Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax), 61293-61320 [2013-24174]

Download as PDF 61293 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (1) Be logically organized; (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) Use clear language rather than jargon; (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Authors National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) Proposed Regulation Promulgation We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act, need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as endangered or threatened under the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). The primary authors of this package are the staff members of the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; 4201–4245; unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.12(h) by adding entries for ‘‘Brickellia mosieri’’ and ‘‘Linum carteri var. carteri’’, in alphabetical order under Flowering Plants, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, to read as follows: ■ § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. * * * (h) * * * * Species Historical range Scientific name Family * When listed Critical habitat E * .................... NA E * .................... NA Status Common name Special rules FLOWERING PLANTS * Brickellia mosieri .... * Brickell-bush, Florida. * U.S.A. (FL) ............ * Asteraceae ............ * * Linum carteri var. carteri. * Flax, Carter’s small-flowered. * U.S.A. (FL) ............ * Linaceae ................ * * * * * * * * * * * [FR Doc. 2013–24173 Filed 10–2–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P Fish and Wildlife Service SUMMARY: [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108; 4500030114] tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS RIN 1018–AZ64 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s Small-flowered Flax) AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:49 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 NA * Proposed rule. ACTION: 50 CFR Part 17 NA * * DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Dated: September 25, 2013. Rowan W. Gould, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. * We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s small-flowered flax) under the Endangered Species Act (Act). We are proposing to designate as critical habitat approximately 1,071 ha (2,646 ac) for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 1,054 ha (2,605 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat areas proposed for these plants overlap, for a combined total of approximately 1,096 ha (2,707 ac). The proposed critical habitat for both plants is located entirely E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 61294 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules in Miami-Dade County, Florida. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it will extend the Act’s protections to these plants’ critical habitats. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 2, 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. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 18, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R4–ES–2013– 0108; 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 Information Requested section below for more information). The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps are generated are included in the administrative record for this critical habitat designation and are available at http://www.fws.gov/ verobeach/, at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108, and at the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information that we may develop for this critical habitat designation will also be available at the Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and Field Office set out above, and may also be included in the preamble and/or at http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Williams, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; by telephone 772–562–3909; or by VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 facsimile 772–562–4288. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, once we determine that a species is endangered or threatened, then we must also designate critical habitat for the species. Designations and revisions of critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule. Elsewhere in today’s Federal Register, we propose to list Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri as endangered species under the Act. This rule consists of a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. The basis for our action. Under the Act, when a species is proposed for listing, we must designate critical habitat for the species to the maximum extent prudent and determinable. Both plants are being proposed for listing as endangered, and therefore we also propose to designate: • Approximately 1,071 ha (2,646 ac) as critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 1,054 ha (2,605 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap, for a combined total of approximately 1,096 ha (2,707 ac). The proposed critical habitat for both plants is located entirely in Miami-Dade County, Florida. • The proposed critical habitat for both plants includes both occupied and unoccupied habitat. The Service determined that the unoccupied units are essential for the conservation of the plants, to provide for the necessary expansion of current Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri population(s), and for reestablishment of populations into areas where these plants previously occurred. Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the best available scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 We are preparing an economic analysis of the proposed designations of critical habitat. We are preparing an analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat designations and related factors. We will announce the availability of the draft economic analysis as soon as it is completed, at which time we will seek additional public review and comment. We will seek peer review. We are seeking comments from knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise to review our analysis of the best available science and application of that science and to provide any additional scientific information to improve this proposed rule. Because we will consider all comments and information we receive during the comment period, our final designations may differ from this proposal. Information Requested We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning: (1) The 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 Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri 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 amount and distribution of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and their habitats; (b) What may constitute ‘‘physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species,’’ within the geographical range currently occupied by these plants; (c) Where these features are currently found; (d) Whether any of these features may require special management considerations or protection; (e) What areas, that were occupied at the time of listing (or are currently occupied) and that contain features essential to the conservation of these plants, should be included in the designation and why; and E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (f) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential for the conservation of these plants and why. (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the areas occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri or proposed to be designated as critical habitat, and possible impacts of these activities on these plants and proposed critical habitat. (4) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of climate change on Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and proposed critical habitat. (5) Any probable 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. (6) Whether any specific areas we are proposing for critical habitat designation should be considered for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, and whether the benefits of potentially excluding any specific area outweigh the benefits of including that area under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. (7) Information specific to the management of pine rocklands under Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Covenant Program that might allow us to evaluate potential exclusions. (8) 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. You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in the ADDRESSES section. We will post your entire comment— including your personal identifying information—on http:// www.regulations.gov. You may request at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such as your street address, phone number, or email address from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Previous Federal Actions All previous Federal actions are described in the proposal to list Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri as endangered species under the Act published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register. Critical Habitat Background It is our intent to discuss below only those topics directly relevant to the designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in this section of the proposed rule. For more information on the taxonomy, life history, habitat, and population descriptions of these plants, please refer to the proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register. Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as: (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features: (a) Essential to the conservation of the species and (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking. Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation with the Service, PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61295 that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by nonFederal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, the obligation of the Federal action agency and the landowner is not to restore or recover the species, but to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. Under the first prong of the Act’s definition of critical habitat, areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it was listed are included in a critical habitat designation if they contain physical or biological features (1) essential to the conservation of the species, and (2) which may require special management considerations or protection. For these areas, critical habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific data available, those physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species (such as space, food, cover, and protected habitat). In identifying those physical and biological features within an area, we focus on the principal biological or physical constituent elements (primary constituent elements such as roost sites, nesting grounds, seasonal wetlands, water quality, tide, soil type) that are essential to the conservation of the species. Primary constituent elements are the specific elements of physical or biological features that provide for a species’ lifehistory processes and are essential to the conservation of the species. Under the second prong of the Act’s definition of critical habitat, we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. For example, an area currently occupied by the species but that was not occupied at the time of listing may be essential to the conservation of the species and may be included in the E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 61296 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules critical habitat designation. We designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species only when a designation limited to its range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species. Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on Information Standards under the Endangered Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106–554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines, provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat. When we are determining which areas should be designated as critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the information developed during the listing process for the species. Additional information sources may include the recovery plan for the species (if the species is already listed), articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans developed by States and counties, scientific status surveys and studies, biological assessments, other unpublished materials, or experts’ opinions or personal knowledge. Habitat is dynamic, and species may move from one area to another over time. We recognize that critical habitat designated at a particular point in time may not include all of the habitat areas that we may later determine are necessary for the recovery of the species. For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does not signal that habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or may not be needed for recovery of the species. Areas that are important to the conservation of the species, both inside and outside the critical habitat designation, would continue to be subject to: (1) Conservation actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, (2) regulatory protections afforded by the requirement in section 7(a)(2) of the Act for Federal agencies to ensure their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, and (3) section 9 of the Act’s prohibitions on taking any VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 individual of the species, including taking caused by actions that affect habitat. Federally funded or permitted projects affecting listed species outside their designated critical habitat areas may still result in jeopardy findings in some cases. These protections and conservation tools would continue to contribute to recovery of these plants if we list Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best available information at the time of designation will not control the direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation plans (HCPs), or other species conservation planning efforts if new information available at the time of these planning efforts calls for a different outcome. Prudency Determination Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.12), require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of the following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or (2) Such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. There is no evidence that the designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri would result in an increased threat from taking (collection) or other human activity for these plants. Therefore, in the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, if there are any benefits to a critical habitat designation, then it is prudent to designate critical habitat. Here, the potential benefits of designation include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, in new areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur because, for example, it is or has become unoccupied or the occupancy is in question; (2) focusing conservation activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to the species. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Therefore, because we have determined that the designation of critical habitat would not likely increase the degree of threat to these plants and may provide some measure of benefit, we find that designation of critical habitat is prudent for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. Critical Habitat Determinability Having determined that designation of critical habitat is prudent, under section 4(a)(3) of the Act we must find whether critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri is determinable. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(a)(2) state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exist: (i) Information sufficient to perform required analyses of the impacts of the designation is lacking; or (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat. We reviewed the available information pertaining to the biological needs of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and habitat characteristics where the plants are located. This and other information represent the best scientific data available and led us to conclude that the designation of critical habitat is determinable for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. Physical or Biological Features In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing to designate as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological features (PBFs) that are essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection. These include, but are not limited to: (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal behavior; (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; (3) Cover or shelter; (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) of offspring; and (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historical, geographical, and ecological distributions of a species. We derived the specific PBFs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri from observations of both plants’ habitat, ecology, and life history as E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules described below. (For more information, see the Background section of our proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register.) The PBFs for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri were defined on the basis of the habitat features of the areas currently occupied by the plants, which included substrate types, plant community structure, and associated plant species. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Space for Individual and Population Growth Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are endemic to, and occur exclusively within, pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of Everglades National Park (ENP) in Miami-Dade County in south Florida. This community and associated native plant species are described in the Status Assessment for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri section in the proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register. Pine rocklands are a fire-maintained ecosystem characterized by an open canopy and understory and a limestone substrate (often exposed). Open canopy conditions are required to allow sufficient sunlight to reach the herbaceous layer and permit growth and flowering of B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. These plants also require a limestone substrate to provide suitable growing conditions (e.g., pH, nutrients, anchoring, and proper drainage). This combination of ecosystem characteristics (i.e., open canopy and limestone substrate) occurs only in pine rockland habitats (as opposed to rockland hammock, which occurs in conjunction with pine rockland and has a limestone substrate but a closed canopy). Therefore, based on this information, we identify pine rockland habitats to be a PBF for these plants. Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or Physiological Requirements Soils—Substrates supporting Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri for anchoring or nutrient absorption are composed of oolitic limestone that is at or very near the surface. Solution holes occasionally form where the surface limestone is dissolved by organic acids. There is typically very little soil development, consisting primarily of accumulations of low-nutrient sand, marl, clayey loam, and organic debris found in solution holes, depressions, and crevices on the limestone surface (Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) 2010, p. 62). However, extensive sandy pockets can be found at the northern end of the Miami Rock Ridge, beginning from approximately VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 North Miami Beach and extending south to approximately SW. 216 Street (which runs east-west approximately one-half mile south of Quail Roost Pineland) (Service 1999, p. 3–162). In this area (the northern Biscayne region), pine rockland soils are primarily quartz sands classified as Opalocka sand-rock outcrop complex. This region has the least exposed rock. In the southern Biscayne, or Redlands, region to the south, pine rockland soils are rockier (i.e., exposed rock is the predominant surface) and are primarily classified as Cardsound silty clay loam-rock outcrop complex. Other soil types that are loosely associated with pine rocklands include Udorthents (in the northern half of the plants’ current ranges) and Krome very gravelly loam (in the southern half). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify substrate derived from oolitic limestone to provide anchoring and nutritional requirements to be a PBF for these plants. Cover or Shelter Pine rockland is characterized by an open canopy of Pinus elliottii var. densa (South Florida slash pine). Subcanopy development is rare in well-maintained pine rocklands, with only occasional hardwoods such as Lysiloma bahamensis (wild tamarind) and Quercus virginiana (live oak) growing to tree size in Miami Rock Ridge pinelands (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 253). The shrub/ understory layer is also characteristically open, although the height and density of the shrub layer varies based on fire frequency, with understory plants growing taller and more dense as time since fire increases. Subcanopy/shrub species that typically occur include, but may not be limited to, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Rapanea punctata (myrsine), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima lucida (locustberry), Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia bicolor (tetrazygia), Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia escallonioides (marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), Sideroxylon salicifolium (willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) (FNAI 2010, pp. 61–62). Short-statured shrubs may include, but are not limited to, Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata (white indigoberry), Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), Morinda royoc (redgal), and Chiococca alba (snowberry) (FNAI 2010, p. 62). Understory vegetation may PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61297 include, but is not limited to, Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); Echites umbellata (devil’s potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern) (FNAI 2010, p. 62). An open canopy and understory are required to allow sufficient sunlight to reach the herbaceous layer and permit growth and flowering of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify vegetation composition and structure that allows for adequate sunlight, and space for individual growth and population expansion, to be a PBF for these plants. Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring Brickellia mosieri—The reproductive biology and needs of Brickellia mosieri have not been studied (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12), and our knowledge of the ecology of the species related to reproduction needs primarily consists of observed habitat requirements and demographic trends. Field observations indicate that the species does not usually occur in great abundance; populations are typically sparse and contain a low density of plants, even in well-maintained pine rockland habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Bradley (2013b, pers. comm.) estimated that, based on this observation, the minimum habitat patch size to support a sustaining population may be approximately 2 ha (5 ac), although no studies have been conducted to evaluate this estimate. Some occupied sites are less than 2 ha (5 ac) in size, but it is not known whether these populations are sustainable in the long term. Reproduction is sexual (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12), but specific pollinators or dispersers are unknown. Flower morphology suggests the species may be pollinated by butterflies, bees, or both (Koptur 2013, pers. comm.). Wind is one likely dispersal vector (Gann 2013b, pers. comm.), as is seed dispersal by animals. Within pine rocklands, more than 50 species of butterflies have been observed that may act as pollinators for Brickellia mosieri. Similarly, a large variety of native and nonnative bee species are known to E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 61298 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules pollinate pine rockland plants, which may include B. mosieri. Declines in pollinator visitation may cause decreased seed set or fruit production, which could lead to lower seedling establishment and numbers of mature plants. The availability of pollinators of appropriate type and sufficient numbers is necessary for B. mosieri to reproduce and ensure sustainable populations. Because the specific type(s) and number of pollinators of B. mosieri are unknown, and may include nongeneralist species closely tied to pine rockland habitats, preserving and restoring connectivity of pine rockland habitat fragments is essential to the long-term conservation of the species. Sufficient connectivity of pine rockland habitat is also necessary to support establishment of new populations through seed dispersal, and to preserve and enhance genetic diversity. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability, or habitat that can be restored to these conditions that supports the species’ growth, distribution, and population expansion, to be a PBF for Brickellia mosieri. Linum carteri var. carteri—The reproductive needs of Linum carteri var. carteri are not well understood. Maschinski (2006, p. 83) reported that L. c. var. carteri has typical behavior for an early successional plant—plants grow to reproductive status quickly, and populations typically contain a higher density of plants. The minimum habitat patch size to support a sustaining population may be smaller than that needed for Brickellia mosieri, possibly as small as 0.4 ha (1 ac) (Bradley 2013b, pers. comm.), although no studies have been conducted to evaluate this estimate. Reproduction is believed to be sexual (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 71), but specific pollinators are unknown. Flower morphology suggests this variety may also be pollinated by butterflies or bees, or both (Koptur 2013, pers. comm.). Alternatively, Mosquin and Hayley (1967, p. 1278) suggested L. c. var. carteri may be self-pollinated. Dispersal agents are unknown, but most likely include animal and humanrelated vectors in the existing landscape. Therefore, given the uncertainty regarding specific pollinators and dispersal vectors, the importance of connectivity of pine rockland habitat discussed above for Brickellia mosieri also applies to Linum carteri var. carteri. We identify habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability, or habitat that can be restored to these conditions to support the plant’s growth, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 distribution, and population expansion, to also be a PBF for L. c. var. carteri. Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri continue to occur in habitats that are protected from incompatible human-generated disturbances and are only partially representative of the plants’ historical, geographical, and ecological distributions because their ranges within these habitats has been reduced. These plants are still found in their representative plant communities of pine rocklands. Representative communities are located on Federal, State, local, and private lands that implement habitat management activities which benefit these plants. Disturbance Regime—Pine rockland is dependent on some degree of disturbance, most importantly from natural or prescribed fires (Loope and Dunevitz 1981, p. 5; Snyder et al. 2005, p. 1; Bradley and Saha 2009, p. 4; Saha et al. 2011, pp. 169–184; FNAI 2010, p. 63). These fires are a vital component in maintaining native vegetation, such as Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, which require high light conditions and exposed substrate. Without fire, succession from pine rockland to rockland hammock (an upland tropical hardwood forest occurring over limestone) is rapid, and understory species such as B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri are shaded out by dense canopy and deep leaf litter. In addition, displacement of native species by invasive, nonnative plants often occurs. Hurricanes and other significant weather events also create openings in the pine rockland canopy (FNAI 2010, p. 63), although these types of disturbances are more sporadic in nature and may pose a threat to small, isolated populations such as those that remain of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. For L. c. var. carteri, mowing may also serve as another means of maintaining an open canopy where the plant occurs in firebreaks, rights-of-way, and cleared fields. However, in order to avoid potential negative impacts, the timing of mowing is critical and should be conducted after flowering has occurred (see Demographics, Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of L. c. var. carteri in the proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register). Mechanical control of hardwoods may also help maintain an open canopy in pine rockland, but PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 cannot entirely replace fire since it does not have the same benefits related to removal of leaf litter and nutrient cycling. Natural and prescribed fire remains the primary and ecologically preferred disturbance regime for pine rockland. Brickellia mosieri tends to occur on exposed limestone with minimal organic litter and in areas with only minor amounts of substrate disturbance (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11). In contrast, Linum carteri var. carteri is currently associated with pine rocklands that have undergone some sort of substrate disturbance (e.g., firebreaks, canal banks, edges of railway beds). All known occurrences over the last 15 years have been within either scarified pine rockland, disturbed areas adjacent to or within pine rocklands, or in completely disturbed areas having a limestone substrate (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 71; Bradley 2013a, pers. comm.). Inadequate fire management, resulting in closed canopy conditions, may have excluded L. c. var. carteri (which responds positively to low competition and high light environments) from otherwise suitable pine rocklands habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 71). Alternatively, this variety may only proliferate on sites where exposed substrate occurs following disturbance; historically this may have occurred following hurricanes (e.g., under tip-up mounds of fallen trees), animal disturbance, or fire (Gann 2013a, pers. comm.). Whether current occurrences of L. c. var. carteri reflect a need for higher light conditions than B. mosieri, a requirement for disturbed substrate, or some combination of these, or other unidentified factors, is unknown, and microhabitat data for either plant are generally lacking. The best available scientific data suggest that both plants require a similar disturbance regime to maintain the open canopy and low litter conditions characteristics of pine rockland habitat, and thereby maintain persistent populations. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify natural or prescribed fire or other disturbance regimes that maintain the pine rockland habitat, to be a PBF for these plants. Primary Constituent Elements Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to identify the PBFs essential to the conservation of both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in areas occupied at the time of listing, focusing on the features’ primary constituent elements (PCEs). PCEs are those specific elements of the PBFs that provide for a species’ E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules life-history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species. We derived the PCEs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri primarily from those PBFs that support the successful functioning of the habitat upon which the plants depend. Both plants are dependent upon functioning pine rockland habitat to provide their fundamental life requirements, such as substrate, species composition and structure of vegetation, disturbance regimes, and connectivity. The PCEs collectively provide the suite of PBFs essential to meeting the requirements of both B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. Based on our current knowledge of the PBFs and habitat characteristics required to sustain these plants’ lifehistory processes, we determine that the PCEs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are: (1) Areas of pine rockland habitat that contain: (a) Open canopy, semi-open subcanopy, and understory; (b) Substrate of oolitic limestone rock; and (c) A plant community of predominately native vegetation that may include, but is not limited to: (i) Canopy vegetation dominated by Pinus elliottii var. densa (South Florida slash pine); (ii) Subcanopy vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Rapanea punctata (myrsine), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima lucida (locustberry), Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia bicolor (tetrazygia), Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia escallonioides (marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), Sideroxylon salicifolium (willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged sumac); (iii) Short-statured shrubs that may include, but are not limited to, Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata (white indigoberry), Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), Morinda royoc (redgal), and Chiococca alba (snowberry); and (iv) Understory vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 Echites umbellata (devil’s potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern). (2) A disturbance regime that naturally or artificially duplicates natural ecological processes (e.g., fire, hurricanes, or other weather events) and that maintains the pine rockland habitat as described in PCE (1). (3) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient area to sustain viable populations of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in the pine rockland habitat as described in PCE (1). Special Management Considerations or Protection When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific areas within the geographic area occupied by the species at the time of listing contain features which are essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection. The features essential to the conservation of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri may require special management considerations or protection to reduce threats related to habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification primarily due to development; inadequate fire management; nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. (For an indepth discussion of threats, see Summary of Factors Affecting the Species in our proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register.) Destruction of the pinelands for economic development has reduced pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP by over 98 percent, and remaining habitat in this area is highly fragmented. Both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri occur on a mix of private and publicly owned lands, only some of which are managed for conservation. Populations of the plants that occur on private land or non-conservation public land are vulnerable to habitat loss, while populations on conservation lands are vulnerable to the effects of habitat degradation if natural disturbance regimes are disrupted (e.g., through inadequate fire management). Prolonged lack of fire in pine rockland typically results in succession to rockland hammock, and displacement of native species by invasive, nonnative plants often occurs. Further development and degradation of pine rocklands increase fragmentation and decrease the conservation value of the PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61299 remaining functioning pine rockland habitat. In addition, pine rocklands are expected to be further degraded and fragmented due to anticipated sea level rise, which would fully or partially inundate some pine rocklands along the coast and in the southern portion of Miami-Dade County (near Navy Wells Pineland Preserve), and cause increases in the salinity of the water table and soils resulting in vegetation shifts in additional pine rocklands across the Miami Rock Ridge. Many existing pine rockland fragments are also projected to be developed for housing as the human population grows and adjusts to changing sea levels. Special management considerations and protections that will address these threats include increased coordination and conservation of these plants and their habitat on Federal lands, and improved habitat restoration and management efforts (including fire management and nonnative plant treatments) of high-priority and highelevation sites. Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best scientific data available to designate critical habitat. In accordance with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), we review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of the species and identify occupied areas at the time of listing that contain the features essential to the conservation of the species. When designating critical habitat, we also consider future recovery efforts and conservation of the species. If after identifying currently occupied areas, a determination is made that those areas are inadequate to ensure conservation of the species, in accordance with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e), we then consider whether designating additional areas, outside those currently occupied, are essential for the conservation of the species. Although the discussion below of our analyses and proposed critical habitat units are combined for simplicity to address both plants, a separate analysis was conducted for each plant to determine the specific habitat patches and status (occupied or unoccupied) for each in this proposed designation. With the exception of one occurrence of Linum carteri var. carteri, we have determined that all currently known occupied habitat for Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri meets the definition of critical habitat. We are proposing to designate critical habitat in all E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 61300 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules geographical areas occupied by these plants at the time of listing (i.e., currently occupied), with the exception of the occurrence of a single individual of L. c. var. carteri found on a canal bank (not included due to the anomalous nature of the occurrence and because we were not able to define habitat patch boundaries based on the criteria described below). Occupied habitat for each plant consists of a relatively small amount of highly fragmented habitat (number or size of occupied patches), and occupied patches are generally isolated from one another within the landscape (see the Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status section for each plant in our proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register). In addition, the extent of the geographic areas currently occupied by these plants is substantially (up to 30 percent) smaller than their historical ranges. Based on these factors in relation to the threats to B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri, we have determined that additional habitat is essential to allow sufficient habitat (total area, and number of patches) and connectivity for the long-term conservation of these plants. Therefore, we are proposing to designate as critical habitat unoccupied habitat both within the geographical area occupied by these plants at the time of listing (i.e., currently occupied), and outside the geographical area occupied by these plants at the time of listing but within their historical range, because such areas are essential for the conservation of these plants. We used habitat and historical occurrence data, and applied general conservation design principles, to identify unoccupied habitat essential for the conservation of these plants. To determine the general extent, location, and boundaries of critical habitat, the Service used the following sources of information: (1) Historical and current records of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri occurrences and distributions found in publications, reports, personal communications, and associated voucher specimens housed at museums and private collections; (2) FNAI, Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC), and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens (FTBG) geographic information system (GIS) data showing the location and extent of documented occurrences of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri; (3) Reports and databases prepared by botanists with IRC and FTBG. Some of these were funded by the Service, while others were requested or volunteered by biologists with IRC or FTBG; VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 (4) ESRI ArcGIS online basemap aerial imagery (collected December, 2010) and Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs; 1-m true color; collected 2004) of Miami-Dade County. Because pine rockland habitat has a recognizable signature in these aerial photographs, the presence of PCEs was partially determined through evaluation of this imagery; and (5) GIS data depicting soils (Soil Service Geographic (SSURGO) dataset), land cover (South Florida Water Management District Land Use and Cover 2008–2009), and elevation (Dade County LiDAR 88—2003) within MiamiDade County; these data were also used to determine the presence of PCEs. Due to the lack of existing taxaspecific data or recommendations related to conservation design (e.g., minimum area or number of populations needed for recovery), we used general conservation design principles in conjunction with the best available data for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to identify those unoccupied pine rocklands with the highest conservation quality—that is, those areas that currently provide the best quality habitat and are likely to continue to do so in the future, or areas that have the highest restoration potential. Guidelines for conservation design, which have been developed using island biogeography models, are highly relevant to areas such as the fragmented pine rocklands of the Miami Rock Ridge (i.e., pine rockland islands in a sea of urban and agriculture development). Due to the degree of habitat loss that has already occurred, application of all such guidelines are somewhat limited by the nature of the remaining habitat (e.g., sizes, shapes, and locations of individual habitat patches). As such, we evaluated conservation quality of unoccupied pine rockland habitat using the following three major principles: (1) Geographic spread—Species that are well distributed across their native ranges are less susceptible to extinction than are species confined to small portions of their ranges. (2) Size—Large habitat patches are superior to small habitat patches, in that larger areas will support larger populations and will be less negatively impacted by edge effects. All else being equal, conservation design options that include greater areal extent are superior. When comparative circumstances are not otherwise equal, factors such as habitat quality, the presence of specific landscape features, and the spatial arrangement of habitat may offset a solely area-driven selection process. PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (3) Connectivity—Habitat that occurs in less fragmented, contiguous patches is preferable to habitat that is fragmented or isolated by urban lands. Habitat patches close to one another serve species of concern better than patches situated far apart. Interconnected patches are better than isolated patches. Conservation design alternatives should seek, in order of priority: (a) Continuity within habitat (minimize additional fragmentation); (b) Connectedness (increase existing habitat patches); and (c) Proximity (minimize distance between habitat patches). Using these guiding principles, we evaluated the remaining unoccupied pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP with the intent of identifying the largest patches and highest quality habitat available (patches of sufficient size and quality to support populations), in sufficient amount (i.e., sufficient numbers of populations) and spatial arrangement (to provide opportunities for future migration and colonization) to provide for the conservation of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Our evaluation consisted of the following steps: (1) Using aerial imagery and GISbased vegetation and soils data, we delineated pine rockland habitat in Miami Dade County outside of ENP. Pine rocklands were identified based on the presence of specific soil types (see ‘‘Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or Physiological Requirements,’’ above) and pine rockland vegetation, including firesuppressed areas and areas where intergrading with rockland hammock occurs. Some cleared areas occurring over pine rockland soils were also delineated, with the intent that such areas provide opportunities for restoration. The resulting habitat layer consisted of 245 habitat patches. (2) To maximize geographic spread within the plants’ historical ranges, we divided the extent of delineated habitat into five geographic areas (northeast to southwest). (3) For each plant, we included occupied patches in proposed critical habitat (25 habitat patches for Brickellia mosieri, and 6 patches for Linum carteri var. carteri). One occurrence of L. c. var. carteri (a single plant found on a canal bank) is not included in proposed critical habitat due to the anomalous nature of the occurrence, and because we were not able to define patch boundaries based on any of the criteria described in (1) above. E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (4) For each plant, for the remaining (unoccupied) habitat, we excluded patches below the estimated minimum size for each plant based on expert opinion—2 ha (5 ac) for Brickellia mosieri, and 0.4 ha (1 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri (see ‘‘Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring,’’ above). The resulting layers consisted of 106 habitat patches for B. mosieri, and 218 patches for L. c. var. carteri. (5) For each plant, for the remaining habitat (unoccupied; 2 ha (5 ac) or ≥0.4 ha (1 ac), Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri, respectively), we assigned a score for eight evaluation criteria designed to assess overall conservation quality of the patch, using the following five major objectives (discussed more indepth below and at http://www.regulations.gov): (a) Onsite habitat quality (intact, open pine rocklands scored higher than cleared patches or patches having a closed canopy); (b) Patch size (larger patches scored higher); (c) Surrounding landscape composition (pine rocklands surrounded by less development scored higher); (d) Connectivity (within each geographic area, pine rockland patches in closer proximity to each other and with greater numbers of neighbors scored higher); and (e) Vulnerability to sea level rise (pine rockland patches located at higher elevations scored higher). (6) For each plant, within each geographic area, we used a consequence matrix to evaluate the performance of each unoccupied pine rockland patch across the objectives described above in (5). The resulting total score of each patch was a 0.0–1.0 value, summed across all criteria, where a score of 1.0 indicates the patch in each geographic area that has the highest conservation quality, based on the defined objectives. Using the results of the consequence matrix for each plant, we evaluated potential ‘‘cut-off’’ values for patch total score by visually assessing and comparing habitat amounts and spatial arrangements between various cut-off values in order to identify the best conservation arrangement. Because taxaspecific data and recommendations were not available regarding how much area is needed for the conservation and recovery of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, we applied the general conservation design principles related to connectivity, above, and principles of population viability and metapopulation theory. Small populations and plant species VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 with limited distributions, like those of B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri, are vulnerable to relatively minor environmental disturbances (Frankham 2005, pp. 135–136), and are subject to the loss of genetic diversity from genetic drift, the random loss of genes, and inbreeding (Ellstrand and Elam 1993, pp. 217–237; Leimu et al. 2006, pp. 942–952). These factors increase the probability of both local extinctions and population extinction (Barrett and Kohn 1991, pp. 4, 28; Newman and Pilson 1997, p. 360; Palstra and Ruzzante 2008, pp. 3428–3447). To ameliorate these effects, the recovery of many rare plant species includes the creation of new sites or reintroductions to increase population size (each occurrence, and overall) and support genetic diversity. Sufficient area is also required to allow B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri to expand their current distributions (curtailed compared to historical ranges), use habitat depending on the availability of suitable conditions (dynamic, related to time since disturbance within each patch), and maintain their ability to withstand localor unit-level environmental fluctuations or catastrophes. Based on our assessment, as described above, we determined that unoccupied pine rockland patches with a total score for conservation quality greater than 0.50 should be proposed for critical habitat designation. In addition, we determined that 15 supplemental pine rockland patches should also be proposed for critical habitat designation for one or more of the following reasons: (1) A population of Brickellia mosieri was previously observed in the patch (although not recently enough to consider the population extant at this time); (2) addition of the patch increases conservation quality of adjacent proposed critical habitat; (3) addition of the patch increases connectivity of pine rockland habitat across the landscape; and (4) the patch is located at the north end of these plants’ historical ranges (an area not captured using the consequence matrix approach). The last category consists of four patches with conservation quality ≤0.50, due to some combination of lower onsite habitat quality, smaller size, and more development in the surrounding landscape, all of which are related to their position closer to Miami. While these patches may not represent the best habitat currently available, they do provide needed opportunities to increase these plants’ geographic spread and restore the plants to the northernmost intact habitat within their historical ranges, which is more heavily PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61301 impacted, and are essential to the conservation of these plants as discussed above. Habitat Within the Geographic Range at the Time of Listing We are proposing seven critical habitat units, six of which contain habitat occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri or both plants. These units include the mapped extent of each plant’s population and contain the PCEs. Within each of these six proposed units is also unoccupied habitat, which is included based on our determination that such areas are essential to the conservation of these plants, as discussed above. In addition to providing sufficient habitat (area, number of patches, connectivity), this unoccupied habitat allows for the dynamic nature of pine rockland habitat. Conditions within pine rockland patches, such as the openness of the canopy and understory and the accumulation of leaf litter over the limestone substrate, vary greatly across the landscape and across time. Only a portion of the delineated habitat is suitable for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri, or both plants, at any given time, and the size and location of suitable areas within the population is dynamic over time, being largely driven by the frequency and scale of natural or prescribed fires and other types of disturbance (e.g., for L. c. var. carteri, mowing or, seemingly, events that disturb the limestone substrate). Although prescribed burns are administered on conservation lands that retain B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri, or both, populations, fire return intervals and scope are inconsistent. Thus, areas of pine rockland habitat that now support one or both of these plants may not support the plants in the future, as inadequate fire management removes or fragments suitable habitat. Conversely, suitable habitat conditions may return or increase in areas following natural or prescribed fires, allowing opportunities for the plants to expand or colonize these areas in the future. The delineation of proposed units (occupied plus unoccupied patches) also includes space to plan for the persistence of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri populations in the face of imminent effects on habitats as a result of sea level rise. Although occupied habitat within each proposed unit contains the PCEs, some of these areas may be altered, as a result of vegetation shifts or salt water intrusion, to an extent which cannot be predicted at this time. E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 61302 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules In identifying unoccupied patches with these proposed units, we considered the following additional criteria, which we incorporated into the consequence matrix described above: (1) Objective 1 (onsite habitat quality): Pine rockland areas of sufficient habitat quality to support the growth and reproduction of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. In general, areas of intact pine rockland having an open canopy and understory are more likely to support populations of these plants over the long term. In some cases, disturbed or cleared pine rockland areas have also been included in the designation; these areas possess other desirable characteristics (e.g., size, connectivity) and could allow B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri to expand from areas already occupied by these plants. These areas are typically habitats within or adjacent to pine rocklands that have been affected by natural or anthropogenic impacts, but that retain areas that are still suitable for the plants. These areas would help to off-set the anticipated loss and degradation of habitat occurring or expected from the effects of climate change (such as sea level rise) or due to development. (2) Objective 2 (patch size): Pine rockland areas of sufficient size to support ecosystem processes for populations of Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. Given areas of equal habitat quality, larger areas would be ranked higher in our evaluation. (3) Objective 3 (surrounding landscape composition): Pine rockland areas within a suitable landscape to allow for natural disturbance regimes— specifically, prescribed fire—and to minimize negative impacts related to changes in hydrology or nutrient/ pollution inputs from the surrounding area. Pine rocklands surrounded by other natural communities will likely provide higher quality habitat in the long term than pine rocklands that are imbedded in a highly urbanized or agricultural matrix. Given areas of equal habitat quality and size, areas with more natural communities and less urban development in the surrounding area would be ranked higher in our evaluation. (4) Objective 4 (connectivity): Pine rockland areas of sufficient amount and arrangement to maintain connectivity of habitat to allow for population sustainability and expansion. Sufficient connectivity of pine rockland habitat will contribute to the availability of pollinators of appropriate type and sufficient numbers to allow Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to reproduce and ensure sustainable populations, and to allow for population VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 expansion through seed dispersal. Given areas of equal habitat quality, size, and surrounding landscape composition, those patches having more and closer neighbors (i.e., other pine rockland patches) would be ranked higher in our evaluation. (5) Objective 5 (vulnerability to sea level rise): Pine rockland areas of suitable elevation to reduce vulnerability to sea level rise. Those pine rocklands situated at higher elevations are less likely to be negatively affected by either inundation or vegetation shifts caused by changes in the salinity of the water table and soils associated with sea level rise. Given areas of equal conservation quality as described above, those patches having a higher average elevation would be ranked higher in our evaluation. A complete description regarding how these objectives were weighted and evaluated in our consequence matrix can be found in the supplemental materials provided with the rule at http://www.regulations.gov. Habitat Outside of the Geographic Range at the Time of Listing We are proposing one critical habitat unit that is unoccupied by either Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri but has been determined to be essential to the conservation of both plants. This unit represents a portion of these plants’ historical ranges in which the plants have been extirpated (see Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status for both plants in our proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today’s Federal Register), and the unoccupied proposed critical habitat patches are the only pine rockland habitat that remains in this area. While the full extent of B. mosieri’s historical range is unknown, due to limited data, comparing its current distribution to historical observations suggests that its range has contracted at least 13 percent. Likewise, the historical range of L. c. var. carteri has been reduced approximately 30 percent. The reductions in the historical ranges of these plants have occurred almost entirely in their northern portions, between Pinecrest and South Miami/Coconut Grove. As noted earlier, little pine rockland habitat has escaped urban development in this area, and those patches that remain are of lesser conservation quality due to lower onsite habitat quality, smaller patch sizes, and higher amounts of development in the surrounding landscape. While these patches may not represent the best pine rockland habitat currently available, they provide needed habitat to increase PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 these plants’ geographic spread to currently unoccupied portions of their historical ranges, and are essential for the conservation of the two plants. In summary, for occupied habitat within the geographic area occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri at the time of listing (i.e., currently occupied), we delineated proposed critical habitat unit boundaries by evaluating habitat suitability of pine rockland habitat within this geographic area, and retained those areas that contain some or all of the PCEs to support life-history functions essential for conservation of these plants. For unoccupied habitat within the geographic area occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri at the time of listing (i.e., currently unoccupied), we delineated proposed critical habitat unit boundaries by evaluating five objectives incorporated into the consequence matrix (see discussion above). For habitat outside the geographic area occupied by the plant at the time of listing, we delineated proposed critical habitat unit boundaries based on the availability of remaining pine rockland habitat in the unit. All four available patches were included in the delineation in order to provide sufficient area for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to expand their current restricted ranges. When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures. The scale of the maps we prepared under the parameters for publication within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of such developed lands. Any such lands inadvertently left inside proposed critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this proposed rule have been excluded by text in the proposed rule and are not proposed for designation as critical habitat. Therefore, if the critical habitat is finalized as proposed, a Federal action involving these lands would not trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would affect the adjacent critical habitat. The critical habitat designation is defined by the map or maps, as modified by any accompanying regulatory text, presented at the end of this document in Proposed Regulation Promulgation section. In this proposed rule, we present one set of maps that show the proposed critical habitat E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 61303 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules designations for both plants. In the final rule, we plan to present a separate set of maps for each plant. We include more detailed information on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble of this document. We will make the coordinates or plot points or both on which each map is based available to the public on http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108, on our Internet site at www.fws.gov/ verobeach/, and at the field office responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above). Proposed Critical Habitat Designation None of the seven critical habitat units proposed for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri is currently designated as critical habitat for other species under the Act. Two of the critical habitat units (Units 4 and 7) proposed for these plants overlap areas that have been proposed as critical habitat for the Florida leafwing butterfly (Anaea troglodyta floridalis), and three of the critical habitat units (Units 4, 6, and 7) proposed for these plants overlap areas that have been proposed as critical habitat for the Bartram’s scrubhairstreak butterfly (Strymon acis bartrami), under the Act (see 78 FR 49831; August 15, 2013), but the Service has not yet made a final determination on these designations. The seven units (all located in MiamiDade County, Florida) we propose as critical habitat are: (1) Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and surrounding areas; (2) Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas; (3) Unit 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and surrounding areas; (4) Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and surrounding areas; (5) Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and surrounding areas; (6) Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer and surrounding areas; and (7) Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas. Because of the highly fragmented nature of the remaining pine rockland habitat, these large overall unit boundaries have been identified that encompass the small, multiple designations within each unit; only the specific patches within the unit boundaries (see unit maps in the Proposed Regulation Promulgation section, below) are proposed as critical habitat. Within each unit, we determined the specific habitat patches to include in the proposed critical habitat for each plant, using the methods described above. In many cases, the same habitat patch may be included in the proposed critical habitat for both plants, resulting in overlap of proposed critical habitat within the unit. Thus, the ‘‘combined’’ area of critical habitat within a unit, which encompasses all proposed habitat patches within a unit, is less than the sum of critical habitat for each plant, due to the large overlap. Table 1 shows land ownership, area, and occupancy of each critical habitat unit, broken down by plant and using the combined approach. Land ownership within the combined proposed critical habitat consists of Federal (12 percent), State (20 percent), County/local (46 percent), and private and other (22 percent; category consists of private individuals, companies, associations, and organizations, including nonprofit organizations). State lands are interspersed within Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department lands that are managed for conservation. Except for Unit 1 (which is entirely unoccupied by either plant), the critical habitat units are composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. TABLE 1—PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT UNITS FOR Brickellia mosieri AND Linum carteri VAR. carteri—OWNERSHIP FOR EACH UNIT IS DESCRIBED AS THE PERCENT (%) OF THE TOTAL AND AREA (HECTARES = HA, ACRES = AC) WITHIN EACH UNIT AND ACROSS ALL UNITS Brickellia mosieri Unit No. Unit name % 1 ................ 3 ................ 4 ................ tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (ha) (ac) % (ha) Combined Occupied* (ac) % (ha) (ac) 5 ................ Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas. USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and surrounding areas. Richmond Pinelands and surrounding areas. Quail Roost Pineland and surrounding areas. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 State ..................... County/Local ........ 23 28 4 5 10 12 21 34 4 7 10 16 21 34 4 7 10 16 Private/Other ........ Total ..................... State ..................... 49 100 45 9 18 48 21 43 119 45 100 45 9 19 48 21 48 119 45 100 45 9 19 48 21 48 119 County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... Federal ................. 54 1 100 49 58 1 107 59 143 2 264 145 54 1 100 49 58 1 107 59 143 2 264 145 54 1 100 49 58 1 107 59 143 2 264 145 State ..................... County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... Federal ................. 38 6 7 100 20 45 7 8 119 77 112 18 20 295 191 38 6 7 100 20 45 7 9 120 77 112 18 21 297 191 38 6 7 100 20 45 7 9 120 77 112 18 21 297 191 County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... State ..................... 59 21 100 43 231 83 391 42 570 205 965 103 61 19 100 42 231 73 381 42 571 180 942 103 59 21 100 40 231 84 392 42 571 208 970 103 County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... 2 ................ Trinity Pineland and surrounding areas. Linum carteri var. carteri Ownership 12 45 100 11 43 96 28 107 238 14 44 100 13 43 98 33 106 242 13 47 100 13 49 104 33 120 256 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 No. B. mosieri = Yes. L. c. var. carteri = Yes. B. mosieri = No. L. c. var. carteri = Yes. B. mosieri = Yes. L. c. var. carteri = No. B. mosieri = Yes. L. c. var. carteri = No. 61304 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules TABLE 1—PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT UNITS FOR Brickellia mosieri AND Linum carteri VAR. carteri—OWNERSHIP FOR EACH UNIT IS DESCRIBED AS THE PERCENT (%) OF THE TOTAL AND AREA (HECTARES = HA, ACRES = AC) WITHIN EACH UNIT AND ACROSS ALL UNITS—Continued Brickellia mosieri Unit No. Unit name % 6 ................ (ha) (ac) % (ha) Combined Occupied* (ac) % (ha) (ac) Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas. TOTAL ALL UNITS ... State ..................... 15 18 44 14 18 44 14 18 44 County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... State ..................... 51 34 100 29 58 39 115 65 144 97 285 159 46 40 100 28 58 52 128 57 144 127 315 141 46 40 100 29 58 52 128 65 144 127 315 159 County/Local ........ Private/Other ........ Total ..................... 7 ................ Camp Owaissa Bauer and surrounding areas. Linum carteri var. carteri Ownership 56 16 100 125 35 225 309 87 555 61 11 100 122 22 201 302 54 497 55 16 100 125 36 226 309 89 558 FEDERAL ................ STATE .................... COUNTY/LOCAL ...... PRIVATE/OTHER ..... Total ..................... 13 21 46 20 100 136 222 495 218 1,071 336 547 1,224 538 2,646 13 20 47 20 100 136 214 497 207 1,054 336 529 1,228 512 2,605 12 20 46 22 100 136 222 500 238 1,096 B. mosieri = Yes. L. c. var. carteri = Yes. 336 548 1,235 589 2,707 B. mosieri = Yes. L. c. var. carteri = No. Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding * Occupancy varies by patch within each unit, but each unit contains occupied patches for the plant listed. Patch groupings (i.e., into a small number of units) were done to provide a more efficient rule framework. Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 1 consists of approximately 18 ha (43 ac) of habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 19 ha (48 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in this unit, for a combined total of approximately 19 ha (48 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Trinity Pineland County Park (4 ha (10 ac)); County lands within Tropical Park and A. D. ‘‘Doug’’ Barnes Park (7 ha (16 ac)); and parcels in private ownership (9 ha (21 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 24 Street, on the south by the Snapper Creek Expressway (State Road (SR) 878), on the east by SW 67 Avenue, and on the west by SW 87 Avenue. The unit is within the historical ranges of both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, although data are lacking regarding historical occupancy of the specific proposed critical habitat patches in the unit. This unit includes the only remaining pine rockland habitat in this northern portion of the Miami Rock Ridge. None of the habitat in this unit is currently occupied, but it is essential to the conservation of both plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in MiamiDade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 2 consists of approximately 107 ha (264 ac) of habitat in Miami-Dade County for both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri; the critical habitat proposed for each of these plants is identical within this unit. The unit is comprised of State lands within Camp Matecumbe, Tamiami Pineland Complex Addition, and Rockdale Pineland (48 ha (119 ac)); County/local lands within Ron Ehman Park, Pine Shore Pineland Preserve, Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve, Tamiami #8 (Nixon Smiley Addition) Pineland, and Rockdale Pineland Addition (58 ha (143 ac)); and parcels in private or other ownership (1 ha (2 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 104 Street, on the south by SW 152 Street (Coral Reef Drive), on the east by U.S. 1 (South tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they meet the definition of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri or both plants, below. If additional information is needed regarding individual parcels, including unnamed, smaller parcels in private or other ownership, that can be obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:49 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Dixie Highway), and on the west by SW 177 Avenue (Krome Avenue). This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some habitat within the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (3 occurrences; approximately 21 ha (52 ac)) or Linum carteri var. carteri (1 occurrence; approximately 16 ha (39 ac)) or both plants. This occupied habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of these plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in MiamiDade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Unit 3: USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 3 consists of approximately 119 ha (295 ac) of habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 120 ha (297 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for each of these plants is nearly identical within this unit, for a combined total of approximately 120 ha (297 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of Federal lands within the USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (59 ha (145 ac)); State lands within the R. Hardy Matheson Preserve, Ludlam Pineland, Deering Estate at Cutler, and Deering Estate South Addition (45 ha (112 ac)); County/local lands within the Ned Glenn Nature Preserve and Coral Reef Park (7 ha (18 ac)); and parcels in private ownership (9 ha (21 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 112 Street, on the south by the intersection of Old Cutler Road and Franjo Road (County Road (CR) 977), on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway). This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some of the habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Linum carteri var. carteri (3 occurrences; approximately 62 ha (153 ac)). This occupied habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise, including storm surge. Unoccupied habitat in the unit is essential to the conservation of Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 4 consists of approximately 391 ha (965 ac) of habitat for Brickellia VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 mosieri and approximately 381 ha (942 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in this unit, for a combined total of approximately 392 ha (970 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of Federal lands owned by the U.S. Coast Guard (Homeland Security), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Department of Defense), U.S. Prisons Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (77 ha (191 ac)); County/local lands within and adjacent to Larry and Penny Thompson Park, Martinez Pineland, and Zoo Miami (231 ha (571 ac)); and parcels in private or other ownership (84 ha (208 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 152 Street (Coral Reef Drive), on the south by SW 200 St (Quail Drive/SR 994), on the east by U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway), and on the west by SW 177 Avenue (Krome Avenue). This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (4 occurrences; approximately 267 ha (660 ac)). All four occurrences are within the Richmond Pinelands, which together compose the largest remaining group of contiguous fragments of pine rockland habitat outside of ENP. This occupied habitat contains all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of these plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in MiamiDade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61305 Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 5 consists of approximately 96 ha (238 ac) of habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 98 ha (242 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in this unit, for a combined total of approximately 104 ha (256 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Quail Roost Pineland, Goulds Pineland and Addition, and Silver Palm Groves Pineland (42 ha (103 ac)); County/local lands including Medsouth Park, Black Creek Forest, and Rock Pit #46 (13 ha (33 ac)); and parcels in private ownership (49 ha (120 ac)), including Porter-Russell Pineland owned by the Tropical Audubon Society. This unit is bordered on the north by SW 200 St (Quail Drive/SR 994), on the south by SW 248 Street, on the east by the Florida Turnpike, and on the west by SW 194 Avenue. This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (2 occurrences; approximately 28 ha (70 ac)). This occupied habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Unoccupied habitat in the unit is essential to the conservation of B. mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 6 consists of approximately 115 ha (285 ac) of habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 128 ha (315 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in this unit, for a combined total E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 61306 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS of approximately 128 ha (315 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Owaissa Bauer Pineland Addition, West Biscayne Pineland, Ingram Pineland, and Fuchs Hammock Addition (18 ha (44 ac)); County/local lands including Camp Owaissa Bauer, Pine Island Lake Park, Seminole Wayside Park, and Northrop Pineland (58 ha (144 ac)); and parcels in private ownership (52 ha (127 ac)), including the private conservation area, Pine Ridge Sanctuary. This unit is bordered on the north by SW 248 Street, on the south by SW 312 Street, on the east by SW 112 Avenue, and on the west by SW 217 Avenue. This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some habitat in the unit is currently occupied by either Brickellia mosieri (5 occurrences; approximately 27 ha (67 ac)) or Linum carteri var. carteri (2 occurrences; approximately 9 ha (23 ac)). This occupied habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of these plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in MiamiDade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit 7 consists of approximately 225 ha (555 ac) of habitat for Brickellia mosieri and approximately 201 ha (497 ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in this unit, for a combined total of approximately 226 ha (558 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Florida City Pineland, Palm Drive Pineland, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 Navy Wells Pineland Preserve (portion), Navy Wells Pineland #23, and Navy Wells Pineland #39 (65 ha (159 ac)); County/local lands including Navy Wells Pineland Preserve (portion) and Sunny Palms Pineland (125 ha (309 ac)); and parcels in private ownership (36 ha (89 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 320 Street, on the south by SW 368 Street, on the east by U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway), and on the west by SW 217 Avenue. This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (1 occurrence; approximately 134 ha (330 ac)). This occurrence is on Navy Wells Pineland Preserve, which is one of the largest remaining areas of pine rockland habitats outside of ENP. This occupied habitat contains all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of these plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations. Effects of Critical Habitat Designation Section 7 Consultation Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the Service, to ensure that any action they fund, authorize, or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. In addition, section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any agency action which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species proposed to be PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 listed under the Act or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. Decisions by the 5th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals have invalidated our regulatory definition of ‘‘destruction or adverse modification’’ (50 CFR 402.02) (see Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2004) and Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 245 F.3d 434 (5th Cir. 2001)), and we do not rely on this regulatory definition when analyzing whether an action is likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Under the provisions of the Act, we determine destruction or adverse modification on the basis of whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the affected critical habitat would continue to serve its intended conservation role for the species. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) must enter into consultation with us. Examples of actions that are subject to the section 7 consultation process are actions on State, tribal, local, or private lands that require a Federal permit (such as a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or a permit from the Service under section 10 of the Act) or that involve some other Federal action (such as funding from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Federal actions not affecting listed species or critical habitat, and actions on State, tribal, local, or private lands that are not federally funded or authorized, do not require section 7 consultation. As a result of section 7 consultation, we document compliance with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) through our issuance of: (1) A concurrence letter for Federal actions that may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat; or (2) A biological opinion for Federal actions that may affect and are likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat. When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species and/or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are identifiable, that would avoid the likelihood of jeopardy and/or destruction or adverse modification of E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS critical habitat. We define ‘‘reasonable and prudent alternatives’’ (at 50 CFR 402.02) as alternative actions identified during consultation that: (1) Can be implemented in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the action, (2) Can be implemented consistent with the scope of the Federal agency’s legal authority and jurisdiction, (3) Are economically and technologically feasible, and (4) Would, in the Director’s opinion, avoid the likelihood of jeopardizing the continued existence of the listed species and/or avoid the likelihood of destroying or adversely modifying critical habitat. Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight project modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the project. Costs associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent alternative are similarly variable. Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where we have listed a new species or subsequently designated critical habitat that may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary involvement or control over the action (or the agency’s discretionary involvement or control is authorized by law). Consequently, Federal agencies sometimes may need to request reinitiation of consultation with us on actions for which formal consultation has been completed, if those actions with discretionary involvement or control may affect subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat. Application of the ‘‘Adverse Modification’’ Standard The key factor related to the adverse modification determination is whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the affected critical habitat would continue to serve its intended conservation role for the species. Activities that may destroy or adversely modify critical habitat are those that alter the physical or biological features to an extent that appreciably reduces the conservation value of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. As discussed above, the role of critical habitat is to support life-history needs of these plants and provide for the conservation of these plants. Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and describe, in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical habitat, activities involving a Federal action that may VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 destroy or adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such designation. Activities that may affect critical habitat, when carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency, should result in consultation for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. These activities include, but are not limited to: (1) Actions that would significantly alter the pine rockland ecosystem, including significant alterations to hydrology or substrate. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, residential, commercial, or recreational development, including associated infrastructure. (2) Actions that would significantly alter vegetation structure or composition, such as suppression of natural fires or excessive prescribed burning, or clearing vegetation for construction of residential, commercial, or recreational development and associated infrastructure. (3) Actions that would introduce nonnative plant species that would significantly alter vegetation structure or composition. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, residential and commercial development, and associated infrastructure. Exemptions Application of Section 4(a)(3) of the Act Specifically, section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) provides that: ‘‘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 (INRMP) prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), if the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for designation.’’ There are Department of Defense lands (owned by the U.S. Coast Guard (Homeland Security) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) within the critical habitat designation area; however, none of the lands are covered by an INRMP. Accordingly, no lands that otherwise meet the definition of critical habitat are exempt under section 4(a)(3)(B)(i). Exclusions Application of Section 4(b)(2) of the Act Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the best available scientific data after PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61307 taking into consideration the economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if she determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless she determines, based on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. In making that determination, the statute on its face, as well as the legislative history, are clear that the Secretary has broad discretion regarding which factor(s) to use and how much weight to give to any factor. Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we may exclude an area from designated critical habitat based on economic impacts, impacts on national security, or any other relevant impacts. In considering whether to exclude a particular area from the designation, we identify the benefits of including the area in the designation, identify the benefits of excluding the area from the designation, and evaluate whether the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion. If the analysis indicates that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, the Secretary may exercise her discretion to exclude the area only if such exclusion would not result in the extinction of the species. Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. We are preparing an analysis of economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat designation and related factors. During the development of a final designation, we will consider economic impacts based on information in our economic analysis, public comments, and other new information, and areas may be excluded from the final critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.19. Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are lands where a national security impact might exist. In preparing this proposal, we have determined that some lands within the proposed designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are owned or managed by the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 61308 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS However, we anticipate no impact on national security. Consequently, the Secretary does not anticipate exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from the final designation based on impacts on national security. Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider any other relevant impacts, in addition to economic impacts and impacts on national security. We consider a number of factors, including whether the landowners have developed any HCPs or other management plans for the area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. In addition, we look at any tribal issues, and consider the government-togovernment relationship of the United States with tribal entities. We also consider any social impacts that might occur because of the designation. In preparing this proposed rule, we have determined that there are currently no HCPs or other management plans specifically for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. Properties under Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Covenant Program (i.e., properties with temporary conservation easements) are required to have habitat management plans in place for the easement’s 10-year duration (which can be renewed). However, because such easements are temporary and voluntary, and without information regarding the type or amount of habitat management that is required for each property or whether there is any mechanism to ensure the management occurs, we do not propose to exclude such areas at this time. We are requesting additional information on these sites. The proposed designation does not include any tribal lands or additional trust resources. We anticipate no impact on tribal lands, partnerships, or HCPs from this proposed critical habitat designation. Accordingly, although it is possible that some areas may be excluded from the final rule based on additional information on conservation easements, at this point the Secretary does not propose to exercise her discretion to exclude any areas from the final designation based on other relevant impacts. Peer Review In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert opinions of at least three appropriate and independent VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our proposed critical habitat designation is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment during this public comment. We will consider all comments and information we receive during the comment period on this proposed rule during our preparation of a final determination. Accordingly, the final decision may differ from this proposal. Public Hearings Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing. Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant. Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) as amended by the Small Business Regulatory PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 (small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include such businesses as manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 million in annual business, and forestry and logging operations with fewer than 500 employees and annual business less than $7 million. To determine whether small entities may be affected, we will consider the types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. In general, the term ‘‘significant economic impact’’ is meant to apply to a typical small business firm’s business operations. Importantly, the incremental impacts of a rule must be both significant and substantial to prevent certification of the rule under the RFA and to require the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. If a substantial number of small entities are affected by the proposed critical habitat designation, but the per-entity economic impact is not significant, the Service may certify. Likewise, if the per-entity economic impact is likely to be significant, but the number of affected entities is not substantial, the Service may also certify. E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules Under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential incremental impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking itself, and not the potential impacts to indirectly affected entities. The regulatory mechanism through which critical habitat protections are realized is section 7 of the Act, which requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried by the agency is not likely to adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, only Federal action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by critical habitat designation. Under these circumstances, it is our position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated by this designation. Therefore, because Federal agencies are not small entities, the Service certifies that the proposed critical habitat rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In conclusion, based on our interpretation of directly regulated entities under the RFA and relevant case law, this designation of critical habitat would only directly regulate Federal agencies, which are not by definition small business entities. As such, we certify that, if promulgated, this designation of critical habitat will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use— Executive Order 13211 Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. We do not expect that the designation of this proposed critical habitat would significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. However, we will further evaluate this issue as we conduct our economic analysis, and review and revise this assessment as warranted. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), we make the following findings: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 (1) This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector, and includes both ‘‘Federal intergovernmental mandates’’ and ‘‘Federal private sector mandates.’’ These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)–(7). ‘‘Federal intergovernmental mandate’’ includes a regulation that ‘‘would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments’’ with two exceptions. It excludes ‘‘a condition of Federal assistance.’’ It also excludes ‘‘a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program,’’ unless the regulation ‘‘relates to a then-existing Federal program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,’’ if the provision would ‘‘increase the stringency of conditions of assistance’’ or ‘‘place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government’s responsibility to provide funding,’’ and the State, local, or tribal governments ‘‘lack authority’’ to adjust accordingly. At the time of enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. ‘‘Federal private sector mandate’’ includes a regulation that ‘‘would impose an enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.’’ The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat under section 7. While nonFederal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they receive Federal assistance or participate PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61309 in a voluntary Federal aid program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply, nor would critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs listed above onto State governments. (2) We lack the available economic information to determine if a Small Government Agency Plan is required. Therefore, we defer this finding until completion of the draft economic analysis is prepared under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. Takings—Executive Order 12630 In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (‘‘Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights’’), this rule is not anticipated to have significant takings implications. As discussed above, the designation of critical habitat affects only Federal actions. Critical habitat designation does not affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. Once the economic analysis is available, we will review and revise this preliminary assessment as warranted, and prepare a takings implication assessment. Federalism—Executive Order 13132 In accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism), this proposed rule does not have significant Federalism effects. A federalism summary impact statement is not required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce policy, we requested information from, and coordinated development of, this proposed critical habitat designation with appropriate State resource agencies in Florida. From a federalism perspective, the designation of critical habitat directly affects only the responsibilities of Federal agencies. The Act imposes no other duties with respect to critical habitat, either for States and local governments, or for anyone else. As a result, the rule would not have substantial direct effects either on the States, or on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of powers and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The designation could have some benefit to these governments because the areas that contain the features essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly defined, and the physical and biological features of the habitat necessary to the conservation of the E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 61310 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules species are specifically identified. This information does not alter where and what federally sponsored activities may occur. However, it may assist these local governments in long-range planning (because these local governments no longer have to wait for case-by-case section 7 consultations to occur). Where State and local governments require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for actions that may affect critical habitat, consultation under section 7(a)(2) would be required. While non-Federal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988 In accordance with Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We are proposing to designate critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the Act. To assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the species, the rule identifies the elements of physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. The areas of proposed critical habitat are presented on maps, and the rule provides several options for the interested public to obtain more detailed location information, if desired. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) It is our position that, outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we do not need to prepare environmental analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act in connection with VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 designating critical habitat under the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 1042 (1996)). Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes. We determined that there are no tribal lands that are currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri that contain the features essential for conservation of these plants, and no tribal lands unoccupied by either plant that are essential for the conservation of these plants. Therefore, we are not proposing to designate critical habitat for B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri on tribal lands. Clarity of the Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (1) Be logically organized; (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) Use clear language rather than jargon; (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help us revise the PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authors The primary authors of this package are the staff members of the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Proposed Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 17— ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.96(a) by: a. Adding Family Linaceae in alphabetical order to the list of families; ■ b. Adding an entry for ‘‘Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush)’’ in alphabetical order under the family Asteraceae; and ■ c. Adding an entry for ‘‘Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s small-flowered flax)’’ in alphabetical order under the family Linaceae. The additions read as follows: ■ ■ § 17.96 Critical habitat—plants. (a) Flowering plants. * * * * * Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) (1) Critical habitat units for Brickellia mosieri are depicted for Miami-Dade County, Florida, on the maps below. (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Brickellia mosieri are: (i) Areas of pine rockland habitat that contain: (A) Open canopy, semi-open subcanopy, and understory; E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (B) Substrate of oolitic limestone rock; and (C) A plant community of predominately native vegetation that may include, but is not limited to: (1) Canopy vegetation dominated by Pinus elliottii var. densa (South Florida slash pine); (2) Subcanopy vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Rapanea punctata (myrsine), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima lucida (locustberry), Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia bicolor (tetrazygia), Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia escallonioides (marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), Sideroxylon salicifolium (willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged sumac); (3) Short-statured shrubs that may include, but are not limited to, Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata (white indigoberry), Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), Morinda royoc (redgal), and Chiococca alba (snowberry); and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 (4) Understory vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); Echites umbellata (devil’s potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern). (ii) A disturbance regime that naturally or artificially duplicates natural ecological processes (e.g., fire, hurricanes, or other weather events) and that maintains the pine rockland habitat described in paragraph (2)(i) of this entry. (iii) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient area to sustain viable populations of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in the pine rockland habitat described in paragraph (2)(i) of this entry. (3) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures (such as buildings, PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 61311 aqueducts, runways, roads, and other paved areas) and the land on which they are located exists within the legal boundaries on the effective date of this rule. (4) Critical habitat map units. Unit maps were developed using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS was also used to calculate the size of habitat areas. The projection used in mapping and calculating distances and locations within the units was North American Albers Equal Area Conic, NAD 83. The maps in this entry, as modified by any accompanying regulatory text, establish the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The coordinates or plot points or both on which each map is based are available to the public at the Service’s Internet site at http:// www.fws.gov/verobeach/, at the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108), and at the field office responsible for this designation. You may obtain field office location information by contacting one of the Service regional offices, the addresses of which are listed at 50 CFR 2.2. (5) Index map follows: BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 61312 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules Index Map of Critical Habitat Units for Brickellia mosieri and Unum carleri val: carleri Unit10 Unit3 Atlantic Ocean Critical Habitat t 10 15 j ! VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4702 j i l) tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS j 5 10 Sfmt 4725 20 Kilometers ! i 15 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM I 20 Mil... 03OCP1 EP03OC13.098</GPH> _ Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules 61313 (6) Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 1 follows: Critical Habitat Units for Brickelfia mosieri and Linum carieri var. carier! Unit l' Pineland and Areas I Critical Habitat Unum carteri va'. carter! VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.099</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Critical Habitat Both Plants 61314 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (7) Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas, Miami- Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 2 follows: Critical Habitat Units forBrickeflia mosier/ and Unum carleri vat: carlen Unit 2: Nixon Pineland Preserve and Areas VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.100</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Critical Habita! Both Plants Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (8) Unit 3: USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and 61315 surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 3 follows: Critical Habitat Units for Brickellia mosieri and Unum carlen var. carleri Unit 3: USDA Horticultural Research Station and Areas • Critical Habitat Unum carter! V8r. carteri Critical Habitat Both Plants '--1- - - - , - - - - - - , - - ,- - - - . 1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS G VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4702 lI; Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM aMII.... 03OCP1 ~ $ EP03OC13.101</GPH> _ 61316 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (9) Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 4 follows: Critical Habitat Units for Brickellia mosieri and Unum carleri var: carleri Unit 4: Richmond and Areas Critical Habitat Brickallia mosier! Critical Habitat Unum carter! var, cartar, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.102</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS l1li Critical Habitat Both Planls Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules 61317 (10) Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 5 follows: Crillcal Habitat Units for Bricketlia mosieri and Unum carteri var. carted Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4702 Critical Habitat Brickelli<~ mosieri Critical Habitat Unum cartari var. carteri Critical Habitat Both Plants Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.103</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS _ Areas 61318 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules (11) Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 6 follows: Critical Critical Habitat Unum carlen val: carteri VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.104</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 1m Critical Habitat Both Plants Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 7 follows: BILLING CODE 4310–55–C brickell-bush). The index map of all of the critical habitat units, and the specific unit maps of critical habitat for Units 1 through 7, for Linum carteri var. carteri are provided at paragraphs (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), and (12) of the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) in this paragraph (a). * * * * * tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Family Linaceae: Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s small-flowered flax) (1) Critical habitat units for Linum carteri var. carteri in Miami-Dade County, Florida, are the same as those set forth in this paragraph (a) for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of, and the statements regarding developed lands in, critical habitat for Linum carteri var. carteri are identical to those set forth at paragraphs (2) and (3) of the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) in this paragraph (a). E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1 EP03OC13.105</GPH> (12) Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas, Miami- 61319 61320 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 192 / Thursday, October 3, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (3) Critical habitat map units. Unit maps were developed using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS was also used to calculate the size of habitat areas. The projection used in mapping and calculating distances and locations within the units was North American Albers Equal Area Conic, NAD 83. The maps in the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickellbush) in this paragraph (a), as modified VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Oct 02, 2013 Jkt 232001 by any accompanying regulatory text, establish the boundaries of the critical habitat designation for Linum carteri var. carteri. The coordinates or plot points or both on which each map is based are available to the public at the Service’s Internet site at http:// www.fws.gov/verobeach/, at the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0108), and at the field office responsible for this PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 designation. You may obtain field office location information by contacting one of the Service regional offices, the addresses of which are listed at 50 CFR 2.2. * * * * * Dated: September 26, 2013. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2013–24174 Filed 10–2–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\03OCP1.SGM 03OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 192 (Thursday, October 3, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 61293-61320]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24174]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108; 4500030114]
RIN 1018-AZ64


