Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Acuña Cactus and the Fickeisen Plains Cactus, 40673-40686 [2013-16240]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules Dated: June 20, 2013. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2013–16239 Filed 7–5–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2013–0025; 4500030113] RIN 1018–AZ43 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical ˜ Habitat for the Acuna Cactus and the Fickeisen Plains Cactus Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; revisions and reopening of comment period. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on the October 3, 2012, proposed listing and designation of critical habitat for Echinomastus erectocentrus var. ˜ acunensis (acuna cactus) and Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to comment on revisions to the proposed critical habitat designations, which are described in this document; the associated draft economic analysis (DEA) for the proposed critical habitat designations; and the amended required determinations. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. DATES: We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before July 23, 2013. 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. ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the October 3, 2012, proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2012–0061 or by mail from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2013–0025, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2013– 0025; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. 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 Public Comments section below for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021; telephone (602) 242–0210; facsimile (602) 242–2513. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comments We are reopening the comment period for our proposed critical habitat ˜ designations for the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus that published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2012 (77 FR 60509). We are specifically seeking comments on the revised proposed critical habitat designations described in this document; see ADDRESSES for information on how to submit your comments. We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We also seek comments concerning: (1) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as ‘‘critical habitat’’ under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including whether there are threats to the species from human activity, the degree of which can be expected to increase due to the designation, and whether that increase in threat outweighs the benefit of designation such that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent. (2) Specific information on: ˜ (a) The distribution of the acuna cactus or the Fickeisen plains cactus; (b) The amount and distribution of ˜ acuna cactus or the Fickeisen plains cactus habitat; PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40673 (c) Special management considerations or protection that may be needed in critical habitat areas we are proposing, including management for the potential effects of climate change; and (d) What areas occupied by the species at the time of listing that contain features essential for the conservation of the species we should include in the designation and why. (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat. (4) Any foreseeable economic, national security, or other relevant impacts that may result from designating any area that may be included in the final designation. We are particularly interested in any impacts on small entities, and the benefits of including or excluding areas from the proposed designation that are subject to these impacts. (5) Whether our approach to designating critical habitat could be improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating public concerns and comments. (6) Information on the extent to which the description of economic impacts in the DEA is complete and accurate. (7) The likelihood of adverse social reactions to the designation of critical habitat, as discussed in the DEA, and how the consequences of such reactions, if likely to occur, would relate to the conservation and regulatory benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation. (8) Information that may inform our consideration of exclusion, including benefits of exclusion and benefits of including the areas proposed as critical habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus on the Navajo Nation based on the ‘‘Navajo Nation Fickeisen Plains Cactus Management Plan’’ and on the Babbitt Ranches based on their ‘‘Draft Babbitt Ranches Fickeisen Plains Cactus Management Plan.’’ Both plans were submitted during the March 28 through April 29, 2013, comment period (78 FR 18938) and are available on http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2013–0025. If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (77 FR 60509) during the initial comment period from October 3 to December 3, 2012, or during the second comment period (78 FR 18938) from March 28 to April 29, 2013, please do not resubmit them. We will incorporate them into the public record as part of this comment period, and we will fully consider them E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 40674 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination concerning critical habitat will take into consideration all written comments and any additional information we receive during this and the prior two comment periods. On the basis of public comments, we may, during the development of our final determination, find that areas proposed are not essential, are appropriate for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, or are not appropriate for exclusion. You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule or DEA 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. If you submit a comment via http:// www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http:// www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information 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 the proposed rule and DEA, will be available for public inspection on http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2013–0025, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule and the DEA on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R2–ES–2013–0025, or by mail from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section). Background It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to the designation of critical habitat for the ˜ acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus in this document. For more information on previous Federal actions ˜ concerning the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus, refer to the proposed listing determination and designation of critical habitat published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2012 (77 FR 60509) or the draft economic analysis, which are available online at http://www.regulations.gov (at VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 Docket Number FWS–R2–ES–2013– 0025) or from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Previous Federal Actions On October 3, 2012, we published a ˜ proposed rule to list the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus as endangered and to designate critical habitat for both plants (77 FR 60509). ˜ For the acuna cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat approximately 21,740 hectares (ha) (53,720 acres (ac)) in six units located in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, Arizona. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat approximately 19,901 ha (49,186 ac) in nine units located in Coconino and Mohave Counties, Arizona. That proposal had a 60-day comment period, ending December 3, 2012. On March 28, 2013, we reopened the comment period for 30 days to announce the availability of the DEA (78 FR 18938). We will submit for publication in the Federal Register final listing and critical habitat designations ˜ for the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus on or before October 3, 2013. Critical Habitat Section 3 of the Act defines critical habitat as the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species and that may require special management considerations or protection, and specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. If the proposed critical habitat designation is made final, section 7 of the Act will prohibit destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat by any activity funded, authorized, or carried out by any Federal agency. Federal agencies proposing actions affecting critical habitat must consult with us on the effects of their proposed actions, under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. Revised Proposed Critical Habitat Based on information we received during the comment periods, we are revising our proposed critical habitat for both cacti species (see the Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section of the October 3, 2012, proposed rule (77 FR 60509)). The new information resulted ˜ in revisions to most of the acuna cactus critical habitat units. For the Fickeisen PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 plains cactus, we are proposing to remove Unit 4, Snake Gulch, and add a new unit on U.S. Forest Service land. ˜ For the acuna cactus, we propose to designate approximately 7,657 ha (18,921 ac) as critical habitat in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, Arizona. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we propose to designate approximately 19,066 ha (47,123 ac) as critical habitat in Coconino and Mohave ˜ Counties, Arizona. Therefore, acuna cactus proposed critical habitat is reduced by 14,184 ha (34,799 ac), and Fickeisen plains cactus proposed critical habitat is reduced by 835 ha (2,063 ac). Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat In our October 3, 2012 (77 FR 60509), proposed rule, we identified additional areas, not occupied at the time of listing, as essential for the conservation of the ˜ acuna cactus. These areas were delineated using monitoring records from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (OPCNM) and GIS precipitation data. We noted that flowering and recruitment peaked in 1992, coinciding with a very wet winter with recorded precipitation of 29.7 cm (11.66 in). We intended to delineate areas that were projected to have 29.7 cm (11.66 in) or higher winter precipitation based on the past 30-year average. However, we mistakenly based our delineations on annual precipitation, not winter precipitation. We reevaluated our model, and there are no areas that meet the 29.7-cm (11.66in) winter rainfall criterion. In summary, we acknowledge that long˜ term drought is a threat to acuna cactus; however, we do not have any additional information that allows us to delineate areas outside of those currently occupied that would be essential for the conservation of the species. ˜ Acuna cactus Unit 1—Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument The Dripping Spring Subunit (1,591 ha (3,931 ac)) was originally proposed ˜ based on an acuna cactus herbarium specimen collected in 1952, which noted the collection location as south of Dripping Spring within 3 m (10 ft) of the U.S.