[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 106 (Tuesday, June 3, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32125-32155]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12629]



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Vol. 79

Tuesday,

No. 106

June 3, 2014

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 Ivesia webberi; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 106 / Tuesday, June 3, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0080; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AZ57


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Ivesia webberi

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), designate 
critical habitat for Ivesia webberi (Webber's ivesia) under the 
Endangered Species Act (Act). In total, approximately 2,170 acres (879 
hectares) in Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties in northeastern 
California, and in Washoe and Douglas Counties in northwestern Nevada, 
fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The 
effect of this regulation is to conserve I. webberi's critical habitat 
under the Act.

DATES: This rule is effective on July 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and at http://www.fws.gov/nevada/. Comments and 
materials we received, as well as some supporting documentation we used 
in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. All of the comments, materials, and documentation 
that we considered in this rulemaking are available by appointment, 
during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada 
Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 
89502; telephone 775-861-6300; facsimile 775-861-6301.
    The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps are 
generated are included in the administrative record for this critical 
habitat designation and are available at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0080, and at the Nevada Fish and Wildlife 
Office (http://www.fws.gov/nevada) (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 and at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward D. Koch, State Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 
Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; telephone 775-861-6300; 
facsimile 775-861-6301. Persons who use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (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. 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.
    Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, we published a final rule to 
list Ivesia webberi as a threatened species. This is a final rule to 
designate critical habitat for I. webberi. 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 I. 
webberi. In total, we are designating as critical habitat approximately 
2,170 acres (ac) (879 hectares (ha)) of land in 16 units for the 
species.
    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 
DEA in the Federal Register on February 13, 2014 (79 FR 8668), allowing 
the public to provide comments on our analysis. We have incorporated 
the comments 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 requested opinions from three knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise to review our technical 
assumptions and analysis, and whether or not we had used the best 
available information. We received no comments or information from 
these peer reviewers. We also considered all comments and information 
we received from the public during the comment period.

Previous Federal Actions

    The proposed listing rule for Ivesia webberi (78 FR 46889; August 
2, 2013) contains a detailed description of previous Federal actions 
concerning this species.
    On August 2, 2013, we published in the Federal Register a proposed 
critical habitat designation for I. webberi (78 FR 46862). On February 
13, 2014, we revised the proposed critical habitat designation and 
announced the availability of our draft economic analysis (DEA) (79 FR 
8668). Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, we published a final rule 
to list Ivesia webberi as a threatened species under the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.).

Summary of Changes From August 2, 2013, Proposed Rule

    In this final critical habitat designation, we make final the minor 
changes that we proposed in the document that published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2014 (79 FR 8668). At that time, we increased 
the designation (from that proposed on August 2, 2013 (78 FR 46862)) by 
approximately 159 ac (65 ha), to a total of approximately 2,170 ac (879 
ha). This increase occurred in four units as a result of the following: 
(1) Unit 9 included newly discovered, occupied Ivesia webberi habitat 
(C. Schnurrenberger, unpubl. survey 2013); and (2) the boundaries of 
Units 12, 13, and 14 were simplified to reduce the number of 
irregularly shaped lobes and align the boundaries with discernible 
features such as ridgelines, roads, topographic contours, and 
vegetation communities. Overall, this increase in proposed critical 
habitat (as announced on February 13, 2014 (79 FR 8668)) was based on 
new information received from the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) 
that better defined the physical or biological features along the 
boundaries of five proposed units, resulting in changes to the acreages 
for those 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

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    (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 by 
non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency 
funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species 
or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) 
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 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 presently occupied by a species only when a 
designation limited to its present 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 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. 
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:

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    (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 Ivesia webberi 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 August 2, 2013 (78 FR 46862), and in the information 
presented below. Additional information can be found in the final 
listing rule published elsewhere in today's Federal Register, and the 
Species Report for this species (Service 2014, entire), which is 
available at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-
2013-0080. We have determined that I. webberi requires the following 
physical or biological features:

Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior

    Plant Community and Competitive Ability--Ivesia webberi is 
primarily associated with Artemisia arbuscula Nutt. (low sagebrush) and 
other perennial, rock garden-type plants such as: Antennaria dimorpha 
(low pussytoes), Balsamorhiza hookeri (Hooker's balsamroot), Elymus 
elymoides (squirreltail), Erigeron bloomeri (scabland fleabane), 
Lewisia rediviva (bitter root), Poa secunda (Sandburg bluegrass), and 
Viola beckwithii (Beckwith's violet) (Witham 2000, p. 17; Morefield 
2004, 2005, unpubl. survey; Howle and Henault 2009, unpubl. survey; BLM 
2011, 2012a, unpubl. survey; Howle and Chardon 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, 
unpubl. survey). Overall, this plant community is open and sparsely 
vegetated and relatively short-statured, with I. webberi often 
dominating or co-dominating where it occurs (Witham 2000, p. 17).
    Because Ivesia webberi is found in an open, sparsely vegetated 
plant community, it is likely a poor competitor. Nonnative, invasive 
plant species such as Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass), Taeniatherum 
caput-medusae (medusahead), and Poa bulbosa (bulbous bluegrass) form 
dense stands of vegetation that compete with native plant species, such 
as I. webberi, for the physical space needed to establish individuals 
and recruit new seedlings. This competition for space is compounded as 
dead or dying nonnative vegetation accumulates, eventually forming a 
dense thatch that obscures the soil crevices used by native species as 
seed accumulation and seedling recruitment sites (Davies 2008, pp. 110-
111; Gonzalez et al. 2008, entire; Mazzola et al. 2011, pp. 514-515; 
Pierson et al. 2011, entire). Consequently, nonnative species deter 
recruitment and population expansion of I. webberi, as well as the 
entire Artemisia arbuscula (low sagebrush)-perennial bunchgrass-forb 
community with which I. webberi is associated. Therefore, we consider 
open, sparsely vegetated assemblages of A. arbuscula and other 
perennial grass and forb rock garden species to be a physical or 
biological feature for I. webberi.
    Elevation--Known populations of Ivesia webberi occur between 4,475 
and 6,237 feet (ft) (1,364 and 1,901 meters (m)) in elevation (Steele 
and Roe 1996, unpubl. survey; Witham 2000, p.16; Howle and Henault 
2009, unpubl. survey). Because plants are not currently known to occur 
outside of this elevation band, we have identified this elevation range 
as a physical or biological feature for I. webberi.
    Topography, Slope, and Aspect--Ivesia webberi occurs on flats, 
benches, or terraces that are generally above or adjacent to large 
valleys. These sites vary from slightly concave to slightly convex or 
gently sloped (0-15[deg]) and occur on all aspects (Witham 2000, p. 
16). Because plants have not been identified outside these landscape 
features or on slopes greater than 15[deg], we have identified slightly 
concave, convex, and gently sloped (0-15[deg]) landscapes to be 
physical and biological features for I. webberi.

Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements

    Soils--Populations of Ivesia webberi occur on a variety of soil 
series types, including, but not limited to: Reno--a fine, smectitic, 
mesic Abruptic Xeric Argidurid; Xman--a clayey, smectitic, mesic, 
shallow Xeric Haplargids; Aldi--a clayey, smectitic, frigid Lithic 
Ultic Argixerolls; and Barshaad--a fine, smectitic, mesic Aridic 
Palexeroll (USDA NRCS (U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources 
Conservation Service) 2007, 2009a, 2009b, 2012a, 2012b). The majority 
of soils in which I. webberi occurs have an argillic (i.e., clay) 
horizon within 19.7 inches (in) (50 centimeters (cm)) of the soil 
surface (USDA NRCS 2007, 2009a, 2009b, 2012a, 2012b). An argillic 
horizon is defined as a subsurface horizon with a significantly higher 
percentage of clay than the overlying soil material (Soil Survey Staff 
2010, p. 30). The clay content (percent by weight) of an argillic 
horizon must be 1.2 times the clay content of an overlying horizon 
(Soil Survey Staff 1999, p. 31). Agrillic horizons are illuvial, 
meaning they form below the soil surface, but may be exposed at the 
surface later due to erosion. Typically there is little or no evidence 
of illuvial clay movement in soils on young landscapes; therefore, soil 
scientists have concluded that the formation of an argillic horizon 
requires at least a few thousand years (Soil Survey Staff 1999, p. 29). 
This argillic horizon represents a time-landscape relationship that can 
be locally and regionally important because its presence indicates that 
the geomorphic surface has been relatively stable for a long period of 
time (Soil Survey Staff 1999, p. 31).
    The shallow, clay soils that Ivesia webberi inhabits are very rocky 
on the surface and tend to be wet in the spring, but dry out as the 
season progresses (Zamudio 1999, p. 1). The high clay content in the 
soils creates a shrink-swell behavior as the soils wet and dry, which 
helps to ``heave'' rocks in the soil profile to the surface and creates 
the rocky surface ``pavement'' (Zamudio 1999, p. 1). The unique soils 
and hydrology of I. webberi sites may exclude competition from other 
species, including Bromus tectorum (Zamudio 1999, p. 1; Witham 2000, p. 
16). The shrink-swell of the clay zone, which extends into the subsoil, 
favors perennials with deep taproots or annuals with shallow roots that 
can complete their life cycle before the surface soil dries out 
(Zamudio 1999, p. 1; Witham 2000, pp. 16, 20). The root systems of tap-
rooted perennial forbs are suited to soil with clay subsoils because 
the roots branch profusely under the crown, spread laterally, and 
penetrate the clay B horizon along vertical cracks (within the horizon) 
(Hugie et al. 1964, p. 200). The roots are flattened, but unbroken by 
shrink-swell activity (Hugie et al. 1964, p. 200). Early maturing 
plants, such as I. webberi, presumably prefer soils with these heavy 
clay horizons because of the abundant spring moisture, which 
essentially saturates the surface horizons with water. Based on the 
information above, we consider soil with an argillic horizon 
characterized by shrink-swell behavior to represent a

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physical or biological feature for I. webberi.
    Water--Ivesia webberi is restricted to sites with soils that are 
vernally moist (Zamudio 1999a, p. 1; Witham 2000, p. 16). From this 
finding, we infer that sufficient winter and spring moisture not only 
contributes to the physical properties of the substrate in which I. 
webberi occurs (i.e., the shrink-swell pattern that contributes to the 
formation of soil crevices), but also triggers biological responses in 
I. webberi, in the form of stimulating germination, growth, flowering, 
and seed production. Moisture retention is influenced by site 
topography as well as soil properties. Therefore, we consider soils 
that are vernally moist as a physical or biological feature for I. 
webberi.
    Light--Although little is known regarding the light requirements of 
Ivesia webberi, inferences are possible from the plant species and the 
plant community from which I. webberi is associated (described under 
the ``Plant Community and Competitive Ability'' section of the ``Space 
for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior'' 
discussion, above, and the ``Habitat'' section of the Species Report 
(Service 2014, pp. 6-7). Generally speaking, co-occurring plant species 
are short-statured; when assembled into an low sagebrush-perennial 
bunchgrass-forb community, plants tend to occur widely spaced with 
intervening patches of rocky, open ground. These factors suggest that 
I. webberi is not shade-tolerant. Therefore, we assume that I. webberi 
is able to persist, at least in part, due to a lack of light 
competition with taller plants.

Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of 
Offspring

    Reproduction--Ivesia webberi is a perennial plant species that is 
not rhizomatous or otherwise clonal. Therefore, like other Ivesia 
species, reproduction in I. webberi is presumed to occur primarily via 
sexual means (i.e., seed production and seedling recruitment). As with 
most plant species, I. webberi does not require separate sites for 
breeding, rearing, and reproduction other than the locations in which 
parent plants occur and any area necessary for pollinators and seed 
dispersal. Seeds of I. webberi are relatively large and unlikely to be 
dispersed by wind or animal vectors; upon maturation of the 
inflorescence and fruit, seeds are likely to fall to the ground in the 
immediate vicinity of parent plants (Witham 2000, p. 20). Depressions 
and crevices in soil frequently serve as seed accumulation or seedling 
establishment sites in arid ecosystems because they trap seeds and 
often have higher soil water due to trapped snow and accumulated 
precipitation (Reichman 1984, pp. 9-10; Eckert et al. 1986, pp. 417-
420). The cracks of the shrink-swell clay soils that typify I. webberi 
habitat are thought to trap seeds and retain them on-site, and may 
serve to protect seeds from desiccation from sunlight or wind. Although 
the long-term viability of these seeds is unknown, I. webberi seeds 
held within these crevices may accumulate and function as a seedbank 
for I. webberi reproduction. Thus, the physical and biological feature 
of soil with an argillic horizon and shrink-swell behavior identified 
above under the ``Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other 
Nutritional or Physiological Requirements'' section also has an 
important reproduction function for I. webberi.
    Pollination--Pollinators specific to Ivesia webberi have not been 
identified. However, most Ivesia species reproduce from seed with 
insect-mediated pollination occurring between flowers of the same or 
different plants (Witham 2000, p. 20). Floral visitors have been 
observed frequenting the flowers of I. aperta var. canina, which co-
occurs with I. webberi at one population (USFWS 5; J. Johnson, unpubl. 
photos 2007). Although these floral visitors can only represent 
presumed pollinators because they were not observed to be carrying 
pollen, they represent the best available information regarding 
possible pollinators of I. webberi. Since no single pollinator or group 
of pollinators is known for I. webberi, we are not able to define 
habitat requirements for I. webberi in terms of the distances that 
particular orders, genera, or species of insect pollinators are known 
to travel.
    Successful transfer of pollen among Ivesia webberi populations, 
therefore, may be inhibited if populations are separated by distances 
greater than pollinators can travel, or if a pollinator's nesting 
habitat or behavior is negatively affected (BLM 2012b, p. 2). Some bees 
such as bumblebees and other social species are able to fly extremely 
long distances. However, evidence suggests that their habitat does not 
need to remain contiguous, but it is more important that the protected 
habitat is large enough to maintain floral diversity to attract these 
pollinators (BLM 2012b, p. 18). By contrast, most solitary bees remain 
close to their nest; thus foraging distance tends to be 1,640 ft (500 
m) or less (BLM 2012b, p. 19). Conservation strategies that strive to 
maintain not just I. webberi, but the range of associated native plant 
species (many of which are also insect-pollinated) would therefore 
serve to attract a wide array of insect pollinators, both social and 
solitary, that may also serve as pollinators of I. webberi (BLM 2012b, 
pp. 5-6, 19). Because annual, nonnative, invasive grasses (such as 
Bromus tectorum) are wind-pollinated, they offer no reward for 
pollinators; as such nonnative species become established, pollinators 
are likely to become deterred from visiting areas occupied by I. 
webberi. Therefore, we consider an area of sufficient size with an 
intact assemblage of native plant species to provide for pollinator 
foraging and nesting habitat to be a physical or biological feature for 
I. webberi.

Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the 
Historical, Geographical, and Ecological Distributions of the Species

    The long-term conservation of Ivesia webberi is dependent on 
several factors, including, but not limited to: Maintenance of areas 
necessary to sustain natural ecosystem components, functions, and 
processes (such as light and intact soil hydrology); and sufficient 
adjacent suitable habitat for vegetative reproduction, population 
expansion, and pollination.
    Disturbance--Soils with a high content of shrink-swell clays, such 
as those where Ivesia webberi is found, often create an unstable soil 
environment to which this species is presumably adapted (Belnap 2001, 
p. 183). These micro-scale disturbances are of light to moderate 
intensity; we are unaware of information to indicate that I. webberi 
has evolved with or is tolerant of moderate to heavy, landscape-scale 
disturbances. Moderate to heavy soil disturbances such as off-highway 
vehicle (OHV) use, road corridors, residential or commercial 
development, and livestock grazing can impact the species and its 
seedbank through habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to 
soil compaction and altered soil hydrology (Witham 2000, Appendix 1, p. 
1; Bergstrom 2009, pp. 25-26).
    Climate change projections in the Great Basin, where Ivesia webberi 
occurs, include increasing temperatures (Chambers and Pellant 2008, p. 
29; Finch 2012, p. 4), earlier spring snow runoff (Stewart et al. 2005, 
p. 1152), declines in snowpack (Knowles et al. 2006, p. 4557; Mote et 
al. 2005, entire), and increased frequencies of drought and fire 
(Seager et al. 2007, pp. 1181-1184; Littell et al. 2009, pp. 1014-1019; 
Abatzoglou and Kolden 2011, pp. 474-475). Nonnative, invasive plant 
species and modified fire regimes are already impacting the quality and 
composition of the low sagebrush-perennial

[[Page 32130]]

bunchgrass-forb plant community where I. webberi occurs (BLM 2012c). We 
anticipate that climate-related changes expected across the Great 
Basin, such as altered precipitation and temperature patterns, will 
accelerate the pace and spatial extent of nonnative plant infestations 
and altered fire regimes. These patterns of climate change may also 
decrease survivorship of I. webberi by causing physiological stress, 
altering phenology, and reducing recruitment events and seedling 
establishment.
    Managing for appropriate disturbance regimes (in terms of the type 
or intensity of disturbance) is difficult, because sources of 
disturbance are numerous and our ability to predict the effects of 
multiple, interacting disturbance regimes upon species and their 
habitats is limited. For the reasons discussed above, we identify areas 
not subject to moderate to heavy, landscape-scale disturbances, such as 
impacts from vehicles driven off established roads or trails, 
development, livestock grazing, and frequent wildfire, to be a physical 
or biological feature for I. webberi.

Primary Constituent Elements for Ivesia webberi

    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of Ivesia webberi in areas occupied at the time of 
listing, focusing on the features' primary constituent elements. 
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.
    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 Ivesia webberi are:
    (i) Plant community.
    (A) Open to sparsely vegetated areas composed of generally short-
statured associated plant species.
    (B) Presence of appropriate associated species that can include 
(but are not limited to): Antennaria dimorpha, Artemisia arbuscula, 
Balsamorhiza hookeri, Elymus elymoides, Erigeron bloomeri, Lewisia 
rediviva, Poa secunda, and Viola beckwithii.
    (C) An intact assemblage of appropriate associated species to 
attract the floral visitors that may be acting as pollinators of Ivesia 
webberi.
    (ii) Topography. Flats, benches, or terraces that are generally 
above or adjacent to large valleys. Occupied sites vary from slightly 
concave to slightly convex or gently sloped (0-15[deg]) and occur on 
all aspects.
    (iii) Elevation. Elevations between 4,475 and 6,237 ft (1,364 and 
1,901 m).
    (iv) Suitable soils and hydrology.
    (A) Vernally moist soils with an argillic horizon that shrink and 
swell upon drying and wetting; these soil conditions are characteristic 
of known Ivesia webberi populations and are likely important in the 
maintenance of the seedbank and population recruitment.
    (B) Suitable soils that can include (but are not limited to): 
Reno--a fine, smectitic, mesic Abruptic Xeric Argidurid; Xman--a 
clayey, smectitic, mesic, shallow Xeric Haplargids; Aldi--a clayey, 
smectitic, frigid Lithic Ultic Argixerolls; and Barshaad--a fine, 
smectitic, mesic Aridic Palexeroll.

