Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on
The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps are generated are included in the administrative record for this critical habitat designation and are available at
We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned government agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:
(1) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as “critical habitat” under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531
(2) Specific information on:
(a) The amount and distribution of historic habitat and the range of
(b) What areas, that are occupied at the time of listing (that is, are currently occupied) and that contain features essential to the conservation of the species, should be included in the designation and why;
(c) Special management considerations or protection that may be needed in critical habitat areas we are proposing, including managing for the potential effects of climate change;
(d) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential for the conservation of the species and why; and
(e) The specific information on
(3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat.
(4) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of climate change on
(5) Whether all the remaining areas containing the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of
(6) Any probable economic, national security, or other relevant impacts of designating any area that may be included in the final designation; in particular, any impacts on small entities or families, and the benefits of including or excluding areas that exhibit these impacts.
(7) Whether any specific areas we are proposing for critical habitat designation should be considered for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, and whether the benefits of potentially excluding any specific area outweigh the benefits of including that area under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. We have not proposed to exclude any areas from critical habitat, but the Secretary is considering exercising his discretion to exclude areas within the Presidio and City or County Park Lands from final critical habitat designation. We will coordinate with the Presidio Trust, the City, and County and will examine conservation actions for the
(8) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and comments.
You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the
We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—on
Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on
It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to the designation of critical habitat for
In our proposed listing rule for
Based on early species occurrence records, voucher specimens, and publications on San Francisco and Bay Area flora, prior to extensive development,
Portions of the San Francisco peninsula where
These observations, along with the geology and climate of historical sites, indicate that the species' community likely consisted of a mosaic of coastal scrub, barren serpentine maritime chaparral, and perennial grassland, with occasional woodland of coast live oak and toyon shrubs and small trees (Chasse 2009, pp. 6, 7). However, native habitats have been largely converted to urban areas of the City of San Francisco, and habitat that might support
On December 23, 2009, we received a petition dated December 14, 2009, from the Wild Equity Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society, requesting that
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 insure, in consultation with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, the obligation of the Federal action agency and the landowner is not to restore or recover the species, but to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
Under the first prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it was listed are included in a critical habitat designation if they contain physical or biological features (1) essential to the conservation of the species and (2) which may require special management considerations or protection. For these areas, critical habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific 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 and biological features within an area, we focus on the principal biological or physical constituent elements (primary constituent elements such as roost sites, nesting grounds, seasonal wetlands, water quality, tide, soil type) that are essential to the conservation of the species. Primary constituent elements are the specific elements of physical or biological features that provide for a species' life-history processes, and are essential to the conservation of the species.
Under the second prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. We designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species only when a designation limited to its range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species.
Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in the
When we are determining which areas should be designated as critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the information developed during the listing process for the species. Additional information sources may include the recovery plan for the species, 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. Climate change will be a particular challenge for biodiversity because the interaction of additional stressors associated with climate change and current stressors may push species beyond their ability to survive (Lovejoy 2005, pp. 325-326). The synergistic implications of climate change and habitat fragmentation are the most threatening facet of climate change for biodiversity (Hannah
We anticipate these changes could affect a number of native plants and their habitats, including
(1) Drier conditions or changes in summer fog may result in additional stress on the transplanted plant.
(2) Drier conditions may also result in lower seed set, lower germination rate, and smaller population sizes.
(3) A shift in the timing of annual rainfall may favor nonnative species that impact the quality of habitat for this species.
(4) Warmer temperatures may affect the timing of pollinator life-cycles causing pollinators to become out-of-sync with timing of flowering
(5) Drier conditions may result in increased fire frequency, making the ecosystems in which
However, currently we are unable to specifically identify the ways that climate change may impact
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 a species. Areas that are important to the conservation of
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 this species. 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.
In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) and 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing to designate as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection. These include, but are not limited to:
(1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal behavior;
(2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements;
(3) Cover or shelter;
(4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) of offspring; and
(5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historical, geographical, and ecological distributions of a species.