-Mexico border; the exact location was not provided. Although OPCNM staff were unaware of this herbarium collection, they stated in their comments they had visited the general area of the collection while doing surveys for sensitive cultural and natural resources, as well as for ˜ buffelgrass, and no acuna cactus plants E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 40675 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules were noted. Although it is likely this was once a population supporting enough individuals to warrant collection for herbaria, it now seems likely this population no longer exists at this location; therefore we consider this unit to be unoccupied. We also reevaluated the habitat to consider whether or not this unoccupied area is essential for the conservation of the species. In the October 3, 2012, proposed rule, we outlined criteria for designation of critical habitat, and we determined that unoccupied areas with ˜ suitable acuna cactus habitat and that receive higher mean winter precipitation were necessary for the conservation of the species. As the Dripping Spring Subunit does not receive this amount (29.7 cm (11.66 in)) of winter rainfall, it does not meet the definition of critical habitat for the species, and we are no longer proposing ˜ it as critical habitat for the acuna cactus. We have removed this subunit from our proposed designation. The revised habitat proposed in our October 3, 2012, proposed rule. Consequently, we are removing the entire Cimarron Mountain ˜ All Units Containing Unoccupied Acuna Subunit (2,100 ha (5,190 ac)) from our Cactus Habitat proposed designation. All of these lands are on the Tohono O’odham Nation. In our proposed critical habitat rule, Within proposed Unit 4, the entire Sand we proposed to designate unoccupied ˜ critical habitat for acuna cactus in areas Tank Mountain Subunit (3,107 ha (7,677 ac)) of Federal lands is removed. The receiving higher winter rainfall, thus amount of land removed within the allowing space for growth and Javelina Mountain Subunit of the Sand expansion of the species in the face of Tank Mountains Unit is 362 ha (895 ac), ongoing drought and climate change leaving 549 ha (1,355 ac) on Bureau of model predictions. However, we received public comments regarding the Land Management (BLM) lands within data we used to identify the unoccupied the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The amount of land removed within critical habitat areas. In reviewing the proposed Unit 5, Mineral Mountain, is information, we acknowledge that we 304 ha (752 ac) of BLM land, leaving incorrectly used annual rainfall data 787 ha (1,945 ac) on BLM, Bureau of rather than winter rainfall data in our evaluation (see Criteria Used to Identify Reclamation (BOR), and State lands. Within proposed Unit 6, Box O Wash, Critical Habitat above). As a result, we we are removing 6,240 ha (15,419 ac) of reevaluated the data and determined land, leaving 1,981 ha (4,895 ac) split that no areas in southern Arizona meet between two subunits, A and B; this rainfall criteria established in the land is distributed among Federal, State, proposed rule. Therefore, we are and private landowners. removing all the unoccupied critical proposed Unit 1 contains 2,416 ha (5,971 ac). ˜ TABLE 1—ACUNA CACTUS PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT AND REVISED PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT Proposed critical habitat ha (ac) Unit Unit Unit Unit Unit Unit Unit 1 2 3 4 5 6 Revised proposed critical habitat ha (ac) Difference ha (ac) ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... 4,007 (9,902) 666 (1,645) 3,737 (9,234) 4,018 (9,928) 1,092 (2,697) 8,221 (20,314) 2,416 (5,971) 666 (1,645) 1,258 (3,109)* 549 (1,355) 787 (1,945) 1,981 (4,895) 1,591 (3,931) 0 (0) 2,579 (6,373) 3,469 (8,572) 305 (752) 6,240 (15,419) Totals ................................................................................................ 21,741 (53,720) 7,657 (18,921) 14,084 (34,799) ˜ * See Exemptions for Acuna Cactus section below. Revised Proposed Unit Descriptions for ˜ Acuna Cactus ˜ proposed critical habitat for acuna cactus. Below we present unit descriptions for those units for which we are revising ˜ TABLE 2—REVISED AREA OF PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT FOR THE ACUNA CACTUS Federal State Tribal Private Total Total Ha Ac Unit or subunit Ac Ha Ac Unit 1—Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument ....................... Unit 3—Sauceda Mountains ........ Unit 4—Sand Tank Mountains ..... Unit 5—Mineral Mountain ............ Unit 6a—Box O Wash A Subunit Unit 6b—Box O Wash B Subunit tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Ha Ha Ac Ha 2,416 1,102 549 570 4 0 5,971 2,724 1,355 1,408 9 0 0 0 0 217 1,348 158 0 0 0 537 3,332 391 0 156 0 0 0 0 0 385 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 369 102 0 0 0 0 913 251 2,416 1,258 549 787 1,721 260 5,971 3,109 1,355 1,945 4,253 642 Grand Total ........................... 4,640 11,466 1,723 4,260 156 385 471 1,164 6,991 17,276 Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 Ac 40676 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules Unit 1: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Proposed Unit 1 consists of 2,416 ha (5,971 ac) within OPCNM in southwestern Pima County, Arizona. The unit is on federally owned land administered by the National Park Service. Land within this unit is occupied at the time of listing with the ˜ largest known population of the acuna cactus, approximately 2,000 individuals. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential ˜ to the conservation of the acuna cactus. Grazing and mining are not permitted within OPCNM; however, off-road, border-related activities do occur in OPCNM. Special management considerations or protection may be required to address off-road, borderrelated human disturbances; invasive plant removal; and insect predation in ˜ acuna cactus habitat. Unit 3: Sauceda Mountains tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Proposed Unit 3 is located in the Sauceda Mountains of northwestern Pima and southwestern Maricopa Counties, Arizona. This unit contains 1,102 ha (2,724 ac) of federally owned land and 156 ha (385 ac) of tribally owned land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM; the Tribal land is administered by the Tohono O’odham Nation. This unit is comprised of four separate populations, which are close enough in proximity as to be combined within the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius defined for pollinators. Lands within this unit are occupied at the time of listing; the combined number of plants occurring within this unit is 212. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the ˜ conservation of the acuna cactus. The features essential to the conservation of the species within the unit are threatened by mining; grazing; and off-road, border-related activities. Special management considerations or protection may be required within the unit to minimize habitat fragmentation; to minimize disturbance to individual ˜ acuna cactus individuals, soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove invasive, exotic ˜ plants within acuna cactus habitat. Unit 4: Sand Tank Mountains Proposed Unit 4 consists of 549 ha (1,355 ac) within the Sonoran Desert National Monument of southwestern Maricopa County, Arizona. The unit is on federally owned land administered by the BLM. Land within this unit is occupied at the time of listing; the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 combined number of plants occurring within this unit is 200, occurring in three separate populations. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of ˜ the acuna cactus. Grazing and mining are not permitted within the Sonoran Desert National Monument; however, off-road, borderrelated activities and trespass livestock grazing may occur in this unit. Special management considerations or protection may be required within this unit to address increased off-road, border-related human disturbances; to ˜ minimize disturbance to acuna cactus individuals, the soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove invasive, exotic plants within ˜ acuna cactus habitat. Unit 5: Mineral Mountain Proposed Unit 5 consists of 787 ha (1,945 ac) on Mineral Mountain of north-central Pinal County, Arizona. This unit contains 570 ha (1,408 ac) of federally owned land and 217 ha (537 ac) of State-owned land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM (569 ha (1,406 ac)) and the Bureau of Reclamation (1 ha (2 ac)). This unit contains five separate known populations totaling at least 30 individuals on lands administered by the BLM and the State of Arizona. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the ˜ conservation of the acuna cactus. Livestock grazing and off-road vehicle activity occur on this unit, and mining occurs nearby. Special management considerations or protection may be required within the unit to minimize habitat fragmentation; to minimize ˜ disturbance to acuna cactus individuals, soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove invasive, ˜ exotic plants within acuna cactus habitat. Unit 6: Box O Wash Proposed Unit 6 is located near Box O Wash of north-central Pinal County, Arizona. This unit consists of two subunits totaling 1,981 ha (4,895 ac). This unit contains 4 ha (9 ac) of federally owned land, 1,506 ha (3,722 ac) of State-owned land, and 471 ha (1,164 ac) of privately owned land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM. Subunit 6a: Box O Wash A—Subunit 6a consists of 3.7 ha (9.1 ac) of BLM land, 369 ha (913 ac) of private land, and 1,348 ha (3,332 ac) of State land east of Florence, Arizona. This subunit is comprised of two separate PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ˜ populations of the acuna cactus on private and State-owned lands, which are close enough in proximity to be combined within the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius defined for pollinators. Lands within this subunit are occupied at the time of listing; the combined number of plants occurring within this subunit is 11. This subunit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential ˜ to the conservation of the acuna cactus. Subunit 6b: Box O Wash B—Subunit 6b consists of 158 ha (391 ac) of Stateowned land and 102 ha (251 ac) of private land east of Florence, Arizona. This subunit is comprised of one ˜ population of the acuna cactus on Stateowned land; the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius defined for pollinators overlaps into private land. This area was surveyed in ˜ 2008, and 32 living acuna cacti were found. A 2011 survey resulted in no living plants located; however this was not a thorough survey. Therefore, we consider lands within this subunit occupied at the time of listing. This subunit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the ˜ conservation of the acuna cactus. Livestock grazing and off-road vehicle activity occur in both subunits of proposed Unit 6, and mining occurs nearby. Special management considerations or protection may be required within both subunits of this unit to minimize habitat fragmentation; ˜ to minimize disturbance to acuna cactus individuals, soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove ˜ invasive, exotic plants within acuna cactus habitat. ˜ Exemptions for Acuna Cactus 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 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules 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) 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 geographic areas owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated for its use, that are subject to an integrated natural resources management plan 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.’’ We consult with the military on the development and implementation of INRMPs for installations with listed species. We analyzed INRMPs developed by military installations located within the range of the critical ˜ habitat designation for acuna cactus to determine if they meet the criteria for exemption from critical habitat under section 4(a)(3) of the Act. The following areas are Department of Defense lands with completed, Service-approved INRMPs within the revised proposed critical habitat designation. Approved INRMPs tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Barry M. Goldwater Gunnery Range (BMGR)—Arizona The BMGR has an approved INRMP. The U.S. Air Force is committed to working closely with the Service to continually refine the existing INRMP as part of the Sikes Act’s INRMP review process. Based on our review of the INRMP for this military installation, and in accordance with section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act, we have determined that the ˜ portion of the acuna cactus habitat within this installation, identified as meeting the definition of critical habitat, is subject to the INRMP, and that conservation efforts identified in this INRMP will provide a benefit to the ˜ acuna cactus. Therefore, lands within this installation are exempt from critical habitat designation under section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act. We are not VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 including 379 ha (935 ac) of habitat on BMGR within the Coffeepot Mountain Subunit in this revised critical habitat designation because of this exemption. This leaves 1,258 ha (3,109 ac) in the Coffeepot Mountain Subunit on Bureau of Land Management and Tohono O’odham Nation lands as proposed ˜ critical habitat for the acuna cactus. The BMGR completed a revision to the INRMP in relation to ongoing and planned conservation efforts for the ˜ acuna cactus and provided this revision to us during a public comment period. ˜ The benefits for acuna cactus from this revised INRMP include: Avoid disturbance of vegetation and pollinators within 900 meters of known ˜ acuna cactus plants; develop and implement procedures to control trespass livestock; monitor illegal immigration, contraband trafficking, and border-related enforcement; and continue to monitor and control invasive plant species to maintain quality habitat and prevent unnatural fire. Further, BMGR’s environmental staff reviews projects and enforces existing regulations and orders that, through their implementation, avoid and minimize impacts to natural ˜ resources, including acuna cacti and their habitat. In addition, BMGR’s ˜ INRMP provides protection to acuna cactus habitat by prohibiting both mining and agriculture on their lands. BMGR’s INRMP specifies periodic monitoring of the distribution and ˜ abundance of acuna cacti populations on the range. Based on the above considerations, and in accordance with section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act, we have determined that conservation efforts identified in the 2007 INRMP for BMGR ˜ and the revised acuna cactus portion of this INRMP developed in 2012 provide ˜ a benefit to the acuna cactus and its habitat. Therefore, lands subject to the INRMP for BMGR, which includes the lands leased from the Department of Defense by other parties, are exempt from critical habitat designation under section 4(a)(3) of the Act, and we are not including approximately 379 ha (935 ac) of habitat in this revised proposed critical habitat designation. Fickeisen Plains Cactus We are revising two areas of proposed Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat: (1) We are removing Unit 4, Snake Gulch Unit, from proposed critical habitat; and (2) we are proposing an additional area as critical habitat on the Kaibab National Forest. We also announce additional areas being considered for exclusion from the final designation of Fickeisen plains cactus PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40677 critical habitat (see Public Comments section above). On October 3, 2012, we proposed approximately 945 ha (2,335 ac) as critical habitat within the Snake Gulch Unit on Federal land (77 FR 60509, p. 60560). The Snake Gulch Unit is located near the western boundary of the Kaibab National Forest on the North Kaibab Ranger District. It includes one of two known occurrences of the Fickeisen plains cactus on the Kaibab National Forest. Plants were observed in the 1980s in the area near Willow Point in the vicinity of Snake Gulch (Heritage Data Management System 2012). After this date, no other site visits had occurred to verify the location and status of the plant. During the public comment periods, the Kaibab National Forest conducted surveys near Willow Point and within the proposed designated critical habitat, but no plants were found (Hannemann 2013, p. 1; Hannemann 2013, pers. comm.). Further, the Kaibab National Forest had previously conducted surveys in the Snake Gulch area in 2002 and 2003, for a section 7 consultation, and those efforts failed to locate plants (USFS 2004, p. 601). Further investigation of the source of the 1980s information revealed that the observed occurrence of the Fickeisen plains cactus in the Snake Gulch vicinity was in error. Based on this finding and with three negative survey results, we consider the area at Snake Gulch to be unoccupied by the Fickeisen plains cactus. We are removing the 945-ha (2,335-ac) Snake Gulch Unit from our proposed critical habitat designation. We also reevaluated the habitat to consider whether unoccupied areas are essential for the conservation of the species. In the October 3, 2012, proposed rule, we determined that within the range of the Fickeisen plains cactus there are adequate amounts of area occupied by the plant to provide for and ensure the conservation of the species. We have determined that, even without the habitat previously considered occupied at the Snake Gulch Unit, there are adequate amounts of area occupied by the plant proposed as critical habitat to provide for and ensure the conservation of the species without the designation of any unoccupied areas as critical habitat. Therefore, we are not proposing any unoccupied areas as critical habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus. We also received new information on the available habitat at South Canyon that is located on the eastern boundary of the Kaibab National Forest near the Colorado River. This site is different from Subunit 5d (South Canyon) (in Unit 5, House Rock Valley) that is on E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 40678 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules Draft Economic Analysis the Fickeisen plains cactus and published a summary of the analysis in the Federal Register (78 FR 18938). For ˜ the acuna cactus, in this document, we are removing specific areas from the proposed designation of critical habitat ˜ for the acuna cactus. In the March 28, 2013, draft economic analysis, we estimated the total present value incremental impacts to be approximately $60,000 over 20 years ˜ following the designation of the acuna cactus critical habitat, assuming a 7 percent discount rate ($65,000 assuming a 3 percent discount rate). Since we are revising the proposed designation by removing areas and now exempting the Barry M. Goldwater Range from critical habitat, the total incremental impacts will be less than $60,000 over 20 years. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we are removing the Snake Gulch Unit and proposing the South Canyon Unit. In the March 28, 2013, draft economic analysis, we estimated the total present value incremental impacts to be approximately $39,000 over 20 years following the designation of the Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat, assuming a 7 percent discount rate ($43,000 assuming a 3 percent discount rate). The draft economic analysis estimated the potential incremental costs of the Snake Gulch Unit to be approximately $7,000 over the next 20 years as a result of the consideration of adverse modification in section 7 consultations. With the addition of the South Canyon Unit, we estimate similar probable incremental administrative costs resulting from consideration of adverse modification in section 7 consultations. Therefore, we estimate the total present value incremental impacts to be approximately $39,000 over 20 years following the designation of the Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat. As stated earlier, we are soliciting data and comments from the public on the draft economic analysis, as well as all aspects of the revisions to the proposed rule described in this document and our amended required determinations. 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. On March 28, 2013, we released the draft economic analysis of the proposed ˜ designations for the acuna cactus and Required Determinations—Amended In our March 28, 2013 (78 FR 18938), publication, we affirmed our BLM lands. This area was known to be occupied by the plant based on its discovery in 2004 (Phillips 2013, pers. comm.); however, the location and number of plants had not been recorded. The Kaibab National Forest surveyed the area in late March 2013, and documented 62 individuals (Hannemann 2013, pers. comm.). We are proposing to designate this area (South Canyon Unit) as critical habitat along the rim of South Canyon. This area would constitute an addition of 110 ha (272 ac) to proposed critical habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus. Revised Proposed Unit Descriptions for Fickeisen Plains Cactus tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Unit 4: South Canyon Proposed Unit 4 is located on the eastern boundary of the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest in Coconino County. It is bounded by the Colorado River near Marble Canyon at House Rock Valley. It includes land originally designated as the Grand Canyon National Game Preserve that is now referred to as the Buffalo Ranch Management Area. It contains 110 ha (272 ac) of federally owned land that is administered by the Kaibab National Forest. This unit contains at least 62 individuals scattered among six areas along the rim of South Canyon Point. It contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the Fickeisen plains cactus. The primary land uses within proposed Unit 4 include big game hunting and recreational activities throughout the year. The area is very remote and may receive limited number of hikers, hunters, or campers. Under a memorandum of understanding, the Kaibab National Forest and the Arizona Game and Fish Department commit to managing the natural resources of this area, mainly big game species, to ensure that sensitive resources are not impacted and desired conditions are achieved (USFS 2012, p. 92). Livestock grazing by cattle and mining activities are not authorized within the Buffalo Ranch Management Area. Special management considerations or protection may be required within the unit to minimize habitat disturbance to the soil and associated native vegetation, and prevent invasion of nonnative plants within Fickeisen plains cactus habitat. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 compliance with several statutes and executive orders until the information concerning potential economic impacts of the designation and potential effects on landowners and stakeholders became available in the draft economic analysis. Because we have made changes to the proposed rules for both species, in this document, we reaffirm the information in our proposed rule concerning Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 12630 (Takings), E.O. 13132 (Federalism), E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), E.O. 13211 (Energy, Supply, Distribution, and Use), the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We also affirm the statement in our March 28, 2013, publication (78 FR 18938) concerning the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, ‘‘Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments’’ (59 FR 22951). Because we have made changes to the proposed critical habitat designations for both species, we are amending our required determination concerning the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Based on our draft economic analysis of the proposed designation, we provide our analysis for determining whether the proposed rule would result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Based on comments we receive, we may E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules revise this determination as part of our final rulemaking. According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. In general, the term ‘‘significant economic impact’’ is meant to apply to a typical small business firm’s business operations. To determine if the proposed designation of critical habitat for the ˜ acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus would affect a substantial number of small entities, we considered the number of small entities affected within particular types of economic activities, such as uranium mining, livestock grazing, and transportation construction and maintenance projects. In order to determine whether it is appropriate for our agency to certify that the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, we considered each industry or category individually. In estimating the numbers of small entities potentially affected, we also considered whether their activities have any Federal involvement. Critical habitat designation will not affect activities that do not have any Federal involvement; designation of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies. In areas where the ˜ acuna cactus or the Fickeisen plains cactus are present, Federal agencies will be required to consult with us under section 7 of the Act on activities they fund, permit, or implement that may affect the species. If we finalize the proposed critical habitat designation, consultations to avoid the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 would be incorporated into the consultation process. In the draft economic analysis, we evaluated the potential economic effects on small entities resulting from implementation of conservation actions related to the proposed designation of ˜ critical habitat for the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus. As a result of changes to the proposed critical habitat designation, more than 63 percent of land in the proposed ˜ designation for acuna cactus and less than 34 percent of the land in the proposed designation for Fickeisen plains cactus is federally owned. Anticipated incremental impacts in proposed critical habitat are primarily related to consultations on livestock grazing and other Federal land management activities. The remaining forecast impacts are anticipated to be conducted for transportation construction and maintenance projects, Partners for Fish and Wildlife programs, and activities on the Tohono O’odham or Navajo Nations’ lands. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Tribes are not considered small entities. Therefore, of the remaining activities affected by the proposed critical habitat designations for the cacti, only one is expected to incur costs to small entities: uranium mining. One consultation is projected for the EZ uranium mine. This one consultation will result in impacts to Energy Fuels Inc. (operators of the EZ Mine) of approximately $900 on a present value basis, or approximately $80 on an annualized basis, which constitutes an impact of less than one-tenth of a percent of annual revenues. Of the activities affected by the proposed ˜ designation for the acuna cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus, none is expected to incur incremental costs to third-party small entities. The forecast consultations either do not include third parties (programmatic consultations, intra-Service consultations, and consultations with another Federal agency) or the third parties are not considered small entities (consultations with the ADOT and the Tribes). Please refer to the Appendix A of the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation for a more detailed discussion of potential economic impacts. The Service’s current understanding of recent case law is that Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking; therefore, they are not required to evaluate the potential impacts to those entities not directly regulated by the designation of critical PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40679 habitat. The designation of critical habitat for an endangered or threatened species only has a regulatory effect where a Federal action agency is involved in a particular action that may affect the designated critical habitat. Under these circumstances, only the Federal action agency is directly regulated by the designation, and, therefore, consistent with the Service’s current interpretation of the RFA and recent case law, the Service may limit its evaluation of the potential impacts to those identified for Federal action agencies. Under this interpretation, there is no requirement under the RFA to evaluate the potential impacts to entities not directly regulated, such as small businesses. However, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Federal agencies to assess cost and benefits of available regulatory alternatives in quantitative (to the extent feasible) and qualitative terms. Consequently, it is the current practice of the Service to assess to the extent practicable these potential impacts, if sufficient data are available, whether or not this analysis is believed by the Service to be strictly required by the RFA. In other words, while the effects analysis required under the RFA is limited to entities directly regulated by the rulemaking, the effects analysis under the Act, consistent with the E.O. regulatory analysis requirements, can take into consideration impacts to both directly and indirectly impacted entities, where practicable and reasonable. In summary, we have considered whether the revised proposed designation would result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Information for this analysis was gathered from the Small Business Administration, stakeholders, and the Service. We conclude that future consultations are not likely to involve a third party or the third parties are not considered small entities. For the above reasons and based on currently available information, we certify that, if promulgated, the proposed critical habitat designations would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Authors The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Proposed Regulation Promulgation tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Accordingly, we propose to further amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be amended on October 3, 2012, at 77 FR 60509, as set forth below: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus),’’ at 77 FR 60509, by revising paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(9), (a)(10), and (a)(11). The revisions read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; and 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted. § 17.96 2. Amend § 17.96(a) as follows: a. In the entry proposed for ‘‘Echinomastus erectocentrus var. ˜ acunensis (acuna cactus)’’ at 77 FR 60509, by revising paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(9), and (a)(10); and ■ b. In the entry proposed for ‘‘Pediocactus peeblesianus var. * ■ ■ PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 Critical habitat—plants. (a) Flowering plants. * * * * Family Cactaceae: Echinomastus ˜ erectocentrus var. acunensis (acuna cactus) * * * * * (5) Index map follows: BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.005</GPH> 40680 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules 40681 (6) Unit 1: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima County, AZ. Map of Unit 1 follows: Location of Critical Habitat for the Acuna Cactus - Unit 1 UNIT 1 : Organ Pipe Cactus NM r,/ , f~-' Critical Habitat Rivers KmO 1 2 Major Roads 3 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.006</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS County Boundaries 40682 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules (7) Unit 2: Ajo, Pima County, AZ. Map of Units 2 and 3 follows: Location of Critical Habitat for the Acuna Cactus - Units 2 and 3 UNIT 3 : Sauceda Mountains UNIT 2 : Ajo _.}OWnsites Subunit "\\ ~ Little Ajo Mountains ··Subunit Critical Habitat * * * VerDate Mar<15>2010 * Km 0 2 I 2 I 4 4 I I 6 Rivers Major Roads 6 County Boundaries * 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.007</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ~ Mi 0 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules 40683 (9) Unit 4: Sand Tank Mountains, Maricopa County, AZ. Map of Unit 4 follows: UNIT 4 : Sand Tank Mountains Critical Habitat VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Km 0 2 4 I 4 I 6 Rivers I Major Roads 6 County Boundaries Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.008</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ~ 2 Mi 0 40684 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules (10) Unit 5: Mineral Mountain, Pinal County, AZ. Map of Units 5 and 6 follows: Location of Critical Habitat for the Acuna Cactus - Units 5 and 6 UNIT 5 : Mineral Mountain UNIT 6 : Box 0 Wash Subunit A Subunit B Critical Habitat * * * VerDate Mar<15>2010 * Krn 0 I 2 4 I Rivers I I 4 I 6 6 Major Roads County Boundaries * 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.009</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ~ 2 Mi 0 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules 40685 (5) Note: Index map follows: Family Cactaceae: Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) * * * * * • ,• Hurricane Cliffs • Sunshine Ridge , . House • t· Rock'~" • ... •. "', /~ Tiger Valley i.· / South Canyon " l3l& Cataract Canyon ' \ • c~orado , Wash Little River Overloo~' . " G~ay • Mountain _ * * * VerDate Mar<15>2010 * I Km 0 6 I Rivers I I I 12 18 Major Roads County Boundaries * 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.010</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ~ Mi 01--,-6'-,--,-12,---,18 Critical Habitat 40686 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 130 / Monday, July 8, 2013 / Proposed Rules (9) Unit 4: South Canyon Unit, Coconino County, AZ. Map of Units 4, 5, and 6 follows: Location of Critical Habitat for the Fickeisen Plains Cactus - House Rock Valley, Tiger Wash and South Canyon Units Beanhole Well Subunit It North Canyon Wash Subunit House Rock ~ Valley Unit -~ Tiger Wash 1 Subunit ~ Marble Canyon' '" Subunit '" Wash 2 South Canyon ~~~; Subunit (BLM) Tiger Wash I Unit South Canyon Unit I / Shinumo Wash Subun (10) Unit 5: House Rock Valley Unit, Coconino County AZ. Map of Unit 5 is provided at paragraph (a)(9) of this entry. (11) Unit 6: Tiger Wash Unit, Coconino County AZ. Map of Unit 6 is VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:08 Jul 05, 2013 Jkt 229001 1.5 I Km 0 2 I Critical Habitat 4.5 3 I Rivers I 4 S Major Roads provided at paragraph (a)(9) of this entry. * * * * * PO 00000 Dated: June 26, 2013. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2013–16240 Filed 7–5–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–C Frm 00047 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\08JYP1.SGM 08JYP1 EP08JY13.011</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ~ Mi G

