[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 75 (Tuesday, April 20, 1999)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 19333-19334]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-9936]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF59

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule To 
List the Sierra Nevada Distinct Population Segment of California 
Bighorn Sheep as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
make permanent the provisions of the emergency rule listing the Sierra 
Nevada distinct population segment of California bighorn sheep (Ovis 
canadensis californiana) as an endangered species pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The emergency rule 
listing the population is published concurrently in this issue of the 
Federal Register. The population historically occurred only in the 
Sierra Nevada in California from Sonora Pass, Mono County south to 
Walker Pass, Kern County. Currently, the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is 
known from five disjunct subpopulations along the eastern escarpment of 
the Sierra Nevada in Mono and Inyo counties, California. A total of 
about 100 animals are known to exist. All five subpopulations are 
imminently threatened by mountain lion predation and disease. We 
solicit additional data and information that may assist us in making a 
final decision on this proposed action.

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by June 
21, 1999. Public hearing requests must be received by June 4, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments and materials concerning this proposal to 
the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Rd., Suite B, Ventura, California 93003. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection 
by appointment during normal business hours at the address listed 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Benz, Assistant Field Supervisor, 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, at the address listed above 
(telephone 805/644-1766; facsimile 805/644-3958).



    For a discussion of biological background information, previous 
Federal action, factors affecting the species, critical habitat, and 
conservation measures available to listed and proposed species, consult 
the emergency rule for the Sierra Nevada distinct population segment of 
California bighorn sheep published concurrently in this issue of the 
Federal Register.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit 
comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments 
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to this species;
    (2) The location of any additional populations of this species and 
the reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined to be 
critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act;
    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population size of this species; and
    (4) Current or planned activities in the subject area and their 
possible impacts on this species.
    In making any final decision on this proposal we will take into 
consideration the comments and any additional information we receive, 
and such communications may lead to a final regulation that differs 
from this proposal.
    The Act requires that a public hearing be held if requested within 
45 days of the date of publication of a proposed rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an Environmental Assessment or 
Environmental Impact State, as defined under the authority of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need

[[Page 19334]]

not be prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to 
section (4)(a) of the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice 
outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on 
October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information other 
than those already approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and assigned Office of Management and Budget 
clearance number 1018-0094. 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 control number. For additional 
information concerning permit and associated requirements for 
endangered species, see 50 CFR 17.21 and 17.22.


    The primary author of this proposed rule is Carl Benz of the 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons given in the preamble to the emergency rule listing 
the Sierra Nevada distinct population segment of California bighorn 
sheep as endangered, published concurrently in the issue of the Federal 
Register, we propose to amend 50 CFR part 17 as set forth below:


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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625. 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

    2. In Sec. 17.11(h) add the following to the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under MAMMALS:

Sec. 17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                                  Critical     Special
                                                            Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Sheep, Sierra Nevada bighorn.....  Ovis canadensis       U.S.A. (western      U.S.A. (CA--Sierra   E                                     NA           NA
                                    californiana.         conterminous         Nevada).
                                                          states), Canada
                                                          Mexico (north).
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

    Dated: April 14, 1999.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-9936 Filed 4-19-99; 8:45 am]