WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on its 2011 proposal to list 23 species endemic to the island of Oahu as endangered and to designate over 40,000 acres as critical habitat for their recovery.
The agency action is in response to the completion of the draft economic analysis of the proposed designation, and an amendment to remove 185 acres from the original proposal.
New information indicates that land thought to be essential to the recovery of several plant species is not suitable for designation because it has been highly developed for solar arrays, golf courses and waste management.
Because almost all of the proposed designation overlaps existing critical habitat designations, state or national parks, or areas otherwise already precluded from development, the draft economic analysis found that the costs associated with designation are limited.
For the same reasons, the designation is not expected to have a significant impact property values on the island.
The public has until May 14 to comment on the revised habitat designation and the draft economic analysis.
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