Special Management Considerations or Protections

    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 that are essential to the conservation of 
the species and which may require special management considerations or 
protection. All areas designated as critical habitat contain features 
that will require some level of management to address the current and 
future threats. In all units, special management will be required to 
ensure that the habitat is able to provide for the growth and 
reproduction of the species.
    A detailed discussion of threats to Ivesia webberi and its habitat 
can be found in the Ivesia webberi Species Report (Service 2014, pp. 
22-32). The features essential to the conservation of I. webberi (plant 
community and competitive ability, and suitable topography, elevation, 
soils, and hydrology required for the persistence of adults as well as 
successful reproduction of such individuals and the formation of a 
seedbank) may require special management considerations or protection 
to reduce threats. The current range of I. webberi is subject to human-
caused modifications from the introduction and spread of nonnative 
invasive species including Bromus tectorum, Poa bulbosa, and 
Taeniatherum caput-medusae; modified wildfire regime; increased access 
and fragmentation of habitat by new roads and OHVs; agricultural, 
residential, and commercial development; and soil and seedbank 
disturbance by livestock (Service 2014, pp. 22-32).
    Special management considerations or protection are required within 
critical habitat areas to address these threats. Management activities 
that could ameliorate these threats include (but are not limited to): 
Treatment of nonnative, invasive plant species; minimization of OHV 
access and placement of new roads away from the species and its 
habitat; regulations or agreements to minimize the effects of 
development in areas where the species resides; minimization of 
livestock use or other disturbances that disturb the soil or seeds; and 
minimization of habitat fragmentation. Where the species occurs on 
private lands, protection and management could be enhanced by various 
forms of land acquisition from willing sellers, ranging from the 
purchase of conservation easements to fee title acquisition. These 
activities would protect the primary constituent elements for the 
species by preventing the loss of habitats and individuals, protecting 
the habitat and soils from undesirable patterns or levels of 
disturbance, and facilitating the management for desirable conditions, 
including disturbance regimes.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best 
scientific data available to designate critical habitat. In accordance 
with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b) we 
review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of 
the species and identify specific areas within the geographical area 
occupied by the species at the time of listing that contain the 
features essential to the conservation of the species. If, after 
identifying these specific areas, we determine the areas are inadequate 
to ensure conservation of the species, in accordance with the Act and 
our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e), we then consider 
whether designating additional areas outside of the geographic area 
occupied by the species are essential for the conservation of the 
species. We are not designating any areas outside the geographical area 
presently occupied by the species because its present range is 
sufficient to ensure the conservation of Ivesia webberi.
    We delineated the critical habitat unit boundaries for Ivesia 
webberi using the following steps:
    (1) In determining what areas were occupied by Ivesia webberi, we 
used polygon data collected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (BLM 
2011, 2012a, unpubl. survey), California Natural Diversity Database 
(Schoolcraft 1992, 1998, unpubl. survey; Krumm and Clifton 1996, 
unpubl. survey; Steele and

[[Page 32131]]

Roe 1996, unpubl. survey), California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
(Sustain Environmental Inc. 2009, p. III-19), Nevada Natural Heritage 
Program (Witham 1991, entire; Witham 2000, entire; Morefield 2004, 
2005, 2010a, 2010b, unpubl. survey; Picciani 2006, unpubl. survey), 
Forest Service (Duron 1990, entire; Howle and Henault 2009, unpubl. 
survey; Howle and Chardon 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, unpubl. survey), and 
consulting firms (Wood Rogers 2007, Tables 2 and 3, pp. 5-6) to map 
specific locations of I. webberi using ArcMap 10.1. These locations 
were classified into discrete populations based on mapping standards 
devised by NatureServe and its network of Natural Heritage Programs 
(NatureServe 2004, entire).
    (2) We extended the boundaries of the polygon defining each 
population or subpopulation by 1,640 ft (500 m) to provide for 
sufficient pollinator habitat. This creates an area that is large 
enough to maintain flora diversity that would protect nesting areas of 
solitary pollinator species, while creating a large enough patch of 
flora diversity to attract social, wide-ranging pollinator species (as 
described above under the ``Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or 
Rearing (or Development) of Offspring'' section; BLM 2012b, p. 19).
    (3) We then removed areas not containing the physical or biological 
features essential to the conservation of I. webberi within the 1,640-
ft-wide (500-m-wide) area surrounding each population. We used a 
habitat model to identify areas lacking physical or biological 
features. The habitat model was developed by comparing occupied areas 
and the known environmental variables of these areas, such as 
elevation, slope, and soil type that we determined to be physical and 
biological features for this species. The environmental variables with 
the highest predictive ability influenced the habitat the model 
identified. Finally, we used ESRI ArcGIS (Geographic Information 
Systems) Imagery Basemap satellite imagery to exclude forested areas 
within the areas the model selected because this is not the vegetation 
type that is a physical and biological feature for I. webberi.
    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 Ivesia webberi. 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 of this final rule have been 
excluded by text in the final 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 Regulation Promulgation section. 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 on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-
2013-0080, on our Internet site at http://www.fws.gov/nevada/, and at 
the field office responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT, above).
    We are designating lands that we have determined are the specific 
areas within the geographical area presently occupied by the species, 
that contain the physical or biological features to support life-
history processes essential for the conservation of Ivesia webberi as 
critical habitat.
    Sixteen units (two of which contain subunits) are designated based 
on the physical or biological features being present to support Ivesia 
webberi's life processes. Some units contain all of the physical or 
biological features and support multiple life processes. Some segments 
contain only some of the physical or biological features necessary to 
support Ivesia webberi's particular use of that habitat.

Final Critical Habitat Designation

    We are designating 16 units as critical habitat for Ivesia webberi, 
all of which are occupied. The critical habitat areas described below 
constitute our best assessment at this time of areas that meet the 
definition of critical habitat. Those 16 units are: (1) Sierra Valley, 
(2) Constantia, (3) East of Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area (HJWA), 
Evans Canyon, (4) Hallelujah Junction Wildife Area (WA), (5) subunit 
5a-Dog Valley Meadow and subunit 5b-Upper Dog Valley, (6) White Lake 
Overlook, (7) subunit 7a-Mules Ear Flat and subunit 7b-Three Pine Flat 
and Jeffrey Pine Saddle, (8) Ivesia Flat, (9) Stateline Road 1, (10) 
Stateline Road 2, (11) Hungry Valley, (12) Black Springs, (13) Raleigh 
Heights, (14) Dutch Louie Flat, (15) The Pines Powerline, and (16) 
Dante Mine Road. Table 1 lists the critical habitat units and subunits 
and the area of each.

                                             Table 1--Designated Critical Habitat Units for Ivesia webberi.
                                         [Area estimates reflect all land within the critical habitat boundary]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                             State or
                                                                                             Federally         local         Privately
                                              Population                                    owned land      government      owned land      Total area
            CH unit and subunit                 (USFWS)         Unit or subunit name           acres        owned land         acres           acres
                                                                                            (hectares)         acres        (hectares)      (hectares)
                                                                                                            (hectares)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.........................................               1  Sierra Valley...............              51              44             179             274
                                                                                                    (21)            (18)            (73)           (111)
2.........................................               2  Constantia..................             155  ..............  ..............             155
                                                                                                    (63)                                            (63)
3.........................................               3  East of HJWA, Evans Canyon..              22             100  ..............             122
                                                                                                     (9)            (41)                            (49)
4.........................................               4  Hallelujah Junction WA......  ..............              69  ..............              69
                                                                                                                    (28)                            (28)
5:
    5a....................................               5  Dog Valley Meadow...........             386  ..............  ..............             386
                                                                                                   (156)                                           (156)

[[Page 32132]]

 
5b........................................               5  Upper Dog Valley............              12  ..............              17              29
                                                                                                     (5)                             (7)            (12)
6.........................................               6  White Lake Overlook.........              98  ..............              11             109
                                                                                                    (40)                             (4)            (44)
7:
    7a....................................               7  Mules Ear Flat..............              31  ..............              34              65
                                                                                                    (13)                            (14)            (27)
7b........................................               7  Three Pine Flat; Jeffrey                   3  ..............              65              68
                                                             Pine Saddle.                            (1)                            (26)            (27)
8.........................................               8  Ivesia Flat.................              62  ..............  ..............              62
                                                                                                    (25)                                            (25)
9.........................................               9  Stateline Road 1............             186  ..............               7             193
                                                                                                    (75)                             (3)            (78)
10........................................              10  Stateline Road 2............              66  ..............  ..............              66
                                                                                                    (27)                                            (27)
11........................................              11  Hungry Valley...............              56  ..............  ..............              56
                                                                                                    (23)                                            (23)
12........................................              12  Black Springs...............             133  ..............              30             163
                                                                                                    (54)                            (12)            (66)
13........................................              13  Raleigh Heights.............             229  ..............              24             253
                                                                                                    (93)                            (10)           (103)
14........................................              14  Dutch Louie Flat............              13  ..............              41              54
                                                                                                     (5)                            (17)            (22)
15........................................              15  The Pines Powerline.........  ..............  ..............              32              32
                                                                                                                                    (13)            (13)
16........................................              16  Dante Mine Road.............              10  ..............               4              14
                                                                                                     (4)                             (2)             (6)
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................  ..............  ............................           1,513             214             444           2,170
                                                                                                   (612)            (86)           (180)           (879)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Ivesia webberi, below.

