Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho Water Snake, 48595-48596 [E9-22872]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: There are three non-hour cost burdens to industry. They are as follows: • § 285.111—$4,000: This section requires respondents to pay a processing fee of $4,000 for MMS document or study preparation when necessary for MMS processing of applications and requests. • § 285.111(b)(3)—$950,000: This section allows respondents to pay a contractor instead of MMS for all or part of any document, study, or other activity, and provide the results to MMS to reduce MMS processing costs. 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Therefore, if you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:06 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 maintenance, and purchase of service components. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information, monitoring, and record storage facilities. You should not include estimates for equipment or services purchased: (i) before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices. We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, we will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to OMB. Public Comment Procedures: Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz, (202) 208–7744. Dated: September 16, 2009. William S. Hauser, Acting Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs. [FR Doc. E9–22834 Filed 9–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2009–N174; 92220–1113– 0000–C6] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho Water Snake AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of draft post-delisting monitoring plan. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48595 availability of our Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho water snake (Nerodia paucimaculata). The draft post-delisting monitoring (PDM) plan describes the methods we propose to monitor the status of the snake and its habitat, in cooperation with the State of Texas and other conservation partners, for a 15-year period if we remove this species from the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife under another pending action. The draft PDM plan also provides a strategy for identifying and responding to any future population declines or habitat alterations. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments on the draft PDM plan for Concho water snake by October 23, 2009. ADDRESSES: The draft PDM plan is available for review on the Internet at http://endangered.fws.gov and http:// www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ AustinTexas/. To request a copy of the draft PDM plan, write to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512–490–0057; facsimile 512–490–0974. Supporting documentation we used in preparing the draft PDM plan is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, at the above office. You may submit comments by mail to the above office address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800/877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Concho water snake is a reptile endemic to central Texas. We listed this species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), effective September 3, 1986, because of threats from habitat modification and destruction (51 FR 31412). On July 8, 2008, we published a proposed rule to remove the Concho water snake from the list of threatened species (73 FR 38956). We based the proposal on our finding that the best available scientific and commercial data, including new information, indicate that the Concho water snake has recovered because threats have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of threatened or endangered under the Act. We are in the E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 48596 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices process of making a final determination on whether or not to delist the Concho water snake. For more background information on the Concho water snake, refer to our 1986 final listing rule published in the Federal Register (51 FR 31412), our 2008 proposed delisting rule published in the Federal Register (73 FR 38956), Werler and Dixon (2000, pp. 209–216), Campbell (2003, pp. 1–4), Forstner et al. (2006, pp. 1–22), Whiting et al. (2008, pp. 438–445), and the 1993 Concho Water Snake Recovery Plan (Service 1993, available online at http:// endangered.fws.gov). Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires us to implement a system, in cooperation with the States, to effectively monitor the status of each species we remove from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants due to recovery. The monitoring must occur for at least 5 years. The purpose of postdelisting monitoring (PDM) is to verify that a species we delist due to recovery remains secure from risk of extinction after we remove the protections of the Act. To fulfill the PDM requirement, we drafted a monitoring plan for the Concho water snake in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Colorado River Municipal Water District. Over a 15-year period, we propose to conduct surveys to measure the presence and abundance of snakes 2 times a year at 18 sample sites across the range of the snake. Biological monitoring frequency will occur in three phases, decreasing over time, resulting in 7 years of surveys over the 15-year PDM period. Evaluation of stream conditions will consist of analysis of hydrologic data collected at eight existing stream gages from across the snake’s range. The PDM plan describes specific monitoring triggers where certain outcomes of monitoring will result in specific actions. For example, if snakes are not captured from at least 75 percent of sample sites in any year, sampling effort will be intensified the following year beyond the minimum called for in the PDM plan. The monitoring triggers (both quantitative and qualitative) are based on the snake’s distribution, presence, reproduction, and abundance, as well as evaluation of instream flow conditions. The draft PDM plan includes annual reporting requirements. If PDM results in concern regarding the status of the snake or increasing threats, possible responses may include an extended or intensified monitoring effort, additional research (such as modeling metapopulation dynamics or assessing the status of the fish prey base), VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:06 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 enhancement of riverine or shoreline habitats, or an increased effort to improve habitat connectivity by additional translocation of snakes between reaches. If future information collected from the PDM, or any other reliable source, indicates an increased likelihood that the species may become in danger of extinction, we will initiate a status review of the Concho water snake and determine if relisting the species is warranted. In addition to public review of the draft PDM plan, we concurrently are requesting independent expert peer review from knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise that includes ecology of water snakes and conservation biology principles. Peer review of the draft PDM plan is in accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270). Viewing Documents Comments and materials we receive from the public and peer reviewers, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the draft PDM Plan, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours at the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). Once approved, the final PDM plan for the Concho water snake and any future revisions to the PDM plan will be available on our Web page (http:// endangered.fws.gov) and the Austin Ecological Services Field Office Web page (http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ AustinTexas/). We will announce our final decision on whether to delist the snake with a final rule in a future Federal Register publication, and we will also make this final decision available on the above-referenced Web pages. Request for Public Comments We intend for our final PDM plan to be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or suggestions on the Concho water snake draft PDM plan from the public, concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party. We will take into consideration substantive comments we receive by the comment due date (see DATES). These comments, and any additional information we receive, may lead us to adopt a final PDM plan that differs from this draft PDM plan. Please note that comments merely stating support or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire document—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. References Cited A complete list of all references we cited in this notice is available upon request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). Authors The primary authors of this document are staff at the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: August 7, 2009. Benjamin N. Tuggle, Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. E9–22872 Filed 9–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation Walker River Basin Acquisition Program Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Nevada AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Reopening of comment period for review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation is reopening the comment period for the DEIS to Monday, October 5, 2009. The notice of availability of the DEIS was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 2009 (74 FR 36737). The public review period ended on September 14, 2009. DATES: Written comments on the DEIS will be accepted on or before October 5, 2009. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on the DEIS to Mrs. Caryn Huntt DeCarlo, Bureau of Reclamation, 705 N Plaza, Room 320, Carson City, NV 89701 or e-mail to chunttdecarlo@usbr.gov. Copies of the DEIS may be requested from Mrs. Caryn Huntt DeCarlo by E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 183 (Wednesday, September 23, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48595-48596]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-22872]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2009-N174; 92220-1113-0000-C6]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-
Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho Water Snake

