This section of the ESA regulations provides that all federal agencies must insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by them is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of the constituent elements essential to the conservation of the listed species within these defined Critical Habitats. It also gives greater definition of what constitutes "Critical Habitat" and how agencies and interested parties can locate the boundaries of specified critical habitats.
(a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All Federal agencies must insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by them is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of the constituent elements essential to the conservation of the listed species within these defined Critical Habitats. (See Part 402 for rules concerning this prohibition; see also Part 424 for rules concerning the determination of Critical Habitat).
(b)(1) For the critical habitat designations published and effective after May 31, 2012, the map provided by the Secretary of the Interior, as clarified or refined by any textual language within the rule, constitutes the definition of the boundaries of a critical habitat. Each critical habitat area will be shown on a map, with more-detailed information discussed in the preamble of the rulemaking documents published in the Federal Register and made available from the lead field office of the Service responsible for such designation. Each area will be referenced to the State(s), county(ies), or other local government units within which all or part of the critical habitat is located. General descriptions of the location and boundaries of each area may be provided to clarify or refine what is included within the boundaries depicted on the map, or to explain the exclusion of sites (e.g., paved roads, buildings) within the mapped area. Unless otherwise indicated within the critical habitat descriptions, the names of the State(s) and county(ies) are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute the boundaries of the area.
(2) For critical habitat designations published and effective on or prior to May 31, 2012, the map provided by the Secretary of the Interior is for reference purposes to guide Federal Agencies and other interested parties in locating the general boundaries of the critical habitat. The map does not, unless otherwise indicated, constitute the definition of the boundaries of a critical habitat. Critical habitats are described by reference to surveyable landmarks found on standard topographic maps of the area and to the States and county(ies) within which all or part of the critical habitat is located. Unless otherwise indicated within the critical habitat description, the State and county(ies) names are provided for informational purposes only.
(c) Critical Habitat management focuses only on the biological or physical constituent elements within the defined area of Critical Habitat that are essential to the conservation of the species. Those major constituent elements that are known to require special management considerations or protection will be listed with the description of the Critical Habitat.
(d) The sequence of species within each list of Critical Habitats in §§ 17.95 and 17.96 will follow the sequences in the lists of Endangered and Threatened wildlife (§ 17.11) and plants (§ 17.12). Multiple entries for each species will be alphabetic by State.
[45 FR 13021, Feb. 27, 1980; 77 FR 25621, May 1, 2012]
SOURCE: 40 FR 44415, Sept. 26, 1975; 52 FR 29780, Aug. 11, 1987; 54 FR 5938, Feb. 7, 1989; 54 FR 38946, Sept. 21, 1989; 55 FR 39416, Sept. 27, 1990; 77 FR 75297, Dec. 19, 2012, unless otherwise noted.
AUTHORITY: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531–1544; and 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted.