Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, 65278-65282 [E7-22654]

Download as PDF 65278 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 223 / Tuesday, November 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules approximate position 41°15′7″ N, 72°57′26″ W. * * * * * Dated: October 25, 2007. D.A. Ronan, Captain, U.S. Coast GuardCaptain of the Port, Long Island Sound. [FR Doc. E7–22613 Filed 11–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 RIN 1024–AD53 Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System National Park Service, Interior Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The National Park Service is proposing this rule to provide for the protection of the Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus), a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Western Snowy Plovers overwinter within Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) at both Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. This rulemaking will provide temporary protection for two areas until a permanent determination is made through the planning process for the entire park. The park is developing a Dog Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and special regulations for dog management at GGNRA is expected to be completed by winter 2009. DATES: Comments must be received by January 22, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the number RIN 1024– AD53, by any of the following methods: —Federal rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. —Mail or hand delivery to Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123. Attention: Snowy Plover Protection Rule. rmajette on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian O’Neill, General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123. (415) 561–4728. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In November 2006 and July 2007, Golden Gate National Recreation Area VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 (GGNRA) adopted emergency regulatory provisions under 36 CFR 1.5, requiring all dogs to be on-leash on a portion of Crissy Field designated as the Wildlife Protection Area (WPA) and on a portion of Ocean Beach designated as the Snowy Plover Protection Area (SPPA). The emergency restrictions in these two areas were established for the protection of the federally listed Western Snowy Plover. These emergency restrictions are temporary and necessary until the completion of this rulemaking. The Western Snowy Plover was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (‘‘Act’’) in 1993. The plover’s listing was due, in part, to significant declines in population numbers and distribution attributed to habitat loss and increased predation resulting from human disturbance and development. Among other things, the plover’s threatened status affords it protection from harassment. The regulations that implement the Act define ‘‘harass’’ as ‘‘an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.’’ Snowy Plovers weigh less than two ounces and because of their small size, cryptic habits, and coloration, are hard to see with the untrained eye. Plovers feed on invertebrates found in the wet sand, amongst surf-cast kelp and debris within the intertidal zone, and in dry sandy areas or amidst low foredune vegetation above the high tide line. When resting, Snowy Plovers usually take shelter in footprints, vehicle tracks, or the lee of kelp, driftwood or sparsely vegetated low foredunes on the widest areas of beaches. Snowy Plovers are particular in their habitat choices; they need to rest and feed on wide, flat, open beaches where they can see potential predators approaching. These conditions are found at Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. Snowy plovers do not nest in the park; they overwinter in the park from approximately July through April. During the overwintering period, Snowy Plovers rest and feed to gather reserves necessary to successfully breed at other more suitable nesting locations up and down the Pacific coast. Snowy Plovers continue to be threatened by degradation and loss of breeding and wintering habitat caused by expanding beach-front development, encroachment of introduced European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria), and intense recreational use of beaches. Poor reproductive success is frequently the result of human disturbance, predation, PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 or inclement weather, These factors, combined with habitat loss, led to the overall decline in active nesting colonies and breeding and wintering populations along the Pacific coast, and prompted its federal listing as a threatened species in 1993. Snowy Plover monitoring data from the 2006–2007 overwintering season was analyzed by the NPS and compiled in an addendum to the November 2006 report, (‘‘Addendum: 2006 Plover Monitoring’’, dated June 29, 2007). Data from 2006–2007 overwintering season confirmed that even though the emergency restrictions reduced the numbers of off leash dogs, there were still high numbers of off leash dogs and dogs chasing shorebirds during the 2006–2007 overwintering season constituting an ongoing threat to Western Snowy Plovers. Increased enforcement of the restrictions during the 2007–2008 season would help to reduce this threat. Description of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area GGNRA was established in 1972. The lands that constitute GGNRA extend north of the Golden Gate Bridge (the entrance to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays) to Tomales Bay in Marin County, and south to the San Francisco watersheds and beyond in San Mateo County. The park’s legislated boundary encompasses nearly 80,000 acres of land and water, including 59 miles of bay and ocean shoreline. The GGNRA directly manages approximately 16,000 acres in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. These lands represent one of the nation’s largest coastal preserves and attract 16 million visitors each year, making GGNRA one of the most heavily visited units in the National Park System. The lands encompassing GGNRA provide important habitat for many federally threatened or endangered species, as well as many other State listed and rare species. The central coast, including the San Francisco Bay Area and GGNRA, is considered one of North America’s biodiversity hot spots (Precious Heritage: the Status of Biodiversity in the United States, Nature Conservancy). The California Floristic Province, which includes all of GGNRA, is identified as one of the top 25 global biodiversity hotspots in the world (Nature’s Place: Population and the Future of Diversity, 2000 Report by Population Action International). GGNRA is part of the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, designated in 1989 in recognition of the importance of this coastal and marine ecosystem to the E:\FR\FM\20NOP1.SGM 20NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 223 / Tuesday, November 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules rmajette on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS conservation of biodiversity, sustainable development, research and education. Purposes of Golden Gate National Recreation Area GGNRA was created from a vision to promote the enjoyment of the natural and cultural resources on the edge of urban San Francisco Bay Area communities while preserving those resources for the future. The vast natural resources that existed in the bay estuary and its environs before 1800 had, by the 1960s, been reduced to minute remnants, some of which were protected in a handful of national, state and local parks and open space. Congress recognized that the lands, now included within GGNRA, presented a unique opportunity to preserve some of the last remnants of once abundant flora and fauna. The 1972 legislation that established GGNRA, Public Law 92–589, set forth the park’s mission as follows: In order to preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic, and recreational values, and in order to provide for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to urban environment and planning, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘recreation area’’) is hereby established. In the management of the recreation area, the Secretary of Interior (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) shall utilize the resources in a manner which will provide for recreation and educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use planning and management. