[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 158 (Friday, August 15, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 48547-48652]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19178]



[[Page 48547]]

Vol. 79

Friday,

No. 158

August 15, 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 the Western Distinct Population Segment of the Yellow-
Billed Cuckoo; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 158 / Friday, August 15, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 48548]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011; 4500030114]
RIN 1018-AZ44


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Western Distinct Population Segment of the 
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
designate critical habitat for the western distinct population segment 
of the yellow-billed cuckoo (western yellow-billed cuckoo) (Coccyzus 
americanus) under the Endangered Species Act. In total, approximately 
546,335 acres (221,094 hectares) are being proposed for designation as 
critical habitat in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New 
Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The effect of this regulation, if 
finalized, is to designate critical habitat for the western yellow-
billed cuckoo under the Endangered Species Act.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
October 14, 2014. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 
11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests 
for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by September 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-
2013-0011, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the 
Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type 
heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You 
may submit a comment by clicking on ``Comment Now!''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 
22041-3803.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see the Information Requested section below for more information).
    The coordinates or plot points or both from which the critical 
habitat maps are generated are included in the administrative record 
for this rulemaking and are available at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011, and at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information that we may 
develop 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 of this rule or at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jen Norris, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 
Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825; by telephone 
916-414-6600; or by facsimile 916-414-6712. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species 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. On October 3, 2013, we 
proposed listing the western yellow-billed cuckoo as a threatened 
species (78 FR 61621).
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall 
designate critical habitat on the basis of the best available 
scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, 
national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying 
any particular area as critical habitat. The critical habitat areas we 
are proposing to designate in this rule constitute our current best 
assessment of the areas that meet the definition of critical habitat 
for the western yellow-billed cuckoo.
    This is a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo. This proposed designation of critical 
habitat identifies areas based on the best scientific and commercial 
information available that we have determined are essential to the 
conservation of the species. The proposed critical habitat is located 
in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New 
Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
    We have prepared a draft economic analysis of the proposed 
designation of critical habitat. In order to consider economic impacts, 
we have prepared an analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed 
critical habitat designation and related factors. The supporting 
information we used in determining the economic impacts of the proposed 
critical habitat is summarized in this proposed rule (see Consideration 
of Economic Impacts) and is available at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011 and at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife 
Office at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).
    We are seeking peer review and public comment. We are seeking 
comments and soliciting information from knowledgeable individuals with 
scientific expertise to review our analysis of the best available 
science and application of that science and to provide any additional 
scientific information to improve this proposed rule. Because we will 
consider all comments and information we receive during the comment 
period, our final determination may differ from this proposal.

Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule 
will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, 
Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any 
other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly 
seek comments concerning:
    (1) The western yellow-billed cuckoo's biology and range; habitat 
requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering; and the locations 
of any additional populations.
    (2) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as 
``critical habitat'' under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act), including whether 
there are threats to the western yellow-billed cuckoo from human 
activity that can be expected to increase due to the designation, and 
whether that increase in threat

[[Page 48549]]

outweighs the benefit of designation such that the designation of 
critical habitat may not be prudent.
    (3) Specific information on:
    (a) The amount and distribution of western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat;
    (b) What areas occupied at the time of listing (i.e., are currently 
occupied), that contain features essential to the conservation of the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo, should be included in the critical 
habitat designation and why;
    (c) Special management considerations or protection that may be 
needed in areas we are proposing as critical habitat, including 
managing for the potential effects of climate change; and
    (d) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential 
for the conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo and why.
    (4) For Unit 52 (NM-8 Middle Rio Grande 1; New Mexico), we have 
determined that it is appropriate to propose critical habitat into the 
conservation pool area of Elephant Butte Reservoir down to 
approximately river-mile (RM) 54. This is based on the number of 
yellow-billed cuckoo breeding pairs identified in the area, the amount 
of habitat available, and the relationship and importance of the 
Elephant Butte Reservoir and Rio Grande River to other yellow-billed 
cuckoo habitat in New Mexico and the southwest. Additional habitat and 
western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding occurrences are located 
downstream to approximately RM 42. We seek information on whether the 
area or portions of the area to RM 42 at Elephant Butte Reservoir in 
New Mexico is essential to the conservation of the species and whether 
we should include the area as critical habitat for the species and why.
    (5) Whether any specific areas we are proposing for critical 
habitat designation should be considered for exclusion under section 
4(b)(2) of the Act, and for those specific areas whether the benefits 
of potentially excluding them outweigh the benefits of including them, 
pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Act. For specific lands that we 
should consider for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, please 
provide us management plans, conservation easements, agreements, 
habitat conservation plans (HCP), or other appropriate information, 
that describe the commitment and assurances of protection of the 
physical or biological features of western yellow-billed cuckoo 
critical habitat; property boundaries; western yellow-billed cuckoo 
status, distribution, and abundance; and management actions to protect 
the physical or biological features of the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo.
    (6) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas, and their possible impacts on the proposed critical 
habitat.
    (7) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of 
climate change on the western yellow-billed cuckoo and proposed 
critical habitat.
    (8) Any probable economic, national security, or other relevant 
impacts of designating as critical habitat any particular area that may 
be included in the final designation and the benefits of including or 
excluding areas where these impacts occur.
    (9) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating 
critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation 
and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and 
comments.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We request 
that you send comments only by the methods described in the ADDRESSES 
section.
    We will post your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request 
at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such 
as your street address, phone number, or email address from public 
review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT).

Previous Federal Actions

    All previous Federal actions are described in the proposal to list 
the western yellow-billed cuckoo as a threatened species under the Act 
published previously in the Federal Register on October 3, 2013 (78 FR 
61621). Please see that document for actions leading to this proposed 
designation of critical habitat.

Background

    It is our intent to discuss below only those topics directly 
relevant to the designation of critical habitat for the western yellow-
billed cuckoo. For a thorough assessment of the species' biology and 
natural history, including limiting factors and species resource needs, 
please refer to the proposal to list this species as threatened 
published previously in the Federal Register on October 3, 2013 (78 FR 
61621) (available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-
ES-2013-0104).

Critical Habitat

Background

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:
    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the 
species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features
    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species and
    (b) Which may require special management considerations or 
protection; and
    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas 
are essential for the conservation of the species.
    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use 
and the use of all methods and procedures which 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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

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the government or public access to private lands. Such designation does 
not require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement 
measures by non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner seeks or 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. 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) 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 essential to the conservation of the species (such as space, 
food, cover, and protected habitat). In identifying those physical and 
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 and which is outside the 
geographical area (range) considered occupied at the time of listing 
may be essential for the conservation of the species and may be 
included in the critical habitat designation. We designate critical 
habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at 
the time of listing only when a designation limited to its range would 
be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available. 
Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered 
Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines 
provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure 
that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. 
They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and 
with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and 
original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to 
designate critical habitat.
    When we determine which areas should be designated as critical 
habitat, our primary source of information is generally the information 
developed during the listing process for the species. Additional 
information sources may include the recovery plan for the species, 
articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans developed by 
States and counties, scientific status surveys and studies, biological 
assessments, or other unpublished materials and expert opinion or 
personal knowledge.
    Habitat is dynamic, and species may move from one area to another 
over time. Climate change will be a particular challenge for 
biodiversity because the interaction of additional stressors associated 
with climate change and current stressors may push species beyond their 
ability to survive (Lovejoy 2005, pp. 325-326). The synergistic 
implications of climate change and habitat fragmentation are the most 
threatening facet of climate change for biodiversity (Hannah and 
Lovejoy 2005, p. 4). Current climate change predictions for terrestrial 
areas in the Northern Hemisphere indicate warmer air temperatures, more 
intense precipitation events, and increased summer continental drying 
(Field et al. 1999, pp. 1-3; Hayhoe et al. 2004, p. 12422; Cayan et al. 
2005, p. 6; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007, p. 
1181). Climate change may lead to increased frequency and duration of 
severe storms and droughts (McLaughlin et al. 2002, p. 6074; Cook et 
al. 2004, p. 1015; Golladay et al. 2004, p. 504).
    We 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 this 
reason, 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 ensure 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 
require special management considerations or protection. These include, 
but are not limited to:
    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal 
behavior;
    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements;
    (3) Cover or shelter;
    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, 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.

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    We derive the specific physical or biological features required for 
the western yellow-billed cuckoo from studies of this species' habitat, 
ecology, and life history, as described below. Additional information 
can be found in the proposed listing rule published in the Federal 
Register on October 3, 2013 (78 FR 61621). The physical or biological 
features identified here focus primarily on breeding habitat and 
secondarily on foraging habitat because most of the habitat 
relationship research data derive from studies of these activities. 
Much less is known about migration stopover or dispersal habitat within 
the breeding range, but based on the best scientific evidence we 
conclude that these additional activities require the same types of 
habitat as breeding and foraging and that conservation of sufficient 
habitat for breeding and foraging will also provide sufficient habitat 
for the other activities. We have determined that the following 
physical or biological features are essential to the western yellow-
billed cuckoo.
Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior
    The western yellow-billed cuckoo breeds in riparian habitat along 
low-gradient (surface slope less than 3 percent) rivers and streams, 
and in open riverine valleys that provide wide floodplain conditions 
(greater than 325 ft (100 m)). Within the boundaries of the distinct 
population segment (DPS) (see Figure 2 at 78 FR 61631, in the proposed 
listing rule (78 FR 61621; October 3, 2013)) these riparian areas are 
located from southern British Columbia, Canada, to southern Sinaloa, 
Mexico, and may occur from sea level to 7,000 feet (ft) (2,154 meters 
(m)) (or slightly higher in western Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming) in 
elevation. Because critical habitat only applies to areas within the 
United States, we did not examine areas in Canada and Mexico. The moist 
conditions that support riparian plant communities that provide western 
yellow-billed cuckoo habitat typically exist in lower elevation, broad 
floodplains, as well as where rivers and streams enter impoundments. 
The species does not use narrow, steep-walled canyons. In the extreme 
southern portion of their range in the States of Sonora (southern 
quarter) and Sinaloa, Mexico, western yellow-billed cuckoos also nest 
in upland thorn scrub and dry deciduous habitats away from the riparian 
zone (Russell and Monson 1988, p. 131), though their densities are 
lower in these habitats than they are in adjacent riparian areas.
    At the landscape level, the available information suggests the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo requires large tracts of willow-cottonwood 
or mesquite (Prosopis sp.) forest or woodland for their nesting season 
habitat. Western yellow-billed cuckoos rarely nest at sites less than 
50 acres (ac) (20 hectares (ha)) in size, and sites less than 37 ac (15 
ha) are considered unsuitable habitat (Laymon and Halterman 1989, p. 
275). Habitat patches from 50 to 100 ac (20 to 40 ha) in size are 
considered marginal habitat (Laymon and Halterman 1989, p. 275). 
Habitat between 100 ac (40 ha) and 200 ac (81 ha), although considered 
suitable are not consistently used by the species. The optimal size of 
habitat patches for the species are generally greater than 200 ac (81 
ha) in extent and have dense canopy closure and high foliage volume of 
willows (Salix sp.) and cottonwoods (Populus sp.) (Laymon and Halterman 
1989, pp. 274-275) and thus provide adequate space for foraging and 
nesting. Tamarisk (Tamarix sp.), a nonnative tree species, may be a 
component of the habitat, especially in Arizona and New Mexico. As the 
proportion of tamarisk increases, the suitability of the habitat for 
the western yellow-billed cuckoo decreases. Sites with a monoculture of 
tamarisk are unsuitable habitat for the species. Sites with strips of 
habitat less than 325 ft (100 m) in width are rarely occupied, which 
indicates that edge effects in addition to overall patch size influence 
western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat selection for nesting. The 
association of breeding with large tracts of suitable riparian habitat 
is likely related to home range size. Individual home ranges during the 
breeding season average over 100 ac (40 ha), and home ranges up to 500 
ac (202 ha) have been recorded (Laymon and Halterman 1987, pp. 31-32; 
Halterman 2009, p. 93; Sechrist et al. 2009, p. vii; McNeil et al. 
2010, p. 75; McNeil et al. 2011, p. 37; McNeil et al. 2012, p. 69).
    Western yellow-billed cuckoos may nest at more than one location in 
a year. Some individuals may nest first in the northern area, such as 
Arizona or New Mexico, and then nest a second time at more southern 
locations in southern Sonora, Mexico (Rohwer et al. 2009, pp. 19050-
19055). However, data are lacking to confirm that the same individuals 
are breeding in both locations within the same season. Some individuals 
also roam widely (several hundred miles), apparently assessing food 
resources prior to selecting a nest site (Sechrist et al. 2012, pp. 2-
11).
    During movements between nesting attempts western yellow-billed 
cuckoos are found at riparian sites with small groves or strips of 
trees, sometimes less than 10 ac (4 ha) in extent (Laymon and Halterman 
1989, p. 274). These stopover and foraging sites can be similar to 
breeding sites, but are smaller is size, are narrower in width, and 
lack understory vegetation when compared to nesting sites.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify rivers and 
streams of lower gradient and more open valleys with a broad floodplain 
to be an essential physical or biological feature for this species.
Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements
Food
    Western yellow-billed cuckoos are insect specialists but also prey 
on small vertebrates such as tree frogs and lizards. They depend on an 
abundance of large, nutritious insect prey (for example, sphinx moth 
larvae (Family Sphingidae) and katydids (Family Tettigoniidae)) and, in 
some cases, a high population density of tree frogs (e.g., Hyla sp. and 
Pseudacris sp.). In the arid West, these conditions are usually found 
in cottonwood-willow riparian associations along water courses. The 
arrival of birds and the timing of nesting are geared to take advantage 
of any short-term abundance of prey. In years of high insect abundance, 
western yellow-billed cuckoos lay larger clutches (three to five eggs 
rather than two), a larger percentage of eggs produce fledged young, 
and they breed multiple times (two to three nesting attempts rather 
than one) (Laymon et al. 1997, pp. 5-7). Diet studies of western 
yellow-billed cuckoos on the South Fork Kern River in California showed 
the majority of the prey to be large green caterpillars (primarily big 
poplar sphinx moth larvae (Pachysphinx occidentalis)) (45 percent), 
tree frogs (24 percent), katydids (22 percent), and grasshoppers 
(Suborder Caelifera) (9 percent) (Laymon et al. 1997, p. 7). Minor prey 
at that and other sites include beetles (Coleoptera sp.), dragonflies 
(Odonata sp.), praying mantis (Mantidae sp.), flies (Diptera sp.), 
spiders (Araneae sp.), butterflies (Lepidoptera sp.), caddis flies 
(Trichoptera sp.), crickets (Gryllidae sp.), and cicadas (Family 
Cicadidae) (Laymon et al. 1997, p. 7; Hughes 1999, pp. 7-8). In 
Arizona, cicadas are an important food source (Halterman 2009, p. 112). 
Small vertebrates such as lizards (Lacertilia sp.) are also eaten 
(Hughes 1999, p. 8).
    Western yellow-billed cuckoo food availability is largely 
influenced by the health, density, and species of vegetation. For 
example, the big poplar sphinx moth larvae are found only in

[[Page 48552]]

willows and cottonwoods and appear to reach their highest density in 
Fremont cottonwoods (Oehlke 2012, p. 4). Desiccated riparian sites 
produce fewer suitable insects than healthy moist sites. Western 
yellow-billed cuckoos generally forage within the tree canopy, and the 
higher the foliage volume the more likely yellow-billed cuckoos are to 
use a site for foraging (Laymon and Halterman 1985, pp. 10-12). They 
generally employ a ``sit and wait'' foraging strategy, watching the 
foliage for movement of potential prey (Hughes 1999, p. 7).
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify the presence 
of abundant, large insect fauna (for example, cicadas, caterpillars, 
katydids, grasshoppers, large beetles, and dragonflies) and tree frogs 
during nesting season to be an essential physical or biological feature 
for this species.
Water and Humidity
    Habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoo is largely associated with 
perennial rivers and streams that support the expanse of vegetation 
characteristics needed by breeding western yellow-billed cuckoos. The 
range and variation of stream flow frequency, magnitude, duration, and 
timing that will establish and maintain western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat can occur in different types of regulated and unregulated flow 
conditions depending on the interaction of the water feature and the 
physical characteristics of the landscape.
    Hydrologic conditions at western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding 
sites can vary remarkably between years. At some locations during low 
rainfall years, water or saturated soil is not available. At other 
locations, particularly at reservoir intakes, riparian vegetation can 
be inundated for extended periods of time in some years and be totally 
dry in other years. This is particularly true of reservoirs like Lake 
Isabella in California, Roosevelt and Horseshoe Reservoirs in Arizona, 
and Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico, all of which have 
relatively large western yellow-billed cuckoo populations. This year-
to-year change in hydrology can affect food availability and habitat 
suitability for western yellow-billed cuckoos. Extended inundation 
reduces habitat suitability because larvae of sphinx moths pupate and 
eggs of katydids are laid underground, and prolonged flooding kills the 
larvae and eggs (Peterson et al. 2008), thus removing important food 
sources.
    In some areas, managed hydrologic cycles above or below dams can 
create temporary western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat, but may not be 
able to support it for an extended amount of time, or may support 
varying amounts of habitat at different points of the cycle and in 
different years. Water management operations create varied situations 
that allow different plant species to thrive when water is released 
below a dam, held in a reservoir, or removed from a lakebed, and 
consequently, varying amounts of western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat 
are available from month to month and year to year as a result of dam 
operations. During wet years, habitat within a lake and below a dam can 
be flooded for extended periods of time and vegetation can be stressed 
or killed. During dry years, vegetated habitat can be desiccated and 
stressed or killed because of lack of water.
    Humid conditions created by surface and subsurface moisture appear 
to be important habitat parameters for western yellow-billed cuckoo. 
The species has been observed as being restricted to nesting in moist 
riparian habitat in the arid West because of humidity requirements for 
successful hatching and rearing of young (Hamilton and Hamilton 1965, 
pp. 427; Gaines and Laymon 1984, pp. 75-76; Rosenberg et al. 1991, pp. 
203-204). Western yellow-billed cuckoos have evolved larger eggs and 
thicker eggshells, which would help them cope with potential higher egg 
water loss in the hotter, dryer conditions (Hamilton and Hamilton 1965, 
pp. 426-430; Ar et al. 1974, pp. 153-158; Rahn and Ar 1974, pp. 147-
152). A study on the South Fork Kern River showed that lower 
temperatures and higher humidity were found at nest sites when compared 
to areas along the riparian forest edge or outside the forest (Launer 
et al. 1990, pp. 6-7, 23). Recent research on the lower Colorado River 
has confirmed that western yellow-billed cuckoo nest sites had 
significantly higher daytime relative humidity (6-13 percent higher) 
and significantly lower daytime temperatures (2-4 degrees Fahrenheit 
(1-2 degrees Celsius) lower) than average forested sites (McNeil et al. 
2011, pp. 92-101; McNeil et al. 2012, pp. 75-83).
    Subsurface hydrologic conditions are equally important to surface 
water conditions in determining riparian vegetation patterns. Depth to 
groundwater plays an important part in the distribution of riparian 
vegetation and western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat. Where groundwater 
levels are elevated so riparian forest trees can access the water, 
habitat for nesting, foraging, and migrating western yellow-billed 
cuckoos can develop and thrive. Goodding's willows (Salix gooddingii) 
and Fremont cottonwoods (Populus fremontii) do not regenerate if the 
groundwater levels fall below 6 ft (2 m) (Shafroth et al. 2000, pp. 66-
75). Goodding's willows cannot survive if groundwater levels drop below 
10 ft (3 m), and Fremont cottonwoods cannot survive if groundwater 
drops below 16 ft (5 m) (Stromberg and Tiller 1996, pp. 123). Abundant 
and healthy riparian vegetation decreases and habitat becomes stressed 
and less productive when groundwater levels are lowered (Stromberg and 
Tiller. 1996, pp. 123-127).
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify flowing 
rivers and streams, elevated subsurface groundwater tables, and high 
humidity as essential physical and biological features of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo habitat.
Conditions for Germination and Regeneration of Riparian Zone Trees
    The abundance and distribution of fine sediment deposited on 
floodplains is critical for the development, abundance, distribution, 
maintenance, and germination of trees in the riparian zone that become 
western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat. These sediments become seedbeds 
for germination and growth of the riparian vegetation upon which 
western yellow-billed cuckoos depend. These sediments must be 
accompanied by sufficient surface moisture for seed germination and 
sufficient ground water levels for survival of seedlings and saplings 
(Stromberg 2001, pp. 27-28). The lack of stream flow processes, which 
deposit such sediments, may lead riparian forested areas to senesce and 
to become degraded and not able to support the varied vegetative 
structure required for western yellow-billed cuckoo nesting and 
foraging.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify flowing 
perennial rivers and streams and deposited fine sediments as essential 
physical and biological features of western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat.
Cover or Shelter
    Riparian vegetation also provides the western yellow-billed cuckoo 
with cover and shelter while foraging and nesting. Placing nests in 
dense vegetation provides cover and shelter from predators that would 
search for adult western yellow-billed cuckoos, their eggs, nestlings, 
and fledged young. Northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) have been 
observed preying on western yellow-billed cuckoo nestlings at open 
riparian restoration sites. Dense foliage

[[Page 48553]]

precludes the entry of northern harriers into the habitat patch (Laymon 
1998, pp. 12-14). Likewise, within the breeding range, western yellow-
billed cuckoos also use riparian vegetation for cover and shelter as 
movement corridors between foraging sites and as post-breeding 
dispersal areas for adults and young. Movement corridors provide a 
place to rest and provide cover and shelter from predators during 
movement from one foraging area to another. These movement corridors 
within the breeding range, even though not used for nesting, are 
important resources affecting local and regional western yellow-billed 
cuckoo productivity and survival.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify riparian 
trees including willow, cottonwood, alder (Alnus sp.), walnut (Juglans 
sp.), sycamore (Platanus sp.), boxelder (Acer sp.), ash (Fraxinus sp.), 
mesquite, and tamarisk that provide cover and shelter for foraging and 
dispersing western yellow-billed cuckoos as essential physical or 
biological features of western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat.
Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of 
Offspring
    The western yellow-billed cuckoo utilizes nesting sites in riparian 
habitat where conditions are cooler and more humid than in the 
surrounding environment. Riparian habitat characteristics, such as 
dominant tree species, size and shape of habitat patches, tree canopy 
structure, vegetation height, and vegetation density, are important 
parameters of western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat. Throughout 
the range, most nests are placed in willows (72 percent of 217 nests), 
and willows generally dominate nesting sites. Willow species used for 
nest trees include Goodding's black willow, red willow (Salix 
laevigata), and coyote willow (Salix exigua) (Laymon 1998, p. 7; Hughes 
1999, p. 13).
    Nests have also been documented in other riparian trees, including 
Fremont cottonwood (13 percent), mesquite (7 percent), tamarisk (4 
percent), netleaf hackberry (Celtis laevigata var. reticulata) (2 
percent), English walnut (Juglans regia) (1 percent), box elder (less 
than 1 percent), and soapberry (Sapindus saponaria) (less than 1 
percent). They have also nested in Arizona walnut (Juglans major), 
alder (Alnus rhombifolia and A. oblongifolia), and Arizona sycamore 
(Platanus wrightii) (Laymon 1980, p. 8; Laymon 1998, p. 7; Hughes 1999, 
p. 13; Corman and Magill 2000, p. 16; Launer et al. 2000, p. 22; 
Halterman 2001, p. 11; Halterman 2002, p. 12; Halterman 2003, p. 11; 
Halterman 2004, p. 13; Corman and Wise-Gervais 2005, p. 202; Halterman 
2005, p. 10; Halterman 2007, p. 5; Holmes et al. 2008, p. 21). Five 
pairs of western yellow-billed cuckoos were found nesting along the 
Sacramento River in a poorly groomed English walnut orchard that 
provided numerous densely foliaged horizontal branches on which western 
yellow-billed cuckoos prefer to build their nests (Laymon 1980, pp. 6-
8). These orchard-nesting western yellow-billed cuckoos did not forage 
in the orchard, but flew across the river to forage in riparian 
habitat. Tamarisk is also a riparian species that may be associated 
with breeding under limited conditions; western yellow-billed cuckoo 
will sometimes build their nests and forage in tamarisk, but there is 
always a native riparian tree component within the occupied habitat 
(Gaines and Laymon 1984, p. 72; Johnson et al. 2008a, pp. 203-204). 
Johnson et al. (2008a, pp. 203-204) conducted Statewide surveys in 
Arizona of almost all historically occupied habitat of the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo in the late 1990s, and found 85 percent of all 
western yellow-billed cuckoo detections in habitat dominated by 
cottonwood with a strong willow and mesquite understory and only 5 
percent within habitats dominated by tamarisk. Even in the tamarisk-
dominated habitat, cottonwoods were still present at all but two of 
these sites.
    Nest site characteristics have been compiled from 217 western 
yellow-billed cuckoo nests on the Sacramento and South Fork Kern Rivers 
in California, and the Bill Williams and San Pedro Rivers in Arizona. 
Western yellow-billed cuckoos generally nest in thickets dominated by 
willow trees. Nests are placed on well-foliaged branches closer to the 
tip of the branch than the trunk of the tree (Hughes 1999, p. 13). 
Nests are built from 4 ft to 73 ft (1 m to 22 m) above the ground and 
average 22 ft (7 m). Nests at the San Pedro River averaged higher (29 
ft (9 m)) than either the Bill Williams River (21 ft (6 m)) or the 
South Fork Kern River (16 ft (5 m)). Nest trees ranged from 10 ft (3 m) 
to 98 ft (30 m) in height and averaged 35 ft (11 m). In older stands, 
heavily foliaged branches that are suitable for nesting often grow out 
into small forest openings or over sloughs or streams, making for ideal 
nest sites. In younger stands, nests are more often placed in vertical 
forks or tree crotches. Canopy cover directly above the nest is 
generally dense and averages 89 percent and is denser at the South Fork 
Kern River (93 percent) and Bill Williams River (94 percent) than at 
the San Pedro River (82 percent). Canopy closure in a plot around the 
nest averages 71 percent and was higher at the Bill Williams River (80 
percent) than at the South Fork Kern River (74 percent) or San Pedro 
River (64 percent) (Laymon et al. 1997, pp. 22-23; Halterman 2001, pp. 
28-29; Halterman 2002, p. 25; Halterman 2003, p. 27; Halterman 2004, p. 
42; Halterman 2005, p. 32; Halterman 2006, p. 34).
    In addition to the dense, generally willow-dominated nesting grove, 
western yellow-billed cuckoos need adequate foraging areas in the 
vicinity of the nest. Foraging areas can be less dense with lower 
levels of canopy cover and often have a high proportion of cottonwoods 
in the canopy. Optimal breeding habitat contains willow-dominated 
groves with dense canopy closure and well-foliaged branches for nest 
building with nearby foraging areas consisting of a mixture of 
cottonwoods and willows with a high volume of healthy foliage.
    As discussed above, the habitat patches used by western yellow-
billed cuckoos vary in size and shape with optimal areal extent being 
over 200 ac (81 ha) in size (see Space for Individual and Population 
Growth for Normal Behavior). The larger the site, the more likely it 
will provide suitable habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoos and 
be occupied by nesting pairs (Laymon and Halterman 1989, pp. 274-275). 
Sites can be relatively dense, contiguous stands or irregularly shaped 
mosaics of dense vegetation with open areas.
    Western yellow-billed cuckoos typically have large home ranges 
during the breeding season, averaging more than 100 ac (40 ha) per 
individual, and nest at low densities of less than 1 pair per 100 ac 
(40 ha) (Laymon et al. 1997, p. 19; Laymon and Williams 2002, p. 5; 
Halterman 2009, p. 93; Sechrist et al. 2009, p. vii; McNeil et al. 
2010, p. 75; McNeil et al. 2011, p. 37; McNeil et al. 2012, p. 69). As 
a result, a large amount of habitat is required to support even a small 
population of western yellow-billed cuckoos.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify blocks of 
riparian habitat greater than 200 ac (81 ha) in extent and greater than 
325 ft (100 m) in width, with one or more densely foliaged, willow-
dominated nesting sites and cottonwood-dominated foraging sites, to be 
a physical or biological feature for the species' habitat.

[[Page 48554]]

Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the 
Historical, Geographical, and Ecological Distributions of the Species
    The occupied rivers and streams that are proposed for designation 
contain physical and biological features that are representative of the 
historic and geographical distribution of the species.

Primary Constituent Elements for the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo in areas occupied at 
the time of listing, focusing on the features' primary constituent 
elements. We consider primary constituent elements to be the elements 
of 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 including breeding, foraging and dispersing, we 
determine that the primary constituent elements specific to the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo are:
    (1) Primary Constituent Element 1--Riparian woodlands. Riparian 
woodlands with mixed willow-cottonwood vegetation, mesquite-thorn-
forest vegetation, or a combination of these that contain habitat for 
nesting and foraging in contiguous or nearly contiguous patches that 
are greater than 325 ft (100 m) in width and 200 ac (81 ha) or more in 
extent. These habitat patches contain one or more nesting groves, which 
are generally willow-dominated, have above average canopy closure 
(greater than 70 percent), and have a cooler, more humid environment 
than the surrounding riparian and upland habitats.
    (2) Primary Constituent Element 2--Adequate prey base. Presence of 
a prey base consisting of large insect fauna (for example, cicadas, 
caterpillars, katydids, grasshoppers, large beetles, dragonflies) and 
tree frogs for adults and young in breeding areas during the nesting 
season and in post-breeding dispersal areas.
    (3) Primary Constituent Element 3--Dynamic riverine processes. 
River systems that are dynamic and provide hydrologic processes that 
encourage sediment movement and deposits that allow seedling 
germination and promote plant growth, maintenance, health, and vigor 
(e.g. lower gradient streams and broad floodplains, elevated subsurface 
groundwater table, and perennial rivers and streams). This allows 
habitat to regenerate at regular intervals, leading to riparian 
vegetation with variously aged patches from young to old.
    Because the species exists in disjunct breeding populations across 
a wide geographical and elevational range and is subject to dynamic 
events, the river segments described below are essential to the 
conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo, because they maintain 
stability of subpopulations, provide connectivity between populations 
and habitat, assist in gene flow, and protect against catastrophic 
loss. The occupied rivers and streams that are proposed for designation 
contain physical and biological features that are representative of the 
historic and geographical distribution of the species. All river 
segments proposed as western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat are 
within the geographical area occupied by the species as defined by the 
species' DPS at the time of listing (i.e., currently) and contain the 
features essential to the conservation of the species. The features 
essential to the conservation of the species and refined primary 
constituent elements are present throughout the river segments 
selected, but the specific quality of riparian habitat for nesting, 
migration, and foraging will vary in condition and location over time 
due to plant succession and the dynamic environment in which they 
exist.

Special Management Considerations or Protection

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific 
areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time 
of listing contain features which are essential to the conservation of 
the species and which may require special management considerations or 
protection.
    We believe the areas proposed to be designated as critical habitat 
will require some level of management or protection or both to address 
the current and future threats to the western yellow-billed cuckoo and 
maintain the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species. Areas in need of management include not 
only currently suitable locations where the species may be present, but 
also areas that may become suitable in the future. The critical habitat 
sites that we are proposing are all occupied, but may include both 
currently suitable habitat and adjacent habitat that will become 
suitable in the near future.
    The designation of critical habitat does not imply that lands 
outside of critical habitat do not play an important role in the 
conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. The western yellow-
billed cuckoo may also be dependent upon factors beyond the critical 
habitat boundaries that are important in maintaining ecological 
processes such as hydrology; streamflow; hydrological regimes; plant 
germination, growth, maintenance, and regeneration; sedimentation; 
ground water elevations; plant health and vigor; or support of prey 
populations. Individual or small populations of western yellow-billed 
cuckoos may nest in habitat outside of the proposed critical habitat 
units.
    A detailed discussion of threats to the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo and its habitat can be found in the Summary of the Factors 
Affecting the Species section of the proposed listing rule for the 
species published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2013 (78 FR 
61621). The features essential to the conservation of this species and 
the activities which may require special management considerations or 
protection are summarized below:
    Threat: Disruption of hydrological processes that are necessary to 
maintain a healthy riparian system.
    Management Considerations: Hydrological elements and processes can 
be managed to benefit riparian systems. Streamflows can be restored by 
managing dams to mimic the natural hydrology to the greatest extent 
possible, and to support the health and regeneration of native riparian 
shrub and tree vegetation. Reservoirs can be managed to reduce 
prolonged flooding of riparian habitat in the flood control drawdown 
zone, which kills or damages native riparian vegetation. Restoration of 
natural hydrological regimes or management of systems so that they 
mimic natural regimes that favor germination and growth of native plant 
species are important. Improving timing of water drawdown in reservoirs 
to coincide with the seed dispersal and germination of native species 
can be effective in restoring native riparian vegetation. Reducing 
water diversions and ground water pumping that degrade riparian systems 
can benefit the western yellow-billed cuckoo and its habitat. Reduction 
of bank stabilization features, including rip-rap, levees, or other 
structures, that limit natural fluvial processes can promote maturation 
of the native riparian vegetation and prevent regular habitat 
regeneration. Clearing channels for flood flow conveyance or plowing of 
floodplains can be avoided. Projects can be managed to minimize 
clearing of native vegetation to help ensure that desired native 
species persist.

[[Page 48555]]

    Threat: Loss of riparian habitat regeneration caused by poorly 
managed grazing.
    Management Considerations: Biotic elements and processes can be 
managed to benefit riparian systems. Managed grazing areas, season, and 
use in riparian zones can increase western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat 
quality and quantity. Specifically, managing grazing so that native 
riparian trees and shrubs will regenerate on a regular basis is 
especially beneficial.
    Threat: Loss of riparian habitat from development activities and 
extractive uses.
    Management Considerations: Limiting extractive uses, such as gravel 
mining and woodcutting, in the vicinity of western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat is an important management tool. Clearing of riparian habitat 
for agriculture, industrial and residential development, and road 
building and maintenance is detrimental to the species and should be 
moved from the floodplain management zone to the greatest extent 
possible.
    Threat: Degradation of riparian habitat as a result of expansion of 
nonnative vegetation.
    Management Considerations: Removal of nonnative vegetation in areas 
where natural regeneration of native riparian species may be a valuable 
management tool. On some sites, replacement of nonnative vegetation 
with native riparian tree species through active restoration plantings 
can speed up the habitat recovery process and more quickly benefit the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo.
    Threat: Destruction of riparian habitat by uncontrolled wildfire.
    Management Considerations: Fire can be managed to maintain and 
enhance habitat quality and quantity. Fires in the riparian zone can be 
suppressed and the risk of wildlife fire can be reduced by restoring 
ground water, base flows, flooding, and natural hydrological regimes. 
Reduction of fires caused by recreational activities and the reduction 
of fuel buildup and prevention of introduction of flammable exotic 
species can also be beneficial.
    Threat: Reduction of prey insect abundance by the application of 
pesticides.
    Management Considerations: Avoiding application of pesticides that 
would limit the abundance of large insects and their larva on or in the 
vicinity of riparian areas at any time of year would help to maintain 
an adequate prey base for the western yellow-billed cuckoo.
    These management activities would protect and enhance the physical 
or biological features for the western yellow-billed cuckoo by reducing 
or eliminating the above threats. Management activities that could 
benefit the species are not limited to those listed above. Furthermore, 
management of critical habitat would help provide additional and 
improved habitat that would give the species the best possible chance 
of recovery.

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 its implementing regulation at 50 CFR 424.12(b), we 
reviewed the available information pertaining to the habitat 
requirements of the species and identified occupied areas at the time 
of listing that contain the features essential to the conservation of 
the species. If after identifying currently occupied areas, a 
determination is made that those 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 considered whether 
designating additional areas--outside those currently occupied--is 
essential for the conservation of the species. We are defining the 
geographical area (i.e., range) occupied at the time of listing as the 
geographical area that encompasses the breeding range of the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo based on breeding records between 1998 and 2012. 
This timeframe was chosen because the last Statewide western yellow-
billed cuckoo surveys in Arizona were conducted in 1998 to 1999, and 
the last Statewide western yellow-billed cuckoos surveys in California 
were in 1999 to 2000. The majority of the sites have not been surveyed 
since the 1998 to 2000 time period, though key sites such as the 
Sacramento, Verde, Colorado, San Juan, and Rio Grande Rivers and 
several other smaller sites have been surveyed more recently. The 1998 
to 2012 time period represents the best scientific data available.
    We are not currently proposing to designate any specific areas 
outside the geographical area occupied by the species because the areas 
proposed for designation encompass the vast majority of areas where the 
species currently regularly occurs and nests. However, we are including 
within the proposed units habitats that are intermittently used by the 
species as areas for movement, dispersal, foraging, or connectivity. We 
have determined that limiting the designation of critical habitat to 
confirmed breeding sites within the units is insufficient to conserve 
and recover the species because: (1) Some breeding habitat that is not 
currently suitable will become suitable in the future; (2) the species 
needs habitat areas that are arranged spatially to maintain 
connectivity and allow dispersal within and between units; and (3) food 
resources change both within and between years, and additional habitat 
is needed to accommodate this change. We have not included critical 
habitat units within Oregon or Washington because the species has been 
extirpated as a breeder from those States for the past 90 years, and 
recent observations of the species have not coincided with suitable 
habitat and appear to be migrants. The habitat farther south in 
California that is currently occupied at very low densities and is 
being proposed as critical habitat is sufficient to address the far-
western part of the species' range for recovery of the species. Should 
we receive information during the public comment period that supports 
designating as critical habitat areas not included in the proposed 
units (see Proposed Critical Habitat Designation section below), we 
will reevaluate our current proposal.
    We employed the following criteria to select appropriate areas for 
this proposed designation. These criteria are based on well-accepted 
conservation biology principles for conserving species and their 
habitats, such as those described by Meffe and Carroll (1997, pp. 347-
383); Shaffer and Stein (2000, pp. 301-321); and Tear et al. (2005, pp. 
835-849).
    (1) Representation. Areas were chosen to represent the varying 
habitat types across the species' range. Habitats in the arid Southwest 
differ significantly from those in northern California. Additional 
areas are included if they are considered a unique habitat or climate, 
or they are situated to facilitate interchange between otherwise widely 
separated units. By protecting a variety of habitats and facilitating 
interchange between them, we increase the ability of the species to 
adjust to various limiting factors that affect the population, such as 
habitat loss and degradation or climate change.
    (2) Resiliency and redundancy. Areas were selected throughout the 
range of the western yellow-billed cuckoo to allow the species to move 
and expand. By identifying a number of areas of appropriate size 
throughout the species' range at the time of listing, we provide the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo opportunities to move to adjust for 
changes in habitat availability, food sources, and pressures on 
survivorship or reproductive success. Designating

[[Page 48556]]

units in appropriate areas throughout the range of the western yellow-
billed cuckoo allows for seasonal migration and year-to-year movements. 
We consider this necessary to conserve the species because it assists 
in counterbalancing continued habitat loss and degradation, and 
complements the dynamic nature of riparian systems. Having units across 
the species' range helps maintain a robust, well-distributed population 
and enhances survival and productivity of the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo as a whole, facilitates interchange of individuals between 
units, and promotes recolonization of any sites within the current 
range that experience declines or local extirpations due to low 
productivity or temporary habitat loss.
    (3) Breeding areas. These areas were selected because they contain 
the physical and biological features necessary for western yellow-
billed cuckoos to breed and produce offspring and are essential to the 
conservation of the species. Selected sites include areas currently 
being used by breeding western yellow-billed cuckoos. By selecting 
breeding areas across the western yellow-billed cuckoo's range, we can 
assist in conserving the species' genetic variability for long-term 
sustainability of the species.
    (4) Areas to maintain connectivity of habitat. While all units 
contain all of the essential physical or biological features, some 
portions of some units may lack certain elements or contain marginal 
habitat. These areas are included within a unit if they are needed for 
connectivity, have potential to become suitable habitat, or contribute 
to the hydrologic and geologic processes essential to the ecological 
function of the system. These areas are essential to the conservation 
of the species because they maintain connectivity within populations, 
allow for species movement throughout the course of a given year, allow 
for population expansion into areas that were historically occupied, 
and allow for species movement as a result of potential habitat changes 
due to the dynamic nature of riparian systems and to climate change.
    (5) Areas that provide for variable food resources or habitat. 
Yellow-billed cuckoos are a migrant species keenly adapted to take 
advantage of localized food resource outbreaks or habitat availability. 
We include areas within the proposed designated units not currently 
being used as breeding sites to provide spatial and temporal changes in 
food abundance.
    When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, 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 the western yellow-billed cuckoo. 
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 proposed rule have been 
excluded by text in the proposed rule and are not proposed for 
designation as critical habitat. Therefore, if the critical habitat is 
finalized as proposed, a Federal action involving these lands would not 
trigger consultation under section 7 of the Act with respect to 
critical habitat and the requirement of no adverse modification unless 
the specific action would affect the physical or biological features in 
adjacent critical habitat.
    We are proposing to designate as critical habitat lands within the 
geographical area occupied by the western yellow-billed cuckoo at the 
time of listing and that contain the physical or biological features 
necessary to support life-history processes essential to the 
conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. These areas have 
sufficient primary constituent elements (PCEs) (described above) to 
enable the western yellow-billed cuckoo to carry out its essential life 
processes.
    Compared to conditions historically, the areas currently used for 
nesting by the western yellow-billed cuckoo are very limited and 
disjunct. The breeding population is small, with 680 to 1,025 nesting 
pairs (350 to 495 pairs in the United States and 330 to 530 nesting 
pairs in Mexico), and with no site exceeding 60 nesting pairs. 
Estimating numbers is problematic because an individual can nest in 
more than one location in a single year, possibly causing overestimates 
of the number of nesting pairs. The western yellow-billed cuckoo is 
susceptible to random events such as major storms during migration or 
prolonged drought, and is likely to be reduced in numbers in the future 
according to current information on population trends. As such, all 
known nesting areas are occupied at the time of listing and contain the 
PCEs. We are proposing to designate as critical habitat all known 
nesting areas greater than 200 ac (81 ha) in extent in the area 
occupied by the western yellow-billed cuckoo for nesting north of the 
border with Mexico and south of the border with Canada. Sites that 
contain less than 200 ac (81 ha) of riparian habitat are not included. 
These small, isolated sites with sufficient habitat for only one or two 
pairs of western yellow-billed cuckoos are not essential to the 
survival and recovery of the species.
    The amount and distribution of critical habitat we are proposing 
will allow populations of western yellow-billed cuckoo the opportunity 
to: (1) Maintain their existing distribution; (2) move between areas 
depending on food, resource, and habitat availability; (3) increase the 
size of the population to a level where the threats of genetic, 
demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties are diminished; and 
(4) maintain their ability to withstand local- or unit-level 
environmental fluctuations or catastrophes.
Selecting Critical Habitat Sites Within the Range Occupied by Western 
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo at the Time of Listing
    We define proposed critical habitat as sites that contains the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species within the geographical area occupied by the species (range) at 
the time of listing. These features include riparian habitat for 
foraging with additional areas (one or more groves) of closed canopy 
mesic (moist) habitat for nesting (200 ac (81 ha) minimum total). The 
critical habitat units selected were either occupied by mated pairs of 
western yellow-billed cuckoo in at least one year between 1998 and 2012 
or were occupied by individual western yellow-billed cuckoos of unknown 
mating status during the breeding season (late June, July, mid-August) 
in at least 2 years between 1998 and 2012. For purposes of this 
document, nesting pairs were determined based on factors including 
actual nests located, pairs exhibiting nesting activity, and single 
western yellow-billed cuckoos in suitable habitat during the breeding 
season. Sites that currently contain less than 200 ac (81 ha) of 
riparian habitat were not selected. These small, isolated sites less 
than 200 ac (81 ha) with sufficient habitat for only one or two pairs 
of western yellow-billed cuckoos tend to be occupied sporadically and 
are not considered essential to the conservation and recovery of the 
species.
    To delineate the proposed units of critical habitat, we plotted on 
maps all breeding season occurrences of the western yellow-billed 
between 1998 and 2012. We used reports prepared by the U.S. Geological 
Survey (USGS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), 
the Salt

[[Page 48557]]

River Project, State wildlife agencies, State natural diversity data 
bases, researchers, nongovernment organizations, universities, and 
consultants, as well as available information in our files, to 
determine the location of specific breeding areas within the 
geographical area occupied by the western yellow-billed cuckoo at the 
time of listing. We then delineated riparian habitat around that 
location, as well as riparian habitat upstream and downstream from the 
occurrence location, until a break in the riparian habitat of 0.25 
miles (mi) (0.62 kilometers (km)) or more was reached. Western yellow-
billed cuckoos rarely traverse distances across unwooded spaces greater 
than 0.25 mi (0.62 km) in their daily foraging activities. Sites where 
migrant western yellow-billed cuckoos were found, but where there is 
less than 100 ac (40 ha) of riparian habitat with no suitable nesting 
sites and suitable habitat is unlikely to develop in the future, are 
not proposed as critical habitat (for example, Southeast Farallon 
Islands or Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley).
    The critical habitat designation is defined by the maps, as 
modified by any accompanying regulatory text, presented at the end of 
this document in the Proposed 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 the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket 
No. FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011, and at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, 
above).

Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    We are proposing 80 units as critical habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoo. The critical habitat areas we describe below constitute 
our current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of 
critical habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoo. All of the units 
located within the geographical area occupied at the time of listing 
contain all of the identified elements of physical or biological 
features and support multiple life-history processes. The approximate 
area of each proposed critical habitat unit and ownership information 
is shown in Table 1.

                                        Table 1--Proposed Critical Habitat Units for Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
                                        [Area estimates reflect all land within critical habitat unit boundaries]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Size of unit in
      Critical  habitat unit                  Name of unit                 Ac (Ha)          Federal           State          Tribal           Other
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1................................  CA-1 Eel River....................    4,909 (1,987)            0 (0)           0 (0)           0 (0)    4,909 (1,987)
2................................  CA-2 Sacramento River.............  35,418 (14,333)   10,203 (4,129)   6,375 (2,580)          14 (6)   18,827 (7,619)
3................................  CA-3 Sutter Bypass................      1,090 (441)        566 (229)           0 (0)           0 (0)        524 (212)
4................................  CA-4 South Fork Kern River Valley.    2,862 (1,158)      1,218 (493)           0 (0)           0 (0)      1,644 (665)
5................................  CA-5 Owens River..................      1,598 (647)           1 (<1)           0 (0)           0 (0)      1,597 (647)
6................................  CA-6 Prado Flood Control Basin....    4,406 (1,784)      1,300 (526)           0 (0)           0 (0)    3,106 (1,257)
7................................  CA/AZ-1 Colorado River 1..........  78,961 (31,954)  32,576 (13,183)   4,187 (1,695)  22,485 (9,099)   19,713 (7,978)
8................................  CA/AZ-2 Colorado River 2..........   23,452 (9,491)   15,189 (6,147)          1 (<1)   4,730 (1,914)    3,532 (1,429)
9................................  AZ-1 Bill Williams River..........    3,390 (1,372)    2,640 (1,068)           0 (0)           0 (0)        750 (304)
10...............................  AZ-2 Alamo Lake...................    2,794 (1,131)      1,840 (745)           0 (0)           0 (0)        954 (386)
11...............................  AZ-3 Lake Mead....................    6,734 (2,725)    6,734 (2,725)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
12...............................  AZ-4 Lower Gila River.............   12,047 (4,875)    7,413 (3,000)     1,086 (440)           0 (0)    3,548 (1,436)
13...............................  AZ-5 Upper Santa Maria River......      1,636 (662)        573 (232)       336 (136)           0 (0)        727 (294)
14...............................  AZ-6 Hassayampa River.............    2,838 (1,148)        591 (239)          10 (4)           0 (0)      2,237 (905)
15...............................  AZ-7 Gila and Salt Rivers.........   17,585 (7,116)    4,719 (1,910)   2,642 (1,069)       868 (351)    9,356 (3,786)
16...............................  AZ-8 Agua Fria River..............    3,337 (1,350)      1,802 (729)        235 (95)           0 (0)      1,300 (526)
17...............................  AZ-9 Upper Verde River............    4,531 (1,834)      2,217 (897)       776 (314)           0 (0)      1,538 (622)
18...............................  AZ-10 Oak Creek...................      1,323 (535)        433 (175)        160 (65)           0 (0)        730 (295)
19...............................  AZ-11 Beaver Creek and tributaries      2,082 (842)      1,491 (603)           0 (0)           3 (1)        588 (238)
20...............................  AZ-12 Lower Verde River and West        2,053 (831)        447 (181)         31 (13)         43 (17)      1,532 (620)
                                    Clear Creek.
21...............................  AZ-13 Horseshoe Dam...............        626 (253)        626 (253)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
22...............................  AZ-14 Tonto Creek.................    3,670 (1,485)    2,529 (1,023)           0 (0)           0 (0)      1,141 (462)
23...............................  AZ-15 Pinal Creek.................        419 (170)          30 (12)           0 (0)           0 (0)        389 (157)
24...............................  AZ-16 Bonita Creek................        929 (376)        828 (335)           0 (0)           0 (0)         101 (41)
25...............................  AZ-17 San Francisco River 1.......      1,327 (537)      1,192 (482)           0 (0)           0 (0)         135 (55)
26...............................  AZ-18 Upper San Pedro River.......   21,786 (8,816)   11,349 (4,593)     1,292 (523)           0 (0)    9,145 (3,701)
27...............................  AZ-19 Hooker Hot Springs..........        375 (152)         163 (66)           4 (2)           0 (0)         208 (84)
28...............................  AZ-20 Lower San Pedro and Gila       23,399 (9,469)    2,957 (1,197)     2,282 (923)       729 (295)   17,431 (7,054)
                                    Rivers.
29...............................  AZ-21 Picacho Reservoir...........    2,789 (1,129)        335 (136)       941 (381)           0 (0)      1,513 (612)
30...............................  AZ-22 Peritas Wash................        894 (362)         170 (69)       724 (293)           0 (0)            0 (0)
31...............................  AZ-23 Arivaca Wash and San Luis       5,765 (2,333)    4,662 (1,887)         89 (36)           0 (0)      1,014 (410)
                                    Wash.
32...............................  AZ-24 Sonoita Creek...............      1,610 (652)            0 (0)       775 (314)           0 (0)        835 (338)
33...............................  AZ-25 Upper Cienega Creek.........    5,204 (2,106)    4,630 (1,874)       574 (232)           0 (0)            0 (0)
34...............................  AZ-26 Santa Cruz River............    3,689 (1,493)            0 (0)           0 (0)           0 (0)    3,689 (1,493)
35...............................  AZ-27 Black Draw..................        890 (360)        405 (164)         45 (18)           0 (0)        440 (178)
36...............................  AZ-28 Gila River 1................   20,726 (8,388)        780 (316)        216 (87)  10,183 (4,121)    9,547 (3,864)
37...............................  AZ-29 Salt River..................    2,590 (1,048)      2,469 (999)           0 (0)           0 (0)         121 (49)
38...............................  AZ-30 Lower Cienega Creek.........      2,360 (955)            0 (0)       759 (307)           0 (0)      1,601 (648)
39...............................  AZ-31 Blue River..................      1,025 (415)      1,025 (415)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
40...............................  AZ-32 Pinto Creek South...........        373 (151)        368 (149)           0 (0)           0 (0)            5 (2)
41...............................  AZ-33 Aravaipa Creek..............      1,209 (489)        470 (190)          1 (<1)           0 (0)        738 (299)
42...............................  AZ-34 Lower Verde River...........      1,079 (437)      1,063 (430)           0 (0)           0 (0)           16 (6)
43...............................  AZ-35 Gila River 3................      2,194 (888)      1,126 (456)          1 (<1)           0 (0)      1,067 (432)

[[Page 48558]]

 
44...............................  AZ-36 Pinto Creek North...........        427 (173)        415 (168)           0 (0)           0 (0)           12 (5)
45...............................  AZ-37 Florida Wash................         188 (76)         113 (46)         32 (13)           0 (0)          43 (17)
46...............................  NM-1 San Juan River 1.............    6,354 (2,571)        680 (275)        177 (72)     1,041 (421)    4,456 (1,804)
47...............................  NM-3 San Francisco River 2........      2,039 (825)        738 (299)          10 (4)           0 (0)      1,291 (522)
48...............................  NM-4 Gila River 2.................    4,179 (1,691)        975 (395)        201 (81)           0 (0)    3,003 (1,216)
49...............................  NM-5 Mimbres River................        260 (105)            0 (0)           0 (0)           0 (0)        260 (105)
50...............................  NM-6 Upper Rio Grande 1...........      1,830 (741)            0 (0)           0 (0)     1,313 (532)        517 (209)
51...............................  NM-7 Middle Rio Grande 2..........      1,173 (475)            0 (0)           0 (0)     1,173 (475)            0 (0)
52...............................  NM-8 Middle Rio Grande 1..........  61,959 (25,074)   19,559 (7,915)       938 (380)   9,509 (3,848)  31,953 (12,931)
53...............................  NM-9 Upper Gila River.............    4,614 (1,867)        984 (398)       423 (171)           0 (0)    3,207 (1,298)
54...............................  CO-1 Yampa River..................    6,938 (2,808)            0 (0)     1,199 (485)           0 (0)    5,739 (2,322)
55...............................  CO-2 Colorado River 3.............    4,002 (1,620)          31 (13)       418 (169)           0 (0)    3,553 (1,438)
56...............................  CO-3 North Fork Gunnison River....      2,326 (941)         115 (47)           0 (0)           0 (0)      2,211 (895)
57...............................  CO-4 Uncompahgre River............    4,506 (1,824)            2 (1)           7 (3)           0 (0)    4,497 (1,820)
58...............................  CO-5 Gunnison River...............        937 (379)           16 (6)           0 (0)           0 (0)        921 (373)
59...............................  CO-6 Rio Grande 3.................    9,765 (3,952)           14 (6)           0 (0)           0 (0)    9,751 (3,946)
60...............................  CO-7 Conejos River................    8,986 (3,637)        330 (134)         47 (19)           0 (0)    8,609 (3,484)
61...............................  UT-1 Green River 1................   17,256 (6,983)    4,701 (1,902)   4,411 (1,786)   6,848 (2,772)      1,296 (524)
62...............................  UT-2 Pigeon Water Creek and Lake      3,041 (1,231)            0 (0)           0 (0)     1,340 (543)      1,701 (688)
                                    Fork River.
63...............................  UT-3 Colorado River 4.............        579 (234)         209 (85)        238 (96)           0 (0)         132 (53)
64...............................  UT-4 Dolores River................        401 (162)         115 (47)        150 (61)           0 (0)         136 (55)
65...............................  UT-5 Green River 2................    4,657 (1,885)    4,657 (1,885)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
66...............................  UT-6 San Juan River 2.............      2,198 (889)      2,198 (889)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
67...............................  UT-7 San Juan River 3.............    9,692 (3,922)      1,589 (643)         38 (15)   7,766 (3,144)        299 (121)
68...............................  UT-8 Virgin River 2...............      1,390 (562)          32 (13)           6 (2)           0 (0)      1,352 (547)
69...............................  ID-1 Snake River 1................    9,294 (3,761)    3,692 (1,494)           2 (1)     2,257 (913)    3,343 (1,353)
70...............................  ID-2 Snake River 2................   11,439 (4,629)    5,861 (2,372)        106 (43)           0 (0)    5,472 (2,214)
71...............................  ID-3 Big Wood River...............      1,129 (457)          88 (36)         85 (34)           0 (0)        956 (387)
72...............................  ID-4 Henry's Fork and Teton Rivers    3,449 (1,396)        396 (160)       341 (138)           0 (0)    2,712 (1,098)
73...............................  NV-1 Upper Muddy River............      1,472 (596)      1,315 (532)           0 (0)           0 (0)         157 (64)
74...............................  NV-3 Lower Muddy River............        437 (177)            0 (0)           0 (0)           0 (0)        437 (177)
75...............................  NV-4 Carson River.................    4,348 (1,760)      1,149 (465)          13 (5)           0 (0)    3,186 (1,289)
76...............................  NV/AZ-1 Virgin River 1............   11,266 (4,559)    7,137 (2,888)         52 (21)           0 (0)    4,077 (1,650)
77...............................  WY-1 Green River 3................    7,471 (3,023)    5,705 (2,309)       629 (255)           0 (0)      1,137 (460)
78...............................  WY/UT-1 Henry's Fork of Green         9,306 (3,760)         144 (58)        228 (92)           0 (0)    8,934 (3,615)
                                    River.
79...............................  TX-1 Arroyo Caballo, Rio Grande...      1,261 (510)            0 (0)           0 (0)           0 (0)      1,261 (510)
80...............................  TX-2 Terlingua Creek and Rio          7,792 (3,153)    7,792 (3,153)           0 (0)           0 (0)            0 (0)
                                    Grande.
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total........................  ..................................          546,335          199,882          33,293          70,302          242,859
                                                                             (221,094)         (80,882)        (13,473)        (28,450)         (98,282)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.

Unit Descriptions

    All units are within the geographical area occupied by the species 
at the time of listing. All units include the following physical or 
biological features essential to the conservation of the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo: (1) Rivers and streams of low gradient with a 
broad floodplain; (2) flowing rivers and streams, elevated subsurface 
groundwater tables, and high humidity; (3) rivers and streams that 
allow functioning ecological processes and support riparian habitat 
regeneration (such as deposited fine sediments for riparian seed 
germination); (4) areas of riparian woodlands with mixed willow-
cottonwood at least 200 ac (80 ha) in extent and 325 ft (100 m) in 
width with one or more densely foliaged nesting groves; and (5) an 
abundant large insect fauna during the nesting season. We present brief 
descriptions of all units, and reasons why they meet the definition of 
critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo, below.
    Special management considerations or protection may be required to 
conserve the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species within each unit. These special management 
considerations include actions to address the main threats from 
alteration of hydrology from (A) dams, (B) surface water diversions, 
(C) ground water diversions, and (D) fluctuating reservoir levels. 
Encroachment into the floodplain may also need special management 
considerations and can come from (E) agricultural and (F) other 
development activities, (G) bank stabilization and (H) levee 
construction and maintenance activities, (I) road and bridge 
maintenance activities, and (J) gravel mining. Other threats that may 
need special management considerations include (K) habitat degradation 
associated with poorly managed livestock grazing (generally identified 
as ``overgrazing''), (L) pesticide drift from adjacent agricultural 
activities, (M) wood-cutting, and (N) recreation in the form of off-
highway vehicle use within the riparian zone. To ensure the continued 
suitability of the unit, it may be necessary to implement special 
management considerations including: (O) Manage the hydrology to mimic 
natural riverflows and floodplain process, (P) prevent encroachment 
into the floodplain, and (Q) control expansion of and habitat 
degradation

[[Page 48559]]

caused by nonnative vegetation. These threats and special management 
considerations are summarized in Table 2.

                                       Table 2--Threats to Habitat and Potential Special Management Considerations
                                                       [See end of table for definition of codes]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Threats from  alteration of    Threats from floodplain
Critical  habitat unit       Name of unit                hydrology                  encroachment                Other threats         Special management
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.....................  CA-1 Eel River.......  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P.
2.....................  CA-2 Sacramento River  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
3.....................  CA-3 Sutter Bypass...  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H.................  K, L, N...................  O, P, Q.
4.....................  CA-4 South Fork Kern   A, B, C, D.................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River Valley.
5.....................  CA-5 Owens River.....  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
6.....................  CA-6 Prado Flood       A, D.......................  F, I.......................  N.........................  P, Q.
                         Control Basin.
7.....................  CA/AZ-1 Colorado       A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River 1.
8.....................  CA/AZ-2 Colorado       A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River 2.
9.....................  AZ-1 Bill Williams     A, B, C....................  ...........................  K, M, N...................  O, Q.
                         River.
10....................  AZ-2 Alamo Lake......  B, C, D....................  F..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
11....................  AZ-3 Lake Mead.......  B, C, D....................  ...........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
12....................  AZ-4 Lower Gila River  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M...................  O, P, Q.
13....................  AZ-5 Upper Santa       B, C.......................  F, I.......................  K, M......................  O, P, Q.
                         Maria River.
14....................  AZ-6 Hassayampa River  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
15....................  AZ-7 Gila and Salt     A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  L, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         Rivers.
16....................  AZ-8 Agua Fria River.  A, B, C....................  F, G, I....................  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
17....................  AZ-9 Upper Verde       B, C.......................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
18....................  AZ-10 Oak Creek......  B, C.......................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
19....................  AZ-11 Beaver Creek     B, C.......................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         and tributaries.
20....................  AZ-12 Lower Verde      A, B, C....................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         River and West Clear
                         Creek.
21....................  AZ-13 Horseshoe Dam..  B, C, D....................  ...........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
22....................  AZ-14 Tonto Creek....  B, C, D....................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
23....................  AZ-15 Pinal Creek....  B, C.......................  F, G, I, J.................  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
24....................  AZ-16 Bonita Creek...  B, C.......................  F, I.......................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
25....................  AZ-17 San Francisco    B, C.......................  F, I.......................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         River 1.
26....................  AZ-18 Upper San Pedro  B, C.......................  E, F, G, I.................  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
27....................  AZ-19 Hooker Hot       B, C.......................  F..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         Springs.
28....................  AZ-20 Lower San Pedro  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         and Gila Rivers.
29....................  AZ-21 Picacho          B, C, D....................  F..........................  K, N......................  O, P, Q.
                         Reservoir.
30....................  AZ-22 Peritas Wash...  B, C.......................  F..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
31....................  AZ-23 Arivaca Wash     B, C.......................  F, I.......................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         and San Luis Wash.
32....................  AZ-24 Sonoita Creek..  B, C, D....................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
33....................  AZ-25 Upper Cienega    B, C.......................  F..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         Creek.
34....................  AZ-26 Santa Cruz       B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
35....................  AZ-27 Black Draw.....  B, C.......................  F..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
36....................  AZ-28 Gila River 1...  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H.................  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
37....................  AZ-29 Salt River.....  B, C, D....................  F, G, I....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
38....................  AZ-30 Lower Cienega    A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Creek.
39....................  AZ-31 Blue River.....  A, B, C....................  G, I, J....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
40....................  AZ-32 Pinto Creek      A, B, C....................  F, G, I, J.................  K, N......................  O, P, Q.
                         South.
41....................  AZ-33 Aravaipa Creek.  B, C.......................  F, I, J....................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
42....................  AZ-34 Lower Verde      A, B, C....................  F, G, I, J.................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
43....................  AZ-35 Gila River 3...  A, B, C....................  F, G, I, J.................  K, N......................  O, P, Q.
44....................  AZ-36 Pinto Creek      B, C.......................  F, I, J....................  K, N......................  O, P, Q.
                         North.
45....................  AZ-37 Florida Wash...  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
46....................  NM-1 San Juan River 1  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
47....................  NM-3 San Francisco     B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River 2.
48....................  NM-4 Gila River 2....  B, C.......................  E, F, G, I, J..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
49....................  NM-5 Mimbres River...  B, C.......................  F, I.......................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
50....................  NM-6 Upper Rio Grande  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         1.
51....................  NM-7 Middle Rio        A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Grande 2.
52....................  NM-8 Middle Rio        A, B, C, D.................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Grande 1.
53....................  NM-9 Upper Gila River  B, C.......................  E, F, G, I, J..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
54....................  CO-1 Yampa River.....  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
55....................  CO-2 Colorado River 3  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
56....................  CO-3 North Fork        B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Gunnison River.
57....................  CO-4 Uncompahgre       B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
58....................  CO-5 Gunnison River..  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
59....................  CO-6 Rio Grande 3....  B, C.......................  F, G, H, I, J..............  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
60....................  CO-7 Conejos River...  B, C.......................  F, G, H, I, J..............  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
61....................  UT-1 Green River 1...  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
62....................  UT-2 Pigeon Water      B, C.......................  F, G, H, I, J..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Creek and Lake Fork
                         River.
63....................  UT-3 Colorado River 4  B, C.......................  E, G, H, I.................  K, M......................  O, P, Q.
64....................  UT-4 Dolores River...  B, C.......................  G, I.......................  K, M......................  O, P, Q.
65....................  UT-5 Green River 2...  B, C.......................  ...........................  K, M......................  O, P, Q.
66....................  UT-6 San Juan River 2  B, C, D....................  ...........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.

[[Page 48560]]

 
67....................  UT-7 San Juan River 3  B, C.......................  I..........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
68....................  UT-8 Virgin River 2..  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
69....................  ID-1 Snake River 1...  A, B, C, D.................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
70....................  ID-2 Snake River 2...  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
71....................  ID-3 Big Wood River..  B, C.......................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
72....................  ID-4 Henry's Fork and  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Teton Rivers.
73....................  NV-1 Upper Muddy       B, C, D....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
74....................  NV-3 Lower Muddy       A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         River.
75....................  NV-4 Carson River....  A, B, C, D.................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, N...................  O, P, Q.
76....................  NV/AZ-1 Virgin River   B, C, D....................  E, F, G, H, I, J...........  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         1.
77....................  WY-1 Green River 3...  A, B, C....................  E, F, G, I, J..............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
78....................  WY/UT-1 Henry's Fork   B, C.......................  F, G, H, I.................  K, M......................  O, P, Q.
                         of Green River.
79....................  TX-1 Arroyo Caballo,   A, B, C....................  E, F, G, H I...............  K, L, M, N................  O, P, Q.
                         Rio Grande.
80....................  TX-2 Terlingua Creek   A, B, C....................  ...........................  K, M, N...................  O, P, Q.
                         and Rio Grande.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Definition of Codes. Threats from alteration of hydrology: (A) Change in hydrology from upstream dams; (B) surface diversions; (C) groundwater
  withdrawals; and (D) fluctuating reservoir levels. Threats from floodplain encroachment: (E) Agricultural development; (F) other development
  (residential, industrial, etc.); (G) bank stabilization; (H) levee construction and maintenance; (I) road and bridge construction and maintenance; and
  (J) gravel mining. Other threats: (K) Overgrazing; (L) pesticide drift; (M) woodcutting; and (N) recreation. Special management considerations: (O)
  Manage hydrology to mimic natural flows and floodplain processes; (P) prevent encroachment into floodplain; and (Q) control expansion of and habitat
  degradation caused by nonnative vegetation.

California (6 Units)

Unit 1: CA-1 Eel River; Humboldt County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-1 is 4,909 ac (1,987 ha) in 
extent. It is an 8-mi (13-km)-long continuous segment of the lower Eel 
River from west of the town of Fortuna downstream to a point in the 
estuary (mouth) of the lower Eel River in Humboldt County, California. 
The entire proposed critical habitat unit is privately owned. The site 
represents the northwestern limit of the known current breeding range 
of the species.

Unit 2: CA-2 Sacramento River; Colusa, Glenn, Butte, and Tehama 
Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-2 is 35,418 ac (14,333 ha) in 
extent. It is a 69-mi (111-km)-long continuous segment of the 
Sacramento River starting 5 mi (8 km) southeast of the city of Red 
Bluff in Tehama County, California, to the downstream boundary of the 
Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area next to the town of 
Colusa in Colusa County, California. The middle segment of the river 
flows through Butte and Glenn Counties. Approximately 18,827 ac (7,619 
ha), or 53 percent, of proposed unit CA-2 are privately owned; 6,375 ac 
(2,580 ha), or 7 percent, are in State ownership and include Woodson 
Bridge State Recreation Area, Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park, and 
Colusa State Recreation Area managed by the California Department of 
Parks and Recreation; 14 ac (6 ha) is Cachil Dehe Band of the Wintun 
Indian tribal land; and 10,203 ac (4,129 ha), or 12 percent, are in 
Federal ownership located on the Sacramento River National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR) managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. State and 
county road crossings account for less than 1 percent of total proposed 
unit CA-2 ownership. This site has been a major nesting area for the 
species in the recent past. It is an important area to maintain for 
occupancy during species recovery.

Unit 3: CA-3 Sutter Bypass; Sutter County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-3 is 1,090 ac (441 ha) in extent. 
It is a 7-mi (11-km)-long continuous segment of the Sutter Bypass 
starting upstream at a point on the Sutter Bypass 8 mi (13 km) west of 
Yuba City in Sutter County, California, primarily on the Sutter NWR. 
Approximately 524 ac (212 ha), or 48 percent, of proposed unit CA-3 are 
privately owned, and 566 ac (229 ha), or 52 percent, are in Federal 
ownership located on the Sutter NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. The site has recently been one of the most regularly 
occupied sites in the Sacramento Valley and provides a movement 
corridor between larger habitat patches.

Unit 4: CA-4 South Fork Kern River Valley; Kern County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-4 is 2,862 ac (1,158 ha) in 
extent. It is a 8-mi (13-km)-long continuous segment of the South Fork 
Kern River from west of the town of Onyx downstream to Lake Isabella, 
and includes the upper 0.6 mi (1.0 km) of Lake Isabella in Kern County, 
California. Approximately 1,644 ac (665 ha), or 57 percent, of proposed 
Unit CA-4 are privately owned, and 1,218 ac (493 ha), or 43 percent, 
are in Federal ownership located on the Sequoia National Forest managed 
by the USFS. Numbers of breeding western yellow-billed cuckoos have 
been stable at this site. The site provides a stopover area or movement 
corridor between western yellow-billed cuckoos breeding on the Colorado 
River and the Sacramento River.

Unit 5: CA-5 Owens River; Inyo County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-5 is 1,598 ac (647 ha) in extent. 
It is a 26-mi (42-km)-long continuous segment of the Owens River from 
Steward Lane, located 3 mi (5 km) southeast of the town of Big Pine, 
south to a point on the Owens River 4 mi (7 km) southeast of the town 
of Independence, within Inyo County, California. Approximately 1,597 ac 
(647 ha) are owned and managed by the Los Angeles Department of Water 
and Power (LADWP), and 1 ac (less than 1 ha) is in Federal ownership 
managed by BLM. This site provides nesting habitat for multiple pairs 
of western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also provides a movement 
corridor to habitat farther north.

Unit 6: CA-6 Prado Flood Control Basin; Riverside County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA-6, the Prado Flood Control Basin, 
is 4,406 ac (1,784 ha). It is located in Riverside County, 
approximately 4 mi (7 km) west

[[Page 48561]]

of the city of Corona, Riverside County, California. The Prado Basin is 
a wetland and riparian complex that is formed by the impoundment of the 
Santa Ana River behind Prado Flood Control Dam (Prado Dam). Chino 
Creek, Mill (Cucamonga) Creek, and Temescal Wash are tributaries to the 
Santa Ana River that meet within Prado Basin. The dam is operated 
primarily for flood control. The Prado Basin is not permanently 
inundated. Instead, water is only temporarily impounded behind the dam, 
leaving much of Prado Basin's area open most of the time, which has 
allowed riparian vegetation to grow over much of the area. The Santa 
Ana River forms a 4-mi (6-km)-long continuous segment of riparian 
habitat. Approximately 1,300 ac (526 ha), or 30 percent, are in Federal 
ownership managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and 3,106 ac 
(1,257 ha), or 70 percent, of proposed unit CA-6 are owned and managed 
by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), or is privately owned. The 
site provides a movement corridor between larger habitat patches. 
Tamarisk and giant reed (Arundo donax), nonnative species that reduce 
the quality of the habitat, are a major component at this site. The 
site is important to the conservation of the species because it is the 
largest remaining block of riparian habitat in this region into which a 
recovering population can expand and the only remaining site in 
southwestern California where the species has recently nested.

California-Arizona (2 Units)

Unit 7: CA/AZ-1 Colorado River 1; Imperial, Riverside, and San 
Bernardino Counties, California; Yuma and La Paz Counties, Arizona

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA/AZ-1 is 78,961 ac (31,954 ha) in 
extent. It is a 139-mi (224-km)-long continuous segment of the Colorado 
River from 2 mi (3 km) south of the town of Earp in La Paz County, 
Arizona, south to the Mexican border in Imperial County, California. 
This segment passes through Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in 
California, and Yuma County in Arizona. Approximately 19,713 ac (7,978 
ha), or 25 percent, of proposed Unit CA-AZ-1 are privately owned; 
22,485 ac (9,099 ha), or 28 percent, are Tribal lands located on the 
Colorado River Indian Reservation; 4,187 ac (1,695 ha), or 5 percent, 
are in State ownership located on the Picacho State Recreation Area 
managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and Mittry 
Lake Wildlife Area managed by Arizona Game and Fish Department; and 
32,576 ac (13,183 ha), or 41 percent, are in Federal ownership located 
on Cibola NWR and Imperial NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. The site has a small existing number of breeding western 
yellow-billed cuckoos, but has great potential for riparian habitat 
restoration, which is currently being implemented. Western yellow-
billed cuckoos are colonizing these restoration sites as soon as they 
provide suitable habitat. It provides a movement corridor to habitat 
patches farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 8: CA/AZ-2 Colorado River 2; San Bernardino County, California; 
Mojave County, Arizona

    Proposed critical habitat unit CA/AZ-2 is 23,452 ac (9,491 ha) in 
extent. It is a 23-mi (37-km)-long continuous segment of the Colorado 
River between the Interstate 40 Bridge, including Topock Marsh in San 
Bernardino County, California, and upstream to the Arizona-Nevada 
border in Mojave County, Arizona. Approximately 3,532 ac (1,429 ha), or 
15 percent, of proposed Unit CA/AZ-2 are privately owned; 4,730 ac 
(1,914 ha), or 20 percent, are Tribal lands located on the Fort Mojave 
Indian Reservation; 1 ac (less than 1 ha), or less than 1 percent, is 
owned by State governments; and 15,189 ac (6,147 ha), or 65 percent, 
are in Federal ownership located on the Havasu NWR managed by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service. The site has a small existing number of 
western yellow-billed cuckoos, and has great potential for riparian 
habitat restoration, which is currently being implemented. It also 
provides a movement corridor to habitat patches farther north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
major habitat component of this unit.

Arizona (37 Units)

Unit 9: AZ-1 Bill Williams River; Mojave and La Paz Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-1 is 3,390 ac (1,372 ha) in 
extent and is a 11-mi (18-km)-long continuous segment of the Bill 
Williams River, a tributary to the Colorado River, from the upstream 
end of Lake Havasu upstream to Castaneda Wash in Mojave and La Paz 
Counties, Arizona. Approximately 750 ac (304 ha), or 22 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-1 are privately owned, and 2,640 ac (1,068 ha), or 78 
percent, are in Federal ownership located on the Bill Williams River 
NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This site is 
important for breeding western yellow-billed cuckoos as one of the 
largest and most stable breeding areas over the past 40 years. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 10: AZ-2 Alamo Lake; Mojave and La Paz Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-2 totals 2,794 ac (1,131 ha) in 
extent and is 9 mi (15 km) of continuous stream made up of a 6-mi (10-
km)-long continuous segment of the Santa Maria River and a 3-mi (5-km)-
long continuous segment of the Big Sandy River that feeds into the 
Santa Maria River above Alamo Lake State Park in Mojave and La Paz 
Counties, Arizona. Approximately 954 ac (386 ha), or 34 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-2 are privately owned, and 1,840 ac (745 ha), or 66 
percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. No paved roads or 
road crossings occur within this proposed unit. This is a regular 
nesting area for western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site provides a 
movement corridor to habitat sites farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative 
species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major component of 
habitat in this unit.

Unit 11: AZ-3 Lake Mead; Mohave County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-3 is 6,734 ac (2,725 ha) in 
extent and is a 15-mi (24-km)-long continuous segment of the Colorado 
River between the upstream end of Lake Mead and the Kingman Wash area 
in Mohave County, Arizona. All of proposed unit AZ-3 is in Federal 
ownership located on the Lake Mead National Recreation Area managed by 
the NPS. No State or County road crossings occur with this proposed 
unit. This site consistently has breeding western yellow-billed 
cuckoos. The site also provides a movement corridor to breeding sites 
to the north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's 
value, is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 12: AZ-4 Lower Gila River; Yuma County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-4 is 12,047 ac (4,875 ha) in 
extent and is a 22-mi (35-km)-long continuous segment of the lower Gila 
River from the vicinity of the Town of Ligurta to upstream of the 
confluence with Mohawk Wash, and including Quigley Pond Wildlife 
Management Area in Yuma County, Arizona. Approximately 3,548 ac (1,436 
ha), or 29 percent, of proposed unit AZ-4 are privately owned; 1,086 ac 
(440 ha), or 9 percent, are in State ownership and

[[Page 48562]]

managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; and 7,413 ac (3,000 ha), 
or 62 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. Several sites 
in this unit have consistently had breeding western yellow-billed 
cuckoos. The site provides stopover locations for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a major component of habitat in this 
unit.

Unit 13: AZ-5 Upper Santa Maria River; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-5 is 1,636 ac (662 ha) in extent 
and is a 15-mi (24-km)-long continuous segment of the upper Santa Maria 
River from 1 mi (2 km) west of State Highway 93 upstream to near State 
Highway 96 in Yavapai County, Arizona. Approximately 727 ac (294 ha), 
or 44 percent, of proposed unit AZ-5 are privately owned; 336 ac (136 
ha), or 21 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the Arizona 
State Lands Department; and 573 ac (232 ha), or 35 percent, are in 
Federal ownership managed by BLM. The site has been occupied 
consistently by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding 
season. The site also provides a migratory stopover habitat for western 
yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative 
species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component 
of habitat in this unit.

Unit 14: AZ-6 Hassayampa River; Yavapai and Maricopa Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-6 is 2,838 ac (1,148 ha) in 
extent and is a 13-mi (21-km)-long continuous segment of the Hassayampa 
River in the vicinity of Wickenburg in Yavapai and Maricopa Counties, 
Arizona. Approximately 2,237 ac (905 ha), or 79 percent, of proposed 
unit AZ-6 are privately owned; 10 ac (4 ha), or less than 1 percent, 
are in State ownership and managed by Arizona State Lands Department; 
and 591 ac (239 ha), or 21 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by 
BLM. This site consistently has breeding western yellow-billed cuckoos. 
The site also provides a movement corridor for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 15: AZ-7 Gila and Salt Rivers; Maricopa County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-7 is 17,585 ac (7,116 ha) in 
extent and is a 26-mi (42-km)-long continuous segment of the Gila and 
Salt Rivers west of Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona. Approximately 
9,356 ac (3,786 ha), or 53 percent, of proposed unit AZ-7 are privately 
owned; 868 ac (351 ha), or 5 percent, are Tribal lands located on the 
Gila River Indian Reservation; 2,642 ac (1,069 ha), or 15 percent, are 
in State ownership and managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; 
and 4,719 ac (1,910 ha), or 27 percent, are in Federal ownership 
managed by BLM. This site has consistently been used by nesting western 
yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also provides migrant stopover habitat 
for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat value, is a major component 
of habitat in this unit.

Unit 16: AZ-8 Agua Fria River; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-8 is 3,337 ac (1,350 ha) in 
extent and is made up of a 17-mi (27-km)-long continuous segment of the 
Agua Fria River (called Ash Creek above the confluence with Sycamore 
Creek), which is joined by a 5-mi (8-km)-long continuous segment of a 
tributary called Sycamore Creek. Together they form a total of 22 mi 
(35.4 km) of continuous segments located approximately 2.5 mi (4.0 km) 
east of Cordes Lakes in Yavapai County, Arizona. Approximately 1,300 ac 
(526 ha), or 39 percent, of proposed unit AZ-8 are privately owned; 235 
ac (95 ha), or 7 percent, are in State ownership and managed by Arizona 
State Lands Department; and 1,802 ac (729 ha), or 54 percent, are in 
Federal ownership managed by BLM. This site has consistently been used 
by numerous breeding pairs of western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site 
also provides migration stopover habitat for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a major component of habitat in this 
unit.