We derive the specific physical or biological features required for
Historically, the 46-mi
The current geographic distribution of
Most bedrock outcrops of the interior parts of San Francisco are characterized by areas often at ridges with steep topography, thin dry soils, and bare rock, conditions that maintain permanently sparse vegetative cover, at least locally (Service 2003, p. 16). Many persist as undevelopable knobs on the crests of hills up to 281 m (922 ft) above sea level, or as high, unstable, coastal bluffs subject to frequent landslides. They are composed mostly of serpentine and greenstone or other mafic and ultramafic rocks (Schlocker 1974, pp. 8-16, Plate 3). These serpentine and rocky areas are often harsh and contain unproductive soils with poor nutrient levels and reduced water-holding capacity (Holland 1986, p. 8; Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf 1997, p. 211; Chasse
Some knowledge of the habitat requirements of
Franciscan formation rocks include sandstones, shale, chert, greenstone (mostly basalts), serpentinite, gabbro-diabase, and mixed sheared rocks along fault zones. The outcrops range from erosion-resistant basalt and chert, to serpentine rocks that are hard and dense to soft, friable, and plastic (Schlocker 1974, pp. 56-65). The soils surrounding the rock outcrops are often thin. Serpentine rocks and soils derived from them are particularly low in calcium and high in magnesium and heavy metals, and greatly influence local vegetation. The majority of sites where
As stated above,
Summer fog is a climatic condition that characterizes many areas within the San Francisco Bay area, including the Presidio (Schlocker 1974, p. 6; Null 1995, p. 2). Summer fog increases humidity, moderates drought pressure, and provides for milder summer and winter temperature ranges than occur in interior coastal areas. Summer fog is a major influence on the survival and diversity of manzanitas and other vegetation within this zone (Patton 1956, pp. 113-200; McCarten 1986, p. 4; McCarten 1993, p. 2; Service 2003, p. 66; Chasse
We are currently unaware of any studies that have specifically documented which insect or animal species pollinate
Native bees typically are more efficient pollinators than introduced European honeybees (
Pollinators also require space for individual and population growth, so adequate habitat should be available for pollinators in addition to the habitat necessary for
In this proposed critical habitat rule, we acknowledge that healthy pollinator populations provide conservation value to
The type locality for
Under the Act and its implementing regulations, we are required to identify the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of
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 self-sustaining
(1) Areas on or near bedrock outcrops often associated with ridges of serpentine or greenstone, mixed Franciscan rocks, or soils derived from these parent materials.
(2) Areas having soils originating from parent materials identified above in PCE 1 that are thin, have limited nutrient content or availability, or have large concentrations of heavy metals.
(3) Areas within a vegetation community consisting of a mosaic of coastal scrub, serpentine maritime chaparral, or serpentine grassland characterized as having a vegetation structure that is open, barren, or sparse with minimal overstory or understory of trees, shrubs, or plants that contain and exhibit a healthy fungal mycorrhizae component.
(4) Areas that are influenced by summer fog, which limits daily and seasonal temperature ranges, provides moisture to limit drought stress, and increases humidity.
With this proposed designation of critical habitat, we intend to identify the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species, through the identification of the appropriate quantity and spatial arrangement of the features' primary constituent elements sufficient to support the life-history processes of the species.
When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing (in the case of
Loss and degradation of habitat from development are cited in the final listing rule as a primary cause for the decline of
As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best scientific data available to designate critical habitat. We review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of the species. In accordance with the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e), we consider whether designating additional areas—outside those currently occupied as well as those occupied at the time of listing, if listing occurs before the designation of critical habitat—are necessary to ensure the conservation of the species. We are proposing to designate critical habitat in areas within the geographical area currently occupied by the species (see final listing determination published elsewhere in today's
This section provides details of the criteria and process we used to delineate the proposed critical habitat for
Although a recovery plan for
(1) Determine, in accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12, the physical or biological habitat features essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection, as explained in the previous section.
(2) Identify multiple independent sites for
(3) In accordance with section 2(b) of the Act, select areas which would conserve the ecosystem upon which the species depends. This includes areas that contain the natural ecological interactions of the species with its habitat or areas with additional management that may be enhanced. The conservation of
(4) In selecting areas to propose as critical habitat, consider factors such as size, connectivity to other habitats, and rangewide recovery considerations. We rely upon principles of conservation biology, including: (a) Resistance and resiliency, to ensure sufficient habitat is protected throughout the range of the species to support population viability (e.g., demographic parameters); (b) redundancy, to ensure multiple viable populations are conserved throughout the species' range; and (c) representation, to ensure the representative genetic and life history of
In order to identify the physical or biological features on the ground based on our criteria outlined above, we used the following methods to delineate the proposed critical habitat:
(1) We compiled and reviewed all available information on
When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such lands lack physical and biological features for
We are proposing for designation of critical habitat lands that we have determined are currently occupied (which, in this case, is the same as occupied at the time of listing) and contain sufficient elements of physical and biological features to support life-history processes essential to the conservation of the species, and lands outside of the geographic area currently occupied that we have determined are essential for the conservation of
The units of critical habitat are proposed for designation based on sufficient elements of physical or
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 or plot points or both on which each map is based available to the public on
We are proposing 11 units as critical habitat for
The approximate area of each proposed critical habitat unit is shown in Ta