The Lilies of Fort Hunter Liggett

Kickaha

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From: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-SPECIES/20...y-08/e28042.htm

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[Federal Register: November 8, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 217)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 56508-56531]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08no01-22]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
RIN 1018-AG75

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed
Designation of Critical Habitat for Chlorogalum purpureum, a Plant From
the South Coast Ranges of California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to
designate critical habitat pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of
1973, as amended (Act), for two varieties of purple amole: Chlorogalum
purpureum var. purpureum (purple amole) and Chlorogalum purpureum var.
reductum (Camatta Canyon amole). Approximately 8,898 hectares (21,980
acres) of land fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical
habitat designation. Proposed critical habitat is located in Monterey
and San Luis Obispo counties, California. If this proposal is made
final, Federal agencies must ensure that actions they fund, permit, or
carry out are not likely to result in the destruction or adverse
modification of critical habitat. State or private actions, with no
Federal involvement, would not be affected by this rulemaking action.
   We are soliciting data and comments from the public on all aspects
of this proposal, including data on economic and other impacts of the
designation. We may revise this proposal to incorporate or address new
information received during the comment period.

DATES: We will accept comments until January 7, 2002. Public hearing
requests must be received by December 24, 2001.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and
materials concerning this proposal by any one of several methods:
   1. You may submit written comments and information to the Field
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003.
   2. You may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to
fw1chlorogalum@fws.gov. See the Public Comments Solicited section below
for file format and other information about electronic filing.
   3. You may hand-deliver comments to our Ventura Fish and Wildlife
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B,
Ventura, CA 93003.
   Comments and materials received will be available for public
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above
address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heidi E. D. Crowell, Ventura Fish and
Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road,
Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003 (telephone 805/644-1766; facsimile 805/644-
3958).
 

Kickaha

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Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

   Critical habitat being proposed for Chlorogalum purpureum var.
purpureum includes the only known two areas where the species currently
occurs, the Fort Hunter Liggett Unit and Camp Roberts Unit. These units
were delineated with a GIS model using ArcView. The GIS model
identified areas with the combination of appropriate soils, a slope of
20 percent or less, and a habitat type of either grassland, oak
woodland, oak savannah, or open areas within shrubland communities. We
selected only those areas identified in the model which included known
populations of C. p. var. purpureum. The area boundary was then
extended to the nearest ridgeline in order to encompass the land
immediately adjacent to and upslope of the area identified by the
model. In locations where using a ridgeline was not feasible or was
inappropriate, other geographic or man-made structures were used to
delineate the critical habitat boundary, such as riverbeds, an abrupt
change in elevation, or roads. This ensures that the proposed critical
habitat included all the PCEs, especially the maintenance of ecosystem
functions and processes essential to the conservation of the species.
   It is essential to manage these areas in a manner that provides for
the conservation of the species. This includes not only the area where
the species is currently present, but providing for the natural
population

[Page 56513]

