Vol. 70, No. 002, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), 50 CFR Part 17, RIN 1018-AT57, 70 FR 428
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule To Designate Critical Habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae)
Action: FINAL RULE
Effective: Feburary 3, 2005
Under this final rule, the FWS has designated critical habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker, in 3 noncontiguous populations in The lower and middle Santa Ana River in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties; the East, West, and North Forks of the San Gabriel River in Los Angeles County; and lower Big Tujunga Creek, a tributary of the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles County. We have identified 23,719 acres (ac) (9,599 hectares (ha)) of aquatic and riparian habitats essential to the conservation of the Santa Ana sucker.
- 2/26/03 - the district court ordered the FWS to designate final critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker no later than 2/24/04, and enjoined the FWS from issuing any letters or biological opinions on actions that may affect the sucker until such time as the final critical habitat is designated.
- The FWS published the proposed and final rules concurrently on 2/26/04 (69 FR 8911 and 69 FR 8839).
- 8/19/04, the FWS published a notice (69 FR 51416) announcing the reopening of a 30-day comment period on the proposed critical habitat rule and the scheduling of a public hearing on 9/9/04.
- 10/1/04, the FWS published a notice (69 FR 58876) announcing the availability of the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation and reopening a 10-day public comment period for the economic analysis and proposed designation.
- 10/25/04, the FWS published another notice (69 FR 62238) reopening a 30-day comment period on the draft economic analysis and the proposed designation.
- 2/17/05, the FWS published a final rule of correction pursuant to this final rule to correct an error in use of amendatory language (70 FR 8037).
Goals of Designating Critical Habitat
Conservation of the Santa Ana sucker is dependent upon the conservation and management of habitat to maintain normal ecological status. The areas determined fit for designation as critical habitat provide some or all of the physical or biological features essential for the conservation of this species. Based on the best available information, the primary constituent elements essential for the conservation of the sucker are the following:
1. A functioning hydrological system that experiences peaks and ebbs in the water volume reflecting seasonal variation in precipitation throughout the year;
2. A mosaic of loose sand, gravel, cobble, and boulder substrates in a series of riffles, runs, pools, and shallow sandy stream margins;
3. Water depths greater than 3 cm and bottom water velocities greater than 0.03 m per second;
4. Non-turbid water or only seasonally turbid water;
5. Water temperatures less than 30 degrees C; and
6. Stream habitat that includes algae, aquatic emergent vegetation, acroinvertebrates, and riparian vegetation.
The FWS believes that through its critical habitat designation and promotion of the previous elements, the Santa Ana sucker conservation efforts will be successful in promoting the conservation and survival of the species.