicides is known to be toxic to microorganisms such as 
mycorrhizae.
    Our Response: Section 4 of the Act and our regulations at 50 CFR 
424.12 require that we designate critical habitat for any species 
listed as endangered or threatened . The ability to establish and 
manage a population of an endangered species is not one of the criteria 
in determining whether critical habitat should be designated. The 
circumstances and reasons why extensive propagation of Arctostaphylos 
montanum ssp. ravenii has not occurred are complex and unique to that 
species. The circumstances surrounding A. franciscana are quite 
different, and nursery stock have already been planted in the field.
    (23) Comment: One commenter stated that the Service should 
designate all areas where individuals propagated from wild plants have 
been planted, including all plants derived from regional botanic 
gardens, because individuals in these botanic gardens have not been 
exempted from the listing rule (in contrast, individuals from private 
nurseries have been exempted from listing rule).
    Our Response: In determining which areas we should designate as 
critical habitat, we included only those areas which contained the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species or other specific areas otherwise essential for the 
conservation of the species. The designation of certain areas as 
critical habitat does not mean that areas outside the designation are 
not important to the species, and we may revise critical habitat if 
information requires us to do so in the future. The areas within the 
botanical gardens where the historic Arctostaphylos franciscana plants 
occur are not endemic habitats for the species and are heavily managed 
areas that do not meet our criteria for critical habitat. However, 
because the botanical garden plants are considered part of the listed 
entity, they still receive the protections under the Act for an 
endangered species. See our response to Comment 5, above, for 
additional concerns regarding designating areas outside the historic 
range of the species.
    (24) Comment: Many commenters noted that Bernal Heights, Glen 
Canyon Park (labeled Diamond Heights), Mount Davidson, Corona Heights, 
and Bayview Hill have been identified by SFRPD as important bird 
habitat, and expressed concern that designation of these locations as 
manzanita critical habitat could be detrimental to wildlife that depend 
on these areas.
    Our Response: The designation of an area as critical habitat does 
not require that the existing habitat in that area be changed, 
restored, or converted in any way. Critical habitat is a means whereby 
Federal agencies are alerted that a certain area is essential for a 
given species. In the event that there are future efforts to restore 
Arctostaphylos franciscana plants to any locations within these units, 
the plantings are not expected to have any effect on existing habitat 
other than to restore a native plant that was likely to have been 
present at some point in the past. One of the purposes of the Act is to 
provide for the conservation of the ecosystem on which a species 
depends. We consider this purpose to include conserving the native bird 
and other wildlife within these areas.
    (25) Comment: Many commenters requested that popular recreation 
areas and forests be excluded from the critical habitat designation for 
the manzanita. They said that ``the critical habitat designation for 
the restoration of the mission blue butterfly at Twin Peaks Park 
demonstrates how the critical habitat designation leads to the closure 
of the majority of hiking trails even without any significant impacts 
on the endangered species.''
    Our Response: We wish to clarify that there is no critical habitat 
designation for the mission blue butterfly (Icaricia icariodes 
missionensis), nor is critical

[[Page 77296]]

habitat designated for any federally listed species at Twin Peaks. 
Critical habitat for mission blue butterfly was proposed on February 8, 
1977 (42 FR 7972), but the critical habitat designation was never 
finalized. However, reintroduction of the mission blue butterfly at 
Twin Peaks Natural Area in 2009 did result in re-routing trails away 
from mission blue butterfly habitat, and closing of some social trails 
(Wayne et al. 2009, pp. 35-36). A social trail is a path that is 
created over time by off-trail use.
    (26) Comment: One commenter suggested that planting in multiple 
areas, without the restrictions of critical habitat, could be more 
conducive to Arctostaphylos franciscana recovery than defining 5 or 10 
limited locales as ``critical habitat'' on the basis of limited data 
and limited size in San Francisco alone. Areas suggested for planting 
included San Francisco, Marin, and the Peninsula including Milagro and 
Sweeney ridge areas, above the Devil's slide, and as far south as San 
Luis Obispo County.
    Our Response: Section 4 of the Act and our regulations at 50 CFR 
424.12 require that we designate critical habitat for any species 
listed as endangered or threatened, to the extent that designation is 
prudent and determinable. We believe we have made our determination of 
critical habitat by using the best scientific and commercial 
information available and do not think it is appropriate to plant 
outside the historic range of the species (see our responses to 
Comments 5 and 17, above). However, we will consider this information 
when we develop a recovery plan for Arctostaphylos franciscana.
    (27) Comment: One commenter suggested that planting any species, 
including Arctostaphylos franciscana, should not impede or delay 
essential seismic retrofit work, specifically the Twin Peaks Reservoir, 
indicating that the reservoir, an essential part of San Francisco fire 
prevention resources in the event of an earthquake, was to be 
reconstructed starting in 2012 and is now delayed to 2013 or 2014.
    Our Response: The Twin Peaks Reservoir is not within the designated 
critical habitat. Therefore, critical habitat designation for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana will not impede or delay essential seismic 
retrofit work on the Twin Peaks Reservoir.
    (28) Comment: Many commenters pointed out that we called most of 
the critical habitat units unoccupied. The commenters stated that these 
areas contain many trails popular with hikers, bikers, and dog walkers 
and that thousands of people walk both with and without dogs in these 
areas every day and that they are not ``unoccupied.''
    Our Response: We wish to clarify that when we used the term 
``unoccupied'' that we were only referring to whether or not the 
critical habitat unit contains the listed species (Arctostaphylos 
franciscana) and not whether the areas are used by the public.

Economic Analysis Comments

    (29) Comment: One commenter stated that the economic benefits of 
the critical habitat designation, such as those benefits from increased 
restoration jobs, increased value of lands in the critical habitat, and 
recreation opportunities associated with stewardship of a species from 
the brink of extinction, have not been sufficiently quantified in the 
economic analysis.
    Our Response: Benefits are addressed qualitatively in the FEA. No 
management changes or restoration jobs are expected as a result of the 
designation of critical habitat; therefore no changes in jobs or land 
value are anticipated.
    (30) Comment: One commenter stated that the draft economic analysis 
is not adequate for several reasons including the lack of costs 
attributed to restrictions on public use, failure to account for 
additional plantings, and the low consultation costs ascribed to the 
SFRPD. The commenter states that ``any significant changes or work done 
in the areas, or use approval or restrictions, will require 
consultation, with much higher than disclosed costs.''
    Our Response: The primary purpose of the economic analysis is to 
identify and value the incremental impacts of the critical habitat 
designation. Incremental impacts are the impacts attributable to the 
critical habitat designation and are separate from any impacts 
resulting from the listing the species or the actions taken to protect 
the species. Only activities that involve a Federal nexus (e.g., 
require a Federal permit or receive funding from the Federal 
government) require a consultation to determine whether the activity is 
likely to adversely affect the physical or biological features (i.e., 
features of the habitat that are important to the species). Based on 
information from the SFRPD and the Service, few consultations between 
the SFRPD and the Federal Government are anticipated because only 
projects with Federal funding, requiring a Federal permit, or having 
other Federal association will require a consultation. It is also 
anticipated that consultations will be informal, and only 
administrative costs will be incurred during the consultation process 
because the SNRAMP already has management measures in place to conserve 
and protect the habitats within the parks.
    Furthermore, no restrictions or restoration projects as a result of 
critical habitat designation are anticipated. Any costs associated with 
additional plantings of the species are attributable to the species' 
listing and not the critical habitat designation.
    (31) Comment: Many commenters did not agree with other comments 
stating that recreational opportunities will be significantly impacted 
by the designation and further stated that the designation may provide 
additional restoration jobs as well as create opportunities for local 
businesses.
    Our Response: Based on information from the SFRPD and our 
consultation history, no management changes or restoration programs are 
anticipated to be implemented solely as a result of the critical 
habitat designation. Therefore, restoration jobs and business 
opportunities are not estimated in this analysis. Effects of critical 
habitat on recreation are discussed further in our response to Comment 
15.
    (32) Comment: One commenter opposes the restriction of use and 
access as well as the application of shrinking funds to restore 
Arctostaphylos franciscana in areas where it does not currently exist.
    Our Response: The management activities outlined in the SNRAMP are 
consistent with prevention of adverse modification to the proposed 
designated critical habitat, and no management changes are expected due 
to designation of critical habitat. Therefore, restrictions of use and 
habitat restoration costs are not anticipated as a result of critical 
habitat designation. Any species reintroduction costs would be 
attributable to the listing of the species and not the critical habitat 
designation.
    (33) Comment: The commenter states that the draft economic analysis 
is overly simplistic. The commenter believes that additional 
restrictions on use by residents and visitors due to the designation 
will in turn generate additional costs as a result of loss of 
wellbeing, opportunity costs by current users of the park, and public 
court costs arising from public use conflicts.
    Our Response: No management changes, such as use restrictions, are 
expected due to designation of critical habitat; therefore no use 
restriction-related costs are expected.
    (34) Comment: One commenter states that the draft economic analysis 
is incomplete because it does not account for the impacts to the 
public. The commenter believes physical and

[[Page 77297]]

mental health will be negatively impacted by the critical habitat 
designation.
    Our Response: The primary purpose of the economic analysis is to 
identify and assign values for the incremental impacts of the critical 
habitat designation. Incremental impacts are the impacts attributable 
to the critical habitat designation and are separate from any impacts 
resulting from the listing the species or the actions taken to protect 
the species. Only activities that involve a Federal nexus (e.g., 
require a Federal permit or receive funding from the Federal 
Government) and that are likely to adversely modify the physical or 
biological features will be affected by the critical habitat 
designation. Furthermore, because no management changes or use 
restrictions are anticipated as a result of the critical habitat 
designation, impacts to the public recreation opportunities are not 
expected.
    (35) Comment: One commenter does not agree with the estimates of 
the draft economic analysis or the assumption that many costs will be 
incurred regardless of whether critical habitat is designated. The 
commenter states that the designation of Bayhill Park (Unit 11) will 
likely require the removal of all 6,000 trees at the site because 
Arctostaphylos franciscana requires full sun. Because the habitat is 
unoccupied and tree removal is typically $3,000 per tree, all of these 
costs would be considered incremental with the exception of the 505 
trees that are currently identified for removal as part of the Natural 
Areas Program management plan. Additionally, the Recreation and Park 
Department may incur significant legal fees due to legal cases 
associated with the endangered species (e.g., they could be sued if the 
reintroduced endangered species do not survive on the grounds of 
insufficient care). The commenter states a similar case that recently 
cost the Recreation and Parks Department $386,000 even though the suit 
was lost. The commenter also states that the cost estimate does not 
include maintenance and care for the reintroduced plants in State parks 
and only discusses the administrative and consultation costs associated 
with the critical habitat designation. Finally, the commenter states 
that even when there is a consultation, it would not provide for care 
or contribute to the progress of the plant.
    Our Response: Management activities and restoration actions under 
the existing SNRAMP are consistent with the management of critical 
habitat to conserve Arctostaphylos franciscana and its habitat and 
prevent adverse modification; therefore no additional incremental cost 
is expected. The designation of critical habitat for A. franciscana 
does not require the large-scale removal of trees.
    Although no public court costs related to the health of the 
endangered species are anticipated, these costs would be attributable 
to the listing of the species and not to the designation of critical 
habitat. Costs associated with the maintenance and care of the species 
are also baseline costs, and would not be attributable to the 
designation of critical habitat.

Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule

    In preparing our final designation of critical habitat for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana, we reviewed comments we received on the 
2012 proposed designation, the 2013 revised proposed designation of 
critical habitat, and the 2013 DEA. In the June 28, 2013, revised 
proposal (78 FR 38897), we revised unit acreages to correct 
inaccuracies made due to use of an incorrect map projection, resulting 
in a revised acreage of 197 ac (80 ha) for the 11 units that we 
originally proposed on September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54517). In the same 
revised proposal, we also increased the proposed designation by 
approximately 73 ac (30 ha) to a total of approximately 270 ac (109 ha) 
in 13 critical habitat units located in the City and County of San 
Francisco, and made some modifications to the methods used to delineate 
the proposed units. We keep those revisions in this final designation. 
Additionally, this final designation reflects minor clarifications in 
the text of the 2013 revised proposal, as well as more substantive 
changes to the revised proposal, as follows:

Revision of Physical or Biological Features

    In this final designation, we revised the heading of ``Sites for 
Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring'' to 
``Sites Exhibiting Necessary Physical or Biological Requirements'' to 
better reflect and more appropriately characterize the components of 
summer fog, fungal mycorrhizae relationship, and pollinators.

