Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus) and Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple), 3865-3925 [2016-01141]

Download as PDF Vol. 81 Friday, No. 14 January 22, 2016 Part II Department of the Interior mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus) and Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple); Final Rule VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3866 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations preamble and/or at http:// www.regulations.gov. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roxanna Hinzman, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; by telephone 772–562–3909; or by facsimile 772–562–4288. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2014–0057; 4500030113] RIN 1018–AZ92 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus) and Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, designate critical habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) and Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple) under the Endangered Species Act (Act). In total, approximately 4,411 acres (1,785 hectares) for Consolea corallicola in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida; and 3,444 acres (1,394 hectares) for Harrisia aboriginum in Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee Counties, Florida, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designations. DATES: This rule becomes effective on February 22, 2016. ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov and http:// www.fws.gov/verobeach/. Comments and materials we received, as well as some supporting documentation we used in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http:// www.regulations.gov. All of the comments, materials, and documentation that we considered in this rulemaking are available by appointment, during normal business hours at the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). The coordinates, 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–2014–0057, and at the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information that we developed for this critical habitat designation will also be available at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and Field Office listed above, and may also be included in the mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Executive Summary Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act), when we determine that any species is threatened or endangered, we must designate critical habitat, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable. Designations of critical habitat can be completed only by issuing a rule. This rule consists of: A final rule designating critical habitat for two endangered plant species, Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. We have prepared an economic analysis of the designations. In order to consider economic impacts, we prepared an incremental effects memorandum (IEM) and screening analysis which, together with our narrative and interpretation of effects, we consider our draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical habitat designation and related factors. The analysis, dated October 15, 2014, was made available for public review from January 22, 2015, through March 23, 2015 (80 FR 3316). The DEA addressed probable economic impacts of critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. We did not receive any comments regarding the DEA; therefore, we consider the October 15, 2014, DEA, our IEM, and narrative interpretation of the effects to be the final economic analysis. Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from three independent specialists to ensure that our designation is based on scientifically sound data and analyses. We obtained opinions from two of the independent specialists with scientific expertise to review our technical assumptions, analysis, and whether or not we had used the best available information. These peer reviewers generally concurred with our methods and conclusions and provided additional information, clarifications, and suggestions to improve this final rule. Information we received from peer review did not result in changes to the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 proposed designation. We also considered all comments and information received from the public during the comment period. Previous Federal Actions Previous Federal actions for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum are outlined in our proposed and final rules to list both species as endangered species published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2012 (77 FR 61836), and October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63796), respectively. Summary of Comments and Recommendations We requested written comments from the public on the proposed designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum and the associated DEA with the publication of the proposed rule to designate critical habitat that published January 22, 2015 (80 FR 3316). The comment period opened on January 22, 2015, and closed on March 23, 2015. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing. We also contacted appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies; scientific organizations; and other interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposed rule and DEA during the comment period. We received four comment letters directly addressing the proposed critical habitat designation. All substantive information provided during the comment period is addressed below. Peer Review In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinions from three knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with the species, the geographic region in which the species occurs, and conservation biology principles. We received responses from two of the peer reviewers. Both peer reviewers noted that the proposal was comprehensive and that the data which the Service relied upon to delineate critical habitat was sound. Peer reviewers did not provide any new information that would necessitate changes to the final rule. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the following summary. Peer Reviewer Comments (1) Comment: The proposed rule references a population within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This population was planted by park staff and is, therefore, considered cultivated as there is no documentation that E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations supports Consolea corallicola occurring historically within the park. Our Response: The proposed rule did not identify a population of Consolea corallicola within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park since the Service was unaware that C. corallicola was planted at this location. Although individuals of listed plant species receive protection under section 7 of the Act regardless of whether they were translocated (planted) or originated naturally, designation of critical habitat at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park does not mandate the Florida Park Service to manage the habitat or reintroduce C. corallicola in the areas identified. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located within critical habitat unit FSC2 that also contains Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park where the plant is known to occur. Critical habitat units for this species are delineated by the presence of suitable habitat conditions that promote survival and expansion of populations into the future and are not required to be completely occupied by the species at the time of listing. (2) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition contains a ‘‘new’’ natural community, designated as Keys Cactus Barren that occurs in the Florida Keys on Key Largo limestone. This may be another natural community that C. corallicola uses or may be reintroduced or otherwise assisted in its migration. However, the Keys Cactus Barren is so ‘‘new’’ that it has not been mapped out or identified properly like the other natural communities that were designated in the 1990 FNAI Guide to the natural communities of Florida. It may be useful for those active in the conservation of C. corallicola to identify and map Keys cactus barren within critical habitat areas that are being proposed. Our Response: The Service agrees that, while no historical wild populations were reported from Keys cactus barren habitat, it is likely to be a suitable habitat type for Consolea corallicola because it is an open canopy habitat with many of the same associated species found in rockland hammock or buttonwood forest. The ecology of Keys cactus barrens remains poorly understood, in particular, how they arise and what processes maintain them. While areas of Keys cactus barren habitat are not delineated in the data we utilized, the habitat type occurs largely as inclusions within rockland hammock, coastal berm, or buttonwood forest. Since these habitats were included in the proposal, it is likely that VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 many unmapped Keys cactus barren areas are included in the final critical habitat designation. (3) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that proper management of individual plants and their habitat may prove to be very expensive and time demanding, requiring quarterly population monitoring to remove Cactoblastis cactorum larvae, and to control other native and nonnative plants and animals around individual plants. Our Response: The Service agrees that conservation of these species will necessitate a commitment by the Service and our conservation partners. Nonnative plant and animal control is ongoing at some sites, and most populations are visited at least twice per year to monitor for Cactoblastis infestations. We welcome suggestions from stakeholders and partners on how to efficiently address the threat from C. cactorum moths. (4) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that reducing fuels around the cacti before prescribed fire and in case of wildfire may also need to be conducted in the event that prescribed or wild fire burns into the plants. Our Response: The Service agrees that fuel reduction or other strategies are needed to reduce the risk of wild or prescribed fire escaping into areas supporting the two cacti. We discuss the risk of wildfire in this final rule, but we believe that emergency management actions that may be needed in the event of wildfire, such as clearing fuels around individual cacti, must take place on a case-by-case basis. (5) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that, in addition to using current aerial photography to identify critical habitat for these species, the Service should use historical aerial photography as well. The earliest possible aerials show the habitat as it was from the mid-1900s, when Florida was much different than it is today (more open), and will lead to more effective identification of the natural communities the two cacti need. Our Response: The Service has identified critical habitat areas that are suitable for the two species based largely on current habitat conditions, and to a much lesser extent, areas that could be suitable if they undergo restoration (see Criteria Used to Identify Critical Habitat sections for each species). We attempted to designate a critical habitat unit for each current and historical population on record. In some areas of these species’ range, dense development and concomitant lack of large natural areas are the primary limiting factor to the size of the critical PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3867 habitat units. While historical aerial imagery would help us understand past habitat conditions and perhaps identify some areas lost to disrupted ecology or nonnative species, we believe the improvement to this critical habitat designation would be negligible because the main limiting factor for these species is habitat loss due to development and sea level rise, rather than due to lack of natural disturbance and active management. Comments From the State Section 4(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act requires the Secretary to give actual notice of any regulation proposed thereunder to the State agency in each State in which the species occur, and to invite comments. Comments received from the State regarding the proposal to designate critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum are addressed below. (6) Comment: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry (FDACS– DPI), which maintains Florida’s list of threatened, endangered, and economically exploited species under Florida’s native plant protection statute (Chapter 5B–40 Preservation of Native Flora of Florida), stated that it supports the designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. The commenter stated that habitat at the highest available elevation will be important to avoid possible inundation from storms and sea level rise. Our Response: The Service appreciates FDACS–DPI support of the critical habitat designation. We agree that habitats at higher elevations are important for reducing the vulnerability of these two plants to storm surge and sea level rise. A significant portion of the total critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola is on Key Largo, which contains the vast majority of the relatively high elevations within the species’ historical range. However, we did not include the highest elevation in the Florida Keys (located on Windley Key) because there is no record of C. corallicola on the island. The critical habitat designation for Harrisia aboriginum includes higher elevation coastal berms and shell mounds. Shell mounds are often several meters above sea level. Other areas with higher elevation do not contain the associated species, vegetation structure, and disturbance regime suitable for Harrisia aboriginum. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3868 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule Public and peer review comments did not necessitate any changes to the final rule. Summary of Biological Status for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum For more information on Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum taxonomy, life history, habitat, population descriptions, and factors affecting the species, please refer to the proposed listing rule published October 11, 2012 (77 FR 61836), the final listing rule published October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63796), and the proposed rule to designate critical habitat published January 22, 2015 (80 FR 3316). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Critical Habitat Background 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 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) which are 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 and commercial 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 or 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 those specific elements of the 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 may 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 for the conservation of the species and may be included in the critical habitat designation. We designate critical habitat in areas PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 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 and commercial 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, but are not limited to, the recovery plan for the species, 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, will 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 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 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 will continue to contribute to recovery of Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. 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. Physical or Biological Features In accordance with sections 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), in determining which areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing may be designated as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological features 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 geographic and ecological distributions of a species. We derive the specific physical or biological features essential to Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum from studies of the species’ habitat, ecology, and life history as described below. Additional information on these cacti can be found in the proposed and final listing rules. We have determined that the following physical or biological features are essential to the conservation of Consolea corallicola. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Consolea corallicola Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior Plant Community and Competitive Ability. Consolea corallicola occurs in communities classified as coastal berm, buttonwood forests, and rockland hammocks restricted to the Florida Keys. These communities and their associated native plant species are VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 described in the Status Assessment for Consolea corallicola in the proposed and final listing rules. These habitats and their associated plant communities provide vegetation structure that allows for adequate growing space, sunlight, and a competitive regime that is required for C. corallicola to persist and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland hammock, and buttonwood forest to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola. Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or Physiological Requirements Climate (temperature and precipitation). Consolea corallicola requires adequate rainfall and does not tolerate prolonged freezing temperatures. The climate of south Florida where C. corallicola occurs is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons, a monthly mean temperature above 18 °C (64.4 °F) in every month of the year, and annual rainfall averaging 75 to 150 cm (30 to 60 inches (in)) (Gabler et al. 1994, p. 211). Freezes can occur in the winter months, but are very infrequent at this latitude in Florida. Therefore, based on the information above, we determined this type of climate to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola. Soils. Substrates supporting Consolea corallicola include loose sediment formed by a mixture of coarse sand, shell fragments, pieces of coralline algae, and other coastal debris, exposed bare limestone rock or with a thin layer of leaf litter or highly organic soil (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 37; FNAI 2010a, b, and c, p. 1; FNAI 2010d,e, p. 2). These substrates provide anchoring spots, nutrients, moisture regime, and suitable soil chemistry for C. corallicola; and facilitate a community of associated plant species that create a competitive regime that allows C. corallicola to persist and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify substrates derived from calcareous sand or limestone that provide anchoring and nutritional requirements to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola. Hydrology. The species requires coastal berms and buttonwood forests that occur at an elevation higher than the daily tidal range, but are subject to flooding by seawater during extreme tides and storm surge (FNAI 2010b, p. 2; FNAI 2010c, p. 2). This flooding helps to limit the variety of plants that may grow in these habitats and compete with Consolea corallicola. Rockland hammocks occur on high ground that PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3869 does not regularly flood, but this habitat is often dependent upon a high water table to keep humidity levels high, and may be inundated during storm surges (FNAI 2010e, p. 2). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify rockland hammock habitat with groundwater levels needed to maintain humidity and buttonwood and coastal berm habitat inundated by storm surge or tidal events at a frequency and duration needed to limit plant species competition while not creating overly saline conditions to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola. Cover or Shelter Consolea corallicola occurs in open canopy and semi-open to closed canopy habitats. The spatial and temporal distribution of open canopy areas varies by habitat type and time since the last disturbance, such as a hurricane, caused canopy openings. In rockland hammocks, suitable sites will often be found near the hammock edge or where there are openings in the forest canopy. More open communities (e.g., coastal berm and buttonwood forests) provide more abundant and temporally consistent suitable habitat than communities capable of establishing a dense canopy (e.g., hardwood hammocks). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitats that have a vegetation composition and structure that allows for adequate sunlight and space for individual growth and population expansion to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola. Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring The habitats identified above as physical or biological features also provide a plant community with associated plant species that foster a competitive regime suitable to Consolea corallicola and contain adequate open space for the recruitment of new plants. Associated plant species in these habitats attract and provide cover for generalist pollinators (e.g., bees, butterflies, and beetles) that pollinate C. corallicola. Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of the Species Consolea corallicola continues to occur in habitats that are protected from human-generated disturbances and are representative of the species’ historical, geographical, and ecological distribution although its range has been reduced. The species is still found in coastal berm, buttonwood forest, and E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3870 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 rockland hammocks. As described above, these habitats provide a community of associated plant and animal species that are compatible with C. corallicola, vegetation structure that provides adequate sunlight levels and open space for plant growth and regeneration, and substrates with adequate moisture availability and suitable soil chemistry. Representative communities are located on Federal, State, local, and private conservation lands that implement conservation measures benefitting the species. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitat of sufficient size and connectivity that can support species growth, distribution, and population expansion to be physical or biological features for C. corallicola. Disturbance Regime. Coastal berm, buttonwood forest, and rockland hammock habitats that could or currently support Consolea corallicola depend on natural disturbance regimes from hurricanes or tidal inundation to open the canopy in order to provide light levels sufficient to support the species. The historical frequency and magnitude of hurricanes and tidal inundation has allowed for the persistence of C. corallicola by occasionally creating areas of open canopy. In the absence of disturbance, some of these habitats may have closed canopies, resulting in areas lacking enough available sunlight to support C. corallicola. However, too frequent or severe disturbance that transitions the habitat toward more saline conditions could result in the decline of the species in the area. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitats that have disturbance regimes, including hurricanes, and infrequent inundation events that maintain habitat suitability to be physical or biological features for C. corallicola. primary constituent elements specific to Consolea corallicola are: (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (A) Coastal berm habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, and storm-deposited sediment. (B) Rockland hammock habitat that contains: (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate with a thin layer of highly organic soil covering limestone or organic matter that accumulates on top of the limestone. (C) Buttonwood forest habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and (2) Substrate with calcareous marl muds, calcareous sands, or limestone rock. (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Consolea corallicola. (iii) A disturbance regime, due to the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation, that creates canopy openings in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain viable populations in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators that visit the flowers of Consolea corallicola. Primary Constituent Elements for Consolea corallicola Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to identify the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Consolea corallicola in areas occupied at the time of listing, focusing on the features’ primary constituent elements. Primary constituent elements are those specific elements of the physical or biological features that provide for a species’ life-history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species. Based on our current knowledge of the physical or biological features and habitat characteristics required to sustain the species’ life-history processes, we determine that the 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. Special management considerations or protection are necessary throughout the critical habitat units to avoid further degradation or destruction of the habitat that provides those features essential to the species’ conservation. The primary threats to the physical or biological features that Consolea corallicola depends on include: (1) Habitat destruction and modification by development and sea level rise; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Special Management Considerations or Protection for Consolea corallicola PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 (2) Competition with nonnative, invasive plant and animal species; (3) Wildfire; and (4) Hurricanes and storm surge. Some of these threats can be addressed by special management considerations or protection, while others (e.g., sea level rise, hurricanes, storm surge) are beyond the control of landowners and managers. However, even when landowners or land managers may not be able to control all the threats, they may be able to address the results of the threats. Proposed Actions To Ameliorate Threats The following measures or management activities can ameliorate threats to Consolea corallicola: (1) Protecting habitats from residential, commercial, or recreational facility development; (2) Avoiding ditching or filling that may alter hydrological conditions; (3) Nonnative plant and animal species control programs to reduce competition and predation and prevent habitat degradation; and (4) Hardwood reduction to maintain the open vegetation structure of the species’ habitats. The reduction of these threats will require the implementation of special management actions within each of the critical habitat areas identified in this final rule. All critical habitat units will need management to address the ongoing threats listed above and those presented in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species sections in the proposed and final listing rules. Ongoing Actions To Ameliorate Threats The Service, National Park Service (NPS), State of Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, and several local governments own and manage conservation lands within the range of Consolea corallicola. The Nature Conservancy purchased Torchwood Hammock Preserve on Little Torch Key in 1988, to protect what was at the time the only known remaining population of C. corallicola. The comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the Lower Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges (National Key Deer Refuge, Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge) and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge promote the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and animals, especially imperiled species that are found only in the Florida Keys. This CCP provides specifically for E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations maintaining and expanding populations of C. corallicola. NPS regulations at 36 CFR 2.1 prohibit visitors from harming or removing plants, listed or otherwise, from Everglades National Park (ENP) or Biscayne National Park (BNP). Consolea corallicola is listed on the Regulated Plant Index as endangered under chapter 5B–40, Florida Administrative Code. Florida Statutes 581.185 sections (3)(a) and (b) prohibit any person from willfully destroying or harvesting any species listed as endangered or threatened on the Regulated Plant Index, or growing such a plant on the private land of another, or on any public land, without first obtaining the written permission of the landowner and a permit from the Florida Department of Plant Industry. The Service, NPS, State of Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, and several local governments conduct nonnative species control efforts on sites that support or have suitable habitat for C. corallicola. The introduced Cactoblastis moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) infests C. corallicola plants and may cause mortality. We consider the moth to be a major threat to the species. Monitoring for Cactoblastis moth infestations, and hand removal efforts of the moth larvae and eggs are conducted at BNP and Torchwood Hammock Preserve in an effort to protect C. corallicola. No satisfactory method of large-scale control for the Cactoblastis moth is known at this time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service’s Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Tallahassee, Florida, is developing containment methods to control the spread of the Cactoblastis moth (USDA 2006, p. 9). Reintroductions of Consolea corallicola have been implemented at several locations on State and Federal lands in the Florida Keys over the past 15 years. Attempts at reintroduction implemented in the 1990s were largely unsuccessful due to poor site selection, Cactoblastis moth predation, crown rot, and burial of small plants by leaf litter. It is too early to judge the results of more recent reintroductions that were implemented in 2013 and 2014. Reintroduction of C. corallicola serves multiple objectives towards the plant’s conservation, including increasing the number of populations to address the threat of few, small populations; establishing populations across a wider geographic area to reduce the chance that all populations will be affected by natural disturbances, such as hurricanes and storm surge events; and establishing VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 populations at higher elevation sites that will be less vulnerable to storm surge events and sea level rise. Assisted migration to higher elevations at existing sites may be needed in the future to conserve populations if the area supporting the existing population shows indications of increased soil salinity and population decline due to sea level rise. Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola 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. 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. We are designating critical habitat units throughout the historical range of Consolea corallicola. The species currently occupies all of the islands of the Florida Keys where it was recorded historically. We determined that there is no unoccupied habitat that is essential for the conservation of the species. Therefore, we are only designating critical habitat in areas within the geographical area presently occupied by the species (i.e., occupied at the time of listing). The wild populations of Consolea corallicola are much reduced (50 percent) from the species’ historical distribution, and one of the two remaining wild populations is small, consisting of only 12 mature plants. The habitats required by C. corallicola are severely fragmented by development in the Florida Keys. We anticipate that recovery will require continued protection of the remaining extant populations and habitat, augmenting existing small populations, and establishing populations in additional areas to more closely approximate its historical distribution in order to ensure there are adequate numbers of plants in stable populations and that these populations occur over a wide geographic area. This will help to ensure that catastrophic events, such as PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3871 storms, cannot simultaneously affect all known populations. Small plant populations with limited, fragmented distributions, such as Consolea corallicola, are vulnerable to relatively minor environmental disturbances (Frankham 2005, pp. 135– 136) that could result in 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). Plant populations with lowered genetic diversity are more prone to local extinction (Barrett and Kohn 1991, pp. 4, 28). Smaller plant populations generally have lower genetic diversity, and lower genetic diversity may in turn lead to even smaller populations by decreasing the species’ ability to adapt, thereby increasing the probability of population extinction (Newman and Pilson 1997, p. 360; Palstra and Ruzzante 2008, pp. 3428–3447). Because of the dangers associated with small populations or limited distributions, the recovery of many rare plant species includes the creation of new sites or reintroductions to ameliorate these effects. Habitat fragmentation can have negative effects on populations, especially rare plants, and can affect survival and recovery (Aguilar et al. 2006, pp. 968–980; Aguilar et al. 2008, pp. 5177–5188; Potts et al. 2010, pp. 345–352). In general, habitat fragmentation causes habitat loss, habitat degradation, habitat isolation, changes in species composition, changes in species interactions, increased edge effects, and reduced habitat connectivity (Fahrig 2003, pp. 487–515; Fischer and Lindenmayer 2007, pp. 265–280). Habitat fragments are often functionally smaller than they appear because edge effects (such as increased nonnative, invasive species or wind speeds) impact the available habitat within the fragment (Lienert and Fischer 2003, p. 597). In selecting areas for critical habitat designation, we utilized the Shaffer and Stein (2000) methodology for conserving imperiled species known as the ‘three Rs’: Representation, resiliency, and redundancy. Representation, or preserving some of everything, means conserving not just a species but its associated plant communities. Resiliency and redundancy ensure there is enough of a species so it can survive into the future. Resiliency means ensuring that the habitat is adequate for a species and its representative components. Redundancy ensures an adequate number of sites and individuals. This methodology has been widely accepted as a reasonable E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3872 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (1) Maintain their existing distribution; (2) Expand their distribution into previously occupied areas (needed to offset habitat loss and fragmentation); (3) Use habitat depending on habitat availability (response to changing nature of coastal habitat including sea level rise) and support genetic diversity; (4) Increase the size of each population to a level where the threats of genetic, demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties are diminished; and (5) Maintain their ability to withstand local or unit-level environmental fluctuations or catastrophes. Sources of Data To Identify Critical Habitat Boundaries mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 conservation strategy (Tear et al. 2005, p. 841). We have addressed representation through the primary constituent elements (as discussed above) and by identifying areas of habitat for the expansion of Consolea corallicola populations. There are only approximately 800 to 1,000 known individuals and only 6 populations. All but 2 populations consist of fewer than 100 individuals (low redundancy). All populations occur on small islands where the amount of suitable remaining habitat is limited (low resiliency), and much of the remaining habitat may be lost to sea level rise over the next century. The critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola focuses on areas within the historical range that were occupied at the time the species was listed and have retained the necessary primary constituent elements that will allow for the maintenance and expansion of existing populations. The critical habitat units were delineated around documented extant populations. These units include the mapped extent of the population that contains one or more of the physical or biological features. We considered the following when identifying occupied areas of critical habitat: (1) The delineation included space to allow for the successional nature of the occupied habitats (i.e., gain and loss of areas with sufficient light availability due to disturbance of the tree canopy driven by natural events such as inundation and hurricanes), and habitat transition or loss due to sea level rise. (2) Some areas will require special management to be able to support a higher density of the plant within the occupied space. These areas generally are habitats where some of the primary constituent elements have been lost through natural or human causes. These areas would help to offset 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. When determining critical habitat boundaries within this final rule, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such lands lack physical or biological features for Consolea corallicola. 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 To determine the location and boundaries of critical habitat, the Service used the following sources of information and considerations: (1) Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) population records and ArcGIS geographic information system software to spatially depict the location and extent of documented populations of Consolea corallicola (FNAI 2011a, pp. 1–4); (2) Reports prepared by botanists with the Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC), NPS, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) (Some of these were funded by the Service; others were requested or volunteered by biologists with the NPS or FDEP.); (3) Historical records found in reports and associated voucher specimens housed at herbaria, all of which are referenced in the above-mentioned reports from the IRC and FNAI; (4) Digitally produced habitat maps provided by Monroe County; and (5) Aerial images of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The presence of primary constituent elements was determined through the use of GIS spatial data depicting the current habitat status. These habitat data for the Florida Keys were developed by Monroe County from 2006 aerial images, and ground conditions for many areas were checked in 2009. Habitat data for BNP were provided by the NPS. The areas that contain the primary constituent elements follow predictable landscape patterns and have a recognizable signature in the aerial imagery. We have identified areas to include in this designation by applying the following considerations. The amount and distribution of critical habitat being designated allows existing and future established populations of Consolea corallicola to: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this final rule have been excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as critical habitat. Therefore, 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 physical or biological features in the adjacent critical habitat. Units were designated based on sufficient elements of physical or biological features being present to support Consolea corallicola life-history processes. Some units contained all of the identified elements of physical or biological features and supported multiple life-history processes. Some segments contained only some elements of the physical or biological features necessary to support C. corallicola’s particular use of that 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 the rule portion. We include more detailed information on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble of this document. We will make the coordinates, 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–2014–0057, on our Internet site at http://www.fws.gov/ verobeach/, and at the field office responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Critical Habitat Designation for Consolea corallicola We are designating four units as critical habitat for Consolea corallicola. The critical habitat areas we describe below constitute our current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of critical habitat for C. corallicola. The four areas we designate as critical habitat are: (1) FSC1 Swan Key in Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida; (2) FSC2 Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida; (3) FSC3 Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida; and (4) FSC4 Little Torch Key in Monroe County, Florida. Land ownership within the designated critical habitat consists of Federal (28 percent), State (58 percent), County (1 percent), and private and other (14 percent). Table 1 shows these units by land ownership, area, and occupancy. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3873 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1—CONSOLEA CORALLICOLA CRITICAL HABITAT UNITS [All areas rounded to the nearest whole acre (ac) and hectare (ha)] Unit Total ac (ha) Federal ac (ha) State ac (ha) County ac (ha) Private/other ac (ha) FSC1—Swan Key—Biscayne National Park ..... FSC2—Key Largo .............................................. FSC3––Big Pine Key ......................................... FSC4—Little Torch Key ..................................... 37 (15) 3,434 (1,389) 772 (313) 168 (68) 37 (15) 702 (284) 508 (205) 0 0 2,331 (943) 172 (70) 47 (19) 0 17 (7) 11 (5) 10 (4) 0 384 (155) 81 (33) 111 (45) Total ............................................................ 4,411 (1,785) 1,247 (504) 2,550 (1,032) 38 (16) 576 (233) Percent of Total ................................... 100 28 58 1 13 Occupied Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding. Two (FSC1 and FSC2) of the four critical habitat units designated for Consolea corallicola are also currently designated under the Act as critical habitat for the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), and two (FSC2 and FSC3) are designated as critical habitat units for Chromolaena frustrata (Cape Sable thoroughwort). We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they meet the definition of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola, below. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Unit FSC1: Swan Key—Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida Unit FSC1 consists of approximately 37 ac (15 ha) in Miami-Dade County. This unit is composed entirely of lands in Federal ownership, 100 percent of which are located on Swan Key within Biscayne National Park. The unit includes all upland rockland hammock habitat on Swan Key, most of which is located on the eastern side of Swan Key, surrounded by the island’s mangrove fringe. A second, smaller area is located on the island’s elongate western half and is also surrounded by mangroves. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and the coastal hardwood hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant and animal species and sea level rise. However, in most cases these threats are being addressed or coordinated with BNP to implement needed actions. BNP conducts nonnative species control on Swan Key and monitors Consolea corallicola for population trends and Cactoblastis moth damage. The NPS is VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 currently revising the BNP General Management Plan (Plan), which identifies C. corallicola but does not discuss specific conservation measures. However, the Plan states that Swan Key will continue to be a ‘‘sensitive resource area’’ and managed to protect critical ecosystems, habitats, and natural processes. Access will be tightly controlled and limited to permitted research activities. In addition, the Service believes assisted migration to the highest elevations on Swan Key on BNP may be needed in the future to conserve the population if the area supporting the existing population shows indications of increased soil salinity and population decline due to sea level rise. Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida Unit FSC2 consists of approximately 3,434 ac (1,389 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal lands within Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (702 ac (284 ha)); State lands within Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area (2,331 ac (943 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (17 ac (7 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (384 ac (155 ha)). This unit extends from near the northern tip of Key Largo, along the length of Key Largo, beginning at the south shore of Ocean Reef Harbor near South Marina Drive and the intersection of County Road (CR) 905 and Clubhouse Road on the west side of CR 905, and between CR 905 and Old State Road 905, then extending to the shoreline south of South Harbor Drive. The unit then continues on both sides of CR 905 through the Crocodile Lake NWR, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The unit then terminates near the junction of U.S. 1 and CR 905 and Garden Cove Drive. The unit resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 from South Andros Road to Key Largo Elementary; then from the intersection of Taylor Drive and Pamela Street to Avenue A; then from Sound Drive to the intersection of Old Road and Valencia Road; then resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 from Hibiscus Lane and Ocean Drive. The unit continues south near the Port Largo Airport from Poisonwood Road to Bo Peep Boulevard. The unit resumes on the west side of U.S. 1 from the intersection of South Drive and Meridian Avenue to Casa Court Drive. The unit then continues on the west side of U.S. 1 from the point on the coast directly west of Peace Avenue south to Caribbean Avenue. The unit also includes a portion of El Radabob Key in Largo Sound located directly east of Avenue A, extending south to a point directly east of Mahogany Drive. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and the rockland hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for Crocodile Lake NWR promotes the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and animals, especially imperiled species that are found only in the Florida Keys, but does not identify Consolea corallicola because it does not presently occur on the Refuge. The Management Plan for Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park calls for the protection and restoration of habitats and to continue conservation efforts already under way for C. corallicola. The Service and FDEP conduct nonnative species control on their E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3874 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations respective lands on Key Largo. FDEP monitors the reintroduced C. corallicola at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park for population trends and Cactoblastis moth damage. In addition, assisted migration of the cacti to the highest elevations on these lands is needed because the population already shows the effects of increased soil salinity and is partially inundated by high tides. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida Unit FSC3 consists of approximately 772 ac (313 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal land within the National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) (508 ac (205 ha)); State land managed as part of the NKDR (172 ac (70 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (11 ac (5 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (81 ac (33 ha)). This unit extends from near the northern tip of Big Pine Key along the eastern shore to the vicinity of Hellenga Drive and Watson Road; from Gulf Boulevard south to West Shore Drive; Big Pine Avenue and Elma Avenues on the east, Coral and Yacht Club Road, and U.S. 1 on the north, and Industrial Avenue on the east from the southeastern tip of Big Pine Key to Avenue A. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and the coastal berm, rockland hammock, and buttonwood forest primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for the Lower Florida Keys NWRs (NKDR, Key West NWR, and Great White Heron NWR) promotes the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and animals, and provides specifically for maintaining and expanding populations of candidate plant species including C. corallicola. The Service conducts nonnative species control in areas that could support C. corallicola. Unit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County, Florida Unit FSC4 consists of approximately 168 ac (68 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of State lands (47 ac (19 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (10 ac (4 ha)); and parcels in private and other ownership (111 ac (45 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 ha)). This unit extends along State Highway 4A, from Coral Shores Road, south to County Road, resuming at Linda Street and extending south to the Overseas Highway. South of the Overseas Highway, the unit includes areas west of Kings Cove Road, and an area comprising the southern tip of Little Torch Key that includes portions of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) John J. Pescatello Torchwood Hammock Preserve. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and the coastal hardwood hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. TNC’s 1994 Management Plan calls for monitoring, Cactoblastis control, vegetation management, and basic research on Consolea corallicola and threats to the species. TNC monitors C. corallicola at the Torchwood Hammock Preserve and conducts nonnative plant and animal species control. The Preserve is fenced, and potential visitors must request access to enter the site. Assisted migration to the highest elevations in the Preserve may be needed in the future to conserve the population if the area supporting the existing population shows indications of increased soil salinity and population decline due to sea level rise. Physical or Biological Features for Harrisia aboriginum We have determined that the following physical or biological features are essential to the conservation of Harrisia aboriginum. Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior Plant Community and Competitive Ability. Harrisia aboriginum occurs in communities classified as coastal strand, coastal grasslands, coastal berms, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds (Bradley et al. 2004, pp. 4, 14). Detailed descriptions of these communities and their associated native plant species are provided in the Status Assessment for Harrisia aboriginum section of the proposed and final listing rules. These habitats and their associated plant communities provide vegetation structure that provides adequate growing space, sunlight, and a competitive regime that is required for PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 H. aboriginum to persist and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal grasslands, coastal berms, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds to be a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum. Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or Physiological Requirements Climate (temperature and precipitation). Harrisia aboriginum requires adequate rainfall and does not tolerate freezing temperatures. The climate of south Florida where H. aboriginum occurs is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons, a monthly mean temperature above 18 °C (64.4 °F) in every month of the year, and annual rainfall averaging 75 to 150 cm (30 to 60 in) (Gabler et al. 1994, p. 211). Freezes can occur in the winter months, but are very infrequent at this latitude in Florida. Therefore, based on the information above, we determined this type of climate to be a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum. Soils. Substrates supporting Harrisia aboriginum include sand and calcareous shell material (Bradley et al. 2004, pp. 4, 14). These substrates provide anchoring spots, nutrients, moisture regime, and suitable soil chemistry for H. aboriginum, and facilitate a community of associated plant species that create a competitive regime that allows H. aboriginum to persist and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify substrates derived from calcareous sand or shell material to be a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum. Hydrology. Harrisia aboriginum requires upland habitats that occur above the daily tidal range, but are potentially subject to flooding by seawater during extreme tides and storm surge. H. aboriginum will not tolerate hydric or saline soils, and these soil conditions may also cause these habitats to transition to a community of species that will outcompete H. aboriginum for space. Maritime hammocks occur on high ground that does not regularly flood, but can be inundated during storm surges (FNAI 2010h, p. 3). Some sites that support H. aboriginum show indications that soil salinization is driving changes in the plant community toward salt-tolerant species, and will eventually lead to conditions unsuitable for H. aboriginum. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify upland habitats at elevations not affected by soil salinization due to sea level rise to be physical or biological features for H. aboriginum. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Cover or Shelter Harrisia aboriginum occurs in open canopy and semi-open to closed canopy habitats. The amount and frequency of open canopy areas varies by habitat type and time since the last disturbance, such as a hurricane, caused canopy openings. In maritime hammocks, suitable areas will often be found near the hammock edge or where there are openings in the forest canopy. More open communities (e.g., coastal berm, coastal strand, and coastal grasslands) provide more abundant and temporally consistent suitable habitat than communities capable of establishing a dense canopy (e.g., maritime hammocks, shell mounds). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitats that have a vegetation composition and structure that allows for adequate sunlight and space for individual growth and population expansion to be a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum. Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of Offspring The habitats identified above as physical or biological features also provide a plant community with associated plant species that foster a competitive regime that is suitable for Harrisia aboriginum and contain adequate open space for the recruitment of new plants. Associated plant species in these habitats attract and provide cover for generalist pollinators (e.g., bees, butterflies, and beetles) that pollinate H. aboriginum. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of the Species Harrisia aboriginum continues to occur in habitats that are protected from human-generated disturbances and are representative of the species’ historical, geographical, and ecological distribution although its range has been reduced. The species is still found in its representative plant communities of coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitat. As described above, these habitats provide a community of associated plant and animal species that are compatible with H. aboriginum, vegetation structure that provides adequate sunlight levels and open space for plant growth and regeneration, and substrates with adequate moisture availability and suitable soil chemistry. In addition, representative communities are located on Federal, State, local, and private conservation lands that implement conservation measures VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 benefitting the species. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitat of sufficient size and connectivity that can support species growth, distribution, and population expansion to be a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum. Disturbance Regime. Coastal strand, coastal berm, coastal grassland, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that support Harrisia aboriginum depend on natural disturbance regimes from hurricanes or tidal inundation to reduce the canopy in order to provide light levels sufficient to support the species. The historical frequency and magnitude of hurricanes and tidal inundation has allowed for the persistence of H. aboriginum by occasionally creating areas of open canopy. In the absence of disturbance, some of these habitats may have closed canopies, resulting in areas lacking enough available sunlight to support H. aboriginum. However, too frequent or severe disturbance that transitions the habitat toward more saline conditions could result in the decline of the species in the area. In addition, fires are rare to nonexistent in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mound communities (FNAI 2010a, p. 2; FNAI 2010f, p. 2; FNAI 2010g, p. 2; FNAI 2010h, p. 3; FNAI 2010i, p. 2). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitats that have disturbance regimes, including hurricanes, and infrequent inundation events that maintain the habitat suitability to be physical or biological features for H. aboriginum. Primary Constituent Elements for Harrisia aboriginum Based on our current knowledge of the physical or biological features and habitat characteristics required to sustain the species’ life-history processes, we determine that the primary constituent elements specific to Harrisia aboriginum are: (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds. (A) Coastal strand habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments of stabilized coastal dunes. (B) Coastal grassland habitat that contains: (1) No canopy and an open understory; and (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments. (C) Coastal berm habitat that contains: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3875 (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, storm-deposited sediment. (D) Maritime hammock habitat that contains: (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate of calcareous sand and shell fragments. (E) Shell mound habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and (2) Substrate of soil derived from calcareous shells deposited by Native Americans during prehistoric times. (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Harrisia aboriginum. (iii) Canopy openings in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that are created by the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation. (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain viable populations in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats. (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators that visit the flowers of Harrisia aboriginum. Special Management Considerations or Protection for Harrisia aboriginum Management considerations or protection are necessary throughout the critical habitat units to avoid further degradation or destruction of the habitat that provides those features essential to the species’ conservation. The primary threats to the physical or biological features that Harrisia aboriginum depends on include: (1) Habitat destruction and modification by development and sea level rise; (2) Competition with nonnative, invasive plant species; (3) Herbivorous nonnative animal species; (4) Wildfire; and (5) Hurricanes and storm surge. Some of these threats can be addressed by special management considerations or protection while others (e.g., sea level rise, hurricanes, storm surge) are beyond the control of landowners and managers. However, even when landowners or land managers may not be able to control all the threats, they may be able to address the results of the threats. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 3876 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Management activities that could ameliorate these threats include the monitoring and minimization of impacts from recreational activities, nonnative species control, and protection from development. Precautions are needed to avoid the inadvertent trampling of Harrisia aboriginum in the course of management activities and public use. Development of recreational facilities or programs should avoid impacting these habitats directly or indirectly. Ditching should be avoided because it alters the hydrology and species composition of these habitats. Sites that have shown increasing encroachment of woody species over time may require efforts to maintain the open nature of the habitat, which favors these species. Nonnative species control programs are needed to reduce competition, predation, and prevent habitat degradation. The reduction of these threats will require the implementation of special management actions within each of the critical habitat areas identified in this final rule. All critical habitat units require active management to address the ongoing threats above and those presented in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species sections in the proposed and final listing rules. The Service, State of Florida, and Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee Counties own and manage conservation lands within the historical range of Harrisia aboriginum. The CCP for J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge (JDDNWR) promotes the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and animals, especially imperiled species. This CCP provides specifically for maintaining populations of H. aboriginum. The State Management Plans for Charlotte Harbor Preserve, Cayo Costa, Stump Pass Beach, DelnorWiggins Pass, and Gasparilla Island State Parks and Bocilla Preserve promote the protection of habitats and native species. The Service, State of Florida, and Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee Counties conduct nonnative species control efforts on sites that support, or have suitable habitat for, H. aboriginum. The Service monitors the population of H. aboriginum at JDDNWR. FDEP monitors the H. aboriginum population at Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Nonnative species control is currently lacking at Manasota Beach Park and Kitchen Key in areas that support H. aboriginum. Poaching, vandalism, and wildfire have been observed at Manasota Beach Park. Most populations are at elevations close to sea level and may require assisted migration as sea VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 level rise continues to drive the transition toward salt-tolerant plant species in these areas. Reintroduction is needed to restore the species’ historical distribution on Cayo Costa and Madira Bickell Mound State Historical Park. Augmentation of small populations at Longboat Key, Terra Ceia, Lemon Bay Preserve, Kitchen Key, Gasparilla Island, and Cayo Pelau would reduce the risk of population loss to hurricanes, storm surge, or wildfire. Harrisia aboriginum is listed on the Regulated Plant Index as endangered under chapter 5B–40, Florida Administrative Code. Florida Statutes 581.185 sections (3)(a) and (b) prohibit any person from willfully destroying or harvesting any species listed as endangered or threatened on the Regulated Plant Index, or growing such a plant on the private land of another, or on any public land, without first obtaining the written permission of the landowner and a permit from the Florida Department of Plant Industry. Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum We are designating critical habitat in areas within the geographical area occupied by Harrisia aboriginum at the time of listing in 2013. We also are designating specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing that were historically occupied, but are presently unoccupied, because such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. We have determined that all areas known to be occupied at the time of listing meet the definition of critical habitat and are needed for the conservation of the species. However, we determined that occupied habitat is not adequate for the conservation of Harrisia aboriginum (see our rationale below). We used habitat and historical occurrence data to identify unoccupied habitat essential for the conservation of the species. To determine the location and boundaries of both occupied and unoccupied critical habitat, the Service used the following sources of data and information for H. aboriginum that include the following: (1) FNAI population records and ArcGIS software to spatially depict the location and extent of documented populations of Harrisia aboriginum (FNAI 2011b, pp. 1–28); (2) Reports prepared by botanists with the IRC and the Service (Some of these were funded by the Service; others were requested or volunteered by biologists with the Service.); (3) Historical records found in reports and associated voucher specimens PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 housed at herbaria, all of which are also referenced in the above-mentioned reports from the IRC and FNAI; (4) Digitally produced habitat maps provided by FNAI; and (5) Aerial images of Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee Counties. The presence of primary constituent elements was determined through the interpretation of aerial imagery. The areas that contain primary constituent elements follow predictable landscape patterns and have a recognizable signature in the aerial imagery. Only approximately 300 to 500 individuals and 12 populations of Harrisia aboriginum are known to exist. All but 2 of these populations consist of fewer than 100 individuals, with 7 populations having 10 or fewer individuals (low redundancy). Most populations occur on coastal barrier islands where the amount of suitable remaining habitat is limited (low resiliency), and much of the remaining habitat will be lost to sea level rise over the next century. We have addressed representation through our primary constituent elements (as discussed above) and by providing habitat for H. aboriginum. For adequate redundancy and resiliency, it is essential for the conservation of H. aboriginum for additional populations to be established and existing populations to be augmented. Therefore, we have designated two unoccupied areas as critical habitat units where H. aboriginum was historically recorded, but has since been extirpated. The current distribution of Harrisia aboriginum is reduced from its historical distribution, with no populations remaining in Manatee County, at the northern extent of the species’ range. We anticipate that recovery will require continued protection of the remaining extant population and habitat, as well as establishing populations in additional areas that more closely approximate its historical distribution in order to ensure there are adequate numbers of plants in stable populations and that these populations occur over a wide geographic area. This will help to ensure that catastrophic events, such as storms, cannot simultaneously affect all known populations. Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing The occupied critical habitat units were delineated around documented extant populations. These units include the mapped extent of the population that contains one or more of the physical or biological features. We considered the following when E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3877 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations identifying occupied areas of critical habitat: (1) The delineation included space to allow for the successional nature of the occupied habitats (i.e., gain and loss of areas with sufficient light availability due to disturbance of the tree canopy driven by natural events such as inundation and hurricanes), and habitat transition or loss due to sea level rise. (2) Some areas will require special management to be able to support a higher density of the plant within the occupied space. These areas generally are habitats where some of the primary constituent elements have been lost through natural or human causes. These areas would help to offset 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. Areas Outside the Geographic Area Occupied at the Time of Listing mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 After completing the above analysis, we determined that occupied areas were not sufficient for the conservation of the species for the following reasons: (1) Restoring the species to its historical range and reducing its vulnerability to stochastic events such as hurricanes and storm surge requires reintroduction to areas where it occurred in the past but has since been extirpated; (2) providing increased connectivity for populations and areas for small populations to expand requires currently unoccupied habitat; and (3) reintroduction or assisted migration to reduce the species vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge requires higher elevation sites that are currently unoccupied by Harrisia aboriginum. Therefore, we looked for unoccupied areas that may be essential for the conservation of the species. The unoccupied areas are essential for the conservation of the species because they: (1) Represent the historical range of Harrisia aboriginum. H. aboriginum has been extirpated from two locations where it was previously recorded. Of those areas found in reports, we are designating critical habitat only for those that are well-documented and essential for the conservation of the species (i.e., Terra Ceia, Cayo Costa) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 77; Bradley et al. 2004, p. 4). These areas also still retain some or all of the elements of the physical or biological features. (2) Provide areas of sufficient size to support ecosystem processes for populations of Harrisia aboriginum. These areas are essential for the conservation of the species because they will provide areas for population expansion and growth. Large contiguous parcels of habitat are more likely to be resilient to ecological processes of disturbance and succession, and support viable populations of H. aboriginum. The unoccupied areas selected were at least 30 ac (12 ha) or greater in size. The amount and distribution of designated critical habitat will allow Harrisia aboriginum to: (1) Maintain its existing distribution; (2) Expand its distribution into historically occupied areas (needed to offset habitat loss and fragmentation); (3) Use habitat depending on habitat availability (response to changing nature of coastal habitat including sea level rise) and support genetic diversity; (4) Increase the size of each population to a level where the threats of genetic, demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties are diminished; and (5) Maintain its ability to withstand local or unit-level environmental fluctuations or catastrophes. When determining critical habitat boundaries within this final rule, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such lands lack physical or biological features for Harrisia aboriginum. 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 critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this final rule have been excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as critical habitat. Therefore, a Federal action involving these lands will not trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would affect the physical or biological features in 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 the rule portion. We include more detailed information on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble of this document. We will make the coordinates, 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–2014–0057, on our Internet site, http://www.fws.gov/ verobeach/, and at the field office responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Critical Habitat Designation for Harrisia aboriginum We are designating 11 units as critical habitat for Harrisia aboriginum. The critical habitat areas we describe below constitute our current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of critical habitat for H. aboriginum. The 11 areas we designate as critical habitat are: (1) Unit APA1 Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida; (2) Unit APA2 Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida; (3) Unit APA3 Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida; (4) Unit APA4 Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida; (5) Unit APA5 Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida; (6) Unit APA6 Gasparilla Island North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida; (7) Unit APA7 Gasparilla Island South, Lee County, Florida; (8) Unit APA8 Cayo Pelau, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida; (9) Unit APA9 Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida; (10) Unit APA10 Bocilla Island, Lee County, Florida; and (11) Unit APA11 Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida. Land ownership within the designated critical habitat consists of Federal (11 percent), State (48 percent), County (15 percent), and private and other (26 percent). Table 2 summarizes these units. TABLE 2—HARRISIA ABORIGINUM CRITICAL HABITAT UNITS [All areas rounded to the nearest whole number, except where less than 1 acre (ac) or hectare (ha)] Total ac (ha) Unit APA1 APA2 APA3 Terra Ceia ......................................... Longboat Key .................................... Osprey ............................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Federal ac (ha) 222 (90) 54 (22) 116 (47) Frm 00013 State ac (ha) 0 0 0 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 County ac (ha) 66 (27) 0 0 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 70 (28) 0 50 (20) 22JAR2 Private/Other ac (ha) 87 (35) 54 (22) 66 (27) Occupied No. Yes. Yes. 3878 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 2—HARRISIA ABORIGINUM CRITICAL HABITAT UNITS—Continued [All areas rounded to the nearest whole number, except where less than 1 acre (ac) or hectare (ha)] Total ac (ha) Unit APA4 APA5 APA6 APA7 APA8 APA9 APA10 APA11 Federal ac (ha) State ac (ha) County ac (ha) Private/Other ac (ha) Manasota Key ................................... Charlotte Harbor ................................ Gasparilla North ................................ Gasparilla South ................................ Cayo Pelau ........................................ Cayo Costa ....................................... Bocilla .............................................. Sanibel Island and Buck Key .......... 415 (168) 51 (21) 98 (40) 92 (37) 25 (10) 1,702 (689) 33 (13) 635 (257) 0 0 0 3 (1) 0 0 0 373 (151) 58 (23) 51 (21) 0.06 (0.02) 69 (28) 0 1,379 (558) 0 47 (19) 111 (45) 0 22 (9) 12 (5) 25 (10) 94 (38) 32 (13) 90 (36) 245 (99) 0 77 (31) 8 (3) 0 230 (93) 0.7 (0.3) 126 (51) Total ........................................................ 3,444 (1,394) 376 (152) 1,669 (676) 505 (204) 893 (361) Percent of Total ............................... 100 11 48 15 Occupied Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. 26 Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they meet the definition of critical habitat for Harrisia aboriginum, below. Unit APA1: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida Unit APA1 consists of approximately 222 ac (90 ha) in Manatee County, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System (66 ac (27 ha)); Manatee County lands at Emerson Point Preserve and parcels owned by the Manatee County Port Authority (70 ac (28 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (87 ac (35 ha)). This unit includes lands west of Highway 41 extending from just south of South Dock Street south to Snead Island. The unit also includes areas of Harbor Key, Mariposa Key, Horseshoe Key, Joe Island, Skeet Key, Paradise Island, Ed’s Key, and Rattlesnake Key. This unit was not occupied at the time the species was listed but is essential for the conservation of the species because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover the species, reestablish wild populations within the historical range of the species, and maintain populations throughout the historic distribution of the species in Manatee County, and will provide population redundancy in the case of stochastic events that otherwise hold the potential to eliminate the species from the one or more locations where it is presently found. The Management Plan for Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System calls for the protection and restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on their lands within the unit. Reintroduction of H. aboriginum within Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System is needed to restore the species to its historical distribution in Manatee County and reduce the risks to the species associated with hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA2: Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida Unit APA2 consists of approximately 54 ac (22 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of parcels in private or other ownership. This unit includes lands west of Gulf of Mexico Drive, extending from 0.40 miles (mi) (0.6 kilometers (km)) south of the intersection of Bay Isles Parkway and Gulf of Mexico Drive, to the southern tip of Longboat Key. It also includes lands on the north side of Gulf of Mexico Drive, east of Longboat Club Key Drive, on the northwest tip of Longboat Key. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species, and the primary constituent elements of coastal strand, coastal berm, and maritime hammock. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA3: Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida Unit APA3 consists of approximately 116 ac (47 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed of Sarasota County lands within Palmer Point County Park (50 ac (20 ha)) and parcels in private or other ownership (66 ac (27 ha)). This unit extends along the barrier island (Casey Key) from the south terminus of Blind Pass Road, south for approximately 1.2 mi (1.9 km) along North Casey Key Road. On the mainland, the unit includes lands bordered on the north by Vamo Way, to the east by Highway 41, and to the south by Palmetto Avenue. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the biological or physical features including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains coastal strand, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species, and sea level rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida Unit APA4 consists of approximately 415 ac (168 ha) in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Stump Pass Beach State Park (58 ac (23 ha)); E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 County lands within Blind Pass Park, Brohard Beach and Paw Park, Manasota Beach Park, Casperson Beach Park, and Service Club Park (111 ac (45 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (245 ac (99 ha)). This unit extends from Beach Road in the City of Venice, south along Manasota Key to the barrier islands southern tip, including a portion of Peterson Island. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains coastal strand, coastal berm, and maritime hammock primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for Stump Pass Beach State Park calls for the protection and restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on their lands within the unit. Augmentation of the H. aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA5: Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida Unit APA5 consists of approximately 51 ac (21 ha) in Charlotte County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of State lands within the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. This unit includes the Big Mound, Boggess Ridge, and a shell mound located on the east side of Charlotte Harbor, south of the City of Charlotte Park. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species and contains coastal berm and shell mound primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park calls for the protection and restoration of habitats, and identifies actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control and monitors the H. aboriginum population in Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Augmentation of the H. aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA6: Gasparilla North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida Unit APA6 consists of approximately 98 ac (40 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State land (0.006 ac (0.02 ha)), county land (22 ac (9 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (77 ac (31 ha)). This unit includes most of Kitchen Key (Live Oak Key) and the area east of Gasparilla Road, from the intersection of Grouper Hole Road and Grouper Hole Court, south to 0.15 mi (0.24 km) north of Snail Island Court, from approximately 0.10 mi (0.21 km) south of 35th Street to 23rd Street, including the small island separated from Gasparilla Island by a canal; and from 22nd Street to 20th Street. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains coastal berm and maritime hammock primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA7: Gasparilla South, Lee County, Florida Unit APA7 consists of approximately 92 ac (37 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal land owned by the Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (3 ac (1 ha)), State lands within Gasparilla Island State Park (69 ac (28 ha)), Lee County lands (12 ac (5 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (8 ac (3 ha)). This unit includes lands located from south of 1st Street to the southern tip of Gasparilla Island. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3879 species and contains coastal strand, coastal berm, and maritime hammock primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for Gasparilla Island State Park calls for the protection and restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on its lands within the unit. Augmentation of the H. aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA8: Cayo Pelau, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida Unit APA8 consists of approximately 25 ac (10 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County lands within Cayo Pelau Preserve, and parcels in private or other ownership (0.6 ac (0.2 ha)). This unit includes lands located from 0.13 mi (0.21 km) south of the northern tip of Cayo Pelau, extending south to the southeastern tip of Cayo Pelau. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains coastal berm and shell mound primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. Unit APA9: Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida Unit APA9 consists of approximately 1,702 ac (689 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Cayo Costa State Park (1,379 ac (558 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (94 ac (38 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (230 ac (93 ha)). This unit includes lands located from the northern tip to the southern tip of Cayo Costa. This unit was not occupied at the time the species was listed but is E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3880 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations essential for the conservation of the species because it serves to protect habitat needed to recover the species, reestablish wild populations within the historical range of the species, maintain populations throughout the historic distribution of the species in Manatee County, and provide population redundancy in the case of stochastic events that otherwise hold the potential to eliminate the species from the one or more locations where it is presently found. The Management Plan for Cayo Costa State Park calls for the protection and restoration of habitats and identifies actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control and monitored the population at Cayo Costa State Park until the last plant died in 2007. Reintroduction of H. aboriginum within Cayo Costa State Park is needed to restore the species to its historical distribution and reduce the risks to the species associated with hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Unit APA10: Bocilla, Lee County, Florida Unit APA10 consists of approximately 33 ac (13 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County lands within the Bocilla Preserve (32 ac (13 ha)) and parcels in private or other ownership (0.7 ac (0.3 ha)). This unit includes lands located on the undeveloped portion of Bokeelia Island from 0.02 mi (0.03 km) west of the terminus of Ebbtide Way, extending south and west to the northwest and southeast corners of Bokeelia Island. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains the coastal berm primary constituent element. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for Bocilla Preserve calls for the protection and restoration of habitats and identifies actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. Unit APA11: Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida Unit APA11 consists of approximately 635 ac (257 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and Service lands within the JDDNWR (373 ac (151 ha)), State lands (47 ac (13 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (90 ac (36 ha)), and parcels VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 in private or other ownership (126 ac (51 ha)). This unit includes lands on Buck Key, Runyan Key, and Sanibel Island. On Sanibel Island, the unit includes a portion of Bowman’s Beach, from just south of Silver Key to the western terminus of Water’s Edge Lane; uplands within JDDNWR; and a shell mound located near the northern terminus of Tarpon Bay Road. This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and contains the physical or biological features, including suitable climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and contains the maritime hammock primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for JDDNWR promotes the protection and restoration of habitats, and identifies actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum. The Service conducts nonnative species control and monitors the population at JDDNWR. 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 that 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 statutory 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 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 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 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 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 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 Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. As discussed above, the role of critical habitat is to support life-history needs of the species and provide for the conservation of the species. 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 the Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. These activities include, but are not limited to: (1) Actions that would significantly alter the hydrology or substrate, such as ditching or filling. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, road construction or maintenance, and residential, commercial, or recreational development. (2) Actions that would significantly alter vegetation structure or composition, such as clearing vegetation for construction of roads, residential VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 and commercial development, and recreational facilities, and trails. (3) Actions that would introduce nonnative species that would significantly alter vegetation structure or composition. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, residential and commercial development and road construction. Exemptions Application of Section 4(a)(3) of the Act 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 no Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP within the critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum. Consideration of Impacts Under 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. Consideration of Economic Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. In order to consider economic impacts, we prepared an incremental effects memorandum (IEM) and screening analysis which together with our narrative and interpretation of effects we consider our draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3881 habitat designation and related factors (Industrial Economics, Incorporated (IEc) 2014, entire). The analysis, dated October 15, 2014, was made available for public review from January 22, 2015, through March 23, 2015 (80 FR 3316). The DEA addressed probable economic impacts of critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. Following the close of the comment period, we reviewed and evaluated all information submitted during the comment period that may pertain to our consideration of the probable incremental economic impacts of this critical habitat designation. We did not receive any comments regarding the DEA; therefore, we consider the DEA to be the final economic analysis. Additional information relevant to the probable incremental economic impacts of critical habitat designation for the Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum is summarized below and available in the screening analysis for these species (IEc 2014), available at http://www.regulations.gov. The following provides a summary of the DEA. For more information regarding the Service’s economic analysis process, please see Consideration of Impacts Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act in the proposed rule (80 FR 3316, 3331–3334). In our evaluation of the probable incremental economic impacts that may result from the designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum, first we identified, in the IEM dated July 30, 2014, probable incremental economic impacts associated with the following categories of activities: (1) Federal lands management (NPS, Service, BLM); (2) Roadway and bridge construction; (3) Dredging; (4) Commercial or residential development; (5) Recreation (including construction of recreation infrastructure). We considered each industry or category individually. Additionally, we considered whether these activities have any Federal involvement. Critical habitat designation will not affect activities that do not have any Federal involvement; designation of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies. In areas where Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum is present, Federal agencies already are required to consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act on activities they authorize, fund, or carry out that may affect the species. Once critical habitat is designated, consultations to avoid the destruction or E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3882 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 adverse modification of critical habitat would be incorporated into the existing consultation process. Therefore, disproportionate impacts to any geographic area or sector are not likely as a result of this critical habitat designation. In our IEM, we attempted to clarify the distinction between the effects that will result from the species being listed and those attributable to the critical habitat designation (i.e., difference between the jeopardy and adverse modification standards) for Consolea corallicola’s and Harrisia aboriginum’s critical habitat. Because the designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum was proposed soon after the listing, it has been our experience that it is more difficult to discern which conservation efforts are attributable to the species being listed and those which will result solely from the designation of critical habitat. However, the following specific circumstances in this case help to inform our evaluation: (1) The essential physical or biological features identified for critical habitat are the same features essential for the life requisites of the species and (2) any actions that would result in sufficient harm or harassment to constitute jeopardy to Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum would also likely adversely affect the essential physical or biological features of critical habitat. The IEM outlined our rationale concerning this limited distinction between baseline conservation efforts and incremental impacts of the designation of critical habitat for these species. This evaluation of the incremental effects was used as the basis to evaluate the probable incremental economic impacts of the proposed rule to designate critical habitat. Consolea corallicola The critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola totals approximately 4,411 ac (1,785 ha) across four units in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida, all of which was occupied by the species at the time of listing. The critical habitat includes lands under Federal (28 percent), State (58 percent), county (1 percent), and private or other (13 percent) ownership. In these areas any actions that may affect the species or its habitat would also affect designated critical habitat, and it is unlikely that any additional conservation efforts would be recommended to address the adverse modification standard over and above those recommended as necessary to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of C. corallicola. Therefore, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 only administrative costs are expected in the critical habitat designation. While this additional analysis will require time and resources by both the Federal action agency and the Service, in most circumstances, these costs would predominantly be administrative in nature and would not be significant. Based on the available information, we anticipate no more than three consultations per year within the critical habitat units. Communications with affected entities indicate that critical habitat designation is likely to result in no more than a few consultations, with minor conservation efforts that would likely result in relatively low probable economic impacts. Unit costs of such administrative efforts range from approximately $410 to $5,000 per consultation (2014 dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates, this analysis conservatively estimates that the administrative cost of considering adverse modification in section 7 consultation will result in incremental costs of up to $7,100 (2014 dollars) in a given year for Consolea corallicola (IEc 2014, pp. 10–11). The entities most likely to incur incremental costs are parties to section 7 consultations, including Federal action agencies and, in some cases, third parties, most frequently State agencies or municipalities. Activities we expect will be subject to consultations that may involve private entities as third parties are residential and commercial development that may occur on private lands. However, based on coordination efforts with State and local agencies, the cost to private entities within these sectors is expected to be relatively minor (administrative costs of $5,000 or less per consultation effort) and, therefore, would not be significant. The probable incremental economic impacts of Consolea corallicola critical habitat designation are expected to be limited to additional administrative effort as well as minor costs of conservation efforts resulting from a small number of future section 7 consultations. This estimation is due to two factors: (1) The critical habitat units are all considered to be occupied by the species, and incremental economic impacts of critical habitat designation, other than administrative costs, are unlikely; and (2) few actions are anticipated that will result in section 7 consultation or associated project modifications. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Harrisia aboriginum The critical habitat designation for Harrisia aboriginum totals approximately 3,444 ac (1,394 ha) across 11 units in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee County. Nine of these units (approximately 44 percent of the area) were occupied by the species at the time of listing; the remaining two units (approximately 56 percent of the area) were unoccupied. The critical habitat includes lands under Federal (11 percent), State (48 percent), county (15 percent), and private or other (26 percent) ownership. Based on the available information, we anticipate no more than four consultations per year within the occupied critical habitat units. In the occupied areas, any actions that may affect the species or its habitat would also affect designated critical habitat and it is unlikely that any additional conservation efforts would be recommended to address the adverse modification standard over and above those recommended as necessary to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of Harrisia aboriginum. Therefore, only administrative costs are expected in approximately 44 percent of the critical habitat designation. While this additional analysis will require time and resources by both the Federal action agency and the Service, in most circumstances, these costs would predominantly be administrative in nature and would not be significant. Unit costs of such administrative efforts range from approximately $410 to $5,000 per consultation (2014 dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates to the occupied units, this analysis conservatively estimates that the administrative cost of considering adverse modification in section 7 consultation will result in incremental costs of up to $7,000 (2014 dollars) in a given year for H. aboriginum (IEc 2014, p. 11). In the unoccupied areas, any conservation efforts or associated probable impacts would be considered incremental effects attributed to the critical habitat designation. However, within the unoccupied critical habitat, few actions are expected to occur that will result in section 7 consultations or associated project modifications because no Federal lands are included in these units. Based on the results from past consultation history for these areas and communications with potentially affected entities, we anticipate that an additional six projects will result in section 7 consultation (two formal and E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations four informal) within the unoccupied units per year, with minor conservation efforts that would likely result in relatively low probable economic impacts. Unit costs of such administrative efforts range from approximately $1,200 to $15,000 per consultation (2014 dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates to the unoccupied units, this analysis conservatively estimates that the administrative cost of considering adverse modification in section 7 consultation will result in incremental costs of up to $60,000 (2014 dollars) in a given year for H. aboriginum (IEc 2014, pp. 10–11). Therefore, the estimate of incremental costs for all units (occupied and unoccupied) is $67,000 (2014 dollars) in a given year for H. aboriginum (IEc 2014, pp. 10–11). The entities most likely to incur incremental costs are parties to section 7 consultations, including Federal action agencies and, in some cases, third parties which will most frequently be State agencies or municipalities. Activities that we expect will be subject to consultations that may involve private entities as third parties are residential and commercial development that may occur on private lands. However, based on coordination efforts with State and local agencies, the cost to private entities within these sectors is expected to be relatively minor (administrative costs of less than $5,000 (occupied) or $15,000 (unoccupied) per consultation effort), and any costs from required conservation measures, therefore, would not be significant. The probable incremental economic impacts of Harrisia aboriginum critical habitat designation are expected to be limited to additional administrative effort as well as minor costs of conservation efforts resulting from a small number of future section 7 consultations. This estimation is due to two factors: (1) Incremental economic impacts of critical habitat designation, other than administrative costs, are unlikely; and (2) in units that are not occupied by H. aboriginum (56 percent), few actions are anticipated that will result in section 7 consultation or associated project modifications. For both species, the DEA also discusses the potential for incremental costs to occur outside of the section 7 consultation process, including costs associated with the potential triggering of additional requirements or project modifications under State laws or regulations, and perceptional effects on markets. It is unlikely that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 designation of critical habitat will trigger additional State or local restrictions (IEc 2014, pp. 11–12). Public perception of critical habitat may result in landowners or buyers believing that the rule will restrict land or water use activities in some way and, therefore, valuing the resource less than they would have absent critical habitat. This is a perceptional, or stigma, effect of critical habitat on markets. Costs resulting from public perception of the impact of critical habitat, if they occur, are more likely to occur on private lands. However, based on the economic analysis, ‘‘possible costs resulting from public perception of the effect of critical habitat designation, when combined with section 7 costs, are unlikely to exceed the threshold for an economically significant rulemaking under [Executive Order] 12866’’ (IEc 2014, p. 13). Under Executive Order 12866, agencies must assess the potential costs and benefits of regulatory actions and quantify those costs and benefits if that action may have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more annually. Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts Our economic analysis did not identify any disproportionate costs that are likely to result from the designation. Consequently, the Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum based on economic impacts. A copy of the IEM and screening analysis with supporting documents may be obtained by contacting the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) or by downloading from the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are lands owned or managed by the Department of Defense where a national security impact might exist. In preparing this final rule, we have determined that no lands within the designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum are owned or managed by the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security, and, therefore, we anticipate no impact on national security. Consequently, the Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this final designation based on impacts on national security. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3883 Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we also consider any other relevant impacts resulting from the designation of critical habitat. 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. We have determined that the Monroe County HCP for Big Pine and No Name Keys is the only HCP or other management plan that will be affected by either species’ critical habitat designation. The Monroe County HCP for Big Pine and No Name Keys, which covers a portion of unit FSC3, does not include Consolea corallicola as a ‘‘Covered Species,’’ and C. corallicola is not mentioned specifically anywhere in the HCP document. Further, the critical habitat designation does not include any tribal lands or trust resources. Therefore, we anticipate no impact on tribal lands, partnerships, or other HCPs from this final critical habitat designation. Accordingly, the Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this final designation based on other relevant impacts. Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant. E.O. 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3884 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 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 (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation as well as the 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. The Service’s current understanding of the requirements under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, is that Federal agencies are required to evaluate the potential incremental impacts of rulemaking only on those entities directly regulated by VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 the rulemaking itself and, therefore, not required to evaluate the potential impacts to indirectly regulated 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 destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, under section 7 only Federal action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by critical habitat designation. Consequently, it is our position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated by this designation. There is no requirement under the RFA to evaluate the potential impacts to entities not directly regulated. Therefore, because no small entities are directly regulated by this rulemaking, the Service certified, in the proposed rule, that, if promulgated, the final critical habitat designation would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. During the development of this final rule we reviewed and evaluated all information submitted during the comment period that may pertain to our consideration of the probable incremental economic impacts of this critical habitat designation. Based on this information, we affirm our certification that this final critical habitat designation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and a 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. OMB has provided guidance for implementing this Executive Order that outlines nine outcomes that may constitute ‘‘a significant adverse effect’’ when compared to not taking the regulatory action under consideration. The economic analysis finds that none of these criteria are relevant to this analysis. Thus, based on information in the economic analysis, energy-related impacts associated with Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum conservation activities within critical habitat are not expected. As such, the designation of critical habitat is not expected to significantly affect energy PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. 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 rule will 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 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 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 do not believe that this rule would significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The government lands being designated as critical habitat are owned by the Town of Longboat Key, the State of Florida, and BLM, NPS, and the Service. None of these government entities fit the definition of ‘‘small governmental jurisdiction.’’ Consequently, we do not believe that the critical habitat designation would significantly or uniquely affect small government entities. As such, a Small Government Agency Plan is not required. Takings—Executive Order 12630 In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (‘‘Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights’’), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of designating critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum in a takings implications assessment. 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. Due to current public knowledge of the species protections and the prohibition against take of the species both within and outside of the designated areas, we do not anticipate that property values will be affected by the critical habitat designation. Based on the best available information, the takings implications assessment concludes that this designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum does not pose significant takings implications. Federalism—E.O. 13132 In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this rule does not have significant Federalism effects. A VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Federalism assessment is not required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce policy, we request information from, and coordinated development of, this critical habitat designation with appropriate State resource agencies in Florida. We received comments from FDACS DPI and have addressed them in the Summary of Comments and Recommendations section of the rule. 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 does 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 may 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 or biological features of the habitat necessary to the conservation of the 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—E.O. 12988 In accordance with E.O. 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 applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We are designating 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 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3885 features essential to the conservation of the species. The designated areas of 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. As discussed above, we have E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3886 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations determined that there are no tribal lands occupied by Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum at the time of listing that contain the physical or biological features essential to conservation of these species, and no tribal lands unoccupied by C. corallicola or H. aboriginum that are essential for the conservation of the species. 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). Authors PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS The primary authors of this package are the staff members of the South Florida Ecological Services Office. ■ List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted. 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. 2. In § 17.12(h), revise the entries for ‘‘Consolea corallicola Cactus, Florida semaphore’’ and ‘‘Harrisia aboriginum Prickly-apple, aboriginal’’ under ‘‘Flowering Plants’’ in the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants to read as follows: ■ Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: § 17.12 * Endangered and threatened plants. * * (h) * * * * Species Historic range Scientific name Family Status When listed Common name * Critical habitat Special rules FLOWERING PLANTS * Consolea corallicola * Cactus, Florida semaphore. * U.S.A. (FL) ............. * Cactaceae .............. * E * 826 17.96(a) * Harrisia aboriginum * Prickly-apple, aboriginal. * U.S.A. (FL) ............. * Cactaceae .............. * E * 826 17.96(a) * * * * * 3. Amend § 17.96(a) by adding entries for ‘‘Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus)’’ and ‘‘Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple)’’ in alphabetical order under the family Cactaceae, to read as follows: ■ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 § 17.96 Critical habitat—plants. (a) Flowering plants. * * * * * Family Cactaceae: Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida, on the maps below. (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Consolea corallicola are: (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (A) Coastal berm habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, and storm-deposited sediment. (B) Rockland hammock habitat that contains: (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 * (2) Substrate with a thin layer of highly organic soil covering limestone or organic matter that accumulates on top of the limestone. (C) Buttonwood forest habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and (2) Substrate with calcareous marl muds, calcareous sands, or limestone rock. (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Consolea corallicola. (iii) A disturbance regime, due to the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation, that creates canopy openings in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain viable populations in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood forest. (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators that visit the flowers of Consolea corallicola. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 * NA * NA * (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 that exists within the legal boundaries on February 22, 2016. (4) Critical habitat map units. Data layers defining map units were developed using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS was also used to calculate area. 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, 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 http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2014–0057, 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. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3887 (5) Index map of all critical habitat units for Consolea corallicola follows: BILLING CODE 4333–15–P Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Index Map ofAll Units: Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida Miami-Dade County Monroe County UnitFSCl Florida Bay UnitFSC3 Atlantic Ocean Straits ofFlorida 25 I 0 Florida I 25 I 50 Miles I I 50Kilamddm County Boundaly ~ Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - (6) Unit FSC1: Swan Key, Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit FSC1 consists of 37 ac (15 ha) in Miami-Dade County. This unit is composed entirely VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat of lands in Federal ownership, 100 percent of which are located on Swan Key within Biscayne National Park. The unit includes all upland rockland hammock habitat on Swan Key, most of which is located on the eastern side of PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 ~ N Swan Key, surrounded by the island’s mangrove fringe. A second, smaller area is located on the island’s elongate western half and is also surrounded by mangroves. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.000</GPH> 0 3888 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit FSC1 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Unit FSCl: Swan Key, Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida Little Totten Old Rhodes Key Key Straits ofFlorida Key 0 0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.4Miles 0.2 0.4 Kilometers ~Coastline (7) Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit FSC2 consists of 3,434 ac (1,389 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal lands within Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (702 ac (284 ha)); State lands within Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park, John VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area (2,331 ac (943 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (17 ac (7 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (384 ac (155 ha)). This unit extends from near the northern tip of Key Largo, along the length of Key Largo, beginning at the south shore of PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Ocean Reef Harbor near South Marina Drive and the intersection of County Road (CR) 905 and Clubhouse Road on the west side of CR 905, and between CR 905 and Old State Road 905, then extending to the shoreline south of South Harbor Drive. The unit then continues on both sides of CR 905 through the Crocodile Lake NWR, Dagny E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.001</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 intersection of Old Road and Valencia Road, then resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 from Hibiscus Lane and Ocean Drive. The unit continues south near the Port Largo Airport from Poisonwood Road to Bo Peep Boulevard. The unit resumes on the west side of U.S. 1 from the intersection of South Drive and Meridian Avenue to Casa Court Drive. The unit then continues on the west PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 side of U.S. 1 from the point on the coast directly west of Peace Avenue south to Caribbean Avenue. The unit also includes a portion of the barrier island (El Radabob Key) in Largo Sound located directly east of Avenue A, extending south to a point directly east of Mahogany Drive. (ii) Index map of Unit FSC2 follows: E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.002</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The unit then terminates near the junction of U.S. 1 and CR 905 and Garden Cove Drive. The unit resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 from South Andros Road to Key Largo Elementary; then from the intersection of Taylor Drive and Pamela Street to Avenue A, then from Sound Drive to the 3889 3890 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iii) Map A of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola(Florida semaphore cactus) Map A of Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida ca-d Sound Road Key Largo Atlantic Ocean 1.5 Miles 0.75 0 Florida I 0 I I I 0.75 I 1.5 Kilometers - - MajorRoad ~Coastline a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.003</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3891 (iv) Map B of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map B of Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe Comty, Florida Barnes Sound Crocodile Lake NWR Atlantic Ocean 0 1.5 Miles 0.75 I I 0 I I 0.75 1.5 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline - Critical Habitat D N VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.004</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 (] 3892 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (v) Map C of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map C for Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida Key Largo Atlantic Ocean 1.5 Miles 0.75 0 I I I 0 0.75 1.5 Kilometers --Road <:) 0 ~Coastline D {j mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.005</GPH> - a Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3893 (vi) Map D of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map D for Unit FSC2: Key Largo. Monroe County. Florida Key Largo Atlantic Ocean l Miles 0.5 0 Florida \l I I I I 0.5 I I l Kilometers ~ N - - MajorRoad D 0 ~Coastline fl mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 (] VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 - Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.006</GPH> I 0 3894 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (vii) Map E of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map E ofUnit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida Atlantic Ocean 0.2 0 Florida I I I 0.25 0 0.4 Miles 0.5 Kilometers --Road - mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Coastline Critical Habitat Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.007</GPH> ~ Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3895 (viii) Map F of Unit FSC2 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map F of Unit FSC2: Key Latgo, Monroe County, Florida Florida Bay Key Largo Lime Street Atlantic Ocean 1 Miles 0.5 0 I I I 0 'V I I I I 0.5 I Kilometers D. --Road I) D ~ q Coastlme N (8) Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit FSC3 consists of 772 ac (313 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal land within the National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) (508 ac (205 ha)), State land managed as part of the NKDR VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 (172 ac (70 ha)), lands owned by Monroe County (11 ac (5 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (81 ac (33 ha)). This unit extends from near the northern tip of Big Pine Key along the eastern shore to the vicinity of Hellenga Drive and Watson Road; from Gulf Boulevard south to West Shore PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Drive; Big Pine Avenue and Elma Avenues on the east, Coral and Yacht Club Road, and U.S. 1 on the north, and Industrial Avenue on the east from the southeastern tip of Big Pine Key to Avenue A. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.008</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 -Critical Habitat 3896 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Index map of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Index Map of Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida MapA 3 Miles 1.5 0 I I I I I I I 3 Kilometers 1.5 D. --Highway ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 N ER22JA16.009</GPH> 0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3897 (iii) Map A of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map A of Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida Florida Bay mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Jkt 238001 Frm 00033 l Kilometers ~Coastline - PO 00000 I I I I I 0.5 --Road ¢ 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 I I 0 4 VerDate Sep<11>2014 l Miles 0.5 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ~ N ER22JA16.010</GPH> ~ ~ 0 3898 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iv) Map B of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map B of Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida Florida Bay 0 0.25 I I I I I 0 I I I I 0.25 0.5 Miles I I I I I 0.5 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.011</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3899 (v) Map C of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map C of Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida MahoganyLn Florida Bay Big Pine Key Florida Bay 0.25 I I I I I 0 I I I II I 0.25 0.5 Miles I I I I 0.5 Kilometers D. --Road ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 N ER22JA16.012</GPH> 0 3900 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (vi) Map D of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea coraHicola {Florida semaphore cactus) Map D of Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key. Monroe County. Florida Coupon Bight 0.25 0 I I I 0 I I I 0.25 0.5 Miles I I I I I 0.5 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.013</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3901 (vii) Map E of Unit FSC3 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map E ofUnit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe Com.ty, Florida Big Pine Key Straits of Florida 0.15 0 II I I 0.1 I I I I 0.2 Kilometers D --Road ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - (9) Unit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit FSC4 consists of 168 ac (68 ha) in Monroe County. This unit is composed of State lands (47 ac (19 ha)), lands owned by Monroe County (10 ac (4 ha)), and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat parcels in private and other ownership (111 ac (45 ha)). This unit extends along State Highway 4A, from Coral Shores Road, south to County Road, resuming at Linda Street and extending south to the Overseas Highway. South of the Overseas Highway, the unit includes PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 N areas west of Kings Cove Road, and an area comprising the southern tip of Little Torch Key that includes portions of the John J. Pescatello Torchwood Hammock Preserve. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.014</GPH> I 0 0.3 Miles 3902 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Index map of Unit FSC4 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Index Map ofUnit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe Comty, Florida MapB Straits ofFlorida 0.25 1 Miles 0.5 0 0.250.5 1 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ~ N ER22JA16.015</GPH> 0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3903 (iii) Map A of Unit FSC4 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map A of Unit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County. Florida 0 0.125 0.25 I 0.2 0 I I 0.5 Miles I 0.4 0.8 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.016</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3904 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iv) Map B of Unit FSC4 follows: Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) Map B ofUnit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County, Florida 0.1 0 0.4 Miles 0.2 Lower Florida Keys 0.5 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - * * * * * Family Cactaceae: Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple) (1) Critical habitat units for Harrisia aboriginum are depicted for Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee Counties, Florida, on the maps below. (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the physical or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat biological features essential to the conservation of Harrisia aboriginum are: (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds. (A) Coastal strand habitat that contains: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 D N (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory, and (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments of stabilized coastal dunes. (B) Coastal grassland habitat that contains: (1) No canopy and an open understory, and E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.017</GPH> 0 0.125 0.25 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments. (C) Coastal berm habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory, and (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, storm-deposited sediment. (D) Maritime hammock habitat that contains: (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and (2) Substrate of calcareous sand and shell fragments. (E) Shell mound habitat that contains: (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory, and (2) Substrate of soil derived from calcareous shells deposited by Native Americans during prehistoric times. (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in quantities low VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 enough to have minimal effect on survival of Harrisia aboriginum. (iii) Canopy openings in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that are created by the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation. (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain viable populations in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats. (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators that visit the flowers of Harrisia aboriginum. (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 that exists within the legal boundaries on February 22, 2016. (4) Critical habitat map units. Unit maps were developed using ESRI PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 3905 ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial data layers. ArcGIS was also used to calculate area. 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 http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2014–0057, 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. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 3906 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (5) Index map of all critical habitat units for Harrisia aboriginum follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum(Aboriginal Priddy-Apple) Index Map ofAll Units: Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee Counties, Florida Manatee County UnitAPA2 UnitAPA3 Charlotte County UnitAPA4 W? UnitAPA5 \ ~UnitAPA8 1 LeeCounty UnitAPA7 UnitAPAIO UnitAPAll 0 I I I 0 Florida 20 Miles 10 I I I I I I I I I I 20 I I 40 Kilometers - - County Boundary ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.018</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (6) Unit APA1: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA1 consists of approximately 222 ac (90 ha) in Manatee County, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System (66 ac (27 ha)); Manatee County lands at Emerson Point Preserve and parcels owned by the Manatee County Port Authority (70 ac (28 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (87 ac (35 ha)). This unit includes lands west of 3907 Highway 41 extending from just south of South Dock Street south to Snead Island. The unit also includes areas of Harbor Key, Mariposa Key, Horseshoe Key, Joe Island, Skeet Key, Paradise Island, Ed’s Key, and Rattlesnake Key. (ii) Index map of Unit APA1 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Priddy-Apple) Index Map ofUnit APA 1: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida MapA MapB 0 2Miles I I I I I I 0 I I 2 4 Kilometers ~Coastline . . Critical Habitat VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.019</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 --Road 3908 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iii) Map A of Unit APA1 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map A of Unit APAl: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida Harbor Key • 0 0.5 l Miles I I I 0 I I I I 0.5 Q I I I I 1 Kilometers D --Road ~Coastline N VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.020</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3909 (iv) Map B of Unit APA1 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map B of Unit APAl: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida Madira Bickell Mound ~State Archeological Site Snead Island * 2 Miles 0 I I 0 l I I 2 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (7) Unit APA2: Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida. (i) General description: Unit APA2 consists of approximately 54 ac (22 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of parcels in private VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat or other ownership. This unit includes lands west of Gulf of Mexico Drive, extending from 0.40 mi (0.6 km) south of the intersection of Bay Isles Parkway and Gulf of Mexico Drive, to the southern tip of Longboat Key. It also PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 includes lands on the north side of Gulf of Mexico Drive, east of Longboat Club Key Drive, on the northwest tip of Longboat Key. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.021</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3910 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit APA2 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginwn {Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnit APA2: Longboat K.ey, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Florida Long boat Key I I 0 I I I 0.5 I l Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (8) Unit APA3: Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA3 consists of approximately 116 ac (47 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed of Sarasota County lands VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat within Palmer Point County Park (50 ac (20 ha)) and parcels in private or other ownership (66 ac (27 ha)). This unit extends along the barrier island (Casey Key) from the south terminus of Blind Pass Road, south for approximately 1.2 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 mi (1.9 km) along North Casey Key Road. On the mainland, the unit includes lands bordered on the north by Vamo Way, to the east by Highway 41, and to the south by Palmetto Avenue. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.022</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3911 (ii) Map of Unit APA3 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisiaaboriginwn (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnitAPA3: Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida North Casey Key Road 0 0. 7 Miles 0.35 I I I 0 0.35 I 0. 7 Kilometers --Road ~ Coa.dliue (9) Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA4 consists of approximately 415 ac (168 ha) in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat lands within Stump Pass Beach State Park (58 ac (23 ha)); County lands within Blind Pass Park, Brohard Beach and Paw Park, Manasota Beach Park, Casperson Beach Park, and Service Club Park (111 ac (45 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (245 ac (99 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 ha)). This unit extends from Beach Road in the City of Venice, south along Manasota Key to the barrier islands southern tip, including a portion of Peterson Island. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.023</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3912 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Index map of Unit APA4 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginwn (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Index Map ofUnitAPA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida MapA Manasota Key MapB Gulfof Mexico Sarasota County Charlotte County MapC 6 Miles 3 I I 0 I 3 I 6 Kilometers - - County Boundary ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.024</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3913 (iii) Map A of Unit APA4 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map A ofUnit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Comties, Florida Beach Road * Gulf of Mexico 2 Miles 1 I I 0 l I I 1 2 Kilometers ~ N --Road ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.025</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3914 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iv) Map B of Unit APA4 follows: Critical Habitat foc Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map B of Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Cm.m.ties, Florida Manasota Beach Road Gulf of Mexico 2 Miles l 0 I I 0 l I I 1 2 Kilometers --Road ~ Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.026</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3915 (v) Map C of Unit APA4 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map C of Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida Gulf Of Mexico Manasota Key Stump Pass Beach 0 2 Miles I I 0 I l I 2 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (10) Unit APA5: Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA5 consists of 51 ac (21 ha) in Charlotte County, Florida. This unit is composed VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat entirely of State lands within the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. This unit includes the Big Mound, Boggess Ridge, and a shell mound located on the east side of Charlotte PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Harbor, south of the City of Charlotte Park. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.027</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3916 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit APA5 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginwn (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnitAPA5: Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park l Miles 0.5 I I 0 I I I 0.5 I l Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (11) Unit APA6: Gasparilla North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA6 consists of approximately 98 ac (40 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State land (0.006 ac (0.02 ha)), county land (22 ac (9 ha)), and parcels in private or other VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat ownership (77 ac (31 ha)). This unit includes most of Kitchen Key (Live Oak Key) and the area east of Gasparilla Road, from the intersection of Grouper Hole Road and Grouper Hole Court, south to 0.15 mi (0.24 km) north of Snail Island Court, from approximately 0.10 mi (0.21 km) south of 35th Street to 23rd PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Street, including the small island separated from Gasparilla Island by a canal; and from 22nd Street to 20th Street. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.028</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 • Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3917 (ii) Map of Unit APA6 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) of Unit North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida Gasparilla Island Charlotte County County Boundary Lee County Gulf of Mexico I Miles 0.5 0 I I 0 I I I 0.5 I I I Kilometers D. --Road VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat Service and Bureau of Land Management (3 ac (1 ha)), State lands within Gasparilla Island State Park (69 ac (28 ha)), Lee County lands (12 ac (5 ha), and parcels in private or other ownership (8 ac (3 ha)). This unit PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 N includes lands located from south of 1st Street to the southern tip of Gasparilla Island. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.029</GPH> (12) Unit APA7: Gasparilla South, Lee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA7 consists of approximately 92 ac (37 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal land owned by the Coastline - mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 ~ 3918 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit APA7 follows: Critical Habitat for Htm'isia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnitAPA 7: Gasparilla South, Lee County. Florida Gasparilla Island Gulf of Mexico 0 0.8 Miles 0.4 I 0 I I I 0.4 0.8 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (13) Unit APA8: Cayo Pelau, Lee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA8 consists of approximately 25 ac (10 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat This unit is composed of Lee County lands within Cayo Pelau Preserve, and parcels in private or other ownership (0.6 ac (0.2 ha)). This unit includes lands located from 0.13 mi (0.21 km) PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 south of the northern tip of Cayo Pelau, extending south to the southeastern tip of Cayo Pelau. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.030</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3919 (ii) Map of Unit APA8 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginwn (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map of Unit APA 8: Cayo Pelau, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. Charlotte County "'County Boundary Lee County 0 0.5 Miles 0.25 I I 0 I I 0.25 0.5 Kilometers - - County Boundmy VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat composed of State lands within Cayo Costa State Park (1,379 ac (558 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (94 ac (38 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (230 ac (93 ha)). This unit PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 includes lands located from the northern tip to the southern tip of Cayo Costa. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.031</GPH> (14) Unit APA9: Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA9 consists of approximately 1,702 ac (689 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is Coastline - mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 ~ 3920 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Map of Unit APA9 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnit APA9: Cayo Costa, Lee Comty. Florida Cayo Costa - - - - . . J , . . Gulf of Mexico 0 I 0 3 Miles l.5 I I I I 1.5 I 3 Kilometers ~Coastline (15) Unit APA10: Bocilla, Lee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA10 consists of approximately 33 ac (13 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County lands within VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat the Bocilla Preserve (32 ac (13 ha)) and parcels in private or other ownership (0.7 ac (0.3 ha)). This unit includes lands located on the undeveloped portion of Bokeelia Island from 0.02 mi (0.03 km) west of the terminus of PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Ebbtide Way, extending south and west to the northwestern and southeastern corners of Bokeelia Island. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.032</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3921 (ii) Map of Unit APA10 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map ofUnitAPAlO: Bocilla, Lee County, Florida Bokeelia Island ~0 Q 0.5 Miles 0.25 I I I I 0.25 0 I I 0.5 Kilometers --Road ~Coastline (16) Unit APA11: Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida. (i) General Description: Unit APA11 consists of approximately 635 ac (257 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and Service lands within the J.N. ‘Ding’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 Critical Habitat Darling National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (373 ac (151 ha)), State lands (47 ac (19 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (90 ac (36 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (126 ac (51 ha)). This unit includes lands on Buck Key, Runyan Key, and Sanibel Island. On Sanibel Island, the unit includes a portion of PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Bowman’s Beach, from just south of Silver Key to the western terminus of Water’s Edge Lane; uplands within J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling NWR; and a shell mound located near the northern terminus of Tarpon Bay Road. E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.033</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3922 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Index map of Unit APA11 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum(Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Index Map of Unit APA 11: Sanibel-Buck, Lee County, Florida * MapA MapB MapC 0 I I 0 I I I I I I 1 2 Kilometers ~Coastline mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ~ N ER22JA16.034</GPH> I 2 Miles l I Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3923 (iii) Map A of Unit APA11 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map A ofUnit APA 11: Sanibel-Buck, Lee County, Florida Buck Key Sanibel Island Runyan Key l Miles 0.5 0 I I 0 I I I I 0.5 I l Kilometers ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.035</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - 3924 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (iv) Map B of Unit APA11 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aborigimun (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple) Map B of Unit APAll: Sanibel-Buck, Lee County, Florida Bowman's Beach Water's Edge Lane I I l Miles 0.5 0 I I 0 I 0.5 I I I I I I l Kilometers --Road ~Coastline VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 Critical Habitat E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.036</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 3925 (v) Map C of Unit APA11 follows: Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum (Aborigin.al Prickly-Apple) Map C ofUnitAPAU: Sanibel-Suck, Lee County~ Florida 0 I 0.1 I 0 I 0.2 Miles I O.l 0.2 Kilometers ---Road ~Coastline * * * * Critical Habitat D. N Dated: January 6, 2016. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. * [FR Doc. 2016–01141 Filed 1–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–C VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Jan 21, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\22JAR2.SGM 22JAR2 ER22JA16.037</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES2 -