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary shall preserve the recreation area, as far as possible, in its natural setting, and protect it from development and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area. In addition, the 1972 legislation required GGNRA to manage the park in accordance with the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 (Organic Act) (16 U.S.C. Section 1 et seq.) The Organic Act requires the National Park Service to: Promote and regulate the use of the federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified * * * by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. The National Park Service has promulgated policies that amplify the meaning of the Organic Act. These policies, referred to as the 2006 Management Policies, provide mandatory guidance for all national parks. With regard to the protection of threatened and endangered species, the 2006 Management Policies require the NPS to ‘‘fully meet its obligations under the NPS Organic Act and the Endangered Species Act to both proactively conserve listed species and prevent detrimental effects on these species.’’ One of the means to achieve these goals is the management of detrimental visitor use that may be negatively affecting listed species (2006 Management Policies 4.4.2.3). Authority and Jurisdiction Under the Organic Act, Congress granted the NPS broad authority to regulate the use of the federal areas known as national parks. In addition, the Organic Act authorizes the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to ‘‘make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks * * *.’’ (16 U.S.C. 3). 16 U.S.C. 1a–1 states, ‘‘The authorization of activities shall be conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the National Park System and shall not be exercised in derogation of the values and purposes for which these various areas have been established * * *.’’ The NPS’s regulatory authority over waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including navigable waters, is based upon the Property Clause and, as with the United States Coast Guard’s authority, Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In regard to the NPS, Congress in 1976 directed the NPS to ‘‘promulgate and enforce regulations concerning boating and other activities on or relating to waters within areas of the National Park System, including waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States * * *.’’ (16 U.S.C. 1a–2(h)). In 1996, the NPS published a final rule (61 FR 35136 (July 5, 1996)) amending 36 CFR 1.2(a)(3) to clarify its authority to regulate activities within National Park System boundaries occurring on waters and tidelands subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Through the authority stated above, the NPS exercises legal jurisdiction over NPS waters offshore Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. The park’s legislated PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65279 boundary includes all waters to 1⁄4 mile (1,320 feet) offshore at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. In addition, the NPS has a lease with the State of California-State Lands Commission which provides NPS with the authority to manage tide and submerged lands to 1,000 feet offshore. The United States’ jurisdiction over offshore areas at Crissy Field is further augmented by the fact that the United States holds title to the tide and submerged lands at Crissy Field extending 300 yards below low water. Regulation of Dog Walking at Crissy Field and Ocean Beach Dogs, including off-leash dogs, have been present on Ocean Beach and Crissy Field for many years. From approximately 1979 to the late 1990s, GGNRA allowed dogs to be off-leash in certain areas of the park under ‘‘voice control.’’ In all other areas of the park and the national park system, dogs were required to be leashed in accordance with the general regulation found at 36 CFR 2.15(a) or they were excluded altogether. In 2002, GGNRA required dogs to be on-leash throughout all areas of the park where dogs were allowed. This leash requirement was enforced for several years until it was challenged in federal court in 2004. The legal action resulted in a magistrate’s ruling in 2004 that was then affirmed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June, 2005. That ruling found that GGNRA had not followed the proper procedures in adopting the 2002 leash requirement, and required GGNRA to reinstate ‘‘voice control’’ for dogs in those areas of the park where it had been allowed in the past. (U.S. v. Barley, CR–04–0408–WHA (N.D. Cal. 2005)). As a result of this ruling, off-leash, ‘‘voicecontrol’’ dog walking was reinstated in a number of locations, including Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. The ruling, however, did not restrict GGNRA’s authority to protect park resources, including threatened and endangered species. For more than 100 years, Crissy Field was part of the U.S. Army base at the Presidio. Crissy Field was used as an Army maintenance and operational area and numerous buildings and facilities lined the shore. The U.S. Army transferred complete administrative jurisdiction over Crissy Field to the National Park Service in 1993. Between 1998 and 2000, GGNRA restored a 100acre portion of Crissy Field according to plans developed and analyzed through the Crissy Field Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) (Jones and Stokes 1996) and Finding of No Significant E:\FR\FM\20NOP1.SGM 20NOP1 65280 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 223 / Tuesday, November 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules Impact (FONSI). The transformation of Crissy Field included restoration of coastal dunes, removal of rubble on the beach, development of new trails and a restored airfield, and construction of a 20-acre tidal marsh. The Crissy Field Plan EA/FONSI addressed dog walking and recommended designating areas for off-leash dog walking, for on-leash dog walking, and a portion of Crissy Field (the tidal marsh, the overlooks on the boardwalk crossing the marsh, and the fenced dune areas) would be closed to dogs. The dog restrictions from the EA/ FONSI were adopted by the Superintendent and included in the GGNRA compendium starting in 2000. Ocean Beach is the longest stretch of sandy beach between Point Reyes National Seashore and Half Moon Bay. The federally threatened Snowy Plover resides on portions of the beach for 10 months of the year. The draft Snowy Plover Management Plan (GGNRA 1998) recommended that dogs be on-leash in what was referred to as a Snowy Plover Protection Area (SPPA), extending from Stairwell 21 to Sloat Boulevard on Ocean Beach. From 1997 until December 2004, dogs were required to be leashed within the Ocean Beach SPPA, and the requirement was included in the GGNRA compendium. rmajette on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS Snowy Plover Monitoring Western Snow Plovers have overwintered on Ocean Beach since at least as far back as the 1980s, and sightings have occurred on Crissy Field since the winter of 2002. GGNRA has regularly monitored Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach since 1994 and began formal monitoring of Snowy Plovers at Crissy Field in February 2005. Data accumulated by GGNRA regarding the effects of dogs on Snowy Plovers is presented in the 2006 Status Report: Western Snowy Plovers—Recent Changes in Human and Dog Use within the Snowy Plover Protection Area at Ocean Beach and the Wildlife Protection Area at Crissy Field (‘‘Report’’). In the report, monitoring data from the Ocean Beach SPPA and the Crissy Field WPA documents recent increases in the number of off-leash dogs using these areas. Along with this increase in the number of off-leash dogs, there has been an increase in the number of instances of dogs chasing or flushing Western Snowy Plovers or other shorebirds. In February and March of 2006, dogs were observed chasing or flushing Western Snowy Plovers on four occasions, disturbing a total of 22 plovers, in the Ocean Beach SPPA. In the Crissy Field WPA, dogs were observed chasing or flushing more than VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 6 plovers over the course of four surveys in July and August of 2006. The report also describes the adverse biological effects plovers experience when flushed or chased and concluded that these effects present a serious threat to the Western Snowy Plover. Emergency Regulatory Provisions Adopted in 2006 In response to the monitoring findings that off-leash dog walking at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field was harassing and disturbing snowy plovers and that this activity presented a serious threat to the GGNRA’s overwintering snowy plover population, the GGNRA Superintendent implemented emergency restrictions requiring visitors to leash their dogs in the designated areas of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field during the 2006–2007 overwintering season and re-implemented on July 1, 2007, for the 2007–2008 overwintering season. The emergency restrictions provided as follows: • Ocean Beach: Dog-walking restricted to on-leash only at Ocean Beach, Stairwell 21 to Sloat Boulevard, including all tidelands. The definition of on-leash use requires that dogs must be restrained on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length. • Crissy Field: Dog-walking restricted to on-leash only in the Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area which encompasses: From the west, starting at Fort Point Mine Depot (a.k.a. Torpedo Wharf) eastward to concrete riprap, which lies approximately 700 feet east of former Coast Guard Station, and includes all uplands and all tidelands and extends from the high-water mark to 100 yards off shore. The emergency provisions would remain in effect until the end of the overwintering period, as determined through monitoring. The emergency provisions did not eliminate the opportunity for off-leash dog walking at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field outside of the designated Snowy Plover protection areas. At Crissy Field, dog walking options on the beach provide .99 miles of dog walking off-leash and .32 miles of dog walking on-leash, in addition to off-leash dog walking availability on the Crissy Field airfield and promenade. At Ocean Beach and the beach at Fort Funston, which lies just to the south of Ocean Beach, visitors have access to 2.4 miles of beach area for off-leash dog walking and 2.2 miles for on-leash dog walking. Need for Action The emergency regulatory provisions implemented by GGNRA in 2006 and 2007 are temporary. This rulemaking is PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 needed to provide an interim solution developed with public participation for protecting the populations of Western Snowy Plovers that overwinter on Crissy Field and Ocean Beach until the negotiated rulemaking process is completed and a comprehensive special regulation for dog walking at GGNRA is adopted. This proposed regulation would require dogs to be on a leash, not exceeding six feet in length, within the land and water areas designated as the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean Beach SPPA. These areas will be included in the Superintendent’s Compendium and will be published through the posting of signs and the availability of maps on the park’s official Web site and other places convenient to the public. This activity restriction will be in effect annually, July 1 through approximately May 1, or until monitoring determines that the species is no longer present. The proposed rule will only prohibit the activity of off-leash dog walking in these two areas, and the effects are offset by the availability of other areas nearby the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean Beach SPPA for off-leash dog walking. Park visitors with dogs will still be allowed to use the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean Beach SPPA provided that their dogs are leashed. This onleash requirement will be a beneficial effect to visitors who come to this area to observe snowy plovers and a necessary measure for the protection and enhancement of the snowy plovers and their habitat. The proposed rule will not adversely affect GGNRA’s natural, scenic, or cultural resources. In particular, the regulation will enhance GGNRA’s ability to protect the Snowy Plover by decreasing the disturbances caused by dogs. Protection of threatened species is consistent with the 2006 Management Policies. Protection of threatened species is in keeping with the objectives of the Crissy Field Plan EA/FONSI, and the draft Snowy Plover Management Plan, which called for a leash requirement in the Snowy Plover Protection Area. Finally, the proposed rule is consistent with the general regulation at 36 CFR 2.15(a), which requires dogs to be on-leash in national park units. Compliance With Other Laws and Executive Orders Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866) This document is not a significant rule and is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. E:\FR\FM\20NOP1.SGM 20NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 223 / Tuesday, November 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules (1) This rule will not have an effect of $100 million or more on the economy. It will not adversely affect in a material way the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities. Most of the areas proposed to be restricted through this rulemaking have been closed or restricted for the same activity through the park’s compendium in the past, although those closures or restrictions were not published in the Federal Register. Since this is not a new closure or restriction, and because opportunities for off-leash dogwalking still exist in these areas, the proposed rule will not significantly affect the existing patterns of park users. (2) This rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. GGNRA has received letters of concurrence for the emergency restrictions in these areas, and has begun informal concurrence with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This rule does not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of their recipients. (3) This rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues. rmajette on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS Regulatory Flexibility Act The Department of the Interior certifies that this document will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The economic effects of this rule are local in nature and negligible in scope. The primary purpose of this rule is to provide protection for a threatened species. The rule will require dogwalkers to leash their dogs when in specified areas. There will be no economic effect of this additional required action. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. This rule will only affect those who choose to walk their dogs in two designated areas. b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. There will be no costs associated with the requirement to leash dogs in these two designated areas. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The primary purpose of this regulation is to provide additional protection for a threatened species and this rule will not change the ability of United States based enterprises to compete in any way. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. The restrictions under this regulation would not have a significant effect or impose an unfunded mandate on any agency or on the private sector. This rule applies only to Federal parkland administered by the National Park Service in GGNRA, and no costs will be incurred by any parties. Takings (Executive Order 12630) In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have significant takings implications. This rule does not apply to private property, or cause a compensable taking, there are no takings implications. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. This regulation will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The rule addresses dog walking in two areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The affected lands are under the administrative jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. Paperwork Reduction Act This regulation does not require an information collection from 10 or more parties and a submission under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. An OMB form 83-I is not required. PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65281 National Environmental Policy Act The Handbook for NPS Director’s Order 12 contains a listing of Categorical Exclusions. Section 3.4 D(2) of the Director’s Order 12 Handbook provides that ‘‘minor changes in programs and regulations pertaining to visitor activities’’ may be categorically excluded under NEPA. The proposed regulations for Ocean Beach and Crissy Field are actions that would result in minor changes to regulated visitor activities in these areas (transitioning seasonally from unleashed to leashed dog recreation). GGNRA has prepared all the appropriate Categorical Exclusion screening forms. These forms disclose that the adoption of these regulations would result in no measurable adverse environmental effects. Furthermore, no exceptional circumstances or conditions exist that would make use of a Categorical Exclusion inappropriate. As such, a Categorical Exclusion under NEPA is the appropriate form of NEPA compliance for these regulatory actions. 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) and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no potential effects. Clarity of 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: (a) Be logically organized; (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) Use clear language rather than jargon; (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (e) 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. Drafting Information: The primary authors of this proposed rule are E:\FR\FM\20NOP1.SGM 20NOP1 65282 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 223 / Tuesday, November 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules Marybeth G. McFarland, Law Enforcement Specialist; Christine Powell, Public Affairs Specialist; Shirwin Smith, Management Assistant; GOGA; Barbara Goodyear, Solicitor, PWRO; Jerry Case, Regulations Program Manager; and Mike Tiernan, Solicitor, WASO. Public Participation: You may submit comments online at: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. You may also mail or hand deliver comments to: Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, California 94123, Attn: Snowy Plover Protection Rule. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 51 and 752 [EPA–HQ–OAR–2006–0605; FRL–8497–7] PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM RIN 2060–AO24 1. The authority for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 460(q), 462(k); Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 8–137 (1981) and D.C. Code 40–721 (1981). 2. Add new paragraph (d) to § 7.97 to read as follows: Golden Gate National Recreation rmajette on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS * * * * * (d) Dogs—Crissy Field and Ocean Beach Snowy Plover Areas (1) Dogs must be restrained on a leash not to exceed six feet in length during the Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) overwintering season in the following areas: (i) Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area (WPA): Dogwalking restricted to on-leash only in the areas which encompass the shoreline and beach area north of the Crissy Field Promenade (excluding the paved parking area, VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:18 Nov 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 Dated: September 7, 2007. David M. Verhey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. E7–22654 Filed 11–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–FN–P List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7 National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons stated in the preamble, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as follows: § 7.97 Area sidewalks and grass lawn encompassing the Coast Guard Station complex) east of the Fort Point Mine Depot (a.k.a. Torpedo Wharf) to approximately 700 feet east of the former Coast Guard Station, and all tidelands and submerged lands to 100 yards offshore. (ii) Ocean Beach Snowy Plover Protection Area (SPPA): Dog-walking restricted to on-leash only in the area which encompasses the shoreline and beach area west of the GGNRA boundary, between Stairwell 21 to Sloat Boulevard, including all tidelands and submerged lands to 1000 feet offshore. (2) Notice of the overwintering season restrictions will be provided through the posting of signs at the site, on maps identifying the restricted areas on the park’s official Web site and through maps made available at other places convenient to the public. This restriction will be in effect annually from July 1 until monitoring by the park determines that the species is no longer present. Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of extension of comment period. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The EPA is announcing an extension of the public comment period on our proposed amendments for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC) (September 21, 2007). The EPA is extending the comment period that originally ends on November 20, 2007. The extended comment period will close on January 21, 2008. The EPA is extending the comment period because PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 of the timely requests we received to do so. DATES: Comments. The comment period for the proposed rule published at 72 FR 54112, September 21, 2007, is extended. Comments must be received on or before January 21, 2008. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OAR–2006–0605, by one of the following methods: • www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: a-and-rdocket@epamail.epa.gov. • Fax: 202–566–9744. • Mail: Attention Docket ID No. EPA– HQ–OAR–2006–0605, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Mailcode: 6102T, Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of 2 copies. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA– HQ–OAR–2006–0605. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2006– 0605. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD–ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties E:\FR\FM\20NOP1.SGM 20NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 223 (Tuesday, November 20, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65278-65282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-22654]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

RIN 1024-AD53


Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service is proposing this rule to provide 
for the protection of the Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus 
nivosus), a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species 
Act. Western Snowy Plovers overwinter within Golden Gate National 
Recreation Area (GGNRA) at both Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. This 
rulemaking will provide temporary protection for two areas until a 
permanent determination is made through the planning process for the 
entire park. The park is developing a Dog Management Plan/Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) and special regulations for dog management at 
GGNRA is expected to be completed by winter 2009.

DATES: Comments must be received by January 22, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the number RIN 1024-
AD53, by any of the following methods:

--Federal rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
--Mail or hand delivery to Superintendent, Golden Gate National 
Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123. 
Attention: Snowy Plover Protection Rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian O'Neill, General Superintendent, 
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San 
Francisco, CA 94123. (415) 561-4728.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In November 2006 and July 2007, Golden Gate National Recreation 
Area (GGNRA) adopted emergency regulatory provisions under 36 CFR 1.5, 
requiring all dogs to be on-leash on a portion of Crissy Field 
designated as the Wildlife Protection Area (WPA) and on a portion of 
Ocean Beach designated as the Snowy Plover Protection Area (SPPA). The 
emergency restrictions in these two areas were established for the 
protection of the federally listed Western Snowy Plover. These 
emergency restrictions are temporary and necessary until the completion 
of this rulemaking.
    The Western Snowy Plover was listed as a threatened species under 
the Endangered Species Act (``Act'') in 1993. The plover's listing was 
due, in part, to significant declines in population numbers and 
distribution attributed to habitat loss and increased predation 
resulting from human disturbance and development. Among other things, 
the plover's threatened status affords it protection from harassment. 
The regulations that implement the Act define ``harass'' as ``an 
intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood 
of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to 
significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns which include, but are 
not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.''
    Snowy Plovers weigh less than two ounces and because of their small 
size, cryptic habits, and coloration, are hard to see with the 
untrained eye. Plovers feed on invertebrates found in the wet sand, 
amongst surf-cast kelp and debris within the intertidal zone, and in 
dry sandy areas or amidst low foredune vegetation above the high tide 
line. When resting, Snowy Plovers usually take shelter in footprints, 
vehicle tracks, or the lee of kelp, driftwood or sparsely vegetated low 
foredunes on the widest areas of beaches. Snowy Plovers are particular 
in their habitat choices; they need to rest and feed on wide, flat, 
open beaches where they can see potential predators approaching. These 
conditions are found at Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. Snowy plovers do 
not nest in the park; they overwinter in the park from approximately 
July through April. During the overwintering period, Snowy Plovers rest 
and feed to gather reserves necessary to successfully breed at other 
more suitable nesting locations up and down the Pacific coast.
    Snowy Plovers continue to be threatened by degradation and loss of 
breeding and wintering habitat caused by expanding beach-front 
development, encroachment of introduced European beachgrass (Ammophila 
arenaria), and intense recreational use of beaches. Poor reproductive 
success is frequently the result of human disturbance, predation, or 
inclement weather, These factors, combined with habitat loss, led to 
the overall decline in active nesting colonies and breeding and 
wintering populations along the Pacific coast, and prompted its federal 
listing as a threatened species in 1993.
    Snowy Plover monitoring data from the 2006-2007 overwintering 
season was analyzed by the NPS and compiled in an addendum to the 
November 2006 report, (``Addendum: 2006 Plover Monitoring'', dated June 
29, 2007). Data from 2006-2007 overwintering season confirmed that even 
though the emergency restrictions reduced the numbers of off leash 
dogs, there were still high numbers of off leash dogs and dogs chasing 
shorebirds during the 2006-2007 overwintering season constituting an 
ongoing threat to Western Snowy Plovers. Increased enforcement of the 
restrictions during the 2007-2008 season would help to reduce this 
threat.

Description of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

    GGNRA was established in 1972. The lands that constitute GGNRA 
extend north of the Golden Gate Bridge (the entrance to the San 
Francisco and San Pablo Bays) to Tomales Bay in Marin County, and south 
to the San Francisco watersheds and beyond in San Mateo County. The 
park's legislated boundary encompasses nearly 80,000 acres of land and 
water, including 59 miles of bay and ocean shoreline. The GGNRA 
directly manages approximately 16,000 acres in Marin, San Francisco and 
San Mateo counties. These lands represent one of the nation's largest 
coastal preserves and attract 16 million visitors each year, making 
GGNRA one of the most heavily visited units in the National Park 
System.
    The lands encompassing GGNRA provide important habitat for many 
federally threatened or endangered species, as well as many other State 
listed and rare species. The central coast, including the San Francisco 
Bay Area and GGNRA, is considered one of North America's biodiversity 
hot spots (Precious Heritage: the Status of Biodiversity in the United 
States, Nature Conservancy). The California Floristic Province, which 
includes all of GGNRA, is identified as one of the top 25 global 
biodiversity hotspots in the world (Nature's Place: Population and the 
Future of Diversity, 2000 Report by Population Action International). 
GGNRA is part of the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, designated in 1989 
in recognition of the importance of this coastal and marine ecosystem 
to the

[[Page 65279]]

conservation of biodiversity, sustainable development, research and 
education.