Unit 17: AZ-9 Upper Verde River; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-9 is 4,531 ac (1,834 ha) in 
extent and is a 45-mi (72-km)-long continuous segment of the upper 
Verde River from the confluence with Granite Creek downstream to Oak 
Creek below the Town of Cottonwood in Yavapai County, Arizona. 
Approximately 1,538 ac (622 ha), or 34 percent, of proposed unit AZ-9 
are privately owned; 776 ac (314 ha), or 17 percent, are in State 
ownership and managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; and 2,217 
ac (897 ha), or 49 percent, are in Federal ownership, which includes 
lands primarily in the Prescott National Forest managed by the USFS and 
a small portion in Tuzigoot National Monument managed by the NPS. This 
site is a consistent breeding location for numerous pairs of western 
yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also provides a movement corridor and 
migration stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving 
farther north to breed. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 18: AZ-10 Oak Creek; Yavapai and Coconino Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-10 is 1,323 ac (535 ha) in extent 
and is a 21-mi (34-km)-long continuous segment of Oak Creek from the 
vicinity of the Town of Cornville at Spring Creek in Yavapai County 
upstream to State Highway 179 Bridge within the City of Sedona in 
Coconino County, Arizona. Approximately 730 ac (295 ha), or 55 percent, 
of proposed unit AZ-10 are privately owned; 160 ac (65 ha), or 12 
percent, are in State ownership located in Red Rock State Park managed 
by Arizona State Parks; and 433 ac (175 ha), or 33 percent, are in 
Federal ownership located on the Coconino National Forest managed by 
the USFS. Western yellow-billed cuckoos have consistently bred in this 
unit. The site also provides a movement corridor and migratory stopover 
habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther to the north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 19: AZ-11 Beaver Creek and Tributaries; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-11 is 2,082 ac (842 ha) in extent 
and is a 23-mi (37-km)-long continuous segment of Beaver Creek from the 
confluence with the Verde River near Camp Verde upstream to above the 
Town of Rimrock in Yavapai County, Arizona. Approximately 588 ac (238 
ha), or 28 percent, of proposed unit AZ-11 are privately owned; 3 ac (1 
ha), or less than 1 percent, are Tribal lands located on the Camp Verde 
Indian Reservation; and 1,491 ac (603 ha), or 72 percent, are in 
Federal ownership, which includes lands in Montezuma Castle National 
Monument managed by the NPS and Coconino National Forest managed by the 
USFS. Numerous western yellow-billed cuckoos have consistently used 
this site during the breeding season. The site also provides migratory 
stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther 
north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the

[[Page 48563]]

habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 20: AZ-12 Lower Verde River and West Clear Creek; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-12 is 2,053 ac (831 ha) in extent 
and is made up of a 13-mi (21-km)-long segment of the lower Verde 
River, which is joined by a 5-mi (8-km)-long continuous segment of a 
tributary called West Clear Creek. Together they form an 18-mi (29-km)-
long continuous segment located in the vicinity of Camp Verde Indian 
Reservation. Approximately 1,532 ac (620 ha), or 75 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-12 are privately owned; 43 ac (17 ha), or 2 percent, 
are Tribal lands located on the Camp Verde Indian Reservation; 31 ac 
(13 ha), or 2 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the State 
of Arizona; and 447 ac (181 ha), or 22 percent, are in Federal 
ownership located on the Prescott National Forest managed by the USFS. 
Numerous western yellow-billed cuckoos have consistently used this site 
during the breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover 
habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 21: AZ-13 Horseshoe Dam; Yavapai County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-13 is 626 ac (253 ha) in extent 
and is a 3-mi (5-km)-long continuous segment of the Verde River 
immediately upstream of Horseshoe Dam in Yavapai County, Arizona. The 
entire unit is in Federal ownership located on the Tonto National 
Forest managed by the USFS. No State and County roads or road crossings 
occur within this proposed unit. Western yellow-billed cuckoos have 
consistently bred at this site. The site also provides migratory 
stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther 
north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, 
is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 22: AZ-14 Tonto Creek; Gila County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-14 is 3,670 ac (1,485 ha) in 
extent and is made up of a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of 
Tonto Creek upstream from the lakebed at Theodore Roosevelt Lake in 
Gila County, Arizona. Approximately 1,141 ac (462 ha), or 31 percent, 
of proposed unit AZ-14 are privately owned, and 2,529 ac (1,023 ha), or 
69 percent, are in Federal ownership located on the Tonto National 
Forest managed by the USFS. Numerous western yellow-billed cuckoos have 
consistently bred in this unit. The site also provides a movement 
corridor and migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat 
in this unit.

Unit 23: AZ-15 Pinal Creek; Gila County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-15 is 419 ac (170 ha) in extent 
and is a 3-mi (5-km)-long continuous segment of Pinal Creek location 
north of the Town of Globe in Gila County, Arizona. Approximately 389 
ac (157 ha), or 93 percent, of proposed unit AZ-15 are privately owned, 
and 30 ac (12 ha), or 7 percent, are in Federal ownership located on 
the Tonto National Forest managed by the USFS. This site has been 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor between 
larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 24: AZ-16 Bonita Creek; Graham County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-16 is 929 ac (376 ha) in extent 
and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of the Gila River that 
includes a continuous segment of a tributary called Bonita Creek 
located northeast of the Town of Thatcher in Graham County, Arizona. 
Approximately 101 ac (41 ha), or 11 percent, of proposed unit AZ-16 are 
privately owned, and 828 ac (335 ha), or 89 percent, are in Federal 
ownership, which includes lands in the Gila Box Riparian National 
Conservation Area managed by BLM. This site has been consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides a movement corridor between larger habitat 
patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's 
value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 25: AZ-17 San Francisco River 1; Greenlee County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-17 is a 1,327 ac (537 ha) in 
extent and is a 4-mi (6-km)-long continuous segment of the San 
Francisco River that includes a continuous segment of a tributary 
called Dix Creek located approximately 6 mi (9.6 km) west of the border 
with New Mexico in Greenlee County, Arizona. Approximately 135 ac (55 
ha), or 10 percent, of proposed unit AZ-17 are privately owned, and 
1,192 ac (482 ha), or 90 percent, are in Federal ownership located on 
the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest managed by the USFS. No State or 
County road crossings occur within this proposed unit. This unit has 
been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor between 
larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 26: AZ-18 Upper San Pedro River; Cochise County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-18 is 21,786 ac (8,816 ha) in 
extent and is a 83-mi (133-km)-long segment of the Upper San Pedro 
River from the border with Mexico north to the vicinity of the Town of 
Saint David in Cochise County, Arizona. Approximately 9,145 ac (3,701 
ha), or 42 percent, of proposed unit AZ-18 are privately owned; 1,292 
ac (523 ha), or 6 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the 
Arizona State Lands Department; and 11,349 ac (4,593 ha), or 52 
percent, are in Federal ownership located on the San Pedro Riparian 
National Conservation Area managed by BLM. This unit has one of the 
largest remaining breeding groups of the western yellow-billed cuckoo 
and is consistently occupied by a large number of pairs. The site also 
provides a movement corridor for Western yellow-billed cuckoos moving 
farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's 
value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 27: AZ-19 Hooker Hot Springs; Cochise County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-19 is 375 ac (152 ha) in extent 
and is a 3-mi (5-km)-long forked segment of a tributary to the Lower 
San Pedro River at Hooker Hot Springs in Cochise County, Arizona. 
Approximately 208 ac (84 ha), or 55 percent, of proposed unit AZ-19 are 
privately owned; 4 ac (2 ha), or 1 percent, are in State ownership and 
managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; and 163 ac (66 ha), or 
43 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. No State or County 
road crossings occur within this proposed unit. This unit is 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a migratory stopover location. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the

[[Page 48564]]

habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 28: AZ-20 Lower San Pedro River and Gila River; Cochise, Pima, and 
Pinal Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-20 is 23,399 ac (9,469 ha) in 
extent and is a 59-mi (95-km)-long segment of the Lower San Pedro River 
from above the Town of Mammoth in Pima County downstream to join the 
Gila River, where it continues downstream to below the Town of Kearny 
in Pinal County, Arizona. Approximately 17,431 ac (7,054 ha), or 75 
percent, of proposed unit AZ-20 are privately owned; 729 ac (295 ha), 
or 3 percent, are Tribal lands located on the San Carlos Indian 
Reservation; 2,282 ac (923 ha), or 10 percent, are in State ownership 
and managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; and 2,957 ac (1,197 
ha), or 13 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. This is an 
important breeding area for western yellow-billed cuckoos and is 
consistently occupied by a number of pairs during the breeding season. 
The site also provides a movement corridor and migratory stopover 
location for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 29: AZ-21 Picacho Reservoir--Flood Control Basin; Pinal County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-21 is 2,789 ac (1,129 ha) in 
extent and is a 2-mi (3-km)-long reservoir located 11 mi (18 km) south 
of Coolidge in Pinal County, Arizona. Approximately 1,513 ac (612 ha), 
or 54 percent, of proposed unit AZ-21 are privately owned; 941 ac (381 
ha), or 34 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the Arizona 
State Lands Department; and 335 ac (136 ha), or 12 percent, are in 
Federal ownership managed by BLM. This unit is consistently occupied by 
western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also provides migratory 
stopover habitat. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 30: AZ-22 Peritas Wash; Pima County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-22 is 894 ac (362 ha) in extent 
and is a 4-mi (6-km)-long continuous segment of Peritas Wash located 
approximately 20 mi (30 km) west of the Town of Green Valley in Pima 
County, Arizona. Approximately 724 ac (293 ha), or 81 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-22 are State-owned, and 170 ac (69 ha), or 19 percent, 
are in Federal ownership located on the Buenos Aires NWR managed by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No State and County roads occur within 
this proposed unit. This unit has been consistently occupied by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also 
provides a movement corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to 
major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 31: AZ-23 Arivaca Wash and San Luis Wash; Pima County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-23 is 5,765 ac (2,333 ha) in 
extent and is made up of two washes that join to form a 17-mi (27-km)-
long continuous segment that is comprised of 9 mi (15 km) of Arivaca 
Wash and 8 mi (13 km) of San Luis Wash. The unit is located about 10 mi 
(16 km) north of the border of Mexico near the Town of Arivaca in Pima 
County, Arizona. Approximately 1,014 ac (410 ha), or 18 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-23 are privately owned; 89 ac (36 ha), or 2 percent, 
are in State ownership and managed by the Arizona State Lands 
Department; and 4,662 ac (1,887 ha), or 81 percent, are in Federal 
ownership located on the Buenos Aires NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-
billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides a 
movement corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative 
species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component 
of habitat in this unit.

Unit 32: AZ-24 Sonoita Creek; Santa Cruz County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-24 is 1,610 ac (652 ha) in extent 
and is a 12-mi (19-km)-long segment of Sonoita Creek from the Town of 
Patagonia downstream to a point on the creek approximately 4 mi (6 km) 
east of the Town of Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. 
Approximately 835 ac (338 ha), or 52 percent, of proposed unit AZ-24 
are privately owned, and 775 ac (314 ha), or 48 percent, are in State 
ownership located on Patagonia Lake State Park managed by the Arizona 
State Parks. This is a consistent site for a number of pairs of western 
yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also 
provides a movement corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to 
major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 33: AZ-25 Upper Cienega Creek; Pima County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-25 is 5,204 ac (2,106 ha) in 
extent and is made up of two washes that join to form a 14-mi (23-km)-
long continuous segment and is comprised of 10 mi (16 km) of Cienega 
Creek and 4 mi (7 km) of Empire Gulch located about 8 mi (12 km) 
northeast of the Town of Sonoita in Pima County, Arizona. Approximately 
574 ac (232 ha), or 11 percent, are in State ownership and managed by 
the Arizona State Lands Department, and 4,630 ac (1,874 ha), or 89 
percent, are in Federal ownership located on the Coronado National 
Forest managed by the USFS. No State and County roads occur within this 
proposed unit. This unit is consistently occupied by a number of pairs 
of western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site 
also provides a movement corridor for western yellow-billed cuckoos 
nesting farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 34: AZ-26 Santa Cruz River; Santa Cruz County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-26 is 3,689 ac (1,493 ha) in 
extent and is a 5-mi (8-km)-long segment of the Santa Cruz River in the 
vicinity of the Town of Tubac in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. This 
proposed unit AZ-26 is entirely privately owned. This unit has 
consistently been occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor for western 
yellow-billed cuckoos nesting farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative 
species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component 
of habitat in this unit.

Unit 35: AZ-27 Black Draw; Cochise County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-27 is 890 ac (360 ha) in extent 
and is a 4-mi (6-km)-long segment of Black Draw starting on the border 
with Mexico and located approximately 17 mi (28 km) east of the City of 
Douglas in Cochise County, Arizona. Approximately 440 ac (178 ha), or 
49 percent, of proposed unit AZ-27 are privately owned; 45 ac (18 ha), 
or 5 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the Arizona State 
Lands Department; and 405 ac (164 ha), or 46 percent, are in Federal 
ownership, which includes lands in the San Bernardino NWR managed by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No State or County road crossings 
occur within this

[[Page 48565]]

proposed unit. This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-
billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides a 
migratory stopover area. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 36: AZ-28 Gila River 1; Graham County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-28 is 20,726 ac (8,388 ha) in 
extent and is a 66-mi (106-km)-long segment of the Gila River from 12 
mi (19 km) upstream from Safford and downstream to San Carlos 
Reservoir. Approximately 9,547 ac (3,864 ha), or 46 percent, of 
proposed unit AZ-28 are privately owned; 10,183 ac (4,121 ha), or 49 
percent, are Tribal lands located on the San Carlos Indian Reservation; 
216 ac (87 ha), or 1 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the 
Arizona State Lands Department; and 780 ac (316 ha), or 4 percent, are 
in Federal ownership managed by BLM. No State or County road crossings 
occur within this proposed unit. This unit is consistently occupied by 
a number of pairs of western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding 
season. The site also provides a migration stopover and movement 
corridor habitat. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 37: AZ-29 Salt River; Gila County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-29 is 2,590 ac (1,048 ha) in 
extent and is a 5-mi (8-km)-long continuous segment of the Salt River 
upstream from the lakebed at Theodore Roosevelt Lake in Gila County, 
Arizona. Approximately 121 ac (49 ha), or 5 percent, of proposed unit 
AZ-29 are privately owned, and 2,469 ac (999 ha), or 95 percent, are in 
Federal ownership located on the Tonto National Forest managed by the 
USFS. This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides a movement 
corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative species 
that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of 
habitat in this unit.

Unit 38: AZ-30 Lower Cienega Creek; Pima County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-30 is 2,360 ac (955 ha) in extent 
and is an 11-mi (18-km)-long continuous segment of Cienega Creek about 
15 mi (24 km) southeast of Tucson in Pima County, Arizona. 
Approximately 1,601 ac (648 ha), or 68 percent, of proposed unit AZ-30 
are privately owned, and 759 ac (307 ha), or 32 percent, are in State 
ownership and managed the Arizona State Lands Department. This unit is 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor between 
larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 39: AZ-31 Blue River; Greenlee County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-31 is 1,025 ac (415 ha) in extent 
and is an 8-mi (13-km)-long continuous segment of the Blue River in 
Greenlee County, Arizona. The entire unit is in Federal ownership 
located on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest managed by the USFS. 
This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos 
during the breeding season. The site provides a movement corridor. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 40: AZ-32 Pinto Creek South; Gila County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-32 is 373 ac (151 ha) in extent 
and is a 4-mi (6-km)-long continuous segment of Pinto Creek in Gila 
County, Arizona. Approximately 5 ac (2 ha), or 1 percent, of proposed 
unit AZ-32 are privately owned, and 368 ac (149 ha), or 99 percent, are 
in Federal ownership located on the Tonto National Forest managed by 
the USFS. The site also provides migratory stopover habitat. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to 
major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 41: AZ-33 Aravaipa Creek; Pima and Graham Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-33 is 1,209 ac (489 ha) in extent 
and is a 9-mi (15-km)-long continuous segment of Aravaipa Creek in Pima 
and Graham Counties, Arizona. Approximately 738 ac (299 ha), or 61 
percent, of proposed unit AZ-33 are privately owned; 1 ac (less than 1 
ha) is in State ownership and managed by the Arizona State Lands 
Department; and 470 ac (190 ha), or 39 percent, are in Federal 
ownership managed by BLM. This unit has consistently been occupied by 
western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also 
provides a movement corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to 
major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 42: AZ-34 Lower Verde River; Maricopa County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-34 is 1,079 ac (437 ha) in extent 
and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of the Lower Verde River 
downstream from Bartlett Dam in Maricopa County, Arizona. Approximately 
16 ac (6 ha), or 1 percent, of proposed unit AZ-34 are privately owned, 
and 1,063 ac (430 ha), or 99 percent, are in Federal ownership located 
on the Tonto National Forest managed by the USFS. This unit is 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 43: AZ-35 Gila River 3; Graham and Greenlee Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-35 is 2,194 ac (888 ha) and 22 mi 
(34 km) in extent. It is a 12-mi (18-km)-long continuous segment of the 
Gila River, 9 mi (14 km) on Eagle Creek, and 1 mi (2 km) on the San 
Francisco River in Graham and Greenlee Counties, Arizona. Approximately 
1,067 ac (432 ha), or 49 percent, of proposed unit AZ-35 are privately 
owned; 1 ac (less than 1 ha), or less than 1 percent, is in State 
ownership and managed by the Arizona State Lands Department; and 1,126 
acres (456 ha), or 51 percent, are in Federal ownership located on the 
Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area managed by BLM. This unit 
has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during 
the breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor for 
migrating western yellow-billed cuckoos. Tamarisk, a nonnative species 
that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor component of habitat in 
this unit.

Unit 44: AZ-36 Pinto Creek North; Gila County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-36 is 427 ac (173 ha) in extent 
and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of Pinto Creek in Gila 
County, Arizona. Approximately 12 ac (5 ha), or 3 percent, of proposed 
unit AZ-36 are privately owned, and 415 ac (168 ha), or 97 percent, are 
in Federal ownership located on the Tonto National Forest managed by 
the USFS. This unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-
billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides 
migration stopover habitat. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces 
the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat in this 
unit.

[[Page 48566]]

Unit 45: AZ-37 Florida Wash; Pima County

    Proposed critical habitat unit AZ-37 is 188 ac (76 ha) in extent 
and is a 4-mi (6-km)-long continuous segment of Florida Wash and 
tributaries in Pima County, Arizona. Approximately 43 ac (17 ha), or 23 
percent, of proposed unit AZ-36 are privately owned; 32 ac (13 ha), or 
17 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the Arizona State 
Lands Department; and 113 ac (46 ha), or 61 percent, are in Federal 
ownership managed by BLM. This unit has been consistently occupied by 
western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site 
provides a movement corridor between larger habitat patches. Tamarisk, 
a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to 
major component of habitat in this unit.

New Mexico (8 Units)

Unit 46: NM-1 San Juan River 1; San Juan County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-1 is 6,354 ac (2,571 ha) in 
extent and is a 35-mi (56-km)-long continuous segment of the San Juan 
River between just downstream of Fruitland to just downstream of Blanco 
in San Juan County, New Mexico. Approximately 4,456 ac (1,803 ha), or 
70 percent, of proposed unit NM-1 are privately owned; 1,041 ac (421 
ha), or 16 percent, are Tribal lands located on the Navajo Nation; 177 
ac (72 ha), or 3 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the New 
Mexico State Lands Office; and 680 ac (275 ha), or 11 percent, are in 
Federal ownership managed by BLM. This unit has been consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoos breeding farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species 
that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of 
habitat in this unit.

Unit 47: NM-3 San Francisco River 2; Catron County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-3 is 2,039 ac (825 ha) in extent 
and is a 10-mi (16-km)-long continuous segment of the San Francisco 
River near the Town of Glenwood in Catron County, New Mexico. This 
segment includes 1.2 mi (2 km) up Whitewater Creek from the confluence 
of the San Francisco River near the Town of Glenwood. Approximately 
1,291 ac (522 ha), or 63 percent, of proposed unit NM-3 are privately 
owned; 10 ac (4 ha), or less than 1 percent, are in State ownership and 
managed by the New Mexico State Lands Office; and 738 ac (299 ha), or 
36 percent, are in Federal ownership located on the Gila National 
Forest managed by the USFS. This unit has been consistently occupied by 
western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also 
provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos 
moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a minor component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 48: NM-4 Gila River 2; Grant and Hidalgo Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-4 is 4,179 ac (1,691 ha) in 
extent and is a 24-mi (37-km)-long continuous segment of the Gila River 
from 10 mi (16 km) downstream from the town of Cliff to 10 mi (16 km) 
upstream of the town of Gila in Grant County, New Mexico. Approximately 
3,003 ac (1,215 ha), or 72 percent, of proposed unit NM-4 are privately 
owned; 201 ac (81 ha), or 5 percent, is in State ownership and managed 
by the New Mexico State Lands Office; and 975 ac (395 ha), or 23 
percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. This unit is 
consistently occupied by a large number of western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season and is an important breeding 
location for the species. The site also provides migratory stopover 
habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor to major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 49: NM-5 Mimbres River; Grant County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-5 is 260 ac (105 ha) in extent 
and is a 3-mi (5-km)-long continuous segment of the Mimbres River south 
of the town of Mimbres in Grant County, New Mexico. The entire proposed 
unit NM-5 is privately owned. This unit is consistently occupied by 
western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 50: NM-6 Upper Rio Grande 1; Rio Arriba County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-6 is 1,830 ac (741 ha) in extent 
and is a 10-mi (16-km)-long continuous segment of the upper Rio Grande 
from the San Juan Pueblo to near Alcalde in Rio Arriba County, New 
Mexico. Approximately 517 ac (209 ha), or 28 percent, of proposed unit 
NM-6 are privately owned, and 1,313 ac (532 ha), or 72 percent, are 
Tribal lands located on the San Juan Pueblo. This site is consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides a movement corridor for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat 
in this unit.

Unit 51: NM-7 Middle Rio Grande 2; Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-7 is 1,173 ac (475 ha) in extent 
and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of the Middle Rio Grande 
starting from the Highway 502 Bridge at the south end of the San 
Ildefonso Pueblo upstream to a point on the river in Rio Arriba County, 
New Mexico. The entire proposed unit NM-7 is Tribal lands located on 
the San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, and San Juan Pueblo. This 
unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos 
during the breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor 
for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 52: NM-8 Middle Rio Grande 1; Sierra, Socorro, Valencia, 
Bernalillo, and Sandoval Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-8 is 61,959 ac (25,074 ha) in 
extent and is an approximate 170-mi (273-km)-long continuous segment of 
the lower Rio Grande from Elephant Butte Reservoir in Sierra County 
upstream through Socorro, Valencia, and Bernalillo Counties to below 
Cochiti Dam in Cochiti Pueblo in Sandoval County, New Mexico. 
Approximately 31,953 ac (12,931 ha), or 52 percent, of proposed unit 
NM-8 are privately owned; 938 ac (380 ha), or 2 percent, are in State 
ownership, including lands managed by the New Mexico State Lands 
Office; 9,509 ac (3,848 ha), or 15 percent, are Tribal lands located on 
Isleta Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, 
Santa Domingo Pueblo, and Cochiti Pueblo; and 19,559 ac (7,915 ha), or 
32 percent, are in Federal ownership located on Bosque del Apache NWR 
and Sevilleta NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and 
lands owned and managed by BLM and Reclamation down to river-mile 54. 
This unit is consistently occupied by a large number of breeding 
western yellow-billed cuckoos and currently is the largest breeding 
group of the species north of Mexico. The site also provides a movement 
corridor for

[[Page 48567]]

western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major 
component of habitat in this unit. We are seeking information on the 
appropriateness of including areas down to river-mile 42 as critical 
habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo (see Information Requested 
section).

Unit 53: NM-9 Upper Gila River; Hidalgo and Grant Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit NM-9 is 4,614 ac (1,867 ha) in 
extent and is a 30-mi (48-mi)-long continuous segment of the Gila River 
from the Arizona-New Mexico border 5 mi (8 km) downstream from Virden 
in Hidalgo County upstream to 8 mi (13 km) upstream from Red Rock in 
Grant County, New Mexico. Approximately 3,207 ac (1,298 ha), or 69 
percent, of proposed unit NM-9 are privately owned; 423 ac (171 ha), or 
9 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the New Mexico State 
Lands Office; and 984 ac (398 ha), or 21 percent, are in Federal 
ownership, which includes lands managed by BLM and lands located on the 
Gila National Forest managed by the USFS. This site is consistently 
occupied by numerous pairs of western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site provides migratory stopover habitat for 
western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Colorado (7 Units)

Unit 54: CO-1 Yampa River; Moffat and Routt Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-1 is 6,938 ac (2,808 ha) in 
extent and is a 20-mi (32-km)-long continuous segment of the Yampa 
River from near the Town of Craig in Moffat County to near the Town of 
Hayden in Routt County, Colorado. Approximately 5,739 ac (2,322 ha), or 
83 percent, of proposed unit CO-1 are privately owned, and 1,199 ac 
(485 ha), or 17 percent, are located on Yampa River State Wildlife Area 
managed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. This site has regularly 
been occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding 
season. This high-elevation site is near the current northern limit of 
the current breeding range of the species.

Unit 55: CO-2 Colorado River 3; Mesa County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-2 is 4,002 ac (1,620 ha) in 
extent and is a 25-mi (40-km)-long continuous segment of the Colorado 
River in the vicinity of Grand Junction in Mesa County, Colorado. 
Approximately 3,553 ac (1,438 ha), or 89 percent, of proposed unit CO-2 
are privately owned; 418 ac (169 ha), or 10 percent, are in State 
ownership located on the Corn Lake and Walker State Wildlife Areas 
managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and 31 ac (13 ha), or 1 
percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. The Colorado River 
Wildlife Management Area managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
holds conservation easements on several private parcels in this unit. 
This unit has been occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site 
also provides a migration stopover habitat for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 56: CO-3 North Fork Gunnison River; Delta County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-3 is 2,326 ac (941 ha) in extent 
and is a 16-mi (26-km)-long continuous segment of the North Fork of the 
Gunnison River between Hotchkiss and Paeonia in Delta County, Colorado. 
Approximately 2,211 ac (895 ha), or 95 percent, of proposed unit CO-3 
are privately owned, and 115 ac (47 ha), or 5 percent, are in Federal 
ownership, which includes lands in the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery 
managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lands managed by BLM. 
This unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides migratory 
stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther 
north.

Unit 57: CO-4 Uncompahgre River; Delta, Montrose, and Ouray Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-4 is 4,506 ac (1,824 ha) in 
extent and is a 37-mi (60-km)-long continuous segment of the 
Uncompahgre River from the confluence with the Gunnison River in Delta 
County, upstream through Montrose to south of the Town of Colona in 
Ouray County, Colorado. Approximately 4,497 ac (1,820 ha), or nearly 
100 percent, of proposed unit CO-4 are privately owned; 7 ac (3 ha), or 
less than 1 percent, are in State ownership located on the Billy Creek 
State Wildlife Area managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and 2 ac (1 
ha), or less than 1 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. 
This site has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides a movement 
corridor and migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed 
cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 58: CO-5 Gunnison River; Gunnison County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-5 is 937 ac (379 ha) in extent 
and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of the Gunnison River 
from Blue Mesa Reservoir upstream to Highway 50 in Gunnison County, 
Colorado. Approximately 921 ac (373 ha), or 98 percent, of proposed 
unit CO-5 are privately owned, and 16 ac (6 ha), or 2 percent, are in 
Federal ownership located on the Curecanti National Recreation Area 
managed by the NPS. This unit has been occupied by western yellow-
billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides 
migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving 
farther north.

