Notice of Availability of a Draft Framework for Ranking the Relative Importance of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Populations and Watersheds for ESU Recovery and Delisting, 82208-82212 [2010-32844]

Download as PDF 82208 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA111 Notice of Availability of a Draft Framework for Ranking the Relative Importance of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Populations and Watersheds for ESU Recovery and Delisting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce the availability of a draft technical framework for ranking recovery potential of populations of Puget Sound Chinook salmon and watersheds supporting them. The draft framework relies on the best available scientific information regarding the status and structure of Puget Sound Chinook salmon populations and their habitat. It builds on the work of the Puget Sound technical recovery team, which provided the technical foundation of the Puget Sound Chinook recovery plan (NMFS 2006). The technical recovery team identified the population structure of Puget Sound Chinook and recommended biological recovery criteria (Ruckelshaus et al. 2002; 2006). It did not advise, however, on the relative roles of the various populations in achieving recovery and no such roles were identified in the recovery plan completed for the species. In contrast, technical teams that developed recovery criteria for other species of salmon in the Northwest did recommend roles for individual populations in recovery. Following adoption of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon recovery plan, we convened an internal technical team to analyze the role each population should play in recovery. The draft technical framework described in this notice represents the internal technical team’s recommendations. This notice also describes potential management implications of the framework. DATES: Information and comments on the draft framework must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES), no later than 5 pm. on January 28, 2011. We encourage the public’s involvement in reviewing this framework. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES3 SUMMARY: Information and comments on this draft framework should be submitted to Garth Griffin, Chief, ADDRESSES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 23:27 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 Protected Resources Division, NMFS. Comments may also be sent via facsimile (fax) to (503) 230–5435 or by e-mail. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Babcock, NMFS, Northwest Region, (206) 526–4505. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Puget Sound Chinook salmon are listed as ‘‘threatened’’ under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (70 FR 37160). The ESA defines species to include subspecies and ‘‘distinct population segments’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532). We have identified 52 distinct population segments of salmon and steelhead that spawn in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We have listed 28 of these as threatened or endangered under the ESA. For Pacific salmon, we recognize distinct population segments based on evolutionarily significant units, or ESUs. Nearly all of the salmon ESUs we identified are comprised of multiple populations. An ESU with healthy populations distributed throughout the ESU’s range and exhibiting diverse life history characteristics will be resilient to natural variation and catastrophic events (McElhany et al. 2000). Thus, multiple populations contribute to ESU viability when they are healthy and are subject to non-correlated risks (McElhany et. al. 2000). While all populations in an ESU may contribute to ESU viability, some may contribute more than others. McElhany et al. (2000) recommended several characteristics of a viable ESU. They recommended that an ESU should contain multiple populations; that some populations in an ESU should be geographically widespread while some should be geographically close; that populations should not all share common catastrophic risks; that populations that display diverse lifehistories and phenotypes should be maintained; and that some populations should exceed the minimum viability guidelines. In 1999 we established technical recovery teams to develop scientific advice for salmon and steelhead recovery throughout the Pacific Northwest. The teams identified the historical and current spawning populations, and the population structure, for each listed species. Relying on the work of McElhany et al. (2000) and other conservation literature, they established the biological criteria necessary for each ESU to have a high probability of persistence over time (referred to here as ‘‘biological recovery PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 criteria’’). Most of the teams also provided guidance on the role of each population in recovering the listed ESUs. For example, the team convened to provide advice on lower Columbia River salmon and steelhead determined the contribution of individual populations to ESU recovery and designated them as ‘‘primary, contributing, or sustaining’’ (McElhany, 2004). The team we convened to provide scientific advice on Puget Sound Chinook identified the historical and current populations of the ESU and the population structure. The team identified 38 historical and 22 extant populations (Ruckelshaus et al. 2006). The team also advised on the biological recovery criteria for the ESU. The team did not, however, provide guidance on the relative role of individual populations in overall ESU recovery. In the recovery plan for Puget Sound Chinook (NMFS 2006), we accepted