Purposes of Golden Gate National Recreation Area

    GGNRA was created from a vision to promote the enjoyment of the 
natural and cultural resources on the edge of urban San Francisco Bay 
Area communities while preserving those resources for the future. The 
vast natural resources that existed in the bay estuary and its environs 
before 1800 had, by the 1960s, been reduced to minute remnants, some of 
which were protected in a handful of national, state and local parks 
and open space. Congress recognized that the lands, now included within 
GGNRA, presented a unique opportunity to preserve some of the last 
remnants of once abundant flora and fauna.
    The 1972 legislation that established GGNRA, Public Law 92-589, set 
forth the park's mission as follows:
    In order to preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of 
Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding 
natural, historic, scenic, and recreational values, and in order to 
provide for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary 
to urban environment and planning, the Golden Gate National Recreation 
Area (hereinafter referred to as the ``recreation area'') is hereby 
established. In the management of the recreation area, the Secretary of 
Interior (hereinafter referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall utilize 
the resources in a manner which will provide for recreation and 
educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use 
planning and management. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, 
the Secretary shall preserve the recreation area, as far as possible, 
in its natural setting, and protect it from development and uses which 
would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area.
    In addition, the 1972 legislation required GGNRA to manage the park 
in accordance with the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 
(Organic Act) (16 U.S.C. Section 1 et seq.) The Organic Act requires 
the National Park Service to:
    Promote and regulate the use of the federal areas known as national 
parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified * * * by such 
means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said 
parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the 
scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein 
and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such 
means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future 
generations.
    The National Park Service has promulgated policies that amplify the 
meaning of the Organic Act. These policies, referred to as the 2006 
Management Policies, provide mandatory guidance for all national parks. 
With regard to the protection of threatened and endangered species, the 
2006 Management Policies require the NPS to ``fully meet its 
obligations under the NPS Organic Act and the Endangered Species Act to 
both proactively conserve listed species and prevent detrimental 
effects on these species.'' One of the means to achieve these goals is 
the management of detrimental visitor use that may be negatively 
affecting listed species (2006 Management Policies 4.4.2.3).

Authority and Jurisdiction

    Under the Organic Act, Congress granted the NPS broad authority to 
regulate the use of the federal areas known as national parks. In 
addition, the Organic Act authorizes the NPS, through the Secretary of 
the Interior, to ``make and publish such rules and regulations as he 
may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks * 
* *.'' (16 U.S.C. 3).
    16 U.S.C. 1a-1 states, ``The authorization of activities shall be 
conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the 
National Park System and shall not be exercised in derogation of the 
values and purposes for which these various areas have been established 
* * *.''
    The NPS's regulatory authority over waters subject to the 
jurisdiction of the United States, including navigable waters, is based 
upon the Property Clause and, as with the United States Coast Guard's 
authority, Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In regard to the 
NPS, Congress in 1976 directed the NPS to ``promulgate and enforce 
regulations concerning boating and other activities on or relating to 
waters within areas of the National Park System, including waters 
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States * * *.'' (16 U.S.C. 
1a-2(h)).
    In 1996, the NPS published a final rule (61 FR 35136 (July 5, 
1996)) amending 36 CFR 1.2(a)(3) to clarify its authority to regulate 
activities within National Park System boundaries occurring on waters 
and tidelands subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
    Through the authority stated above, the NPS exercises legal 
jurisdiction over NPS waters offshore Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. The 
park's legislated boundary includes all waters to \1/4\ mile (1,320 
feet) offshore at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. In addition, the NPS 
has a lease with the State of California-State Lands Commission which 
provides NPS with the authority to manage tide and submerged lands to 
1,000 feet offshore. The United States' jurisdiction over offshore 
areas at Crissy Field is further augmented by the fact that the United 
States holds title to the tide and submerged lands at Crissy Field 
extending 300 yards below low water.

Regulation of Dog Walking at Crissy Field and Ocean Beach

    Dogs, including off-leash dogs, have been present on Ocean Beach 
and Crissy Field for many years. From approximately 1979 to the late 
1990s, GGNRA allowed dogs to be off-leash in certain areas of the park 
under ``voice control.'' In all other areas of the park and the 
national park system, dogs were required to be leashed in accordance 
with the general regulation found at 36 CFR 2.15(a) or they were 
excluded altogether.
    In 2002, GGNRA required dogs to be on-leash throughout all areas of 
the park where dogs were allowed. This leash requirement was enforced 
for several years until it was challenged in federal court in 2004.
    The legal action resulted in a magistrate's ruling in 2004 that was 
then affirmed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of 
California in June, 2005. That ruling found that GGNRA had not followed 
the proper procedures in adopting the 2002 leash requirement, and 
required GGNRA to reinstate ``voice control'' for dogs in those areas 
of the park where it had been allowed in the past. (U.S. v. Barley, CR-
04-0408-WHA (N.D. Cal. 2005)). As a result of this ruling, off-leash, 
``voice-control'' dog walking was reinstated in a number of locations, 
including Crissy Field and Ocean Beach. The ruling, however, did not 
restrict GGNRA's authority to protect park resources, including 
threatened and endangered species.
    For more than 100 years, Crissy Field was part of the U.S. Army 
base at the Presidio. Crissy Field was used as an Army maintenance and 
operational area and numerous buildings and facilities lined the shore. 
The U.S. Army transferred complete administrative jurisdiction over 
Crissy Field to the National Park Service in 1993. Between 1998 and 
2000, GGNRA restored a 100-acre portion of Crissy Field according to 
plans developed and analyzed through the Crissy Field Plan 
Environmental Assessment (EA) (Jones and Stokes 1996) and Finding of No 
Significant

[[Page 65280]]

Impact (FONSI). The transformation of Crissy Field included restoration 
of coastal dunes, removal of rubble on the beach, development of new 
trails and a restored airfield, and construction of a 20-acre tidal 
marsh. The Crissy Field Plan EA/FONSI addressed dog walking and 
recommended designating areas for off-leash dog walking, for on-leash 
dog walking, and a portion of Crissy Field (the tidal marsh, the 
overlooks on the boardwalk crossing the marsh, and the fenced dune 
areas) would be closed to dogs. The dog restrictions from the EA/FONSI 
were adopted by the Superintendent and included in the GGNRA compendium 
starting in 2000.
    Ocean Beach is the longest stretch of sandy beach between Point 
Reyes National Seashore and Half Moon Bay. The federally threatened 
Snowy Plover resides on portions of the beach for 10 months of the 
year. The draft Snowy Plover Management Plan (GGNRA 1998) recommended 
that dogs be on-leash in what was referred to as a Snowy Plover 
Protection Area (SPPA), extending from Stairwell 21 to Sloat Boulevard 
on Ocean Beach. From 1997 until December 2004, dogs were required to be 
leashed within the Ocean Beach SPPA, and the requirement was included 
in the GGNRA compendium.