Modifications to Critical Habitat Unit Information and Boundaries

    We are making modifications to the critical habitat based on 
comments that we received from the Presidio Trust, the GGNRA, the 
SFRPD, and the public. We also based some of these changes on several 
site visits that we made. We received comments from the Presidio Trust 
and GGNRA on Units 1and 2, and subunits 3A, 3B, 4B, and 5A, and we made 
subsequent site visits to Units 2, 4, and A. Additionally, we received 
comments from the SFRPD on Units 6 through 13, and we made site visits 
to Units 12 and 13. We are modifying the following units and subunits: 
1, 2, 4B, 5A, 6, 9A, 9B, 10, 11, 12A, 12B and 13, as follows:
    (1) In Unit 1, which is not occupied by the species at the time of 
listing, we identified a road that does not provide any habitat for the 
species. We have removed this area from the unit because the roaded 
area does not provide habitat and is not considered essential for the 
conservation of the species, thereby decreasing the acreage of the unit 
by less than 0.1 ac (0.4 ha).
    (2) In Unit 2, as a result of restoration activities for the 
species, 68 A. franciscana plants were reintroduced to this unit since 
the listing. This unit is currently occupied, although it was not 
occupied at the time of listing. Also, the acreage reported in the 
revised proposed critical habitat rule should have been 22.3 ac (9.0 
ha) instead of 21.3 ac (8.7 ha). We had noticed this difference, but it 
was not identified in the revised proposed critical habitat. In Unit 2, 
we also identified historic military gun batteries (concrete 
emplacements) and a parking lot along the edge of the unit. We have 
removed these areas from the unit because they are not essential for 
the conservation of the species and would not support Arctostaphylos 
franciscana. do not and The acreage of the unit was thereby decreased 
by less than 1 ac (0.4 ha) from 22.3 ac to 21.6 ac (9.0 ha to 8.7 ha).
    (3) In Unit 4 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we identified an area of subunit 4B along the edge of a quarry wall and 
roadway that does not provide appropriate substrate conditions for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana. We have refined our designation within 
subunit 4B to remove this area because it does not provide habitat for 
the species and thus is not considered essential for the conservation 
of the species, thereby reducing the acreage of the subunit from 4.0 ac 
to 1.1 ac (1.6 ha to 0.4 ha).
    (4) In Unit 5 (occupied by the species at the time of listing), we 
removed the area of historic forest in subunit 5A because the area does 
not provide the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species. As a result, we have refined our 
designation within subunit 5A and reduced it from 13.2 ac to 11.8 ac 
(5.4 ha to 4.8 ha), reducing the acreage of the subunit by 
approximately 1.4 ac (0.6 ha).

[[Page 77298]]

    (5) In Unit 6 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we removed the existing off-leash dog play area and part of the MA-3 
areas because the off-leash dog play area is degraded and the MA-3 
areas are wooded. We have determined that these areas of the unit are 
not essential for the conservation of the species because they do not 
provide the habitat conditions appropriate for the species, and have 
accordingly refined our designation within Unit 6 and reduced it from 
6.1 ac to 5.2 ac (2.5 ha to 2.1 ha), reducing the acreage of the unit 
by 0.9 ac (0.4 ha).
    (6) In subunit 9A (unoccupied by the species at the time of 
listing), we removed areas of a wet-meadow and an area with deep, loamy 
soil. Neither of these areas provide the appropriate habitat conditions 
for Arctostaphylos franciscana and we have determined that they are not 
essential for the conservation of the species. We have accordingly 
refined our designation within subunit 9A and reduced it from 21.3 ac 
to 19.1 ac (8.6 ha to 7.7 ha), reducing the acreage of the unit by 2.2 
ac (0.9 ha).
    (7) In Unit 9 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we removed several areas having either wet-soil or fill material within 
subunit 9B because none of these areas provide the appropriate habitat 
conditions for Arctostaphylos franciscana and as a result, we have 
determined that they are not essential for the conservation of the 
species. We have refined our designation within subunit 9B and reduced 
it from 5.7 ac to 3.9 ac (2.3 ha to 1.6 ha), reducing the acreage of 
the subunit by 1.8 ac (0.7 ha).
    (8) Unit 10 (Bernal Heights) (unoccupied by the species at the time 
of listing) was removed from the designation. On April 26, 2012, and 
November 15, 2012, we conducted site visits to review our proposed 
designation. During our review, we examined the habitat conditions at 
Unit 10 and observed that the area is highly degraded and heavily used 
by the public. After further consideration of the habitat conditions at 
the site and review of our criteria for selecting areas as critical 
habitat, we do not consider the areas at Bernal Heights to be essential 
for the conservation of the species, and we therefore do not include 
the proposed Unit 10 (14.9 ac (6.0 ha)) in this final designation of 
critical habitat.
    (9) In Unit 11 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we removed two MA-3 areas. One of the areas contained modified and 
degraded habitat. The other area contained substantial forest 
overstory. We have determined that these areas are not essential for 
the conservation of Arctostaphylos franciscana. However, we have 
determined that other MA-3 areas within the unit are essential for the 
conservation of the species due to their importance to preserving the 
integrity of the unit. We have therefore refined our designation within 
Unit 11 and reduced it from 53.2 ac to 42.4 ac (21.5 ha to 17.2 ha), 
reducing the acreage of the unit by 10.8 ac (4.3 ha).
    (10) In Unit 12 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we refined our mapping boundaries of subunit 12A to remove a marginal 
area that we now do not consider essential for the conservation of the 
species because it would not support Arctostaphylos franciscana. The 
acreage of the subunit was reduced by less than 1 ac (0.4 ha) from 14.3 
ac to 13.4 ac (5.8 ha to 5.4 ha). We also removed a wetland seep area, 
picnic area, and a MA-3 area in subunit 12B. These areas do not provide 
the appropriate habitat conditions for A. franciscana and are therefore 
not considered to be essential for the conservation of the species. We 
have refined our designation within subunit 12B and reduced it from 
12.3 ac to 11.6 ac, thereby reducing the acreage of the subunit by 0.7 
ac (0.3 ha).
    (11) In Unit 13 (unoccupied by the species at the time of listing), 
we removed two MA-3 areas with dense vegetation that we have determined 
are not essential for the conservation of the species, because these 
areas would not provide the appropriate habitat conditions for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana. Accordingly, we have refined our 
designation within Unit 13 and reduced it from 29.7 ac to 25.7 ac (11.9 
ha to 10.4 ha).
    (12) In Units 8 and 11 the GIS mapping was adjusted to be 
coincident with parcel lines within the units. These parcel lines 
matched the appropriate habitat conditions for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana and the areas considered essential for the conservation of 
the species. As a result, there were small changes (0.1 ac (0.04 ha) or 
less) to the total area considered critical habitat for these two 
units.

Critical Habitat

Background

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:
    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the 
species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features
    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and
    (b) Which may require special management considerations or 
protection; and
    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas 
are essential for the conservation of the species.
    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use 
and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring 
an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures 
provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and 
procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated 
with scientific resources management such as research, census, law 
enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live 
trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where 
population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise 
relieved, may include regulated taking.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation 
with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is 
not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect 
land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or 
other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government 
or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require 
implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures. Where 
a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an 
action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the 
consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, 
but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, 
the obligation of the Federal action agency and the landowner is not to 
restore or recover the species, but to implement reasonable and prudent 
alternatives to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat.
    Under the first prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, 
areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time 
it was listed are included in a critical habitat designation if they 
contain physical or biological features (1) which are essential to the 
conservation of the species and (2) which may require

[[Page 77299]]

special management considerations or protection. For these areas, 
critical habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the 
best scientific and commercial data available, those physical or 
biological features that are essential to the conservation of the 
species (such as space, food, cover, and protected habitat). In 
identifying those physical or biological features within an area, we 
focus on the principal biological or physical constituent elements 
(primary constituent elements such as roost sites, nesting grounds, 
seasonal wetlands, water quality, tide, soil type) that are essential 
to the conservation of the species. Primary constituent elements are 
those specific elements of the physical or biological features that 
provide for a species' life-history processes and are essential to the 
conservation of the species.
    Under the second prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, 
we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical 
area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a 
determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the 
species. For example, an area currently occupied by the species but 
that was not occupied at the time of listing may be essential to the 
conservation of the species and may be included in the critical habitat 
designation. We designate critical habitat in areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by a species only when a designation limited 
to its range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the 
species.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available. 
Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered 
Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines 
provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure 
that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. 
They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and 
with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and 
original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to 
designate critical habitat.
    When we are determining which areas should be designated as 
critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the 
information developed during the listing process for the species. 
Additional information sources may include the recovery plan for the 
species, articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans 
developed by States and counties, scientific status surveys and 
studies, biological assessments, other unpublished materials, or 
experts' opinions or personal knowledge.
    Habitat is dynamic, and species may move from one area to another 
over time. We recognize that critical habitat designated at a 
particular point in time may not include all of the habitat areas that 
we may later determine are necessary for the recovery of the species. 
Climate change will be a particular challenge for biodiversity because 
the interaction of additional stressors associated with climate change 
and current stressors may push species beyond their ability to survive 
(Lovejoy 2005, pp. 325-326). The synergistic implications of climate 
change and habitat fragmentation are the most threatening facet of 
climate change for biodiversity (Hannah et al. 2005, p.4). Current 
climate change predictions for terrestrial areas in the Northern 
Hemisphere indicate warmer air temperatures, more intense precipitation 
events, and increased summer continental drying (Field et al. 1999, pp. 
1-3; Hayhoe et al. 2004, p. 12422; Cayan et al. 2005, p. 6; 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007, p. 1181). 
Climate change may lead to increased frequency and duration of severe 
storms and droughts (McLaughlin et al. 2002, p. 6074; Cook et al. 2004, 
p. 1015; Golladay et al. 2004, p. 504).
    We anticipate these changes could affect a number of native plants 
and their habitats, including Arctostaphylos franciscana occurrences 
and habitat. For example, if the amount and timing of precipitation 
changes or the average temperature increases in northern California, 
the following changes may affect the long-term viability of A. 
franciscana in its current habitat configuration:
    (1) Drier conditions or changes in summer fog may result in 
additional stress on the transplanted plant.
    (2) Drier conditions may also result in lower seed set, lower 
germination rate, and smaller population sizes.
    (3) A shift in the timing of annual rainfall may favor nonnative 
species that impact the quality of habitat for this species.
    (4) Warmer temperatures may affect the timing of pollinator life-
cycles causing pollinators to become out-of-sync with timing of 
flowering A. franciscana.
    (5) Drier conditions may result in increased fire frequency, making 
the ecosystems in which A. franciscana currently grows more vulnerable 
to the initial threat of burning, and to subsequent threats associated 
with erosion and nonnative or native plant invasion.
    However, currently we are unable to specifically identify the ways 
that climate change may impact Arctostaphylos franciscana; therefore, 
we are unable to determine if any additional areas may be appropriate 
to include in this final critical habitat designation.
    For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does not signal 
that habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or may not be 
needed for recovery of the species. Areas that are important to the 
conservation of the species, both inside and outside the critical 
habitat designation, will continue to be subject to: (1) Conservation 
actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, (2) regulatory 
protections afforded by the requirement in section 7(a)(2) of the Act 
for Federal agencies to insure their actions are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened 
species, and (3) section 9 of the Act's prohibitions on taking any 
individual of the species, including taking caused by actions that 
affect habitat. Federally funded or permitted projects affecting listed 
species outside their designated critical habitat areas may still 
result in jeopardy findings in some cases. These protections and 
conservation tools will continue to contribute to recovery of this 
species. Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of 
the best available information at the time of designation will not 
control the direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat 
conservation plans (HCPs), or other species conservation planning 
efforts if new information available at the time of these planning 
efforts calls for a different outcome.