Unit 1: Sierra Valley

    Unit 1 consists of 274 ac (111 ha) of Federal, State, and private 
lands. This unit is located near the junction of State Highway 49 and 
County Highway A24 in Plumas County, California. Nineteen percent of 
this unit is on Federal lands managed by the BLM, 16 percent is on 
California State land, and 65 percent is on private lands. This unit is 
currently occupied and is the most western occupied unit within the 
range of Ivesia webberi. The Sierra Valley Unit is important to the 
recovery of I. webberi because it supports 44.8 ac (18.1 ha), or nearly 
one-third (27.2 percent), of all habitat (165 ac (66.8 ha)) that is 
occupied by I. webberi across the species' range. Threats to I. webberi 
in this unit include nonnative, invasive species; wildfire; OHV use; 
roads; livestock grazing; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. While these lands currently have the physical 
and biological features essential to the conservation of I. webberi, 
because of a lack of cohesive management and protections, special 
management will be required to maintain these features in this unit. 
These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special 
Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 2: Constantia

    Unit 2 consists of 155 ac (63 ha) of Federal land. This unit is 
located east of U.S. Highway 395, southeast of the historic town of 
Constantia, in Lassen County, California. One hundred percent of this 
unit is on Federal lands managed by the BLM. This unit is currently 
occupied and is the most northern occupied unit within the range of 
Ivesia webberi. The Constantia Unit is important to the recovery of I. 
webberi primarily because it represents one of relatively few locations 
within the Great Basin where the species is known to exist. Given the 
increasing prevalence of both site-specific and landscape-scale threats 
operating throughout this region and specifically within areas occupied 
by I. webberi (Service 2014, entire), this location and most others 
where the species occurs confer redundancy within the species' 
distribution, thereby buffering the species against the risk of 
extirpation likely to result from these threats or other less-
predicable stochastic events. Not a lot is known about the current 
condition of I. webberi and its habitat at this site; however, wildfire 
and any other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities are 
threats to I. webberi in this unit. While these lands currently have 
the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of 
I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and protections, 
special management will be required to maintain these features in this 
unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the 
``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

[[Page 32133]]

Unit 3: East of Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area (HJWA)-Evans Canyon

    Unit 3 consists of 122 ac (49 ha) of Federal and State lands. This 
unit is located east of U.S. Highway 395 on the border of HJWA in 
Lassen County, California. Eighty-two percent of this unit is on 
California State land managed as the HJWA, and 18 percent is on Federal 
land managed by the BLM. This unit is currently occupied and is 
approximately 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away from Unit 4, which may allow for 
social pollinator dispersal between these two units. Additionally, this 
is the only place where Ivesia webberi is found as a co-dominant in an 
Artemisia tridentata Nutt. (big sagebrush) community instead of an 
Artemisia arbuscula (low sagebrush) community. The perennial bunchgrass 
and forb components of the Artemisia tridentata community found within 
this unit are the same as those occurring in locations where A. 
arbuscula is co-dominant with I. webberi. The East of HJWA-Evans Canyon 
Unit is important to the recovery of I. webberi primarily because it 
represents one of relatively few locations within the Great Basin where 
the species is known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both 
site-specific and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this 
region and specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 
2014, entire), this location and most others where the species occurs 
confer redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering 
the species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Wildfire and any 
other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities are threats 
to I. webberi in this unit. While these lands currently have the 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of I. 
webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and protections, 
special management will be required to maintain these features in this 
unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the 
``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 4: Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area (HJWA)

    Unit 4 consists of 69 ac (28 ha) of State lands. This unit is 
located west of U.S. Highway 395 within HJWA in Sierra County, 
California. One hundred percent of this unit is on California State 
land managed as the HJWA. It is currently occupied and is approximately 
1.6 mi (2.6 km) away from Unit 3, which may allow for social pollinator 
dispersal between these two units. The HJWA Unit is important to the 
recovery of I. webberi primarily because it represents one of 
relatively few locations within the Great Basin where the species is 
known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both site-specific 
and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this region and 
specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 2014, 
entire), this location and most others where the species occurs confer 
redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering the 
species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Wildfire and any 
other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities are threats 
to I. webberi in this unit. While these lands currently have the 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of I. 
webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and protections, 
special management will be required to maintain these features in this 
unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the 
``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 5: Subunit 5a-Dog Valley Meadow and Subunit 5b-Upper Dog Valley

Subunit 5a-Dog Valley Meadow
    Subunit 5a consists of 386 ac (156 ha) of Federal lands. This 
subunit is located east of Long Valley Road in Dog Valley in Sierra 
County, California. One hundred percent of this subunit is on Federal 
lands managed by the Forest Service. It is currently occupied and is 
0.5 mi (0.8 km) away from Subunit 5b, which may allow for social 
pollinator dispersal between these two subunits. The Dog Valley Meadow 
Subunit is important to the recovery of Ivesia webberi because it 
supports 71.58 ac (28.97 ha), or nearly half (43.5 percent), of all 
habitat (165 ac (66.8 ha)) that is occupied by I. webberi across the 
species' range and 100,000 plants, or approximately 2 to 10 percent 
(i.e., dependent on which population estimate range is used for the 
calculation) of individuals known to exist across the species' range 
(Service 2014, pp. 15-16). Threats to I. webberi in this subunit 
include nonnative, invasive plant species; wildfire; OHV and other 
recreational use; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. Additionally, this subunit historically was 
grazed, but the grazing allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 
16). While these lands currently have the physical and biological 
features essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack 
of cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this subunit. These threats 
should be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.
Subunit 5b--Upper Dog Valley
    Subunit 5b consists of 29 ac (12 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This subunit is located west of Long Valley Road and south of the Dog 
Valley campground in Dog Valley in Sierra County, California. Forty-one 
percent of this subunit is on Federal lands managed by the Forest 
Service, and 59 percent is on private lands. It is currently occupied 
and is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away from Subunit 5a, which may allow for social 
pollinator dispersal between these two subunits. The Upper Dog Valley 
Subunit is important to the recovery of I. webberi primarily because it 
represents one of relatively few locations within the Great Basin where 
the species is known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both 
site-specific and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this 
region and specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 
2014, entire), this location and most others where the species occurs 
confer redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering 
the species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. 
webberi in this subunit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; OHV use; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. Additionally, this subunit historically was 
grazed, but the grazing allotment is currently vacant (Service 2014, p. 
16). While these lands currently have the physical and biological 
features essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack 
of cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this subunit. These threats 
should be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 6: White Lake Overlook

    Unit 6 consists of 109 ac (44 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This unit is located north of Long Valley Road in Sierra County, 
California. Ninety percent of this unit is on Federal lands managed by 
the Forest Service and 10 percent is on private lands. This unit is 
currently occupied and is 1 mi (1.6 km) or less away from Units 7 and 
9, which

[[Page 32134]]

may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these units. The 
White Lake Overlook Unit is important to the recovery of Ivesia webberi 
because it supports 13.56 ac (5.49 ha), or 8.2 percent, of all habitat 
(165 ac (66.8 ha)) that is occupied by I. webberi across the species' 
range. Threats to I. webberi in this unit include wildfire and any 
other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. While these 
lands currently have the physical and biological features essential to 
the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive 
management and protections, special management will be required to 
maintain these features in this unit. These threats should be addressed 
as detailed above in the ``Special Management Considerations or 
Protection'' section.

Unit 7: Subunit 7a--Mules Ear Flat and Subunit 7b--Three Pine Flat and 
Jeffrey Pine Saddle

Subunit 7a--Mules Ear Flat
    Subunit 7a consists of 65 ac (27 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This subunit is located west of the California-Nevada border and 
southeast of Long Valley Road in Sierra County, California. Forty-eight 
percent of this subunit is on Federal land managed by the Forest 
Service, and 52 percent is on private lands. This subunit is currently 
occupied and is 1 mi (1.6 km) or less away from Units 6 and 9, which 
may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these units. The 
Mules Ear Flat Subunit is important to the recovery of I. webberi 
primarily because it represents one of relatively few locations within 
the Great Basin where the species is known to exist. Given the 
increasing prevalence of both site-specific and landscape-scale threats 
operating throughout this region and specifically within areas occupied 
by I. webberi (Service 2014, entire), this location and most others 
where the species occurs confer redundancy within the species' 
distribution, thereby buffering the species against the risk of 
extirpation likely to result from these threats or other less-
predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. webberi in this subunit 
include nonnative, invasive plant species; wildfire; OHV use; roads; 
and any other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. 
Additionally, this subunit historically was grazed, but the grazing 
allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 17). While these lands 
currently have the physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management 
and protections, special management will be required to maintain these 
features in this subunit. These threats should be addressed as detailed 
above in the ``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' 
section.
Subunit 7b--Three Pine Flat and Jeffrey Pine Saddle
    Subunit 7b consists of 68 ac (27 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This subunit is located east of the California-Nevada border in Washoe 
County, Nevada. Four percent of this subunit is on Federal lands 
managed by the Forest Service, and 96 percent is on private lands. It 
is currently occupied and is 1 mi (1.6 km) or less away from Units 6, 
8, and 9, which may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these 
units. The Three Pine Flat and Jeffery Pine Saddle Subunit is important 
to the recovery of I. webberi primarily because it represents one of 
relatively few locations within the Great Basin where the species is 
known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both site-specific 
and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this region and 
specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 2014, 
entire), this location and most others where the species occurs confer 
redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering the 
species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. 
webberi in this subunit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; OHV use; roads; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. Additionally, this subunit historically was 
grazed, but the grazing allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 
17). While these lands currently have the physical and biological 
features essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack 
of cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this subunit. These threats 
should be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 8: Ivesia Flat

    Unit 8 consists of 62 ac (25 ha) of Federal land. This unit is 
located south of U.S. Highway 395 in Washoe County, NV. One hundred 
percent of this unit is on Federal land managed by the Forest Service. 
It is currently occupied and is 1 mi (1.6 km) away from Subunit 7b, 
which may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these two 
units. The Ivesia Flat Unit is important to the recovery of Ivesia 
webberi because it supports 100,000 plants (Service 2014, p. 17), or 
approximately between 2 and 10 percent (i.e., dependent on which 
population estimate range is used for the calculation) of individuals 
known to exist across the species' range. Threats to I. webberi in this 
unit include nonnative, invasive plant species; wildfire; OHV use; 
roads; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing 
activities. Additionally, this unit historically was grazed, but the 
grazing allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, pp. 17-18). While 
these lands currently have the physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of 
cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this unit. These threats should 
be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 9: Stateline Road 1

    Unit 9 consists of 193 ac (78 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This unit is located along the California-Nevada border in Sierra 
County, California, and Washoe County, Nevada. Ninety-six percent of 
this unit is on Federal land managed by the Forest Service, and 4 
percent is on private lands. It is currently occupied and is 1 mi (1.6 
km) or less away from Units 6, 7, and 10, which may allow for social 
pollinator dispersal between these units. The Stateline Road 1 Unit is 
important to the recovery of I. webberi primarily because it represents 
one of relatively few locations within the Great Basin where the 
species is known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both 
site-specific and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this 
region and specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 
2014, entire), this location and most others where the species occurs 
confer redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering 
the species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. 
webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; development; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. Additionally, this unit historically was grazed, 
but the grazing allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 18). 
While these lands currently have the physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of 
cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this unit.