Snowy Plover Monitoring

    Western Snow Plovers have over-wintered on Ocean Beach since at 
least as far back as the 1980s, and sightings have occurred on Crissy 
Field since the winter of 2002. GGNRA has regularly monitored Snowy 
Plovers at Ocean Beach since 1994 and began formal monitoring of Snowy 
Plovers at Crissy Field in February 2005.
    Data accumulated by GGNRA regarding the effects of dogs on Snowy 
Plovers is presented in the 2006 Status Report: Western Snowy Plovers--
Recent Changes in Human and Dog Use within the Snowy Plover Protection 
Area at Ocean Beach and the Wildlife Protection Area at Crissy Field 
(``Report''). In the report, monitoring data from the Ocean Beach SPPA 
and the Crissy Field WPA documents recent increases in the number of 
off-leash dogs using these areas. Along with this increase in the 
number of off-leash dogs, there has been an increase in the number of 
instances of dogs chasing or flushing Western Snowy Plovers or other 
shorebirds. In February and March of 2006, dogs were observed chasing 
or flushing Western Snowy Plovers on four occasions, disturbing a total 
of 22 plovers, in the Ocean Beach SPPA. In the Crissy Field WPA, dogs 
were observed chasing or flushing more than 6 plovers over the course 
of four surveys in July and August of 2006.
    The report also describes the adverse biological effects plovers 
experience when flushed or chased and concluded that these effects 
present a serious threat to the Western Snowy Plover.

Emergency Regulatory Provisions Adopted in 2006

    In response to the monitoring findings that off-leash dog walking 
at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field was harassing and disturbing snowy 
plovers and that this activity presented a serious threat to the 
GGNRA's overwintering snowy plover population, the GGNRA Superintendent 
implemented emergency restrictions requiring visitors to leash their 
dogs in the designated areas of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field during the 
2006-2007 overwintering season and re-implemented on July 1, 2007, for 
the 2007-2008 overwintering season. The emergency restrictions provided 
as follows:
     Ocean Beach: Dog-walking restricted to on-leash only at 
Ocean Beach, Stairwell 21 to Sloat Boulevard, including all tidelands. 
The definition of on-leash use requires that dogs must be restrained on 
a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length.
     Crissy Field: Dog-walking restricted to on-leash only in 
the Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area which encompasses: From the 
west, starting at Fort Point Mine Depot (a.k.a. Torpedo Wharf) eastward 
to concrete riprap, which lies approximately 700 feet east of former 
Coast Guard Station, and includes all uplands and all tidelands and 
extends from the high-water mark to 100 yards off shore.
    The emergency provisions would remain in effect until the end of 
the overwintering period, as determined through monitoring. The 
emergency provisions did not eliminate the opportunity for off-leash 
dog walking at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field outside of the designated 
Snowy Plover protection areas. At Crissy Field, dog walking options on 
the beach provide .99 miles of dog walking off-leash and .32 miles of 
dog walking on-leash, in addition to off-leash dog walking availability 
on the Crissy Field airfield and promenade. At Ocean Beach and the 
beach at Fort Funston, which lies just to the south of Ocean Beach, 
visitors have access to 2.4 miles of beach area for off-leash dog 
walking and 2.2 miles for on-leash dog walking.

Need for Action

    The emergency regulatory provisions implemented by GGNRA in 2006 
and 2007 are temporary. This rulemaking is needed to provide an interim 
solution developed with public participation for protecting the 
populations of Western Snowy Plovers that overwinter on Crissy Field 
and Ocean Beach until the negotiated rulemaking process is completed 
and a comprehensive special regulation for dog walking at GGNRA is 
adopted.
    This proposed regulation would require dogs to be on a leash, not 
exceeding six feet in length, within the land and water areas 
designated as the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean Beach SPPA. These 
areas will be included in the Superintendent's Compendium and will be 
published through the posting of signs and the availability of maps on 
the park's official Web site and other places convenient to the public. 
This activity restriction will be in effect annually, July 1 through 
approximately May 1, or until monitoring determines that the species is 
no longer present.
    The proposed rule will only prohibit the activity of off-leash dog 
walking in these two areas, and the effects are offset by the 
availability of other areas nearby the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean 
Beach SPPA for off-leash dog walking. Park visitors with dogs will 
still be allowed to use the Crissy Field WPA and the Ocean Beach SPPA 
provided that their dogs are leashed. This on-leash requirement will be 
a beneficial effect to visitors who come to this area to observe snowy 
plovers and a necessary measure for the protection and enhancement of 
the snowy plovers and their habitat.
    The proposed rule will not adversely affect GGNRA's natural, 
scenic, or cultural resources. In particular, the regulation will 
enhance GGNRA's ability to protect the Snowy Plover by decreasing the 
disturbances caused by dogs. Protection of threatened species is 
consistent with the 2006 Management Policies. Protection of threatened 
species is in keeping with the objectives of the Crissy Field Plan EA/
FONSI, and the draft Snowy Plover Management Plan, which called for a 
leash requirement in the Snowy Plover Protection Area. Finally, the 
proposed rule is consistent with the general regulation at 36 CFR 
2.15(a), which requires dogs to be on-leash in national park units.