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 14 (Friday, January 22, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3865-3925]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01141]



[[Page 3865]]

Vol. 81

Friday,

No. 14

January 22, 2016

Part II





 Department of the Interior





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 Fish and Wildlife Service





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50 CFR Part 17





Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical 
Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus) and 
Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple); Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 14 / Friday, January 22, 2016 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 3866]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2014-0057; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AZ92


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus) 
and Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, designate critical 
habitat for Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) and 
Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple) under the Endangered 
Species Act (Act). In total, approximately 4,411 acres (1,785 hectares) 
for Consolea corallicola in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida; 
and 3,444 acres (1,394 hectares) for Harrisia aboriginum in Manatee, 
Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee Counties, Florida, fall within the 
boundaries of the critical habitat designations.

DATES: This rule becomes effective on February 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/. Comments and 
materials we received, as well as some supporting documentation we used 
in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. All of the comments, materials, and documentation 
that we considered in this rulemaking are available by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the South Florida Ecological Services 
Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    The coordinates, 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-2014-0057, and at 
the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information 
that we developed for this critical habitat designation will also be 
available at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and Field 
Office listed above, and may also be included in the preamble and/or at 
http://www.regulations.gov.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act), when we determine that 
any species is threatened or endangered, we must designate critical 
habitat, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable. Designations 
of critical habitat can be completed only by issuing a rule.
    This rule consists of: A final rule designating critical habitat 
for two endangered plant species, Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum.
    We have prepared an economic analysis of the designations. In order 
to consider economic impacts, we prepared an incremental effects 
memorandum (IEM) and screening analysis which, together with our 
narrative and interpretation of effects, we consider our draft economic 
analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical habitat designation and related 
factors. The analysis, dated October 15, 2014, was made available for 
public review from January 22, 2015, through March 23, 2015 (80 FR 
3316). The DEA addressed probable economic impacts of critical habitat 
designation for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. We did 
not receive any comments regarding the DEA; therefore, we consider the 
October 15, 2014, DEA, our IEM, and narrative interpretation of the 
effects to be the final economic analysis.
    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from three 
independent specialists to ensure that our designation is based on 
scientifically sound data and analyses. We obtained opinions from two 
of the independent specialists with scientific expertise to review our 
technical assumptions, analysis, and whether or not we had used the 
best available information. These peer reviewers generally concurred 
with our methods and conclusions and provided additional information, 
clarifications, and suggestions to improve this final rule. Information 
we received from peer review did not result in changes to the proposed 
designation. We also considered all comments and information received 
from the public during the comment period.