[[Page 32135]]

These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special 
Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 10: Stateline Road 2

    Unit 10 consists of 66 ac (27 ha) of Federal land. This unit is 
located along the California-Nevada border in Sierra County, 
California, and Washoe County, Nevada. One hundred percent of this unit 
is on Federal land managed by the Forest Service. It is currently 
occupied and is less than 1 mi (1.6 km) away from Unit 9, which may 
allow for social pollinator dispersal between these units. The 
Stateline Road 2 Unit is important to the recovery of I. webberi 
primarily because it represents one of relatively few locations within 
the Great Basin where the species is known to exist. Given the 
increasing prevalence of both site-specific and landscape-scale threats 
operating throughout this region and specifically within areas occupied 
by I. webberi (Service 2014, entire), this location and most others 
where the species occurs confer redundancy within the species' 
distribution, thereby buffering the species against the risk of 
extirpation likely to result from these threats or other less-
predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. webberi in this unit 
include nonnative, invasive plant species; wildfire; development; and 
any other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. 
Additionally, this unit historically was grazed, but the grazing 
allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 18). While these lands 
currently have the physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management 
and protections, special management will be required to maintain these 
features in this unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed 
above in the ``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' 
section.

Unit 11: Hungry Valley

    Unit 11 consists of 56 ac (23 ha) of Federal land. This unit is 
located west of Eagle Canyon Drive in Washoe County, Nevada. One 
hundred percent of this unit is on Federal land managed by the BLM. It 
is currently occupied and is the eastern most occupied unit within the 
range of Ivesia webberi. The Hungry Valley Unit is important to the 
recovery of I. webberi primarily because it represents one of 
relatively few locations within the Great Basin where the species is 
known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both site-specific 
and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this region and 
specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 2014, 
entire), this location and most others where the species occurs confer 
redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering the 
species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. 
webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; OHV use and other recreational use; roads; livestock grazing; 
and any other forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. 
While these lands currently have the physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of 
cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this unit. These threats should 
be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 12: Black Springs

    Unit 12 consists of 163 ac (66 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This unit is located northwest of North Virginia Street and south of 
U.S. Highway 395 in Washoe County, Nevada. Eighty-two percent of this 
unit is on Federal land managed by the Forest Service, and 18 percent 
is on private lands. It is currently occupied and is approximately 1 mi 
(1.6 km) away from Unit 13, which may allow for social pollinator 
dispersal between these units. The Black Springs Unit is important to 
the recovery of I. webberi primarily because it represents one of 
relatively few locations within the Great Basin where the species is 
known to exist. Given the increasing prevalence of both site-specific 
and landscape-scale threats operating throughout this region and 
specifically within areas occupied by I. webberi (Service 2014, 
entire), this location and most others where the species occurs confer 
redundancy within the species' distribution, thereby buffering the 
species against the risk of extirpation likely to result from these 
threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. 
webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; OHV use; roads; and any other forms of vegetation or ground-
disturbing activities. Additionally, this unit historically was grazed, 
but the grazing allotment currently is vacant (Service 2014, p. 19). 
While these lands currently have the physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of 
cohesive management and protections, special management will be 
required to maintain these features in this unit. These threats should 
be addressed as detailed above in the ``Special Management 
Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 13: Raleigh Heights

    Unit 13 consists of 253 ac (103 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This unit is located northwest of North Virginia Street and south of 
U.S. Highway 395 in Washoe County, Nevada. Ninety-one percent of this 
unit is on Federal land managed by the Forest Service, and 9 percent is 
on private lands. It is currently occupied and is approximately 1 mi 
(1.6 km) away from Unit 12, which may allow for social pollinator 
dispersal between these units. The Raleigh Heights Unit is important to 
the recovery of Ivesia webberi because it supports between 100,000 to 
4,000,000 plants (Service 2014, p. 19), or approximately 10 to 79.5 
percent (i.e., dependent on which population estimate range is used for 
the calculation) of individuals known to exist across the species' 
range. Threats to I. webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive 
plant species; wildfire; OHV use; roads; and any other forms of 
vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. While these lands currently 
have the physical and biological features essential to the conservation 
of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and 
protections, special management will be required to maintain these 
features in this unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed 
above in the ``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' 
section.

Unit 14: Dutch Louie Flat

    Unit 14 consists of 54 ac (22 ha) of Federal and private lands. 
This unit is located southwest of South McCarran Boulevard in Washoe 
County, Nevada. Twenty-four percent of this unit is on Federal lands 
managed by the Forest Service, and 76 percent is on private lands. It 
is currently occupied and is approximately 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away from 
Unit 15, which may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these 
units. The Dutch Louie Flat Unit is important to the recovery of Ivesia 
webberi because it supports between 600,000 to 693,795 plants (Service 
2014, pp. 19-20), or approximately 14 to 61 percent (i.e., dependent on 
which population estimate range is used for the calculation) of 
individuals known to exist across the species' range. Threats to I. 
webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive plant species; 
wildfire; OHV and other recreational use; roads; development; and any 
other

[[Page 32136]]

forms of vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. While these lands 
currently have the physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management 
and protections, special management will be required to maintain these 
features in this unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed 
above in the ``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' 
section.

Unit 15: The Pines Powerline

    Unit 15 consists of 32 ac (13 ha) of private lands. This unit is 
located southwest of South McCarran Boulevard in Washoe County, Nevada. 
One hundred percent of this unit is on private lands. It is currently 
occupied and is approximately 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away from Unit 14, which 
may allow for social pollinator dispersal between these two units. The 
Pines Powerline Unit is important to the recovery of I. webberi 
primarily because it represents one of relatively few locations within 
the Great Basin where the species is known to exist. Given the 
increasing prevalence of both site-specific and landscape-scale threats 
operating throughout this region and specifically within areas occupied 
by I. webberi (Service 2014, entire), this location and most others 
where the species occurs confer redundancy within the species' 
distribution, thereby buffering the species against the risk of 
extirpation likely to result from these threats or other less-
predicable stochastic events. Threats to I. webberi in this unit 
include nonnative, invasive plant species; wildfire; OHV and other 
recreational use; roads; development; and any other forms of vegetation 
or ground-disturbing activities. While these lands currently have the 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of I. 
webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and protections, 
special management will be required to maintain these features in this 
unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed above in the 
``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' section.

Unit 16: Dante Mine Road

    Unit 16 consists of 14 ac (6 ha) of Federal and private lands. This 
unit is located east of U.S. Highway 395 in Douglas County, Nevada. 
Seventy-three percent of this unit is on Federal land managed by the 
BLM, and 27 percent is on private lands. It is currently occupied and 
is the southernmost unit within the range of Ivesia webberi. The Dante 
Mine Road Unit is important to the recovery of I. webberi primarily 
because it represents one of relatively few locations within the Great 
Basin where the species is known to exist. Given the increasing 
prevalence of both site-specific and landscape-scale threats operating 
throughout this region and specifically within areas occupied by I. 
webberi (Service 2014, entire), this location and most others where the 
species occurs confer redundancy within the species' distribution, 
thereby buffering the species against the risk of extirpation likely to 
result from these threats or other less-predicable stochastic events. 
Threats to I. webberi in this unit include nonnative, invasive plant 
species; wildfire; roads; development; and any other forms of 
vegetation or ground-disturbing activities. While these lands currently 
have the physical and biological features essential to the conservation 
of I. webberi, because of a lack of cohesive management and 
protections, special management will be required to maintain these 
features in this unit. These threats should be addressed as detailed 
above in the ``Special Management Considerations or Protection'' 
section.

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, 434 (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 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 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 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

[[Page 32137]]

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 Ivesia webberi. 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 Ivesia webberi. These activities include, but are not 
limited to:
    (1) Actions that would lead to the destruction or alteration of 
plants, their seedbank, or their habitat; or actions that destroy or 
result in continual or excessive disturbance of the clay soils where 
Ivesia webberi is found. Such activities could include, but are not 
limited to: Activities associated with road construction and 
maintenance; excessive OHV use; activities associated with commercial 
and residential development, including roads and associated 
infrastructure; utility corridors or infrastructure; and excessive 
livestock grazing. These activities could lead to the loss of 
individuals; reduce plant numbers by prohibiting recruitment; remove 
the seedbank; fragment the habitat; introduce nonnative, invasive 
species; and alter the soil such that important shrink and swell 
processes no longer occur.
    (2) Actions that would result in the loss of pollinators or their 
habitat, such that reproduction could be diminished. Such activities 
could include, but are not limited to: Destroying ground nesting 
habitat; habitat fragmentation that prohibits pollinator movement from 
one area to the next; spraying pesticides that would kill pollinators; 
and eliminating other plant species on which pollinators are reliant 
for floral resources (this could include the replacement of native forb 
species with nonnative, invasive annual grasses, which do not provide 
floral resources for pollinators). These activities could result in 
reduced reproduction, fruit production, and recruitment in Ivesia 
webberi.
    (3) Actions that would result in excessive plant competition at 
Ivesia webberi populations. These activities could include, but are not 
limited to, using highly competitive species in restoration efforts or 
creating disturbances that allow establishment of nonnative, invasive 
species such as Bromus tectorum, Poa bulbosa, and Taeniatherum caput-
medusae. These activities could cause I. webberi to be outcompeted and 
subsequently either lost or reduced in numbers of individuals.

Exemptions

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

    Section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) 
provides that: ``The Secretary shall not designate as critical habitat 
any lands or other geographic areas owned or controlled by the 
Department of Defense, or designated for its use, that are subject to 
an integrated natural resources management plan [INRMP] prepared under 
section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), if the Secretary 
determines in writing that such plan provides a benefit to the species 
for which critical habitat is proposed for designation.'' There are no 
Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP within this final 
critical habitat designation.

Consideration of Impacts Under 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 she 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. In making that determination, the statute on its face, as well 
as the legislative history, are clear that the Secretary has broad 
discretion regarding which factor(s) to use and how much weight to give 
to any factor.