Unit 59: CO-6 Upper Rio Grande 3; Alamosa and Rio Grande Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-6 is 9,765 ac (3,952 ha) in 
extent and is a 45-mi (73-km)-long continuous segment of the Rio Grande 
from Alamosa in Alamosa County upstream to Alpine in Rio Grande County, 
Colorado. Approximately 9,751 ac (3,946 ha), or nearly 100 percent, of 
proposed unit CO-6 are privately owned, and 14 ac (6 ha), or less than 
1 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. This high-elevation 
unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos. 
The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 60: CO-7 Conejos River; Conejos County

    Proposed critical habitat unit CO-7 is 8,986 ac (3,637 ha) in 
extent and is a 62-mi (100-km)-long continuous segment of the Conejos 
River from the confluence with the Rio Grande upstream to Fox Creek in 
Conejos County, Colorado. Approximately 8,609 ac (3,484 ha), or 96 
percent, of proposed unit CO-7 are privately owned; 47 ac (19 ha), or 1 
percent, are in State ownership, which includes lands in the Sego 
Springs State Wildlife Area managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and 
330 ac (134 ha), or 4 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. 
This high-elevation unit has been consistently occupied by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also provides migratory stopover 
habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north.

[[Page 48568]]

Utah (8 Units)

Unit 61: UT-1 Green River 1; Uintah County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-1 is 17,256 ac (6,983 ha) in 
extent and is a 38-mi (61-km)-long continuous segment of the Green 
River in the vicinity of Ouray in Uintah County, Utah. Approximately 
1,296 ac (524 ha), or 8 percent, of proposed unit UT-1 are privately 
owned; 6,848 ac (2,772 ha), or 40 percent, are Tribal lands located on 
the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation; 4,411 ac (1,786 ha), or 26 
percent, are in State-ownership managed by Utah Division of Forestry, 
Fire, and State Lands; and 4,701 ac (1,902 ha), or 27 percent, are in 
Federal ownership, which includes lands located on the Ouray NWR 
managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lands managed by BLM. 
This unit has consistently had western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides a movement corridor for western 
yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 62: UT-2 Pigeon Water Creek and Lake Fork River; Duchesne County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-2 is 3,041 ac (1,231 ha) in 
extent and is a 9-mi (15-km)-long continuous segment of Lake Fork River 
located approximately 12 mi (19 km) west of the Town of Roosevelt in 
Duchesne County, Utah. Approximately 1,701 ac (688 ha), or 56 percent, 
of proposed unit UT-2 are privately owned, and 1,340 ac (543 ha), or 44 
percent, are Tribal lands located on the Uintah and Ouray Indian 
Reservation. This unit has been consistently occupied by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also 
provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos 
moving farther north.

Unit 63: UT-3 Colorado River 4; Grand County, Utah and Mesa County, 
Colorado

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-3 is 579 ac (234 ha) in extent 
and is a 3-mi (5-km)-long continuous segment of the Colorado River that 
straddles the Utah-Colorado Border between Westwater in Grand County, 
Utah, to a point 2 mi (3 km) up the river in Mesa County, Colorado. 
Approximately 132 ac (53 ha), or 23 percent, of proposed unit UT-3 are 
privately owned; 238 ac (96 ha), or 39 percent, are in State ownership 
managed by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands; and 
209 ac (85 ha), or 36 percent, are in Federal ownership and managed by 
BLM. No paved roads or road crossings occur within this proposed unit. 
This unit has been occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for 
western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 64: UT-4 Dolores River; Grand County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-4 is 401 ac (162 ha) in extent 
and is a 2-mi (3-km)-long continuous segment of the lower Dolores River 
near the confluence with the Colorado River in Grand County, Utah. 
Approximately 136 ac (55 ha), or 34 percent, of proposed unit UT-4 are 
privately owned; 150 ac (61 ha), or 37 percent, are in State ownership 
managed by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands; and 
115 ac (47 ha), or 29 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. 
No road crossings occur within this proposed unit. This unit has been 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for 
western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 65: UT-5 Green River 2; San Juan and Wayne Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-5 is 4,657 ac (1,885 ha) in 
extent and is a 41-mi (66-km)-long continuous segment of the Green 
River upstream from the confluence with the Colorado River in both San 
Juan and Wayne Counties, Utah. The entire unit is in Federal ownership 
located on the Canyonlands National Park, managed by the NPS. No road 
crossings occur within this proposed unit. This unit is consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoos moving farther north.

Unit 66: UT-6 San Juan River 2; San Juan County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-6 is 2,198 ac (889 ha) in extent 
and is a 5-mi (8-km)-long continuous segment of the San Juan River at 
the upper extent of Lake Powell in San Juan County, Utah. The entire 
unit is in Federal ownership located on the Glen Canyon National 
Recreation Area managed by the NPS. No paved roads or road crossings 
occur within this proposed unit. This unit has been consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat 
in this unit.

Unit 67: UT-7 San Juan River 3; San Juan County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-7 is 9,692 ac (3,922 ha) in 
extent and is a 33-mi (53-km)-long continuous segment of the San Juan 
River from near Bluff and upstream to a point on the river in San Juan 
County, Utah. Approximately 299 ac (121 ha), or 3 percent, of proposed 
unit UT-7 are privately owned; 7,766 ac (3,144 ha), or 80 percent, are 
Tribal lands located on the Navajo Nation; 38 ac (15 ha), or less than 
1 percent, are in State ownership managed by Utah Division of Forestry, 
Fire, and State Lands; and 1,589 ac (643 ha), or 16 percent, are in 
Federal ownership managed by BLM. This unit has been consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-
billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that 
reduces the habitat's value, is a minor to major component of habitat 
in the southwest.

Unit 68: UT-8 Virgin River 2; Washington County

    Proposed critical habitat unit UT-8 is 1,390 ac (562 ha) in extent 
and is a 13-mi (21-km)-long continuous segment of the Virgin River in 
the vicinity of St. George in Washington County, Utah. Approximately 
1,352 ac (547 ha), or 97 percent, of proposed unit UT-8 are privately 
owned; 6 ac (2 ha), or less than 1 percent, are in State ownership 
managed by Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands; and 32 ac 
(13 ha), or 2 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. This 
unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos 
during the breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover 
habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. 
Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a 
minor to major component of habitat in the southwest.

Idaho (4 Units)

Unit 69: ID-1 Snake River 1; Bannock and Bingham Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit ID-1 is 9,294 ac (3,761 ha) in 
extent and is a 22-mi (35-km)-long continuous segment of the Snake 
River from the upstream end of the American Falls Reservoir in Bannock 
County upstream to a point on the Snake River approximately 2 mi (3 km) 
west of the Town of Blackfoot in Bingham County, Idaho. Approximately

[[Page 48569]]

3,343 ac (1,353 ha), or 36 percent, of proposed unit ID-1 are privately 
owned; 2 (1 ha), or less then 1 percent, are in State ownership managed 
by the Idaho Department of Lands; 2,257 ac (913 ha), or 24 percent, are 
Tribal lands located on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation; and 3,692 ac 
(1,494 ha), or 40 percent, are in Federal ownership (BIA 117 ac (47 
ha), BLM 3,260 ac (1,323 ha), and BOR 315 ac (127 ha)). This unit is 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The unit is at the northern limit of the species' 
current breeding range.

Unit 70: ID-2 Snake River 2; Bonneville, Madison, and Jefferson 
Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit ID-2 is 11,439 ac (4,629 ha) in 
extent and is a 40-mi (64-km)-long continuous segment of the Snake 
River from the bridge crossing on the Snake River 2 mi (3 km) east of 
the Town of Roberts in Madison County through Jefferson County and 
upstream to vicinity of mouth of Table Rock Canyon in Bonneville 
County, Idaho. Approximately 5,472 ac (2,214 ha), or 48 percent, of 
proposed unit ID-2 are privately owned; 106 ac (43 ha), or 1 percent, 
are in State ownership and managed by Idaho Department of Lands; and 
5,861 ac (2.372 ha), or 51 percent, are in Federal ownership, which 
includes lands managed by BLM and lands located in the Caribou-Targhee 
National Forest managed by USFS. Portions of Unit 70 (and Unit 72) are 
within lands designated as the Snake River Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern (ACEC) by BLM and the Land and Water Conservation 
Fund (LWCF) program has purchased 32 properties in fee title and set 
aside approximately 42 conservation easements (22,400 ac (9,065 ha)) 
within the ACEC. The western yellow-billed cuckoo has been identified 
as a species of concern in the ACEC. State and County road crossings 
account for less than 1 percent of total ownership of this proposed 
unit. This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season. The unit is at the northern limit 
of the species' current breeding range.

Unit 71: ID-3 Big Wood River; Blaine County

    Proposed critical habitat unit ID-3 is 1,129 ac (457 ha) in extent 
and is a 7-mi (11-km)-long continuous segment of the Big Wood River 
downstream from Bellevue in Blaine County, Idaho. Approximately 956 ac 
(387 ha), or 85 percent, of proposed unit ID-3 are privately owned; 85 
ac (34 ha), or 8 percent, are in State ownership and managed by Idaho 
Department of Lands; and 88 ac (36 ha), or 8 percent, are in Federal 
ownership managed by BLM. This unit is consistently occupied by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The unit is at the 
northern limit of the species' current breeding range.

Unit 72: ID-4 Henry's Fork and Teton Rivers; Madison County

    Proposed critical habitat unit ID-4 is 3,449 ac (1,396 ha) in 
extent and is a 6-mi (10-km)-long continuous segment of the Henry's 
Fork of the Snake River in Madison County from just upstream of the 
confluence with the Snake River to a point on the river approximately 2 
km (1 mi) upstream of the Madison County line in Fremont County, Idaho. 
Approximately 2,712 ac (1,098 ha), or 79 percent, of proposed unit ID-4 
are privately owned; 341 ac (138 ha), or 10 percent, are in State 
ownership and managed by the Idaho Department of Lands; and 396 ac (160 
ha), or 11 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM (see 
discussion in Unit 70 of conservation activities within this unit). 
This unit is consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos 
during the breeding season. The unit is at the northern limit of the 
species' current breeding range.

Nevada (3 Units)

Unit 73: NV-1 Upper Muddy River; Clark County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NV-1 is 1,472 ac (596 ha) in extent 
and is a 5-mi (8-km)-long continuous segment of the Muddy River from 
upstream of the confluence with the Virgin River at Lake Mead up to the 
vicinity of the Moapa Indian Reservation in Clark County, Nevada. 
Approximately 157 ac (64 ha), or 11 percent, of proposed unit NV-1 are 
privately owned, and 1,315 ac (532 ha), or 89 percent, are in Federal 
ownership located at Lake Mead managed by Reclamation and the Moapa 
Valley NWR managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This unit has 
been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for 
western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 74: NV-3 Lower Muddy River; Clark County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NV-3 is 437 ac (177 km) in extent 
and is a 2-mi (3-km)-long continuous segment of the Lower Muddy River 
in Clark County, Nevada. The entire proposed unit is privately owned. 
This unit has been consistently occupied by western yellow-billed 
cuckoos during the breeding season. The site also provides migratory 
stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther 
north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, 
is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 75: NV-4 Carson River; Lyon County

    Proposed critical habitat unit NV-4 is 4,348 ac (1,760 km) in 
extent and is a 12-mi (19-km)-long continuous segment of the Carson 
River in Lyon County, Nevada. Approximately 3,186 ac (1,289 ha), or 73 
percent, of proposed unit NV-4 are privately owned; 13 ac (5 ha), or 
less than 1 percent, are in State ownership located on the Lahontan 
State Recreation Area and managed by the Nevada State Parks; and 1,149 
ac (465 ha), or 26 percent, are in Federal ownership managed by BLM and 
Reclamation. This unit has consistently been occupied by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season.

Nevada-Arizona (1 Unit)

Unit 76: NV/AZ-1 Virgin River 1; Clark County, Nevada, and Mohave 
County, Arizona

    Proposed critical habitat unit NV/AZ-1 is 11,266 ac (4,559 ha) in 
extent and is a 39-mi (63-km)-long continuous segment of the Virgin 
River from the upstream extent of Lake Mead in Clark County, Nevada, 
upstream to a point on the Virgin River downstream from Littlefield in 
Mohave County, Arizona. Approximately 4,077 ac (1,650 ha), or 36 
percent, of proposed unit NV/AZ-1 are privately owned; 52 ac (21 ha), 
or less than 1 percent, are in State ownership and managed by the 
Arizona State Lands Department; and 7,137 ac (2,888 ha), or 63 percent, 
are in Federal ownership managed by BLM. This unit has been 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The site also provides migratory stopover habitat for 
western yellow-billed cuckoos moving farther north. Tamarisk, a 
nonnative species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major 
component of habitat in this unit.

Wyoming (1 Unit)

Unit 77: WY-1 Green River 3; Sweetwater County

    Proposed critical habitat unit WY-1 is 7,471 ac (3,023 ha) in 
extent and is a 28-mi (45-km)-long continuous segment of the Green 
River in the vicinity of

[[Page 48570]]

Seedskadee NWR in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Approximately 1,137 ac 
(460 ha), or 15 percent, of proposed unit WY-1 are privately owned; 629 
ac (255 ha), or 8 percent, are in State ownership and managed by 
Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments; and 5,705 ac (2,309 ha), 
or 76 percent, are in Federal ownership located on the Seedskadee NWR 
managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This unit is 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the 
breeding season. The unit is at the northern limit of the species' 
current breeding range.

Wyoming-Utah (1 Unit)

Unit 78: WY/UT-1 Henry's Fork of Green River; Uinta County, Wyoming, 
and Summit County, Utah

    Proposed critical habitat unit WY/UT-1 is 9,306 ac (3,760 ha) in 
extent and totals 24 mi (39 km) of continuous stream made up of a 15-mi 
(24-km)-long continuous segment of the Henry's Fork of the Green River 
in Uinta and Sweetwater Counties in Wyoming, and a 9-mi (15-km) segment 
of the Middle Fork of Beaver Creek that originates in Summit County, 
Utah, and feeds into Henry's Fork near Lonetree in Uinta County, 
Wyoming. Approximately 8,934 ac (3,615 ha), or 96 percent, of proposed 
unit WY/UT-1 are privately owned; 228 ac (92 ha), or 3 percent, are in 
State ownership and managed by the Wyoming Office of State Lands and 
Investments; and 144 ac (58 ha), or 2 percent, are in Federal ownership 
including lands located on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest managed by 
the USFS and lands managed by BLM. This high-elevation unit has been 
consistently occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos. The site also 
provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos 
moving farther north.

Texas (2 Units)

Unit 79: TX-1 Arroyo Caballo, Rio Grande; Hudspeth County

    Proposed critical habitat unit TX-1 is 1,261 ac (510 ha) in extent 
and a 8-mi (13-km)-long continuous segment along the Rio Grande 
upstream and downstream from Arroyo Caballo in Hudspeth County, Texas. 
The entire unit is privately owned. This unit is consistently occupied 
by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. The site 
provides migratory stopover habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoos 
breeding farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative species that reduces the 
habitat's value, is a major component of habitat in this unit.

Unit 80: TX-2 Terlingua Creek and Rio Grande; Presidio and Brewster 
Counties

    Proposed critical habitat unit TX-2 is 7,792 ac (3,153 ha) in 
extent and is a 45-mi (72-km)-long continuous segment from lower 
Terlingua Creek in Presidio County to the Rio Grande in Brewster 
County, Texas. The entire unit is in Federal ownership located on Big 
Bend National Park managed by the NPS. This unit has been consistently 
occupied by western yellow-billed cuckoos during the breeding season. 
The site also provides a north-south movement corridor for western 
yellow-billed cuckoos breeding farther north. Tamarisk, a nonnative 
species that reduces the habitat's value, is a major component of 
habitat in this unit.

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on 
any agency action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of any species proposed to be listed under the Act or result in the 
destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat.
    Decisions by the 5th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals have 
invalidated our regulatory definition of ``destruction or adverse 
modification'' (50 CFR 402.02) (see Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2004) and Sierra 
Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al., 245 F.3d 434, 442 (5th 
Cir. 2001)), and we do not rely on this regulatory definition when 
analyzing whether an action is likely to destroy or adversely modify 
critical habitat. Under the statutory provisions of the Act, we 
determine destruction or adverse modification on the basis of whether, 
with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the affected 
critical habitat would continue to serve its intended conservation role 
for the species.
    If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical 
habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) must enter into 
consultation with us. Examples of actions that are subject to the 
section 7 consultation process are actions on State, tribal, local, or 
private lands that require a Federal permit (such as a permit from the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] under section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act (CWA; 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, or 
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 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

[[Page 48571]]

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 the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo. 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 the western yellow-billed cuckoo. These activities 
include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Actions that would remove, thin, or destroy riparian western 
yellow-billed cuckoo habitat, without implementation of an effective 
riparian restoration plan that would result in the development of 
riparian vegetation of equal or better quality in abundance and extent. 
Such activities could include, but are not limited to, removing, 
thinning, or destroying riparian vegetation by mechanical (including 
controlled fire), chemical, or biological (poorly managed biocontrol 
agents) means. These activities could reduce the amount or extent of 
riparian habitat needed by western yellow-billed cuckoos for 
sheltering, feeding, breeding, and dispersing.
    (2) Actions that would appreciably diminish habitat value or 
quality through direct or indirect effects. These activities could 
permanently eliminate available riparian habitat and food availability 
or degrade the general suitability, quality, structure, abundance, 
longevity, and vigor of riparian vegetation. Such activities could 
include, but are not limited to, diminished or altered riverflow 
regimes including water diversion or impoundment, ground water pumping, 
dam construction and operation, or any other activity which negatively 
changes the frequency, magnitude, duration, timing, or abundance of 
surface flow; spraying of pesticides that would reduce insect prey 
populations within or adjacent to riparian habitat; introduction of 
nonnative plants, animals, or insects; or habitat degradation from 
recreation activities. These activities could reduce or fragment the 
quality or amount or extent of riparian habitat needed by western 
yellow-billed cuckoos for sheltering, feeding, breeding, and 
dispersing.
    (3) Actions that would permanently destroy or alter western yellow-
billed cuckoo habitat. Such activities could include, but are not 
limited to, discharge of fill material, draining, ditching, tiling, 
pond construction, and stream channelization (due to roads, 
construction of bridges, impoundments, discharge pipes, stormwater 
detention basins, dikes, levees, and others). These activities could 
permanently eliminate available riparian habitat and food availability 
or degrade the general suitability, quality, structure, abundance, 
longevity, and vigor of riparian vegetation and microhabitat components 
necessary for nesting, migrating, food, cover, and shelter.
    (4) Actions that would result in alteration of western yellow-
billed cuckoo habitat from overgrazing of livestock or ungulate (for 
example, horses, burros) management. Such activities could include, but 
are not limited to, unrestricted ungulate access and use of riparian 
vegetation; excessive ungulate use of riparian vegetation during the 
non-growing season (for example, leaf drop to bud break); overuse of 
riparian habitat and upland vegetation due to insufficient herbaceous 
vegetation available to ungulates; and improper herding, water 
development, or other livestock management actions. These activities 
could reduce the volume and composition of riparian vegetation, prevent 
regeneration of riparian plant species, physically disturb nests, alter 
floodplain dynamics, alter watershed and soil characteristics, alter 
stream morphology, and facilitate the growth of flammable nonnative 
plant species.
    (5) Actions in relation to the Federal highway system, which could 
include, but are not limited to, new road construction and right-of-way 
designation. These activities could eliminate or reduce riparian 
habitat along river crossings necessary for reproduction, sheltering, 
or growth of the western yellow-billed cuckoo.
    (6) Actions that would involve funding of activities associated 
with cleaning up Superfund sites, erosion control activities, flood 
control activities, and communication towers. These activities could 
eliminate or reduce habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo.
    (7) Actions that would affect waters of the United States under 
section 404 of the CWA. Such activities could include, but are not 
limited to, placement of fill into wetlands. These activities could 
eliminate or reduce the habitat necessary for the reproduction, 
feeding, or growth of the western yellow-billed cuckoo.

Exemptions

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

    The Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997 (Sikes Act) (16 U.S.C. 670a) 
required each military installation that includes land and water 
suitable for the conservation and management of natural resources to 
complete an integrated natural resources management plan (INRMP) by 
November 17, 2001. An INRMP integrates implementation of the military 
mission of the installation with stewardship of the natural resources 
found on the base. Each INRMP includes:
    (1) An assessment of the ecological needs on the installation, 
including the need to provide for the conservation of listed species;
    (2) A statement of goals and priorities;
    (3) A detailed description of management actions to be implemented 
to provide for these ecological needs; and
    (4) A monitoring and adaptive management plan.
    Among other things, each INRMP must, to the extent appropriate and 
applicable, provide for fish and wildlife management; fish and wildlife 
habitat enhancement or modification; wetland protection, enhancement, 
and restoration where necessary to support fish and wildlife; and 
enforcement of applicable natural resource laws.
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. 
L. 108-136) amended the Act to limit areas eligible for designation as 
critical habitat. Specifically, section 4(a)(3)(B)(i)

[[Page 48572]]

of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) now provides: ``The Secretary 
shall not designate as critical habitat any lands or other geographical 
areas owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated 
for its use, that are subject to an integrated natural resources 
management plan prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 
670a), if the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a 
benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for 
designation.''
    There are no Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP 
within the proposed 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 he determines 
that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying 
such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based 
on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate 
such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the 
species. 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.
    In considering whether to exclude a particular area from the 
designation, we identify the benefits of including the area in the 
designation, identify the benefits of excluding the area from the 
designation, and evaluate whether the benefits of exclusion outweigh 
the benefits of inclusion. If the analysis indicates that the benefits 
of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, the Secretary may 
exercise her discretion to exclude the area only if such exclusion 
would not result in the extinction of the species.
    When identifying the benefits of inclusion for an area, we consider 
the additional regulatory benefits that area would receive from the 
protection from adverse modification or destruction as a result of 
actions with a Federal nexus, the educational benefits of mapping 
essential habitat for recovery of the listed species, and any benefits 
that may result from a designation due to State or Federal laws that 
may apply to critical habitat.
    When identifying the benefits of exclusion, we consider, among 
other things, whether exclusion of a specific area is likely to result 
in conservation; the continuation, strengthening, or encouragement of 
partnerships; or implementation of a management plan that provides 
equivalent or more conservation when compared to a critical habitat 
designation.
    In the case of western yellow-billed cuckoo, the benefits of 
critical habitat include public awareness of the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo presence and the importance of habitat protection, and where a 
Federal nexus exists, increased habitat protection for western yellow-
billed cuckoo due to the protection from adverse modification or 
destruction of critical habitat.
    When we evaluate a management or conservation plan and consider the 
benefits of exclusion, we consider a variety of factors, including but 
not limited to, whether the plan is finalized, how the plan provides 
for the conservation of the essential physical or biological features, 
whether there is a reasonable expectation that the conservation 
management strategies and actions contained in a management plan will 
be implemented into the future, whether the conservation strategies in 
the plan are likely to be effective, and whether the plan contains a 
monitoring program or adaptive management to ensure that the 
conservation measures are effective and can be adapted in the future in 
response to new information.
    After identifying the benefits of both inclusion and exclusion, we 
carefully weigh the two sides to evaluate whether the benefits of 
exclusion outweigh those of inclusion. If our analysis indicates that 
the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, we then 
determine whether exclusion would result in extinction. If exclusion of 
an area from critical habitat will result in extinction, the Secretary 
will not exclude it from the designation.
    Based on the information provided by entities seeking exclusion, as 
well as any additional public comments we receive, we will evaluate 
whether certain lands in the proposed critical habitat (Table 3) are 
appropriate for exclusion from the final designation under section 
4(b)(2) of the Act. If the analysis indicates that the benefits of 
excluding lands from the final designation outweigh the benefits of 
designating those lands as critical habitat, then the Secretary may 
exercise her discretion to exclude the lands from the final 
designation. Several tribes have not been identified for potential 
exclusion at this time; however we will be coordinating and working 
with all tribes potentially affected by the proposed designation 
throughout this process and may exclude them from the final 
designation. Please see Government-to-Government Relationship with 
Tribes section, below, for a complete list of tribes currently within 
the proposed designation.
    Table 3 below provides approximate areas of lands that meet the 
definition of critical habitat but are under our consideration for 
possible exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act from the final 
critical habitat rule.

                        Table 3--Areas Considered for Exclusion by Critical Habitat Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Area meeting the
                                                                          definition of      Area considered for
                  Unit                           Specific area        critical habitat, in   possible exclusion,
                                                                           acres (ha)           in acres (ha)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA-4....................................  South Fork Kern River              2,862 (1,158)              160 (65)
                                           Valley.
CA-5....................................  Owens River...............           1,598 (647)           1,598 (647)
CA-6....................................  Prado Flood Control Basin.         4,406 (1,784)         4,406 (1,784)
CA/AZ-1.................................  Colorado River 1..........       78,961 (31,954)       55,061 (22,292)
CA/AZ-2.................................  Colorado River 2..........        23,452 (9,491)        20,025 (8,107)
AZ-1....................................  Bill Williams River.......         3,390 (1,372)         2,640 (1,069)
AZ-2....................................  Alamo Lake................         2,794 (1,131)           1,840 (745)
AZ-3....................................  Lake Mead.................         6,734 (2,725)         6,734 (2,725)
AZ-4....................................  Lower Gila River..........        12,047 (4,875)         7,413 (3,001)
AZ-7....................................  Gila and Salt Rivers......        17,585 (7,116)             868 (351)
AZ-11...................................  Beaver Creek and                     2,082 (842)                 3 (1)
                                           tributaries.
AZ-12...................................  Lower Verde River and West           2,053 (831)               43 (17)
                                           Clear Creek.