Previous Federal Actions

    Previous Federal actions for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum are outlined in our proposed and final rules to list both 
species as endangered species published in the Federal Register on 
October 11, 2012 (77 FR 61836), and October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63796), 
respectively.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We requested written comments from the public on the proposed 
designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum and the associated DEA with the publication of the proposed 
rule to designate critical habitat that published January 22, 2015 (80 
FR 3316). The comment period opened on January 22, 2015, and closed on 
March 23, 2015. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing. 
We also contacted appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies; 
scientific organizations; and other interested parties and invited them 
to comment on the proposed rule and DEA during the comment period.
    We received four comment letters directly addressing the proposed 
critical habitat designation. All substantive information provided 
during the comment period is addressed below.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinions from three knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with 
the species, the geographic region in which the species occurs, and 
conservation biology principles. We received responses from two of the 
peer reviewers.
    Both peer reviewers noted that the proposal was comprehensive and 
that the data which the Service relied upon to delineate critical 
habitat was sound. Peer reviewers did not provide any new information 
that would necessitate changes to the final rule. Peer reviewer 
comments are addressed in the following summary.
Peer Reviewer Comments
    (1) Comment: The proposed rule references a population within John 
Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This population was planted by park 
staff and is, therefore, considered cultivated as there is no 
documentation that

[[Page 3867]]

supports Consolea corallicola occurring historically within the park.
    Our Response: The proposed rule did not identify a population of 
Consolea corallicola within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park since 
the Service was unaware that C. corallicola was planted at this 
location. Although individuals of listed plant species receive 
protection under section 7 of the Act regardless of whether they were 
translocated (planted) or originated naturally, designation of critical 
habitat at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park does not mandate the 
Florida Park Service to manage the habitat or reintroduce C. 
corallicola in the areas identified. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State 
Park is located within critical habitat unit FSC2 that also contains 
Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park where the plant is known to occur. 
Critical habitat units for this species are delineated by the presence 
of suitable habitat conditions that promote survival and expansion of 
populations into the future and are not required to be completely 
occupied by the species at the time of listing.
    (2) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the Florida Natural Areas 
Inventory (FNAI), Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 
edition contains a ``new'' natural community, designated as Keys Cactus 
Barren that occurs in the Florida Keys on Key Largo limestone. This may 
be another natural community that C. corallicola uses or may be 
reintroduced or otherwise assisted in its migration. However, the Keys 
Cactus Barren is so ``new'' that it has not been mapped out or 
identified properly like the other natural communities that were 
designated in the 1990 FNAI Guide to the natural communities of 
Florida. It may be useful for those active in the conservation of C. 
corallicola to identify and map Keys cactus barren within critical 
habitat areas that are being proposed.
    Our Response: The Service agrees that, while no historical wild 
populations were reported from Keys cactus barren habitat, it is likely 
to be a suitable habitat type for Consolea corallicola because it is an 
open canopy habitat with many of the same associated species found in 
rockland hammock or buttonwood forest. The ecology of Keys cactus 
barrens remains poorly understood, in particular, how they arise and 
what processes maintain them. While areas of Keys cactus barren habitat 
are not delineated in the data we utilized, the habitat type occurs 
largely as inclusions within rockland hammock, coastal berm, or 
buttonwood forest. Since these habitats were included in the proposal, 
it is likely that many unmapped Keys cactus barren areas are included 
in the final critical habitat designation.
    (3) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that proper management of 
individual plants and their habitat may prove to be very expensive and 
time demanding, requiring quarterly population monitoring to remove 
Cactoblastis cactorum larvae, and to control other native and nonnative 
plants and animals around individual plants.
    Our Response: The Service agrees that conservation of these species 
will necessitate a commitment by the Service and our conservation 
partners. Nonnative plant and animal control is ongoing at some sites, 
and most populations are visited at least twice per year to monitor for 
Cactoblastis infestations. We welcome suggestions from stakeholders and 
partners on how to efficiently address the threat from C. cactorum 
moths.
    (4) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that reducing fuels around 
the cacti before prescribed fire and in case of wildfire may also need 
to be conducted in the event that prescribed or wild fire burns into 
the plants.
    Our Response: The Service agrees that fuel reduction or other 
strategies are needed to reduce the risk of wild or prescribed fire 
escaping into areas supporting the two cacti. We discuss the risk of 
wildfire in this final rule, but we believe that emergency management 
actions that may be needed in the event of wildfire, such as clearing 
fuels around individual cacti, must take place on a case-by-case basis.
    (5) Comment: One peer reviewer suggested that, in addition to using 
current aerial photography to identify critical habitat for these 
species, the Service should use historical aerial photography as well. 
The earliest possible aerials show the habitat as it was from the mid-
1900s, when Florida was much different than it is today (more open), 
and will lead to more effective identification of the natural 
communities the two cacti need.
    Our Response: The Service has identified critical habitat areas 
that are suitable for the two species based largely on current habitat 
conditions, and to a much lesser extent, areas that could be suitable 
if they undergo restoration (see Criteria Used to Identify Critical 
Habitat sections for each species). We attempted to designate a 
critical habitat unit for each current and historical population on 
record. In some areas of these species' range, dense development and 
concomitant lack of large natural areas are the primary limiting factor 
to the size of the critical habitat units. While historical aerial 
imagery would help us understand past habitat conditions and perhaps 
identify some areas lost to disrupted ecology or nonnative species, we 
believe the improvement to this critical habitat designation would be 
negligible because the main limiting factor for these species is 
habitat loss due to development and sea level rise, rather than due to 
lack of natural disturbance and active management.

Comments From the State

    Section 4(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act requires the Secretary to give 
actual notice of any regulation proposed thereunder to the State agency 
in each State in which the species occur, and to invite comments. 
Comments received from the State regarding the proposal to designate 
critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum are 
addressed below.
    (6) Comment: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer 
Services' Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI), which maintains 
Florida's list of threatened, endangered, and economically exploited 
species under Florida's native plant protection statute (Chapter 5B-40 
Preservation of Native Flora of Florida), stated that it supports the 
designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum. The commenter stated that habitat at the highest available 
elevation will be important to avoid possible inundation from storms 
and sea level rise.
    Our Response: The Service appreciates FDACS-DPI support of the 
critical habitat designation. We agree that habitats at higher 
elevations are important for reducing the vulnerability of these two 
plants to storm surge and sea level rise. A significant portion of the 
total critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola is on Key 
Largo, which contains the vast majority of the relatively high 
elevations within the species' historical range. However, we did not 
include the highest elevation in the Florida Keys (located on Windley 
Key) because there is no record of C. corallicola on the island. The 
critical habitat designation for Harrisia aboriginum includes higher 
elevation coastal berms and shell mounds. Shell mounds are often 
several meters above sea level. Other areas with higher elevation do 
not contain the associated species, vegetation structure, and 
disturbance regime suitable for Harrisia aboriginum.

[[Page 3868]]

Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule

    Public and peer review comments did not necessitate any changes to 
the final rule.

Summary of Biological Status for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum

    For more information on Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum taxonomy, life history, habitat, population descriptions, 
and factors affecting the species, please refer to the proposed listing 
rule published October 11, 2012 (77 FR 61836), the final listing rule 
published October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63796), and the proposed rule to 
designate critical habitat published January 22, 2015 (80 FR 3316).

Critical Habitat

Background

    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) which are 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 and commercial 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 or 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 those 
specific elements of the 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 may 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 for the 
conservation of the species and may be included in the 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 and commercial 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, but are not limited to, the 
recovery plan for the species, 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, will 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

[[Page 3869]]

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 will continue to contribute to recovery of Consolea 
corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. 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.

Physical or Biological Features

    In accordance with sections 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act 
and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), in determining which areas within 
the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing 
may be designated as critical habitat, we consider the physical or 
biological features 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 geographic and ecological 
distributions of a species.
    We derive the specific physical or biological features essential to 
Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum from studies of the 
species' habitat, ecology, and life history as described below. 
Additional information on these cacti can be found in the proposed and 
final listing rules. We have determined that the following physical or 
biological features are essential to the conservation of Consolea 
corallicola.

Consolea corallicola

Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior
    Plant Community and Competitive Ability. Consolea corallicola 
occurs in communities classified as coastal berm, buttonwood forests, 
and rockland hammocks restricted to the Florida Keys. These communities 
and their associated native plant species are described in the Status 
Assessment for Consolea corallicola in the proposed and final listing 
rules. These habitats and their associated plant communities provide 
vegetation structure that allows for adequate growing space, sunlight, 
and a competitive regime that is required for C. corallicola to persist 
and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify 
upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland hammock, and 
buttonwood forest to be a physical or biological feature for C. 
corallicola.
Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements
    Climate (temperature and precipitation). Consolea corallicola 
requires adequate rainfall and does not tolerate prolonged freezing 
temperatures. The climate of south Florida where C. corallicola occurs 
is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons, a monthly mean 
temperature above 18 [deg]C (64.4 [deg]F) in every month of the year, 
and annual rainfall averaging 75 to 150 cm (30 to 60 inches (in)) 
(Gabler et al. 1994, p. 211). Freezes can occur in the winter months, 
but are very infrequent at this latitude in Florida. Therefore, based 
on the information above, we determined this type of climate to be a 
physical or biological feature for C. corallicola.
    Soils. Substrates supporting Consolea corallicola include loose 
sediment formed by a mixture of coarse sand, shell fragments, pieces of 
coralline algae, and other coastal debris, exposed bare limestone rock 
or with a thin layer of leaf litter or highly organic soil (Bradley and 
Gann 1999, p. 37; FNAI 2010a, b, and c, p. 1; FNAI 2010d,e, p. 2). 
These substrates provide anchoring spots, nutrients, moisture regime, 
and suitable soil chemistry for C. corallicola; and facilitate a 
community of associated plant species that create a competitive regime 
that allows C. corallicola to persist and spread. Therefore, based on 
the information above, we identify substrates derived from calcareous 
sand or limestone that provide anchoring and nutritional requirements 
to be a physical or biological feature for C. corallicola.
    Hydrology. The species requires coastal berms and buttonwood 
forests that occur at an elevation higher than the daily tidal range, 
but are subject to flooding by seawater during extreme tides and storm 
surge (FNAI 2010b, p. 2; FNAI 2010c, p. 2). This flooding helps to 
limit the variety of plants that may grow in these habitats and compete 
with Consolea corallicola. Rockland hammocks occur on high ground that 
does not regularly flood, but this habitat is often dependent upon a 
high water table to keep humidity levels high, and may be inundated 
during storm surges (FNAI 2010e, p. 2). Therefore, based on the 
information above, we identify rockland hammock habitat with 
groundwater levels needed to maintain humidity and buttonwood and 
coastal berm habitat inundated by storm surge or tidal events at a 
frequency and duration needed to limit plant species competition while 
not creating overly saline conditions to be a physical or biological 
feature for C. corallicola.
Cover or Shelter
    Consolea corallicola occurs in open canopy and semi-open to closed 
canopy habitats. The spatial and temporal distribution of open canopy 
areas varies by habitat type and time since the last disturbance, such 
as a hurricane, caused canopy openings. In rockland hammocks, suitable 
sites will often be found near the hammock edge or where there are 
openings in the forest canopy. More open communities (e.g., coastal 
berm and buttonwood forests) provide more abundant and temporally 
consistent suitable habitat than communities capable of establishing a 
dense canopy (e.g., hardwood hammocks). Therefore, based on the 
information above, we identify habitats that have a vegetation 
composition and structure that allows for adequate sunlight and space 
for individual growth and population expansion to be a physical or 
biological feature for C. corallicola.
Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of 
Offspring
    The habitats identified above as physical or biological features 
also provide a plant community with associated plant species that 
foster a competitive regime suitable to Consolea corallicola and 
contain adequate open space for the recruitment of new plants. 
Associated plant species in these habitats attract and provide cover 
for generalist pollinators (e.g., bees, butterflies, and beetles) that 
pollinate C. corallicola.
Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the 
Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of the Species
    Consolea corallicola continues to occur in habitats that are 
protected from human-generated disturbances and are representative of 
the species' historical, geographical, and ecological distribution 
although its range has been reduced. The species is still found in 
coastal berm, buttonwood forest, and

[[Page 3870]]

rockland hammocks. As described above, these habitats provide a 
community of associated plant and animal species that are compatible 
with C. corallicola, vegetation structure that provides adequate 
sunlight levels and open space for plant growth and regeneration, and 
substrates with adequate moisture availability and suitable soil 
chemistry. Representative communities are located on Federal, State, 
local, and private conservation lands that implement conservation 
measures benefitting the species. Therefore, based on the information 
above, we identify habitat of sufficient size and connectivity that can 
support species growth, distribution, and population expansion to be 
physical or biological features for C. corallicola.
    Disturbance Regime. Coastal berm, buttonwood forest, and rockland 
hammock habitats that could or currently support Consolea corallicola 
depend on natural disturbance regimes from hurricanes or tidal 
inundation to open the canopy in order to provide light levels 
sufficient to support the species. The historical frequency and 
magnitude of hurricanes and tidal inundation has allowed for the 
persistence of C. corallicola by occasionally creating areas of open 
canopy. In the absence of disturbance, some of these habitats may have 
closed canopies, resulting in areas lacking enough available sunlight 
to support C. corallicola. However, too frequent or severe disturbance 
that transitions the habitat toward more saline conditions could result 
in the decline of the species in the area. Therefore, based on the 
information above, we identify habitats that have disturbance regimes, 
including hurricanes, and infrequent inundation events that maintain 
habitat suitability to be physical or biological features for C. 
corallicola.

Primary Constituent Elements for Consolea corallicola

    Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to 
identify the physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of Consolea corallicola in areas occupied at the time of 
listing, focusing on the features' primary constituent elements. 
Primary constituent elements are those specific elements of the 
physical or biological features that provide for a species' life-
history processes and are essential to the conservation of the species.
    Based on our current knowledge of the physical or biological 
features and habitat characteristics required to sustain the species' 
life-history processes, we determine that the primary constituent 
elements specific to Consolea corallicola are:
    (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland 
hammocks, and buttonwood forest.
    (A) Coastal berm habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, and storm-deposited sediment.
    (B) Rockland hammock habitat that contains:
    (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, 
subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate with a thin layer of highly organic soil covering 
limestone or organic matter that accumulates on top of the limestone.
    (C) Buttonwood forest habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and
    (2) Substrate with calcareous marl muds, calcareous sands, or 
limestone rock.
    (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no 
invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in 
quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Consolea 
corallicola.
    (iii) A disturbance regime, due to the effects of strong winds or 
saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation, 
that creates canopy openings in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and 
buttonwood forest.
    (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain 
viable populations in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood 
forest.
    (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators 
that visit the flowers of Consolea corallicola.

Special Management Considerations or Protection for Consolea 
corallicola

    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.
    Special management considerations or protection are necessary 
throughout the critical habitat units to avoid further degradation or 
destruction of the habitat that provides those features essential to 
the species' conservation. The primary threats to the physical or 
biological features that Consolea corallicola depends on include:
    (1) Habitat destruction and modification by development and sea 
level rise;
    (2) Competition with nonnative, invasive plant and animal species;
    (3) Wildfire; and
    (4) Hurricanes and storm surge.
    Some of these threats can be addressed by special management 
considerations or protection, while others (e.g., sea level rise, 
hurricanes, storm surge) are beyond the control of landowners and 
managers. However, even when landowners or land managers may not be 
able to control all the threats, they may be able to address the 
results of the threats.

Proposed Actions To Ameliorate Threats

    The following measures or management activities can ameliorate 
threats to Consolea corallicola:
    (1) Protecting habitats from residential, commercial, or 
recreational facility development;
    (2) Avoiding ditching or filling that may alter hydrological 
conditions;
    (3) Nonnative plant and animal species control programs to reduce 
competition and predation and prevent habitat degradation; and
    (4) Hardwood reduction to maintain the open vegetation structure of 
the species' habitats.
    The reduction of these threats will require the implementation of 
special management actions within each of the critical habitat areas 
identified in this final rule. All critical habitat units will need 
management to address the ongoing threats listed above and those 
presented in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species sections in 
the proposed and final listing rules.

Ongoing Actions To Ameliorate Threats

    The Service, National Park Service (NPS), State of Florida, Miami-
Dade and Monroe Counties, and several local governments own and manage 
conservation lands within the range of Consolea corallicola. The Nature 
Conservancy purchased Torchwood Hammock Preserve on Little Torch Key in 
1988, to protect what was at the time the only known remaining 
population of C. corallicola. The comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) 
for the Lower Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges (National Key Deer 
Refuge, Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Great White Heron 
National Wildlife Refuge) and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge 
promote the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and 
enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and 
animals, especially imperiled species that are found only in the 
Florida Keys. This CCP provides specifically for

[[Page 3871]]

maintaining and expanding populations of C. corallicola.
    NPS regulations at 36 CFR 2.1 prohibit visitors from harming or 
removing plants, listed or otherwise, from Everglades National Park 
(ENP) or Biscayne National Park (BNP). Consolea corallicola is listed 
on the Regulated Plant Index as endangered under chapter 5B-40, Florida 
Administrative Code. Florida Statutes 581.185 sections (3)(a) and (b) 
prohibit any person from willfully destroying or harvesting any species 
listed as endangered or threatened on the Regulated Plant Index, or 
growing such a plant on the private land of another, or on any public 
land, without first obtaining the written permission of the landowner 
and a permit from the Florida Department of Plant Industry.
    The Service, NPS, State of Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, 
and several local governments conduct nonnative species control efforts 
on sites that support or have suitable habitat for C. corallicola. The 
introduced Cactoblastis moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) infests C. 
corallicola plants and may cause mortality. We consider the moth to be 
a major threat to the species. Monitoring for Cactoblastis moth 
infestations, and hand removal efforts of the moth larvae and eggs are 
conducted at BNP and Torchwood Hammock Preserve in an effort to protect 
C. corallicola. No satisfactory method of large-scale control for the 
Cactoblastis moth is known at this time. The U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service's Center for Medical, 
Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Tallahassee, Florida, is 
developing containment methods to control the spread of the 
Cactoblastis moth (USDA 2006, p. 9).
    Reintroductions of Consolea corallicola have been implemented at 
several locations on State and Federal lands in the Florida Keys over 
the past 15 years. Attempts at reintroduction implemented in the 1990s 
were largely unsuccessful due to poor site selection, Cactoblastis moth 
predation, crown rot, and burial of small plants by leaf litter. It is 
too early to judge the results of more recent reintroductions that were 
implemented in 2013 and 2014. Reintroduction of C. corallicola serves 
multiple objectives towards the plant's conservation, including 
increasing the number of populations to address the threat of few, 
small populations; establishing populations across a wider geographic 
area to reduce the chance that all populations will be affected by 
natural disturbances, such as hurricanes and storm surge events; and 
establishing populations at higher elevation sites that will be less 
vulnerable to storm surge events and sea level rise. Assisted migration 
to higher elevations at existing sites may be needed in the future to 
conserve populations if the area supporting the existing population 
shows indications of increased soil salinity and population decline due 
to sea level rise.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat for Consolea corallicola

    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. 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.
    We are designating critical habitat units throughout the historical 
range of Consolea corallicola. The species currently occupies all of 
the islands of the Florida Keys where it was recorded historically. We 
determined that there is no unoccupied habitat that is essential for 
the conservation of the species. Therefore, we are only designating 
critical habitat in areas within the geographical area presently 
occupied by the species (i.e., occupied at the time of listing).
    The wild populations of Consolea corallicola are much reduced (50 
percent) from the species' historical distribution, and one of the two 
remaining wild populations is small, consisting of only 12 mature 
plants. The habitats required by C. corallicola are severely fragmented 
by development in the Florida Keys. We anticipate that recovery will 
require continued protection of the remaining extant populations and 
habitat, augmenting existing small populations, and establishing 
populations in additional areas to more closely approximate its 
historical distribution in order to ensure there are adequate numbers 
of plants in stable populations and that these populations occur over a 
wide geographic area. This will help to ensure that catastrophic 
events, such as storms, cannot simultaneously affect all known 
populations.
    Small plant populations with limited, fragmented distributions, 
such as Consolea corallicola, are vulnerable to relatively minor 
environmental disturbances (Frankham 2005, pp. 135-136) that could 
result in 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). Plant populations with lowered genetic 
diversity are more prone to local extinction (Barrett and Kohn 1991, 
pp. 4, 28). Smaller plant populations generally have lower genetic 
diversity, and lower genetic diversity may in turn lead to even smaller 
populations by decreasing the species' ability to adapt, thereby 
increasing the probability of population extinction (Newman and Pilson 
1997, p. 360; Palstra and Ruzzante 2008, pp. 3428-3447). Because of the 
dangers associated with small populations or limited distributions, the 
recovery of many rare plant species includes the creation of new sites 
or reintroductions to ameliorate these effects.
    Habitat fragmentation can have negative effects on populations, 
especially rare plants, and can affect survival and recovery (Aguilar 
et al. 2006, pp. 968-980; Aguilar et al. 2008, pp. 5177-5188; Potts et 
al. 2010, pp. 345-352). In general, habitat fragmentation causes 
habitat loss, habitat degradation, habitat isolation, changes in 
species composition, changes in species interactions, increased edge 
effects, and reduced habitat connectivity (Fahrig 2003, pp. 487-515; 
Fischer and Lindenmayer 2007, pp. 265-280). Habitat fragments are often 
functionally smaller than they appear because edge effects (such as 
increased nonnative, invasive species or wind speeds) impact the 
available habitat within the fragment (Lienert and Fischer 2003, p. 
597).
    In selecting areas for critical habitat designation, we utilized 
the Shaffer and Stein (2000) methodology for conserving imperiled 
species known as the `three Rs': Representation, resiliency, and 
redundancy. Representation, or preserving some of everything, means 
conserving not just a species but its associated plant communities. 
Resiliency and redundancy ensure there is enough of a species so it can 
survive into the future. Resiliency means ensuring that the habitat is 
adequate for a species and its representative components. Redundancy 
ensures an adequate number of sites and individuals. This methodology 
has been widely accepted as a reasonable

[[Page 3872]]

conservation strategy (Tear et al. 2005, p. 841).
    We have addressed representation through the primary constituent 
elements (as discussed above) and by identifying areas of habitat for 
the expansion of Consolea corallicola populations. There are only 
approximately 800 to 1,000 known individuals and only 6 populations. 
All but 2 populations consist of fewer than 100 individuals (low 
redundancy). All populations occur on small islands where the amount of 
suitable remaining habitat is limited (low resiliency), and much of the 
remaining habitat may be lost to sea level rise over the next century.

Sources of Data To Identify Critical Habitat Boundaries

    To determine the location and boundaries of critical habitat, the 
Service used the following sources of information and considerations:
    (1) Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) population records and 
ArcGIS geographic information system software to spatially depict the 
location and extent of documented populations of Consolea corallicola 
(FNAI 2011a, pp. 1-4);
    (2) Reports prepared by botanists with the Institute for Regional 
Conservation (IRC), NPS, and Florida Department of Environmental 
Protection (FDEP) (Some of these were funded by the Service; others 
were requested or volunteered by biologists with the NPS or FDEP.);
    (3) Historical records found in reports and associated voucher 
specimens housed at herbaria, all of which are referenced in the above-
mentioned reports from the IRC and FNAI;
    (4) Digitally produced habitat maps provided by Monroe County; and
    (5) Aerial images of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The presence 
of primary constituent elements was determined through the use of GIS 
spatial data depicting the current habitat status. These habitat data 
for the Florida Keys were developed by Monroe County from 2006 aerial 
images, and ground conditions for many areas were checked in 2009. 
Habitat data for BNP were provided by the NPS. The areas that contain 
the primary constituent elements follow predictable landscape patterns 
and have a recognizable signature in the aerial imagery.
    We have identified areas to include in this designation by applying 
the following considerations. The amount and distribution of critical 
habitat being designated allows existing and future established 
populations of Consolea corallicola to:
    (1) Maintain their existing distribution;
    (2) Expand their distribution into previously occupied areas 
(needed to offset habitat loss and fragmentation);
    (3) Use habitat depending on habitat availability (response to 
changing nature of coastal habitat including sea level rise) and 
support genetic diversity;
    (4) Increase the size of each population to a level where the 
threats of genetic, demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties 
are diminished; and
    (5) Maintain their ability to withstand local or unit-level 
environmental fluctuations or catastrophes.

Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing

    The critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola focuses 
on areas within the historical range that were occupied at the time the 
species was listed and have retained the necessary primary constituent 
elements that will allow for the maintenance and expansion of existing 
populations. The critical habitat units were delineated around 
documented extant populations. These units include the mapped extent of 
the population that contains one or more of the physical or biological 
features. We considered the following when identifying occupied areas 
of critical habitat:
    (1) The delineation included space to allow for the successional 
nature of the occupied habitats (i.e., gain and loss of areas with 
sufficient light availability due to disturbance of the tree canopy 
driven by natural events such as inundation and hurricanes), and 
habitat transition or loss due to sea level rise.
    (2) Some areas will require special management to be able to 
support a higher density of the plant within the occupied space. These 
areas generally are habitats where some of the primary constituent 
elements have been lost through natural or human causes. These areas 
would help to offset 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.
    When determining critical habitat boundaries within this final 
rule, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as 
lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such 
lands lack physical or biological features for Consolea corallicola. 
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 critical 
habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this final rule have been 
excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as critical 
habitat. Therefore, 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 physical or biological features in the adjacent critical 
habitat.
    Units were designated based on sufficient elements of physical or 
biological features being present to support Consolea corallicola life-
history processes. Some units contained all of the identified elements 
of physical or biological features and supported multiple life-history 
processes. Some segments contained only some elements of the physical 
or biological features necessary to support C. corallicola's particular 
use of that 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 the rule portion. We include more detailed information 
on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble 
of this document. We will make the coordinates, 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-2014-0057, on our Internet 
site at http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/, and at the field office 
responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above).