Physical or Biological Features

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas within the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing to 
designate as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological 
features essential to the conservation of the species and which may 
require special management considerations or protection. These include, 
but are not limited to:

[[Page 77300]]

    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal 
behavior;
    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements;
    (3) Cover or shelter;
    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) 
of offspring; and
    (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are 
representative of the historical, geographical, and ecological 
distributions of a species.
    We derive the specific physical or biological features essential 
for Arctostaphylos franciscana from studies of this species' habitat, 
ecology, and life history as described in the Critical Habitat section 
of the proposed rule to designate critical habitat published in the 
Federal Register on September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54517), and in the 
information presented below. Additional information can be found in the 
final listing rule published in the Federal Register on September 5, 
2012 (77 FR 54434); the 2003 Recovery Plan for Coastal Plants of the 
Northern San Francisco Peninsula (Service 2003); and the Raven's 
Manzanita Recovery Plan (Service 1984). We have determined that 
Arctostaphylos franciscana requires the following physical or 
biological features:
Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior
    Historically, the 46-mi\2\ (119-km\2\) tip of the San Francisco 
peninsula contained a diversity of habitat types including dunes, 
coastal scrub, maritime chaparral, grasslands, salt and fresh water 
marsh, oak woodlands, rocky outcrops, and serpentine habitats (Holland 
1986, pp. 1-156; Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf 1997, p. 211; National Park 
Service 1999, pp. 18-26). The vegetation of the area is influenced by 
coastal wind, moisture, and temperature (Service 1984, pp. 11-16; 
Chasse et al. 2009, p. 4). The maritime chaparral and open grassland 
plant communities, of which Arctostaphylos franciscana is a part, may 
have been present historically to a greater extent (even before habitat 
loss through development), but the cumulative effects of periodic 
burning by native Americans, grazing during the mid-1800s to early 
1900s, gathering of firewood during the U.S. military period, and fire 
suppression actions during the 1900s to the present may have converted 
many of the areas to nonnative grassland or depauperate coastal scrub 
(Sweeney 1956, pp. 143-250; Schlocker 1974, pp. 6-7; Christensen and 
Muller 1975, pp. 29-55; Keeley and Keeley 1987, pp. 240-249; Greenlee 
and Langenheim 1990, pp. 239-253; Tyler 1996, pp. 2182-2195; Keeley 
2005, pp. 285-286; Chasse 2010, p. 2).
    The current geographic distribution of Arctostaphylos franciscana 
has been greatly reduced by habitat loss in San Francisco. In 2009, the 
single remaining wild plant was discovered along the freeway access to 
the Golden Gate Bridge during construction activities and was 
transplanted to a natural area within the Presidio of San Francisco 
(Chasse et al. 2009, pp. 3-4, 10-11; Gluesenkamp et al. 2010, pp. 10-
15). Historic populations of A. franciscana, as identified from 
herbarium records, occurred locally, often with the endangered A. 
montana ssp. ravenii. A single individual of A. montana ssp. ravenii 
exists in the wild today within the Presidio (44 FR 61910; October 26, 
1979). Both manzanitas occurred on or near scattered exposures of 
bedrock outcrops (Behr 1892, pp. 2-6; Greene 1894, p. 232; Stewart 
1918, p. 1; Service 1984, pp. 11-12; McCarten 1993, pp. 4-5).
    Most bedrock outcrops of the interior parts of San Francisco are 
characterized by areas often at ridges with steep topography, thin dry 
soils, and bare rock, conditions that maintain permanently sparse 
vegetative cover, at least locally (Service 2003, p. 16). Many persist 
as undevelopable knobs on the crests of hills up to 281 meters (922 
feet) above sea level, or as high, unstable, coastal bluffs subject to 
frequent landslides. They are composed mostly of serpentine and 
greenstone or other mafic and ultramafic rocks (Schlocker 1974, pp. 8-
16, Plate 3). These serpentine and rocky areas are often harsh and 
contain unproductive soils with poor nutrient levels and reduced water-
holding capacity (Holland 1986, p. 8; Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf 1997, p. 
211; Chasse et al. 2009, pp. 12-13). McCarten (1993, pp. 4-5) 
identified some of the rock outcrops within the area as being sparsely 
vegetated with open barrens that may have historically contained 
Arctostaphylos species such as A. montana ssp. ravenii and ``A. hookeri 
ssp. franciscana [A. franciscana].'' He referred to the serpentine 
areas on the Presidio as ``Decumbent Manzanita Serpentine Scrub'' and 
stated that the plant community is one of the rarer plant communities 
in the area. Historically, these areas included plant associations 
classified as coastal grassland (prairie) and variations of coastal 
scrub. Historic voucher specimens and observations cited A. franciscana 
occurring with Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak), Ceanothus 
thyrsiflorus (coast blue blossom), Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush), 
Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon), Ericameria sp. (mock heather), 
Eriogonum sp. (buckwheat), and Achillea sp. (yarrow) (Eastwood 1905, 
pp. 201-202). The bedrock outcrop vegetation in San Francisco is 
variable today, including elements of remnant native vegetation as well 
as naturalized nonnative vegetation (National Park Service 1999, pp. 1, 
17-18).
    Some knowledge of the habitat requirements of Arctostaphylos 
franciscana can be inferred from historic locations and information on 
voucher specimens. The historic sites were mostly underlain by 
serpentine or greenstone substrates (Roof 1976, pp. 20-24). Sites which 
were occupied by A. franciscana historically were characterized as bare 
stony or rocky habitats often along ridges and associated with bedrock 
outcrops and other areas with thin soils on the San Francisco peninsula 
(Eastwood 1905, pp. 201-202; Brandegee 1907). Rowntree (1939, p. 121) 
observed A. franciscana ``forming flat masses over serpentine 
outcroppings and humus-filled gravel and flopping down over the sides 
of gray and chrome rocks.'' In a study to determine potential 
restoration sites for A. montana ssp. ravenii, the general site 
conditions identified included open exposures with mild slopes of 
shallow rocky soils with some coastal fog (McCarten 1986, pp. 4-5). 
These rocky outcrops within the San Francisco peninsula occur in the 
geologic strata known as the Franciscan formation. The Franciscan 
formation, which has contributed to the characteristic appearance and 
distribution of flora on portions of the peninsula, is a result of 
fault zones occurring in the area. These faults have uplifted and 
folded various geologic strata and formed the characteristic 
``islands'' of rock outcrops and soils associated with A. franciscana. 
The thrust-fault shear zone runs across San Francisco from Potrero Hill 
in the southeast to the Presidio in the northwest (Schlocker 1974, pp. 
1-2). Figure 1, below, identifies bedrock outcrops occurring in the San 
Francisco Peninsula.

[[Page 77301]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.006

Franciscan formation rocks include sandstones, shale, chert, greenstone 
(mostly basalts), serpentinite, gabbro-diabase, and mixed sheared rocks 
along fault zones. The outcrops range from erosion-resistant basalt and 
chert, to serpentine rocks that are hard and dense to soft, friable, 
and plastic (Schlocker 1974, pp. 56-65). The soils surrounding the rock 
outcrops are often thin. Serpentine rocks and soils derived from them 
are particularly low in calcium and high in magnesium and heavy metals, 
and greatly influence local vegetation. The majority of sites where A. 
franciscana was historically found occurred on serpentine outcrops, 
except at Mount Davidson, which is comprised of greenstone and mixed 
Franciscan rocks. The characteristics of serpentine soils or rock 
outcrops often result in exclusion or growth suppression of many plant 
species, creating open or barren areas that are not as subject to plant 
competition for light, moisture, and nutrients, which often causes 
selection for a narrow range of endemic plant species such as A. 
franciscana (Raven and Axelrod 1978, pp. 24-26; Kruckeberg 1984, pp. 
11-17; Service 1984, pp. 11-12; McCarten 1993, pp. 4-5; Service 1998, 
pp. 1-1, 1-2, 1-10-1-12; Service 2003, pp. 15-16). Therefore, based on 
the above information, we identify sites with open bedrock associated 
with serpentine or greenstone outcrops to be an essential physical or 
biological feature for this species.

[[Page 77302]]

Open Habitat
    As stated above, Arctostaphylos franciscana historically occurred 
in open or semi-open areas associated with rock outcroppings in coastal 
scrub or serpentine maritime chaparral. Although A. franciscana is 
considered to be endemic to serpentine soils (Kruckeberg 1984, pp. 11-
17; Safford et al. 2005, p. 226), its historic occurrence at Mount 
Davidson on greenstone and at other locations on mixed Franciscan 
rocks, and its ability to grow at nursery locations (with management), 
calls into question such a strict edaphic affinity. McCarten (1993, p. 
8) stated that the species most likely evolved in these open to semi-
open, thin-soiled, nutrient-poor locations due to a response to lack of 
competition from nearby plants in better soil locations rather than a 
specific plant-serpentine soil relationship. Being more open, these 
sites are exposed to direct sun with little shading from nearby 
vegetation and are often dry. The nutrient-poor soils of these 
outcroppings also limit the number of other species able to tolerate 
these locations. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify 
areas with mostly full to full sun, which are open, barren, or sparse 
with minimal overstory or understory of vegetation to be an essential 
physical or biological feature for this species.
Sites Exhibiting Necessary Physical or Biological Requirements
Summer Fog
    Summer fog is a climatic condition that characterizes many areas 
within the San Francisco Bay area, including the Presidio (Schlocker 
1974, p. 6; Null 1995, p. 2). Summer fog increases humidity, moderates 
drought pressure, and provides for milder summer and winter temperature 
ranges than occur in interior coastal areas. Summer fog is a major 
influence on the survival and diversity of manzanitas and other 
vegetation within this zone (Patton 1956, pp. 113-200; McCarten 1986, 
p. 4; McCarten 1993, p. 2; Service 2003, p. 66; Chasse et al. 2009, p. 
9; Johnstone and Dawson 2010, p. 5). The cooler temperatures and 
additional moisture availability during the summer may lessen the harsh 
site conditions of the thin-soiled, nutrient-poor, rock outcrops (Raven 
and Axlerod 1978, pp. 1, 25-26; Kruckeberg 1984, pp. 11-17). As a 
result, we have identified areas influenced by coastal summer fog to be 
an essential physical or biological feature for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana.
Fungal Mycorrhizae Relationship
    Arctostaphylos species form strong symbiotic relationships with 
over 100 different fungal mycorrhizae species (McCarten 1986, p. 4; 
Bruns et al. 2005, p. 33; Chase et al. 2009, p. 12). These fungi are 
located in the soil and form an ectomycorrhizal sheath around the host 
plant's roots (Salisbury and Ross 1985, pp. 116-118). The presence of 
these fungal mycorrhizae is essential for the plant because they assist 
in water and nutrient absorption (Bruns et al. 2002, pp. 352-353). The 
fungi form a network of connections within the soil to other plants (of 
the same or other species) and may play a major role in ecosystem 
sustainability, thereby leading to increased plant germination and 
vigor (Horton et al. 1999, p. 94; Simard and Durall 2004, pp. 1140-
1141). As a result, we identify areas with a healthy fungal mycorrhizae 
component to be an essential physical or biological feature for A. 
franciscana.
Pollinators
    Pollinators have been observed on the wild Arctostaphylos 
franciscana plant; however, no surveys have been completed to identify 
the most important pollinators. The most frequent pollinators seen have 
been bees and bumblebees. Hummingbirds and butterflies have also been 
observed visiting the flowers, likely because few other plants are 
blooming during the winter months when A. franciscana blooms (Vasey, 
pers. comm. 2010).
    Two recent studies of bee diversity have been conducted at several 
sites in the Presidio (Wood et al. 2005, entire; Van Den Berg et al. 
2010, entire). The study conducted in 2004 (Wood et al. 2005, entire) 
established a baseline of species and numbers of bees found at nine 
sites on the Presidio. The study conducted in 2008 (Van Den Berg et al. 
2010, entire) resampled three of these sites, which included the site 
near the wild A. montana ssp. ravenii plant, and added a new previously 
unsampled site. Overall, the average bee species richness and abundance 
at the three previously sample sites were greater in 2004 with 47 
species and 1,283 individuals compared to 36 species and 878 
individuals in 2008 (Van Den Berg et al. 2010, p. 4).
    We are also aware of an initial study in which a Presidio staff 
person monitored the flowering times and abundances of Arctostaphylos 
montana ssp. ravenii and A. franciscana; and secondly, observed the 
abundance and diversity of likely pollinators visiting each plant 
(Gambel 2012, p. 3). The mid-winter to early spring flowering times of 
the Arctostaphylos coincided with bumble bee emergence times. Bee 
abundance and open flower abundance both spiked in early March. Most of 
the bumble bees were identified by Dr. Hafernik and Jess Gambel as 
Vosnesensky bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) or black-tailed bumble bee 
(Bombus melanopygus), although other similar species may also have been 
present (Gambel 2012, p. 17).
    In a study on Arctostaphylos patula in northern California, 3 
solitary bees (Halictidae and Andrenidae), 2 long-tongued bees 
(Anthophoridae), 1 honey bee (Apidae), and 4 bumble bees (Apidae) were 
observed pollinating that species (Valenti et al. 1997, p. 4), which is 
in addition to the 27 other hymenopteran species previously documented 
by species experts (Krombein et al. 1979, entire). These pollinators 
are important as they are able to travel long distances and cross 
fragmented landscapes to pollinate A. franciscana. Conserving habitat 
where these pollinators nest and forage will sustain an active 
pollinator community and facilitate mixing of genes within and among 
plant populations, without which inbreeding and reduced fitness may 
occur (Widen and Widen 1990, p. 191).
    Pollinators also require space for individual and population 
growth, so adequate habitat should be available for pollinators in 
addition to the habitat necessary for Arctostaphylos franciscana 
plants.
    In this critical habitat rule, we acknowledge that healthy 
pollinator populations provide conservation value to Arctostaphylos 
franciscana. However, we do not currently include areas for pollinators 
and their habitats within this designation, because: (1) We have only 
initial information on likely pollinators and their habitat needs are 
lacking; and (2) We were not able to quantify the amount of habitat 
needed for pollinators, given the preliminary nature of information on 
the specific pollinators of A. franciscana.
Habitats Representative of the Historical, Geographical, and Ecological 
Distribution of the Species
    The type locality (the geographical location where a type specimen 
was originally found) for Arctostaphylos franciscana is the former 
Laurel Hill Cemetery (Eastwood 1905, pp. 201-202), an area south of the 
Presidio between California Street and Geary Boulevard. Voucher 
specimens for A. franciscana also exist from exposed slopes of Mount 
Davidson (Roof 1976, pp. 21-24), and reliable observations are recorded 
from the former Masonic

