FWS proposes revised critical habitat for Lane Mountain milk-vetch
75 Fed. Reg. 16404 / Vol. 75, No. 62 / Thursday, April 1, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2009-0078 / MO 99210-0-0009-B4 / RIN 1018-AW53
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for Astragalus jaegerianus (Lane Mountain milk-vetch).
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise designated critical habitat for the Lane Mountain milk-vetch (Astragalus jaegerianus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The previous final rule designated 0 acres (ac) (0 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat and was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2005. We now propose to designate approximately 16,156 ac (6,538 ha) of land located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California, which, if finalized as proposed, would result in an increase of approximately 16,156 ac (6,538 ha). DATES: We will accept comments until June 1, 2010.
The Lane Mountain milk-vetch, an endangered Mojave Desert species located near, and closely monitored by the U.S. Army's Fort Irwin, is threatened, in part, by military base expansion, vehicle trespass, and related tank training, as well as altered fire regimes and suppression. The weak-stemmed plant with small purple flowers and reddish fruit pods, uses other perennial shrubs for support, and is found entangled in them.
KEITHINKING: Like many others, the plant species has been the subject of past litigation and court orders, including a 2002 ruling demanding designation of critical habitat. See Saving the Tortoise. Later, FWS attempted to exclude the entirety of the species habitat due to military training activity, leading to more litigation with the Center for Biological Diversity.