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 130 (Monday, July 8, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40673-40686]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16240]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AZ43


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for the Acu[ntilde]a Cactus and the Fickeisen Plains 
Cactus

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; revisions and reopening of comment period.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
reopening of the public comment period on the October 3, 2012, proposed 
listing and designation of critical habitat for Echinomastus 
erectocentrus var. acunensis (acu[ntilde]a cactus) and Pediocactus 
peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are reopening the 
comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to 
comment on revisions to the proposed critical habitat designations, 
which are described in this document; the associated draft economic 
analysis (DEA) for the proposed critical habitat designations; and the 
amended required determinations. Comments previously submitted need not 
be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the 
final rule.

DATES: We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before 
July 23, 2013. 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.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the October 
3, 2012, proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2012-0061 or by mail from the Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the 
following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025, which 
is the docket number for this rulemaking.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    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 Public Comments section below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 
2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021; telephone (602) 
242-0210; facsimile (602) 242-2513. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Comments

    We are reopening the comment period for our proposed critical 
habitat designations for the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen 
plains cactus that published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2012 
(77 FR 60509). We are specifically seeking comments on the revised 
proposed critical habitat designations described in this document; see 
ADDRESSES for information on how to submit your comments. We will 
consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. 
We also seek comments concerning:
    (1) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as 
``critical habitat'' under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), including whether there are threats to the species from human 
activity, the degree of which can be expected to increase due to the 
designation, and whether that increase in threat outweighs the benefit 
of designation such that the designation of critical habitat is not 
prudent.
    (2) Specific information on:
    (a) The distribution of the acu[ntilde]a cactus or the Fickeisen 
plains cactus;
    (b) The amount and distribution of acu[ntilde]a cactus or the 
Fickeisen plains cactus habitat;
    (c) Special management considerations or protection that may be 
needed in critical habitat areas we are proposing, including management 
for the potential effects of climate change; and
    (d) What areas occupied by the species at the time of listing that 
contain features essential for the conservation of the species we 
should include in the designation and why.
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat.
    (4) Any foreseeable economic, national security, or other relevant 
impacts that may result from designating any area that may be included 
in the final designation. We are particularly interested in any impacts 
on small entities, and the benefits of including or excluding areas 
from the proposed designation that are subject to these impacts.
    (5) Whether our approach to designating critical habitat could be 
improved or modified in any way to provide for greater public 
participation and understanding, or to assist us in accommodating 
public concerns and comments.
    (6) Information on the extent to which the description of economic 
impacts in the DEA is complete and accurate.
    (7) The likelihood of adverse social reactions to the designation 
of critical habitat, as discussed in the DEA, and how the consequences 
of such reactions, if likely to occur, would relate to the conservation 
and regulatory benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation.
    (8) Information that may inform our consideration of exclusion, 
including benefits of exclusion and benefits of including the areas 
proposed as critical habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus on the 
Navajo Nation based on the ``Navajo Nation Fickeisen Plains Cactus 
Management Plan'' and on the Babbitt Ranches based on their ``Draft 
Babbitt Ranches Fickeisen Plains Cactus Management Plan.'' Both plans 
were submitted during the March 28 through April 29, 2013, comment 
period (78 FR 18938) and are available on http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025.
    If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (77 
FR 60509) during the initial comment period from October 3 to December 
3, 2012, or during the second comment period (78 FR 18938) from March 
28 to April 29, 2013, please do not resubmit them. We will incorporate 
them into the public record as part of this comment period, and we will 
fully consider them

[[Page 40674]]

in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination 
concerning critical habitat will take into consideration all written 
comments and any additional information we receive during this and the 
prior two comment periods. On the basis of public comments, we may, 
during the development of our final determination, find that areas 
proposed are not essential, are appropriate for exclusion under section 
4(b)(2) of the Act, or are not appropriate for exclusion.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed 
rule or DEA 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.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that 
includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top 
of your document that we withhold this information 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 the proposed rule and DEA, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket 
No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025, or by appointment, during normal business 
hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may 
obtain copies of the proposed rule and the DEA on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025, or by 
mail from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section).

Background

    It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to 
the designation of critical habitat for the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the 
Fickeisen plains cactus in this document. For more information on 
previous Federal actions concerning the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the 
Fickeisen plains cactus, refer to the proposed listing determination 
and designation of critical habitat published in the Federal Register 
on October 3, 2012 (77 FR 60509) or the draft economic analysis, which 
are available online at http://www.regulations.gov (at Docket Number 
FWS-R2-ES-2013-0025) or from the Arizona Ecological Services Field 
Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Previous Federal Actions

    On October 3, 2012, we published a proposed rule to list the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus as endangered and 
to designate critical habitat for both plants (77 FR 60509). For the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat 
approximately 21,740 hectares (ha) (53,720 acres (ac)) in six units 
located in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, Arizona. For the 
Fickeisen plains cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat 
approximately 19,901 ha (49,186 ac) in nine units located in Coconino 
and Mohave Counties, Arizona. That proposal had a 60-day comment 
period, ending December 3, 2012. On March 28, 2013, we reopened the 
comment period for 30 days to announce the availability of the DEA (78 
FR 18938). We will submit for publication in the Federal Register final 
listing and critical habitat designations for the acu[ntilde]a cactus 
and the Fickeisen plains cactus on or before October 3, 2013.

Critical Habitat

    Section 3 of the Act defines critical habitat as the specific areas 
within the geographical area occupied by a species, at the time it is 
listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or 
biological features essential to the conservation of the species and 
that may require special management considerations or protection, and 
specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at 
the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are 
essential for the conservation of the species. If the proposed critical 
habitat designation is made final, section 7 of the Act will prohibit 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat by any activity 
funded, authorized, or carried out by any Federal agency. Federal 
agencies proposing actions affecting critical habitat must consult with 
us on the effects of their proposed actions, under section 7(a)(2) of 
the Act.

Revised Proposed Critical Habitat

    Based on information we received during the comment periods, we are 
revising our proposed critical habitat for both cacti species (see the 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat section of the October 3, 
2012, proposed rule (77 FR 60509)). The new information resulted in 
revisions to most of the acu[ntilde]a cactus critical habitat units. 
For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we are proposing to remove Unit 4, 
Snake Gulch, and add a new unit on U.S. Forest Service land. For the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus, we propose to designate approximately 7,657 ha 
(18,921 ac) as critical habitat in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, 
Arizona. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we propose to designate 
approximately 19,066 ha (47,123 ac) as critical habitat in Coconino and 
Mohave Counties, Arizona. Therefore, acu[ntilde]a cactus proposed 
critical habitat is reduced by 14,184 ha (34,799 ac), and Fickeisen 
plains cactus proposed critical habitat is reduced by 835 ha (2,063 
ac).

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    In our October 3, 2012 (77 FR 60509), proposed rule, we identified 
additional areas, not occupied at the time of listing, as essential for 
the conservation of the acu[ntilde]a cactus. These areas were 
delineated using monitoring records from Organ Pipe Cactus National 
Monument (OPCNM) and GIS precipitation data. We noted that flowering 
and recruitment peaked in 1992, coinciding with a very wet winter with 
recorded precipitation of 29.7 cm (11.66 in). We intended to delineate 
areas that were projected to have 29.7 cm (11.66 in) or higher winter 
precipitation based on the past 30-year average. However, we mistakenly 
based our delineations on annual precipitation, not winter 
precipitation. We reevaluated our model, and there are no areas that 
meet the 29.7-cm (11.66-in) winter rainfall criterion. In summary, we 
acknowledge that long-term drought is a threat to acu[ntilde]a cactus; 
however, we do not have any additional information that allows us to 
delineate areas outside of those currently occupied that would be 
essential for the conservation of the species.

Acu[ntilde]a cactus

Unit 1--Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    The Dripping Spring Subunit (1,591 ha (3,931 ac)) was originally 
proposed based on an acu[ntilde]a cactus herbarium specimen collected 
in 1952, which noted the collection location as south of Dripping 
Spring within 3 m (10 ft) of the U.S.-Mexico border; the exact location 
was not provided. Although OPCNM staff were unaware of this herbarium 
collection, they stated in their comments they had visited the general 
area of the collection while doing surveys for sensitive cultural and 
natural resources, as well as for buffelgrass, and no acu[ntilde]a 
cactus plants

[[Page 40675]]

were noted. Although it is likely this was once a population supporting 
enough individuals to warrant collection for herbaria, it now seems 
likely this population no longer exists at this location; therefore we 
consider this unit to be unoccupied. We also reevaluated the habitat to 
consider whether or not this unoccupied area is essential for the 
conservation of the species. In the October 3, 2012, proposed rule, we 
outlined criteria for designation of critical habitat, and we 
determined that unoccupied areas with suitable acu[ntilde]a cactus 
habitat and that receive higher mean winter precipitation were 
necessary for the conservation of the species. As the Dripping Spring 
Subunit does not receive this amount (29.7 cm (11.66 in)) of winter 
rainfall, it does not meet the definition of critical habitat for the 
species, and we are no longer proposing it as critical habitat for the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus. We have removed this subunit from our proposed 
designation. The revised proposed Unit 1 contains 2,416 ha (5,971 ac).