Critical Habitat Designation for Consolea corallicola

    We are designating four units as critical habitat for Consolea 
corallicola. The critical habitat areas we describe below constitute 
our current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of 
critical habitat for C. corallicola. The four areas we designate as 
critical habitat are:
    (1) FSC1 Swan Key in Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida;
    (2) FSC2 Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida;
    (3) FSC3 Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida; and
    (4) FSC4 Little Torch Key in Monroe County, Florida.

Land ownership within the designated critical habitat consists of 
Federal (28 percent), State (58 percent), County (1 percent), and 
private and other (14 percent). Table 1 shows these units by land 
ownership, area, and occupancy.

[[Page 3873]]



                                                  Table 1--Consolea Corallicola Critical Habitat Units
                                           [All areas rounded to the nearest whole acre (ac) and hectare (ha)]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Federal  ac                    County  ac   Private/other
                    Unit                      Total  ac (ha)       (ha)       State  ac (ha)      (ha)         ac (ha)                Occupied
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FSC1--Swan Key--Biscayne National Park......         37 (15)         37 (15)               0            0               0  Yes.
FSC2--Key Largo.............................   3,434 (1,389)       702 (284)     2,331 (943)       17 (7)       384 (155)  Yes.
FSC3--Big Pine Key..........................       772 (313)       508 (205)        172 (70)       11 (5)         81 (33)  Yes.
FSC4--Little Torch Key......................        168 (68)               0         47 (19)       10 (4)        111 (45)  Yes.
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................................   4,411 (1,785)     1,247 (504)   2,550 (1,032)      38 (16)       576 (233)  .............................
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Percent of Total....................             100              28              58            1              13  .............................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.

    Two (FSC1 and FSC2) of the four critical habitat units designated 
for Consolea corallicola are also currently designated under the Act as 
critical habitat for the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), and 
two (FSC2 and FSC3) are designated as critical habitat units for 
Chromolaena frustrata (Cape Sable thoroughwort).
    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola, 
below.

Unit FSC1: Swan Key--Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida

    Unit FSC1 consists of approximately 37 ac (15 ha) in Miami-Dade 
County. This unit is composed entirely of lands in Federal ownership, 
100 percent of which are located on Swan Key within Biscayne National 
Park. The unit includes all upland rockland hammock habitat on Swan 
Key, most of which is located on the eastern side of Swan Key, 
surrounded by the island's mangrove fringe. A second, smaller area is 
located on the island's elongate western half and is also surrounded by 
mangroves.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and 
the coastal hardwood hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent 
elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to address threats of 
nonnative plant and animal species and sea level rise. However, in most 
cases these threats are being addressed or coordinated with BNP to 
implement needed actions. BNP conducts nonnative species control on 
Swan Key and monitors Consolea corallicola for population trends and 
Cactoblastis moth damage. The NPS is currently revising the BNP General 
Management Plan (Plan), which identifies C. corallicola but does not 
discuss specific conservation measures. However, the Plan states that 
Swan Key will continue to be a ``sensitive resource area'' and managed 
to protect critical ecosystems, habitats, and natural processes. Access 
will be tightly controlled and limited to permitted research 
activities. In addition, the Service believes assisted migration to the 
highest elevations on Swan Key on BNP may be needed in the future to 
conserve the population if the area supporting the existing population 
shows indications of increased soil salinity and population decline due 
to sea level rise.

Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida

    Unit FSC2 consists of approximately 3,434 ac (1,389 ha) in Monroe 
County. This unit is composed of Federal lands within Crocodile Lake 
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (702 ac (284 ha)); State lands within 
Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State 
Park, and the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area (2,331 ac 
(943 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (17 ac (7 ha)); and parcels in 
private or other ownership (384 ac (155 ha)). This unit extends from 
near the northern tip of Key Largo, along the length of Key Largo, 
beginning at the south shore of Ocean Reef Harbor near South Marina 
Drive and the intersection of County Road (CR) 905 and Clubhouse Road 
on the west side of CR 905, and between CR 905 and Old State Road 905, 
then extending to the shoreline south of South Harbor Drive. The unit 
then continues on both sides of CR 905 through the Crocodile Lake NWR, 
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, and John 
Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The unit then terminates near the 
junction of U.S. 1 and CR 905 and Garden Cove Drive. The unit resumes 
on the east side of U.S. 1 from South Andros Road to Key Largo 
Elementary; then from the intersection of Taylor Drive and Pamela 
Street to Avenue A; then from Sound Drive to the intersection of Old 
Road and Valencia Road; then resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 from 
Hibiscus Lane and Ocean Drive. The unit continues south near the Port 
Largo Airport from Poisonwood Road to Bo Peep Boulevard. The unit 
resumes on the west side of U.S. 1 from the intersection of South Drive 
and Meridian Avenue to Casa Court Drive. The unit then continues on the 
west side of U.S. 1 from the point on the coast directly west of Peace 
Avenue south to Caribbean Avenue. The unit also includes a portion of 
El Radabob Key in Largo Sound located directly east of Avenue A, 
extending south to a point directly east of Mahogany Drive.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and 
the rockland hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent 
elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to address threats of 
nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for Crocodile Lake 
NWR promotes the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and 
enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and 
animals, especially imperiled species that are found only in the 
Florida Keys, but does not identify Consolea corallicola because it 
does not presently occur on the Refuge. The Management Plan for Dagny 
Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park calls for the protection 
and restoration of habitats and to continue conservation efforts 
already under way for C. corallicola. The Service and FDEP conduct 
nonnative species control on their

[[Page 3874]]

respective lands on Key Largo. FDEP monitors the reintroduced C. 
corallicola at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park for 
population trends and Cactoblastis moth damage. In addition, assisted 
migration of the cacti to the highest elevations on these lands is 
needed because the population already shows the effects of increased 
soil salinity and is partially inundated by high tides.

Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida

    Unit FSC3 consists of approximately 772 ac (313 ha) in Monroe 
County. This unit is composed of Federal land within the National Key 
Deer Refuge (NKDR) (508 ac (205 ha)); State land managed as part of the 
NKDR (172 ac (70 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (11 ac (5 ha)); and 
parcels in private or other ownership (81 ac (33 ha)). This unit 
extends from near the northern tip of Big Pine Key along the eastern 
shore to the vicinity of Hellenga Drive and Watson Road; from Gulf 
Boulevard south to West Shore Drive; Big Pine Avenue and Elma Avenues 
on the east, Coral and Yacht Club Road, and U.S. 1 on the north, and 
Industrial Avenue on the east from the southeastern tip of Big Pine Key 
to Avenue A.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and 
the coastal berm, rockland hammock, and buttonwood forest primary 
constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for the 
Lower Florida Keys NWRs (NKDR, Key West NWR, and Great White Heron NWR) 
promotes the enhancement of wildlife populations by maintaining and 
enhancing a diversity and abundance of habitats for native plants and 
animals, and provides specifically for maintaining and expanding 
populations of candidate plant species including C. corallicola. The 
Service conducts nonnative species control in areas that could support 
C. corallicola.

Unit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County, Florida

    Unit FSC4 consists of approximately 168 ac (68 ha) in Monroe 
County. This unit is composed of State lands (47 ac (19 ha)); lands 
owned by Monroe County (10 ac (4 ha)); and parcels in private and other 
ownership (111 ac (45 ha)). This unit extends along State Highway 4A, 
from Coral Shores Road, south to County Road, resuming at Linda Street 
and extending south to the Overseas Highway. South of the Overseas 
Highway, the unit includes areas west of Kings Cove Road, and an area 
comprising the southern tip of Little Torch Key that includes portions 
of The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) John J. Pescatello Torchwood Hammock 
Preserve.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species and 
the coastal hardwood hammock and buttonwood forest primary constituent 
elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to address threats of 
nonnative plant species and sea level rise. TNC's 1994 Management Plan 
calls for monitoring, Cactoblastis control, vegetation management, and 
basic research on Consolea corallicola and threats to the species. TNC 
monitors C. corallicola at the Torchwood Hammock Preserve and conducts 
nonnative plant and animal species control. The Preserve is fenced, and 
potential visitors must request access to enter the site. Assisted 
migration to the highest elevations in the Preserve may be needed in 
the future to conserve the population if the area supporting the 
existing population shows indications of increased soil salinity and 
population decline due to sea level rise.

Physical or Biological Features for Harrisia aboriginum

    We have determined that the following physical or biological 
features are essential to the conservation of Harrisia aboriginum.
Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior
    Plant Community and Competitive Ability. Harrisia aboriginum occurs 
in communities classified as coastal strand, coastal grasslands, 
coastal berms, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds (Bradley et al. 
2004, pp. 4, 14). Detailed descriptions of these communities and their 
associated native plant species are provided in the Status Assessment 
for Harrisia aboriginum section of the proposed and final listing 
rules. These habitats and their associated plant communities provide 
vegetation structure that provides adequate growing space, sunlight, 
and a competitive regime that is required for H. aboriginum to persist 
and spread. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify 
upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal grasslands, 
coastal berms, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds to be a physical or 
biological feature for H. aboriginum.
Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or 
Physiological Requirements
    Climate (temperature and precipitation). Harrisia aboriginum 
requires adequate rainfall and does not tolerate freezing temperatures. 
The climate of south Florida where H. aboriginum occurs is 
characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons, a monthly mean 
temperature above 18 [deg]C (64.4[emsp14][deg]F) in every month of the 
year, and annual rainfall averaging 75 to 150 cm (30 to 60 in) (Gabler 
et al. 1994, p. 211). Freezes can occur in the winter months, but are 
very infrequent at this latitude in Florida. Therefore, based on the 
information above, we determined this type of climate to be a physical 
or biological feature for H. aboriginum.
    Soils. Substrates supporting Harrisia aboriginum include sand and 
calcareous shell material (Bradley et al. 2004, pp. 4, 14). These 
substrates provide anchoring spots, nutrients, moisture regime, and 
suitable soil chemistry for H. aboriginum, and facilitate a community 
of associated plant species that create a competitive regime that 
allows H. aboriginum to persist and spread. Therefore, based on the 
information above, we identify substrates derived from calcareous sand 
or shell material to be a physical or biological feature for H. 
aboriginum.
    Hydrology. Harrisia aboriginum requires upland habitats that occur 
above the daily tidal range, but are potentially subject to flooding by 
seawater during extreme tides and storm surge. H. aboriginum will not 
tolerate hydric or saline soils, and these soil conditions may also 
cause these habitats to transition to a community of species that will 
outcompete H. aboriginum for space. Maritime hammocks occur on high 
ground that does not regularly flood, but can be inundated during storm 
surges (FNAI 2010h, p. 3). Some sites that support H. aboriginum show 
indications that soil salinization is driving changes in the plant 
community toward salt-tolerant species, and will eventually lead to 
conditions unsuitable for H. aboriginum. Therefore, based on the 
information above, we identify upland habitats at elevations not 
affected by soil salinization due to sea level rise to be physical or 
biological features for H. aboriginum.

[[Page 3875]]

Cover or Shelter
    Harrisia aboriginum occurs in open canopy and semi-open to closed 
canopy habitats. The amount and frequency of open canopy areas varies 
by habitat type and time since the last disturbance, such as a 
hurricane, caused canopy openings. In maritime hammocks, suitable areas 
will often be found near the hammock edge or where there are openings 
in the forest canopy. More open communities (e.g., coastal berm, 
coastal strand, and coastal grasslands) provide more abundant and 
temporally consistent suitable habitat than communities capable of 
establishing a dense canopy (e.g., maritime hammocks, shell mounds). 
Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitats that 
have a vegetation composition and structure that allows for adequate 
sunlight and space for individual growth and population expansion to be 
a physical or biological feature for H. aboriginum.
Sites for Breeding, Reproduction, or Rearing (or Development) of 
Offspring
    The habitats identified above as physical or biological features 
also provide a plant community with associated plant species that 
foster a competitive regime that is suitable for Harrisia aboriginum 
and contain adequate open space for the recruitment of new plants. 
Associated plant species in these habitats attract and provide cover 
for generalist pollinators (e.g., bees, butterflies, and beetles) that 
pollinate H. aboriginum.
Habitats Protected From Disturbance or Representative of the 
Historical, Geographic, and Ecological Distributions of the Species
    Harrisia aboriginum continues to occur in habitats that are 
protected from human-generated disturbances and are representative of 
the species' historical, geographical, and ecological distribution 
although its range has been reduced. The species is still found in its 
representative plant communities of coastal strand, coastal grassland, 
coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitat. As described 
above, these habitats provide a community of associated plant and 
animal species that are compatible with H. aboriginum, vegetation 
structure that provides adequate sunlight levels and open space for 
plant growth and regeneration, and substrates with adequate moisture 
availability and suitable soil chemistry. In addition, representative 
communities are located on Federal, State, local, and private 
conservation lands that implement conservation measures benefitting the 
species. Therefore, based on the information above, we identify habitat 
of sufficient size and connectivity that can support species growth, 
distribution, and population expansion to be a physical or biological 
feature for H. aboriginum.
    Disturbance Regime. Coastal strand, coastal berm, coastal 
grassland, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that support 
Harrisia aboriginum depend on natural disturbance regimes from 
hurricanes or tidal inundation to reduce the canopy in order to provide 
light levels sufficient to support the species. The historical 
frequency and magnitude of hurricanes and tidal inundation has allowed 
for the persistence of H. aboriginum by occasionally creating areas of 
open canopy. In the absence of disturbance, some of these habitats may 
have closed canopies, resulting in areas lacking enough available 
sunlight to support H. aboriginum. However, too frequent or severe 
disturbance that transitions the habitat toward more saline conditions 
could result in the decline of the species in the area. In addition, 
fires are rare to nonexistent in coastal strand, coastal grassland, 
coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mound communities (FNAI 
2010a, p. 2; FNAI 2010f, p. 2; FNAI 2010g, p. 2; FNAI 2010h, p. 3; FNAI 
2010i, p. 2). Therefore, based on the information above, we identify 
habitats that have disturbance regimes, including hurricanes, and 
infrequent inundation events that maintain the habitat suitability to 
be physical or biological features for H. aboriginum.

Primary Constituent Elements for Harrisia aboriginum

    Based on our current knowledge of the physical or biological 
features and habitat characteristics required to sustain the species' 
life-history processes, we determine that the primary constituent 
elements specific to Harrisia aboriginum are:
    (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal 
grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds.
    (A) Coastal strand habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments of stabilized coastal 
dunes.
    (B) Coastal grassland habitat that contains:
    (1) No canopy and an open understory; and
    (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments.
    (C) Coastal berm habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, storm-deposited sediment.
    (D) Maritime hammock habitat that contains:
    (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, 
subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of calcareous sand and shell fragments.
    (E) Shell mound habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of soil derived from calcareous shells deposited by 
Native Americans during prehistoric times.
    (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no 
invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in 
quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Harrisia 
aboriginum.
    (iii) Canopy openings in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal 
berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that are created by 
the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or 
infrequent tidal inundation.
    (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain 
viable populations in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, 
maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats.
    (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators 
that visit the flowers of Harrisia aboriginum.

Special Management Considerations or Protection for Harrisia aboriginum

    Management considerations or protection are necessary throughout 
the critical habitat units to avoid further degradation or destruction 
of the habitat that provides those features essential to the species' 
conservation. The primary threats to the physical or biological 
features that Harrisia aboriginum depends on include:
    (1) Habitat destruction and modification by development and sea 
level rise;
    (2) Competition with nonnative, invasive plant species;
    (3) Herbivorous nonnative animal species;
    (4) Wildfire; and
    (5) Hurricanes and storm surge.
    Some of these threats can be addressed by special management 
considerations or protection while others (e.g., sea level rise, 
hurricanes, storm surge) are beyond the control of landowners and 
managers. However, even when landowners or land managers may not be 
able to control all the threats, they may be able to address the 
results of the threats.

[[Page 3876]]

    Management activities that could ameliorate these threats include 
the monitoring and minimization of impacts from recreational 
activities, nonnative species control, and protection from development. 
Precautions are needed to avoid the inadvertent trampling of Harrisia 
aboriginum in the course of management activities and public use. 
Development of recreational facilities or programs should avoid 
impacting these habitats directly or indirectly. Ditching should be 
avoided because it alters the hydrology and species composition of 
these habitats. Sites that have shown increasing encroachment of woody 
species over time may require efforts to maintain the open nature of 
the habitat, which favors these species. Nonnative species control 
programs are needed to reduce competition, predation, and prevent 
habitat degradation. The reduction of these threats will require the 
implementation of special management actions within each of the 
critical habitat areas identified in this final rule. All critical 
habitat units require active management to address the ongoing threats 
above and those presented in the Summary of Factors Affecting the 
Species sections in the proposed and final listing rules.
    The Service, State of Florida, and Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, 
and Lee Counties own and manage conservation lands within the 
historical range of Harrisia aboriginum. The CCP for J.N. `Ding' 
Darling National Wildlife Refuge (JDDNWR) promotes the enhancement of 
wildlife populations by maintaining and enhancing a diversity and 
abundance of habitats for native plants and animals, especially 
imperiled species. This CCP provides specifically for maintaining 
populations of H. aboriginum. The State Management Plans for Charlotte 
Harbor Preserve, Cayo Costa, Stump Pass Beach, Delnor-Wiggins Pass, and 
Gasparilla Island State Parks and Bocilla Preserve promote the 
protection of habitats and native species. The Service, State of 
Florida, and Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee Counties conduct 
nonnative species control efforts on sites that support, or have 
suitable habitat for, H. aboriginum. The Service monitors the 
population of H. aboriginum at JDDNWR. FDEP monitors the H. aboriginum 
population at Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park.
    Nonnative species control is currently lacking at Manasota Beach 
Park and Kitchen Key in areas that support H. aboriginum. Poaching, 
vandalism, and wildfire have been observed at Manasota Beach Park. Most 
populations are at elevations close to sea level and may require 
assisted migration as sea level rise continues to drive the transition 
toward salt-tolerant plant species in these areas. Reintroduction is 
needed to restore the species' historical distribution on Cayo Costa 
and Madira Bickell Mound State Historical Park. Augmentation of small 
populations at Longboat Key, Terra Ceia, Lemon Bay Preserve, Kitchen 
Key, Gasparilla Island, and Cayo Pelau would reduce the risk of 
population loss to hurricanes, storm surge, or wildfire.
    Harrisia aboriginum is listed on the Regulated Plant Index as 
endangered under chapter 5B-40, Florida Administrative Code. Florida 
Statutes 581.185 sections (3)(a) and (b) prohibit any person from 
willfully destroying or harvesting any species listed as endangered or 
threatened on the Regulated Plant Index, or growing such a plant on the 
private land of another, or on any public land, without first obtaining 
the written permission of the landowner and a permit from the Florida 
Department of Plant Industry.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat for Harrisia aboriginum

    We are designating critical habitat in areas within the 
geographical area occupied by Harrisia aboriginum at the time of 
listing in 2013. We also are designating specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing that 
were historically occupied, but are presently unoccupied, because such 
areas are essential for the conservation of the species.
    We have determined that all areas known to be occupied at the time 
of listing meet the definition of critical habitat and are needed for 
the conservation of the species. However, we determined that occupied 
habitat is not adequate for the conservation of Harrisia aboriginum 
(see our rationale below). We used habitat and historical occurrence 
data to identify unoccupied habitat essential for the conservation of 
the species. To determine the location and boundaries of both occupied 
and unoccupied critical habitat, the Service used the following sources 
of data and information for H. aboriginum that include the following:
    (1) FNAI population records and ArcGIS software to spatially depict 
the location and extent of documented populations of Harrisia 
aboriginum (FNAI 2011b, pp. 1-28);
    (2) Reports prepared by botanists with the IRC and the Service 
(Some of these were funded by the Service; others were requested or 
volunteered by biologists with the Service.);
    (3) Historical records found in reports and associated voucher 
specimens housed at herbaria, all of which are also referenced in the 
above-mentioned reports from the IRC and FNAI;
    (4) Digitally produced habitat maps provided by FNAI; and
    (5) Aerial images of Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee 
Counties. The presence of primary constituent elements was determined 
through the interpretation of aerial imagery. The areas that contain 
primary constituent elements follow predictable landscape patterns and 
have a recognizable signature in the aerial imagery.
    Only approximately 300 to 500 individuals and 12 populations of 
Harrisia aboriginum are known to exist. All but 2 of these populations 
consist of fewer than 100 individuals, with 7 populations having 10 or 
fewer individuals (low redundancy). Most populations occur on coastal 
barrier islands where the amount of suitable remaining habitat is 
limited (low resiliency), and much of the remaining habitat will be 
lost to sea level rise over the next century. We have addressed 
representation through our primary constituent elements (as discussed 
above) and by providing habitat for H. aboriginum. For adequate 
redundancy and resiliency, it is essential for the conservation of H. 
aboriginum for additional populations to be established and existing 
populations to be augmented. Therefore, we have designated two 
unoccupied areas as critical habitat units where H. aboriginum was 
historically recorded, but has since been extirpated.
    The current distribution of Harrisia aboriginum is reduced from its 
historical distribution, with no populations remaining in Manatee 
County, at the northern extent of the species' range. We anticipate 
that recovery will require continued protection of the remaining extant 
population and habitat, as well as establishing populations in 
additional areas that more closely approximate its historical 
distribution in order to ensure there are adequate numbers of plants in 
stable populations and that these populations occur over a wide 
geographic area. This will help to ensure that catastrophic events, 
such as storms, cannot simultaneously affect all known populations.

Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing

    The occupied critical habitat units were delineated around 
documented extant populations. These units include the mapped extent of 
the population that contains one or more of the physical or biological 
features. We considered the following when

[[Page 3877]]

identifying occupied areas of critical habitat:
    (1) The delineation included space to allow for the successional 
nature of the occupied habitats (i.e., gain and loss of areas with 
sufficient light availability due to disturbance of the tree canopy 
driven by natural events such as inundation and hurricanes), and 
habitat transition or loss due to sea level rise.
    (2) Some areas will require special management to be able to 
support a higher density of the plant within the occupied space. These 
areas generally are habitats where some of the primary constituent 
elements have been lost through natural or human causes. These areas 
would help to offset 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.