Consideration of 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 a draft economic analysis (DEA) 
of the proposed critical habitat designation and related factors 
(composed of three documents, i.e., Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc) 
2013; IEc 2014; and Service 2013). The DEA was made available for 
public review from February 13, 2014, through March 17, 2014 (79 FR 
8668); no new information was received during that comment period. 
Following the close of the comment period, we reviewed and evaluated 
all information submitted during the comment period that may pertain to 
our consideration of the probable incremental economic impacts of this 
critical habitat designation. We took into consideration one public 
comment we received and the revision to the proposed critical habitat 
designation as outlined in the February 13, 2014, publication (79 FR 
8668). Although we conducted a review of the revisions to the Ivesia 
webberi proposed critical habitat (as announced on February 13, 2014, 
at 79 FR 8668), we do not anticipate that those revisions to proposed 
critical habitat changed the findings as outlined in our DEA (Lee 2014, 
pers. comm.). A summary of our complete evaluation is presented below.
    Our economic analysis quantifies economic impacts of Ivesia webberi 
conservation efforts associated with the following categories of 
activity: (1) Federal lands management (Forest Service and BLM); (2) 
commercial or residential development; (3) livestock grazing; (4) OHV 
and other recreational activities; (5) wildfire; (6) vegetation 
management, including fuels reduction activities and management for 
invasive

[[Page 32138]]

species; and (7) vegetation or ground-disturbing activities associated 
with construction, maintenance or use of roads, trails, transmission 
lines, or other infrastructure corridors (Service 2013, pp. 3-10). We 
considered each industry or category individually. Additionally, we 
considered whether their activities have any Federal involvement.
    We determined that the section 7-related costs of designating 
critical habitat for Ivesia webberi are likely to be limited to the 
additional administrative effort required to consider adverse 
modification in a small number of consultations. This finding is based 
on:
    (1) All units are considered occupied, providing baseline 
protection resulting from the listing of the species as threatened 
under the Act.
    (2) Activities occurring within designated critical habitat with a 
potential to affect the species' habitat are also likely to adversely 
affect the species, either directly or indirectly.
    (3) Project modifications requested to avoid adverse modification 
are likely to be the same as those needed to avoid jeopardy in occupied 
habitat.
    (4) Federal agencies operating in critical habitat areas are 
already aware of the presence of Ivesia webberi and also are 
experienced with consulting with us under section 7 of the Act on other 
federally listed species.
    Thus, in the baseline, they are likely to consult even in buffer 
areas surrounding the species included in the designation to ensure 
protection of pollinator habitat.
    The incremental administrative burden resulting from the 
designation is unlikely to reach $100 million in a given year based on 
the small number of anticipated consultations (i.e., less than two 
consultations per year) and per-consultation costs. Furthermore, it is 
unlikely that the designation of critical habitat will trigger 
additional requirements under State or local regulations. Costs 
resulting from public perception of the effect of critical habitat, if 
they occur, are unlikely to reach $100 million in a given year, based 
on the small number of acres possibly affected and average land values 
in the vicinity of those acres.
    Also as announced in our February 13, 2014, publication (79 FR 
8668), we added 16 ac (6 ha) of private lands to the proposed critical 
habitat designation within Unit 12 (Black Springs) and Unit 13 (Raleigh 
Heights). In our DEA, we considered the potential for public perception 
effects that may result from the designation on four units located 
close to the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area, which included Units 12 and 
13. Assuming that the additional private lands are also potentially 
developable, this increased the total number of acres that may be 
subject to development pressure in the foreseeable future to 125 ac (51 
ha), as compared to the 114 ac (46 ha) presented in our DEA. We do not 
anticipate this revised amount of private, potentially developable land 
changes the conclusions presented in IEc (2014) (pp. 8-11).
    As a result of this reevaluation (Lee 2014, pers. comm.) of the 
information analyzed in our DEA (IEc 2013; IEc 2014; Service 2013), we 
reaffirm that we did not identify any disproportionate costs that are 
likely to result from the designation. Consequently, the Secretary is 
not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this 
designation of critical habitat for Ivesia webberi based on economic 
impacts.

Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts or Homeland Security 
Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are 
lands owned or managed by the Department of Defense where a national 
security impact might exist. In preparing this final rule, we have 
determined that no lands within the designation of critical habitat for 
Ivesia webberi are owned or managed by the Department of Defense or 
Department of Homeland Security, and, therefore, we anticipate no 
impact on national security or homeland security. Consequently, the 
Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from 
this final designation based on impacts on national security or 
homeland security.

Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we also consider any other 
relevant impacts resulting from the designation of critical habitat. 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.
    In preparing this final rule, we have determined that there are 
currently no permitted HCPs or other management plans for Ivesia 
webberi, and the final designation does not include any tribal lands or 
tribal trust resources. We anticipate no impact on tribal lands, 
partnerships, or HCPs from this critical habitat designation. 
Accordingly, the Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude 
any areas from this final designation based on other relevant impacts.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We requested written comments from the public on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for Ivesia webberi during two comment 
periods. The first comment period associated with the publication of 
the proposed rule (78 FR 46862) opened on August 2, 2013, and closed on 
October 1, 2013. We also requested comments on the proposed critical 
habitat designation and associated draft economic analysis during a 
comment period that opened February 13, 2014, and closed on March 17, 
2014 (79 FR 8668). 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 10 comment letters 
directly addressing the proposed critical habitat designation. During 
the second comment period, we received four comment letters addressing 
the proposed critical habitat designation or the draft economic 
analysis. All substantive information provided during 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 three knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with 
the species, the geographic region in which the species occurs, and 
conservation biology principles. We did not receive any responses from 
the peer reviewers.

Comments From States

    Section 4(i) of the Act states, ``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 did 
not receive any comments from the States of California or Nevada.

[[Page 32139]]

Comments From Federal Agencies

    (1) Comment: The Forest Service recommends simplifying the 
boundaries of the critical habitat polygons to reduce the number of 
irregularly shaped lobes and aligning the boundaries with discernible 
features such as ridgelines, roads, topographic contours, and 
vegetation communities. They state that aligning the boundaries in this 
manner would be consistent with species conservation to provide more 
uncomplicated management under the Act. The Forest Service identified 
Units 12, 13, and 14 as highest priority for adjustment.
    Our Response: We agree with this comment, and have simplified the 
boundaries of these critical habitat units accordingly. Additionally, 
per 2013 survey information provided to us from the Forest Service, we 
have expanded the boundary of Unit 9 to include newly discovered, 
occupied Ivesia webberi habitat (C. Schnurrenberger, unpubl. survey 
2013).
    (2) Comment: The Forest Service recommends that the final critical 
habitat rule identify Ivesia webberi populations that would be 
particularly vulnerable to stochastic events. The Forest Service 
recommends indicating such populations occur in Units 6, 7 (Subunits 7a 
and 7b), 9, 10, and 12, which occur on Forest Service lands.
    Our Response: Plant species (such as Ivesia webberi) that have a 
restricted range, specialized habitat requirements, and limited 
recruitment and dispersal have a higher risk of extinction due to 
demographic uncertainty and random environmental events (Shaffer 1987, 
pp. 69-75; Lande 1993, pp. 911-927; Hawkins et al. 2008, pp. 41-42). We 
regard all populations of I. webberi to be vulnerable to stochastic 
events because they are generally small, relatively isolated, and (in 
many cases) subject to one or more threats (Service 2014, pp. 31-33).
    (3) Comment: The Forest Service recommends we consider the possible 
relevance of historical and potential habitats for the full recovery of 
Ivesia webberi.
    Our Response: We agree with this comment; these factors will 
receive full consideration during recovery planning and implementation.

Public Comments

    (4) Comment: One commenter recognized that the law requires the 
Service to designate critical habitat for listed species, but expressed 
the view that proposing critical habitat concurrent with listing was 
``pre-decisional'' and ``counterintuitive.''
    Our Response: When prudent and determinable, the Act requires the 
Service to designate any habitat considered to be critical habitat 
concurrently with making a determination that a species is an 
endangered or threatened species. The Act's section 4(a)(3)(A)(i) 
states that the Secretary ``shall, concurrently with making a 
determination . . . that a species is an endangered species or a 
threatened species, designate any habitat of such species which is then 
considered to be critical habitat.''
    (5) Comment: One commenter stated that it was a contradiction to 
state that critical habitat (as discussed under the Background section 
of the proposed rule) does not affect land ownership (or establish a 
similar type of refuge or conserved area) and then indicate (under the 
Special Management Considerations or Protection section of the proposed 
rule) that special management would be required to conserve the 
species' habitat. This commenter asked why the identification of 
special management considerations does not, in effect, create a 
conservation area.
    Our Response: Section 3 of the Act defines critical habitat, in 
part, as those specific areas that ``may require special management 
considerations or protection.'' The identification of special 
management considerations, however, does not affect land ownership or 
establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other 
conservation area. As stated in the proposed rule, the designation of 
critical habitat, and specifically the identification of management 
that may be required to maintain physical and biological features for a 
given a species, does not impose a legally binding duty on non-Federal 
government entities or private parties. The designation does not 
require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement 
measures by non-Federal landowners, nor is any conserved or preserved 
area created. Under section 7 of the Act, the only regulatory effect is 
that Federal agencies must ensure that their actions do not destroy or 
adversely modify critical habitat. 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 with the Federal agency.
    (6) Comment: Multiple commenters asked how the critical habitat 
designation would affect private property and private property owners. 
One commenter specifically asked whether special management 
considerations were required to be implemented by private property 
owners.
    Our Response: As stated in the proposed rule, the designation of 
critical habitat does not impose a legally binding duty on non-Federal 
government entities or private parties, or require implementation of 
restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by non-Federal 
landowners. See additional discussion above in our response to Comment 
(5).
    (7) Comment: One commenter asked whether critical habitat 
designation represents a taking of private property.
    Our Response: We analyzed the potential takings implications of 
designating critical habitat for Ivesia webberi and concluded that this 
final designation will not have significant takings implications (see 
Takings--Executive Order 12630 under the Required Determinations 
section). A person wishing to develop private land that has been 
designated as critical habitat, in accordance with State law, and with 
no Federal jurisdiction involved does not violate the Act. Critical 
habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act through 
requiring Federal agencies to consult with us to ensure that action 
they carry out, fund, or authorize does not result in the destruction 
or adverse modification of critical habitat. If there is no Federal 
nexus, the critical habitat designation of private lands itself does 
not restrict any private activities. See also response to Comment 14.
    (8) Comment: One commenter asked if property owners have been 
notified.
    Our Response: The Act does not require us to notify individual 
property owners affected by a proposed listing or critical habitat 
designation. However, we conducted extensive outreach in accordance 
with 50 CFR 424.16, including giving notice of the proposed regulation 
to the public, Federal agencies, and State agencies; publishing a 
summary of the proposed regulation in the Reno Gazette Journal; and 
holding a public informational meeting.
    (9) Comment: Several comments were received related to road 
closures and anticipated impacts upon recreational activities, 
particularly the use of OHVs (including 4-wheel drive vehicles). One 
commenter asked how road closures would protect Ivesia webberi. Another 
commenter stated that OHVs are used as their primary mode of 
transportation, and recommended that this be taken into consideration 
when roads or trails are considered for closure. One