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and 
Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
designate critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-
bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's small-flowered flax) 
under the Endangered Species Act (Act). We are proposing to designate 
as critical habitat approximately 1,071 ha (2,646 ac) for Brickellia 
mosieri and approximately 1,054 ha (2,605 ac) for Linum carteri var. 
carteri. The critical habitat areas proposed for these plants overlap, 
for a combined total of approximately 1,096 ha (2,707 ac). The proposed 
critical habitat for both plants is located entirely

[[Page 61294]]

in Miami-Dade County, Florida. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it 
will extend the Act's protections to these plants' critical habitats.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
December 2, 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. We must receive requests 
for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT by November 18, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108, 
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search 
panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, 
click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may 
submit a comment by clicking on ``Comment Now!''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108; 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 Information Requested section below for more information).
    The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps are 
generated are included in the administrative record for this critical 
habitat designation and are available at http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/, 
at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108, and at 
the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information 
that we may develop for this critical habitat designation will also be 
available at the Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and Field Office 
set out above, and may also be included in the preamble and/or at 
http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Williams, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field 
Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; by telephone 772-562-
3909; or by facsimile 772-562-4288. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, once we determine 
that a species is endangered or threatened, then we must also designate 
critical habitat for the species. Designations and revisions of 
critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule. Elsewhere in 
today's Federal Register, we propose to list Brickellia mosieri and 
Linum carteri var. carteri as endangered species under the Act.
    This rule consists of a proposed rule to designate critical habitat 
for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri.
    The basis for our action. Under the Act, when a species is proposed 
for listing, we must designate critical habitat for the species to the 
maximum extent prudent and determinable. Both plants are being proposed 
for listing as endangered, and therefore we also propose to designate:
     Approximately 1,071 ha (2,646 ac) as critical habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 1,054 ha (2,605 ac) for Linum 
carteri var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants 
overlap, for a combined total of approximately 1,096 ha (2,707 ac). The 
proposed critical habitat for both plants is located entirely in Miami-
Dade County, Florida.
     The proposed critical habitat for both plants includes 
both occupied and unoccupied habitat. The Service determined that the 
unoccupied units are essential for the conservation of the plants, to 
provide for the necessary expansion of current Brickellia mosieri and 
Linum carteri var. carteri population(s), and for reestablishment of 
populations into areas where these plants previously occurred.
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall 
designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the 
best available scientific data after taking into consideration the 
economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant 
impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The 
Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if he determines 
that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying 
such area as part of the critical habitat, unless he determines, based 
on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate 
such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the 
species.
    We are preparing an economic analysis of the proposed designations 
of critical habitat. We are preparing an analysis of the economic 
impacts of the proposed critical habitat designations and related 
factors. We will announce the availability of the draft economic 
analysis as soon as it is completed, at which time we will seek 
additional public review and comment.
    We will seek peer review. We are seeking comments from 
knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise to review our 
analysis of the best available science and application of that science 
and to provide any additional scientific information to improve this 
proposed rule. Because we will consider all comments and information we 
receive during the comment period, our final designations may differ 
from this proposal.

Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule 
will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, 
Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any 
other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly 
seek comments concerning:
    (1) The 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 Brickellia mosieri or 
Linum carteri var. carteri 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 amount and distribution of Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri and their habitats;
    (b) What may constitute ``physical or biological features essential 
to the conservation of the species,'' within the geographical range 
currently occupied by these plants;
    (c) Where these features are currently found;
    (d) Whether any of these features may require special management 
considerations or protection;
    (e) What areas, that were occupied at the time of listing (or are 
currently occupied) and that contain features essential to the 
conservation of these plants, should be included in the designation and 
why; and

[[Page 61295]]

    (f) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential 
for the conservation of these plants and why.
    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the 
areas occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri or 
proposed to be designated as critical habitat, and possible impacts of 
these activities on these plants and proposed critical habitat.
    (4) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of 
climate change on Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and 
proposed critical habitat.
    (5) Any probable 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.
    (6) Whether any specific areas we are proposing for critical 
habitat designation should be considered for exclusion under section 
4(b)(2) of the Act, and whether the benefits of potentially excluding 
any specific area outweigh the benefits of including that area under 
section 4(b)(2) of the Act.
    (7) Information specific to the management of pine rocklands under 
Miami-Dade County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Covenant Program 
that might allow us to evaluate potential exclusions.
    (8) 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.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you 
send comments only by the methods described in the ADDRESSES section.
    We will post your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request 
at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such 
as your street address, phone number, or email address from public 
review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Previous Federal Actions

    All previous Federal actions are described in the proposal to list 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri as endangered species 
under the Act published elsewhere in today's Federal Register.

Critical Habitat

Background

    It is our intent to discuss below only those topics directly 
relevant to the designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri in this section of the proposed rule. 
For more information on the taxonomy, life history, habitat, and 
population descriptions of these plants, please refer to the proposed 
listing rule published elsewhere in today's Federal Register.
    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:
    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the 
species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features:
    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species and
    (b) Which may require special management considerations or 
protection; and
    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas 
are essential for the conservation of the species.
    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use 
and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring 
an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures 
provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and 
procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated 
with scientific resources management such as research, census, law 
enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live 
trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where 
population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise 
relieved, may include regulated taking.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation 
with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is 
not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect 
land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or 
other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government 
or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require 
implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by 
non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency 
funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species 
or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) 
of the Act would apply, but even in the event of a destruction or 
adverse modification finding, the obligation of the Federal action 
agency and the landowner is not to restore or recover the species, but 
to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid destruction 
or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    Under the first prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, 
areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time 
it was listed are included in a critical habitat designation if they 
contain physical or biological features (1) essential to the 
conservation of the species, and (2) which may require special 
management considerations or protection. For these areas, critical 
habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best 
scientific data available, those physical or biological features that 
are essential to the conservation of the species (such as space, food, 
cover, and protected habitat). In identifying those physical and 
biological features within an area, we focus on the principal 
biological or physical constituent elements (primary constituent 
elements such as roost sites, nesting grounds, seasonal wetlands, water 
quality, tide, soil type) that are essential to the conservation of the 
species. Primary constituent elements are the specific elements of 
physical or biological features that provide for a species' life-
history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species.
    Under the second prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, 
we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical 
area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a 
determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the 
species. For example, an area currently occupied by the species but 
that was not occupied at the time of listing may be essential to the 
conservation of the species and may be included in the

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critical habitat designation. We designate critical habitat in areas 
outside the geographical area occupied by a species only when a 
designation limited to its range would be inadequate to ensure the 
conservation of the species.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on 
Information Standards under the Endangered Species Act (published in 
the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information 
Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658)), 
and our associated Information Quality Guidelines, provide criteria, 
establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions 
are based on the best scientific data available. They require our 
biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of 
the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources 
of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical 
habitat.
    When we are determining which areas should be designated as 
critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the 
information developed during the listing process for the species. 
Additional information sources may include the recovery plan for the 
species (if the species is already listed), articles in peer-reviewed 
journals, conservation plans developed by States and counties, 
scientific status surveys and studies, biological assessments, other 
unpublished materials, or experts' opinions or personal knowledge.
    Habitat is dynamic, and species may move from one area to another 
over time. We recognize that critical habitat designated at a 
particular point in time may not include all of the habitat areas that 
we may later determine are necessary for the recovery of the species. 
For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does not signal that 
habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or may not be needed 
for recovery of the species. Areas that are important to the 
conservation of the species, both inside and outside the critical 
habitat designation, would continue to be subject to: (1) Conservation 
actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, (2) regulatory 
protections afforded by the requirement in section 7(a)(2) of the Act 
for Federal agencies to ensure their actions are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened 
species, and (3) section 9 of the Act's prohibitions on taking any 
individual of the species, including taking caused by actions that 
affect habitat. Federally funded or permitted projects affecting listed 
species outside their designated critical habitat areas may still 
result in jeopardy findings in some cases. These protections and 
conservation tools would continue to contribute to recovery of these 
plants if we list Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. 
Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best 
available information at the time of designation will not control the 
direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation 
plans (HCPs), or other species conservation planning efforts if new 
information available at the time of these planning efforts calls for a 
different outcome.