fluctuations that occur in response to natural and unpredictable
events. As described in the Background and Primary Constituent Elements
sections, the species is dependant on habitat components beyond the
immediate areas on which the plant occurs. These components include the
specific soil types, the supporting vegetation communities with which
the species is associated, and sufficient habitat areas to support the
ecological processes on which the species depends. These ecological
processes include hydrologic regimes on which the plant and supporting
community depend, maintaining the reproductive capability of the plant
by providing a diverse habitat community that supports the appropriate
pollinators and seed dispersal mechanisms, providing sufficient areas
of appropriate habitat so that the plant can expand and recolonize
areas, maintaining natural predator-prey relationships that promote
species' survivorship, and reducing competition from exotic species or
aggressive species responding to unnatural habitat management
practices. Since the species only occurs in the two units, providing
for the specific biological needs of the species, as defined by the
primary constituent elements, within the units is essential for the
conservation of the species.
   Critical habitat being proposed for Chlorogalum purpureum var.
reductum includes one unit, the Camatta Canyon unit, which currently
supports two known populations of this species. Limited data on soils
and habitats were available for delineating the critical habitat
boundaries for C. p. var. reductum. No GIS data layers were available
to create a combined soil, slope and vegetation model such as that
created for C. p. var. purpureum. Therefore, the critical habitat
designation is based on the existing known populations, and
observations of soil characteristics and vegetation community types
made by various researchers and agencies. This unit was developed by
encompassing the extent of appropriate topography and vegetation
community types surrounding the known populations.
   As with the C. p. var. purpureum units, it is essential to manage
this area in a manner that provides for the conservation of the
species. This includes not only the area where the species is currently
present, but providing for the natural population fluctuations that
occur in response to natural and unpredictable events. As described in
the Background and Primary Constituent Elements sections, the species
is dependant on habitat components beyond the immediate areas on which
the plant occurs. These components include the specific soil types, the
supporting vegetation communities with which the species is associated,
and sufficient habitat areas to support the ecological processes on
which the species depends. These ecological processes include
hydrologic regimes on which the plant and supporting community depend,
maintaining the reproductive capability of the plant by providing a
diverse habitat community that supports the appropriate pollinators and
seed dispersal mechanisms, providing sufficient areas of appropriate
habitat so that the plant can expand and recolonize areas, maintaining
natural predator-prey relationships that promote species' survivorship,
and reducing competition from exotic species or aggressive species
responding to unnatural habitat management practices. Since the only
known occurrence of the species is within this unit, providing for the
specific biological needs of the species, as defined by the primary
constituent elements, within the unit is essential for the conservation
of the species.
   The Sikes Act Improvements Act of 1997 (Sikes Act) requires each
military installation that includes land and water suitable for the
conservation and management of natural resources to complete, by
November 17, 2001, an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan
(INRMP). An INRMP integrates implementation of the military mission of
the installation with stewardship of the natural resources found there.
Each INRMP includes an assessment of the ecological needs on the
installation, including needs to provide for the conservation of listed
species; a statement of goals and priorities; a detailed description of
management actions to be implemented to provide for these ecological
needs; and a monitoring and adaptive management plan. We consult with
the military on the development and implementation of INRMPs for
installations with listed species. We believe that bases that have
completed and approved INRMPs that address the needs of the species
generally do not meet the definition of critical habitat discussed
above, because they require no additional special management or
protection. Therefore, we generally do not include these areas in
critical habitat designations if they meet the following three
criteria--(1) a current INRMP must be complete and provide a
conservation benefit to the species; (2) the plan must provide
assurances that the conservation management strategies will be
implemented; and (3) the plan must provide assurances that the
conservation management strategies will be effective, by providing for
periodic monitoring and revisions as necessary. If all of these
criteria are met, then we generally believe that the lands covered
under the plan would not meet the definition of critical habitat.
   The CANG has developed a draft INRMP for Camp Roberts to address
the requirements of Department of Defense Instruction 4715.3. The INRMP
is intended to provide an adaptive management approach to all natural
resource issues on the installation. Although the Camp Roberts draft
INRMP calls for annual monitoring of Chlorogalum purpureum, it does not
provide any specific measures that ensure the conservation and recovery
of this species. The INRMP is currently being reviewed and revised.
However, because such measures are not currently in place, we are
including those portions of Camp Roberts that support C. purpureum
populations or the primary constituent elements in this proposed
critical habitat designation. Fort Hunter Liggett is currently
preparing a draft INRMP, however, the Service has not yet received a
copy for review.
   Determining the specific areas that C. purpureum occupies is
challenging; during good flowering years, presence of this taxon can be
difficult to document during the dormant stage of the plant because
leaves and inflorescences often break off and disappear. That the taxon
is not visible in all years does not mean the taxon does not exist at a
site. Therefore, patches of occupied habitat are interspersed with
patches of unknown occupancy; our critical habitat units reflect the
nature of the habitat, the life history characteristics of this taxon,
habitat connectivity between currently known populations, and
opportunities for management to maintain habitat/plant association
function and integrity on a larger landscape level.
   In selecting areas of proposed critical habitat we made an effort
to avoid developed areas, such as housing developments, that are
unlikely to contain the primary constituent elements or otherwise
contribute to the conservation of C. purpureum. However, we did not map
critical habitat in sufficient detail to exclude all developed areas,
or other lands unlikely to contain the primary constituent elements
essential for the conservation of C. purpureum. Areas within the
boundaries of the mapped units, such as buildings, roads, parking lots,
railroads,

[Page 56514]

airport runways and other paved areas, lawns, and other urban
landscaped areas will not contain any of the primary constituent
elements. Federal actions limited to these areas, therefore would not
trigger a section 7 consultation, unless they affect the species and/or
primary constituent elements in adjacent critical habitat.
   In summary, we selected critical habitat areas that provide for the
conservation of both varieties of Chlorogalum pupureum in three units
where it is known to occur. Areas on the perimeter of the critical
habitat designation being used for crop production were not proposed
for designation; however, we recognize that these areas may include
habitat presently or historically occupied by Chlorogalum purpureum. In
addition, some areas not included in the critical habitat designation,
including other areas identified in the GIS model used for C. p. var.
purpureum, may include habitat appropriate for introduction of C.
purpureum in the future. If we determine that areas outside of the
boundaries of the designated critical habitat are important for the
conservation of this species, we may propose these additional areas as
critical habitat in the future.
 