Areas Outside the Geographic Area Occupied at the Time of Listing

    After completing the above analysis, we determined that occupied 
areas were not sufficient for the conservation of the species for the 
following reasons: (1) Restoring the species to its historical range 
and reducing its vulnerability to stochastic events such as hurricanes 
and storm surge requires reintroduction to areas where it occurred in 
the past but has since been extirpated; (2) providing increased 
connectivity for populations and areas for small populations to expand 
requires currently unoccupied habitat; and (3) reintroduction or 
assisted migration to reduce the species vulnerability to sea level 
rise and storm surge requires higher elevation sites that are currently 
unoccupied by Harrisia aboriginum. Therefore, we looked for unoccupied 
areas that may be essential for the conservation of the species.
    The unoccupied areas are essential for the conservation of the 
species because they:
    (1) Represent the historical range of Harrisia aboriginum. H. 
aboriginum has been extirpated from two locations where it was 
previously recorded. Of those areas found in reports, we are 
designating critical habitat only for those that are well-documented 
and essential for the conservation of the species (i.e., Terra Ceia, 
Cayo Costa) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 77; Bradley et al. 2004, p. 4). 
These areas also still retain some or all of the elements of the 
physical or biological features.
    (2) Provide areas of sufficient size to support ecosystem processes 
for populations of Harrisia aboriginum. These areas are essential for 
the conservation of the species because they will provide areas for 
population expansion and growth. Large contiguous parcels of habitat 
are more likely to be resilient to ecological processes of disturbance 
and succession, and support viable populations of H. aboriginum. The 
unoccupied areas selected were at least 30 ac (12 ha) or greater in 
size.
    The amount and distribution of designated critical habitat will 
allow Harrisia aboriginum to:
    (1) Maintain its existing distribution;
    (2) Expand its distribution into historically occupied areas 
(needed to offset habitat loss and fragmentation);
    (3) Use habitat depending on habitat availability (response to 
changing nature of coastal habitat including sea level rise) and 
support genetic diversity;
    (4) Increase the size of each population to a level where the 
threats of genetic, demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties 
are diminished; and
    (5) Maintain its ability to withstand local or unit-level 
environmental fluctuations or catastrophes.
    When determining critical habitat boundaries within this final 
rule, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as 
lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such 
lands lack physical or biological features for Harrisia aboriginum. 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 critical 
habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this final rule have been 
excluded by text in the rule and are not designated as critical 
habitat. Therefore, a Federal action involving these lands will not 
trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the 
requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would 
affect the physical or biological features in 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 the rule portion. We include more detailed information 
on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble 
of this document. We will make the coordinates, 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-2014-0057, on our Internet 
site, http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/, and at the field office 
responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above).

Critical Habitat Designation for Harrisia aboriginum

    We are designating 11 units as critical habitat for Harrisia 
aboriginum. The critical habitat areas we describe below constitute our 
current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of critical 
habitat for H. aboriginum. The 11 areas we designate as critical 
habitat are:
    (1) Unit APA1 Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida;
    (2) Unit APA2 Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida;
    (3) Unit APA3 Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida;
    (4) Unit APA4 Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, 
Florida;
    (5) Unit APA5 Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida;
    (6) Unit APA6 Gasparilla Island North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, 
Florida;
    (7) Unit APA7 Gasparilla Island South, Lee County, Florida;
    (8) Unit APA8 Cayo Pelau, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida;
    (9) Unit APA9 Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida;
    (10) Unit APA10 Bocilla Island, Lee County, Florida; and
    (11) Unit APA11 Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida.

Land ownership within the designated critical habitat consists of 
Federal (11 percent), State (48 percent), County (15 percent), and 
private and other (26 percent). Table 2 summarizes these units.

                                                   Table 2--Harrisia Aboriginum Critical Habitat Units
                           [All areas rounded to the nearest whole number, except where less than 1 acre (ac) or hectare (ha)]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Federal  ac                     County  ac     Private/Other
                    Unit                     Total  ac (ha)       (ha)       State  ac (ha)       (ha)           ac (ha)               Occupied
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
APA1 Terra Ceia............................        222 (90)               0         66 (27)         70 (28)         87 (35)  No.
APA2 Longboat Key..........................         54 (22)               0               0               0         54 (22)  Yes.
APA3 Osprey................................        116 (47)               0               0         50 (20)         66 (27)  Yes.

[[Page 3878]]

 
APA4 Manasota Key..........................       415 (168)               0         58 (23)        111 (45)        245 (99)  Yes.
APA5 Charlotte Harbor......................         51 (21)               0         51 (21)               0               0  Yes.
APA6 Gasparilla North......................         98 (40)               0     0.06 (0.02)          22 (9)         77 (31)  Yes.
APA7 Gasparilla South......................         92 (37)           3 (1)         69 (28)          12 (5)           8 (3)  Yes.
APA8 Cayo Pelau............................         25 (10)               0               0         25 (10)               0  Yes.
APA9 Cayo Costa............................     1,702 (689)               0     1,379 (558)         94 (38)        230 (93)  No.
APA10 Bocilla..............................         33 (13)               0               0         32 (13)       0.7 (0.3)  Yes.
APA11 Sanibel Island and Buck Key..........       635 (257)       373 (151)         47 (19)         90 (36)        126 (51)  Yes.
                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..................................   3,444 (1,394)       376 (152)     1,669 (676)       505 (204)       893 (361)  ...........................
                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Percent of Total...................             100              11              48              15              26  ...........................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Area sizes may not sum due to rounding.

    We present brief descriptions of all units, and reasons why they 
meet the definition of critical habitat for Harrisia aboriginum, below.

Unit APA1: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida

    Unit APA1 consists of approximately 222 ac (90 ha) in Manatee 
County, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Madira 
Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, 
Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System 
(66 ac (27 ha)); Manatee County lands at Emerson Point Preserve and 
parcels owned by the Manatee County Port Authority (70 ac (28 ha)); and 
parcels in private or other ownership (87 ac (35 ha)). This unit 
includes lands west of Highway 41 extending from just south of South 
Dock Street south to Snead Island. The unit also includes areas of 
Harbor Key, Mariposa Key, Horseshoe Key, Joe Island, Skeet Key, 
Paradise Island, Ed's Key, and Rattlesnake Key.
    This unit was not occupied at the time the species was listed but 
is essential for the conservation of the species because it serves to 
protect habitat needed to recover the species, reestablish wild 
populations within the historical range of the species, and maintain 
populations throughout the historic distribution of the species in 
Manatee County, and will provide population redundancy in the case of 
stochastic events that otherwise hold the potential to eliminate the 
species from the one or more locations where it is presently found.
    The Management Plan for Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, 
Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, 
and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System calls for the protection and 
restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions specific to 
Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on 
their lands within the unit. Reintroduction of H. aboriginum within 
Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia Preserve State 
Park, and the Tampa Bay Estuarine System is needed to restore the 
species to its historical distribution in Manatee County and reduce the 
risks to the species associated with hurricanes, storm surge, and sea 
level rise.

Unit APA2: Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida

    Unit APA2 consists of approximately 54 ac (22 ha) in Sarasota 
County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of parcels in private 
or other ownership. This unit includes lands west of Gulf of Mexico 
Drive, extending from 0.40 miles (mi) (0.6 kilometers (km)) south of 
the intersection of Bay Isles Parkway and Gulf of Mexico Drive, to the 
southern tip of Longboat Key. It also includes lands on the north side 
of Gulf of Mexico Drive, east of Longboat Club Key Drive, on the 
northwest tip of Longboat Key.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains all the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes, essential to the conservation of the species, and 
the primary constituent elements of coastal strand, coastal berm, and 
maritime hammock. The physical or biological features in this unit may 
require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of 
the Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore 
the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated 
with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level 
rise.

Unit APA3: Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida

    Unit APA3 consists of approximately 116 ac (47 ha) in Sarasota 
County, Florida. This unit is composed of Sarasota County lands within 
Palmer Point County Park (50 ac (20 ha)) and parcels in private or 
other ownership (66 ac (27 ha)). This unit extends along the barrier 
island (Casey Key) from the south terminus of Blind Pass Road, south 
for approximately 1.2 mi (1.9 km) along North Casey Key Road. On the 
mainland, the unit includes lands bordered on the north by Vamo Way, to 
the east by Highway 41, and to the south by Palmetto Avenue.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the biological or physical features including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains coastal strand, coastal berm, maritime hammock, and shell 
mound primary constituent elements. The physical or biological features 
in this unit may require special management considerations or 
protection to address threats of nonnative plant species, and sea level 
rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia aboriginum population within the 
unit is needed to restore the species to its historical abundance and 
reduce the risks associated with small population size, hurricanes, 
storm surge, and sea level rise.

Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida

    Unit APA4 consists of approximately 415 ac (168 ha) in Sarasota and 
Charlotte Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands 
within Stump Pass Beach State Park (58 ac (23 ha));

[[Page 3879]]

County lands within Blind Pass Park, Brohard Beach and Paw Park, 
Manasota Beach Park, Casperson Beach Park, and Service Club Park (111 
ac (45 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (245 ac (99 
ha)). This unit extends from Beach Road in the City of Venice, south 
along Manasota Key to the barrier islands southern tip, including a 
portion of Peterson Island.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains coastal strand, coastal berm, and maritime hammock primary 
constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management 
Plan for Stump Pass Beach State Park calls for the protection and 
restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions specific to 
Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on 
their lands within the unit. Augmentation of the H. aboriginum 
population within the unit is needed to restore the species to its 
historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small 
population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise.

Unit APA5: Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida

    Unit APA5 consists of approximately 51 ac (21 ha) in Charlotte 
County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of State lands within 
the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. This unit includes the Big 
Mound, Boggess Ridge, and a shell mound located on the east side of 
Charlotte Harbor, south of the City of Charlotte Park. This unit was 
occupied at the time the species was listed and contains all the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species and contains coastal berm and shell mound primary constituent 
elements.
    The physical or biological features in this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to address threats of 
nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for 
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park calls for the protection and 
restoration of habitats, and identifies actions specific to Harrisia 
aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control and monitors 
the H. aboriginum population in Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. 
Augmentation of the H. aboriginum population within the unit is needed 
to restore the species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks 
associated with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea 
level rise.

Unit APA6: Gasparilla North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida

    Unit APA6 consists of approximately 98 ac (40 ha) in Charlotte and 
Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of State land (0.006 ac 
(0.02 ha)), county land (22 ac (9 ha)), and parcels in private or other 
ownership (77 ac (31 ha)). This unit includes most of Kitchen Key (Live 
Oak Key) and the area east of Gasparilla Road, from the intersection of 
Grouper Hole Road and Grouper Hole Court, south to 0.15 mi (0.24 km) 
north of Snail Island Court, from approximately 0.10 mi (0.21 km) south 
of 35th Street to 23rd Street, including the small island separated 
from Gasparilla Island by a canal; and from 22nd Street to 20th Street.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains coastal berm and maritime hammock primary constituent 
elements. The physical or biological features in this unit may require 
special management considerations or protection to address threats of 
nonnative plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of the 
Harrisia aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the 
species to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated 
with small population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level 
rise.

Unit APA7: Gasparilla South, Lee County, Florida

    Unit APA7 consists of approximately 92 ac (37 ha) in Lee County, 
Florida. This unit is composed of Federal land owned by the Service and 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (3 ac (1 ha)), State lands within 
Gasparilla Island State Park (69 ac (28 ha)), Lee County lands (12 ac 
(5 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (8 ac (3 ha)). This 
unit includes lands located from south of 1st Street to the southern 
tip of Gasparilla Island.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains coastal strand, coastal berm, and maritime hammock primary 
constituent elements. The physical or biological features in this unit 
may require special management considerations or protection to address 
threats of nonnative plant species and sea level rise. The Management 
Plan for Gasparilla Island State Park calls for the protection and 
restoration of habitats, but does not identify actions specific to 
Harrisia aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control on its 
lands within the unit. Augmentation of the H. aboriginum population 
within the unit is needed to restore the species to its historical 
abundance and reduce the risks associated with small population size, 
hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise.

Unit APA8: Cayo Pelau, Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida

    Unit APA8 consists of approximately 25 ac (10 ha) in Charlotte and 
Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County lands within 
Cayo Pelau Preserve, and parcels in private or other ownership (0.6 ac 
(0.2 ha)). This unit includes lands located from 0.13 mi (0.21 km) 
south of the northern tip of Cayo Pelau, extending south to the 
southeastern tip of Cayo Pelau.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains coastal berm and shell mound primary constituent elements. The 
physical or biological features in this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative 
plant species and sea level rise. Augmentation of the Harrisia 
aboriginum population within the unit is needed to restore the species 
to its historical abundance and reduce the risks associated with small 
population size, hurricanes, storm surge, and sea level rise.

Unit APA9: Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida

    Unit APA9 consists of approximately 1,702 ac (689 ha) in Lee 
County, Florida. This unit is composed of State lands within Cayo Costa 
State Park (1,379 ac (558 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (94 ac (38 
ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (230 ac (93 ha)). This 
unit includes lands located from the northern tip to the southern tip 
of Cayo Costa.
    This unit was not occupied at the time the species was listed but 
is

[[Page 3880]]

essential for the conservation of the species because it serves to 
protect habitat needed to recover the species, reestablish wild 
populations within the historical range of the species, maintain 
populations throughout the historic distribution of the species in 
Manatee County, and provide population redundancy in the case of 
stochastic events that otherwise hold the potential to eliminate the 
species from the one or more locations where it is presently found. The 
Management Plan for Cayo Costa State Park calls for the protection and 
restoration of habitats and identifies actions specific to Harrisia 
aboriginum. The FDEP conducts nonnative species control and monitored 
the population at Cayo Costa State Park until the last plant died in 
2007. Reintroduction of H. aboriginum within Cayo Costa State Park is 
needed to restore the species to its historical distribution and reduce 
the risks to the species associated with hurricanes, storm surge, and 
sea level rise.

Unit APA10: Bocilla, Lee County, Florida

    Unit APA10 consists of approximately 33 ac (13 ha) in Lee County, 
Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County lands within the Bocilla 
Preserve (32 ac (13 ha)) and parcels in private or other ownership (0.7 
ac (0.3 ha)). This unit includes lands located on the undeveloped 
portion of Bokeelia Island from 0.02 mi (0.03 km) west of the terminus 
of Ebbtide Way, extending south and west to the northwest and southeast 
corners of Bokeelia Island.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains the coastal berm primary constituent element. The physical or 
biological features in this unit may require special management 
considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative plant 
species and sea level rise. The Management Plan for Bocilla Preserve 
calls for the protection and restoration of habitats and identifies 
actions specific to Harrisia aboriginum.

Unit APA11: Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida

    Unit APA11 consists of approximately 635 ac (257 ha) in Lee County, 
Florida. This unit is composed of Federal lands owned by the Bureau of 
Land Management, and Service lands within the JDDNWR (373 ac (151 ha)), 
State lands (47 ac (13 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (90 ac (36 ha)), 
and parcels in private or other ownership (126 ac (51 ha)). This unit 
includes lands on Buck Key, Runyan Key, and Sanibel Island. On Sanibel 
Island, the unit includes a portion of Bowman's Beach, from just south 
of Silver Key to the western terminus of Water's Edge Lane; uplands 
within JDDNWR; and a shell mound located near the northern terminus of 
Tarpon Bay Road.
    This unit was occupied at the time the species was listed and 
contains the physical or biological features, including suitable 
climate, hydrology, substrate, associated native plant species, and 
disturbance regimes essential to the conservation of the species and 
contains the maritime hammock primary constituent elements. The 
physical or biological features in this unit may require special 
management considerations or protection to address threats of nonnative 
plant species and sea level rise. The CCP for JDDNWR promotes the 
protection and restoration of habitats, and identifies actions specific 
to Harrisia aboriginum. The Service conducts nonnative species control 
and monitors the population at JDDNWR.

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 that 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 statutory 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 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

[[Page 3881]]

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 Consolea corallicola and 
Harrisia aboriginum. As discussed above, the role of critical habitat 
is to support life-history needs of the species and provide for the 
conservation of the species.
    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 the Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. 
These activities include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Actions that would significantly alter the hydrology or 
substrate, such as ditching or filling. Such activities may include, 
but are not limited to, road construction or maintenance, and 
residential, commercial, or recreational development.
    (2) Actions that would significantly alter vegetation structure or 
composition, such as clearing vegetation for construction of roads, 
residential and commercial development, and recreational facilities, 
and trails.
    (3) Actions that would introduce nonnative species that would 
significantly alter vegetation structure or composition. Such 
activities may include, but are not limited to, residential and 
commercial development and road construction.

Exemptions

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

    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 no 
Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP within the critical 
habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum.

Consideration of Impacts Under 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.

Consideration of Economic Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts 
of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. In order to 
consider economic impacts, we prepared an incremental effects 
memorandum (IEM) and screening analysis which together with our 
narrative and interpretation of effects we consider our draft economic 
analysis (DEA) of the proposed critical habitat designation and related 
factors (Industrial Economics, Incorporated (IEc) 2014, entire). The 
analysis, dated October 15, 2014, was made available for public review 
from January 22, 2015, through March 23, 2015 (80 FR 3316). The DEA 
addressed probable economic impacts of critical habitat designation for 
Consolea corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum. Following the close of 
the comment period, we reviewed and evaluated all information submitted 
during the comment period that may pertain to our consideration of the 
probable incremental economic impacts of this critical habitat 
designation. We did not receive any comments regarding the DEA; 
therefore, we consider the DEA to be the final economic analysis. 
Additional information relevant to the probable incremental economic 
impacts of critical habitat designation for the Consolea corallicola 
and Harrisia aboriginum is summarized below and available in the 
screening analysis for these species (IEc 2014), available at http://www.regulations.gov.
    The following provides a summary of the DEA. For more information 
regarding the Service's economic analysis process, please see 
Consideration of Impacts Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act in the 
proposed rule (80 FR 3316, 3331-3334).
    In our evaluation of the probable incremental economic impacts that 
may result from the designation of critical habitat for Consolea 
corallicola and Harrisia aboriginum, first we identified, in the IEM 
dated July 30, 2014, probable incremental economic impacts associated 
with the following categories of activities:
    (1) Federal lands management (NPS, Service, BLM);
    (2) Roadway and bridge construction;
    (3) Dredging;
    (4) Commercial or residential development;
    (5) Recreation (including construction of recreation 
infrastructure).
    We considered each industry or category individually. Additionally, 
we considered whether these activities have any Federal involvement. 
Critical habitat designation will not affect activities that do not 
have any Federal involvement; designation of critical habitat only 
affects activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by 
Federal agencies. In areas where Consolea corallicola or Harrisia 
aboriginum is present, Federal agencies already are required to consult 
with the Service under section 7 of the Act on activities they 
authorize, fund, or carry out that may affect the species. Once 
critical habitat is designated, consultations to avoid the destruction 
or

[[Page 3882]]

adverse modification of critical habitat would be incorporated into the 
existing consultation process. Therefore, disproportionate impacts to 
any geographic area or sector are not likely as a result of this 
critical habitat designation.
    In our IEM, we attempted to clarify the distinction between the 
effects that will result from the species being listed and those 
attributable to the critical habitat designation (i.e., difference 
between the jeopardy and adverse modification standards) for Consolea 
corallicola's and Harrisia aboriginum's critical habitat. Because the 
designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola and Harrisia 
aboriginum was proposed soon after the listing, it has been our 
experience that it is more difficult to discern which conservation 
efforts are attributable to the species being listed and those which 
will result solely from the designation of critical habitat. However, 
the following specific circumstances in this case help to inform our 
evaluation: (1) The essential physical or biological features 
identified for critical habitat are the same features essential for the 
life requisites of the species and (2) any actions that would result in 
sufficient harm or harassment to constitute jeopardy to Consolea 
corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum would also likely adversely affect 
the essential physical or biological features of critical habitat. The 
IEM outlined our rationale concerning this limited distinction between 
baseline conservation efforts and incremental impacts of the 
designation of critical habitat for these species. This evaluation of 
the incremental effects was used as the basis to evaluate the probable 
incremental economic impacts of the proposed rule to designate critical 
habitat.

Consolea corallicola

    The critical habitat designation for Consolea corallicola totals 
approximately 4,411 ac (1,785 ha) across four units in Miami-Dade and 
Monroe Counties, Florida, all of which was occupied by the species at 
the time of listing. The critical habitat includes lands under Federal 
(28 percent), State (58 percent), county (1 percent), and private or 
other (13 percent) ownership. In these areas any actions that may 
affect the species or its habitat would also affect designated critical 
habitat, and it is unlikely that any additional conservation efforts 
would be recommended to address the adverse modification standard over 
and above those recommended as necessary to avoid jeopardizing the 
continued existence of C. corallicola. Therefore, only administrative 
costs are expected in the critical habitat designation. While this 
additional analysis will require time and resources by both the Federal 
action agency and the Service, in most circumstances, these costs would 
predominantly be administrative in nature and would not be significant.
    Based on the available information, we anticipate no more than 
three consultations per year within the critical habitat units. 
Communications with affected entities indicate that critical habitat 
designation is likely to result in no more than a few consultations, 
with minor conservation efforts that would likely result in relatively 
low probable economic impacts. Unit costs of such administrative 
efforts range from approximately $410 to $5,000 per consultation (2014 
dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single 
consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates, 
this analysis conservatively estimates that the administrative cost of 
considering adverse modification in section 7 consultation will result 
in incremental costs of up to $7,100 (2014 dollars) in a given year for 
Consolea corallicola (IEc 2014, pp. 10-11).
    The entities most likely to incur incremental costs are parties to 
section 7 consultations, including Federal action agencies and, in some 
cases, third parties, most frequently State agencies or municipalities. 
Activities we expect will be subject to consultations that may involve 
private entities as third parties are residential and commercial 
development that may occur on private lands. However, based on 
coordination efforts with State and local agencies, the cost to private 
entities within these sectors is expected to be relatively minor 
(administrative costs of $5,000 or less per consultation effort) and, 
therefore, would not be significant.
    The probable incremental economic impacts of Consolea corallicola 
critical habitat designation are expected to be limited to additional 
administrative effort as well as minor costs of conservation efforts 
resulting from a small number of future section 7 consultations. This 
estimation is due to two factors: (1) The critical habitat units are 
all considered to be occupied by the species, and incremental economic 
impacts of critical habitat designation, other than administrative 
costs, are unlikely; and (2) few actions are anticipated that will 
result in section 7 consultation or associated project modifications.