All Units Containing Unoccupied Acu[ntilde]a Cactus Habitat

    In our proposed critical habitat rule, we proposed to designate 
unoccupied critical habitat for acu[ntilde]a cactus in areas receiving 
higher winter rainfall, thus allowing space for growth and expansion of 
the species in the face of ongoing drought and climate change model 
predictions. However, we received public comments regarding the data we 
used to identify the unoccupied critical habitat areas. In reviewing 
the information, we acknowledge that we incorrectly used annual 
rainfall data rather than winter rainfall data in our evaluation (see 
Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat above). As a result, we 
reevaluated the data and determined that no areas in southern Arizona 
meet rainfall criteria established in the proposed rule. Therefore, we 
are removing all the unoccupied critical habitat proposed in our 
October 3, 2012, proposed rule. Consequently, we are removing the 
entire Cimarron Mountain Subunit (2,100 ha (5,190 ac)) from our 
proposed designation. All of these lands are on the Tohono O'odham 
Nation. Within proposed Unit 4, the entire Sand Tank Mountain Subunit 
(3,107 ha (7,677 ac)) of Federal lands is removed. The amount of land 
removed within the Javelina Mountain Subunit of the Sand Tank Mountains 
Unit is 362 ha (895 ac), leaving 549 ha (1,355 ac) on Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) lands within the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The 
amount of land removed within proposed Unit 5, Mineral Mountain, is 304 
ha (752 ac) of BLM land, leaving 787 ha (1,945 ac) on BLM, Bureau of 
Reclamation (BOR), and State lands. Within proposed Unit 6, Box O Wash, 
we are removing 6,240 ha (15,419 ac) of land, leaving 1,981 ha (4,895 
ac) split between two subunits, A and B; this land is distributed among 
Federal, State, and private landowners.

          Table 1--Acu[ntilde]a Cactus Proposed Critical Habitat and Revised Proposed Critical Habitat
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Revised proposed
                     Unit                         Proposed critical    critical habitat ha   Difference ha (ac)
                                                   habitat ha (ac)            (ac)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 1........................................         4,007 (9,902)         2,416 (5,971)         1,591 (3,931)
Unit 2........................................           666 (1,645)           666 (1,645)                 0 (0)
Unit 3........................................         3,737 (9,234)        1,258 (3,109)*         2,579 (6,373)
Unit 4........................................         4,018 (9,928)           549 (1,355)         3,469 (8,572)
Unit 5........................................         1,092 (2,697)           787 (1,945)             305 (752)
Unit 6........................................        8,221 (20,314)         1,981 (4,895)        6,240 (15,419)
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals....................................       21,741 (53,720)        7,657 (18,921)       14,084 (34,799)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* See Exemptions for Acu[ntilde]a Cactus section below.

Revised Proposed Unit Descriptions for Acu[ntilde]a Cactus

    Below we present unit descriptions for those units for which we are 
revising proposed critical habitat for acu[ntilde]a cactus.

                                     Table 2--Revised Area of Proposed Critical Habitat for the Acu[ntilde]a Cactus
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Federal              State              Tribal              Private         Total     Total
                   Unit or subunit                   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Ha        Ac        Ha        Ac        Ha        Ac        Ha        Ac        Ha        Ac
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unit 1--Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.........     2,416     5,971         0         0         0         0         0         0     2,416     5,971
Unit 3--Sauceda Mountains...........................     1,102     2,724         0         0       156       385         0         0     1,258     3,109
Unit 4--Sand Tank Mountains.........................       549     1,355         0         0         0         0         0         0       549     1,355
Unit 5--Mineral Mountain............................       570     1,408       217       537         0         0         0         0       787     1,945
Unit 6a--Box O Wash A Subunit.......................         4         9     1,348     3,332         0         0       369       913     1,721     4,253
Unit 6b--Box O Wash B Subunit.......................         0         0       158       391         0         0       102       251       260       642
                                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand Total.....................................     4,640    11,466     1,723     4,260       156       385       471     1,164     6,991    17,276
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.


[[Page 40676]]

Unit 1: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    Proposed Unit 1 consists of 2,416 ha (5,971 ac) within OPCNM in 
southwestern Pima County, Arizona. The unit is on federally owned land 
administered by the National Park Service. Land within this unit is 
occupied at the time of listing with the largest known population of 
the acu[ntilde]a cactus, approximately 2,000 individuals. This unit 
contains all of the primary constituent elements of the physical or 
biological features essential to the conservation of the acu[ntilde]a 
cactus.
    Grazing and mining are not permitted within OPCNM; however, off-
road, border-related activities do occur in OPCNM. Special management 
considerations or protection may be required to address off-road, 
border-related human disturbances; invasive plant removal; and insect 
predation in acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat.

Unit 3: Sauceda Mountains

    Proposed Unit 3 is located in the Sauceda Mountains of northwestern 
Pima and southwestern Maricopa Counties, Arizona. This unit contains 
1,102 ha (2,724 ac) of federally owned land and 156 ha (385 ac) of 
tribally owned land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM; the 
Tribal land is administered by the Tohono O'odham Nation. This unit is 
comprised of four separate populations, which are close enough in 
proximity as to be combined within the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius defined 
for pollinators. Lands within this unit are occupied at the time of 
listing; the combined number of plants occurring within this unit is 
212. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    The features essential to the conservation of the species within 
the unit are threatened by mining; grazing; and off-road, border-
related activities. Special management considerations or protection may 
be required within the unit to minimize habitat fragmentation; to 
minimize disturbance to individual acu[ntilde]a cactus individuals, 
soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove 
invasive, exotic plants within acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat.

Unit 4: Sand Tank Mountains

    Proposed Unit 4 consists of 549 ha (1,355 ac) within the Sonoran 
Desert National Monument of southwestern Maricopa County, Arizona. The 
unit is on federally owned land administered by the BLM. Land within 
this unit is occupied at the time of listing; the combined number of 
plants occurring within this unit is 200, occurring in three separate 
populations. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements 
of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
the acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    Grazing and mining are not permitted within the Sonoran Desert 
National Monument; however, off-road, border-related activities and 
trespass livestock grazing may occur in this unit. Special management 
considerations or protection may be required within this unit to 
address increased off-road, border-related human disturbances; to 
minimize disturbance to acu[ntilde]a cactus individuals, the soil, and 
associated native vegetation; and to prevent or remove invasive, exotic 
plants within acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat.

Unit 5: Mineral Mountain

    Proposed Unit 5 consists of 787 ha (1,945 ac) on Mineral Mountain 
of north-central Pinal County, Arizona. This unit contains 570 ha 
(1,408 ac) of federally owned land and 217 ha (537 ac) of State-owned 
land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM (569 ha (1,406 ac)) 
and the Bureau of Reclamation (1 ha (2 ac)).
    This unit contains five separate known populations totaling at 
least 30 individuals on lands administered by the BLM and the State of 
Arizona. This unit contains all of the primary constituent elements of 
the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
the acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    Livestock grazing and off-road vehicle activity occur on this unit, 
and mining occurs nearby. Special management considerations or 
protection may be required within the unit to minimize habitat 
fragmentation; to minimize disturbance to acu[ntilde]a cactus 
individuals, soil, and associated native vegetation; and to prevent or 
remove invasive, exotic plants within acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat.

Unit 6: Box O Wash

    Proposed Unit 6 is located near Box O Wash of north-central Pinal 
County, Arizona. This unit consists of two subunits totaling 1,981 ha 
(4,895 ac). This unit contains 4 ha (9 ac) of federally owned land, 
1,506 ha (3,722 ac) of State-owned land, and 471 ha (1,164 ac) of 
privately owned land. The Federal land is administered by the BLM.
    Subunit 6a: Box O Wash A--Subunit 6a consists of 3.7 ha (9.1 ac) of 
BLM land, 369 ha (913 ac) of private land, and 1,348 ha (3,332 ac) of 
State land east of Florence, Arizona. This subunit is comprised of two 
separate populations of the acu[ntilde]a cactus on private and State-
owned lands, which are close enough in proximity to be combined within 
the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius defined for pollinators. Lands within this 
subunit are occupied at the time of listing; the combined number of 
plants occurring within this subunit is 11. This subunit contains all 
of the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological 
features essential to the conservation of the acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    Subunit 6b: Box O Wash B--Subunit 6b consists of 158 ha (391 ac) of 
State-owned land and 102 ha (251 ac) of private land east of Florence, 
Arizona. This subunit is comprised of one population of the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus on State-owned land; the 900-m (2,953-ft) radius 
defined for pollinators overlaps into private land. This area was 
surveyed in 2008, and 32 living acu[ntilde]a cacti were found. A 2011 
survey resulted in no living plants located; however this was not a 
thorough survey. Therefore, we consider lands within this subunit 
occupied at the time of listing. This subunit contains all of the 
primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features 
essential to the conservation of the acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    Livestock grazing and off-road vehicle activity occur in both 
subunits of proposed Unit 6, and mining occurs nearby. Special 
management considerations or protection may be required within both 
subunits of this unit to minimize habitat fragmentation; to minimize 
disturbance to acu[ntilde]a cactus individuals, soil, and associated 
native vegetation; and to prevent or remove invasive, exotic plants 
within acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat.