Kickaha

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Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

   The proposed critical habitat areas described below constitute our
best assessment at this time of the areas essential for the
conservation of Chlorogalum purpureum. The areas being proposed as
critical habitat are within or surrounding Fort Hunter Liggett in
southern Monterey County, within or surrounding Camp Roberts in
northern San Luis Obispo County, and on both the north and south sides
of Highway 58 near Camatta Canyon in central San Luis Obispo County. We
propose to designate approximately 6,965 ha (17,210 ac) of land as
critical habitat for C. p. var. purpureum and 1,933 ha (4,770 ac) of
land as critical habitat for C. p. var. reductum. Approximately 68
percent of this total area consists of Federal lands, private lands
comprise approximately 32 percent of the proposed critical habitat, and
State lands comprise less than 0.1 percent.
   A brief description of each critical habitat unit is given below:

Fort Hunter Liggett Unit

   This unit consists of two separate areas that encompass both Fort
Hunter Liggett property and private property. Fort Hunter Liggett Unit
A (5,930 ha (14,660 ac)) includes portions of training areas 10, 13,
22, 25, 29, the ASP, and the cantonment of Fort Hunter Liggett
property, in addition to private property east of Jolon Road. The
critical habitat boundary generally follows the San Antonio River bed
on the south from the cantonment buildings southeast to training area
29 near Tule Canyon. The boundary heads north, excluding crop lands or
tilled agricultural lands, west following a ridgeline into Fort Hunter
Liggett training area 10, and back to the area just north of the
cantonment buildings. Fort Hunter Liggett Unit B (60 ha (145 ac))
occurs at the boundary of training areas 23, 24 and 27.
   The Fort Hunter Liggett critical habitat unit includes one of only
two areas where Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum is known to occur.
It is likely that this population is a remnant of a much larger
population that historically extended far beyond the Fort Hunter
Liggett boundaries. The protection and recovery of this area is
essential for maintaining the remaining genetic variability of this
plant and connectivity between patches of plants at Fort Hunter Liggett
is essential to facilitate the gene flow within this unit. Fort Hunter
Liggett also has favorable habitat conditions for population expansion
and persistence; with the reduction of threats through appropriate
management, this area could support a larger population.

Camp Roberts Unit

   This unit consists of one area that encompasses both Camp Roberts
property and private property. The Camp Roberts Unit (975 ha (2,405
ac)) boundary generally follows the Nacimiento River bed along Tower
Road to the area just south of the Camp Roberts machine gun range. The
boundary then follows Tower Road southwest to Avery Road, west to San
Antonio Road, and north to a ridgeline that extends onto private
property that is northwest of the Camp Roberts installation boundary.
The Camp Roberts unit excludes those areas currently classified as
dedicated impact areas for high-explosive ordnance. This critical
habitat unit includes one of only two areas where Chlorogalum purpureum
var. purpureum is known to occur. The unit contains large patches of
plants that are capable of producing large numbers of seeds in good
years, which is important for this species to survive through natural
and human-caused changes or events. The protection and recovery of this
area are essential because it is occupied and it contains favorable
habitat conditions for population increases with appropriate habitat
management.

Camatta Canyon Unit

   This unit consists of one area that encompasses the similar
topographic and vegetative community types that surround the current
population. The Camatta Canyon Unit (1,933 ha (4,770 ac)) encompasses
the plateau area on both the north and south sides of Highway 58 near
Camatta Canyon, extending south approximately 5 km (3 mi) to include
two private inholding areas within the LPNF boundaries. This critical
habitat unit includes the known population area and adjacent
surrounding areas as described above in the ``Criteria Used to Identify
Critical Habitat'' section. This critical habitat unit is the only area
where Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum is known to occur. It is
essential to protect this population from further loss of individual
plants and loss of genetic diversity, as well as safeguard the
population against random natural or human-caused events.
   Lands proposed are under private, State, and Federal jurisdiction,
with State lands managed by CalTrans, and Federal lands managed by the
CANG at Camp Roberts, Army Reserve at Fort Hunter-Liggett, and the
Forest Service (i.e., LPNF). The approximate areas of proposed critical
habitat by land ownership are shown in Table 1.

     Table 1.--Approximate Areas, Given in Hectares (HA) and Acres (AC) 1 of Proposed Critical Habitat for
                                    Chlorogalum purpureum by Land Ownership
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          Unit name                   Private               State              Federal              Total
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Fort Hunter Liggett............  1,200 ha...........  ..................  4,790 ha..........  5,990 ha
                                (2,965 ac).........  ..................  (11,840 ac).......  (14,805 ac)
Camp Roberts...................  195 ha.............  ..................  780 ha............  975 ha
                                (475 ac)...........  ..................  (1,930 ac)........  (2,405 ac)
Camatta Canyon.................  1,450 ha...........  8 ha..............  475 ha............  1,933 ha

[Page 56515]

                                (3,580 ac).........  (20 ac)...........  (1,170 ac)........   (4,770 ac)
     Total....................  2,845 ha...........  8 ha..............  6,045 ha..........  8,898 ha
                                (7,020 ac).........  (20 ac)...........  (14,940 ac).......  (21,980 ac)
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1 Approximate acres have been converted to hectares (1 ha = 2.47 ac). Based on the level of precision of
 mapping of each unit, hectares and acres greater than 10 have been rounded to the nearest 5; hectares and
 acres less than or equal to 10 have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Totals are sums of units
 

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