[[Page 48573]]

 
AZ-13...................................  Horseshoe Dam.............             626 (253)             626 (253)
AZ-14...................................  Tonto Creek...............         3,670 (1,485)         3,155 (1,277)
AZ-20...................................  Lower San Pedro and Gila          23,399 (9,469)        23,399 (9,469)
                                           Rivers.
AZ-22...................................  Peritas Wash..............             894 (362)             894 (362)
AZ-23...................................  Arivaca Wash and San Luis          5,765 (2,333)         5,765 (2,333)
                                           Wash.
AZ-25...................................  Upper Cienega Creek.......         5,204 (2,106)         5,204 (2,106)
AZ-28...................................  Gila River 1..............        20,726 (8,388)        10,183 (4,123)
AZ-29...................................  Salt River................         2,590 (1,048)         2,469 (1,000)
AZ-30...................................  Lower Cienega Creek.......           2,360 (955)           2,360 (955)
AZ-34...................................  Lower Verde River.........           1,079 (437)           1,079 (437)
AZ-37...................................  Florida Wash..............              188 (76)              188 (76)
NM-1....................................  San Juan River 1..........         6,354 (2,571)           1,041 (421)
NM-7....................................  Middle Rio Grande 2.......           1,173 (475)           1,173 (475)
NM-8....................................  Middle Rio Grande 1.......       61,959 (25,074)        17,096 (6,922)
CO-6....................................  Rio Grande 3..............         9,765 (3,952)         9,751 (3,947)
CO-7....................................  Conejos River.............         8,986 (3,637)         8,656 (3,503)
ID-1....................................  Snake River 1.............         9,294 (3,761)         3,427 (1,312)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are considering excluding these areas because:
    (1) Their value for conservation will be preserved for the 
foreseeable future by existing protective actions, or
    (2) They are appropriate for exclusion under the ``other relevant 
factor'' provisions of section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    However, we specifically solicit comments on the inclusion or 
exclusion of these areas. In the paragraphs below, we provide a 
detailed analysis of exclusion of these lands under section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act. We have also added an Addendum entitled Land Ownership/
Management and Potential Economic Impacts for Proposed Yellow-billed 
Cuckoo Critical Habitat to our Incremental Effects Memorandum that lays 
out in table form the Service's policy considerations under section 
4(B)(2) of the Endangered Species Act. This Addendum was developed 
following the finalization of the Incremental Effects Memorandum and 
the information in the Incremental Effects Memorandum was used to 
inform the policy considerations.
Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are 
lands owned or managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) where a 
national security impact might exist. In preparing this proposal, we 
have determined that the lands within the proposed designation of 
critical habitat for western yellow-billed cuckoo are not owned or 
managed by the Department of Defense, and, therefore, we anticipate no 
impact on national security. Consequently, the Secretary does not 
propose to exert her discretion to exclude any areas from the final 
designation based on impacts on national security.
Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider any other relevant 
impacts in addition to economic impacts and impacts on national 
security. We consider a number of factors, including whether the 
landowners have developed any HCPs or other management plans for the 
area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be 
encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. In 
addition, we look at any tribal issues, and consider the government-to-
government relationship of the United States with tribal entities. We 
also consider any social impacts that might occur because of the 
designation.

Land and Resource Management Plans, Conservation Plans, or Agreements 
Based on Conservation Partnerships

    We consider a current land management or conservation plan (HCPs as 
well as other types) to provide adequate management or protection if it 
meets the following criteria:
    (1) The plan is complete and provides an equal or greater level of 
protection from adverse modification or destruction than that provided 
through a consultation under section 7 of the Act;
    (2) There is a reasonable expectation that the conservation 
management strategies and actions will be implemented in the 
foreseeable future, based on past practices, written guidance, or 
regulations; and
    (3) The plan provides conservation strategies and measures 
consistent with currently accepted principles of conservation biology.
    We believe that the following HCPs, plans, partnerships, and 
agreements may fulfill the above criteria, and will consider the 
exclusion of these Federal, tribal, and non-Federal lands covered by 
these plans that provide for the conservation of the western yellow-
billed cuckoo. We are requesting comments on the benefits to the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo from these following HCPs, plans, 
partnerships, and agreements. However, at this time, we are not 
proposing the exclusion of any areas in this proposed critical habitat 
designation for the western yellow-billed cuckoo. We specifically 
solicit comments on the inclusion or exclusion of such areas and 
request any information on any other potential exclusions. We may 
consider other areas for exclusion based on public comment and 
information we receive and on our further review of the proposed 
designation and its potential impacts.
    Most of the following information on HCPs, plans, partnerships, and 
agreements was obtained from the August 15, 2011, proposed designation 
of revised critical habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher 
(flycatcher) (Empidonax traillii extimus) (76 FR 50542). The areas used 
by the flycatcher and western yellow-billed cuckoo overlap in several 
areas in the southwestern United States and management actions for the 
flycatcher often benefit the western yellow-billed cuckoo. These 
various plans describe beneficial actions for the flycatcher within the 
same area that we are proposing to designate as western yellow-billed 
cuckoo critical habitat. We will consider whether these beneficial

[[Page 48574]]

actions for the flycatcher are appropriate for considering exclusion of 
a given proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo unit from final western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) 
of the Act.

California

South Fork Kern River Valley (Unit 4 CA-4) (Hafenfeld Ranch 
Conservation Easement)
    The Hafenfeld Ranch owns and manages a segment (40 ac (16 ha)) of 
proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along the South 
Fork Kern River within the Kern River Management Unit in Kern County, 
California. The Hafenfeld Ranch has developed a conservation easement 
and plan with the Natural Resources Conservation Service that provides 
management and protections for flycatcher habitat. We are evaluating 
whether these actions also provide benefit for the western yellow-
billed cuckoo. The Hafenfeld parcel completes a continuous corridor of 
willow-cottonwood riparian habitat along the South Fork Kern River that 
connects the east and west segments of the Audubon Society's Kern River 
Preserve. The conservation easement and plan establishes that these 
lands are managed for the benefit of the flycatcher by restoring, 
improving, and protecting its habitat. Management activities include: 
(1) Limiting public access to the site, (2) winter-only grazing 
practices (outside of the flycatcher nesting season), (3) protection of 
the site from development or encroachment, (4) maintenance of the site 
as permanent open space that has been left predominantly in its natural 
vegetative state, and (5) spreading of flood waters to promote the 
moisture regime and wetland and riparian vegetation for the 
conservation of the flycatcher. Prohibitions of the easement that would 
benefit the conservation of the flycatcher include: (1) Haying, mowing, 
or seed harvesting; (2) altering the grassland, woodland, wildlife 
habitat, or other natural features; (3) dumping refuse, wastes, sewage, 
or other debris; (4) harvesting wood products; (5) draining, dredging, 
channeling, filling, leveling, pumping, diking, or impounding water 
features or altering the existing surface water drainage or flows 
naturally occurring within the easement area; and (6) building or 
placing structures on the easement.
    Based on the actions to benefit the flycatcher we will consider 
excluding the Hafenfeld Ranch lands within Unit 4 (40 ac (16 ha)) from 
final western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
Sprague Ranch
    Sprague Ranch is an approximately 2,479-ac (1,003-ha) parcel, which 
includes approximately 395 ha (975 ac) of floodplain habitat located 
along the South Fork of the Kern River in Kern County, California. 
Sprague Ranch was purchased by the USACE as a result of biological 
opinions for the long-term operation of Lake Isabella Dam and Reservoir 
(Service 1996 File Nos. 1-1-96-F-27; 1-1-99-F-216; and 1-1-05-F-0067), 
specifically to provide habitat and conservation for the flycatcher. 
Many of the actions may also benefit the western yellow-billed cuckoo. 
During the periods of time flycatcher habitat is not available at Lake 
Isabella Reservoir as a result of short-term inundation from Isabella 
Dam operations, Sprague Ranch is expected to provide habitat for the 
flycatcher. The USACE, National Audubon Society (Audubon), and 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) (formerly California 
Department of Fish and Game) have a joint management agreement for this 
property, which is important flycatcher habitat. Sprague Ranch is 
located immediately north and adjacent to the Kern River Preserve, 
which is owned and operated by Audubon, and shares a common border with 
the Kern River Preserve (KRP) of over 3 mi (4.8 km). Sprague Ranch 
contains existing riparian forest that can support and maintain nesting 
territories and migrating and dispersing flycatchers. Other portions of 
the ranch are believed to require restoration and management in order 
to become nesting flycatcher habitat. Activities such as nonnative 
vegetation control and native tree plantings are other management 
activities expected to occur. Sprague Ranch is currently being managed 
in accordance with the terms and conditions of the biological opinions 
specifically for the flycatcher.
    Based on the anticipated benefits to the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo that would derive from the actions to benefit the flycatcher we 
will consider excluding approximately 120 ac (49 ha) in Unit 4 along 
the South Fork Kern River on Sprague Ranch from final western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act.
Owens River (Unit 5, CA-5)
    LADWP Conservation Strategy. The LADWP owns and manages a proposed 
segment of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along the 
Owens River in Inyo County, California. We believe that LADWP owns and 
manages the entire extent of 1,598 ac (647 ha) of western yellow-billed 
cuckoo habitat within this proposed unit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service and the LADWP signed a memorandum of understanding in 2005, to 
implement a flycatcher conservation strategy designed to proactively 
manage flycatchers in the Owens Management Unit, along the Owens River 
from Long Valley Dam downstream to 4 mi (6 km) north of Tinemaha 
Reservoir. The conservation strategy addresses three elements--
livestock grazing, recreational activities, and wildfires--which have 
the potential to adversely affect flycatcher habitat. The conservation 
strategy provides specific measures that: (1) Are designed to create 
suitable breeding habitat for the flycatcher; and (2) avoid and 
minimize potential adverse effects, such as the degradation or loss of 
habitat that may be associated with grazing activities, recreational 
activities, and wildland fires. Based on the actions to benefit the 
flycatcher, which will also benefit the western yellow-billed cuckoo, 
we will consider excluding 1,598 ac (647 ha) of LADWP lands from the 
final western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act. We encourage any public comments in 
relation to this consideration.
Prado Basin (Unit 6, CA-6)
    We are considering excluding under section 4(b)(2) of the Act areas 
covered by the Western Riverside MSHCP from the final designation of 
critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo. We are 
considering to do so based on the protections described below (see 
``Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts'' section) and per the 
provisions laid out in the MSHCP's implementing agreement, to the 
extent consistent with the requirements of section 4(b)(2) of the Act. 
We are considering excluding all of proposed Unit 6 (4,406 ac (1,784 
ha)) from the final designation.
Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan 
(Western Riverside MSHCP)
    The Western Riverside MSHCP is a comprehensive, multi-
jurisdictional plan encompassing approximately 1,260,000 ac (510,000 
ha) of the Riverside County west of the San Jacinto Mountains (County 
of Riverside 2003a, p. 1-1). The Western Riverside MSHCP is a 
subregional plan under the State of California's Natural Community 
Conservation Planning Act (NCCP) and was developed in cooperation with 
the CDFW (County of Riverside 2003a, p. 1-1). The Western Riverside 
MSHCP is a

[[Page 48575]]

multi-species conservation program designed to minimize and mitigate 
the effects of expected habitat loss and associated incidental take of 
146 listed and nonlisted ``covered species,'' including the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo (County of Riverside 2003d, pp. B-555 to B-572). A 
section 10(a)(1)(B) permit for the Western Riverside MSHCP was issued 
to 22 permittees on June 22, 2004, for a period of 75 years (Service 
2004b, p. 1). There are now 27 permittees under the Western Riverside 
MSHCP.
    When fully implemented, the Western Riverside MSHCP will conserve 
approximately 153,000 ac (61,917 ha) of new conservation lands 
(Additional Reserve Lands) in addition to the approximately 347,000 ac 
(140,400 ha) of pre-existing natural and open space areas (known in the 
plan as ``Public/Quasi-Public'' (PQP) lands) (County of Riverside 
2003a, pp. 1-16 to 1-17). The PQP lands include those under the 
ownership of public or quasi-public agencies, primarily the USFS and 
BLM, as well as the USACE, plus permittee-owned or controlled open-
space areas managed by the State of California and the County of 
Riverside. Lands owned by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) 
within the Prado Basin are also considered PQP lands under the Western 
Riverside MSHCP. The Plan's ``Additional Reserve Lands'' are not fully 
mapped or precisely delineated (that is, they are not ``hard-lined''); 
rather, they are textual descriptions of habitat necessary to meet the 
conservation goals for all covered species within the boundaries of the 
approximately 500,000-ac (202,343-ha) ``MSHCP Conservation Area'' and 
are determined as implementation of the HCP occurs.
    Under the Western Riverside MSHCP, the Prado Basin is considered 
``core habitat'' and a ``linkage'' area (County of Riverside 2003b, p. 
3-31; Service 2004a, p. 49). As discussed in the Western Riverside 
MSHCP (County of Riverside 2003c, pp. 9-87 to 9-88), the HCP was 
designed to preserve ``core areas'' of the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo, including the Prado Basin, which is considered an ``important 
core area'' for the species.
    We evaluated the effects of the Western Riverside MSHCP on the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo and its habitat within the plan boundaries 
as part of the inter-Service section 7 consultation conducted for the 
MSHCP. As summarized in the biological opinion (Service 2004a, pp. 231-
232), we estimated 4,613 ac (1,867 ha) of modeled habitat within the 
Plan Area. Only 77 ac (31 ha), or 2 percent, of this modeled habitat is 
outside the MSHCP Conservation Area. To offset potential impacts to the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo in the Plan Area, 4,250 ac (1,720 ha), or 
92 percent, of western yellow-billed cuckoo modeled habitat will remain 
within PQP Lands. An additional 287 ac (116 ha), or 6 percent, of 
modeled habitat will be conserved in Additional Reserve Lands with 
management prescriptions that will benefit the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo. In total, 4,537 ac (1,836 ha), or 98 percent, of the modeled 
habitat will be conserved or remain in the Plan Area.
    Additionally, the OCWD, which funds and maintains its lands in 
Prado Basin, has set aside 124 acres of riparian habitat and has funded 
a conservation program. The conservation program was established 
primarily to benefit the endangered least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii 
pusillus), but it will also benefit other species dependent on riparian 
vegetation, including the western yellow-billed cuckoo. The program 
includes cowbird trapping and removal of giant reed along the Santa Ana 
River (Service 2004a, p. 59).
    We determined that implementing the Western Riverside MSHCP plan 
would not place the western yellow-billed cuckoo at risk of extinction 
(Service 2004a, p. 235). In addition, we acknowledged in section 14.10 
of the implementing agreement (IA) for the Western Riverside MSHCP that 
the plan provides a comprehensive, habitat-based approach to the 
protection of covered species, including the western yellow-billed 
cuckoo, by focusing on lands essential for the long-term conservation 
of the covered species and appropriate management for those lands 
(Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (WRCRCA) et 
al. 2003, p. 51). The most significant threats to the species are the 
destruction and modification of its habitat, habitat rarity, and small 
isolated populations. The Western Riverside MSHCP helps to address 
these threats through a regional planning effort, and outlines species-
specific objectives and criteria for the conservation of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo. As discussed above, we are considering excluding 
lands within the Plan Areas for the Western Riverside MSHCP. As noted 
in the Information Requested section, we are soliciting comments on 
whether to exclude areas covered by HCPs.

Arizona

Alamo Lake (Unit 10, AZ-2), Alamo Lake State Wildlife Area (AWA)

    The Alamo Lake State Wildlife Area (AWA) in La Paz and Mohave 
Counties, Arizona, was created under provisions of the Fish and 
Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), Public Land Order 
492 (PLO 492), and the General Plan agreement between the Secretary of 
the Army, Secretary of the Interior, and Director of Arizona Game and 
Fish, signed January 19, 1968 (Arizona Game and Fish Department-Arizona 
State Parks 1997). A lease agreement between the Arizona Game and Fish 
Department Commission and the USACE was signed in 1970, establishing 
the AWA for fish and wildlife conservation and management purposes 
(Arizona Game and Fish Department-Arizona State Parks 1997). The 
present lease area encompasses approximately 9,140 ha (22,586 ac).
    Public input was solicited and addressed in development of the AWA 
Management Plan and the NEPA review process (Arizona Game and Fish 
Department-Arizona State Parks 1997). The corresponding Alamo Wildlife 
Area Property Operational Management Plan addressing the operations of 
the property, together with the budget, is updated as needed to reflect 
the changes in operational management (Arizona Game and Fish Department 
2012).
    Proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat occurs along 
the Big Sandy, Santa Maria, and Bill Williams Rivers, which make up the 
upper portion of Alamo Lake. The AWA Management Plan describes the 
unique riparian, wetland, and aquatic aspects of the area for a variety 
of species, specifically targeting the flycatcher for management and 
including the western yellow-billed cuckoo as a species of wildlife 
concern. Two of the specific resources that are directed toward the 
habitat needs of the flycatcher and the western yellow-billed cuckoo: 
(1) Maintain and enhance aquatic and riparian habitats to benefit 
wildlife; and (2) restore, manage, and enhance habitats for wildlife of 
special concern. Large Fremont cottonwood and Goodding's willow 
forests, mesquite bosque, and small areas of wetland currently exist 
along the Big Sandy, Santa Maria, and upper Bill Williams Rivers. 
Increasing and improving these habitats will benefit riparian- and 
wetland-dependent species (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2012, p. 4-
6). The objective for maintaining and enhancing riparian habitat 
includes (a) Maintaining a reservoir level sufficient to ensure 
suitable soil moisture conditions in the mixed riparian forest, and (b) 
managing burros and eliminating trespass cattle to ensure that browsing 
does not harm existing habitat or impair recruitment of replacement 
vegetation. Livestock grazing is

[[Page 48576]]

excluded from the riparian areas on the upper end of Alamo Lake and the 
lower portions of the Santa Maria and Big Sandy Rivers. Burro 
management objectives are to monitor and limit use of riparian 
vegetation such that annual bark stripping of live trees does not 
exceed 3 percent in any of the key monitoring areas (Arizona Game and 
Fish Department 2012, p. 10). Fencing may be needed to exclude 
unauthorized livestock and feral burros, exclude elk, control OHV 
access, and better manage authorized livestock (Arizona Game and Fish 
Department 2012, pp. 10-12). We will consider excluding 1,840 ac (745 
ha) of the Bill Williams, Santa Maria, and Big Sandy Rivers within the 
Alamo Lake State Wildlife Area from the final designation of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Colorado River; Bill Williams River; Lake Meade; and Lower Gila River 
(Unit 7: CA/AZ-1; Unit 8: CA/AZ-2; Unit 9: AZ-1; Unit 11: AZ-3; and 
Unit 12: AZ-4)

    Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Plan (LCR MSCP). 
The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (2004, pp. 
1-506) was developed for areas along the lower Colorado River along the 
borders of Arizona, California, and Nevada from the conservation space 
of Lake Mead to Mexico, in the Counties of La Paz, Mohave, and Yuma in 
Arizona; Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties in 
California; and Clark County in Nevada. The LCR MSCP primarily covers 
activities associated with water storage, delivery, diversion, and 
hydroelectric production. The record of decision was signed by the 
Secretary of the Interior on April 2, 2005. Discussions began on the 
development of this HCP in 1994, but an important catalyst was a 1997 
jeopardy biological opinion for the flycatcher issued to Reclamation 
for lower Colorado River operations. The Federal agencies involved in 
the LCR MSCP include Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), NPS, 
BLM, Western Area Power Administration, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
    The LCR MSCP planning area primarily surrounds proposed western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along the lower Colorado River 
from Lake Mead to the southerly International Border. Portions of the 
Colorado River, Lake Mead, Virgin River, and Muddy River in Arizona, 
Utah, and Nevada, are included where they surround Lake Mead (including 
the conservation space of Lake Mead, which extends up the Colorado 
River to Separation Canyon). Also, a portion of the Bill Williams River 
at the Colorado River confluence at Lake Havasu occurs within the LCR 
MSCP planning area. The LCR MSCP permittees will create and maintain 
4,050 ac (1,639 ha) of western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat, reduce the 
risk of loss of created habitat to wildfire, replace created habitat 
affected by wildfire, and avoid and minimize operational and management 
impacts to western yellow-billed cuckoos over the 50-year life of the 
permit (2005 to 2055) (Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation 
Program 2004, pp. 5-30-5-36, Table 5-10, 5-58-5-60). Additional 
research, management, monitoring, and protection of western yellow-
billed cuckoos will occur. In addition to western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat creation and subsequent management, the LCR MSCP will provide 
funds to ensure existing western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat is 
maintained. Western yellow-billed cuckoo management associated with the 
LCR MSCP is conducted in conjunction with management occurring on the 
National Wildlife Refuges (Bill Williams, Havasu, Cibola, and Imperial) 
and Tribal lands (Hualapai, Fort Mohave, Chemehuevi, Colorado River, 
and Quechan Tribes) along the LCR. We will consider excluding 64,652 ac 
(26,175 ha) of land including portions of the Colorado River from the 
uppermost storage space of Lake Mead downstream to the southerly 
International Border and portions of tributaries (Virgin, Muddy, and 
Bill Williams Rivers) to the Colorado River that may occur within the 
LCR MSCP planning area from the final designation of western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Unit 8, CA/AZ-2). Fort Mojave Indian 
Tribal lands contain a proposed Colorado River segment of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat in the above Lake Havasu in 
Mohave County, Arizona. The Fort Mojave Tribe has finalized a 
flycatcher management plan (SWFMP), compatible with western yellow-
billed cuckoo management (Fort Mojave Indian Tribe 2005, pp. 1-24). The 
Fort Mojave Tribe's SWFMP describes that within the Tribe's budgetary 
constraints, they commit to management that will sustain the current 
value of saltcedar, willow, and cottonwood vegetation that meets moist 
soil conditions necessary to maintain flycatcher habitat; monitoring to 
determine flycatcher presence and vegetation status in cooperation with 
the Service; and wildfire response and law enforcement to protect 
suitable habitats. The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe may also work in 
conjunction with the LCR MSCP on additional riparian management (Fort 
Mojave Indian Tribe 2005, pp. 1-24). We will consider excluding the 
Colorado River within Fort Mojave Tribal land from the final 
designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Colorado River Indian Reservation (Unit 7, CA/AZ-1). The Colorado 
River Indian Tribal lands (CRIT) contain a proposed Colorado River 
segment of western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat in La Paz County, 
Arizona. The Colorado River Indian Tribes have finalized a flycatcher 
management plan compatible with western yellow-billed cuckoo management 
(Colorado River Indian Tribes 2005, pp. 1-48). The CRIT's SWFMP 
describes a commitment to conduct a variety of habitat management 
actions. The SWFMP also identifies the assessment, identification, and 
protection of flycatcher migration habitat (Colorado River Indian 
Tribes 2005, pp. 1-48). The SWFMP identifies protecting breeding 
habitat with the Ahakhav Tribal Preserve and in any areas established 
for flycatchers with the LCR MSCP. Seasonal closures of occupied 
flycatcher habitat during the breeding season may be necessary and 
established by the CRIT. Protection of habitat from fire is established 
in the SWFMP, as well as protections from other possible stressors such 
as overgrazing, recreation, and development (Colorado River Indian 
Tribes 2005, pp. 1-48). The CRIT may also work in conjunction with the 
LCR MSCP on additional riparian management. We will consider excluding 
the Colorado River within CRIT land from the final designation of 
western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act.
    Fort Yuma Indian Reservation (Unit 7, CA/AZ-1). The Quechan Tribal 
lands contain a proposed Colorado River segment of western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical near the City of Yuma in Yuma County, Arizona. 
The Quechan Tribe has completed a SWFMP that is compatible with western 
yellow-billed cuckoo management (Quechan Indian Tribe 2005, pp. 1-30). 
The Quechan Tribe's SWFMP describes a commitment to conduct a variety 
of habitat management actions. The Tribe will manage riparian tamarisk 
that is intermixed with cottonwood, willow, mesquite, and arrowweed 
(Pluchea sericea) to maximize potential value for nesting flycatchers 
(Quechan Indian Tribe 2005, pp. 1-30). Any permanent land use changes 
for recreation or other reasons will consider and support flycatcher 
needs, as long as consistent

[[Page 48577]]

with Tribal cultural and economic needs. The Tribe will consult with 
the Service to develop and design plans that minimize impacts to 
flycatcher habitat. The Tribe will establish collaborative 
relationships with the Service to benefit the flycatcher, including 
monitoring for flycatcher presence and habitat condition, within the 
constraints of available funds to the Tribe. This action is anticipated 
to provide benefits to the western yellow-billed cuckoo. The Quechan 
Tribe may also work in conjunction with the LCR MSCP on additional 
riparian management. We will consider excluding the Colorado River 
within Quechan Tribal land from the final designation of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Cocopah Tribe of Arizona (Unit 7, CA/AZ-1). The Cocopah Tribal 
lands, located 13 mi (21 km) south of Yuma, in Yuma County, Arizona, 
contain proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along 
the lower Colorado River. We anticipate coordinating with the Cocopah 
Tribe regarding development of a riparian plan compatible with western 
yellow-billed cuckoo management. The Cocopah Tribe may also work in 
conjunction with the LCR MSCP on additional riparian management. We 
will consider excluding the Cocopah Tribe of Arizona land from the 
final designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat 
under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    Based on these conservation plans, we will consider excluding 
27,215 ac (11,013 ha) of Tribal land in the two Colorado River units.