Prudency Determination

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12), require that, to the maximum extent 
prudent and determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical 
habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or 
threatened species. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that 
the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of 
the following situations exist:
    (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, 
and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of threat to the species, or
    (2) Such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to 
the species.
    There is no evidence that the designation of critical habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri would result in an 
increased threat from taking (collection) or other human activity for 
these plants. Therefore, in the absence of finding that the designation 
of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, if there are 
any benefits to a critical habitat designation, then it is prudent to 
designate critical habitat. Here, the potential benefits of designation 
include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, in new 
areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would 
not otherwise occur because, for example, it is or has become 
unoccupied or the occupancy is in question; (2) focusing conservation 
activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing 
educational benefits to State or county governments or private 
entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to 
the species.
    Therefore, because we have determined that the designation of 
critical habitat would not likely increase the degree of threat to 
these plants and may provide some measure of benefit, we find that 
designation of critical habitat is prudent for B. mosieri and L. c. 
var. carteri.

Critical Habitat Determinability

    Having determined that designation of critical habitat is prudent, 
under section 4(a)(3) of the Act we must find whether critical habitat 
for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri is determinable. 
Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(a)(2) state that critical habitat is 
not determinable when one or both of the following situations exist:
    (i) Information sufficient to perform required analyses of the 
impacts of the designation is lacking; or
    (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well 
known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat.
    We reviewed the available information pertaining to the biological 
needs of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and habitat 
characteristics where the plants are located. This and other 
information represent the best scientific data available and led us to 
conclude that the designation of critical habitat is determinable for 
B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri.

Physical or Biological Features

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas within the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing to 
designate as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological 
features (PBFs) that are essential to the conservation of the species 
and which may require special management considerations or protection. 
These include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal 
behavior;
    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements;
    (3) Cover or shelter;
    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) 
of offspring; and
    (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are 
representative of the historical, geographical, and ecological 
distributions of a species.
    We derived the specific PBFs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri from observations of both plants' habitat, 
ecology, and life history as

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described below. (For more information, see the Background section of 
our proposed listing rule published elsewhere in today's Federal 
Register.) The PBFs for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri were defined 
on the basis of the habitat features of the areas currently occupied by 
the plants, which included substrate types, plant community structure, 
and associated plant species.
Space for Individual and Population Growth
    Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are endemic to, 
and occur exclusively within, pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock 
Ridge outside of Everglades National Park (ENP) in Miami-Dade County in 
south Florida. This community and associated native plant species are 
described in the Status Assessment for Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri section in the proposed listing rule published 
elsewhere in today's Federal Register. Pine rocklands are a fire-
maintained ecosystem characterized by an open canopy and understory and 
a limestone substrate (often exposed). Open canopy conditions are 
required to allow sufficient sunlight to reach the herbaceous layer and 
permit growth and flowering of B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. These 
plants also require a limestone substrate to provide suitable growing 
conditions (e.g., pH, nutrients, anchoring, and proper drainage). This 
combination of ecosystem characteristics (i.e., open canopy and 
limestone substrate) occurs only in pine rockland habitats (as opposed 
to rockland hammock, which occurs in conjunction with pine rockland and 
has a limestone substrate but a closed canopy). Therefore, based on 
this information, we identify pine rockland habitats to be a PBF for 
these plants.
Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements
    Soils--Substrates supporting Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri 
var. carteri for anchoring or nutrient absorption are composed of 
oolitic limestone that is at or very near the surface. Solution holes 
occasionally form where the surface limestone is dissolved by organic 
acids. There is typically very little soil development, consisting 
primarily of accumulations of low-nutrient sand, marl, clayey loam, and 
organic debris found in solution holes, depressions, and crevices on 
the limestone surface (Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) 2010, p. 
62). However, extensive sandy pockets can be found at the northern end 
of the Miami Rock Ridge, beginning from approximately North Miami Beach 
and extending south to approximately SW. 216 Street (which runs east-
west approximately one-half mile south of Quail Roost Pineland) 
(Service 1999, p. 3-162). In this area (the northern Biscayne region), 
pine rockland soils are primarily quartz sands classified as Opalocka 
sand-rock outcrop complex. This region has the least exposed rock. In 
the southern Biscayne, or Redlands, region to the south, pine rockland 
soils are rockier (i.e., exposed rock is the predominant surface) and 
are primarily classified as Cardsound silty clay loam-rock outcrop 
complex. Other soil types that are loosely associated with pine 
rocklands include Udorthents (in the northern half of the plants' 
current ranges) and Krome very gravelly loam (in the southern half). 
Therefore, based on the information above, we identify substrate 
derived from oolitic limestone to provide anchoring and nutritional 
requirements to be a PBF for these plants.
Cover or Shelter
    Pine rockland is characterized by an open canopy of Pinus elliottii 
var. densa (South Florida slash pine). Subcanopy development is rare in 
well-maintained pine rocklands, with only occasional hardwoods such as 
Lysiloma bahamensis (wild tamarind) and Quercus virginiana (live oak) 
growing to tree size in Miami Rock Ridge pinelands (Snyder et al. 1990, 
p. 253). The shrub/understory layer is also characteristically open, 
although the height and density of the shrub layer varies based on fire 
frequency, with understory plants growing taller and more dense as time 
since fire increases. Subcanopy/shrub species that typically occur 
include, but may not be limited to, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), 
Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), 
Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), 
Rapanea punctata (myrsine), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima 
lucida (locustberry), Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia 
bicolor (tetrazygia), Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia 
escallonioides (marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), 
Sideroxylon salicifolium (willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged 
sumac) (FNAI 2010, pp. 61-62). Short-statured shrubs may include, but 
are not limited to, Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata 
(white indigoberry), Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), 
Morinda royoc (redgal), and Chiococca alba (snowberry) (FNAI 2010, p. 
62). Understory vegetation may include, but is not limited to, 
Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. 
sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); 
Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris 
(hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); 
Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); Echites umbellata (devil's 
potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); 
Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and 
Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern) (FNAI 2010, p. 62). An 
open canopy and understory are required to allow sufficient sunlight to 
reach the herbaceous layer and permit growth and flowering of 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Therefore, based on 
the information above, we identify vegetation composition and structure 
that allows for adequate sunlight, and space for individual growth and 
population expansion, to be a PBF for these plants.
Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of 
Offspring
    Brickellia mosieri--The reproductive biology and needs of 
Brickellia mosieri have not been studied (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 
12), and our knowledge of the ecology of the species related to 
reproduction needs primarily consists of observed habitat requirements 
and demographic trends. Field observations indicate that the species 
does not usually occur in great abundance; populations are typically 
sparse and contain a low density of plants, even in well-maintained 
pine rockland habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Bradley (2013b, 
pers. comm.) estimated that, based on this observation, the minimum 
habitat patch size to support a sustaining population may be 
approximately 2 ha (5 ac), although no studies have been conducted to 
evaluate this estimate. Some occupied sites are less than 2 ha (5 ac) 
in size, but it is not known whether these populations are sustainable 
in the long term.
    Reproduction is sexual (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12), but specific 
pollinators or dispersers are unknown. Flower morphology suggests the 
species may be pollinated by butterflies, bees, or both (Koptur 2013, 
pers. comm.). Wind is one likely dispersal vector (Gann 2013b, pers. 
comm.), as is seed dispersal by animals. Within pine rocklands, more 
than 50 species of butterflies have been observed that may act as 
pollinators for Brickellia mosieri. Similarly, a large variety of 
native and nonnative bee species are known to

[[Page 61298]]

pollinate pine rockland plants, which may include B. mosieri. Declines 
in pollinator visitation may cause decreased seed set or fruit 
production, which could lead to lower seedling establishment and 
numbers of mature plants. The availability of pollinators of 
appropriate type and sufficient numbers is necessary for B. mosieri to 
reproduce and ensure sustainable populations. Because the specific 
type(s) and number of pollinators of B. mosieri are unknown, and may 
include non-generalist species closely tied to pine rockland habitats, 
preserving and restoring connectivity of pine rockland habitat 
fragments is essential to the long-term conservation of the species. 
Sufficient connectivity of pine rockland habitat is also necessary to 
support establishment of new populations through seed dispersal, and to 
preserve and enhance genetic diversity.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitat 
connectivity of sufficient size and suitability, or habitat that can be 
restored to these conditions that supports the species' growth, 
distribution, and population expansion, to be a PBF for Brickellia 
mosieri.
    Linum carteri var. carteri--The reproductive needs of Linum carteri 
var. carteri are not well understood. Maschinski (2006, p. 83) reported 
that L. c. var. carteri has typical behavior for an early successional 
plant--plants grow to reproductive status quickly, and populations 
typically contain a higher density of plants. The minimum habitat patch 
size to support a sustaining population may be smaller than that needed 
for Brickellia mosieri, possibly as small as 0.4 ha (1 ac) (Bradley 
2013b, pers. comm.), although no studies have been conducted to 
evaluate this estimate. Reproduction is believed to be sexual (Bradley 
and Gann 1999, p. 71), but specific pollinators are unknown. Flower 
morphology suggests this variety may also be pollinated by butterflies 
or bees, or both (Koptur 2013, pers. comm.). Alternatively, Mosquin and 
Hayley (1967, p. 1278) suggested L. c. var. carteri may be self-
pollinated. Dispersal agents are unknown, but most likely include 
animal and human-related vectors in the existing landscape.
    Therefore, given the uncertainty regarding specific pollinators and 
dispersal vectors, the importance of connectivity of pine rockland 
habitat discussed above for Brickellia mosieri also applies to Linum 
carteri var. carteri. We identify habitat connectivity of sufficient 
size and suitability, or habitat that can be restored to these 
conditions to support the plant's growth, distribution, and population 
expansion, to also be a PBF for L. c. var. carteri.
Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the 
Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri
    Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri continue to occur 
in habitats that are protected from incompatible human-generated 
disturbances and are only partially representative of the plants' 
historical, geographical, and ecological distributions because their 
ranges within these habitats has been reduced. These plants are still 
found in their representative plant communities of pine rocklands. 
Representative communities are located on Federal, State, local, and 
private lands that implement habitat management activities which 
benefit these plants.
    Disturbance Regime--Pine rockland is dependent on some degree of 
disturbance, most importantly from natural or prescribed fires (Loope 
and Dunevitz 1981, p. 5; Snyder et al. 2005, p. 1; Bradley and Saha 
2009, p. 4; Saha et al. 2011, pp. 169-184; FNAI 2010, p. 63). These 
fires are a vital component in maintaining native vegetation, such as 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, which require high 
light conditions and exposed substrate. Without fire, succession from 
pine rockland to rockland hammock (an upland tropical hardwood forest 
occurring over limestone) is rapid, and understory species such as B. 
mosieri and L. c. var. carteri are shaded out by dense canopy and deep 
leaf litter. In addition, displacement of native species by invasive, 
nonnative plants often occurs.
    Hurricanes and other significant weather events also create 
openings in the pine rockland canopy (FNAI 2010, p. 63), although these 
types of disturbances are more sporadic in nature and may pose a threat 
to small, isolated populations such as those that remain of Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. For L. c. var. carteri, mowing 
may also serve as another means of maintaining an open canopy where the 
plant occurs in firebreaks, rights-of-way, and cleared fields. However, 
in order to avoid potential negative impacts, the timing of mowing is 
critical and should be conducted after flowering has occurred (see 
Demographics, Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of L. c. 
var. carteri in the proposed listing rule published elsewhere in 
today's Federal Register). Mechanical control of hardwoods may also 
help maintain an open canopy in pine rockland, but cannot entirely 
replace fire since it does not have the same benefits related to 
removal of leaf litter and nutrient cycling. Natural and prescribed 
fire remains the primary and ecologically preferred disturbance regime 
for pine rockland.
    Brickellia mosieri tends to occur on exposed limestone with minimal 
organic litter and in areas with only minor amounts of substrate 
disturbance (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11). In contrast, Linum carteri 
var. carteri is currently associated with pine rocklands that have 
undergone some sort of substrate disturbance (e.g., firebreaks, canal 
banks, edges of railway beds). All known occurrences over the last 15 
years have been within either scarified pine rockland, disturbed areas 
adjacent to or within pine rocklands, or in completely disturbed areas 
having a limestone substrate (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 71; Bradley 
2013a, pers. comm.). Inadequate fire management, resulting in closed 
canopy conditions, may have excluded L. c. var. carteri (which responds 
positively to low competition and high light environments) from 
otherwise suitable pine rocklands habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 
71). Alternatively, this variety may only proliferate on sites where 
exposed substrate occurs following disturbance; historically this may 
have occurred following hurricanes (e.g., under tip-up mounds of fallen 
trees), animal disturbance, or fire (Gann 2013a, pers. comm.). Whether 
current occurrences of L. c. var. carteri reflect a need for higher 
light conditions than B. mosieri, a requirement for disturbed 
substrate, or some combination of these, or other unidentified factors, 
is unknown, and microhabitat data for either plant are generally 
lacking. The best available scientific data suggest that both plants 
require a similar disturbance regime to maintain the open canopy and 
low litter conditions characteristics of pine rockland habitat, and 
thereby maintain persistent populations.
    Therefore, based on the information above, we identify natural or 
prescribed fire or other disturbance regimes that maintain the pine 
rockland habitat, to be a PBF for these plants.

Primary Constituent Elements

    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the PBFs essential to the conservation of both Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in areas occupied at the time of 
listing, focusing on the features' primary constituent elements (PCEs). 
PCEs are those specific elements of the PBFs that provide for a 
species'

[[Page 61299]]

life-history processes and are essential to the conservation of the 
species.
    We derived the PCEs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri primarily from those PBFs that support the successful 
functioning of the habitat upon which the plants depend. Both plants 
are dependent upon functioning pine rockland habitat to provide their 
fundamental life requirements, such as substrate, species composition 
and structure of vegetation, disturbance regimes, and connectivity. The 
PCEs collectively provide the suite of PBFs essential to meeting the 
requirements of both B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri.
    Based on our current knowledge of the PBFs and habitat 
characteristics required to sustain these plants' life-history 
processes, we determine that the PCEs for Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri are:
    (1) Areas of pine rockland habitat that contain:
    (a) Open canopy, semi-open subcanopy, and understory;
    (b) Substrate of oolitic limestone rock; and
    (c) A plant community of predominately native vegetation that may 
include, but is not limited to:
    (i) Canopy vegetation dominated by Pinus elliottii var. densa 
(South Florida slash pine);
    (ii) Subcanopy vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, 
Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), 
Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch 
palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Rapanea punctata (myrsine), 
Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima lucida (locustberry), 
Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia bicolor (tetrazygia), 
Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia escallonioides 
(marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), Sideroxylon salicifolium 
(willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged sumac);
    (iii) Short-statured shrubs that may include, but are not limited 
to, Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata (white 
indigoberry), Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), Morinda 
royoc (redgal), and Chiococca alba (snowberry); and
    (iv) Understory vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, 
Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. 
sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); 
Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris 
(hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); 
Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); Echites umbellata (devil's 
potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); 
Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and 
Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern).
    (2) A disturbance regime that naturally or artificially duplicates 
natural ecological processes (e.g., fire, hurricanes, or other weather 
events) and that maintains the pine rockland habitat as described in 
PCE (1).
    (3) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient area to sustain 
viable populations of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri 
in the pine rockland habitat as described in PCE (1).

