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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating Critical Habitat for Plant Species From the Island of Molokai, HI

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; reopening of comment period and notice of availability of draft economic analysis.

SUMMARY:

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposed designations of critical habitat for plant species from the island of Molokai, Hawaii. We are also providing notice of the reopening of the comment period for the proposal to determine prudency and to designate critical habitat for these plants to allow peer reviewers and all interested parties to comment simultaneously on the proposed rule and the associated draft economic analysis. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they will be incorporated into the public record as part of this reopened comment period and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

DATES:

We will accept public comments until September 11, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments and information should be submitted to Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., PO Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001. For further instructions on commenting, refer to Public Comments Solicited section of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Office, at the above address (telephone: 808/541-3441; facsimile: 808/541-3470).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

A total of 51 plant species historically found on Molokai were listed as endangered or threatened species under Start Printed Page 52420the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), between 1991 and 1999. Sixteen of these species are endemic to the island of Molokai, while 35 species are reported from one or more other islands, as well as Molokai.

In other published proposals we proposed that critical habitat was prudent for 48 of the 51 species (Adenophorus periens, Alectryon macrococcus, Bidens wiebkei, Bonamia menziesii, Brighamia rockii, Canavalia molokaiensis, Centaurium sebaeoides, Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. brevipes, Ctenitis squamigera, Cyanea dunbarii, Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana, Cyanea mannii, Cyanea procera, Cyperus trachysanthos, Diellia erecta, Diplazium molokaiense, Eugenia koolauensis, Flueggea neowawraea, Hedyotis mannii, Hesperomannia arborescens, Hibiscus arnottianus ssp. immaculatus, Hibiscus brackenridgei, Ischaemum byrone, Isodendrion pyrifolium, Labordia triflora, Lysimachia maxima, Mariscus fauriei, Marsilea villosa, Melicope mucronulata, Melicope reflexa, Neraudia sericea, Peucedanum sandwicense, Phyllostegia mannii, Phyllostegia mollis, Plantago princeps, Platanthera holochila, Pteris lidgatei, Schiedea lydgatei, Schiedea nuttallii, Schiedea sarmentosa, Sesbania tomentosa, Silene alexandri, Silene lanceolata, Spermolepis hawaiiensis, Stenogyne bifida, Tetramolopium rockii, Vigna o-wahuensis, and Zanthoxylum hawaiiense) from the island of Molokai (65 FR 66808, 65 FR 79192, 65 FR 82086, 65 FR 83158, 67 FR 3940, 67 FR 9806, 67 FR 16492). In addition, we proposed that critical habitat was not prudent for Pritchardia munroi because it would likely increase the threats from vandalism or collection of this species on Molokai (65 FR 83158). At the time we listed Labordia triflora and Melicope munroi we determined that the designation of critical habitat was prudent for these two taxa from Molokai (64 FR 48307).

In the April 5, 2002, revised prudency and critical habitat proposal, we proposed critical habitat for 46 of the 51 species from the island of Molokaii (67 FR 16492). Critical habitat was not proposed for 4 of the 51 species (Bonamia menziesii, Cyperus trachysanthos, Melicope munroi, and Solanum incompletum) which no longer occur on the island of Molokai and for which we are unable to identify any habitat that is essential to their conservation on the island of Molokai. Critical habitat was not proposed for Pritchardia munroi for the reasons given above.

We have proposed to designate a total of 10 critical habitat units covering approximately 17,614 hectares (ha) (43,532 acres (ac)) on the island of Molokaii.

Critical habitat receives protection from destruction or adverse modification through required consultation under section 7 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) with regard to actions carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into consideration the economic impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. Based upon the previously published proposal to designate critical habitat for plant species from Molokai, and comments received during the previous comment period, we have prepared a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designations. The draft economic analysis is available on the Internet and from the mailing address in the Public Comments Solicited section below.

Public Comments Solicited

We will accept written comments and information during this re-opened comment period. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposal by any of several methods:

(1) You may submit written comments and information to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., PO Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001.

(2) You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: Molokai_Crithab@r1.fws.gov. If you submit comments by e-mail, please submit them as an ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include “Attn: RIN 1018-AH08” and your name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that we have received your e-mail message, contact us directly by calling our Honolulu Fish and Wildlife Office at telephone number 808/541-3441.

(3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Honolulu Fish and Wildlife Office at the address given above.

Comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in preparation of the proposal to designate critical habitat, will be available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address under (1) above. Copies of the draft economic analysis are available on the Internet at http://pacificislands.fws.gov or by request from the Field Supervisor at the address and phone number under (1 and 2) above.

Author(s)

The primary author of this notice is John Nuss, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Regional Office, 911 NE 11th Avenue, 4th floor, Portland, OR 97232-4181.

Authority

The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

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Dated: August 1, 2002.

Craig Manson,

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

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[FR Doc. 02-20340 Filed 8-9-02; 8:45 am]

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