Harrisia aboriginum

    The critical habitat designation for Harrisia aboriginum totals 
approximately 3,444 ac (1,394 ha) across 11 units in Manatee, Sarasota, 
Charlotte, and Lee County. Nine of these units (approximately 44 
percent of the area) were occupied by the species at the time of 
listing; the remaining two units (approximately 56 percent of the area) 
were unoccupied. The critical habitat includes lands under Federal (11 
percent), State (48 percent), county (15 percent), and private or other 
(26 percent) ownership.
    Based on the available information, we anticipate no more than four 
consultations per year within the occupied critical habitat units. In 
the occupied areas, any actions that may affect the species or its 
habitat would also affect designated critical habitat and it is 
unlikely that any additional conservation efforts would be recommended 
to address the adverse modification standard over and above those 
recommended as necessary to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence 
of Harrisia aboriginum. Therefore, only administrative costs are 
expected in approximately 44 percent of the critical habitat 
designation. While this additional analysis will require time and 
resources by both the Federal action agency and the Service, in most 
circumstances, these costs would predominantly be administrative in 
nature and would not be significant. Unit costs of such administrative 
efforts range from approximately $410 to $5,000 per consultation (2014 
dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single 
consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates to 
the occupied units, this analysis conservatively estimates that the 
administrative cost of considering adverse modification in section 7 
consultation will result in incremental costs of up to $7,000 (2014 
dollars) in a given year for H. aboriginum (IEc 2014, p. 11).
    In the unoccupied areas, any conservation efforts or associated 
probable impacts would be considered incremental effects attributed to 
the critical habitat designation. However, within the unoccupied 
critical habitat, few actions are expected to occur that will result in 
section 7 consultations or associated project modifications because no 
Federal lands are included in these units. Based on the results from 
past consultation history for these areas and communications with 
potentially affected entities, we anticipate that an additional six 
projects will result in section 7 consultation (two formal and

[[Page 3883]]

four informal) within the unoccupied units per year, with minor 
conservation efforts that would likely result in relatively low 
probable economic impacts. Unit costs of such administrative efforts 
range from approximately $1,200 to $15,000 per consultation (2014 
dollars, total cost for all parties participating in a single 
consultation) (IEc 2014, p. 10). Applying these unit cost estimates to 
the unoccupied units, this analysis conservatively estimates that the 
administrative cost of considering adverse modification in section 7 
consultation will result in incremental costs of up to $60,000 (2014 
dollars) in a given year for H. aboriginum (IEc 2014, pp. 10-11). 
Therefore, the estimate of incremental costs for all units (occupied 
and unoccupied) is $67,000 (2014 dollars) in a given year for H. 
aboriginum (IEc 2014, pp. 10-11).
    The entities most likely to incur incremental costs are parties to 
section 7 consultations, including Federal action agencies and, in some 
cases, third parties which will most frequently be State agencies or 
municipalities. Activities that we expect will be subject to 
consultations that may involve private entities as third parties are 
residential and commercial development that may occur on private lands. 
However, based on coordination efforts with State and local agencies, 
the cost to private entities within these sectors is expected to be 
relatively minor (administrative costs of less than $5,000 (occupied) 
or $15,000 (unoccupied) per consultation effort), and any costs from 
required conservation measures, therefore, would not be significant.
    The probable incremental economic impacts of Harrisia aboriginum 
critical habitat designation are expected to be limited to additional 
administrative effort as well as minor costs of conservation efforts 
resulting from a small number of future section 7 consultations. This 
estimation is due to two factors: (1) Incremental economic impacts of 
critical habitat designation, other than administrative costs, are 
unlikely; and (2) in units that are not occupied by H. aboriginum (56 
percent), few actions are anticipated that will result in section 7 
consultation or associated project modifications.
    For both species, the DEA also discusses the potential for 
incremental costs to occur outside of the section 7 consultation 
process, including costs associated with the potential triggering of 
additional requirements or project modifications under State laws or 
regulations, and perceptional effects on markets. It is unlikely that 
the designation of critical habitat will trigger additional State or 
local restrictions (IEc 2014, pp. 11-12). Public perception of critical 
habitat may result in landowners or buyers believing that the rule will 
restrict land or water use activities in some way and, therefore, 
valuing the resource less than they would have absent critical habitat. 
This is a perceptional, or stigma, effect of critical habitat on 
markets. Costs resulting from public perception of the impact of 
critical habitat, if they occur, are more likely to occur on private 
lands. However, based on the economic analysis, ``possible costs 
resulting from public perception of the effect of critical habitat 
designation, when combined with section 7 costs, are unlikely to exceed 
the threshold for an economically significant rulemaking under 
[Executive Order] 12866'' (IEc 2014, p. 13). Under Executive Order 
12866, agencies must assess the potential costs and benefits of 
regulatory actions and quantify those costs and benefits if that action 
may have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more annually.

Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts

    Our economic analysis did not identify any disproportionate costs 
that are likely to result from the designation. Consequently, the 
Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from 
this designation of critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or 
Harrisia aboriginum based on economic impacts.
    A copy of the IEM and screening analysis with supporting documents 
may be obtained by contacting the South Florida Ecological Services 
Office (see ADDRESSES) or by downloading from the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are 
lands owned or managed by the Department of Defense where a national 
security impact might exist. In preparing this final rule, we have 
determined that no lands within the designation of critical habitat for 
Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum are owned or managed by the 
Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security, and, 
therefore, we anticipate no impact on national security. Consequently, 
the Secretary is not exercising her discretion to exclude any areas 
from this final designation based on impacts on national security.

Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we also consider any other 
relevant impacts resulting from the designation of critical habitat. 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.
    We have determined that the Monroe County HCP for Big Pine and No 
Name Keys is the only HCP or other management plan that will be 
affected by either species' critical habitat designation. The Monroe 
County HCP for Big Pine and No Name Keys, which covers a portion of 
unit FSC3, does not include Consolea corallicola as a ``Covered 
Species,'' and C. corallicola is not mentioned specifically anywhere in 
the HCP document. Further, the critical habitat designation does not 
include any tribal lands or trust resources. Therefore, we anticipate 
no impact on tribal lands, partnerships, or other HCPs from this final 
critical habitat designation. Accordingly, the Secretary is not 
exercising her discretion to exclude any areas from this final 
designation based on other relevant impacts.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant 
rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined 
that this rule is not significant.
    E.O. 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for

[[Page 3884]]

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 
(i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a 
certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.
    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities 
include small organizations such as independent nonprofit 
organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses 
include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 
employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, 
retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual 
sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 
million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than 
$11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with 
annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic 
impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the 
types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this 
designation as well as the 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.
    The Service's current understanding of the requirements under the 
RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, is that Federal 
agencies are required to evaluate the potential incremental impacts of 
rulemaking only on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking 
itself and, therefore, not required to evaluate the potential impacts 
to indirectly regulated 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 destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. 
Therefore, under section 7 only Federal action agencies are directly 
subject to the specific regulatory requirement (avoiding destruction 
and adverse modification) imposed by critical habitat designation. 
Consequently, it is our position that only Federal action agencies will 
be directly regulated by this designation. There is no requirement 
under the RFA to evaluate the potential impacts to entities not 
directly regulated. Therefore, because no small entities are directly 
regulated by this rulemaking, the Service certified, in the proposed 
rule, that, if promulgated, the final critical habitat designation 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    During the development of this final rule we reviewed and evaluated 
all information submitted during the comment period that may pertain to 
our consideration of the probable incremental economic impacts of this 
critical habitat designation. Based on this information, we affirm our 
certification that this final critical habitat designation will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, and a 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. OMB has provided guidance for implementing this 
Executive Order that outlines nine outcomes that may constitute ``a 
significant adverse effect'' when compared to not taking the regulatory 
action under consideration. The economic analysis finds that none of 
these criteria are relevant to this analysis. Thus, based on 
information in the economic analysis, energy-related impacts associated 
with Consolea corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum conservation 
activities within critical habitat are not expected. As such, the 
designation of critical habitat is not expected to significantly affect 
energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a 
significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is 
required.

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 rule will 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

[[Page 3885]]

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 do not believe that this rule would significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. The government lands being 
designated as critical habitat are owned by the Town of Longboat Key, 
the State of Florida, and BLM, NPS, and the Service. None of these 
government entities fit the definition of ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' Consequently, we do not believe that the critical 
habitat designation would significantly or uniquely affect small 
government entities. As such, a Small Government Agency Plan is not 
required.

Takings--Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (``Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property 
Rights''), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of 
designating critical habitat for Consolea corallicola or Harrisia 
aboriginum in a takings implications assessment. 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. Due to current public knowledge of the species 
protections and the prohibition against take of the species both within 
and outside of the designated areas, we do not anticipate that property 
values will be affected by the critical habitat designation. Based on 
the best available information, the takings implications assessment 
concludes that this designation of critical habitat for Consolea 
corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum does not pose significant takings 
implications.

Federalism--E.O. 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of 
Commerce policy, we request information from, and coordinated 
development of, this critical habitat designation with appropriate 
State resource agencies in Florida. We received comments from FDACS DPI 
and have addressed them in the Summary of Comments and Recommendations 
section of the rule. 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 does 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 may 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 or biological features of the habitat 
necessary to the conservation of the 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--E.O. 12988

    In accordance with E.O. 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 applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We are designating 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 designated areas of 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. As discussed above, we have

[[Page 3886]]

determined that there are no tribal lands occupied by Consolea 
corallicola or Harrisia aboriginum at the time of listing that contain 
the physical or biological features essential to conservation of these 
species, and no tribal lands unoccupied by C. corallicola or H. 
aboriginum that are essential for the conservation of the species.

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).

Authors

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

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we 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. In Sec.  17.12(h), revise the entries for ``Consolea corallicola 
Cactus, Florida semaphore'' and ``Harrisia aboriginum Prickly-apple, 
aboriginal'' under ``Flowering Plants'' in the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants to read as follows:


Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Species
--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Flowering Plants
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Consolea corallicola.............  Cactus, Florida       U.S.A. (FL)........  Cactaceae..........  E                       826     17.96(a)           NA
                                    semaphore.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Harrisia aboriginum..............  Prickly-apple,        U.S.A. (FL)........  Cactaceae..........  E                       826     17.96(a)           NA
                                    aboriginal.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. Amend Sec.  17.96(a) by adding entries for ``Consolea corallicola 
(Florida semaphore cactus)'' and ``Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal 
prickly-apple)'' in alphabetical order under the family Cactaceae, to 
read as follows:


Sec.  17.96  Critical habitat--plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.
* * * * *
Family Cactaceae: Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus)

    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Miami-Dade and Monroe 
Counties, Florida, on the maps below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
Consolea corallicola are:
    (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal berm, rockland 
hammocks, and buttonwood forest.
    (A) Coastal berm habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, and storm-deposited sediment.
    (B) Rockland hammock habitat that contains:
    (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, 
subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate with a thin layer of highly organic soil covering 
limestone or organic matter that accumulates on top of the limestone.
    (C) Buttonwood forest habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory; and
    (2) Substrate with calcareous marl muds, calcareous sands, or 
limestone rock.
    (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no 
invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in 
quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Consolea 
corallicola.
    (iii) A disturbance regime, due to the effects of strong winds or 
saltwater inundation from storm surge or infrequent tidal inundation, 
that creates canopy openings in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and 
buttonwood forest.
    (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain 
viable populations in coastal berm, rockland hammocks, and buttonwood 
forest.
    (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators 
that visit the flowers of Consolea corallicola.
    (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 that exists within the legal boundaries 
on February 22, 2016.
    (4) Critical habitat map units. Data layers defining map units were 
developed using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software along with various spatial 
data layers. ArcGIS was also used to calculate area. 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, 
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 http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2014-0057, 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.

[[Page 3887]]

    (5) Index map of all critical habitat units for Consolea 
corallicola follows:
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.000

    (6) Unit FSC1: Swan Key, Biscayne National Park, Miami-Dade County, 
Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit FSC1 consists of 37 ac (15 ha) in 
Miami-Dade County. This unit is composed entirely of lands in Federal 
ownership, 100 percent of which are located on Swan Key within Biscayne 
National Park. The unit includes all upland rockland hammock habitat on 
Swan Key, most of which is located on the eastern side of Swan Key, 
surrounded by the island's mangrove fringe. A second, smaller area is 
located on the island's elongate western half and is also surrounded by 
mangroves.

[[Page 3888]]

    (ii) Map of Unit FSC1 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.001
    
    (7) Unit FSC2: Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit FSC2 consists of 3,434 ac (1,389 ha) 
in Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal lands within 
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (702 ac (284 ha)); State 
lands within Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park, John Pennekamp Coral 
Reef State Park, and the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area 
(2,331 ac (943 ha)); lands owned by Monroe County (17 ac (7 ha)); and 
parcels in private or other ownership (384 ac (155 ha)). This unit 
extends from near the northern tip of Key Largo, along the length of 
Key Largo, beginning at the south shore of Ocean Reef Harbor near South 
Marina Drive and the intersection of County Road (CR) 905 and Clubhouse 
Road on the west side of CR 905, and between CR 905 and Old State Road 
905, then extending to the shoreline south of South Harbor Drive. The 
unit then continues on both sides of CR 905 through the Crocodile Lake 
NWR, Dagny

[[Page 3889]]

Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, and John Pennekamp 
Coral Reef State Park. The unit then terminates near the junction of 
U.S. 1 and CR 905 and Garden Cove Drive. The unit resumes on the east 
side of U.S. 1 from South Andros Road to Key Largo Elementary; then 
from the intersection of Taylor Drive and Pamela Street to Avenue A, 
then from Sound Drive to the intersection of Old Road and Valencia 
Road, then resumes on the east side of U.S. 1 from Hibiscus Lane and 
Ocean Drive. The unit continues south near the Port Largo Airport from 
Poisonwood Road to Bo Peep Boulevard. The unit resumes on the west side 
of U.S. 1 from the intersection of South Drive and Meridian Avenue to 
Casa Court Drive. The unit then continues on the west side of U.S. 1 
from the point on the coast directly west of Peace Avenue south to 
Caribbean Avenue. The unit also includes a portion of the barrier 
island (El Radabob Key) in Largo Sound located directly east of Avenue 
A, extending south to a point directly east of Mahogany Drive.
    (ii) Index map of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.002
    

[[Page 3890]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.003
    

[[Page 3891]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.004
    

[[Page 3892]]


    (v) Map C of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.005
    

[[Page 3893]]


    (vi) Map D of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.006
    

[[Page 3894]]


    (vii) Map E of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.007
    

[[Page 3895]]


    (viii) Map F of Unit FSC2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.008
    
    (8) Unit FSC3: Big Pine Key, Monroe County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit FSC3 consists of 772 ac (313 ha) in 
Monroe County. This unit is composed of Federal land within the 
National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) (508 ac (205 ha)), State land managed 
as part of the NKDR (172 ac (70 ha)), lands owned by Monroe County (11 
ac (5 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (81 ac (33 ha)). 
This unit extends from near the northern tip of Big Pine Key along the 
eastern shore to the vicinity of Hellenga Drive and Watson Road; from 
Gulf Boulevard south to West Shore Drive; Big Pine Avenue and Elma 
Avenues on the east, Coral and Yacht Club Road, and U.S. 1 on the 
north, and Industrial Avenue on the east from the southeastern tip of 
Big Pine Key to Avenue A.

[[Page 3896]]

    (ii) Index map of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.009
    

[[Page 3897]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.010
    

[[Page 3898]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.011
    

[[Page 3899]]


    (v) Map C of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.012
    

[[Page 3900]]


    (vi) Map D of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.013
    

[[Page 3901]]


    (vii) Map E of Unit FSC3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.014
    
    (9) Unit FSC4: Little Torch Key, Monroe County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit FSC4 consists of 168 ac (68 ha) in 
Monroe County. This unit is composed of State lands (47 ac (19 ha)), 
lands owned by Monroe County (10 ac (4 ha)), and parcels in private and 
other ownership (111 ac (45 ha)). This unit extends along State Highway 
4A, from Coral Shores Road, south to County Road, resuming at Linda 
Street and extending south to the Overseas Highway. South of the 
Overseas Highway, the unit includes areas west of Kings Cove Road, and 
an area comprising the southern tip of Little Torch Key that includes 
portions of the John J. Pescatello Torchwood Hammock Preserve.

[[Page 3902]]

    (ii) Index map of Unit FSC4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.015
    

[[Page 3903]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit FSC4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.016
    

[[Page 3904]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit FSC4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.017
    
* * * * *
Family Cactaceae: Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple)

    (1) Critical habitat units for Harrisia aboriginum are depicted for 
Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Lee Counties, Florida, on the maps 
below.
    (2) Within these areas, the primary constituent elements of the 
physical or biological features essential to the conservation of 
Harrisia aboriginum are:
    (i) Areas of upland habitats consisting of coastal strand, coastal 
grassland, coastal berm, maritime hammocks, and shell mounds.
    (A) Coastal strand habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory, and
    (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments of stabilized coastal 
dunes.
    (B) Coastal grassland habitat that contains:
    (1) No canopy and an open understory, and

[[Page 3905]]

    (2) Substrate of sand and shell fragments.
    (C) Coastal berm habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy, subcanopy, and understory, and
    (2) Substrate of coarse, calcareous, storm-deposited sediment.
    (D) Maritime hammock habitat that contains:
    (1) Canopy gaps and edges with an open to semi-open canopy, 
subcanopy, and understory; and
    (2) Substrate of calcareous sand and shell fragments.
    (E) Shell mound habitat that contains:
    (1) Open to semi-open canopy and understory, and
    (2) Substrate of soil derived from calcareous shells deposited by 
Native Americans during prehistoric times.
    (ii) A plant community of predominately native vegetation with no 
invasive, nonnative animal or plant species or such species in 
quantities low enough to have minimal effect on survival of Harrisia 
aboriginum.
    (iii) Canopy openings in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal 
berm, maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats that are created by 
the effects of strong winds or saltwater inundation from storm surge or 
infrequent tidal inundation.
    (iv) Habitats that are connected and of sufficient size to sustain 
viable populations in coastal strand, coastal grassland, coastal berm, 
maritime hammock, and shell mound habitats.
    (v) Habitats that provide populations of the generalist pollinators 
that visit the flowers of Harrisia aboriginum.
    (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 that exists within the legal boundaries 
on February 22, 2016.
    (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 area. 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 http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2014-0057, 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.

[[Page 3906]]

    (5) Index map of all critical habitat units for Harrisia aboriginum 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.018


[[Page 3907]]


    (6) Unit APA1: Terra Ceia, Manatee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA1 consists of approximately 222 ac 
(90 ha) in Manatee County, Florida. This unit is composed of State 
lands within Madira Bickel Mound State Historical Park, Terra Ceia 
Preserve State Park, Cockroach Bay State Buffer Preserve, and the Tampa 
Bay Estuarine System (66 ac (27 ha)); Manatee County lands at Emerson 
Point Preserve and parcels owned by the Manatee County Port Authority 
(70 ac (28 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (87 ac (35 
ha)). This unit includes lands west of Highway 41 extending from just 
south of South Dock Street south to Snead Island. The unit also 
includes areas of Harbor Key, Mariposa Key, Horseshoe Key, Joe Island, 
Skeet Key, Paradise Island, Ed's Key, and Rattlesnake Key.
    (ii) Index map of Unit APA1 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.019
    

[[Page 3908]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit APA1 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.020
    

[[Page 3909]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit APA1 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.021
    
    (7) Unit APA2: Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida.
    (i) General description: Unit APA2 consists of approximately 54 ac 
(22 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of 
parcels in private or other ownership. This unit includes lands west of 
Gulf of Mexico Drive, extending from 0.40 mi (0.6 km) south of the 
intersection of Bay Isles Parkway and Gulf of Mexico Drive, to the 
southern tip of Longboat Key. It also includes lands on the north side 
of Gulf of Mexico Drive, east of Longboat Club Key Drive, on the 
northwest tip of Longboat Key.

[[Page 3910]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA2 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.022
    
    (8) Unit APA3: Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA3 consists of approximately 116 ac 
(47 ha) in Sarasota County, Florida. This unit is composed of Sarasota 
County lands within Palmer Point County Park (50 ac (20 ha)) and 
parcels in private or other ownership (66 ac (27 ha)). This unit 
extends along the barrier island (Casey Key) from the south terminus of 
Blind Pass Road, south for approximately 1.2 mi (1.9 km) along North 
Casey Key Road. On the mainland, the unit includes lands bordered on 
the north by Vamo Way, to the east by Highway 41, and to the south by 
Palmetto Avenue.

[[Page 3911]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA3 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.023
    
    (9) Unit APA4: Manasota Key, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, 
Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA4 consists of approximately 415 ac 
(168 ha) in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, Florida. This unit is 
composed of State lands within Stump Pass Beach State Park (58 ac (23 
ha)); County lands within Blind Pass Park, Brohard Beach and Paw Park, 
Manasota Beach Park, Casperson Beach Park, and Service Club Park (111 
ac (45 ha)); and parcels in private or other ownership (245 ac (99 
ha)). This unit extends from Beach Road in the City of Venice, south 
along Manasota Key to the barrier islands southern tip, including a 
portion of Peterson Island.

[[Page 3912]]

    (ii) Index map of Unit APA4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.024
    

[[Page 3913]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit APA4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.025
    

[[Page 3914]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit APA4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.026
    

[[Page 3915]]


    (v) Map C of Unit APA4 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.027
    
    (10) Unit APA5: Charlotte Harbor, Charlotte County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA5 consists of 51 ac (21 ha) in 
Charlotte County, Florida. This unit is composed entirely of State 
lands within the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. This unit 
includes the Big Mound, Boggess Ridge, and a shell mound located on the 
east side of Charlotte Harbor, south of the City of Charlotte Park.

[[Page 3916]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA5 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.028
    
    (11) Unit APA6: Gasparilla North, Charlotte and Lee Counties, 
Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA6 consists of approximately 98 ac 
(40 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed 
of State land (0.006 ac (0.02 ha)), county land (22 ac (9 ha)), and 
parcels in private or other ownership (77 ac (31 ha)). This unit 
includes most of Kitchen Key (Live Oak Key) and the area east of 
Gasparilla Road, from the intersection of Grouper Hole Road and Grouper 
Hole Court, south to 0.15 mi (0.24 km) north of Snail Island Court, 
from approximately 0.10 mi (0.21 km) south of 35th Street to 23rd 
Street, including the small island separated from Gasparilla Island by 
a canal; and from 22nd Street to 20th Street.

[[Page 3917]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA6 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.029
    
    (12) Unit APA7: Gasparilla South, Lee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA7 consists of approximately 92 ac 
(37 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal land 
owned by the Service and Bureau of Land Management (3 ac (1 ha)), State 
lands within Gasparilla Island State Park (69 ac (28 ha)), Lee County 
lands (12 ac (5 ha), and parcels in private or other ownership (8 ac (3 
ha)). This unit includes lands located from south of 1st Street to the 
southern tip of Gasparilla Island.

[[Page 3918]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA7 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.030
    
    (13) Unit APA8: Cayo Pelau, Lee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA8 consists of approximately 25 ac 
(10 ha) in Charlotte and Lee Counties, Florida. This unit is composed 
of Lee County lands within Cayo Pelau Preserve, and parcels in private 
or other ownership (0.6 ac (0.2 ha)). This unit includes lands located 
from 0.13 mi (0.21 km) south of the northern tip of Cayo Pelau, 
extending south to the southeastern tip of Cayo Pelau.

[[Page 3919]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA8 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.031
    
    (14) Unit APA9: Cayo Costa, Lee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA9 consists of approximately 1,702 
ac (689 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of State 
lands within Cayo Costa State Park (1,379 ac (558 ha)), lands owned by 
Lee County (94 ac (38 ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership 
(230 ac (93 ha)). This unit includes lands located from the northern 
tip to the southern tip of Cayo Costa.

[[Page 3920]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA9 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.032
    
    (15) Unit APA10: Bocilla, Lee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA10 consists of approximately 33 ac 
(13 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Lee County 
lands within the Bocilla Preserve (32 ac (13 ha)) and parcels in 
private or other ownership (0.7 ac (0.3 ha)). This unit includes lands 
located on the undeveloped portion of Bokeelia Island from 0.02 mi 
(0.03 km) west of the terminus of Ebbtide Way, extending south and west 
to the northwestern and southeastern corners of Bokeelia Island.

[[Page 3921]]

    (ii) Map of Unit APA10 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.033
    
    (16) Unit APA11: Sanibel Island and Buck Key, Lee County, Florida.
    (i) General Description: Unit APA11 consists of approximately 635 
ac (257 ha) in Lee County, Florida. This unit is composed of Federal 
lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and Service lands within 
the J.N. `Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (373 ac (151 
ha)), State lands (47 ac (19 ha)), lands owned by Lee County (90 ac (36 
ha)), and parcels in private or other ownership (126 ac (51 ha)). This 
unit includes lands on Buck Key, Runyan Key, and Sanibel Island. On 
Sanibel Island, the unit includes a portion of Bowman's Beach, from 
just south of Silver Key to the western terminus of Water's Edge Lane; 
uplands within J.N. `Ding' Darling NWR; and a shell mound located near 
the northern terminus of Tarpon Bay Road.

[[Page 3922]]

    (ii) Index map of Unit APA11 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.034
    

[[Page 3923]]


    (iii) Map A of Unit APA11 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.035
    

[[Page 3924]]


    (iv) Map B of Unit APA11 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.036
    

[[Page 3925]]


    (v) Map C of Unit APA11 follows:
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR22JA16.037
    
* * * * *

    Dated: January 6, 2016.
Karen Hyun,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and 
Parks.
[FR Doc. 2016-01141 Filed 1-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-C