[[Page 32140]]

commenter asked how the species would be protected or affected if 
hiking is still allowed.
    Our Response: Final rules designating critical habitat do not 
automatically eliminate or place restrictions on any recreational 
activities, such as hiking or OHV use, within critical habitat. A 
critical habitat designation does not establish any closures of roads 
or trails. Rather, once critical habitat is designated on Federal 
lands, it becomes the responsibility of the Federal agency with 
jurisdiction over those lands included in the designation to review the 
various kinds of recreational activities allowed on its lands to 
determine in consultation with the Service if these activities may 
result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated 
critical habitat. The decision to close or restrict recreational 
activities (OHV, hiking, or other) to potentially protect or reduce 
impacts to a listed species or its critical habitat is made by that 
Federal agency.
    With regard to the question of how road closures would protect 
Ivesia webberi, we first reiterate that critical habitat designation 
does not establish road closures. However, road closures represent a 
means of addressing and reducing the patterns of disturbance to I. 
webberi habitat that are associated with road corridors subject to 
heavy use. Road corridors experiencing heavy use, and particularly 
those roads that serve to provide access (via off-road travel) into 
habitats occupied by I. webberi, are likely to eliminate conditions 
required by the species for persistence and reproduction. As noted in 
the Physical or Biological Features section above, moderate to heavy 
soil disturbances such as OHV use, road corridors, residential or 
commercial development, and livestock grazing can impact the species 
and its seedbank through habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation 
due to soil compaction and altered soil hydrology (Witham 2000, 
Appendix 1, p. 1; Bergstrom 2009, pp. 25-26). For more information, 
please see ``Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements'' under the Physical or Biological Features 
section, above).
    (10) Comment: One commenter requested that any location within the 
proposed critical habitat designation that has an adopted route travel 
management system be excluded from the final critical habitat 
designation, with a 50-ft (15-m) from centerline corridor established 
to allow space for parking.
    Our Response: Travel or route planning documents, and any 
accompanying evaluations of the legal status of existing or potential 
travel routes, are planning and management actions within the 
jurisdiction of land management agencies. Critical habitat designations 
do not establish any planning documents or management plans; rather, 
the designation of critical habitat identifies those physical and 
biological features that may be essential to the conservation of a 
species and may require special management considerations and 
protections, and the land area on which those features are found. To 
the extent that certain areas within our critical habitat designation 
contain roads and other manmade structures (e.g., fences, houses, paved 
areas, and other structures), these features are not included within 
the critical habitat designation because they do not contain the 
primary constituent elements and because they do not meet the 
definition of critical habitat under the Act.
    (11) Comment: One commenter stated that, in 2006, a 4-wheel drive 
club successfully blockaded about 1,000 linear ft (305 m) on the west 
edge of Dutch Louie Flat meadow with used utility poles to prevent 
vehicles and people from going into the meadow. This commenter then 
states that if Service, Forest Service, and Nevada Department of 
Wildlife employees have been walking through the Dutch Louie Flat 
meadow, they have been trampling the plant.
    Our Response: We are aware of this action having been undertaken in 
``Dutch Louie Flat meadow''; however, this area (the meadow) is not 
located within our critical habitat designation and does not contain 
Ivesia webberi. Unit 14 (Dutch Louie Flat, as described under the Final 
Critical Habitat Designation section, above) is located approximately 
1.4 mi (2.3 km) northwest of the ``Dutch Louie Flat meadow'' where the 
4-wheel drive club conducted their activities.
    (12) Comment: Two commenters made specific reference to the old 
road between Hoge Road and North Virginia Street (in apparent reference 
to Unit 13 of the critical habitat designation), and stated that Ivesia 
webberi does not grow on this road, is 40 or 50 yards (37 or 46 m) or 
more away from the road, and is in very limited places, and the road is 
not composed of suitable soils.
    Our Response: 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. While we 
cannot be certain from the comment which road is being referenced here, 
we are aware that Unit 13 contains many roads that receive varied 
levels of use. The best available information indicates that Ivesia 
webberi grows sporadically within some of the road corridors in Unit 
13, and along the shoulders of other road corridors within this unit 
(S. Kulpa, J. Johnson, E. Bergstrom, and K. O'Conner, unpublished field 
notes 2013). The presence of the species within or along these road 
corridors indicates that the physical or biological features, and thus 
the primary constituent elements required by the species are still 
currently present in these areas. Along most road corridors within this 
species' range, and within our critical habitat designation, frequent 
(historical or current) OHV use most often results in a well-
established corridor in which vegetation is absent and soils have been 
compacted to a degree that discourages or precludes the re-
establishment of vegetation (including I. webberi).
    (13) Comment: A commenter asked if any scientific studies have been 
conducted that indicate if livestock use within the critical habitat 
areas has an adverse effect on Ivesia webberi. The commenter believes 
the presence of the species within grazed areas should serve as an 
indication that livestock have not adversely affected the plant.
    Our Response: We are not aware of studies specifically examining 
the effects of livestock grazing upon Ivesia webberi. However, as noted 
elsewhere in the proposed critical habitat designation and this final 
rule, moderate to heavy soil disturbances such as OHV use, road 
corridors, residential or commercial development, and livestock grazing 
can impact the species and its seedbank through habitat loss, 
fragmentation, and degradation due to soil compaction and altered soil 
hydrology (Witham 2000, Appendix 1, p. 1; Bergstrom 2009, pp. 25-26). 
We have specifically identified vernally moist soils with an argillic 
horizon that shrink and swell upon wetting and drying as a physical and 
biological feature essential for the conservation of I. webberi. 
Excessive or inadequately managed livestock grazing has the potential 
to eliminate these conditions that are required by the species for 
persistence and reproduction. See the Summary of Biological Status and 
Threats section of the proposed listing rule (78 FR 46889; August 2, 
2013) and the Species Report (Service 2014, pp. 29-30) for additional 
discussion on the potential effects of grazing to I. webberi habitat.

[[Page 32141]]

    (14) Comment: One commenter stated that a portion of the private 
lands within Unit 1 has historically been used for livestock grazing, 
and asked who would determine whether special management considerations 
or protection would be required in this area, and how that special 
management or protections would be enforced.
    Our Response: The designation of critical habitat does not impose a 
legally binding duty on non-Federal government entities or private 
parties. Under section 7 of the Act, the only regulatory effect is that 
Federal agencies must ensure that their actions do not destroy or 
adversely modify critical habitat. 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 
(i.e., a Federal nexus exists), may be indirectly impacted by the 
designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests with the 
Federal agency. Therefore, there is no requirement or enforcement of 
special management considerations or protections on the private lands 
within Unit 1 or any other private lands (without a Federal nexus) 
within the critical habitat designation for Ivesia webberi.
    (15) Comment: One commenter advocated for public education to users 
of motorized recreational vehicles.
    Our Response: We agree that public education is a vital component 
of any conservation program and will promote outreach for Ivesia 
webberi and its critical habitat through avenues such as (but not 
limited to) our continued coordination with partners and future 
recovery planning efforts.
    (16) Comment: One commenter recommended that we consider geothermal 
energy sources as a threat to Unit 16 because it occurs near an active 
exploration area that is on Forest Service land. The commenter believe 
that exploitation of geothermal energy resources in this area could 
have impacts on hydrological processes in Unit 16.
    Our Response: Per our coordination with the Forest Service, we are 
not aware of any geothermal energy projects within the vicinity of Unit 
16.

Comments Related to the Draft Economic Analysis (DEA)

    (17) Comment: One commenter stated that the DEA did not assess the 
economic benefits that may result from the designation of 114 ac (46 
ha) of private, vacant lands as critical habitat in the Reno/Sparks 
metropolitan area. In particular, the commenter suggested that critical 
habitat designation may increase the likelihood that these areas remain 
in an open and undeveloped condition. Further, this commenter noted 
that a significant body of literature suggests that proximity to 
conserved, open space generates economic benefits to surrounding 
landowners and communities through improvements in water management, 
increases in revenues from recreational activities, increases in 
revenues to local municipalities, and increases in housing prices.
    Our Response: The primary goal of critical habitat designation for 
Ivesia webberi is to promote the conservation of the species. Critical 
habitat designation may also generate ancillary benefits, which are 
defined as favorable impacts of a rulemaking that are typically 
unrelated, or secondary, to the statutory purpose of the rulemaking 
(Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2003). Critical habitat aids in 
the conservation of species specifically by protecting the physical or 
biological features on which the species depends. To this end, 
management actions undertaken to conserve a species or habitat may have 
coincident, positive social welfare implications, such as increased 
recreational opportunities in a region or improved property values on 
nearby parcels.
    As described in our DEA (IEc 2014, p. 2), incremental changes in 
land management as a result of the designation of critical habitat are 
unlikely. This finding is based primarily on the fact that all areas 
designated as critical habitat are considered occupied by the species 
and therefore receive baseline protection from the listing of the 
species under the Act. Thus, in this instance, critical habitat 
designation will likely add a slight incremental conservation benefit 
to that already provided by baseline conservation efforts (e.g., 
efforts resulting from the listing of the species as threatened under 
the Act). For the same reason, it follows that the critical habitat 
designation will likely add slight incremental ancillary benefits above 
those provided in the baseline.

