On August 30, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will designate under section 4 of the federal Endangered Species Act approximately 47,383 acres of critical habitat for the Sonoma County Distinct Population Segment of the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense).  The Service had previously re-opened the comment period on its proposed critical habitat designation on June 21, 2011, in order to allow interested parties to comment on the proposed addition of 4,945 acres of critical habitat for the Santa Rosa Plain Unit.  (For a history of the Service’s critical habitat designation, please see Lauren Valk’s January 21, 2011 and June 23, 2011 posts.)  Although the final designation will include the 4,945 acres proposed on June 21, the total area designated is a reduction of 26,840 acres from the original 2005 proposed rule.  The final rule will be published tomorrow in the Federal Register.