Exemptions for Acu[ntilde]a Cactus

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

[[Page 40677]]

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) 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 geographic areas owned 
or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated for its use, 
that are subject to an integrated natural resources management plan 
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.''
    We consult with the military on the development and implementation 
of INRMPs for installations with listed species. We analyzed INRMPs 
developed by military installations located within the range of the 
critical habitat designation for acu[ntilde]a cactus to determine if 
they meet the criteria for exemption from critical habitat under 
section 4(a)(3) of the Act. The following areas are Department of 
Defense lands with completed, Service-approved INRMPs within the 
revised proposed critical habitat designation.
Approved INRMPs
Barry M. Goldwater Gunnery Range (BMGR)--Arizona
    The BMGR has an approved INRMP. The U.S. Air Force is committed to 
working closely with the Service to continually refine the existing 
INRMP as part of the Sikes Act's INRMP review process. Based on our 
review of the INRMP for this military installation, and in accordance 
with section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act, we have determined that the 
portion of the acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat within this installation, 
identified as meeting the definition of critical habitat, is subject to 
the INRMP, and that conservation efforts identified in this INRMP will 
provide a benefit to the acu[ntilde]a cactus. Therefore, lands within 
this installation are exempt from critical habitat designation under 
section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act. We are not including 379 ha (935 ac) 
of habitat on BMGR within the Coffeepot Mountain Subunit in this 
revised critical habitat designation because of this exemption. This 
leaves 1,258 ha (3,109 ac) in the Coffeepot Mountain Subunit on Bureau 
of Land Management and Tohono O'odham Nation lands as proposed critical 
habitat for the acu[ntilde]a cactus.
    The BMGR completed a revision to the INRMP in relation to ongoing 
and planned conservation efforts for the acu[ntilde]a cactus and 
provided this revision to us during a public comment period. The 
benefits for acu[ntilde]a cactus from this revised INRMP include: Avoid 
disturbance of vegetation and pollinators within 900 meters of known 
acu[ntilde]a cactus plants; develop and implement procedures to control 
trespass livestock; monitor illegal immigration, contraband 
trafficking, and border-related enforcement; and continue to monitor 
and control invasive plant species to maintain quality habitat and 
prevent unnatural fire. Further, BMGR's environmental staff reviews 
projects and enforces existing regulations and orders that, through 
their implementation, avoid and minimize impacts to natural resources, 
including acu[ntilde]a cacti and their habitat. In addition, BMGR's 
INRMP provides protection to acu[ntilde]a cactus habitat by prohibiting 
both mining and agriculture on their lands. BMGR's INRMP specifies 
periodic monitoring of the distribution and abundance of acu[ntilde]a 
cacti populations on the range.
    Based on the above considerations, and in accordance with section 
4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act, we have determined that conservation efforts 
identified in the 2007 INRMP for BMGR and the revised acu[ntilde]a 
cactus portion of this INRMP developed in 2012 provide a benefit to the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus and its habitat. Therefore, lands subject to the 
INRMP for BMGR, which includes the lands leased from the Department of 
Defense by other parties, are exempt from critical habitat designation 
under section 4(a)(3) of the Act, and we are not including 
approximately 379 ha (935 ac) of habitat in this revised proposed 
critical habitat designation.

Fickeisen Plains Cactus

    We are revising two areas of proposed Fickeisen plains cactus 
critical habitat: (1) We are removing Unit 4, Snake Gulch Unit, from 
proposed critical habitat; and (2) we are proposing an additional area 
as critical habitat on the Kaibab National Forest. We also announce 
additional areas being considered for exclusion from the final 
designation of Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat (see Public 
Comments section above).
    On October 3, 2012, we proposed approximately 945 ha (2,335 ac) as 
critical habitat within the Snake Gulch Unit on Federal land (77 FR 
60509, p. 60560). The Snake Gulch Unit is located near the western 
boundary of the Kaibab National Forest on the North Kaibab Ranger 
District. It includes one of two known occurrences of the Fickeisen 
plains cactus on the Kaibab National Forest. Plants were observed in 
the 1980s in the area near Willow Point in the vicinity of Snake Gulch 
(Heritage Data Management System 2012). After this date, no other site 
visits had occurred to verify the location and status of the plant. 
During the public comment periods, the Kaibab National Forest conducted 
surveys near Willow Point and within the proposed designated critical 
habitat, but no plants were found (Hannemann 2013, p. 1; Hannemann 
2013, pers. comm.). Further, the Kaibab National Forest had previously 
conducted surveys in the Snake Gulch area in 2002 and 2003, for a 
section 7 consultation, and those efforts failed to locate plants (USFS 
2004, p. 601). Further investigation of the source of the 1980s 
information revealed that the observed occurrence of the Fickeisen 
plains cactus in the Snake Gulch vicinity was in error. Based on this 
finding and with three negative survey results, we consider the area at 
Snake Gulch to be unoccupied by the Fickeisen plains cactus. We are 
removing the 945-ha (2,335-ac) Snake Gulch Unit from our proposed 
critical habitat designation. We also reevaluated the habitat to 
consider whether unoccupied areas are essential for the conservation of 
the species. In the October 3, 2012, proposed rule, we determined that 
within the range of the Fickeisen plains cactus there are adequate 
amounts of area occupied by the plant to provide for and ensure the 
conservation of the species. We have determined that, even without the 
habitat previously considered occupied at the Snake Gulch Unit, there 
are adequate amounts of area occupied by the plant proposed as critical 
habitat to provide for and ensure the conservation of the species 
without the designation of any unoccupied areas as critical habitat. 
Therefore, we are not proposing any unoccupied areas as critical 
habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus.
    We also received new information on the available habitat at South 
Canyon that is located on the eastern boundary of the Kaibab National 
Forest near the Colorado River. This site is different from Subunit 5d 
(South Canyon) (in Unit 5, House Rock Valley) that is on

[[Page 40678]]

BLM lands. This area was known to be occupied by the plant based on its 
discovery in 2004 (Phillips 2013, pers. comm.); however, the location 
and number of plants had not been recorded. The Kaibab National Forest 
surveyed the area in late March 2013, and documented 62 individuals 
(Hannemann 2013, pers. comm.). We are proposing to designate this area 
(South Canyon Unit) as critical habitat along the rim of South Canyon. 
This area would constitute an addition of 110 ha (272 ac) to proposed 
critical habitat for the Fickeisen plains cactus.

Revised Proposed Unit Descriptions for Fickeisen Plains Cactus

Unit 4: South Canyon

    Proposed Unit 4 is located on the eastern boundary of the North 
Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest in Coconino 
County. It is bounded by the Colorado River near Marble Canyon at House 
Rock Valley. It includes land originally designated as the Grand Canyon 
National Game Preserve that is now referred to as the Buffalo Ranch 
Management Area. It contains 110 ha (272 ac) of federally owned land 
that is administered by the Kaibab National Forest.
    This unit contains at least 62 individuals scattered among six 
areas along the rim of South Canyon Point. It contains all of the 
primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features 
essential to the conservation of the Fickeisen plains cactus.
    The primary land uses within proposed Unit 4 include big game 
hunting and recreational activities throughout the year. The area is 
very remote and may receive limited number of hikers, hunters, or 
campers. Under a memorandum of understanding, the Kaibab National 
Forest and the Arizona Game and Fish Department commit to managing the 
natural resources of this area, mainly big game species, to ensure that 
sensitive resources are not impacted and desired conditions are 
achieved (USFS 2012, p. 92). Livestock grazing by cattle and mining 
activities are not authorized within the Buffalo Ranch Management Area. 
Special management considerations or protection may be required within 
the unit to minimize habitat disturbance to the soil and associated 
native vegetation, and prevent invasion of nonnative plants within 
Fickeisen plains cactus habitat.