Gila River Indian Community (Unit 15: AZ-7 Gila and Salt Rivers)

    The northern boundary of the Gila River Indian Community lands 
adjacent to the southwestern boundary of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, 
Arizona, contain proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat 
along the Salt and Gila rivers. We anticipate coordinating with the 
Gila River Indian Community regarding development of a riparian plan 
compatible with western yellow-billed cuckoo management. We will 
consider excluding 868 ac (351 ha) of Tribal land from the final 
designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Horseshoe Dam (Unit 21: AZ-13) and Lower Verde River (Unit 42: AZ-34)

Horseshoe and Bartlett Dam Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)
    In June 2008, the Service issued an incidental take permit to the 
Salt River Project (SRP) for 16 species that inhabit Horseshoe and 
Bartlett Reservoirs and the Verde River above and below the two dams in 
Gila and Maricopa Counties (Salt River Project 2008, p. 6). The western 
yellow-billed cuckoo and flycatcher are two of the covered species in 
the permit. Critical habitat on the Verde River is proposed within the 
water storage space and upstream of Horseshoe Reservoir and downstream 
of Bartlett Lake. The area covered by the permit for the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo and flycatcher includes Horseshoe Reservoir up to 
an elevation of 2,026 ft (618 m) and Bartlett up to an elevation of 
1,748 ft (533 m), (Salt River Project 2008, p. ES-1). The water storage 
space within Horseshoe Reservoir is the primary area where impacts to 
the western yellow-billed cuckoos and flycatchers are anticipated to 
occur through periodic inundation and drying of habitat (Salt River 
Project 2008, p. 3). Water storage and periodic inundation of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo and flycatcher habitat would likely result in 
delayed or lost breeding attempts, decreased productivity and 
survivorship of dispersing adults in search of suitable breeding 
habitat, and decreased productivity of adults that attempt to breed at 
Horseshoe Reservoir. The 50-year Horseshoe and Bartlett Dam HCP 
provides measures to minimize and mitigate incidental take while 
allowing the continued operation of the two reservoirs (Salt River 
Project 2011a, p. 5). These goals will be achieved with the following 
measures: (1) Managing water levels in Horseshoe Reservoir to the 
extent practicable to benefit or reduce impacts to the covered species; 
and (2) acquiring and managing flycatcher and western yellow-billed 
cuckoo habitat along rivers in central Arizona to provide a diversity 
of geographic locations with habitat like Horseshoe Reservoir (Salt 
River Project 2008, p. ES-4). Mitigation efforts include operation of 
Horseshoe Reservoir to support tall, dense vegetation at the upper end 
of the reservoir and to make riparian habitat available earlier in the 
nesting season (Salt River Project 2011a, p. 5). In addition, the HCP 
obligates the SRP to monitor western yellow-billed cuckoos, 
flycatchers, and habitat at Horseshoe Reservoir (Salt River Project 
2011a, p. 8) and mitigation properties. The SRP must acquire and manage 
in perpetuity 200 ac (81 ha) of riparian habitat by fee title or 
conservation easements (Salt River Project 2011a, p. 5). The SRP has 
acquired a conservation easement for 150 ac (60 ha) on the Gila River 
near Fort Thomas and is working on acquiring an additional 50 ac (20 
ha) (Salt River Project 2011a, p. 5). The SRP provides water from 
Horseshoe and Bartlett Reservoirs directly to various beneficiaries of 
these storage facilities for irrigation and other uses (Salt River 
Project 2008, pp. 11-22). Water from Horseshoe, Bartlett, and the SRP's 
other reservoirs is provided directly by the SRP to shareholder lands 
for irrigation and other uses, and is delivered to the cities of 
Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, 
Scottsdale, Tempe, and Tolleson for municipal use on shareholder lands. 
Water deliveries are also made under specific water rights in Horseshoe 
and Bartlett Reservoirs held by the City of Phoenix, Salt River Pima 
Maricopa Indian Community, and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. In 
addition, water is delivered from the SRP reservoir system to the 
cities, Gila River Indian Community, Buckeye Irrigation Company, RWCD, 
and others in satisfaction of their independent water rights. Finally, 
exchange agreements between a number of entities and the SRP pursuant 
to State and Federal law are facilitated by stored water from Horseshoe 
and Bartlett Reservoirs. We will consider excluding 626 ac (253 ha) in 
the water storage area of Horseshoe Reservoir and the 1,079 ac (437 ha) 
of the Lower Verde River from the final designation of western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
Roosevelt Lake (Unit 22: AZ-14, Tonto Creek, and Unit 37: AZ-29, Salt 
River)
    In February 2003, the Service issued an incidental take permit to 
the SRP for four riparian bird species, including the western yellow-
billed cuckoo and flycatcher for 50 years (Salt River Project 2011b, p. 
1). The Tonto Creek and the Salt River confluences with Roosevelt Lake 
are proposed as western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat. The 
activity covered by the permit is the continued operation by the SRP of 
Roosevelt Dam and Lake in Gila and Maricopa Counties, Arizona, up to an 
elevation of 2,151 ft (656 m) (Salt River Project 2002, ES-1). The HCP 
specifies the following measures to minimize and mitigate incidental 
take of the four species: Creating and managing riparian habitat at 
Roosevelt Lake; and acquiring and managing riparian habitat in river 
basins in central Arizona that the four target bird species are 
expected to occupy (Salt River Project 2002, ES-4). The HCP commits the 
SRP to acquire 2,250 ac (911 ha) credits, including acquisition and 
management of at least 1,500 ac (607 ha) of riparian habitat by fee 
title or conservation easement off-site on the San Pedro, Verde, and 
Gila

[[Page 48578]]

rivers and protection of up to an additional 750 ac (304 ha). The SRP 
has exceeded this obligation, accruing 2,591 ac (1,049 ha) credits 
(Salt River Project 2011b, p. 17). The SRP monitors vegetation at 
Roosevelt Lake to ensure that adaptive management thresholds or permit 
limits are not exceeded (Salt River Project 2011b, p. 6). Because 
flycatchers and western yellow-billed cuckoos rely on similar riparian 
habitat, most of the mitigation measures serve both species.
    Western yellow-billed cuckoo and flycatcher habitat at Roosevelt 
Lake varies depending on how and when the lake recedes as a result of 
water in-flow and subsequent storage capacity and delivery needs. Even 
in the expected high-water years, some flycatcher and western yellow-
billed cuckoo habitat would persist at Roosevelt Lake. Measures in the 
HCP to protect habitat at Roosevelt Lake include funding a USFS 
employee to patrol and improve protection of flycatcher habitat in the 
Roosevelt lakebed from adverse activities such as fire ignition from 
human neglect, improper vehicle use, etc. (Salt River Project 2011b, p. 
13). The SRP also developed habitat near Roosevelt Lake at offsite Rock 
House Farm Site to serve as a potential refugium when Roosevelt Lake is 
near capacity (Salt River Project 2011, p. 15). The SRP monitors 
habitat conditions, flycatchers, and western yellow-billed cuckoos at 
Roosevelt Lake and at offsite mitigation properties (Salt River Project 
2011, pp. 19-20). We will consider excluding the water storage area of 
Roosevelt Lake including 3,155 ac (1,277 ha) of Unit AZ-14 and 2,469 ac 
(1,000 ha) of Unit AZ-29 from the final designation of western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Pima County Multi-Species Conservation Plan (Unit 28: AZ-20, Lower San 
Pedro River and Gila River; Unit 30: AZ-22, Peritas Wash; Unit 31: AZ-
23, Arivaca Wash and San Luis Wash; Unit 33: AZ-25, Upper Cienega 
Creek; Unit 38: AZ-30, Lower Cienega Creek; and Unit 45: AZ-37, Florida 
Wash).

    Under the draft Multi-Species Conservation Plan, Pima County will 
avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to 44 species and their habitat 
within the Permit Area (a subset of Pima County) during the 30-year 
section 10(a)(1)(B) permit period (Pima County 2011a, p. xi). The 
primary covered activities are maintenance and construction activities 
and certain development activities of the private sector. Pima County 
anticipates providing approximately 112,000 ac (45,325 ha) of 
mitigation for approximately 36,000 ac (14,568 ha) of disturbance 
resulting from covered activities (Pima County 2011a, p. xi). The plan 
will conserve and manage western yellow-billed cuckoos by: (1) 
Implementing the Pima County Riparian Protection Ordinance to minimize 
habitat loss; and (2) protecting water rights at Cienega Creek Natural 
Preserve and Buehman Canyon to maintain and restore habitat (Pima 
County 2011b, p. A-80). Proposed critical habitat within the 
jurisdiction of Pima County includes parts of Cienega Creek, Florida 
Wash, Penitas Wash, and the San Pedro River (Pima County 2011a, p. 14). 
Pima County will conduct western yellow-billed cuckoo surveys, although 
the frequency and locations have yet to be determined. Approximately 
8,962 ac (3,626 ha) are proposed as mitigation for the projected loss 
of 74 ac (30 ha) of western yellow-billed cuckoo habitat; however, 
these 74 ac (30 ha) are not proposed as critical habitat (Pima County 
2011b, p. A-80). Additional impacts within western yellow-billed cuckoo 
habitat resulting from the covered activities may emerge over the 30-
year permit period and will be mitigated accordingly. Pima County will 
develop a riparian and aquatic species management that will include 
conservation actions to benefit covered species (Pima County 2011a, p. 
51). The amount of mitigation credit for implementation of these 
conservation actions will be negotiated with the Service on a case-by-
case basis (Pima County 2011a, p. 51). We are considering excluding 
37,812 ac (15,308 ha) in these units from the final designation of 
western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act.

Yavapa-Apache Nation (Unit 17: AZ-9, Upper Verde River; Unit 19: AZ-11, 
Beaver Creek and Tributaries; and Unit 20: AZ-12, Lower Verde River and 
West Clear Creek)

    The Yavapai-Apache Nation contains Verde River segments of proposed 
western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat in Yavapai County, 
Arizona. The small parcels total 638 acres and are located near 
Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Middle Verde, Rimrock, and the I-17 interchange 
for Montezuma Castle National Monument (Yavapai-Apache Nation 2005, p. 
6). The Yavapai-Apache Nation has completed a SWFMP that is compatible 
with western yellow-billed cuckoo management (Yavapai-Apache Nation 
2005, pp. 1-15). The Yavapai-Apache Nation's SWFMP addresses and 
presents assurances for flycatcher habitat conservation. The Yavapai-
Apache Nation will, through zoning, Tribal ordinances and code 
requirements, and measures identified in the flycatcher recovery plan, 
take all practicable steps to protect known flycatcher habitat located 
along the Verde River (Yavapai-Apache Nation 2005, p. 14). The Yavapai-
Apache Nation will take all reasonable measures to assure that no net 
habitat loss or permanent modification of flycatcher habitat will 
result from recreational and road construction activities, or habitat 
restoration activities, and will take all reasonable steps to 
coordinate with the Service so that flycatcher habitat is protected. 
Within funding limitations and under confidentiality guidelines 
established by the Yavapai-Apache Nation, they will cooperate with the 
Service to monitor and survey habitat for breeding and migrating 
flycatchers, conduct research, and perform habitat restoration, or 
other beneficial flycatcher management activities. Because flycatchers 
and western yellow-billed cuckoos rely on similar riparian habitat, 
most of the mitigation measures serve both species. We will consider 
excluding the Verde River segments totaling 46 ac (18 ha) within the 
Yavapai-Apache Nation from the final designation of western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

San Carlos Reservation (Unit 28: AZ-20, Lower San Pedro River and Gila 
River; Unit 36: AZ-28, Gila River 1)

    The San Carlos Apache Tribal lands contain proposed western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat within the conservation space of San 
Carlos Lake and the Gila River upstream from San Carlos Lake, in Gila 
County, Arizona. The San Carlos Apache Tribe has finalized a SWFMP that 
is compatible with western yellow-billed cuckoo management (San Carlos 
Apache Tribe 2005, pp. 1-65). Implementation of the San Carlos Apache 
Tribe's SWFMP will protect all known flycatcher habitat on San Carlos 
Tribal Land and assure no net habitat loss or permanent modification 
will result (San Carlos Apache Tribe 2005, p. 36). All habitat 
restoration activities (whether to rehabilitate or restore native 
plants) will be conducted under reasonable coordination with the 
Service. All reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that 
recreational activities do not result in a net habitat loss or 
permanent modification. All reasonable measures will be taken to 
conduct livestock grazing activities under the guidelines established 
in the Recovery Plan for the flycatcher. Within funding limitations

[[Page 48579]]

and under confidentiality guidelines established by the Tribe, the 
Tribe will cooperate with the Service to monitor and survey habitat for 
breeding and migrating flycatchers, conduct research, and perform 
habitat restoration, or other beneficial flycatcher management 
activities (San Carlos Apache Tribe 2005, pp. 35-36, 45-46). Because 
flycatchers and western yellow-billed cuckoos rely on similar riparian 
habitat, most of the mitigation measures serve both species. We will 
consider excluding 10,912 ac (4,418 ha) of San Carlos Apache Tribal 
land from the final designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo 
critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

New Mexico

San Juan River; San Juan County, New Mexico (Unit 46: NM-1)

Tribal Management Plans and Partnerships--Navajo Nation
    The Navajo Nation contains a river segment of the proposed San Juan 
River 1 Unit in San Juan County, New Mexico. We will coordinate with 
these tribes and examine what western yellow-billed cuckoo conservation 
actions, management plans, and other commitments occur on these lands 
for potential exclusion of 1,041 ac (421 ha) of Navajo Nation land from 
the final designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat 
under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Upper Rio Grande (Unit 50: NM-6) and Middle Rio Grande (Unit 51: NM-7)

    Tribal Management Plans and Partnerships--Santa Clara, San Juan 
(Ohkay Owingue), and the San Ildefonso Pueblos. The Santa Clara Pueblo 
and the San Juan Pueblo (Ohkay Owingue) contain proposed western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along the Rio Grande within the 
Upper Rio Grande Management Unit in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. The 
San Ildefonso Pueblo contains proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo 
critical habitat along the Rio Grande within the Upper Rio Grande 
Management Unit in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.
    The Santa Clara Pueblo, the San Juan Pueblo (Ohkay Owingue), and 
the San Ildefonso Pueblo have conducted a variety of voluntary 
measures, restoration projects, and management actions to conserve the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo and its habitat on their lands. These 
Pueblos have made a commitment to the Service to develop an integrated 
resources management plan to address multiuse, enhancement, and 
management of their natural resources. The pueblos have implemented 
fuel reduction of flammable exotic riparian vegetation and native tree 
restoration projects in the riparian area since 2001, carefully 
progressing in incremental stages to reduce the overall effects to 
wildlife. We will consider excluding the Santa Clara Pueblo, the San 
Juan Pueblo (Ohkay Owingue), and the San Ildefonso Pueblo lands 
totaling 1,173 ac (475 ha) from the final designation of western 
yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Middle Rio Grande (Unit 52: NM-8)

    Tribal Management Plans and Partnerships--Cochiti, Santo Domingo, 
San Felipe, Sandia, and Santa Ana Pueblos. The Cochiti Pueblo, Santo 
Domingo Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, and Santa Ana Pueblo 
contain proposed western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat along 
the Rio Grande within the Middle Rio Grande Management Unit in Sandoval 
County, New Mexico. The Isleta Pueblo contains proposed western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat along the Rio Grande within the Middle 
Rio Grande Management Unit in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
    The Cochiti Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Sandia 
Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, and Isleta Pueblo have conducted a variety of 
voluntary measures, restoration projects, and management actions to 
conserve the western yellow-billed cuckoo and its habitat on their 
lands. Cochiti Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Sandia 
Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, and Isleta Pueblo made a commitment to the 
Service to develop an integrated resources management plan to address 
multiuse, enhancement, and management of their natural resources. The 
pueblos have implemented fuel reduction of flammable exotic riparian 
vegetation and native tree restoration projects in the riparian area 
since 2001, carefully progressing in incremental stages to reduce the 
overall effects to wildlife. We will consider excluding the Cochiti 
Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, Santa 
Ana Pueblo, and Isleta Pueblo lands totaling 9,509 ac (3,850 ha) from 
the final designation of western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat 
under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

U-Bar Ranch (Unit 48: NM-4)

    The U-Bar Ranch (Ranch) near Cliff, in Grant County New Mexico, in 
the Upper Gila Management Area is owned by Pacific Western Land Company 
(PWLC), a subsidiary of the Freeport-McMoRan Corporation (formerly 
named Phelps Dodge Corporation)(FMC). Through their efforts and their 
long-time lessee, FMC has demonstrated a commitment to management 
practices on the Ranch that have conserved and benefited the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo population in that area over the past decade. In 
addition, FMC had privately funded scientific research at and in the 
vicinity of the Ranch in order to develop data that has contributed to 
the understanding of habitat selection, distribution, prey base, and 
threats to the southwestern willow flycatcher. The riparian habitat 
also has a large number of nesting western yellow-billed cuckoos. 
Considering the past and ongoing efforts of management and research to 
benefit the southwestern willow flycatcher, western yellow-billed 
cuckoo, and riparian habitat, done in coordination and cooperation with 
the Service, we are considering excluding areas of the U-Bar Ranch from 
the final designation of critical habitat.
    The U-Bar Ranch utilizes a management plan on its pastures within 
the Gila Valley that are north of the Highway 180 West Bridge and south 
of the boundary of the Gila National Forest. Eight pastures that 
incorporate approximately 1,372 ha (3,390 ac) are managed with a plan 
that is adapted annually for operation of livestock and farming 
enterprises. The management consists of a multifaceted and highly 
flexible rest-rotation system utilizing both native forage and 
irrigated fields. The Ranch's numerous pastures allow a relatively 
dynamic rotation system that is modified based upon current conditions. 
Grazing use of river bottom pastures is monitored by daily visual 
inspections. Use of these pastures is limited to ensure that forage 
utilization levels are moderate and over-use does not occur. In 
addition, the riparian areas are monitored regularly, and riparian 
vegetation is allowed to propagate along the river as well as in 
irrigation ditches. Some specific management practices, varying in 
different pastures, which relate to the southwestern willow flycatcher 
and western yellow-billed cuckoo and their habitat are: (1) Grazing is 
limited to November through April to avoid negative impacts during 
migration and nesting season; (2) animal units are adjusted to protect 
and maintain the riparian vegetation; (3) the irrigation ditches are 
maintained, along with the vegetation; (4) restoration efforts follow 
flood events that destroy habitat; and (5) herbicide and pesticides are 
only used in rare circumstances and are not used during breeding 
season. These flexible and adaptive management practices have resulted 
in the expansion,

[[Page 48580]]

protection, and successful continuance of a large western yellow-billed 
cuckoo population in the area.
    In 1995, active restoration followed the flooding destruction of 
the Bennett Farm fields in the 162 ha (400 ac) River Pasture. The 
Bennett Restoration Project is a series of artificially created, 
flooded marshy areas located between irrigated and dry-land pastures 
and the river. The Bennett Restoration Project is a mosaic of 
vegetation in successional stages with dense patches and lines of young 
willows and cottonwoods occurring in manmade oxbows. The oxbows occur 
outside of the active flood channel behind a levee. Water is 
continuously present and the project has become a marshy habitat.
    A significant feature of this riparian area is the amount of water 
it receives from adjacent irrigated fields. The Ranch has rehydrated 
ditches and no longer follows past land-use practices, which involved 
active clearing of woody vegetation from ditch banks. Besides land 
management practices, PWLC, and the U-Bar Ranch have supported annual 
southwestern willow flycatcher surveys, where western yellow-billed 
cuckoo detections are recorded and research in the Gila valley since 
1994. Surveyors are trained and permitted in coordination with the 
Service and survey results are submitted to the Service in annual 
reports. Southwestern willow flycatcher research on the Ranch has 
included: Nest monitoring (sites, substrate, and success), diet, 
microhabitat use, climatic influences on breeding, cowbird parasitism, 
and distribution and characteristics of territories. Permits for 
studies are coordinated with the Service and reports are submitted to 
us for review and comments. The Service will continue to work with the 
U-Bar Ranch to include the western yellow-billed cuckoo in their 
existing management plan and research activities. Their current 
research provides information to apply to grazing and land management. 
We will consider excluding the areas identified as critical habitat on 
the U-Bar Ranch from the final designation of western yellow-billed 
cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Idaho

Fort Hall Indian Reservation (Unit 69--Snake River 1 (ID-1)); Tribal 
Management Plans and Partnerships

    The Fort Hall Indian Reservation contains a portion of the Snake 
River 1 Unit in Bannock and Bingham Counties, Idaho. We have met with 
staff from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and discussed their existing and 
proposed conservation actions and management plans, which also benefit 
the western yellow-billed cuckoo, for the area proposed for designation 
as critical habitat. We will continue to coordinate with the Tribes on 
these management plans for potential exclusion of 3,424 ac (1,312 ha) 
of Fort Hall Indian Reservation land from the final designation of 
western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of 
the Act.

Colorado

Rio Grande 3 (Unit 59: CO-6) and Conejos River (Unit 60: CO-7); 
Partnerships, Conservation Plans, or Conservation Easements on Private 
Lands

San Luis Valley Regional Habitat Conservation Plan
    We are considering excluding critical habitat in the San Luis 
Valley, Colorado, based on the San Luis Valley Regional HCP, as 
discussed below. Two critical habitat units are proposed in the San 
Luis Valley: One on the Rio Grande (Unit 59; CO-6) and one that occurs 
on both the Conejos River and Rio San Antonio (Unit 60; CO-7). The San 
Luis Valley Regional HCP was finalized in November 2012. None of the 
other six proposed critical habitat units in Colorado are being 
considered for exclusion because there are no HCPs or other management 
plans in place or under development that cover those critical habitat 
units.
    The species covered in the HCP are the western yellow-billed cuckoo 
and the flycatcher. The HCP covers nearly 250 mi (403 km) and 2.9 
million ac (1.17 million ha), a portion of which is habitat for the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo, and extends well beyond the stream 
segments on the Rio Grande, Conejos River, and Rio San Antonio that are 
proposed as critical habitat. Approximately 10,000 ac (4,047 ha) out of 
the 15,100 ac (6,111 ha) of riparian habitat in the HCP plan area are 
cottonwood-dominated. However, the majority of impacted woody riparian 
habitat will likely be willows. Yellow-billed cuckoos can use willows 
and other shrubs for foraging and nesting so impacts to western yellow-
billed cuckoos can still occur, especially if cottonwoods are nearby or 
constitute the overstory.
    The HCP covers routine agriculture activities (grazing, fence 
construction and maintenance, ditch clearing and maintenance, water 
facility maintenance, new small-scale water facility construction, and 
water management and administration), small community infrastructure 
activities (vegetation removal from floodways, levee construction and 
maintenance, sediment removal, infrastructure construction and 
maintenance, and road and bridge maintenance), and riparian 
conservation and restoration activities (channel shaping and 
stabilization, habitat creation and restoration, weed management, and 
wetland creation and management). Large commercial or residential 
developments, large water development projects, sanitation or 
industrial water impoundments, new highway construction, and projects 
requiring a Federal permit are not covered by the HCP.
    The HCP permittees include the Rio Grande Water Conservation 
District (District); Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, Mineral 
and Saguache Counties; the municipalities of Alamosa, Del Norte, Monte 
Vista, and South Fork; and the State of Colorado Department of Natural 
Resources. The District has committed to be the administrator of the 
HCP. The 9-year length of commitment to the HCP process by the 
permittees demonstrates their willingness to proceed with this new HCP 
and the likelihood of implementation of the measures and strategies 
contained therein.
    There are an estimated 304 ac (123 ha) of woody riparian habitat 
impacted by the HCP's covered activities that will be mitigated at 
about a 1:1 ratio by the applicants. Mitigation will be in the form of 
conservation easements, habitat restoration and enhancements, and 
management agreements. The majority of covered activities are expected 
to impact narrow or otherwise marginal habitat for the western yellow-
billed cuckoo. Consequently, mitigation measures will likely conserve, 
restore, or enhance habitat, resulting in an increase of higher quality 
habitat over impacted habitat. Both compliance and effectiveness 
monitoring are built into the HCP. Valley-wide habitat monitoring, as 
well as parcel-specific habitat monitoring and species monitoring, will 
be conducted and used to determine if management needs to be adapted to 
successfully mitigate covered activities and maintain habitat into the 
future.
    We will consider excluding all non-Federal HCP lands in proposed 
critical habitat units CO-6 and CO-7 totaling 18,407 ac (7,449 ha) from 
final western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act. We encourage any public comments in 
relation to this consideration.

[[Page 48581]]

San Luis Valley Partnerships
    The San Luis Valley has many proactive conservation efforts 
underway that protect and enhance wetland and riparian habitat, and 
will contribute to the conservation and enhancement of habitat for the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo. These efforts include, but are not 
limited to, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs for private 
land by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Service's Partners for 
Fish and Wildlife Program. The Rio Grande Initiative has raised more 
than $10 million in Federal, State, and private funding, and has 
protected over 18 properties and 13,600 ac (5,506 ha) of land along the 
Rio Grande (not including lands in Mineral County). Conservation 
successes have included the 585-ac (237-ha) River Valley Ranch I near 
the 1,025-ac (415- ha) Rio Grande/Shriver-Wright State Wildlife Area, 
the Gilmore Ranch near Alamosa, and the 3,200-ac (1,296-ha) Cross Arrow 
Ranch at the confluence of the Rio Grande and Conejos River (adjacent 
to the BLM's McIntire-Simpson property) (Butler 2010). Other 
conservation actions include the establishment of BLM's Rio Grande 
Natural Area along a 33-mi (53-km) stretch of the Rio Grande from the 
southern boundary of the Alamosa NWR to the New Mexico State line, 
extending 0.25 mi (0.4 km) on either side of the river, although this 
area is outside proposed critical habitat.
    As a result of multiple fundraising efforts by various public and 
private entities that operate in the San Luis Valley, as of October 
2011, over 32,000 ac (12,955 ha) of land and 1,762 ac (713 ha) of 
riparian habitat in the HCP area have been protected by conservation 
easements (see Tables 1 and 2), although only a portion lies within the 
area proposed for western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat 
designation. Approximately 1,500 ac (607 ha) of riparian habitat are 
under permanent conservation easement along the Rio Grande and Conejos 
River (Shoemaker 2012, in litt.). The easements prohibit any activity 
that alters or diminishes the value of the wildlife habitat.
    We will consider excluding all lands under permanent conservation 
easement within the proposed critical habitat units CO-6 and CO-7 from 
final western yellow-billed cuckoo critical habitat designation under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act. These same lands are also being considered 
for exclusion based on their inclusion in the San Luis Valley Regional 
HCP. We encourage any public comments in relation to this 
consideration.