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 Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is 
not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 
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. Executive Order 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 of 
1996 (SBREFA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency is required to 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small entities 
(i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
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.
    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; and 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

[[Page 32142]]

sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to 
these small entities are significant, we considered the types of 
activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation 
as well as 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.
    The Service's current understanding of the requirements under the 
RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, is that Federal 
agencies are only required to evaluate the potential incremental 
impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the 
rulemaking itself, and therefore, not required to evaluate the 
potential impacts to indirectly regulated entities. The regulatory 
mechanism through which critical habitat protections are realized is 
section 7 of the Act, which requires Federal agencies, in consultation 
with the Service, to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or 
carried by the Agency is not likely to destroy or adversely modify 
critical habitat. Therefore, under section 7 only Federal action 
agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory requirement 
(avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by critical 
habitat designation. Consequently, it is our position that only Federal 
action agencies will be directly regulated by this designation. There 
is no requirement under RFA to evaluate the potential impacts to 
entities not directly regulated. Moreover, Federal agencies are not 
small entities. Therefore, because no small entities are directly 
regulated by this rulemaking, the Service certifies that this final 
critical habitat designation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    During the development of this final rule, we reviewed and 
evaluated all information submitted during the comment period that may 
pertain to our consideration of the probable incremental economic 
impacts of this critical habitat designation. Based on this 
information, we affirm our certification that this final critical 
habitat designation 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.
    Based on information in the economic analysis, energy-related 
impacts associated with Ivesia webberi 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 it would not produce a Federal mandate 
of $100 million or greater in any year; that is, it is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. Our economic analysis concludes that the economic costs of 
implementing the rule through section 7 of the Act will most likely be 
limited to the additional administrative effort required to consider 
adverse modification. This finding is based on the following factors:
    (a) All units are considered occupied, providing baseline 
protection;
    (b) Activities occurring within designated critical habitat with a 
potential to affect critical habitat are also likely to adversely 
affect the species, either directly or indirectly;
    (c) In occupied habitat, project modifications requested to avoid 
adverse modification are likely to be the same as those needed to avoid 
jeopardy; and
    (d) Federal agencies operating in designated critical habitat areas 
are already aware of the presence of the species and are also 
experienced consulting with the Service under section 7 of the Act on 
other federally listed species. Thus, they are likely to consult even 
in buffer areas applied to occupied habitat, included in the 
designation to ensure the protection of pollinator habitat.

[[Page 32143]]

    Consequently, we do not believe that the critical habitat 
designation would significantly or uniquely affect small government 
entities. As such, 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 Ivesia webberi in a takings 
implications assessment. As discussed above, the designation of 
critical habitat affects only Federal actions. 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. Our DEA found (and our FEA 
reaffirms) that no significant economic impacts are likely to result 
from the designation of critical habitat for Ivesia webberi. Because 
the Act's critical habitat protection requirements apply only to 
Federal agency actions, few conflicts between critical habitat and 
private property rights should result from this designation. Based on 
information contained in the DEA and described within this document, it 
is not likely that economic impacts to a property owner would be of a 
sufficient magnitude to support a takings action. Therefore, the 
takings implications assessment concludes that this designation of 
critical habitat for I. webberi does not pose significant takings 
implications.

Federalism--Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A federalism summary impact statement 
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 California and Nevada. We did 
not receive comments from California or Nevada in response to our 
request for information on the proposed rule. 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) would 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 Ivesia webberi. 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 occupied by Ivesia webberi at the time of listing that contain 
the physical or biological features essential to conservation of the 
species, and no tribal lands unoccupied by I. webberi that are 
essential for the conservation of the species. Therefore, we are not 
designating critical habitat for I. webberi on tribal lands.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited is available on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Nevada 
Fish and Wildlife

[[Page 32144]]

Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this rulemaking are the staff members of the 
Pacific Southwest Regional Office and Nevada 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. In Sec.  17.96, amend paragraph (a) by adding an entry for Ivesia 
webberi (Webber's ivesia), in alphabetical order under Family Rosaceae, 
to read as follows:


Sec.  17.95  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
Family Rosaceae: Ivesia webberi (Webber's ivesia)
    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Plumas, Lassen, and 
Sierra Counties, California, and Washoe and Douglas Counties, Nevada, 
on the maps below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Ivesia 
webberi consist of four components:
    (i) Plant community.
    (A) Open to sparsely vegetated areas composed of generally short-
statured associated plant species.
    (B) Presence of appropriate associated species that can include 
(but are not limited to): Antennaria dimorpha, Artemisia arbuscula, 
Balsamorhiza hookeri, Elymus elymoides, Erigeron bloomeri, Lewisia 
rediviva, Poa secunda, and Viola beckwithii.
    (C) An intact assemblage of appropriate associated species to 
attract the floral visitors that may be acting as pollinators of Ivesia 
webberi.
    (ii) Topography. Flats, benches, or terraces that are generally 
above or adjacent to large valleys. Occupied sites vary from slightly 
concave to slightly convex or gently sloped (0-15[deg]) and occur on 
all aspects.
    (iii) Elevation. Elevations between 4,475 and 6,237 feet (1,364 and 
1,901 meters).
    (iv) Suitable soils and hydrology.
    (A) Vernally moist soils with an argillic horizon that shrink and 
swell upon drying and wetting; these soil conditions are characteristic 
of known Ivesia webberi populations and are likely important in the 
maintenance of the seedbank and population recruitment.
    (B) Suitable soils that can include (but are not limited to): 
Reno--a fine, smectitic, mesic Abruptic Xeric Argidurid; Xman--a 
clayey, smectitic, mesic, shallow Xeric Haplargids; Aldi--a clayey, 
smectitic, frigid Lithic Ultic Argixerolls; and Barshaad--a fine, 
smectitic, mesic Aridic Palexeroll.
    (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 
July 3, 2014.
    (4) Critical habitat map units. Data layers defining map units were 
created on the base of both satellite imagery (ESRI ArcGIS Imagery 
Basemap) as well as USGS geospatial quadrangle maps and were mapped 
using NAD 83 Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), zone 11N coordinates. 
The maps in this entry, as modified by any accompanying regulatory 
text, establish the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The 
coordinates or plot points or both on which each map is based are 
available to the public at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. 
FWS-R8-ES-2013-0080, and at the field office responsible for this 
designation (i.e., Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office (http://www.fws.gov/nevada/)). You may obtain field office location information by 
contacting one of the Service regional offices, the addresses of which 
are listed at 50 CFR 2.2.

[[Page 32145]]

    (5) Index map follows:
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.000


[[Page 32146]]


    (6) Unit 1: Sierra Valley, Plumas County, California.
    (i) Unit 1 includes 274 ac (111 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 1 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.001
    

[[Page 32147]]


    (7) Unit 2: Constantia, Lassen County, California.
    (i) Unit 2 includes 155 ac (63 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.002
    

[[Page 32148]]


    (8) Unit 3: East of Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area, Evans 
Canyon; Lassen County, California.
    (i) Unit 3 includes 122 ac (49 ha).
    (ii) Map of Units 3 and 4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.003
    

[[Page 32149]]


    (9) Unit 4: Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area, Sierra County, 
California.
    (i) Unit 4 includes 69 ac (28 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 4 is provided at paragraph (8)(ii) of this entry.
    (10) Unit 5: Subunit 5a, Dog Valley Meadow, and Subunit 5b, Upper 
Dog Valley; Sierra County, California.
    (i) Subunit 5a includes 386 ac (156 ha), and subunit 5b includes 29 
ac (12 ha). Combined, Unit 5 includes 415 ac (168 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 5 (Subunits 5a and 5b) follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.004
    

[[Page 32150]]


    (11) Unit 6: White Lake Overlook, Sierra County, California.
    (i) Unit 6 includes 109 ac (44 ha).
    (ii) Map of Units 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.005
    

[[Page 32151]]


    (12) Unit 7: Subunit 7a, Mules Ear Flat, Sierra County, California; 
Subunit 7b, Three Pine Flat and Jeffery Pine Saddle, Washoe County, 
Nevada.
    (i) Subunit 7a includes 65 ac (27 ha), and subunit 7b includes 68 
ac (27 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 7 is provided at paragraph (11)(ii) of this entry.
    (13) Unit 8: Ivesia Flat, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 8 includes 62 ac (25 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 8 is provided at paragraph (11)(ii) of this entry.
    (14) Unit 9: Stateline Road 1, Sierra County, California, and 
Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 9 includes 193 ac (78 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 9 is provided at paragraph (11)(ii) of this entry.
    (15) Unit 10: Stateline Road 2, Sierra County, California, and 
Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 10 includes 66 ac (27 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 10 is provided at paragraph (11)(ii) of this 
entry.
    (16) Unit 11: Hungry Valley, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 11 includes 56 ac (23 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 11 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.006
    

[[Page 32152]]


    (17) Unit 12: Black Springs, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 12 includes 163 ac (66 ha).
    (ii) Map of Units 12 and 13 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.007
    

[[Page 32153]]


    (18) Unit 13: Raleigh Heights, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 13 includes 253 ac (103 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 13 is provided at paragraph (17)(ii) of this 
entry.
    (19) Unit 14: Dutch Louie Flat, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 14 includes 54 ac (22 ha).
    (ii) Map of Units 14 and 15 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.008
    

[[Page 32154]]


    (20) Unit 15: The Pines Powerline, Washoe County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 15 includes 32 ac (13 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 15 is provided at paragraph (19)(ii) of this 
entry.
    (21) Unit 16: Dante Mine Road, Douglas County, Nevada.
    (i) Unit 16 includes 14 ac (6 ha).
    (ii) Map of Unit 16 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR03JN14.009
    

[[Page 32155]]


* * * * *

    Dated: May 21, 2014.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2014-12629 Filed 6-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-C