Special Management Considerations or Protection

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific 
areas within the geographic area occupied by the species at the time of 
listing contain features which are essential to the conservation of the 
species and which may require special management considerations or 
protection. The features essential to the conservation of Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri may require special management 
considerations or protection to reduce threats related to habitat loss, 
fragmentation, and modification primarily due to development; 
inadequate fire management; nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level 
rise. (For an indepth discussion of threats, see Summary of Factors 
Affecting the Species in our proposed listing rule published elsewhere 
in today's Federal Register.)
    Destruction of the pinelands for economic development has reduced 
pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP by over 98 
percent, and remaining habitat in this area is highly fragmented. Both 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri occur on a mix of 
private and publicly owned lands, only some of which are managed for 
conservation. Populations of the plants that occur on private land or 
non-conservation public land are vulnerable to habitat loss, while 
populations on conservation lands are vulnerable to the effects of 
habitat degradation if natural disturbance regimes are disrupted (e.g., 
through inadequate fire management). Prolonged lack of fire in pine 
rockland typically results in succession to rockland hammock, and 
displacement of native species by invasive, nonnative plants often 
occurs. Further development and degradation of pine rocklands increase 
fragmentation and decrease the conservation value of the remaining 
functioning pine rockland habitat. In addition, pine rocklands are 
expected to be further degraded and fragmented due to anticipated sea 
level rise, which would fully or partially inundate some pine rocklands 
along the coast and in the southern portion of Miami-Dade County (near 
Navy Wells Pineland Preserve), and cause increases in the salinity of 
the water table and soils resulting in vegetation shifts in additional 
pine rocklands across the Miami Rock Ridge. Many existing pine rockland 
fragments are also projected to be developed for housing as the human 
population grows and adjusts to changing sea levels.
    Special management considerations and protections that will address 
these threats include increased coordination and conservation of these 
plants and their habitat on Federal lands, and improved habitat 
restoration and management efforts (including fire management and 
nonnative plant treatments) of high-priority and high-elevation sites.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best 
scientific data available to designate critical habitat. In accordance 
with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), we 
review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of 
the species and identify occupied areas at the time of listing that 
contain the features essential to the conservation of the species. When 
designating critical habitat, we also consider future recovery efforts 
and conservation of the species. If after identifying currently 
occupied areas, a determination is made that those areas are inadequate 
to ensure conservation of the species, in accordance with the Act and 
our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e), we then consider 
whether designating additional areas, outside those currently occupied, 
are essential for the conservation of the species. Although the 
discussion below of our analyses and proposed critical habitat units 
are combined for simplicity to address both plants, a separate analysis 
was conducted for each plant to determine the specific habitat patches 
and status (occupied or unoccupied) for each in this proposed 
designation.
    With the exception of one occurrence of Linum carteri var. carteri, 
we have determined that all currently known occupied habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri meets the definition of 
critical habitat. We are proposing to designate critical habitat in all

[[Page 61300]]

geographical areas occupied by these plants at the time of listing 
(i.e., currently occupied), with the exception of the occurrence of a 
single individual of L. c. var. carteri found on a canal bank (not 
included due to the anomalous nature of the occurrence and because we 
were not able to define habitat patch boundaries based on the criteria 
described below). Occupied habitat for each plant consists of a 
relatively small amount of highly fragmented habitat (number or size of 
occupied patches), and occupied patches are generally isolated from one 
another within the landscape (see the Current Range, Population 
Estimates, and Status section for each plant in our proposed listing 
rule published elsewhere in today's Federal Register). In addition, the 
extent of the geographic areas currently occupied by these plants is 
substantially (up to 30 percent) smaller than their historical ranges. 
Based on these factors in relation to the threats to B. mosieri and L. 
c. var. carteri, we have determined that additional habitat is 
essential to allow sufficient habitat (total area, and number of 
patches) and connectivity for the long-term conservation of these 
plants. Therefore, we are proposing to designate as critical habitat 
unoccupied habitat both within the geographical area occupied by these 
plants at the time of listing (i.e., currently occupied), and outside 
the geographical area occupied by these plants at the time of listing 
but within their historical range, because such areas are essential for 
the conservation of these plants. We used habitat and historical 
occurrence data, and applied general conservation design principles, to 
identify unoccupied habitat essential for the conservation of these 
plants.
    To determine the general extent, location, and boundaries of 
critical habitat, the Service used the following sources of 
information:
    (1) Historical and current records of Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri occurrences and distributions found in 
publications, reports, personal communications, and associated voucher 
specimens housed at museums and private collections;
    (2) FNAI, Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC), and Fairchild 
Tropical Botanic Gardens (FTBG) geographic information system (GIS) 
data showing the location and extent of documented occurrences of 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri;
    (3) Reports and databases prepared by botanists with IRC and FTBG. 
Some of these were funded by the Service, while others were requested 
or volunteered by biologists with IRC or FTBG;
    (4) ESRI ArcGIS online basemap aerial imagery (collected December, 
2010) and Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs; 1-m true 
color; collected 2004) of Miami-Dade County. Because pine rockland 
habitat has a recognizable signature in these aerial photographs, the 
presence of PCEs was partially determined through evaluation of this 
imagery; and
    (5) GIS data depicting soils (Soil Service Geographic (SSURGO) 
dataset), land cover (South Florida Water Management District Land Use 
and Cover 2008-2009), and elevation (Dade County LiDAR 88--2003) within 
Miami-Dade County; these data were also used to determine the presence 
of PCEs.
    Due to the lack of existing taxa-specific data or recommendations 
related to conservation design (e.g., minimum area or number of 
populations needed for recovery), we used general conservation design 
principles in conjunction with the best available data for Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to identify those unoccupied 
pine rocklands with the highest conservation quality--that is, those 
areas that currently provide the best quality habitat and are likely to 
continue to do so in the future, or areas that have the highest 
restoration potential. Guidelines for conservation design, which have 
been developed using island biogeography models, are highly relevant to 
areas such as the fragmented pine rocklands of the Miami Rock Ridge 
(i.e., pine rockland islands in a sea of urban and agriculture 
development). Due to the degree of habitat loss that has already 
occurred, application of all such guidelines are somewhat limited by 
the nature of the remaining habitat (e.g., sizes, shapes, and locations 
of individual habitat patches). As such, we evaluated conservation 
quality of unoccupied pine rockland habitat using the following three 
major principles:
    (1) Geographic spread--Species that are well distributed across 
their native ranges are less susceptible to extinction than are species 
confined to small portions of their ranges.
    (2) Size--Large habitat patches are superior to small habitat 
patches, in that larger areas will support larger populations and will 
be less negatively impacted by edge effects. All else being equal, 
conservation design options that include greater areal extent are 
superior. When comparative circumstances are not otherwise equal, 
factors such as habitat quality, the presence of specific landscape 
features, and the spatial arrangement of habitat may offset a solely 
area-driven selection process.
    (3) Connectivity--Habitat that occurs in less fragmented, 
contiguous patches is preferable to habitat that is fragmented or 
isolated by urban lands. Habitat patches close to one another serve 
species of concern better than patches situated far apart. 
Interconnected patches are better than isolated patches. Conservation 
design alternatives should seek, in order of priority:
    (a) Continuity within habitat (minimize additional fragmentation);
    (b) Connectedness (increase existing habitat patches); and
    (c) Proximity (minimize distance between habitat patches).
    Using these guiding principles, we evaluated the remaining 
unoccupied pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP 
with the intent of identifying the largest patches and highest quality 
habitat available (patches of sufficient size and quality to support 
populations), in sufficient amount (i.e., sufficient numbers of 
populations) and spatial arrangement (to provide opportunities for 
future migration and colonization) to provide for the conservation of 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Our evaluation 
consisted of the following steps:
    (1) Using aerial imagery and GIS-based vegetation and soils data, 
we delineated pine rockland habitat in Miami Dade County outside of 
ENP. Pine rocklands were identified based on the presence of specific 
soil types (see ``Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other 
Nutritional or Physiological Requirements,'' above) and pine rockland 
vegetation, including fire-suppressed areas and areas where 
intergrading with rockland hammock occurs. Some cleared areas occurring 
over pine rockland soils were also delineated, with the intent that 
such areas provide opportunities for restoration. The resulting habitat 
layer consisted of 245 habitat patches.
    (2) To maximize geographic spread within the plants' historical 
ranges, we divided the extent of delineated habitat into five 
geographic areas (northeast to southwest).
    (3) For each plant, we included occupied patches in proposed 
critical habitat (25 habitat patches for Brickellia mosieri, and 6 
patches for Linum carteri var. carteri). One occurrence of L. c. var. 
carteri (a single plant found on a canal bank) is not included in 
proposed critical habitat due to the anomalous nature of the 
occurrence, and because we were not able to define patch boundaries 
based on any of the criteria described in (1) above.

[[Page 61301]]

    (4) For each plant, for the remaining (unoccupied) habitat, we 
excluded patches below the estimated minimum size for each plant based 
on expert opinion--2 ha (5 ac) for Brickellia mosieri, and 0.4 ha (1 
ac) for Linum carteri var. carteri (see ``Sites for Breeding, 
Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring,'' above). The 
resulting layers consisted of 106 habitat patches for B. mosieri, and 
218 patches for L. c. var. carteri.
    (5) For each plant, for the remaining habitat (unoccupied; 2 ha (5 
ac) or >=0.4 ha (1 ac), Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. 
carteri, respectively), we assigned a score for eight evaluation 
criteria designed to assess overall conservation quality of the patch, 
using the following five major objectives (discussed more indepth below 
and at http://www.regulations.gov):
    (a) Onsite habitat quality (intact, open pine rocklands scored 
higher than cleared patches or patches having a closed canopy);
    (b) Patch size (larger patches scored higher);
    (c) Surrounding landscape composition (pine rocklands surrounded by 
less development scored higher);
    (d) Connectivity (within each geographic area, pine rockland 
patches in closer proximity to each other and with greater numbers of 
neighbors scored higher); and
    (e) Vulnerability to sea level rise (pine rockland patches located 
at higher elevations scored higher).
    (6) For each plant, within each geographic area, we used a 
consequence matrix to evaluate the performance of each unoccupied pine 
rockland patch across the objectives described above in (5). The 
resulting total score of each patch was a 0.0-1.0 value, summed across 
all criteria, where a score of 1.0 indicates the patch in each 
geographic area that has the highest conservation quality, based on the 
defined objectives.
    Using the results of the consequence matrix for each plant, we 
evaluated potential ``cut-off'' values for patch total score by 
visually assessing and comparing habitat amounts and spatial 
arrangements between various cut-off values in order to identify the 
best conservation arrangement. Because taxa-specific data and 
recommendations were not available regarding how much area is needed 
for the conservation and recovery of Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri, we applied the general conservation design 
principles related to connectivity, above, and principles of population 
viability and metapopulation theory. Small populations and plant 
species with limited distributions, like those of B. mosieri and L. c. 
var. carteri, are vulnerable to relatively minor environmental 
disturbances (Frankham 2005, pp. 135-136), and are subject to the loss 
of genetic diversity from genetic drift, the random loss of genes, and 
inbreeding (Ellstrand and Elam 1993, pp. 217-237; Leimu et al. 2006, 
pp. 942-952). These factors increase the probability of both local 
extinctions and population extinction (Barrett and Kohn 1991, pp. 4, 
28; Newman and Pilson 1997, p. 360; Palstra and Ruzzante 2008, pp. 
3428-3447). To ameliorate these effects, the recovery of many rare 
plant species includes the creation of new sites or reintroductions to 
increase population size (each occurrence, and overall) and support 
genetic diversity. Sufficient area is also required to allow B. mosieri 
and L. c. var. carteri to expand their current distributions (curtailed 
compared to historical ranges), use habitat depending on the 
availability of suitable conditions (dynamic, related to time since 
disturbance within each patch), and maintain their ability to withstand 
local- or unit-level environmental fluctuations or catastrophes.
    Based on our assessment, as described above, we determined that 
unoccupied pine rockland patches with a total score for conservation 
quality greater than 0.50 should be proposed for critical habitat 
designation. In addition, we determined that 15 supplemental pine 
rockland patches should also be proposed for critical habitat 
designation for one or more of the following reasons: (1) A population 
of Brickellia mosieri was previously observed in the patch (although 
not recently enough to consider the population extant at this time); 
(2) addition of the patch increases conservation quality of adjacent 
proposed critical habitat; (3) addition of the patch increases 
connectivity of pine rockland habitat across the landscape; and (4) the 
patch is located at the north end of these plants' historical ranges 
(an area not captured using the consequence matrix approach). The last 
category consists of four patches with conservation quality <=0.50, due 
to some combination of lower onsite habitat quality, smaller size, and 
more development in the surrounding landscape, all of which are related 
to their position closer to Miami. While these patches may not 
represent the best habitat currently available, they do provide needed 
opportunities to increase these plants' geographic spread and restore 
the plants to the northernmost intact habitat within their historical 
ranges, which is more heavily impacted, and are essential to the 
conservation of these plants as discussed above.
Habitat Within the Geographic Range at the Time of Listing
    We are proposing seven critical habitat units, six of which contain 
habitat occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri or 
both plants. These units include the mapped extent of each plant's 
population and contain the PCEs.
    Within each of these six proposed units is also unoccupied habitat, 
which is included based on our determination that such areas are 
essential to the conservation of these plants, as discussed above. In 
addition to providing sufficient habitat (area, number of patches, 
connectivity), this unoccupied habitat allows for the dynamic nature of 
pine rockland habitat. Conditions within pine rockland patches, such as 
the openness of the canopy and understory and the accumulation of leaf 
litter over the limestone substrate, vary greatly across the landscape 
and across time. Only a portion of the delineated habitat is suitable 
for Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri, or both plants, 
at any given time, and the size and location of suitable areas within 
the population is dynamic over time, being largely driven by the 
frequency and scale of natural or prescribed fires and other types of 
disturbance (e.g., for L. c. var. carteri, mowing or, seemingly, events 
that disturb the limestone substrate). Although prescribed burns are 
administered on conservation lands that retain B. mosieri or L. c. var. 
carteri, or both, populations, fire return intervals and scope are 
inconsistent. Thus, areas of pine rockland habitat that now support one 
or both of these plants may not support the plants in the future, as 
inadequate fire management removes or fragments suitable habitat. 
Conversely, suitable habitat conditions may return or increase in areas 
following natural or prescribed fires, allowing opportunities for the 
plants to expand or colonize these areas in the future.
    The delineation of proposed units (occupied plus unoccupied 
patches) also includes space to plan for the persistence of Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri populations in the face of 
imminent effects on habitats as a result of sea level rise. Although 
occupied habitat within each proposed unit contains the PCEs, some of 
these areas may be altered, as a result of vegetation shifts or salt 
water intrusion, to an extent which cannot be predicted at this time.

[[Page 61302]]

    In identifying unoccupied patches with these proposed units, we 
considered the following additional criteria, which we incorporated 
into the consequence matrix described above:
    (1) Objective 1 (onsite habitat quality): Pine rockland areas of 
sufficient habitat quality to support the growth and reproduction of 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. In general, areas of 
intact pine rockland having an open canopy and understory are more 
likely to support populations of these plants over the long term. In 
some cases, disturbed or cleared pine rockland areas have also been 
included in the designation; these areas possess other desirable 
characteristics (e.g., size, connectivity) and could allow B. mosieri 
or L. c. var. carteri to expand from areas already occupied by these 
plants. These areas are typically habitats within or adjacent to pine 
rocklands that have been affected by natural or anthropogenic impacts, 
but that retain areas that are still suitable for the plants. These 
areas would help to off-set the anticipated loss and degradation of 
habitat occurring or expected from the effects of climate change (such 
as sea level rise) or due to development.
    (2) Objective 2 (patch size): Pine rockland areas of sufficient 
size to support ecosystem processes for populations of Brickellia 
mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. Given areas of equal habitat 
quality, larger areas would be ranked higher in our evaluation.
    (3) Objective 3 (surrounding landscape composition): Pine rockland 
areas within a suitable landscape to allow for natural disturbance 
regimes--specifically, prescribed fire--and to minimize negative 
impacts related to changes in hydrology or nutrient/pollution inputs 
from the surrounding area. Pine rocklands surrounded by other natural 
communities will likely provide higher quality habitat in the long term 
than pine rocklands that are imbedded in a highly urbanized or 
agricultural matrix. Given areas of equal habitat quality and size, 
areas with more natural communities and less urban development in the 
surrounding area would be ranked higher in our evaluation.
    (4) Objective 4 (connectivity): Pine rockland areas of sufficient 
amount and arrangement to maintain connectivity of habitat to allow for 
population sustainability and expansion. Sufficient connectivity of 
pine rockland habitat will contribute to the availability of 
pollinators of appropriate type and sufficient numbers to allow 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to reproduce and 
ensure sustainable populations, and to allow for population expansion 
through seed dispersal. Given areas of equal habitat quality, size, and 
surrounding landscape composition, those patches having more and closer 
neighbors (i.e., other pine rockland patches) would be ranked higher in 
our evaluation.
    (5) Objective 5 (vulnerability to sea level rise): Pine rockland 
areas of suitable elevation to reduce vulnerability to sea level rise. 
Those pine rocklands situated at higher elevations are less likely to 
be negatively affected by either inundation or vegetation shifts caused 
by changes in the salinity of the water table and soils associated with 
sea level rise. Given areas of equal conservation quality as described 
above, those patches having a higher average elevation would be ranked 
higher in our evaluation.
    A complete description regarding how these objectives were weighted 
and evaluated in our consequence matrix can be found in the 
supplemental materials provided with the rule at http://www.regulations.gov.
Habitat Outside of the Geographic Range at the Time of Listing
    We are proposing one critical habitat unit that is unoccupied by 
either Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri but has been 
determined to be essential to the conservation of both plants. This 
unit represents a portion of these plants' historical ranges in which 
the plants have been extirpated (see Current Range, Population 
Estimates, and Status for both plants in our proposed listing rule 
published elsewhere in today's Federal Register), and the unoccupied 
proposed critical habitat patches are the only pine rockland habitat 
that remains in this area. While the full extent of B. mosieri's 
historical range is unknown, due to limited data, comparing its current 
distribution to historical observations suggests that its range has 
contracted at least 13 percent. Likewise, the historical range of L. c. 
var. carteri has been reduced approximately 30 percent. The reductions 
in the historical ranges of these plants have occurred almost entirely 
in their northern portions, between Pinecrest and South Miami/Coconut 
Grove. As noted earlier, little pine rockland habitat has escaped urban 
development in this area, and those patches that remain are of lesser 
conservation quality due to lower onsite habitat quality, smaller patch 
sizes, and higher amounts of development in the surrounding landscape. 
While these patches may not represent the best pine rockland habitat 
currently available, they provide needed habitat to increase these 
plants' geographic spread to currently unoccupied portions of their 
historical ranges, and are essential for the conservation of the two 
plants.
    In summary, for occupied habitat within the geographic area 
occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri at the 
time of listing (i.e., currently occupied), we delineated proposed 
critical habitat unit boundaries by evaluating habitat suitability of 
pine rockland habitat within this geographic area, and retained those 
areas that contain some or all of the PCEs to support life-history 
functions essential for conservation of these plants.
    For unoccupied habitat within the geographic area occupied by 
Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri at the time of listing 
(i.e., currently unoccupied), we delineated proposed critical habitat 
unit boundaries by evaluating five objectives incorporated into the 
consequence matrix (see discussion above).
    For habitat outside the geographic area occupied by the plant at 
the time of listing, we delineated proposed critical habitat unit 
boundaries based on the availability of remaining pine rockland habitat 
in the unit. All four available patches were included in the 
delineation in order to provide sufficient area for Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri to expand their current restricted 
ranges.
    When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, we made 
every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered 
by buildings, pavement, and other structures. The scale of the maps we 
prepared under the parameters for publication within the Code of 
Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of such developed 
lands. Any such lands inadvertently left inside proposed critical 
habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this proposed rule have been 
excluded by text in the proposed rule and are not proposed for 
designation as critical habitat. Therefore, if the critical habitat is 
finalized as proposed, a Federal action involving these lands would not 
trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the 
requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would 
affect the adjacent critical habitat.
    The critical habitat designation is defined by the map or maps, as 
modified by any accompanying regulatory text, presented at the end of 
this document in Proposed Regulation Promulgation section. In this 
proposed rule, we present one set of maps that show the proposed 
critical habitat

[[Page 61303]]

designations for both plants. In the final rule, we plan to present a 
separate set of maps for each plant. We include more detailed 
information on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in 
the preamble of this document. We will make the coordinates or plot 
points or both on which each map is based available to the public on 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108, on our 
Internet site at www.fws.gov/verobeach/ verobeach/, and at the field office 
responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, 
above).

Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    None of the seven critical habitat units proposed for Brickellia 
mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri is currently designated as 
critical habitat for other species under the Act. Two of the critical 
habitat units (Units 4 and 7) proposed for these plants overlap areas 
that have been proposed as critical habitat for the Florida leafwing 
butterfly (Anaea troglodyta floridalis), and three of the critical 
habitat units (Units 4, 6, and 7) proposed for these plants overlap 
areas that have been proposed as critical habitat for the Bartram's 
scrub-hairstreak butterfly (Strymon acis bartrami), under the Act (see 
78 FR 49831; August 15, 2013), but the Service has not yet made a final 
determination on these designations.
    The seven units (all located in Miami-Dade County, Florida) we 
propose as critical habitat are: (1) Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and 
surrounding areas; (2) Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and 
surrounding areas; (3) Unit 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and surrounding areas; (4) 
Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and surrounding areas; (5) Unit 5: Quail 
Roost Pineland and surrounding areas; (6) Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer 
and surrounding areas; and (7) Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and 
surrounding areas. Because of the highly fragmented nature of the 
remaining pine rockland habitat, these large overall unit boundaries 
have been identified that encompass the small, multiple designations 
within each unit; only the specific patches within the unit boundaries 
(see unit maps in the Proposed Regulation Promulgation section, below) 
are proposed as critical habitat. Within each unit, we determined the 
specific habitat patches to include in the proposed critical habitat 
for each plant, using the methods described above. In many cases, the 
same habitat patch may be included in the proposed critical habitat for 
both plants, resulting in overlap of proposed critical habitat within 
the unit. Thus, the ``combined'' area of critical habitat within a 
unit, which encompasses all proposed habitat patches within a unit, is 
less than the sum of critical habitat for each plant, due to the large 
overlap. Table 1 shows land ownership, area, and occupancy of each 
critical habitat unit, broken down by plant and using the combined 
approach. Land ownership within the combined proposed critical habitat 
consists of Federal (12 percent), State (20 percent), County/local (46 
percent), and private and other (22 percent; category consists of 
private individuals, companies, associations, and organizations, 
including nonprofit organizations). State lands are interspersed within 
Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department lands that are 
managed for conservation. Except for Unit 1 (which is entirely 
unoccupied by either plant), the critical habitat units are composed of 
both occupied and unoccupied habitat.

  Table 1--Proposed Critical Habitat Units for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri--Ownership for Each Unit Is Described as the Percent (%) of the Total and Area (hectares = ha,
                                                                        acres = ac) Within Each Unit and Across all Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            Brickellia mosieri         Linum carteri var.              Combined
                                                                                       ---------------------------          carteri          ---------------------------
              Unit No.                       Unit name                Ownership                                   ---------------------------                                   Occupied*
                                                                                           %       (ha)     (ac)      %       (ha)     (ac)      %       (ha)     (ac)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1...................................  Trinity Pineland and     State..................       23        4       10       21        4       10       21        4       10  No.
                                       surrounding areas.      County/Local...........       28        5       12       34        7       16       34        7       16
                                                               Private/Other..........       49        9       21       45        9       21       45        9       21
                                                               Total..................      100       18       43      100       19       48      100       19       48
2...................................  Nixon Smiley Pineland    State..................       45       48      119       45       48      119       45       48      119  B. mosieri = Yes.
                                       Preserve and                                                                                                                      L. c. var. carteri =
                                       surrounding areas.                                                                                                                 Yes.
                                                               County/Local...........       54       58      143       54       58      143       54       58      143
                                                               Private/Other..........        1        1        2        1        1        2        1        1        2
                                                               Total..................      100      107      264      100      107      264      100      107      264
3...................................  USDA Subtropical         Federal................       49       59      145       49       59      145       49       59      145  B. mosieri = No.
                                       Horticultural Research                                                                                                            L. c. var. carteri =
                                       Station and                                                                                                                        Yes.
                                       surrounding areas.
                                                               State..................       38       45      112       38       45      112       38       45      112
                                                               County/Local...........        6        7       18        6        7       18        6        7       18
                                                               Private/Other..........        7        8       20        7        9       21        7        9       21
                                                               Total..................      100      119      295      100      120      297      100      120      297
4...................................  Richmond Pinelands and   Federal................       20       77      191       20       77      191       20       77      191  B. mosieri = Yes.
                                       surrounding areas.                                                                                                                L. c. var. carteri =
                                                                                                                                                                          No.
                                                               County/Local...........       59      231      570       61      231      571       59      231      571
                                                               Private/Other..........       21       83      205       19       73      180       21       84      208
                                                               Total..................      100      391      965      100      381      942      100      392      970
5...................................  Quail Roost Pineland     State..................       43       42      103       42       42      103       40       42      103  B. mosieri = Yes.
                                       and surrounding areas.                                                                                                            L. c. var. carteri =
                                                                                                                                                                          No.
                                                               County/Local...........       12       11       28       14       13       33       13       13       33
                                                               Private/Other..........       45       43      107       44       43      106       47       49      120
                                                               Total..................      100       96      238      100       98      242      100      104      256

[[Page 61304]]

 
6...................................  Camp Owaissa Bauer and   State..................       15       18       44       14       18       44       14       18       44  B. mosieri = Yes.
                                       surrounding areas.                                                                                                                L. c. var. carteri =
                                                                                                                                                                          Yes.
                                                               County/Local...........       51       58      144       46       58      144       46       58      144
                                                               Private/Other..........       34       39       97       40       52      127       40       52      127
                                                               Total..................      100      115      285      100      128      315      100      128      315
7...................................  Navy Wells Pineland      State..................       29       65      159       28       57      141       29       65      159  B. mosieri = Yes.
                                       Preserve and                                                                                                                      L. c. var. carteri =
                                       surrounding areas.                                                                                                                 No.
                                                               County/Local...........       56      125      309       61      122      302       55      125      309
                                                               Private/Other..........       16       35       87       11       22       54       16       36       89
                                                               Total..................      100      225      555      100      201      497      100      226      558
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Total All Units........  Federal................       13      136      336       13      136      336       12      136      336
                                                               State..................       21      222      547       20      214      529       20      222      548
                                                               County/Local...........       46      495    1,224       47      497    1,228       46      500    1,235
                                                               Private/Other..........       20      218      538       20      207      512       22      238      589
                                                               Total..................      100    1,071    2,646      100    1,054    2,605      100    1,096    2,707
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding
* Occupancy varies by patch within each unit, but each unit contains occupied patches for the plant listed. Patch groupings (i.e., into a small number of units) were done to provide a more
  efficient rule framework.

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum 
carteri var. carteri or both plants, below. If additional information 
is needed regarding individual parcels, including unnamed, smaller 
parcels in private or other ownership, that can be obtained from the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field 
Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida

    Unit 1 consists of approximately 18 ha (43 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 19 ha (48 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in 
this unit, for a combined total of approximately 19 ha (48 ac) in 
Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Trinity 
Pineland County Park (4 ha (10 ac)); County lands within Tropical Park 
and A. D. ``Doug'' Barnes Park (7 ha (16 ac)); and parcels in private 
ownership (9 ha (21 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 24 
Street, on the south by the Snapper Creek Expressway (State Road (SR) 
878), on the east by SW 67 Avenue, and on the west by SW 87 Avenue.
    The unit is within the historical ranges of both Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri, although data are lacking regarding 
historical occupancy of the specific proposed critical habitat patches 
in the unit. This unit includes the only remaining pine rockland 
habitat in this northern portion of the Miami Rock Ridge. None of the 
habitat in this unit is currently occupied, but it is essential to the 
conservation of both plants because it serves to protect habitat needed 
to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the 
historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout 
the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It 
also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, 
should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current 
locations.

Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and Surrounding Areas, Miami-
Dade County, Florida

    Unit 2 consists of approximately 107 ha (264 ac) of habitat in 
Miami-Dade County for both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri; the critical habitat proposed for each of these plants is 
identical within this unit. The unit is comprised of State lands within 
Camp Matecumbe, Tamiami Pineland Complex Addition, and Rockdale 
Pineland (48 ha (119 ac)); County/local lands within Ron Ehman Park, 
Pine Shore Pineland Preserve, Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve, Tamiami 
8 (Nixon Smiley Addition) Pineland, and Rockdale Pineland 
Addition (58 ha (143 ac)); and parcels in private or other ownership (1 
ha (2 ac)). This unit is bordered on the north by SW 104 Street, on the 
south by SW 152 Street (Coral Reef Drive), on the east by U.S. 1 (South 
Dixie Highway), and on the west by SW 177 Avenue (Krome Avenue).
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
habitat within the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (3 
occurrences; approximately 21 ha (52 ac)) or Linum carteri var. carteri 
(1 occurrence; approximately 16 ha (39 ac)) or both plants. This 
occupied habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine 
rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation 
composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, 
and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs 
in this unit may require special management considerations or 
protection to address threats of habitat fragmentation; inadequate fire 
management; competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level 
rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically 
occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either 
B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential 
to the conservation of these plants because it serves to protect 
habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations 
within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations 
throughout the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade 
County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic 
events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their 
current locations.

[[Page 61305]]

Unit 3: USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and Surrounding 
Areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida

    Unit 3 consists of approximately 119 ha (295 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 120 ha (297 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for each of these plants is 
nearly identical within this unit, for a combined total of 
approximately 120 ha (297 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is 
comprised of Federal lands within the USDA Subtropical Horticultural 
Research Station (59 ha (145 ac)); State lands within the R. Hardy 
Matheson Preserve, Ludlam Pineland, Deering Estate at Cutler, and 
Deering Estate South Addition (45 ha (112 ac)); County/local lands 
within the Ned Glenn Nature Preserve and Coral Reef Park (7 ha (18 
ac)); and parcels in private ownership (9 ha (21 ac)). This unit is 
bordered on the north by SW 112 Street, on the south by the 
intersection of Old Cutler Road and Franjo Road (County Road (CR) 977), 
on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by U.S. 1 (South 
Dixie Highway).
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
of the habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Linum carteri var. 
carteri (3 occurrences; approximately 62 ha (153 ac)). This occupied 
habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland 
habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition 
and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat 
connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; inadequate fire management; 
competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise, 
including storm surge. Unoccupied habitat in the unit is essential to 
the conservation of Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri because 
it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these plants, 
reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of these 
plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical distribution 
of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides habitat for 
recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or both plants be 
extirpated from one of their current locations.

Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida

    Unit 4 consists of approximately 391 ha (965 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 381 ha (942 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in 
this unit, for a combined total of approximately 392 ha (970 ac) in 
Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of Federal lands owned by the 
U.S. Coast Guard (Homeland Security), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(Department of Defense), U.S. Prisons Bureau, and the U.S. Department 
of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (77 ha (191 
ac)); County/local lands within and adjacent to Larry and Penny 
Thompson Park, Martinez Pineland, and Zoo Miami (231 ha (571 ac)); and 
parcels in private or other ownership (84 ha (208 ac)). This unit is 
bordered on the north by SW 152 Street (Coral Reef Drive), on the south 
by SW 200 St (Quail Drive/SR 994), on the east by U.S. 1 (South Dixie 
Highway), and on the west by SW 177 Avenue (Krome Avenue).
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (4 
occurrences; approximately 267 ha (660 ac)). All four occurrences are 
within the Richmond Pinelands, which together compose the largest 
remaining group of contiguous fragments of pine rockland habitat 
outside of ENP. This occupied habitat contains all of the PCEs, 
including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable 
vegetation composition and structure, natural or artificial disturbance 
regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. 
The PCEs in this unit may require special management considerations or 
protection to address threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; 
inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, invasive 
plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat within this 
unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it is not 
currently occupied by either B. mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. 
This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of these 
plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover these 
plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges of 
these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical 
distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides 
habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or 
both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations.

Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida

    Unit 5 consists of approximately 96 ha (238 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 98 ha (242 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in 
this unit, for a combined total of approximately 104 ha (256 ac) in 
Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Quail 
Roost Pineland, Goulds Pineland and Addition, and Silver Palm Groves 
Pineland (42 ha (103 ac)); County/local lands including Medsouth Park, 
Black Creek Forest, and Rock Pit 46 (13 ha (33 ac)); and 
parcels in private ownership (49 ha (120 ac)), including Porter-Russell 
Pineland owned by the Tropical Audubon Society. This unit is bordered 
on the north by SW 200 St (Quail Drive/SR 994), on the south by SW 248 
Street, on the east by the Florida Turnpike, and on the west by SW 194 
Avenue.
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (2 
occurrences; approximately 28 ha (70 ac)). This occupied habitat 
contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, 
oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition and 
structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat 
connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of habitat fragmentation; inadequate fire management; 
competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. 
Unoccupied habitat in the unit is essential to the conservation of B. 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri because it serves to protect 
habitat needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations 
within the historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations 
throughout the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade 
County. It also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic 
events, should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their 
current locations.

Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida

    Unit 6 consists of approximately 115 ha (285 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 128 ha (315 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in 
this unit, for a combined total

[[Page 61306]]

of approximately 128 ha (315 ac) in Miami-Dade County. The unit is 
comprised of State lands within Owaissa Bauer Pineland Addition, West 
Biscayne Pineland, Ingram Pineland, and Fuchs Hammock Addition (18 ha 
(44 ac)); County/local lands including Camp Owaissa Bauer, Pine Island 
Lake Park, Seminole Wayside Park, and Northrop Pineland (58 ha (144 
ac)); and parcels in private ownership (52 ha (127 ac)), including the 
private conservation area, Pine Ridge Sanctuary. This unit is bordered 
on the north by SW 248 Street, on the south by SW 312 Street, on the 
east by SW 112 Avenue, and on the west by SW 217 Avenue.
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
habitat in the unit is currently occupied by either Brickellia mosieri 
(5 occurrences; approximately 27 ha (67 ac)) or Linum carteri var. 
carteri (2 occurrences; approximately 9 ha (23 ac)). This occupied 
habitat contains some or all of the PCEs, including pine rockland 
habitat, oolitic limestone substrate, suitable vegetation composition 
and structure, natural or artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat 
connectivity of sufficient size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of habitat loss and fragmentation; inadequate fire management; 
competition with nonnative, invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some 
of the unoccupied habitat within this unit was historically occupied by 
B. mosieri, although it is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri 
or L. c. var. carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the 
conservation of these plants because it serves to protect habitat 
needed to recover these plants, reestablish wild populations within the 
historical ranges of these plants, and maintain populations throughout 
the historical distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It 
also provides habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, 
should one or both plants be extirpated from one of their current 
locations.

Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and Surrounding Areas, Miami-Dade 
County, Florida

    Unit 7 consists of approximately 225 ha (555 ac) of habitat for 
Brickellia mosieri and approximately 201 ha (497 ac) for Linum carteri 
var. carteri. The critical habitat proposed for these plants overlap in 
this unit, for a combined total of approximately 226 ha (558 ac) in 
Miami-Dade County. The unit is comprised of State lands within Florida 
City Pineland, Palm Drive Pineland, Navy Wells Pineland Preserve 
(portion), Navy Wells Pineland 23, and Navy Wells Pineland 
39 (65 ha (159 ac)); County/local lands including Navy Wells 
Pineland Preserve (portion) and Sunny Palms Pineland (125 ha (309 ac)); 
and parcels in private ownership (36 ha (89 ac)). This unit is bordered 
on the north by SW 320 Street, on the south by SW 368 Street, on the 
east by U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway), and on the west by SW 217 Avenue.
    This unit is composed of both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Some 
habitat in the unit is currently occupied by Brickellia mosieri (1 
occurrence; approximately 134 ha (330 ac)). This occurrence is on Navy 
Wells Pineland Preserve, which is one of the largest remaining areas of 
pine rockland habitats outside of ENP. This occupied habitat contains 
all of the PCEs, including pine rockland habitat, oolitic limestone 
substrate, suitable vegetation composition and structure, natural or 
artificial disturbance regimes, and habitat connectivity of sufficient 
size and suitability. The PCEs in this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to address threats of habitat 
fragmentation; inadequate fire management; competition with nonnative, 
invasive plants; and sea level rise. Some of the unoccupied habitat 
within this unit was historically occupied by B. mosieri, although it 
is not currently occupied by either B. mosieri or Linum carteri var. 
carteri. This unoccupied habitat is essential to the conservation of 
these plants because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover 
these plants, reestablish wild populations within the historical ranges 
of these plants, and maintain populations throughout the historical 
distribution of these plants in Miami-Dade County. It also provides 
habitat for recovery in the case of stochastic events, should one or 
both plants be extirpated from one of their current locations.

