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Proposed Rule

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designations of Critical Habitat for Plant Species From the Island of Lanai, 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.

SUMMARY:

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the reopening of the public comment period for the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for 32 plants from the island of Lanai, Hawaii. We have received new information since the close of the comment period and the comment period is reopened to allow additional time for all interested parties to consider the information and submit written comments on the proposal. Comments already submitted on the proposed rule need not be resubmitted as they already have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final determination.

DATES:

The comment period for this proposal now closes on November 25, 2002. Any comments received by the closing date will be considered in the final decision on this proposal.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments and information should be submitted to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850. Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paul Henson, at the above address (telephone 808/541-3441; facsimile 808/541-3470).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On March 4, 2002, we published a revised proposed critical habitat rule for 32 of the 37 plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), known historically from the island of Lanai (67 FR 9806). The original comment period closed on May 3, 2002. The comment period was reopened on July 15, 2002 and closed on August 30, 2002. The current comment period closes on November 25, 2002.

A total of 37 species historically found on Lanai were listed as Start Printed Page 69177endangered or threatened species under the Act between 1991 and 1999. Some of these species may also occur on other Hawaiian islands. Previously, we proposed that designation of critical habitat was prudent for 32 (Abutilon eremitopetalum, Adenophorus periens, Bidens micrantha ssp. kalealaha, Bonamia menziesii, Brighamia rockii, Cenchrus agrimonioides, Centaurium sebaeoides, Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. mauiensis, Ctenitis squamigera, Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana, Cyanea lobata, Cyanea macrostegia ssp. gibsonii, Cyperus trachysanthos, Cyrtandra munroi, Diellia erecta, Diplazium molokaiense, Gahnia lanaiensis, Hedyotis mannii, Hesperomannia arborescens, Hibiscus brackenridgei, Isodendrion pyrifolium, Mariscus fauriei, Neraudia sericea, Portulaca sclerocarpa, Sesbania tomentosa, Silene lanceolata, Solanum incompletum, Spermolepis hawaiiensis, Tetramolopium remyi, Vigna o-wahuensis, Viola lanaiensis, and Zanthoxylum hawaiiense) of the 37 species reported from the island of Lanai. No change is made to the 32 proposed prudency determinations in the March 4, 2002, revised proposed critical habitat rule for plants from Lanai. We previously proposed that designation of critical habitat was not prudent for Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis because it had not been seen recently in the wild, and no viable genetic material of this species is known to exist (65 FR 82086). No change is made to this proposed prudency determination in the March 4, 2002, revised proposed critical habitat rule (67 FR 9806). In the March 4, 2002, revised proposed critical habitat rule, we proposed that designation of critical habitat is prudent for Tetramolopium lepidotum ssp. lepidotum, a species for which a prudency determination has not been made previously. We determined that designation of critical habitat was prudent for Hedyotis schlechtendahliana var. remyi, Labordia tinifolia var. lanaiensis, and Melicope munroi at the time of their listing in 1999.

We also proposed designation of critical habitat for 32 (Abutilon eremitopetalum, Adenophorus periens, Bidens micrantha ssp. kalealaha, Bonamia menziesii, Brighamia rockii, Cenchrus agrimonioides, Centaurium sebaeoides, Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. mauiensis, Ctenitis squamigera, Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana, Cyanea lobata, Cyanea macrostegia ssp. gibsonii, Cyperus trachysanthos, Cyrtandra munroi, Diellia erecta, Diplazium molokaiense, Gahnia lanaiensis, Hedyotis mannii, Hedyotis schlechtendahliana var. remyi, Hesperomannia arborescens, Hibiscus brackenridgei, Isodendrion pyrifolium, Labordia tinifolia var. lanaiensis, Melicope munroi, Neraudia sericea, Portulaca sclerocarpa, Sesbania tomentosa, Solanum incompletum, Spermolepis hawaiiensis, Tetramolopium remyi, Vigna o-wahuensis, and Viola lanaiensis) plant species. Critical habitat is not proposed for four (Mariscus fauriei, Silene lanceolata, Tetramolopium lepidotum ssp. lepidotum, and Zanthoxylum hawaiiense) of the 37 species which no longer occur on the island of Lanai, and for which we are unable to identify any habitat that is essential to their conservation on the island of Lanai. Critical habitat is not proposed for Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis for the reasons given above. Eight critical habitat units, totaling approximately 7,853 hectares (19,405 acres), are proposed for designation on the island of Lanai. For locations of these proposed units, please consult the proposed rule (67 FR 9806).

Public Comments Solicited

Since the close of the comment period, we have received new information in the form of a draft conservation agreement (copy available upon request) from the owner of Unit D. The comment period is reopened to allow additional time for all interested parties to consider the information and submit written comments on the proposal. One possible outcome may be a decision to exclude this area from the final designation pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposal by any of the following 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., P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850-0001.

(2) 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 document 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.

Information regarding this proposal is available in alternative formats upon request.

Author

The primary author of this notice is Gina Shultz (see ADDRESSES section).

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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: November 5, 2002.

Paul Hoffman,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

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[FR Doc. 02-29047 Filed 11-12-02; 3:04 pm]

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