[[Page 77303]]

Cemetery (bounded by Turk Street, Masonic Avenue, Park Avenue, and 
Fulton Street near Lone Mountain) (Roof 1976, pp. 21-24). Behr (1892, 
pp. 2-6) observed a possible fourth historic occurrence near the former 
Protestant Orphan Asylum near Laguna and Haight Streets. All these 
sites have been lost due to development, except for the Mount Davidson 
location, which has mostly been altered and converted to nonnative 
habitat. The ``rediscovery site'' at Doyle Drive near the Golden Gate 
Bridge has also been lost due to freeway construction (Gluesenkamp et 
al. 2010, pp. 9-10; Park Presidio 2012, pp. 1-2). The lone ``wild'' A. 
franciscana shrub has been transplanted to a site within the Presidio 
(Gluesenkamp et al. 2010, pp. 10-15). Development and habitat 
alteration from human activities and introduction of nonnative plant 
species have greatly altered the majority of remaining habitat for the 
species, although some appropriate habitat for the species still 
remains within the San Francisco peninsula. As a result, we have 
identified the species' general range to include only the area within 
the San Francisco peninsula from the Presidio of San Francisco south to 
Mount Davidson. Although additional sites outside the San Francisco 
peninsula, but within the Bay Area, contain appropriate habitat 
characteristics, these areas are outside the known historic range of 
the species, and we are not designating these areas as critical habitat 
at this time.
Primary Constituent Elements for Arctostaphylos franciscana
    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of Arctostaphylos franciscana in areas occupied at the 
time of listing (i.e., areas that are currently occupied), focusing on 
the features' primary constituent elements. We consider primary 
constituent elements (PCEs) to be the elements of physical and 
biological features that provide for a species' life-history processes 
and that are essential to the conservation of the species.
    With this designation of critical habitat, we intend to identify 
the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
the species, through the identification of the features' primary 
constituent elements sufficient to support the life-history processes 
of the species. Based on our current knowledge of the physical or 
biological features and habitat characteristics required to sustain the 
species' life-history processes, we determine that the primary 
constituent elements specific to self-sustaining Arctostaphylos 
franciscana populations are:
    (1) Areas on or near bedrock outcrops often associated with ridges 
of serpentine or greenstone, mixed Franciscan rocks, or soils derived 
from these parent materials.
    (2) Areas having soils originating from parent materials identified 
above in PCE 1 that are thin, have limited nutrient content or 
availability, or have large concentrations of heavy metals.
    (3) Areas within a vegetation community consisting of a mosaic of 
coastal scrub, serpentine maritime chaparral, or serpentine grassland 
characterized as having a vegetation structure that is open, barren, or 
sparse with minimal overstory or understory of trees, shrubs, or 
herbaceous plants, and that contain and exhibit a healthy fungal 
mycorrhizae component.
    (4) Areas that are influenced by summer fog, which limits daily and 
seasonal temperature ranges, provides moisture to limit drought stress, 
and increases humidity.

Special Management Considerations or Protection

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific 
areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time 
of listing contain features which are essential to the conservation of 
the species and which may require special management considerations or 
protection. The features essential to the conservation of this species 
may require special management considerations or protection to reduce 
the direct and indirect effects associated with the following threats: 
Habitat loss and degradation from development or human activities; 
competition from nonnative plants; small population size; and soil 
compaction, overutilization, disease introduction, or vandalism from 
visitor use. Please refer to the final listing rule published on 
September 5, 2012, in the Federal Register (77 FR 54434) for a complete 
description of these threats.
    Special management to protect the features essential to the 
conservation of the species from the effects identified above may 
include (but are not limited to) actively managing appropriate open 
space areas, limiting disturbances to and within suitable habitats, and 
evaluating the need for and potentially conducting restoration or 
revegetation of areas inhabited by Arctostaphylos franciscana.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    As required by section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act, we used the best 
scientific and commercial data available to designate critical habitat. 
We review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements 
of the species. In accordance with the Act and its implementing 
regulation at 50 CFR 424.12(e), we consider whether designating 
additional areas--outside those currently occupied as well as those 
occupied at the time of listing--are necessary to ensure the 
conservation of the species. We are designating critical habitat in 
areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time 
of listing in 2012. We also are designating specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing, that 
were historically occupied, but are presently unoccupied, because we 
have determined that such areas are essential for the conservation of 
the species.
    This section provides details of the criteria and process we used 
to delineate the critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. The 
areas designated as critical habitat within this rule are based largely 
on habitat characteristics identified from the ``rediscovery site'' 
near Doyle Drive, the currently occupied transplantation site, and 
historically occupied areas identified in voucher specimens and 
historical records. We also used the Recovery Plan for Coastal Plants 
of the Northern San Francisco Peninsula (Service 2003, pp. 1-322); the 
Final Franciscan Manzanita Conservation Plan (Chasse et al. 2009, pp. 
1-44); the Raven's Manzanita Recovery Plan (Service 1984, pp. 1-73), 
which provides habitat characteristics of the historically co-occurring 
species; and information received from peer reviewers and the public on 
our proposed listing for A. franciscana (76 FR 55623; September 8, 
2011). Due to the rapid development of the San Francisco peninsula and 
limited historical information on plant location and distribution, it 
is difficult to determine the exact range of the species. Given the 
amount of remaining habitat available with the appropriate 
characteristics, we looked at all areas within San Francisco County, 
California, that met our criteria as potential habitat. Based on this 
information, we are designating as critical habitat areas within the 
geographical area currently occupied by A. franciscana (which is the 
same as the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of 
listing) and

[[Page 77304]]

unoccupied areas that are essential for the conservation of the 
species. See the Distribution and Habitat section in the proposed 
critical habitat rule for more information on the range of the species 
(77 FR 54517; September 5, 2012).
    Although a recovery plan for Arctostaphylos franciscana has not 
been developed, the species is discussed along with the endangered A. 
montana ssp. ravenii in the Recovery Plan for Coastal Plants of the 
Northern San Francisco Peninsula (Service 2003). The recovery plan 
calls for a three-part strategy in conserving A. montana ssp. ravenii, 
as well as additional recommendations for establishment in areas 
outside the Presidio at historic and other rock outcrop sites in 
conjunction with A. franciscana (Service 2003, pp. 75-77). The strategy 
includes: (1) Protecting the existing plant and surrounding habitat; 
(2) increasing the number of independent populations throughout 
suitable habitat within the Presidio; and (3) restoring the natural 
ecological interactions of the species with its habitat, including 
allowing gene flow with A. franciscana. As mentioned above, the 
recovery plan also identifies establishing additional areas within rock 
outcrops throughout suitable habitat along with populations of A. 
franciscana. We believe that a recovery strategy for A. franciscana 
would have many aspects similar to the recovery plan for A. montana 
ssp. ravenii based on the two species being limited to one ``wild'' 
individual, their co-occurrence in similar habitat within the Presidio 
and elsewhere at historical locations, and the seeming dependence of A. 
montana ssp. ravenii on A. franciscana to produce viable seed and 
maintain gene flow with A. franciscana in the absence of more than the 
single individual or clones of A. montana ssp. ravenii. In order to 
accomplish portions of this strategy, we have identified areas we 
believe are essential to the conservation of A. franciscana through the 
following criteria:
    (1) Determine, in accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, the physical or biological habitat 
features essential to the conservation of the species and which may 
require special management considerations or protection, as explained 
in the previous section.
    (2) Identify multiple independent sites for A. franciscana. These 
sites should be throughout the historic range of the species (generally 
on the San Francisco peninsula north of Mount Davidson) within or near 
rock outcrops of various origins but especially on ridges or slopes 
within serpentine or greenstone formations along the Franciscan fault 
zone between Potrero Hills and the Golden Gate (see Figure 1, above).
    (3) In accordance with section 2(b) of the Act, select areas which 
will conserve the ecosystem upon which the species depends. This 
includes areas that contain the natural ecological interactions of the 
species with its habitat or areas with additional management that may 
be enhanced. The conservation of A. franciscana is dependent on several 
factors including, but not limited to, selection of areas of sufficient 
size and configuration to sustain natural ecosystem components, 
functions, and processes (such as full sun exposure, summer fog, 
natural fire and hydrologic regimes, intact mycorrhizal or edaphic 
interactions); protection of existing substrate continuity and 
structure; connectivity among groups of plants of this species within 
geographic proximity to facilitate gene flow among the sites through 
pollinator activity and seed dispersal; and sufficient adjacent 
suitable habitat for vegetative reproduction and population expansion.
    (4) In selecting areas to designate as critical habitat, consider 
factors such as size, connectivity to other habitats, and rangewide 
recovery considerations. We rely upon principles of conservation 
biology, including: (a) Resistance and resiliency, to ensure sufficient 
habitat is protected throughout the range of the species to support 
population viability (e.g., demographic parameters); (b) Redundancy, to 
ensure multiple viable populations are conserved throughout the 
species' range; and (c) representation, to ensure the representative 
genetic and life history of A. franciscana are conserved.
Methods
    In order to identify the physical or biological features on the 
ground based on our criteria outlined above, we used the following 
methods to delineate the critical habitat:
    (1) We compiled and reviewed all available information on 
Arctostaphylos franciscana habitat and distribution from historic 
voucher specimens, literature, and reports;
    (2) We also compiled and reviewed all available information on A. 
montana ssp. ravenii habitat and distribution from similar sources, as 
these two species have similar habitat requirements and often occurred 
together historically;
    (3) We reviewed available information on rock outcrops, bedrock, 
and areas identified as serpentine, greenstone, or of Franciscan 
formation within the San Francisco peninsula and surrounding areas 
south of Mount Davidson and north into Marin County to determine the 
extent of these features on the landscape;
    (4) We compiled species occurrence information including historic 
record locations, the current occupied site within the Presidio, and 
information on the ``rediscovery site'' near Doyle Drive;
    (5) We then compiled all this information into a GIS database using 
ESRI ArcMap 10.0; and
    (6) We screen digitized and mapped the specific areas on which are 
found those physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species or other areas determined to be essential 
for the conservation of the species.
    When determining critical habitat boundaries within this final 
rule, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as 
lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such 
lands lack physical or biological features for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana. The scale of the maps we prepared under the parameters for 
publication within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the 
exclusion of such developed lands. Any such lands inadvertently left 
inside critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps for of this final 
rule have been excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as 
critical habitat. Therefore, a Federal action involving these lands 
will not trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical 
habitat and the requirement of no adverse modification unless the 
specific action would affect the physical or biological features in the 
adjacent critical habitat.
    The critical habitat designation is defined by the map or maps, as 
modified by any accompanying regulatory text, presented at the end of 
this document in the rule portion. We include more detailed information 
on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble 
of this document. We will make the coordinates or plot points or both 
on which each map is based available to the public at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067, on our Internet 
site at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/, and at the field office 
responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, 
above).
    We are designating as critical habitat lands that we have 
determined are occupied at the time of listing and contain sufficient 
physical or biological features to support life-history processes 
essential for the conservation of the