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to ensure that any action they fund, authorize, or carry out 
is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered 
species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of designated critical habitat of such species. In 
addition, section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer with the Service on any agency action which is likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any species proposed to be listed 
under the Act or result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
proposed critical habitat.
    Decisions by the 5th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals have 
invalidated our regulatory definition of ``destruction or adverse 
modification'' (50 CFR 402.02) (see Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 378 F. 3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2004) and Sierra 
Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 245 F.3d 434 (5th Cir. 2001)), 
and we do not rely on this regulatory definition when analyzing whether 
an action is likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. 
Under the provisions of the Act, we determine destruction or adverse 
modification on the basis of whether, with implementation of the 
proposed Federal action, the affected critical habitat would continue 
to serve its intended conservation role for the species.
    If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical 
habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) must enter into 
consultation with us. Examples of actions that are subject to the 
section 7 consultation process are actions on State, tribal, local, or 
private lands that require a Federal permit (such as a permit from the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act 
(33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or a permit from the Service under section 10 
of the Act) or that involve some other Federal action (such as funding 
from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation 
Administration, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Federal 
actions not affecting listed species or critical habitat, and actions 
on State, tribal, local, or private lands that are not federally funded 
or authorized, do not require section 7 consultation.
    As a result of section 7 consultation, we document compliance with 
the requirements of section 7(a)(2) through our issuance of:
    (1) A concurrence letter for Federal actions that may affect, but 
are not likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat; 
or
    (2) A biological opinion for Federal actions that may affect and 
are likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat.
    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species and/or 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we provide reasonable and 
prudent alternatives to the project, if any are identifiable, that 
would avoid the likelihood of jeopardy and/or destruction or adverse 
modification of

[[Page 61307]]

critical habitat. We define ``reasonable and prudent alternatives'' (at 
50 CFR 402.02) as alternative actions identified during consultation 
that:
    (1) Can be implemented in a manner consistent with the intended 
purpose of the action,
    (2) Can be implemented consistent with the scope of the Federal 
agency's legal authority and jurisdiction,
    (3) Are economically and technologically feasible, and
    (4) Would, in the Director's opinion, avoid the likelihood of 
jeopardizing the continued existence of the listed species and/or avoid 
the likelihood of destroying or adversely modifying critical habitat.
    Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight project 
modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the project. Costs 
associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent alternative are 
similarly variable.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where we have 
listed a new species or subsequently designated critical habitat that 
may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary 
involvement or control over the action (or the agency's discretionary 
involvement or control is authorized by law). Consequently, Federal 
agencies sometimes may need to request reinitiation of consultation 
with us on actions for which formal consultation has been completed, if 
those actions with discretionary involvement or control may affect 
subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat.
Application of the ``Adverse Modification'' Standard
    The key factor related to the adverse modification determination is 
whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the 
affected critical habitat would continue to serve its intended 
conservation role for the species. Activities that may destroy or 
adversely modify critical habitat are those that alter the physical or 
biological features to an extent that appreciably reduces the 
conservation value of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri or Linum 
carteri var. carteri. As discussed above, the role of critical habitat 
is to support life-history needs of these plants and provide for the 
conservation of these plants.
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and 
describe, in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical 
habitat, activities involving a Federal action that may destroy or 
adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such 
designation.
    Activities that may affect critical habitat, when carried out, 
funded, or authorized by a Federal agency, should result in 
consultation for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. 
These activities include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Actions that would significantly alter the pine rockland 
ecosystem, including significant alterations to hydrology or substrate. 
Such activities may include, but are not limited to, residential, 
commercial, or recreational development, including associated 
infrastructure.
    (2) Actions that would significantly alter vegetation structure or 
composition, such as suppression of natural fires or excessive 
prescribed burning, or clearing vegetation for construction of 
residential, commercial, or recreational development and associated 
infrastructure.
    (3) Actions that would introduce nonnative plant species that would 
significantly alter vegetation structure or composition. Such 
activities may include, but are not limited to, residential and 
commercial development, and associated infrastructure.

Exemptions

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

    Specifically, section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) provides that: ``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 
(INRMP) prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), 
if the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a 
benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for 
designation.'' There are Department of Defense lands (owned by the U.S. 
Coast Guard (Homeland Security) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) 
within the critical habitat designation area; however, none of the 
lands are covered by an INRMP. Accordingly, no lands that otherwise 
meet the definition of critical habitat are exempt under section 
4(a)(3)(B)(i).

Exclusions

Application of Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall 
designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the 
best available scientific data after taking into consideration the 
economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant 
impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The 
Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if she determines 
that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying 
such area as part of the critical habitat, unless she determines, based 
on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate 
such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the 
species. In making that determination, the statute on its face, as well 
as the legislative history, are clear that the Secretary has broad 
discretion regarding which factor(s) to use and how much weight to give 
to any factor.
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we may exclude an area from 
designated critical habitat based on economic impacts, impacts on 
national security, or any other relevant impacts. In considering 
whether to exclude a particular area from the designation, we identify 
the benefits of including the area in the designation, identify the 
benefits of excluding the area from the designation, and evaluate 
whether the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion. 
If the analysis indicates that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of inclusion, the Secretary may exercise her discretion to 
exclude the area only if such exclusion would not result in the 
extinction of the species.
Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts 
of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. We are preparing 
an analysis of economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat 
designation and related factors.
    During the development of a final designation, we will consider 
economic impacts based on information in our economic analysis, public 
comments, and other new information, and areas may be excluded from the 
final critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the Act and 
our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.19.
Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are 
lands where a national security impact might exist. In preparing this 
proposal, we have determined that some lands within the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri are owned or managed by the Department of Defense 
and the Department of Homeland Security.

[[Page 61308]]

However, we anticipate no impact on national security. Consequently, 
the Secretary does not anticipate exercising her discretion to exclude 
any areas from the final designation based on impacts on national 
security.
Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts
    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider any other relevant 
impacts, in addition to economic impacts and impacts on national 
security. We consider a number of factors, including whether the 
landowners have developed any HCPs or other management plans for the 
area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be 
encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. In 
addition, we look at any tribal issues, and consider the government-to-
government relationship of the United States with tribal entities. We 
also consider any social impacts that might occur because of the 
designation.
    In preparing this proposed rule, we have determined that there are 
currently no HCPs or other management plans specifically for Brickellia 
mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. Properties under Miami-Dade 
County's Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Covenant Program (i.e., 
properties with temporary conservation easements) are required to have 
habitat management plans in place for the easement's 10-year duration 
(which can be renewed). However, because such easements are temporary 
and voluntary, and without information regarding the type or amount of 
habitat management that is required for each property or whether there 
is any mechanism to ensure the management occurs, we do not propose to 
exclude such areas at this time. We are requesting additional 
information on these sites. The proposed designation does not include 
any tribal lands or additional trust resources. We anticipate no impact 
on tribal lands, partnerships, or HCPs from this proposed critical 
habitat designation. Accordingly, although it is possible that some 
areas may be excluded from the final rule based on additional 
information on conservation easements, at this point the Secretary does 
not propose to exercise her discretion to exclude any areas from the 
final designation based on other relevant impacts.

Peer Review

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

Public Hearings

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

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not 
significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes 
further that regulations must be based on the best available science 
and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and 
an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner 
consistent with these requirements.

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

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 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 
(small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a 
certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.
    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities 
include small organizations such as independent nonprofit 
organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses 
include such businesses as manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer 
than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 
employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in 
annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than 
$27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less 
than $11.5 million in annual business, and forestry and logging 
operations with fewer than 500 employees and annual business less than 
$7 million. To determine whether small entities may be affected, we 
will consider the types of activities that might trigger regulatory 
impacts under this designation as well as types of project 
modifications that may result. In general, the term ``significant 
economic impact'' is meant to apply to a typical small business firm's 
business operations.
    Importantly, the incremental impacts of a rule must be both 
significant and substantial to prevent certification of the rule under 
the RFA and to require the preparation of an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis. If a substantial number of small entities are 
affected by the proposed critical habitat designation, but the per-
entity economic impact is not significant, the Service may certify. 
Likewise, if the per-entity economic impact is likely to be 
significant, but the number of affected entities is not substantial, 
the Service may also certify.

[[Page 61309]]

    Under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, 
Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential 
incremental impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated 
by the rulemaking itself, and not the potential impacts to indirectly 
affected entities. The regulatory mechanism through which critical 
habitat protections are realized is section 7 of the Act, which 
requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Service, to ensure 
that any action authorized, funded, or carried by the agency is not 
likely to adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, only Federal 
action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory 
requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by 
critical habitat designation. Under these circumstances, it is our 
position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated 
by this designation. Therefore, because Federal agencies are not small 
entities, the Service certifies that the proposed critical habitat rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    In conclusion, based on our interpretation of directly regulated 
entities under the RFA and relevant case law, this designation of 
critical habitat would only directly regulate Federal agencies, which 
are not by definition small business entities. As such, we certify 
that, if promulgated, this designation of critical habitat will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use--Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) requires 
agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking 
certain actions. We do not expect that the designation of this proposed 
critical habitat would significantly affect energy supplies, 
distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant 
energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. However, 
we will further evaluate this issue as we conduct our economic 
analysis, and review and revise this assessment as warranted.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), we make the following findings:
    (1) This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate. In 
general, a Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or 
regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or 
tribal governments, or the private sector, and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments'' with two 
exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of Federal assistance.'' It also 
excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal 
program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing Federal 
program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, 
local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' if the 
provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of assistance'' 
or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's 
responsibility to provide funding,'' and the State, local, or tribal 
governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. At the time of 
enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families 
with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; 
Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; 
Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family 
Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. ``Federal 
private sector mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose an 
enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of 
Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a 
voluntary Federal program.''
    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally 
binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. 
Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must 
ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical 
habitat under section 7. While non-Federal entities that receive 
Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require 
approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be 
indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally 
binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the 
extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they 
receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid 
program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply, nor would 
critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs 
listed above onto State governments.
    (2) We lack the available economic information to determine if a 
Small Government Agency Plan is required. Therefore, we defer this 
finding until completion of the draft economic analysis is prepared 
under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

Takings--Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (``Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property 
Rights''), this rule is not anticipated to have significant takings 
implications. As discussed above, the designation of critical habitat 
affects only Federal actions. Critical habitat designation does not 
affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or 
permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation 
programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that 
do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. Once the economic 
analysis is available, we will review and revise this preliminary 
assessment as warranted, and prepare a takings implication assessment.

Federalism--Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism), this 
proposed rule does not have significant Federalism effects. A 
federalism summary impact statement is not required. In keeping with 
Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce policy, we 
requested information from, and coordinated development of, this 
proposed critical habitat designation with appropriate State resource 
agencies in Florida. From a federalism perspective, the designation of 
critical habitat directly affects only the responsibilities of Federal 
agencies. The Act imposes no other duties with respect to critical 
habitat, either for States and local governments, or for anyone else. 
As a result, the rule would not have substantial direct effects either 
on the States, or on the relationship between the national government 
and the States, or on the distribution of powers and responsibilities 
among the various levels of government. The designation could have some 
benefit to these governments because the areas that contain the 
features essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly 
defined, and the physical and biological features of the habitat 
necessary to the conservation of the

[[Page 61310]]

species are specifically identified. This information does not alter 
where and what federally sponsored activities may occur. However, it 
may assist these local governments in long-range planning (because 
these local governments no longer have to wait for case-by-case section 
7 consultations to occur).
    Where State and local governments require approval or authorization 
from a Federal agency for actions that may affect critical habitat, 
consultation under section 7(a)(2) would be required. While non-Federal 
entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that 
otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for 
an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical 
habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency.

Civil Justice Reform--Executive Order 12988

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), 
the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not 
unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We are proposing to designate 
critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the Act. To 
assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the species, 
the rule identifies the elements of physical or biological features 
essential to the conservation of the species. The areas of proposed 
critical habitat are presented on maps, and the rule provides several 
options for the interested public to obtain more detailed location 
information, if desired.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or 
reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, 
businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and 
a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    It is our position that, outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court 
of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we do not need to prepare 
environmental analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy 
Act in connection with designating critical habitat under the Act. We 
published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the 
Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was 
upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas 
County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 
1042 (1996)).

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 
(Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and 
Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, 
Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), 
we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with 
tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge 
that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal 
public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make 
information available to tribes.
    We determined that there are no tribal lands that are currently 
occupied by Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri that 
contain the features essential for conservation of these plants, and no 
tribal lands unoccupied by either plant that are essential for the 
conservation of these plants. Therefore, we are not proposing to 
designate critical habitat for B. mosieri or L. c. var. carteri on 
tribal lands.

Clarity of the Rule

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

References Cited

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

Authors

    The primary authors of this package are the staff members of the 
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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

PART 17-- ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

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

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.96(a) by:
0
a. Adding Family Linaceae in alphabetical order to the list of 
families;
0
b. Adding an entry for ``Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush)'' 
in alphabetical order under the family Asteraceae; and
0
c. Adding an entry for ``Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's small-
flowered flax)'' in alphabetical order under the family Linaceae.
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  17.96  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
    Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush)
    (1) Critical habitat units for Brickellia mosieri are depicted for 
Miami-Dade County, Florida, on the maps below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
Brickellia mosieri are:
    (i) Areas of pine rockland habitat that contain:
    (A) Open canopy, semi-open subcanopy, and understory;

[[Page 61311]]

    (B) Substrate of oolitic limestone rock; and
    (C) A plant community of predominately native vegetation that may 
include, but is not limited to:
    (1) Canopy vegetation dominated by Pinus elliottii var. densa 
(South Florida slash pine);
    (2) Subcanopy vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, 
Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm), 
Coccothrinax argentata (silver palm), Thrinax morrisii (brittle thatch 
palm), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Rapanea punctata (myrsine), 
Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), Byrsonima lucida (locustberry), 
Dodonaea viscosa (varnishleaf), Tetrazygia bicolor (tetrazygia), 
Guettarda scabra (rough velvetseed), Ardisia escallonioides 
(marlberry), Psidium longipes (mangroveberry), Sideroxylon salicifolium 
(willow bustic), and Rhus copallinum (winged sumac);
    (3) Short-statured shrubs that may include, but are not limited to, 
Quercus elliottii (running oak), Randia aculeata (white indigoberry), 
Crossopetalum ilicifolium (Christmas berry), Morinda royoc (redgal), 
and Chiococca alba (snowberry); and
    (4) Understory vegetation that may include, but is not limited to, 
Andropogon spp.; Schizachyrium gracile, S. rhizomatum, and S. 
sanguineum (bluestems); Aristida purpurascens (arrowfeather threeawn); 
Sorghastrum secundum (lopsided Indiangrass); Muhlenbergia capillaris 
(hairawn muhly); Rhynchospora floridensis (Florida white-top sedge); 
Tragia saxicola (pineland noseburn); Echites umbellata (devil's 
potato); Croton linearis (pineland croton); Chamaesyce spp. (sandmats); 
Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea); Zamia pumila (coontie); and 
Anemia adiantifolia (maidenhair pineland fern).
    (ii) A disturbance regime that naturally or artificially duplicates 
natural ecological processes (e.g., fire, hurricanes, or other weather 
events) and that maintains the pine rockland habitat described in 
paragraph (2)(i) of this entry.
    (iii) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient area to sustain 
viable populations of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri 
in the pine rockland habitat described in paragraph (2)(i) of this 
entry.
    (3) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures (such as 
buildings, aqueducts, runways, roads, and other paved areas) and the 
land on which they are located exists within the legal boundaries on 
the effective date of this rule.
    (4) Critical habitat map units. Unit maps were developed using ESRI 
ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS 
was also used to calculate the size of habitat areas. The projection 
used in mapping and calculating distances and locations within the 
units was North American Albers Equal Area Conic, NAD 83. The maps in 
this entry, as modified by any accompanying regulatory text, establish 
the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The coordinates or 
plot points or both on which each map is based are available to the 
public at the Service's Internet site at http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/, 
at the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov at Docket 
No. FWS-R4-ES-2013-0108), and at the field office responsible for this 
designation. You may obtain field office location information by 
contacting one of the Service regional offices, the addresses of which 
are listed at 50 CFR 2.2.
    (5) Index map follows:
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

[[Page 61312]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.098


[[Page 61313]]


    (6) Unit 1: Trinity Pineland and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade 
County, Florida. Map of Unit 1 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.099


[[Page 61314]]


    (7) Unit 2: Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas, 
Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 2 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.100


[[Page 61315]]


    (8) Unit 3: USDA Subtropical Horticultural Research Station and 
surrounding areas, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 3 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.101


[[Page 61316]]


    (9) Unit 4: Richmond Pinelands and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade 
County, Florida. Map of Unit 4 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.102


[[Page 61317]]


    (10) Unit 5: Quail Roost Pineland and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade 
County, Florida. Map of Unit 5 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.103


[[Page 61318]]


    (11) Unit 6: Camp Owaissa Bauer and surrounding areas, Miami-Dade 
County, Florida. Map of Unit 6 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.104


[[Page 61319]]


    (12) Unit 7: Navy Wells Pineland Preserve and surrounding areas, 
Miami-Dade County, Florida. Map of Unit 7 follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP03OC13.105

BILLING CODE 4310-55-C
* * * * *
Family Linaceae: Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's small-flowered 
flax)
    (1) Critical habitat units for Linum carteri var. carteri in Miami-
Dade County, Florida, are the same as those set forth in this paragraph 
(a) for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush). 
The index map of all of the critical habitat units, and the specific 
unit maps of critical habitat for Units 1 through 7, for Linum carteri 
var. carteri are provided at paragraphs (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), 
(11), and (12) of the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri 
(Florida brickell-bush) in this paragraph (a).
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of, and 
the statements regarding developed lands in, critical habitat for Linum 
carteri var. carteri are identical to those set forth at paragraphs (2) 
and (3) of the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida 
brickell-bush) in this paragraph (a).

[[Page 61320]]

    (3) Critical habitat map units. Unit maps were developed using ESRI 
ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS 
was also used to calculate the size of habitat areas. The projection 
used in mapping and calculating distances and locations within the 
units was North American Albers Equal Area Conic, NAD 83. The maps in 
the entry for Family Asteraceae: Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-
bush) in this paragraph (a), as modified by any accompanying regulatory 
text, establish the boundaries of the critical habitat designation for 
Linum carteri var. carteri. The coordinates or plot points or both on 
which each map is based are available to the public at the Service's 
Internet site at http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/, at the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-
2013-0108), and at the field office responsible for this designation. 
You may obtain field office location information by contacting one of 
the Service regional offices, the addresses of which are listed at 50 
CFR 2.2.
* * * * *

    Dated: September 26, 2013.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2013-24174 Filed 10-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P