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft post-delisting monitoring plan.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho water 
snake (Nerodia paucimaculata). The draft post-delisting monitoring 
(PDM) plan describes the methods we propose to monitor the status of 
the snake and its habitat, in cooperation with the State of Texas and 
other conservation partners, for a 15-year period if we remove this 
species from the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife 
under another pending action. The draft PDM plan also provides a 
strategy for identifying and responding to any future population 
declines or habitat alterations.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments on 
the draft PDM plan for Concho water snake by October 23, 2009.

ADDRESSES: The draft PDM plan is available for review on the Internet 
at http://endangered.fws.gov and http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/. To request a copy of the draft PDM plan, write to U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 
10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512-490-0057; 
facsimile 512-490-0974. Supporting documentation we used in preparing 
the draft PDM plan is available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours, at the above office. You may submit 
comments by mail to the above office address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800/877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Concho water snake is a reptile endemic to central Texas. We 
listed this species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), effective September 3, 
1986, because of threats from habitat modification and destruction (51 
FR 31412). On July 8, 2008, we published a proposed rule to remove the 
Concho water snake from the list of threatened species (73 FR 38956). 
We based the proposal on our finding that the best available scientific 
and commercial data, including new information, indicate that the 
Concho water snake has recovered because threats have been eliminated 
or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition 
of threatened or endangered under the Act. We are in the