[[Page 77305]]

species, and lands outside of the geographical area occupied at the 
time of listing that we have determined are essential for the 
conservation of Arctostaphylos franciscana.
    Units are designated based on sufficient elements of physical or 
biological features being present to support Arctostaphylos 
franciscana's life processes. Some units contain all of the identified 
elements of physical or biological features and support multiple life 
processes. Some segments contain only some elements of the physical or 
biological features necessary to support A. franciscana's particular 
use of that habitat.

Final Critical Habitat Designation

    We are designating 12 units as critical habitat for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana. The critical habitat areas described below constitute our 
best assessment at this time of areas that meet the definition of 
critical habitat. Those 12 units are: (1) Fort Point Unit, (2) Fort 
Point Rock Unit, (3) World War II Memorial Unit, (4) Immigrant Point 
Unit, (5) Inspiration Point Unit, (6) Corona Heights Unit, (7) Twin 
Peaks Unit, (8) Mount Davidson Unit, (9) Diamond Heights Unit, (11) 
Bayview Park Unit, (12) McLaren Park East Unit, and (13) McLaren Park 
West Unit. Table 1 shows the occupancy status of each unit. The 
approximate area of each critical habitat unit is shown in Table 2.

 Table 1--Occupancy of Arctostaphylos franciscana by Designated Critical
                              Habitat Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Occupied at time        Currently
              Unit                   of  listing?          occupied?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Fort Point...................  No                  No.
2. Fort Point Rock..............  No                  Yes.
3. World War II Memorial........  No                  No.
4. Immigrant Point..............  No                  No.
5. Inspiration Point............  Yes                 Yes.
6. Corona Heights...............  No                  No.
7. Twin Peaks...................  No                  No.
8. Mount Davidson...............  No                  No.
9. Diamond Heights..............  No                  No.
11. Bayview Park................  No                  No.
12. McLaren Park East...........  No                  No.
13. McLaren Park West...........  No                  No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


      Table 2--Designated Critical Habitat Units for Arctostaphylos
                               franciscana
      [Area estimates reflect all land within critical habitat unit
                               boundaries]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Land  ownership
      Critical habitat unit            by type        Acres  (hectares)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Fort Point...................  Federal..........  7.7 (3.1)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
2. Fort Point Rock..............  Federal..........  21.6 (8.7)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
3A. World War II Memorial.......  Federal..........  0.8 (0.3)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
3B. World War II Memorial.......  Federal..........  1.1 (0.5)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
4A. Immigrant Point.............  Federal..........  0.4 (0.2)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
4B. Immigrant Point.............  Federal..........  1.1 (0.4)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
5A. Inspiration Point...........  Federal..........  11.8 (4.8)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
5B. Inspiration Point...........  Federal..........  2.1 (0.9)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  0
                                  Private..........  0
6. Corona Heights...............  Federal..........  0
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  5.2 (2.1)
                                  Private..........  0
7. Twin Peaks...................  Federal..........  0
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  42.2 (17.1)
                                  Private..........  1.6 (0.6)
8. Mount Davidson...............  Federal..........  0
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  6.5 (2.6)
                                  Private..........  0.6 (0.3)
9A. Diamond Heights.............  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  19.1 (7.7)
                                  Private..........  0
9B. Diamond Heights.............  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  3.9 (1.6)
                                  Private..........  0 (0)
9C. Diamond Heights.............  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  10.5 (4.3)
                                  Private..........  0.8 (0.3)
11. Bayview Park................  Federal..........  0
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  34.7 (14.0)
                                  Private..........  7.8 (3.1)
12A. McLaren Park East..........  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  13.4 (5.4)
                                  Private..........  0 (0)
12B. McLaren Park East..........  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  11.6 (4.7)
                                  Private..........  0 (0)
13. McLaren Park West...........  Federal..........  0 (0)
                                  State............  0 (0)
                                  Local............  25.7 (10.4)
                                  Private..........  *0 (0)
                                 ---------------------------------------
    Total.......................  Federal..........  46.6 (18.9)
                                  State............  0
                                  Local............  172.8 (69.9)
                                  Private..........  10.8 (4.3)
                                  Total............  230.2 (93.1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.
* Acreages are carried out to one decimal place to show small units.
  Areas less than 0.1 ac (0.04 ha) are denoted as 0.

    We present brief descriptions of the designated critical habitat 
units for Arctostaphylos franciscana and the reasons why they meet the 
definition of critical habitat, below. Acreage or hectare totals may 
not sum due to rounding.

Unit 1: Fort Point

    Unit 1 consists of 7.7 ac (3.1 ha) and is located within the 
Presidio east of the Golden Gate Bridge and north of Doyle Dr. along 
Long Ave. and Marine Dr. This unit is currently unoccupied. The unit is 
within an area that experiences summer fog, and contains serpentine and 
Franciscan Complex bedrock outcrops, soils derived from these 
formations, and native maritime chaparral habitat. The unit represents 
one of the northern-most areas identified for the species. We have 
determined that the area is essential for the conservation of the 
species, because it provides one of multiple independent sites for 
Arctostaphylos franciscana and contains some of the last remaining 
appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 2: Fort Point Rock

    Unit 2 consists of 21.6 ac (8.7 ha) and is located within the 
Presidio west of the Golden Gate Bridge and west of Lincoln Blvd. The 
unit extends from the Toll Plaza south to Kobbe Ave. This unit is 
currently occupied, although it was not occupied at the time of 
listing. The unit is within an area that experiences summer fog, and 
contains serpentine and Franciscan Complex bedrock outcrops, soils 
derived from these formations, and native maritime chaparral habitat 
along the coastal

[[Page 77306]]

bluffs. The unit represents one of the northern-most areas identified 
for the species. We have determined that the area is essential for the 
conservation of the species, because it provides one of multiple 
independent sites for Arctostaphylos franciscana and contains some of 
the last remaining appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 3: World War II Memorial

    Unit 3 consists of a total of 1.9 ac (0.8 ha). The unit is located 
within the Presidio at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd. and Kobbe Ave. 
The unit is comprised of two subunits. Subunit 3A (0.8 ac (0.3 ha)) is 
located west of Lincoln Blvd., and subunit 3B (1.1 ac (0.5 ha)) is 
located east of Lincoln Blvd. This unit is currently unoccupied. The 
unit is along the coastal bluffs within an area that experiences summer 
fog, and contains serpentine and Franciscan Complex bedrock outcrops, 
soils derived from these formations, and native maritime chaparral 
habitat. We have determined that the area is essential for the 
conservation of the species, because it provides for one of multiple 
independent sites for Arctostaphylos franciscana and contains some of 
the last remaining appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 4: Immigrant Point

    Unit 4 consists of a total of 1.5 ac (0.6 ha). The unit is located 
within the Presidio along Washington Blvd. east of Lincoln Blvd. and 
north of Compton Rd. The unit is comprised of two subunits. Subunit 4A 
(0.4 ac (0.2 ha)) is located west of Washington Blvd., and subunit 4B 
(1.1 ac (0.4 ha)) is located east of Washington Blvd. This unit is 
currently unoccupied. The unit is located along the coastal bluffs 
within an area that experiences summer fog, and contains serpentine and 
Franciscan Complex bedrock outcrops, soils derived from these 
formations, and native maritime chaparral habitat. We have determined 
that the area is essential for the conservation of the species, because 
it provides for one of multiple independent sites for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana and contains some of the last remaining appropriate habitat 
within the area.

Unit 5: Inspiration Point

    Unit 5 consists of a total of 13.9 ac (5.7 ha). The unit is within 
the Presidio and is located north of Pacific Ave. and east of Arguello 
Blvd. The unit is comprised of two subunits, which are adjacent to each 
other. Subunit 5A (11.8 ac (4.8 ha)) and subunit 5B (2.1 ac (0.9 ha)) 
are located east of Arguello Blvd., but the two areas are separated by 
an access road. This unit is currently occupied and was occupied at the 
time of listing. The unit contains the physical or biological features 
essential to the conservation of the species. The unit is within an 
area that experiences summer fog, and is located on sloping terrain 
containing serpentine and Franciscan Complex bedrock outcrops, soils 
derived from these formations, and native maritime chaparral habitat.
    The physical and biological features essential to the conservation 
of the species in this unit may require special management 
considerations or protection to address threats from habitat loss, 
degradation, or alteration due to development or other human 
activities; competition from nonnative plants; small population size 
and curtailment of the species' range; and various other human-induced 
factors such as soil compaction, potential overutilization, disease, or 
vandalism from visitor use. Please see the Special Management 
Considerations or Protection section of this final rule for a 
discussion of the threats to Arctostaphylos franciscana habitat and 
potential management considerations.

Unit 6: Corona Heights

    Unit 6 consists of 5.2 ac (2.1 ha) and is located northwest of 
Castro and 17th Streets adjacent to Roosevelt and Museum Way. This unit 
is currently unoccupied. The unit is within an area that experiences 
summer fog, and is located on sloping terrain that contains Franciscan 
Complex (greenstone) bedrock outcrops of chert or volcanic materials, 
soils derived from these formations, and open grassland habitat. The 
unit represents one of several areas identified for the species within 
the Mount Davidson area. The units in this area would assist in 
establishing populations of Arctostaphylos franciscana outside the 
Presidio. As a result, we have determined that the area is essential 
for the conservation of the species, because it provides for one of 
multiple independent sites for A. franciscana and contains some of the 
last remaining appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 7: Twin Peaks

    Unit 7 consists of 43.8 ac (17.7 ha) along the hilltop of Twin 
Peaks along Twin Peaks Blvd. west of Market St. This unit is currently 
unoccupied. The unit is within an area that experiences summer fog; is 
located on sloping terrain; and contains Franciscan Complex 
(greenstone) bedrock outcrops of chert or volcanic materials, soils 
derived from these formations, and open grassland habitat. The unit 
represents one of several areas identified for the species within the 
Mount Davidson area. The units in this area would assist in 
establishing populations of Arctostaphylos franciscana outside the 
Presidio. As a result, we have determined that the area is essential 
for the conservation of the species, because it provides for one of 
multiple independent sites for A. franciscana and contains some of the 
last remaining appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 8: Mount Davidson

    Unit 8 consists of 7.1 ac (2.9 ha) and is located on the eastern 
slope of Mount Davidson near Myra Way and Molimo Dr. This unit is 
currently unoccupied. The unit is within an area that experiences 
summer fog, and is located on sloping terrain containing Franciscan 
Complex (greenstone) bedrock outcrops of chert and sedimentary 
materials, soils derived from these formations, and open grassland 
habitat. Mount Davidson is the only known site still remaining that was 
previously occupied by the species. The reestablishment of populations 
of Arctostaphylos franciscana at this and surrounding units would 
assist in establishing multiple populations of A. franciscana outside 
the Presidio. As a result, we have determined that the area is 
essential for the conservation of the species, because it provides for 
one of multiple independent sites for A. franciscana and contains the 
last remaining historic occurrence for the species.