Consideration of Economic Impacts

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act and its implementing regulations require 
that we consider the economic impact that may result from a designation 
of critical habitat. To assess the probable economic impacts of a 
designation, we must first evaluate specific land uses or activities 
and projects that may occur in the area of the critical habitat. We 
then must evaluate the impacts that a specific critical habitat 
designation may have on restricting or modifying specific land uses or 
activities for the benefit of the species and its habitat within the 
areas proposed. We then identify which conservation efforts may be the 
result of the species being listed under the Act versus those 
attributed solely to the designation of critical habitat for this 
particular species. The probable economic impact of a proposed critical 
habitat designation is analyzed by comparing scenarios ``with critical 
habitat'' and ``without critical habitat.'' The ``without critical 
habitat'' scenario represents the baseline for the analysis, which 
includes the existing regulatory and socio-economic burden imposed on 
landowners, managers, or other resource users potentially affected by 
the designation of critical habitat (e.g., under the Federal listing as 
well as other Federal, State, and local regulations). The baseline, 
therefore, represents the costs of all efforts attributable to the 
listing of the species under the Act (i.e., conservation of the species 
and its habitat incurred regardless of whether critical habitat is 
designated). The ``with critical habitat'' scenario describes the 
incremental impacts associated specifically with the designation of 
critical habitat for the species. The incremental conservation efforts 
and associated impacts would not be expected without the designation of 
critical habitat for the species. In other words, the incremental costs 
are those attributable solely to the designation of critical habitat, 
above and beyond the baseline costs. These are the costs we use when 
evaluating the benefits of inclusion and exclusion of particular areas 
from the final designation of critical habitat should we choose to 
conduct an optional 4(b)(2) exclusion analysis.
    For this particular designation, we developed an incremental 
effects memorandum (IEM) considering the probable incremental economic 
impacts that may result from this proposed designation of critical 
habitat. The information contained in our IEM was then used to develop 
a screening analysis of the probable effects of the designation of 
critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo (Industrial 
Economics Incorporated (IEc) 2013a; IEc 2013b). We began by conducting 
a screening analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat in 
order to focus our analysis on the key factors that are likely to 
result in incremental economic impacts. The purpose of the screening 
analysis is to filter out the geographic areas in which the critical 
habitat designation is unlikely to result in incremental economic 
impacts. In particular, the screening analysis considers baseline 
impacts (i.e., impacts absent critical habitat designation) and 
includes probable economic impacts where land and water use may be 
subject to conservation plans, land management plans, best management 
practices, or regulations that protect the habitat area as a result of 
the Federal listing status of the species. The screening analysis 
filters out particular areas of critical habitat that are already 
subject to such protections and are, therefore, unlikely to incur 
incremental economic impacts. Ultimately, the screening analysis allows 
us to focus our analysis on evaluating the specific areas or sectors 
that may incur probable incremental economic impacts as a result of the 
designation. The screening analysis also assesses whether any 
unoccupied units may require additional management or conservation 
efforts as a result of the critical habitat designation and whether the 
units may incur incremental economic impacts. This screening analysis 
combined with the information contained in our IEM are what we consider 
our draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat 
designation for the western yellow-billed cuckoo and are summarized in 
the narrative below.
    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Federal agencies to assess 
the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives in 
quantitative (to the extent feasible) and qualitative terms. Consistent 
with the E.O. regulatory analysis requirements, our effects analysis 
under the Act may take into consideration impacts to both directly and 
indirectly impacted entities, where practicable and reasonable. We 
assess to the extent practicable, the probable impacts, if sufficient 
data are available, to both directly and indirectly impacted entities. 
As part of our screening analysis, we considered the types of economic 
activities that are likely to occur within the areas likely affected by 
the critical habitat designation. In our evaluation of the probable 
incremental economic impacts that may result from the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for the western yellow-billed

[[Page 48582]]

cuckoo, first we identified, in the IEM dated June 19, 2013, probable 
incremental economic impacts associated with the following categories 
of activities: (1) Water management, including hydropower operations; 
(2) restoration and conservation projects; (3) fire management; (4) 
transportation activities, including bridge construction; (5) 
recreation activities; (6) livestock grazing and agriculture; (7) 
mining; (8) residential and commercial development; and (9) border 
protection activities. We considered each industry or category 
individually. Additionally, we considered whether their activities have 
any Federal involvement. Critical habitat designation will not affect 
activities that do not have any Federal involvement as the designation 
of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, funded, 
permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies. In areas where the 
western yellow-billed cuckoo is present, Federal agencies will already 
be required to consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act on 
activities they fund, permit, or implement that may affect the species. 
If we finalize this proposed critical habitat designation, 
consultations to avoid the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat would be incorporated into the existing consultation 
process. Therefore, disproportionate impacts to any geographic area or 
sector would not likely be a result of this critical habitat 
designation.
    In our IEM, we attempted to clarify the distinction between the 
effects that will result from the species being listed and those 
attributable to the critical habitat designation (i.e., difference 
between the jeopardy and adverse modification standards). Because the 
designation of critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo is 
being proposed nearly concurrently with the listing, it has been our 
experience that it is more difficult to discern which conservation 
efforts are attributable to the species being listed and those which 
will result solely from the designation of critical habitat. However, 
the following specific circumstances in this case help to inform our 
evaluation: (1) The essential physical and biological features 
identified for critical habitat are the same features essential for the 
life requisites of the species, and (2) any actions that would result 
in sufficient harm or harassment to constitute jeopardy to the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo would also likely adversely affect the essential 
physical and biological features of critical habitat. The IEM outlines 
our rationale concerning this limited distinction between baseline 
conservation efforts and incremental impacts of the designation of 
critical habitat for this species. This evaluation of the incremental 
effects has been used as the basis to evaluate the probable incremental 
economic impacts of this proposed designation of critical habitat.
    Except in limited instances, which the Service cannot predict at 
this time, project modifications requested to avoid adverse 
modification are likely to be the same as those needed to avoid 
jeopardy. Notwithstanding the low probability of such limited instances 
occurring, when the Service completes a consultation for the western 
yellow-billed cuckoo within critical habitat, that consultation will 
evaluate whether that project would result in adverse modification.
    The Service is not proposing to designate areas outside of the 
geographical area occupied by the species as critical habitat. All of 
the proposed units are occupied by the western yellow-billed cuckoo 
during their breeding season. Occupied breeding habitat is considered 
by the Service to be occupied year-round for the evaluation of project-
related effects that degrade habitat quality. An evaluation of 
consultations for other riparian obligate listed migratory bird species 
that occupy some of the same areas (i.e., southwestern willow 
flycatcher and least Bell's vireo) informs the Service that project 
modifications intended to address adverse project effects focus 
primarily on various habitat restoration and conservation mechanisms, 
whether the adverse effects are upon members of the listed species or 
its designated critical habitat. We anticipate that these mechanisms 
overlap because the impacts in either case will most likely be 
affecting the persistence, development, and recycling of habitat. The 
result is that the application of such measures is anticipated to 
simultaneously remove jeopardy and adverse modification outcomes.
    Therefore, only administrative costs are expected in the proposed 
critical habitat designation. While this additional analysis will 
require time and resources by both the Federal action agency and the 
Service, it is believed that, in most circumstances, these costs would 
predominantly be administrative in nature and would not be significant.
    The proposed critical habitat designation for the western yellow-
billed cuckoo includes 80 units in nine western States: Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and 
Wyoming. A total of 546,335 ac (221,094 ha) are proposed of which 
193,691 ac (78,370 ha) are being considered for exclusions. 
Approximately 32 percent of the proposed total acreage is Federal land, 
9 percent is State land, 13 percent is owned by Tribal entities, and 46 
percent is privately owned or owned by local government entities. All 
proposed critical habitat units are considered to be occupied.
    The entities most likely to incur incremental costs are parties to 
section 7 consultations, including Federal action agencies and, in some 
cases, third parties, most frequently State agencies or municipalities. 
Activities we expect would be subject to consultations that may involve 
private entities as third parties are residential and commercial 
development that may occur on Tribal or private lands. However, based 
on coordination efforts with Tribal partners and State and local 
agencies, the cost to private entities within these sectors is expected 
to be relatively minor (administrative costs of less than $5,000 per 
formal consultation effort) and, therefore, would not be significant.
    The probable incremental economic impacts of the western yellow-
billed cuckoo critical habitat designation are expected to be limited 
to additional administrative effort, as well as minor costs of 
conservation efforts resulting from a small number of future section 7 
consultations. This is due to the proposed critical habitat being 
considered occupied by the species, and incremental economic impacts of 
critical habitat designation, other than administrative costs, are 
unlikely. At approximately $5,000 or less per formal consultation, in 
order to reach the threshold of $100 million of incremental 
administrative impacts in a single year, critical habitat designation 
would have to result in more than 20,000 formal consultations in a 
single year. It is possible that 100 formal consultations will be 
needed in the first year after listing and fewer will be needed in 
subsequent years. Thus, the annual administrative burden from formal 
consultations will most likely not exceed $500,000 in any given year. 
The total incremental effect of administrative cost for all activities 
(including technical assistance, informal consultations, and 
programmatic consultations) are estimated to be a maximum of $3.2 
million annually. Therefore, future probable incremental economic 
impacts are not likely to exceed $100 million in any single year, and 
disproportionate impacts to any geographic area or sector are not 
likely as a result of this critical habitat designation.
    As we stated earlier, we are soliciting data and comments from the 
public on

[[Page 48583]]

the economic screening analysis, as well as all aspects of the proposed 
rule. We may revise the proposed rule or supporting documents to 
incorporate or address information we receive during the public comment 
period. In particular, we may exclude an area from critical habitat if 
we determine that the benefits of excluding the area outweigh the 
benefits of including the area, provided the exclusion will not result 
in the extinction of this species.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the 
Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert 
opinions of at least three appropriate and independent specialists 
regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure 
that our critical habitat designation is based on scientifically sound 
data, assumptions, and analyses. We will invite these peer reviewers to 
comment during this public comment period on our specific assumptions 
and conclusions in this proposed designation of critical habitat.
    We will consider all comments and information we receive during the 
comment period on this proposed rule during our preparation of a final 
determination. Accordingly, the final decision may differ from this 
proposal.

Public Hearings

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings 
on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 
days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal 
Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. We will schedule a public hearing 
on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, 
and places of any hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable 
accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 
15 days before the hearing.

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 
significant because it will raise novel legal or policy issues.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

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

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996 (5 U.S.C 801 et seq.), whenever an agency 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 (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 such businesses as 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 forestry and logging 
operations with fewer than 500 employees and annual business less than 
$7 million. To determine whether small entities may be affected, we 
will consider 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.
    Importantly, the incremental impacts of a rule must be both 
significant and substantial to prevent certification of the rule under 
the RFA and to require the preparation of an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis. If a substantial number of small entities are 
affected by the proposed critical habitat designation, but the per-
entity economic impact is not significant, the Service may certify. 
Likewise, if the per-entity economic impact is likely to be 
significant, but the number of affected entities is not substantial, 
the Service may also certify.
    Under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, 
Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential 
incremental impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated 
by the rulemaking itself, and not the potential impacts to indirectly 
affected 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 adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, only Federal 
action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory 
requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by 
critical habitat designation. Under these circumstances, it is our 
position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated 
by this designation. Therefore, because Federal agencies are not small 
entities, the Service may certify that the proposed critical habitat 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.
    We acknowledge, however, that in some cases, third-party proponents 
of the action subject to permitting or funding may participate in a 
section 7 consultation, and thus may be indirectly affected. We believe 
it is good policy to assess these impacts if we have sufficient data 
before us to complete the necessary analysis, whether or not this 
analysis is strictly required by the RFA. While this regulation does 
not directly regulate these entities, in our draft economic analysis we 
will conduct a brief evaluation of the potential number of third 
parties participating in consultations on an annual basis in order to 
ensure a more complete

[[Page 48584]]

examination of the incremental effects of this proposed rule in the 
context of the RFA.
    In conclusion, we believe that, based on our interpretation of 
directly regulated entities under the RFA and relevant case law, this 
designation of critical habitat will only directly regulate Federal 
agencies, which are not by definition small business entities. As such, 
certify that, if promulgated, this designation of critical habitat 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required. However, though not necessarily required by 
the RFA, in our draft economic analysis for this proposal we will 
consider and evaluate the potential effects to third parties that may 
be involved with consultations with Federal action agencies related to 
this action.

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. We do not expect that the proposed critical habitat 
designation for the western yellow-billed cuckoo would significantly 
affect energy supplies, distribution, or use, as the areas identified 
as proposed critical habitat are along riparian corridors in mostly 
remote areas with little energy supplies, distribution, or 
infrastructure in place. Therefore, this action is not a significant 
energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. However, 
we will further evaluate this issue as we conduct our economic 
analysis, and review and revise this assessment as warranted.

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 would 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 would significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments because it will not produce a Federal 
mandate of $100 million or greater in any year, that is, it is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. The designation of critical habitat imposes no obligations on 
State or local governments. Therefore, a Small Government Agency Plan 
is not required. However, we will further evaluate this issue as we 
conduct our economic analysis and revise this assessment if 
appropriate.

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 the western yellow-billed cuckoo in a 
takings implications assessment. Based on the best available 
information, the takings implications assessment concludes that this 
designation of critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo 
does not pose significant takings implications. However, we will 
further evaluate this issue as we develop our final designation, and 
review and revise this assessment as warranted.

Federalism--Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism), this 
proposed 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 
proposed critical habitat designation with appropriate State resource 
agencies in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah, 
Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming. Because the species is concurrently being 
listed under the Act, the designation of critical habitat in areas 
currently occupied by the western yellow-billed cuckoo may impose 
nominal additional regulatory restrictions to those currently in place 
and, therefore, may have little incremental impact on State and local 
governments and their activities. The designation may have some benefit 
to these governments because the areas that contain the physical and 
biological features essential to the conservation of the species are 
more clearly defined, and the elements of the 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 local 
governments in long-range planning (rather than having them 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

[[Page 48585]]

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 requirements of 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We have proposed designating 
critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the Act. This 
proposed rule uses standard property descriptions and identifies the 
elements of physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo within the proposed 
designated areas to assist the public in understanding the habitat 
needs of the species.

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)). However, when the 
range of the species includes States within the Tenth Circuit, such as 
that of western yellow-billed cuckoo, under the Tenth Circuit ruling in 
Catron County Board of Commissioners v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
75 F.3d 1429 (10th Cir. 1996), we will undertake a NEPA analysis for 
critical habitat designation and notify the public of the availability 
of the draft environmental assessment for this proposal when it is has 
been completed.

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (1) Be logically organized;
    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences 
are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful, etc.

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. The following tribes are identified in 
the proposed designation: Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; Colorado River 
Indian Reservation; Fort Yuma Indian Reservation; Cocopah Tribe; 
Yavapai-Apache Nation; San Carlos Reservation; Navajo Nation; Santa 
Clara, San Juan, and San Ildefonso Pueblos; Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San 
Felipe, Sandia, Santa Ana and Isleta Pueblos; Shoshone-Bannock, Fort 
Hall Reservation; the Colusa Wintun Tribe; and the Ute Tribe, Uinta and 
Ouray Reservation. We will be working with the tribes identified above 
throughout the process of listing and designating critical habitat for 
the western yellow-billed cuckoo.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available 
on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the 
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

Authors

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

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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

PART 17--ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

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

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.95(b) by adding an entry for ``Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
(Coccyzus americanus), Western DPS'' immediately following the entry 
for ``Mariana Crow (Corvus kubaryi)'', to read as follows:


Sec.  17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

* * * * *
    (b) Birds.
* * * * *

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), Western DPS

    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Arizona, California, 
Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, on the 
maps below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the

[[Page 48586]]

conservation of western yellow-billed cuckoo consist of three 
components:
    (i) Riparian woodlands. Riparian woodlands with mixed willow-
cottonwood vegetation, mesquite-thorn-forest vegetation, or a 
combination of these that contain habitat for nesting and foraging in 
contiguous or nearly contiguous patches that are greater than 325 feet 
(100 meters) in width and 200 acres (81 hectares) or more in extent. 
These habitat patches contain one or more nesting groves, which are 
generally willow-dominated, have above average canopy closure (greater 
than 70 percent), and have a cooler, more humid environment than the 
surrounding riparian and upland habitats.
    (ii) Adequate prey base. Presence of a prey base consisting of 
large insect fauna (for example, cicadas, caterpillars, katydids, 
grasshoppers, large beetles, dragonflies) and tree frogs for adults and 
young in breeding areas during the nesting season and in post-breeding 
dispersal areas.
    (iii) Dynamic riverine processes. River systems that are dynamic 
and provide hydrologic processes that encourage sediment movement and 
deposits that allow seedling germination and promote plant growth, 
maintenance, health, and vigor (e.g. lower gradient streams and broad 
floodplains, elevated subsurface groundwater table, and perennial 
rivers and streams). This allows habitat to regenerate at regular 
intervals, leading to riparian vegetation with variously aged patches 
from young to old. These dynamic riverine processes are considered 
essential for developing and maintaining the primary constituent 
elements provided in paragraphs (2)(i) and (2)(ii) of this entry.
    (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 
the effective date of this rule.
    (4) Critical habitat map units. Data layers defining map units were 
created on a base of the Natural Resource Conservation Service National 
Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP 2011), and critical habitat was then 
mapped using North American Datum (NAD) 83, Universal Transverse 
Mercator Zone 10N coordinates. The maps in this entry, as modified by 
any accompanying regulatory text, establish the boundaries of the 
critical habitat designation. The coordinates or plot points or both on 
which each map is based are available to the public at the Service's 
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office's internet site at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento, or on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. 
FWS-R8-ES-2013-0011. 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 48587]]

    (5) Index map for California and Nevada follows:
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.005


[[Page 48588]]


    (6) Index map for Arizona follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.006
    

[[Page 48589]]


    (7) Index map for New Mexico and Texas follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.007
    

[[Page 48590]]


    (8) Index map for Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.008
    

[[Page 48591]]


    (9) Unit 1: CA-1, Eel River; Humboldt County, California. Map of 
Unit 1 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.009


[[Page 48592]]


    (10) Unit 2: CA-2, Sacramento River; Colusa, Glenn, Butte, and 
Tehama Counties, California. Map of Units 2 and 3 follows:
    (11) Unit 3: CA-3, Sutter Bypass; Sutter County, California. Map of 
Unit 3 is provided at paragraph (10) of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.010


[[Page 48593]]


    (12) Unit 4: CA-4, South Fork Kern River Valley; Kern County, 
California. Map of Unit 4 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.011


[[Page 48594]]


    (13) Unit 5: CA-5, Owens River; Inyo County, California. Map of 
Unit 5 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.012


[[Page 48595]]


    (14) Unit 6: CA-6, Prado Flood Control Basin; San Bernardino and 
Riverside Counties, California. Map of Unit 6 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.013


[[Page 48596]]


    (15) Unit 7: CA/AZ-1, Colorado River 1; Imperial, Riverside, and 
San Bernardino Counties, California, and Yuma and La Paz Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 7 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.014


[[Page 48597]]


    (16) Unit 8: CA/AZ-2, Colorado River 2; San Bernardino County, 
California, and Mojave County, Arizona. Map of Unit 8 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.015


[[Page 48598]]


    (17) Unit 9: AZ-1, Bill Williams River; Mojave and La Paz Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 9 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.016


[[Page 48599]]


    (18) Unit 10: AZ-2, Alamo Lake; Mojave and La Paz Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Units 10 and 13 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.017


[[Page 48600]]


    (19) Unit 11: AZ-3, Lake Mead; Mohave County, Arizona. Map of Unit 
11 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.018


[[Page 48601]]


    (20) Unit 12: AZ-4, Lower Gila River; Yuma County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 12 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.019


[[Page 48602]]


    (21) Unit 13: AZ-5, Upper Santa Maria River; Yavapai County, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 13 is provided at paragraph (18) of this entry.
    (22) Unit 14: AZ-6, Hassayampa River; Yavapai and Maricopa 
Counties, Arizona. Map of Unit 14 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.020


[[Page 48603]]


    (23) Unit 15: AZ-7, Gila and Salt Rivers; Maricopa County, Arizona. 
Map of Unit 15 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.021


[[Page 48604]]


    (24) Unit 16: AZ-8, Agua Fria River; Yavapai County, Arizona. Map 
of Unit 16 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.022


[[Page 48605]]


    (25) Unit 17: AZ-9, Upper Verde River; Yavapai County, Arizona. Map 
of Unit 17 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.023


[[Page 48606]]


    (26) Unit 18: AZ-10, Oak Creek; Yavapai and Coconino Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 18 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.024


[[Page 48607]]


    (27) Unit 19: AZ-11, Beaver Creek and tributaries; Yavapai County, 
Arizona. Map of Units 19 and 20 follows:
    (28) Unit 20: AZ-12, Lower Verde River and West Clear Creek; 
Yavapai County, Arizona. Map of Unit 20 is provided at paragraph (27) 
of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.025


[[Page 48608]]


    (29) Unit 21: AZ-13, Horseshoe Dam; Yavapai County, Arizona. Map of 
Units 21 and 42 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.026


[[Page 48609]]


    (30) Unit 22: AZ-14, Tonto Creek; Gila County, Arizona. Map of 
Units 22 and 37 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.027


[[Page 48610]]


    (31) Unit 23: AZ-15, Pinal Creek; Gila County, Arizona. Map of Unit 
23 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.028


[[Page 48611]]


    (32) Unit 24: AZ-16, Bonita Creek; Graham County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 24 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.029


[[Page 48612]]


    (33) Unit 25: AZ-17, San Francisco River; Greenlee County, Arizona. 
Map of Units 25 and 39 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.030


[[Page 48613]]


    (34) Unit 26: AZ-18, Upper San Pedro River; Cochise County, 
Arizona. Map of Units 26 and 27 follows:
    (35) Unit 27: AZ-19, Hooker Hot Springs; Cochise County, Arizona. 
Map of Unit 27 is provided at paragraph (34) of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.031


[[Page 48614]]


    (36) Unit 28: AZ-20, Lower San Pedro River and Gila River; Pima and 
Pinal Counties, Arizona. Map of Unit 28 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.032


[[Page 48615]]


    (37) Unit 29: AZ-21, Picacho Reservoir--Flood Control Basin; Pinal 
County, Arizona. Map of Unit 29 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.033


[[Page 48616]]


    (38) Unit 30: AZ-22, Peritas Wash; Pima County, Arizona. Map of 
Units 30 and 31 follows:
    (39) Unit 31: AZ-23, Arivaca Wash and San Luis Wash; Pima County, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 31 is provided at paragraph (38) of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.034


[[Page 48617]]


    (40) Unit 32: AZ-24, Sonoita Creek; Santa Cruz County, Arizona. Map 
of Units 32 and 34 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.035


[[Page 48618]]


    (41) Unit 33: AZ-25, Upper Cienega Creek; Pima County, Arizona. Map 
of Units 33 and 38 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.036

    (42) Unit 34: AZ-26, Santa Cruz River; Santa Cruz County, Arizona. 
Map of Unit 34 is provided at paragraph (40) of this entry.

[[Page 48619]]

    (43) Unit 35: AZ-27, Black Draw; Cochise County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 35 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.037


[[Page 48620]]


    (44) Unit 36: AZ-28, Gila River 1; Graham County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 36 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.038

    (45) Unit 37: AZ-29, Salt River; Gila County, Arizona. Map of Unit 
37 is provided at paragraph (30) of this entry.
    (46) Unit 38: AZ-30, Lower Cienega Creek; Pima County, Arizona. Map 
of Unit 38 is provided at paragraph (41) of this entry.
    (47) Unit 39: AZ-31, Blue River; Greenlee County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 39 is provided at paragraph (33) of this entry.

[[Page 48621]]

    (48) Unit 40: AZ-32, Pinto Creek South; Gila County, Arizona. Map 
of Units 40 and 44 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.039


[[Page 48622]]


    (49) Unit 41: AZ-33, Aravaipa Creek; Pima and Graham Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 41 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.040

    (50) Unit 42: AZ-34, Lower Verde River; Maricopa County, Arizona. 
Map of Unit 42 is provided at paragraph (29) of this entry.

[[Page 48623]]

    (51) Unit 43: AZ-35, Gila River 3; Graham and Greenlee Counties, 
Arizona. Map of Unit 43 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.041

    (52) Unit 44: AZ-36, Pinto Creek North; Gila County, Arizona. Map 
of Unit 44 is provided at paragraph (48) of this entry.

[[Page 48624]]

    (53) Unit 45: AZ-37, Florida Wash; Pima County, Arizona. Map of 
Unit 45 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.042


[[Page 48625]]


    (54) Unit 46: NM-1, San Juan River 1; San Juan County, New Mexico. 
Map of Unit 45 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.043


[[Page 48626]]


    (55) Unit 47: NM-3, San Francisco River 2; Catron County, New 
Mexico. Map of Unit 47 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.044


[[Page 48627]]


    (56) Unit 48: NM-4, Gila River 2; Grant and Hidalgo Counties, New 
Mexico. Map of Units 48 and 53 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.045


[[Page 48628]]


    (57) Unit 49: NM-5, Mimbres River; Grant County, New Mexico. Map of 
Unit 49 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.046


[[Page 48629]]


    (58) Unit 50: NM-6, Upper Rio Grande 1; Rio Arriba County, New 
Mexico. Map of Units 50 and 51 follows:
    (59) Unit 51: NM-7, Upper Rio Grande 2; Santa Fe and Rio Arriba 
Counties, New Mexico. Map of Unit 51 is provided at paragraph (58) of 
this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.047


[[Page 48630]]


    (60) Unit 52: NM-8, Middle Rio Grande 1; Sierra, Socorro, Valencia, 
Bernalillo, and Sandoval Counties, New Mexico. Map of Unit 52 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.048


[[Page 48631]]


    (61) Unit 53: NM-9, Upper Gila River; Grant County, New Mexico. Map 
of Unit 53 is provided at paragraph (56) of this entry.
    (62) Unit 54: CO-1, Yampa River; Moffat and Routt Counties, 
Colorado. Map of Unit 54 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.049


[[Page 48632]]


    (63) Unit 55: CO-2, Colorado River 3; Mesa County, Colorado. Map of 
Unit 55 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.050


[[Page 48633]]


    (64) Unit 56: CO-3, North Fork Gunnison River; Delta County, 
Colorado. Map of Units 56 and 57 follows:
    (65) Unit 57: CO-4, Uncompahgre River; Delta, Montrose, and Ouray 
Counties, Colorado. Map of Unit 57 is provided at paragraph (64) of 
this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.051


[[Page 48634]]


    (66) Unit 58: CO-5, Gunnison River; Gunnison County, Colorado. Map 
of Unit 58 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.052


[[Page 48635]]


    (67) Unit 59: CO-6, Upper Rio Grande 3; Alamosa and Rio Grande 
Counties, Colorado. Map of Units 59 and 60 follows:
    (68) Unit 60: CO-7, Conejos River; Conejos County, Colorado. Map of 
Unit 60 is provided at paragraph (67) of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.053


[[Page 48636]]


    (69) Unit 61: UT-1, Green River 1; Uintah County, Utah. Map of Unit 
61 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.054


[[Page 48637]]


    (70) Unit 62: UT-2, Pigeon Water Creek and Lake Fork River; 
Duchesne County, Utah. Map of Unit 62 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.055


[[Page 48638]]


    (71) Unit 63: UT-3, Colorado River 4; Mesa County, Colorado, and 
Grand County, Utah. Map of Units 63 and 64 follows:
    (72) Unit 64: UT-4, Dolores River; Grand County, Utah. Map of Unit 
64 is provided at paragraph (71) of this entry.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.056


[[Page 48639]]


    (73) Unit 65: UT-5, Green River 2; San Juan and Wayne Counties, 
Utah. Map of Unit 65 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.057


[[Page 48640]]


    (74) Unit 66: UT-6, San Juan River 2; San Juan County, Utah. Map of 
Unit 66 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.058


[[Page 48641]]


    (75) Unit 67: UT-7, San Juan River 3; San Juan County, Utah. Map of 
Unit 67 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.059


[[Page 48642]]


    (76) Unit 68: UT-8, Virgin River 2; Washington County, Utah. Map of 
Unit 68 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.060


[[Page 48643]]


    (77) Unit 69: ID-1, Snake River 1; Bannock and Bingham Counties, 
Idaho. Map of Unit 69 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.061


[[Page 48644]]


    (78) Unit 70: ID-2, Snake River 2; Bonneville, Madison, and 
Jefferson Counties, Idaho. Map of Units 70 and 72 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.062


[[Page 48645]]


    (79) Unit 71: ID-3, Big Wood River; Blaine County, Idaho. Map of 
Unit 71 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.063

    (80) Unit 72: ID-4, Henry's Fork and Teton Rivers; Madison County, 
Idaho. Map of Unit 72 is provided at paragraph (78) of this entry.

[[Page 48646]]

    (81) Unit 73: NV-1, Upper Muddy River; Clark County, Nevada. Map of 
Units 73 and 76 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.064


[[Page 48647]]


    (82) Unit 74: NV-3, Lower Muddy River; Clark County, Nevada. Map of 
Unit 74 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.065


[[Page 48648]]


    (83) Unit 75: NV-4, Carson River; Lyon County, Nevada. Map of Unit 
75 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.066

    (84) Unit 76: NV/AZ-1, Virgin River 1; Clark County, Nevada, and 
Mohave County, Arizona. Map of Unit 76 is provided at paragraph (81) of 
this entry.

[[Page 48649]]

    (85) Unit 77: WY-1, Green River 3; Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Map 
of Unit 77 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.067


[[Page 48650]]


    (86) Unit 78: WY/UT-1, Henry's Fork of Green River; Uinta County, 
Wyoming, and Summit County, Utah. Map of Unit 78 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.068


[[Page 48651]]


    (87) Unit 79: TX-1, Arroyo Caballo, Rio Grande; Hudspeth County, 
Texas. Map of Unit 79 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.069


[[Page 48652]]


    (88) Unit 80: TX-2, Terlingua Creek and Rio Grande; Presidio and 
Brewster Counties, Texas. Map of Unit 80 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU14.070

* * * * *

    Dated: June 13, 2014.
Signed: Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2014-19178 Filed 8-14-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-C