[[Page 48596]]

process of making a final determination on whether or not to delist the 
Concho water snake.
    For more background information on the Concho water snake, refer to 
our 1986 final listing rule published in the Federal Register (51 FR 
31412), our 2008 proposed delisting rule published in the Federal 
Register (73 FR 38956), Werler and Dixon (2000, pp. 209-216), Campbell 
(2003, pp. 1-4), Forstner et al. (2006, pp. 1-22), Whiting et al. 
(2008, pp. 438-445), and the 1993 Concho Water Snake Recovery Plan 
(Service 1993, available online at http://endangered.fws.gov).
    Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires us to implement a system, in 
cooperation with the States, to effectively monitor the status of each 
species we remove from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants due to recovery. The monitoring must occur for at 
least 5 years. The purpose of post-delisting monitoring (PDM) is to 
verify that a species we delist due to recovery remains secure from 
risk of extinction after we remove the protections of the Act.
    To fulfill the PDM requirement, we drafted a monitoring plan for 
the Concho water snake in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife 
Department and the Colorado River Municipal Water District. Over a 15-
year period, we propose to conduct surveys to measure the presence and 
abundance of snakes 2 times a year at 18 sample sites across the range 
of the snake. Biological monitoring frequency will occur in three 
phases, decreasing over time, resulting in 7 years of surveys over the 
15-year PDM period. Evaluation of stream conditions will consist of 
analysis of hydrologic data collected at eight existing stream gages 
from across the snake's range. The PDM plan describes specific 
monitoring triggers where certain outcomes of monitoring will result in 
specific actions. For example, if snakes are not captured from at least 
75 percent of sample sites in any year, sampling effort will be 
intensified the following year beyond the minimum called for in the PDM 
plan. The monitoring triggers (both quantitative and qualitative) are 
based on the snake's distribution, presence, reproduction, and 
abundance, as well as evaluation of instream flow conditions.
    The draft PDM plan includes annual reporting requirements. If PDM 
results in concern regarding the status of the snake or increasing 
threats, possible responses may include an extended or intensified 
monitoring effort, additional research (such as modeling metapopulation 
dynamics or assessing the status of the fish prey base), enhancement of 
riverine or shoreline habitats, or an increased effort to improve 
habitat connectivity by additional translocation of snakes between 
reaches. If future information collected from the PDM, or any other 
reliable source, indicates an increased likelihood that the species may 
become in danger of extinction, we will initiate a status review of the 
Concho water snake and determine if relisting the species is warranted.
    In addition to public review of the draft PDM plan, we concurrently 
are requesting independent expert peer review from knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise that includes ecology of water 
snakes and conservation biology principles. Peer review of the draft 
PDM plan is in accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 
FR 34270).

Viewing Documents

    Comments and materials we receive from the public and peer 
reviewers, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the 
draft PDM Plan, will be available for public inspection by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the Austin Ecological Services Field 
Office (see ADDRESSES). Once approved, the final PDM plan for the 
Concho water snake and any future revisions to the PDM plan will be 
available on our Web page (http://endangered.fws.gov) and the Austin 
Ecological Services Field Office Web page (http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/). We will announce our final decision on 
whether to delist the snake with a final rule in a future Federal 
Register publication, and we will also make this final decision 
available on the above-referenced Web pages.

Request for Public Comments

    We intend for our final PDM plan to be as accurate and as effective 
as possible. Therefore, we request comments or suggestions on the 
Concho water snake draft PDM plan from the public, concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other 
interested party. We will take into consideration substantive comments 
we receive by the comment due date (see DATES). These comments, and any 
additional information we receive, may lead us to adopt a final PDM 
plan that differs from this draft PDM plan. Please note that comments 
merely stating support or opposition to the action under consideration 
without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be 
considered in making a determination.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire document--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 
request at the top of your document that we withhold this information 
from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references we cited in this notice is 
available upon request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

Authors

    The primary authors of this document are staff at the Austin 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 7, 2009.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E9-22872 Filed 9-22-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P