Unit 9: Diamond Heights

    Unit 9 consists of a total of 34.3 ac (13.9 ha) and is located near 
Diamond Heights Blvd. south of Turquoise Way, and O'Shaughnessy Blvd. 
This unit is comprised of three subunits. Subunit 9A (19.1 ac (7.7 ha)) 
is located near Diamond Heights Blvd. south of Turquoise Way. Subunit 
9B (3.9 ac (1.6 ha)) is located east of O'Shaughnessy Blvd., and 
subunit 9C (11.3 ac (4.6 ha)) is located west of O'Shaughnessy Blvd. 
Unit 9 is currently unoccupied. The unit is within an area that 
experiences summer fog; is located on sloping terrain; and contains 
Franciscan Complex (greenstone) bedrock outcrops of chert, volcanic, 
and sedimentary materials, as well as soils derived from these 
formations and open grassland habitat. The unit represents one of 
several areas identified for the species within the Mount Davidson 
area. Mount Davidson is the only site still remaining that was known to 
be previously occupied by the species. The units in this area would 
assist in establishing populations of Arctostaphylos franciscana 
outside the Presidio. The

[[Page 77307]]

additional subunits provide additional rock outcrop areas within the 
matrix of natural land. As a result, we have determined that the area 
is essential for the conservation of the species, because it provides 
for one of multiple independent sites for A. franciscana and contains 
some of the last remaining appropriate habitat within the area.

Unit 10: Bernal Heights

    We have determined that the area we proposed at Bernal Heights 
(14.9 ac (6.0 ha)), which is not occupied at the time of listing, is 
highly degraded and does not meet our criteria for designating areas as 
critical habitat. As a result, we have determined that this unit is not 
essential for the conservation of the species, and we are not including 
Unit 10 in the critical habitat designation.

Unit 11: Bayview Park

    Unit 11 consists of 42.5 ac (17.1 ha) and is located at Bayview 
Park west of Candlestick Park and east of U.S. Highway 101. This unit 
is currently unoccupied. This unit is considered outside the range of 
the species but still within the same Franciscan fault zone as historic 
populations. The unit is within an area that experiences summer fog; is 
located on sloping terrain; and contains Franciscan Complex 
(greenstone) bedrock outcrops of chert, volcanic, and sedimentary 
materials, as well as soils derived from these formations and open 
grassland habitat. The unit represents one site identified for the 
species outside the Presidio and Mount Davidson area. Due to the rapid 
development of the San Francisco peninsula and limited historical 
information on plant location and distribution, it is difficult to 
determine the exact range of the species. Given the amount of remaining 
habitat available with the appropriate characteristics, we looked at 
all areas within San Francisco that met our criteria as potential 
habitat. Including this unit would assist in establishing an additional 
population of Arctostaphylos franciscana outside the Presidio and Mount 
Davidson areas. As a result, we have determined that the area is 
essential for the conservation of the species, because it provides for 
one of multiple independent sites for A. franciscana and contains some 
of the last remaining appropriate habitat for the species within the 
area.

Unit 12: McLaren Park East

    Unit 12 consists of a total of 25.0 ac (10.1 ha) and is located at 
McLaren Park south of Mansell St. near Visitacion Ave. This unit is 
comprised of two subunits. Subunit 12A (13.4 ac (5.4 ha)) is located 
south of Mansell St. and west of Visitacion Ave. Subunit 12B (11.6 ac 
(4.7 ha)) is located south of Mansell St. and east of Visitacion Ave. 
This unit is currently unoccupied. The unit is within an area that 
experiences summer fog and is located on sloping terrain. It contains 
Franciscan Complex (greenstone) bedrock and serpentine outcrops, soils 
derived from these formations, and open grassland habitat. This unit 
will assist in establishing an additional population of Arctostaphylos 
franciscana outside the Presidio and Mount Davidson areas. This unit 
and Unit 13 (McLaren Park West) are located roughly midway between the 
remaining appropriate habitat at Diamond Heights and Bayview Park and 
thereby provide increased connectivity between these units. As a 
result, we have determined that the area is essential for the 
conservation of the species, because it provides for one of multiple 
independent sites for A. franciscana, contains some of the last 
remaining appropriate habitat within the area, and provides 
connectivity between Unit 9 (Diamond Heights) and Unit 11 (Bayview 
Park).

Unit 13: McLaren Park West

    Unit 13 consists of 25.7 ac (10.4 ha) and is located at McLaren 
Park between Geneva Ave. and Sunnydale Ave. This unit is currently 
unoccupied. The unit is within an area that experiences summer fog; is 
located on sloping terrain; and contains Franciscan Complex 
(greenstone) bedrock outcrops of volcanic materials, soils derived from 
these formations, and open grassland habitat. This unit will assist in 
establishing additional populations of Arctostaphylos franciscana 
outside the Presidio and Mount Davidson areas. This unit and Unit 12 
(McLaren Park East) are located roughly midway between remaining 
appropriate habitat at Diamond Heights and Bayview Park. As a result, 
we have determined that the area is essential for the conservation of 
the species, because it provides for one of multiple independent sites 
for A. franciscana, contains some of the last remaining appropriate 
habitat within the area, and provides connectivity between Unit 9 
(Diamond Heights) and Unit 11 (Bayview Park).

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to ensure that any action they fund, authorize, or carry out 
is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered 
species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of designated critical habitat of such species. In 
addition, section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer with the Service on any agency action which is likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any species proposed to be listed 
under the Act or result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
proposed critical habitat.
    Decisions by the 5th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals have 
invalidated our regulatory definition of ``destruction or adverse 
modification'' (50 CFR 402.02) (see Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2004) and Sierra 
Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al., 245 F.3d 434, 442 (5th 
Cir. 2001)), and we do not rely on this regulatory definition when 
analyzing whether an action is likely to destroy or adversely modify 
critical habitat. Under the statutory provisions of the Act, we 
determine destruction or adverse modification on the basis of whether, 
with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the affected 
critical habitat would continue to serve its intended conservation role 
for the species.
    If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical 
habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) must enter into 
consultation with us. Examples of actions that are subject to the 
section 7 consultation process are actions on Federal, State, tribal, 
local, or private lands that require a Federal permit (such as a permit 
from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or a permit from the Service under 
section 10 of the Act) or that involve some other Federal action (such 
as funding from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation 
Administration, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Federal 
actions not affecting listed species or critical habitat, and actions 
on State, tribal, local, or private lands that are not federally funded 
or authorized, do not require section 7 consultation.
    As a result of section 7 consultation, we document compliance with 
the requirements of section 7(a)(2) through our issuance of:
    (1) A concurrence letter for Federal actions that may affect, but 
are not likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat; 
or
    (2) A biological opinion for Federal actions that may affect and 
are likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a

[[Page 77308]]

listed species and/or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we 
provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are 
identifiable, that would avoid the likelihood of jeopardy and/or 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. We define 
``reasonable and prudent alternatives'' (at 50 CFR 402.02) as 
alternative actions identified during consultation that:
    (1) Can be implemented in a manner consistent with the intended 
purpose of the action,
    (2) Can be implemented consistent with the scope of the Federal 
agency's legal authority and jurisdiction,
    (3) Are economically and technologically feasible, and
    (4) Would, in the Director's opinion, avoid the likelihood of 
jeopardizing the continued existence of the listed species and/or avoid 
the likelihood of destroying or adversely modifying critical habitat.
    Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight project 
modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the project. Costs 
associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent alternative are 
similarly variable.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where we have 
listed a new species or subsequently designated critical habitat that 
may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary 
involvement or control over the action (or the agency's discretionary 
involvement or control is authorized by law). Consequently, Federal 
agencies sometimes may need to request reinitiation of consultation 
with us on actions for which formal consultation has been completed, if 
those actions with discretionary involvement or control may affect 
subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat.

Application of the ``Adverse Modification'' Standard

    The key factor related to the adverse modification determination is 
whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the 
affected critical habitat would continue to serve its intended 
conservation role for the species. Activities that may destroy or 
adversely modify critical habitat are those that alter the physical or 
biological features to an extent that appreciably reduces the 
conservation value of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. 
As discussed above, the role of critical habitat is to support life-
history needs of the species and provide for the conservation of the 
species.
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and 
describe, in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical 
habitat, activities involving a Federal action that may destroy or 
adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such 
designation.
    Activities that may affect critical habitat, when carried out, 
funded, or authorized by a Federal agency, should result in 
consultation for Arctostaphylos franciscana. These activities include, 
but are not limited to:
    (1) Actions that result in ground disturbance. Such activities 
could include (but are not limited to) residential or commercial 
development, off-highway vehicle activity, pipeline construction, new 
road construction or widening, and existing road maintenance. These 
activities potentially impact the habitat and PCEs of A. franciscana by 
damaging, disturbing, and altering soil composition through direct 
impacts, increased erosion, and increased nutrient content from 
nitrogen deposition in urban areas (primarily from cars and trucks). 
Additionally, changes in soil composition may lead to changes in the 
vegetation composition, thereby changing the overall habitat type. 
Actions that result in ground disturbance may also have a high risk for 
introducing soilborne Phytophthora spp., especially through the 
movement of infested soil brought in as fill or on vehicle tires.
    (2) Actions that result in alteration of the hydrological regimes 
typically associated with A. franciscana habitat. Such activities could 
include residential or commercial development, which may increase 
summer watering. These activities could alter natural plant populations 
adapted to summer drought, disrupt mycorrhizal interactions, increase 
disease, and promote establishment of nonnative vegetation.
    (3) Actions that increase nutrient deposition to the point at which 
nutrient-loving plants not adapted to serpentine or rocky outcrops 
become established and compete with A. franciscana and adjacent 
vegetation communities. Such activities could include (but are not 
limited to) use of chemical fertilizers within the areas, increased 
nitrogen deposition from atmospheric sources (vehicles, industry), and 
unauthorized dumping.
    (4) Actions that increase the likelihood of spread of disease from 
Phytophthora spp. such activities include (but are not limited to) the 
planting of Phytophthora-infested plant material on or adjacent to 
critical habitat. This may include landscaping installed beyond 
critical habitat units, especially uphill, or nursery stock plantings 
within the critical habitat (potentially including A. franciscana 
seedlings used for restoration plantings).

Exemptions

Application of Section 4(a)(3) of the Act

    The Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997 (Sikes Act) (16 U.S.C. 670a) 
required each military installation that includes land and water 
suitable for the conservation and management of natural resources to 
complete an integrated natural resources management plan (INRMP) by 
November 17, 2001. An INRMP integrates implementation of the military 
mission of the installation with stewardship of the natural resources 
found on the base. Each INRMP includes:
    (1) An assessment of the ecological needs on the installation, 
including the need to provide for the conservation of listed species;
    (2) A statement of goals and priorities;
    (3) A detailed description of management actions to be implemented 
to provide for these ecological needs; and
    (4) A monitoring and adaptive management plan.
    Among other things, each INRMP must, to the extent appropriate and 
applicable, provide for fish and wildlife management; fish and wildlife 
habitat enhancement or modification; wetland protection, enhancement, 
and restoration where necessary to support fish and wildlife; and 
enforcement of applicable natural resource laws.
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. 
L. 108-136) amended the Act to limit areas eligible for designation as 
critical habitat. Specifically, section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 
U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) now provides: ``The Secretary shall not 
designate as critical habitat any lands or other geographical areas 
owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated for its 
use, that are subject to an integrated natural resources management 
plan prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), if 
the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a benefit 
to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for 
designation.''
    There are no Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP 
within the critical habitat designation for Arctostaphylos franciscana. 
Therefore, we are not exempting lands from this

[[Page 77309]]

final designation of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana 
pursuant to section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act.