Draft Economic Analysis

    On March 28, 2013, we released the draft economic analysis of the 
proposed designations for the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen 
plains cactus and published a summary of the analysis in the Federal 
Register (78 FR 18938). For the acu[ntilde]a cactus, in this document, 
we are removing specific areas from the proposed designation of 
critical habitat for the acu[ntilde]a cactus. In the March 28, 2013, 
draft economic analysis, we estimated the total present value 
incremental impacts to be approximately $60,000 over 20 years following 
the designation of the acu[ntilde]a cactus critical habitat, assuming a 
7 percent discount rate ($65,000 assuming a 3 percent discount rate). 
Since we are revising the proposed designation by removing areas and 
now exempting the Barry M. Goldwater Range from critical habitat, the 
total incremental impacts will be less than $60,000 over 20 years.
    For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we are removing the Snake Gulch 
Unit and proposing the South Canyon Unit. In the March 28, 2013, draft 
economic analysis, we estimated the total present value incremental 
impacts to be approximately $39,000 over 20 years following the 
designation of the Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat, assuming a 
7 percent discount rate ($43,000 assuming a 3 percent discount rate). 
The draft economic analysis estimated the potential incremental costs 
of the Snake Gulch Unit to be approximately $7,000 over the next 20 
years as a result of the consideration of adverse modification in 
section 7 consultations. With the addition of the South Canyon Unit, we 
estimate similar probable incremental administrative costs resulting 
from consideration of adverse modification in section 7 consultations. 
Therefore, we estimate the total present value incremental impacts to 
be approximately $39,000 over 20 years following the designation of the 
Fickeisen plains cactus critical habitat.
    As stated earlier, we are soliciting data and comments from the 
public on the draft economic analysis, as well as all aspects of the 
revisions to the proposed rule described in this document and our 
amended required determinations. 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.

Required Determinations--Amended

    In our March 28, 2013 (78 FR 18938), publication, we affirmed our 
compliance with several statutes and executive orders until the 
information concerning potential economic impacts of the designation 
and potential effects on landowners and stakeholders became available 
in the draft economic analysis. Because we have made changes to the 
proposed rules for both species, in this document, we reaffirm the 
information in our proposed rule concerning Executive Orders (E.O.s) 
12866 and 13563 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 12630 (Takings), 
E.O. 13132 (Federalism), E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), E.O. 13211 
(Energy, Supply, Distribution, and Use), the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We also affirm the statement in our March 28, 
2013, publication (78 FR 18938) concerning the President's memorandum 
of April 29, 1994, ``Government-to-Government Relations with Native 
American Tribal Governments'' (59 FR 22951). Because we have made 
changes to the proposed critical habitat designations for both species, 
we are amending our required determination concerning the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

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

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (SBREFA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency is required to 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small entities 
(i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a 
certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Based on our draft economic analysis of the 
proposed designation, we provide our analysis for determining whether 
the proposed rule would result in a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Based on comments we receive, we 
may

[[Page 40679]]

revise this determination as part of our final rulemaking.
    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities 
include small organizations such as independent nonprofit 
organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses 
include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 
employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, 
retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual 
sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 
million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than 
$11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with 
annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic 
impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the 
types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this 
designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. 
In general, the term ``significant economic impact'' is meant to apply 
to a typical small business firm's business operations.
    To determine if the proposed designation of critical habitat for 
the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus would affect a 
substantial number of small entities, we considered the number of small 
entities affected within particular types of economic activities, such 
as uranium mining, livestock grazing, and transportation construction 
and maintenance projects. In order to determine whether it is 
appropriate for our agency to certify that the proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, we considered each industry or category individually. In 
estimating the numbers of small entities potentially affected, we also 
considered whether their activities have any Federal involvement. 
Critical habitat designation will not affect activities that do not 
have any Federal involvement; designation of critical habitat only 
affects activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by 
Federal agencies. In areas where the acu[ntilde]a cactus or the 
Fickeisen plains cactus are present, Federal agencies will be required 
to consult with us under section 7 of the Act on activities they fund, 
permit, or implement that may affect the species. If we finalize the 
proposed critical habitat designation, consultations to avoid the 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat would be 
incorporated into the consultation process.
    In the draft economic analysis, we evaluated the potential economic 
effects on small entities resulting from implementation of conservation 
actions related to the proposed designation of critical habitat for the 
acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen plains cactus. As a result of 
changes to the proposed critical habitat designation, more than 63 
percent of land in the proposed designation for acu[ntilde]a cactus and 
less than 34 percent of the land in the proposed designation for 
Fickeisen plains cactus is federally owned. Anticipated incremental 
impacts in proposed critical habitat are primarily related to 
consultations on livestock grazing and other Federal land management 
activities. The remaining forecast impacts are anticipated to be 
conducted for transportation construction and maintenance projects, 
Partners for Fish and Wildlife programs, and activities on the Tohono 
O'odham or Navajo Nations' lands. The Arizona Department of 
Transportation (ADOT) and Tribes are not considered small entities. 
Therefore, of the remaining activities affected by the proposed 
critical habitat designations for the cacti, only one is expected to 
incur costs to small entities: uranium mining. One consultation is 
projected for the EZ uranium mine. This one consultation will result in 
impacts to Energy Fuels Inc. (operators of the EZ Mine) of 
approximately $900 on a present value basis, or approximately $80 on an 
annualized basis, which constitutes an impact of less than one-tenth of 
a percent of annual revenues. Of the activities affected by the 
proposed designation for the acu[ntilde]a cactus and the Fickeisen 
plains cactus, none is expected to incur incremental costs to third-
party small entities. The forecast consultations either do not include 
third parties (programmatic consultations, intra-Service consultations, 
and consultations with another Federal agency) or the third parties are 
not considered small entities (consultations with the ADOT and the 
Tribes). Please refer to the Appendix A of the draft economic analysis 
of the proposed critical habitat designation for a more detailed 
discussion of potential economic impacts.
    The Service's current understanding of recent case law is that 
Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential impacts of 
rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking; 
therefore, they are not required to evaluate the potential impacts to 
those entities not directly regulated by the designation of critical 
habitat. The designation of critical habitat for an endangered or 
threatened species only has a regulatory effect where a Federal action 
agency is involved in a particular action that may affect the 
designated critical habitat. Under these circumstances, only the 
Federal action agency is directly regulated by the designation, and, 
therefore, consistent with the Service's current interpretation of the 
RFA and recent case law, the Service may limit its evaluation of the 
potential impacts to those identified for Federal action agencies. 
Under this interpretation, there is no requirement under the RFA to 
evaluate the potential impacts to entities not directly regulated, such 
as small businesses. However, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct 
Federal agencies to assess cost and benefits of available regulatory 
alternatives in quantitative (to the extent feasible) and qualitative 
terms. Consequently, it is the current practice of the Service to 
assess to the extent practicable these potential impacts, if sufficient 
data are available, whether or not this analysis is believed by the 
Service to be strictly required by the RFA. In other words, while the 
effects analysis required under the RFA is limited to entities directly 
regulated by the rulemaking, the effects analysis under the Act, 
consistent with the E.O. regulatory analysis requirements, can take 
into consideration impacts to both directly and indirectly impacted 
entities, where practicable and reasonable.
    In summary, we have considered whether the revised proposed 
designation would result in a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Information for this analysis was 
gathered from the Small Business Administration, stakeholders, and the 
Service. We conclude that future consultations are not likely to 
involve a third party or the third parties are not considered small 
entities. For the above reasons and based on currently available 
information, we certify that, if promulgated, the proposed critical 
habitat designations would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Authors

    The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the 
Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service.

[[Page 40680]]

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 further amend part 17, subchapter B of 
chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to 
be amended on October 3, 2012, at 77 FR 60509, 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; and 4201-4245, 
unless otherwise noted.

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.96(a) as follows:
0
a. In the entry proposed for ``Echinomastus erectocentrus var. 
acunensis (acu[ntilde]a cactus)'' at 77 FR 60509, by revising 
paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(9), and (a)(10); and
0
b. In the entry proposed for ``Pediocactus peeblesianus var. 
fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus),'' at 77 FR 60509, by revising 
paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(9), (a)(10), and (a)(11).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  17.96  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
    Family Cactaceae: Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis 
(acu[ntilde]a cactus)
* * * * *
    (5) Index map follows:
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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.005


[[Page 40681]]


    (6) Unit 1: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima County, AZ. 
Map of Unit 1 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.006


[[Page 40682]]


    (7) Unit 2: Ajo, Pima County, AZ. Map of Units 2 and 3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.007
    
* * * * *

[[Page 40683]]

    (9) Unit 4: Sand Tank Mountains, Maricopa County, AZ. Map of Unit 4 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.008


[[Page 40684]]


    (10) Unit 5: Mineral Mountain, Pinal County, AZ. Map of Units 5 and 
6 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.009

* * * * *

[[Page 40685]]

    Family Cactaceae: Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae 
(Fickeisen plains cactus)
* * * * *
    (5) Note: Index map follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.010
    
* * * * *

[[Page 40686]]

    (9) Unit 4: South Canyon Unit, Coconino County, AZ. Map of Units 4, 
5, and 6 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JY13.011

    (10) Unit 5: House Rock Valley Unit, Coconino County AZ. Map of 
Unit 5 is provided at paragraph (a)(9) of this entry.
    (11) Unit 6: Tiger Wash Unit, Coconino County AZ. Map of Unit 6 is 
provided at paragraph (a)(9) of this entry.
* * * * *

    Dated: June 26, 2013.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2013-16240 Filed 7-5-13; 8:45 am]
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