Compliance With Other Laws and Executive Orders

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)

    This document is not a significant rule and is not subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866.

[[Page 65281]]

    (1) This rule will not have an effect of $100 million or more on 
the economy. It will not adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or 
communities. Most of the areas proposed to be restricted through this 
rulemaking have been closed or restricted for the same activity through 
the park's compendium in the past, although those closures or 
restrictions were not published in the Federal Register. Since this is 
not a new closure or restriction, and because opportunities for off-
leash dogwalking still exist in these areas, the proposed rule will not 
significantly affect the existing patterns of park users.
    (2) This rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise 
interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. GGNRA has 
received letters of concurrence for the emergency restrictions in these 
areas, and has begun informal concurrence with U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. This rule does not alter the budgetary effects of 
entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or 
obligations of their recipients.
    (3) This rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this document will 
not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). 
The economic effects of this rule are local in nature and negligible in 
scope. The primary purpose of this rule is to provide protection for a 
threatened species. The rule will require dogwalkers to leash their 
dogs when in specified areas. There will be no economic effect of this 
additional required action.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more. This rule will only affect those who choose to walk their dogs in 
two designated areas.
    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions. There will be no costs associated with 
the requirement to leash dogs in these two designated areas.
    c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The 
primary purpose of this regulation is to provide additional protection 
for a threatened species and this rule will not change the ability of 
United States based enterprises to compete in any way.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector. The restrictions 
under this regulation would not have a significant effect or impose an 
unfunded mandate on any agency or on the private sector. This rule 
applies only to Federal parkland administered by the National Park 
Service in GGNRA, and no costs will be incurred by any parties.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have 
significant takings implications. This rule does not apply to private 
property, or cause a compensable taking, there are no takings 
implications.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment. This regulation will not have a substantial 
direct effect on the states, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. The rule 
addresses dog walking in two areas of the Golden Gate National 
Recreation Area. The affected lands are under the administrative 
jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This regulation does not require an information collection from 10 
or more parties and a submission under the Paperwork Reduction Act is 
not required. An OMB form 83-I is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Handbook for NPS Director's Order 12 contains a listing of 
Categorical Exclusions. Section 3.4 D(2) of the Director's Order 12 
Handbook provides that ``minor changes in programs and regulations 
pertaining to visitor activities'' may be categorically excluded under 
NEPA. The proposed regulations for Ocean Beach and Crissy Field are 
actions that would result in minor changes to regulated visitor 
activities in these areas (transitioning seasonally from unleashed to 
leashed dog recreation). GGNRA has prepared all the appropriate 
Categorical Exclusion screening forms. These forms disclose that the 
adoption of these regulations would result in no measurable adverse 
environmental effects. Furthermore, no exceptional circumstances or 
conditions exist that would make use of a Categorical Exclusion 
inappropriate. As such, a Categorical Exclusion under NEPA is the 
appropriate form of NEPA compliance for these regulatory actions.

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) and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated potential 
effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that 
there are no potential effects.

Clarity of 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:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) 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.
    Drafting Information: The primary authors of this proposed rule are

[[Page 65282]]

Marybeth G. McFarland, Law Enforcement Specialist; Christine Powell, 
Public Affairs Specialist; Shirwin Smith, Management Assistant; GOGA; 
Barbara Goodyear, Solicitor, PWRO; Jerry Case, Regulations Program 
Manager; and Mike Tiernan, Solicitor, WASO.
    Public Participation: You may submit comments online at: http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. 
You may also mail or hand deliver comments to: Superintendent, Golden 
Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, 
California 94123, Attn: Snowy Plover Protection Rule.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the National Park Service 
proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as follows:

PART 7--SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

    1. The authority for part 7 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 460(q), 462(k); Sec. 7.96 also 
issued under D.C. Code 8-137 (1981) and D.C. Code 40-721 (1981).

    2. Add new paragraph (d) to Sec.  7.97 to read as follows:


Sec.  7.97  Golden Gate National Recreation Area

* * * * *
    (d) Dogs--Crissy Field and Ocean Beach Snowy Plover Areas (1) Dogs 
must be restrained on a leash not to exceed six feet in length during 
the Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) overwintering season 
in the following areas:
    (i) Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area (WPA): Dogwalking 
restricted to on-leash only in the areas which encompass the shoreline 
and beach area north of the Crissy Field Promenade (excluding the paved 
parking area, sidewalks and grass lawn encompassing the Coast Guard 
Station complex) east of the Fort Point Mine Depot (a.k.a. Torpedo 
Wharf) to approximately 700 feet east of the former Coast Guard 
Station, and all tidelands and submerged lands to 100 yards offshore.
    (ii) Ocean Beach Snowy Plover Protection Area (SPPA): Dog-walking 
restricted to on-leash only in the area which encompasses the shoreline 
and beach area west of the GGNRA boundary, between Stairwell 21 to 
Sloat Boulevard, including all tidelands and submerged lands to 1000 
feet offshore.
    (2) Notice of the overwintering season restrictions will be 
provided through the posting of signs at the site, on maps identifying 
the restricted areas on the park's official Web site and through maps 
made available at other places convenient to the public. This 
restriction will be in effect annually from July 1 until monitoring by 
the park determines that the species is no longer present.

    Dated: September 7, 2007.
David M. Verhey,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
 [FR Doc. E7-22654 Filed 11-19-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-FN-P