Exclusions

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

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall 
designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the 
best available scientific data after taking into consideration the 
economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant 
impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The 
Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if he determines 
that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying 
such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based 
on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate 
such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the 
species. The statute on its face, as well as the legislative history, 
are clear that the Secretary has broad discretion regarding which 
factor(s) to use and how much weight to give to any factor in making 
that determination.
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, the Secretary may exclude an area 
from designated critical habitat based on economic impacts, impacts on 
national security, or any other relevant impacts. In considering 
whether to exclude a particular area from the designation, we identify 
the benefits of including the area in the designation, identify the 
benefits of excluding the area from the designation, and evaluate 
whether the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion. 
If the analysis indicates that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of inclusion, the Secretary may exercise his discretion to 
exclude the area only if such exclusion would not result in the 
extinction of the species.

Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts 
of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. In order to 
consider economic impacts, we prepared DEA of the proposed critical 
habitat designation and related factors (RTI International 2013a). The 
DEA, dated March 2013, was made available for public review from June 
28, 2013, through July 29, 2013 (78 FR 38897). Following the close of 
the comment period, a FEA (November 2013) of the potential economic 
effects of the designation was developed, taking into consideration the 
public comments and any new information (RTI International 2013b).
    The intent of the FEA is to quantify the economic impacts of all 
potential conservation efforts for Arctostaphylos franciscana; some of 
these costs will likely be incurred regardless of whether we designate 
critical habitat (baseline). The economic impact of the final critical 
habitat designation is analyzed by comparing scenarios both ``with 
critical habitat'' and ``without critical habitat.'' The ``without 
critical habitat'' scenario represents the baseline for the analysis, 
considering protections already in place for the species (e.g., under 
the Federal listing and other Federal, State, and local regulations). 
The baseline, therefore, represents the costs incurred regardless of 
whether or not critical habitat is designated. The ``with critical 
habitat'' scenario describes the incremental impacts associated 
specifically with the designation of critical habitat for the species. 
The incremental impacts and associated conservation efforts are those 
not expected to occur absent the designation of critical habitat for 
the species. In other words, the incremental costs are those 
attributable solely to the designation of critical habitat above and 
beyond the baseline costs; these are the costs we consider in the final 
designation of critical habitat. The analysis looks retrospectively at 
baseline impacts incurred since the species was listed, and forecasts 
both baseline and incremental impacts likely to occur with the 
designation of critical habitat.
    The FEA also addresses how potential economic impacts are likely to 
be distributed, including an assessment of any local or regional 
impacts of habitat conservation and the potential effects of 
conservation activities on government agencies, private businesses, and 
individuals. The FEA measures lost economic efficiency associated with 
residential and commercial development and public projects and 
activities, such as economic impacts on water management and 
transportation projects, Federal lands, small entities, and the energy 
industry. Decision-makers can use this information to assess whether 
the effects of the designation might unduly burden a particular group 
or economic sector. Finally, the FEA looks retrospectively at costs 
that have been incurred since 2012 (year of the species' listing) (77 
FR 54434), and considers those costs that may occur in the 20 years 
following the designation of critical habitat, which was determined to 
be the appropriate period for analysis because limited planning 
information was available for most activities to forecast activity 
levels for projects beyond a 20-year timeframe. The FEA quantifies 
economic impacts of Arctostaphylos franciscana conservation efforts 
associated with the following categories of activity: National Park and 
Presidio Trust management and habitat restoration activities; road 
maintenance and construction; broadcast facility maintenance and 
construction; trail maintenance; and species reintroduction.
    The FEA estimates the total incremental impacts over the next 20 
years (2013 to 2032) to activities in areas designated as critical 
habitat to be approximately $19,617 ($981 annualized) in present-value 
terms applying a 7 percent discount rate (RTI International 2013b, p. 
ES-2); the total undiscounted incremental costs are approximately 
$31,435. The primary incremental economic impacts are administrative 
costs associated with section 7 consultations with the National Park 
Service (NPS) and the Presidio Trust on their activities within the 
three relevant unoccupied critical habitat units (Units 1, 3, and 4).
    Administrative costs associated with section 7 consultations on a 
variety of NPS and Presidio Trust activities (including NPS and 
Presidio Trust management plans, soil remediation, and unspecified 
activities) on Federal lands in unoccupied critical habitat Units 1, 3, 
and 4 account for most of the forecast incremental impacts (RTI 
International 2013b, ES-3). The largest incremental economic impacts 
are associated with informal section 7 consultations with NPS and the 
Presidio Trust for unspecified activities within Units 1-5; these 
unspecified consultations are expected to total $24,248 (undiscounted) 
over the 20-year period distributed evenly among all designated units 
within the Presidio. Section 7 consultations with NPS and the Presidio 
Trust for soil remediation activities within Unit 1 are expected to 
total $4,041 over the 20-year period (all soil remediation activities 
are anticipated to occur within the first year and, therefore, are not 
discounted).
    Federally funded trail maintenance on SFRPD lands within unoccupied 
critical habitat Units 12 and 13 was conservatively included in the 
analysis due to the potential that SFRPD might apply within the next 20 
years for Federal grant money to update trails in these units (RTI 
International 2013b, p. 3-7). These consultation costs are expected to 
total $2,690 (undiscounted) over the next 20 years distributed evenly 
between the two units. The SFRPD is estimated to incur undiscounted 
costs of approximately $641 from these consultations.

[[Page 77310]]

    The smallest incremental economic impact is associated with the 
reinitiation of section 7 consultation with NPS and the Presidio Trust 
for their management plans within critical habitat Units 1 through 5. 
This consultation is expected to total $114 over the 20-year period, 
and is distributed evenly among the five units (the reinitiation of 
consultation on the NPS and Presidio Trust management plans is 
anticipated to occur within the first year and, therefore, is not 
discounted).
    With regard to other activities on non-Federal lands, the potential 
for Federal nexus is very low. Therefore, no consultations were 
estimated for miscellaneous activities on non-Federal land within Units 
6-9 and 11. Thus, there are no anticipated incremental economic impacts 
associated with the designation of critical habitat within Units 6-9 
and 11. The only other consultations that may be anticipated on non-
Federal lands include reintroduction of A. franciscana into areas where 
other endangered species, such as the mission blue butterfly, are 
present. Reintroduction consultations are likely to be intra-Service, 
and costs are likely to be minimal and administrative in nature. 
Furthermore, the costs would be considered baseline costs.
    Regarding road maintenance and construction, the California 
Department of Transportation indicated in personal communication that 
any projects on the roads adjacent to the units would not likely affect 
A. franciscana or its critical habitat; additionally, no projects are 
anticipated (RTI International 2013b, pp. 3-1, 3-6). Similarly, no 
maintenance and construction projects related to radio and broadcast 
towers are expected to affect designated critical habitat (RTI 
International 2013b, pp. 3-1, 3-6).
    Our economic analysis did not identify any disproportionate costs 
that are likely to result from the designation. Consequently, the 
Secretary is not exerting her discretion to exclude any areas from this 
designation of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana based on 
economic impacts.
    A copy of the FEA with supporting documents may be obtained by 
contacting the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES) or 
by downloading from the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067.

Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the impact on 
national security of specifying any particular area as critical 
habitat. In preparing this final rule, we have determined that the 
lands within the designation of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana are not owned or managed by the Department of Defense or 
Department of Homeland Security, and, therefore, we anticipate no 
impact on national security. Consequently, the Secretary is not 
exerting her discretion to exclude any areas from this final 
designation based on impacts on national security.

Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider any other relevant 
impacts, in addition to economic impacts and impacts on national 
security. We consider a number of factors including whether the 
landowners have developed any HCPs or other management plans for the 
area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be 
encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. In 
addition, we look at any tribal issues, and consider the government-to-
government relationship of the United States with tribal entities. We 
also consider any social impacts that might occur because of the 
designation.
    We reviewed the Presidio Trust Management Plan and the Vegetation 
Management Plan (Presidio Trust 2002, entire; GGNRA and Presidio Trust 
2002, entire). Neither of these documents included Arctostaphylos 
franciscana as a managed species or management actions for serpentine 
chaparral. We also reviewed the conservation plan for A. franciscana 
(Chasse et al. 2009, entire). This document provides information on the 
transplantation of the mother plant and propagation of cuttings, but it 
did not provide information on the physical features or the protection 
of habitat. The memorandum of agreement mentions that the agencies 
agree to collaborate on and implement the terms of the conservation 
plan and any necessary adaptive management changes to the conservation 
plan as the primary mechanism to promote the survival of A. franciscana 
(Caltrans et al. 2009, entire).
    In preparing this final rule, we also examined the Presidio 
Environmental Remediation Program (Presidio Trust 2012); the Presidio 
Trails and Bikeways Master Plan (NPS and Presidio Trust 2003, entire); 
the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Fire Management Plan Golden 
Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA 2006, entire); and the Significant 
Natural Resource Areas Management Plan Environmental Impact Report 
(SNRAMP) (SFRPD 2006; San Francisco Planning Department 2011). We do 
not think they are appropriate for a basis for exclusion for the 
following reasons:
    (1) The Presidio Trust Environmental Remediation Program cleans up 
waste sites from when the Presidio of San Francisco was a U.S. Army 
post. The environmental documents do not include Arctostaphylos 
franciscana (Presidio Trust 2012).
    (2) The Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan (NPS and Presidio 
Trust 2003) does not include Arctostaphylos franciscana as a managed 
species. It also does not provide for the conservation of the species.
    (3) The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Fire Management Plan 
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA 2006) does not include 
Arctostaphylos franciscana as a managed species. It also does not 
provide site-specificity for the conservation of the species.
    (4) The SFRPD's Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan 
Environmental Impact Report has not been finalized. Although the SNRAMP 
(SFRPD 2006) discusses the reintroduction of Arctostaphylos franciscana 
to Mount Davidson, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 
Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan Project does not 
include Arctostaphylos franciscana as a managed species (San Francisco 
Planning Department 2011).
    We have determined that there are currently no habitat conservation 
plans for Arctostaphylos franciscana and the final designation does not 
include any tribal lands or trust resources. We anticipate no impact on 
tribal lands, partnerships, or HCPs from this critical habitat 
designation. As noted in the response to comments by the Presidio 
Trust, GGNRA, and SFRPD, we do not expect critical habitat designation 
to negatively affect management of Presidio lands for other listed 
species, nor do we expect designation to negatively impact management 
of SFPRD lands under the SNAMP. Accordingly, the Secretary is not 
exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this final 
designation based on other relevant impacts.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. The Office 
of Information and

[[Page 77311]]

Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

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

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency must 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small entities 
(small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA 
amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification 
statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. In this final rule, we are certifying that the critical 
habitat designation for Arctostaphylos franciscana will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The following discussion explains our rationale.
    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities 
include small organizations, such as independent nonprofit 
organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents; as well as small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small 
businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 
500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, 
retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual 
sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 
million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than 
$11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with 
annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic 
impacts on these small entities are significant, we consider the types 
of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this rule, as 
well as the types of project modifications that may result. In general, 
the term ``significant economic impact'' is meant to apply to a typical 
small business firm's business operations.
    Importantly, the incremental impacts of a rule must be both 
significant and substantial to prevent certification of the rule under 
the RFA and to require the preparation of an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis. If a substantial number of small entities are 
affected by the critical habitat designation, but the per-entity 
economic impact is not significant, the Service may certify. Likewise, 
if the per-entity economic impact is likely to be significant, but the 
number of affected entities is not substantial, the Service may also 
certify.
    In our final economic analysis of the critical habitat designation, 
we evaluated the potential economic effects on small business entities 
resulting from conservation actions related to the designation of 
critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana. The analysis is based 
on the estimated impacts associated with the rulemaking as described in 
chapters 3 and 4 of the FEA and evaluates the potential for economic 
impacts related to: (1) NPS and Presidio Trust management and habitat 
restoration activities; (2) NPS and Presidio Trust soil remediation 
activities; (3) road maintenance and construction activities; (4) 
broadcast facility maintenance and construction activities; and (5) 
other activities, such as SFPRD trail maintenance and species 
reintroduction. The Presidio Trust, National Park Service, and the 
SFRPD are not small businesses. The Presidio Trust and the National 
Park Service are required to consult with us for impacts to critical 
habitat associated with management and habitat restoration activities; 
NPS and Presidio Trust soil remediation activities; road maintenance 
and construction activities; broadcast facility maintenance and 
construction activities; and reintroduction activities. Because there 
is no Federal nexus associated with SFRPD-managed lands, SFRPD is not 
required to consult with our office for impacts to critical habitat 
associated with their operations, provided they are not receiving 
Federal funds or requiring Federal permits. Administrative costs of 
consultations on NPS and Presidio Trust management and habitat 
restoration activities, and soil remediation, are expected to be borne 
by us, the NPS, and the Presidio Trust. Therefore, we expect no 
incremental impacts to small entities.
    Because the Service, Presidio Trust, National Park Service, and the 
SFRPD are the only entities with expected direct compliance costs and 
are not considered small entities, this rule will not result in a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The Service's current understanding of recent case law is that 
Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential impacts of 
rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking; 
therefore, they are not required to evaluate the potential impacts to 
those entities not directly regulated. The designation of critical 
habitat for an endangered or threatened species only has a regulatory 
effect where a Federal action agency is involved in a particular action 
that may affect the designated critical habitat. Under these 
circumstances, only the Federal action agency is directly regulated by 
the designation, and, therefore, consistent with the Service's current 
interpretation of RFA and recent case law, the Service may limit its 
evaluation of the potential impacts to those identified for Federal 
action agencies. Under this interpretation, there is no requirement 
under the RFA to evaluate the potential impacts to entities not 
directly regulated, such as small businesses. However, Executive Orders 
12866 and 13563 direct Federal agencies to assess costs and benefits of 
available regulatory alternatives in quantitative (to the extent 
feasible) and qualitative terms. Consequently, it is the current 
practice of the Service to assess to the extent practicable these 
potential impacts if sufficient data are available, whether or not this 
analysis is believed by the Service to be strictly required by the RFA. 
In other words, while the effects analysis required under the RFA is 
limited to entities directly regulated by the rulemaking, the effects 
analysis under the Act, consistent with the Executive Orders' 
regulatory analysis requirements, can take into consideration impacts 
to both directly and indirectly impacted entities, where practicable 
and reasonable.
    Designation of critical habitat only affects activities authorized, 
funded, or carried out by Federal agencies. Some

[[Page 77312]]

kinds of activities are unlikely to have any Federal involvement and so 
will not be affected by critical habitat designation. In areas where 
the species is present, Federal agencies are required to consult with 
us under section 7 of the Act on activities they authorize, fund, or 
carry out that may affect critical habitat. The designation of critical 
habitat could trigger the requirement to reinitiate consultation for 
ongoing Federal activities and may result in an additional economic 
impact to small entities if the ongoing Federal activities were for 
small entities that required Federal authorization for some action (see 
Application of the ``Adverse Modification'' Standard section).
    In summary, we considered whether this designation will result in a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. 
Based on the above reasoning and currently available information, we 
concluded that this rule will not result in a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, we are 
certifying that the designation of critical habitat for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, and a regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use--Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) requires 
agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking 
certain actions. OMB has provided guidance for implementing this 
Executive Order that outlines nine outcomes that may constitute ``a 
significant adverse effect'' when compared to not taking the regulatory 
action under consideration. The economic analysis determined that 
Arctostaphylos franciscana critical habitat will have no effect on any 
aspect of energy supply or distribution. Therefore, the economic 
analysis finds that none of these criteria is relevant to this 
analysis. Thus, based on information in the economic analysis, energy-
related impacts associated with A. franciscana conservation activities 
within critical habitat are not expected. As such, the designation of 
critical habitat is not expected to significantly affect energy 
supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a 
significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is 
required.

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

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), we make the following findings:
    (1) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a 
Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation 
that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal 
governments, or the private sector, and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments'' with two 
exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of Federal assistance.'' It also 
excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal 
program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing Federal 
program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, 
local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' if the 
provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of assistance'' 
or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's 
responsibility to provide funding,'' and the State, local, or tribal 
governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. At the time of 
enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families 
with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; 
Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; 
Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family 
Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. ``Federal 
private sector mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose an 
enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of 
Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a 
voluntary Federal program.''
    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally 
binding duty on non-Federal government entities or private parties. 
Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must 
ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat under section 7. While non-Federal entities that receive 
Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require 
approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be 
indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally 
binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the 
extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they 
receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid 
program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply, nor would 
critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs 
listed above onto State governments.
    (2) We do not believe that this rule will significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments because the designation of critical habitat 
imposes no obligations on State or local governments. The lands being 
designated are either under the jurisdiction of the National Park 
Service, the Presidio Trust, or the City and County of San Francisco. 
None of these government entities fits the definition of ``small 
governmental jurisdiction.'' Therefore, a Small Government Agency Plan 
is not required.

Takings--Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights), 
we have analyzed the potential takings implications of designating 
critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana in a takings 
implications assessment. As discussed above, the designation of 
critical habitat affects only Federal actions. The designation of 
critical habitat for A. franciscana includes a total of approximately 
10.8 ac (4.3 ha) of private lands. Although private parties that 
receive Federal funding, assistance, or require approval or 
authorization from a Federal agency for an action may be indirectly 
impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding 
duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat 
rests squarely on the Federal agency. Based on the best available 
information, the takings implications assessment concludes that this 
designation of critical habitat for A. franciscana does not pose 
significant takings implications.

Federalism--Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism), this rule 
does not have significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment 
is not required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and 
Department of Commerce policy, we requested information from, and 
coordinated development of, this critical habitat designation with 
appropriate State resource agencies in

[[Page 77313]]

California. We did not receive comments from State agencies.
    From a Federalism perspective, the designation of critical habitat 
directly affects only the responsibilities of Federal agencies. The Act 
imposes no other duties with respect to critical habitat, either for 
States and local governments, or for anyone else. As a result, the rule 
does not have substantial direct effects either on the States, or on 
the relationship between the national government and the States, or on 
the distribution of powers and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government. The designation may have some benefit to these 
governments because the areas that contain the features essential to 
the conservation of the species are more clearly defined, and the 
physical and biological features of the habitat necessary to the 
conservation of the species are specifically identified. This 
information does not alter where and what federally sponsored 
activities may occur. However, it may assist these local governments in 
long-range planning (because these local governments no longer have to 
wait for case-by-case section 7 consultations to occur).
    Where State and local governments require approval or authorization 
from a Federal agency for actions that may affect critical habitat, 
consultation under section 7(a)(2) will be required. While non-Federal 
entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that 
otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for 
an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical 
habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency.

Civil Justice Reform--Executive Order 12988

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), 
the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not 
unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the applicable 
standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We are 
designating critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the 
Act. To assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the 
species, the rule identifies the elements of physical or biological 
features essential to the conservation of Arctostaphylos franciscana. 
The designated areas of critical habitat are presented on maps, and the 
rule provides several options for the interested public to obtain more 
detailed location information, if desired.

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

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or 
reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, 
businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and 
a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

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

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 
(Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, 
Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), 
we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with 
tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge 
that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal 
public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make 
information available to tribes. We determined that there are no tribal 
lands in this critical habitat designation. Therefore, we have not been 
involved in any government-to-government communications with tribal 
entities regarding critical habitat for Arctostaphylos franciscana.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited is available on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov, at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-
0067, and upon request from the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this rulemaking are the staff members of the 
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Regulation Promulgation

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

PART 17--[AMENDED]

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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; 4201-4245, unless 
otherwise noted.

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.12(h) by revising the entry for ``Arctostaphylos 
franciscana'' under FLOWERING PLANTS in the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants to read as follows:


Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

[[Page 77314]]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Species
--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Flowering Plants
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Arctostaphylos franciscana.......  Franciscan manzanita  U.S.A. (CA)........  Ericaceae..........  E                       809     17.96(a)           NA
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. Amend Sec.  17.96(a) by adding the family Ericaceae and an entry for 
``Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan manzanita)'' in alphabetical 
order to read as follows:


Sec.  17.96  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
    Family Ericaceae: Arctostaphylos franciscana (Franciscan manzanita)
    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for San Francisco County, 
California, on the maps below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
Arctostaphylos franciscana consist of four components:
    (i) Areas on or near bedrock outcrops often associated with ridges 
of serpentine or greenstone, mixed Franciscan rocks, or soils derived 
from these parent materials.
    (ii) Areas having soils originating from parent materials 
identified in paragraph (2)(i) of this entry that are thin, have 
limited nutrient content or availability, or have large concentrations 
of heavy metals.
    (iii) Areas within a vegetation community consisting of a mosaic of 
coastal scrub, serpentine maritime chaparral, or serpentine grassland 
as characterized as having a vegetation structure that is open, barren, 
or sparse with minimal overstory or understory of trees, shrubs, or 
plants, and that contain and exhibit a healthy fungal mycorrhizae 
component.
    (iv) Areas that are influenced by summer fog, which limits daily 
and seasonal temperature ranges, provides moisture to limit drought 
stress, and increases humidity.
    (3) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures (such as 
buildings, aqueducts, runways, roads, and other paved areas) and the 
land on which they are located existing within the legal boundaries on 
January 21, 2014.
    (4) Critical habitat map units. Data layers defining map units were 
created on a base of the Natural Resource Conservation Service National 
Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP 2010), and critical habitat was then 
mapped using North American Datum (NAD) 83, Universal Transverse 
Mercator Zone 10N coordinates. The maps in this entry, as modified by 
any accompanying regulatory text, establish the boundaries of the 
critical habitat designation.
    (5) The coordinates for these maps are available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2012-0067, at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/, or at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office. Field office location information may be obtained at the 
Service regional offices, the addresses of which are at 50 CFR 2.2.

[[Page 77315]]

    (6) The index map of critical habitat units for Arctostaphylos 
franciscana (Franciscan manzanita) in San Francisco County, California, 
follows:
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.007


[[Page 77316]]


    (7) Unit 1: Fort Point, San Francisco County, California. Map of 
Unit 1 and Unit 2 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.008


[[Page 77317]]


    (8) Unit 2: Fort Point Rock, San Francisco County, California. Map 
of Unit 2 is provided at paragraph (7) of this entry.
    (9) Unit 3: World War II Memorial, San Francisco, California. Map 
of Unit 3 and Unit 4 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.009


[[Page 77318]]


    (10) Unit 4: Immigrant Point, San Francisco County, California. Map 
of Unit 4 is provided at paragraph (9) of this entry.
    (11) Unit 5: Inspiration Point, San Francisco, California. Map of 
Unit 5 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.010


[[Page 77319]]


    (12) Unit 6: Corona Heights, San Francisco County, California. Map 
of Unit 6 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.011


[[Page 77320]]


    (13) Unit 7: Twin Peaks, San Francisco, California. Map of Unit 7 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.012


[[Page 77321]]


    (14) Unit 8: Mount Davidson, San Francisco County, California. Map 
of Unit 8 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.013


[[Page 77322]]


    (15) Unit 9: Diamond Heights, San Francisco, California. Map of 
Unit 9 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.014


[[Page 77323]]


    (16) Unit 11: Bayview Park, San Francisco County, California. Map 
of Unit 11 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.015


[[Page 77324]]


    (17) Unit 12: McLaren Park East, San Francisco County, California. 
Map of Unit 12 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.016


[[Page 77325]]


    (18) Unit 13: McLaren Park West, San Francisco County, California. 
Map of Unit 13 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20DE13.017

* * * * *

    Dated: December 12, 2013.
Rachel Jacobsen,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2013-30165 Filed 12-19-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-C