the biological recovery criteria as the applicable criteria for delisting the ESU. Although we identified certain of the 22 populations that must be at low risk of extinction for delisting to occur (NMFS, 2006), we did not attempt to otherwise supplement the team’s work with guidance on the relative role of each population in recovery. We explained in the recovery plan that we intended to continue working with states, tribes, and others to develop a process for identifying priority populations and watersheds. NMFS believes that a systematic approach is needed to identify those Chinook salmon populations that should receive the highest priority for recovery activities, with the overarching goal of meeting ESU delisting criteria. This position is based on the premise that not all of the 22 Puget Sound Chinook salmon populations or their watersheds have the same role in contributing to the recovery of the ESU. Key considerations are the uniqueness, status, and physical location of the population, the present condition of the population’s freshwater, estuarine and adjacent nearshore habitats, and the likelihood for preserving and restoring those habitats given present and likely future condition. In the case of other salmon and steelhead species, we have found that technical information on the relative recovery roles of populations helps inform decision-making under the ESA. We therefore convened an internal team of NMFS technical experts to advise the agency on this aspect of Puget Sound Chinook recovery. We are mindful that recovery of an ESU under the ESA is not necessarily equivalent to the broad E:\FR\FM\29DEN3.SGM 29DEN3 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES3 sense recovery that would fulfill the expectations of Indian tribes with treatyreserved fishing rights. We remain fully committed to broad sense recovery of all populations contributing to treaty Indian fisheries but acknowledge that this level of recovery is not necessarily the same as recovery under the ESA. This framework addresses only recovery under the ESA. Biological Recovery Criteria The draft technical framework builds on the work of the technical recovery team (Ruckelshaus et al. 2002; 2006). The technical recovery team identified five major bio-geographical regions within the Puget Sound Chinook ESU, based on biological and geological characteristics of each watershed and the probability of catastrophic risk to populations in close proximity to one another. Their biological recovery criteria, which incorporate the concepts developed by McElhany et al. (2000), are: 1. The viability status of all populations in the ESU is improved from current conditions. 2. At least two and up to four Chinook salmon populations in each of five biogeographical regions within the ESU achieve viability, depending on the historical biological characteristics and acceptable risk levels for populations within each region. 3. At least one population from each major genetic and life history group historically present within each of the five bio-geographical regions is viable. 4. Tributaries to Puget Sound not identified as primary freshwater habitat for any of the 22 identified populations are functioning in a manner that is sufficient to support an ESU-wide recovery scenario. 5. Production of Chinook salmon from tributaries to Puget Sound not identified as primary freshwater habitat for any of the 22 identified populations occurs in a manner consistent with an ESU recovery. 6. Populations that do not meet the viability criteria for all VSP parameters (i.e. abundance, productivity, spatial structure and diversity) are sustained to provide ecological functions and preserve options for ESU recovery. Together, these six criteria describe the status of Chinook salmon populations and the habitat conditions that would result in a naturally selfsustaining ESU with a high likelihood of persistence. Criteria 1, 2, 3, and 6 describe the conditions of extant populations and their primary freshwater areas within the ESU that are consistent with recovery. Criteria 4 and 5 describe the roles that habitat VerDate Mar<15>2010 23:27 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 conditions and Chinook salmon juveniles and adults occurring in secondary habitat areas play in ESU viability. Draft Technical Framework—Methods The internal technical team developed an analytical approach that allowed it to assign an ESA recovery priority to each population based on the best available scientific information. Recognizing that biological populations are inseparable from their habitats, the team developed an approach that also allowed them to identify the relative importance of different habitat areas to Chinook recovery. The team first identified all watersheds in Puget Sound where Chinook salmon spawn, organized according to the Washington Department of Ecology classification system of water resource inventory areas. They identified the watersheds within each inventory area and the population occupying each watershed. For each population, the technical team identified its bio-geographical region (using Ruckelshaus et al. (2002)) and ‘‘stock category.’’ The stock categories were those that had been assigned to differentiate Puget Sound Chinook salmon in a separate process by state and tribal salmon managers. The managers assigned categories to stocks based on their origin (native or introduced) and whether the stock’s watershed of origin historically supported a self-sustaining Chinook salmon population. Category 1 stocks are indigenous, genetically unique populations that are native to the watersheds where they originate, Category 2 stocks are non-native stocks, introduced into watersheds capable of sustaining natural production but that no longer contain indigenous populations. Category 3 stocks originate from watersheds that historically did not support natural spawning by Chinook salmon. The team developed a rating scheme for each population and watershed that assigned scores of 0 to 3 for several indicators. For populations, the indicators were based on the criteria developed by McElhany et al. (2000) to describe a viable salmon population: Abundance, diversity, distribution, and productivity. For watersheds, the indicators were based on an existing analysis of habitat condition and value by Beecher et al. (1999), the relative value of adjacent estuaries to ESU populations, and NMFS’ critical habitat designation for Puget Sound Chinook. The team summed the scores for each indicator to arrive at a total score for each population and each watershed, reflecting the viability status and PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 82209 uniqueness of each population, immediacy of risk to the population, and the condition and relative recovery value of the watersheds the populations inhabit. The team next examined the relationship of each population to the six recovery criteria adopted in the recovery plan. The team assigned one point for each criterion met by the population. The team developed a rule set to determine whether a population met a specific criterion. Thus for this element a population could receive a score as high as 6. In the final step of its analysis, the team compared scores for the populations across all three categories (population viability, habitat status and use, and relationship to the recovery criteria). The team then divided populations into three categories, based on their relative total scores within their respective biogeographical regions, which the team called Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. The following discussion describes in more detail the method the team used to assign population viability scores and habitat status and use scores. (1) Population Viability Scores Abundance. The team considered the abundance of natural origin spawners and whether hatchery fish in the watershed were part of or separate from the ESU. The team rated the abundance of natural-origin spawners relative to the current carrying capacity of the habitat, factoring in the population’s stock category assignment. For example, indigenous (category 1) populations at critical status received a higher score than indigenous populations identified as meeting the current capacity of the habitat. Introduced (category 2) populations were assigned lower scores compared to indigenous stocks for a given abundance status. With respect to hatchery programs, the team indicated whether hatchery fish are present, whether they are considered in or out of the ESU, whether they are managed to be separate from or integrated with the natural origin population, and whether they are produced for conservation or harvest augmentation purposes. Diversity. To assess diversity the team considered the uniqueness of the population’s life history within its biogeographical region, the risk posed by non-native strays on the spawning grounds, and the proportion of juveniles that emigrate as yearlings versus subyearlings. The team relied on two indicators of uniqueness. First, the team assigned a score of 1 to 3 based on how many other populations of the same history type occurred within the biogeographical region, with a score of 3 E:\FR\FM\29DEN3.SGM 29DEN3 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES3 82210 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices indicating the greatest uniqueness. Second, the team examined how much the genetic integrity of the natural population might be affected by the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds. To determine the ‘‘proportion of natural influence,’’ the team relied on scores from an existing model (A. Appleby, unpublished WDFW data, 2005). The team assigned ratings, with a score of 3 indicating the greatest proportion of natural origin spawners and a score of 1 indicating the lowest. The team also considered the proportion of non-native hatchery strays on the spawning grounds as an aspect of diversity. As with the risk presented by a low proportion of natural origin spawners, the team gave a higher score to populations with fewer non-native hatchery strays on the spawning grounds. Finally, the team considered populations with a substantial proportion of juvenile fish that emigrate seaward as yearlings as a rare and diminishing component of Puget Sound Chinook diversity. The team rated populations from 1 to 3, with the higher scores going to populations with a higher percentage of yearling emigrants. Distribution. The team referred to this criterion as spatial structure. It identified five factors, each of which indicates some desirable aspect of population distribution. Some of the factors relate to the population, while others relate to the watershed. These factors are: (1) The watershed is in an area at the geographical boundary of the ESU; (2) the watershed bridges biogeographical regions; (3) the population is a stronghold and thus a source for recolonizing vacant habitat; (4) Chinook use the watershed extensively, in terms of miles; and (5) the area is important in preserving or re-establishing the subyearling life history type (as per Beechie et al. 2006). Populations meeting any one of the five factors received a rating of 3 while those meeting none of the five factors received a rating of 1. Productivity. The team identified growth rate (noted as lambda, or λ) as the best indicator of productivity. It relied on NMFS’ most recent status review (Good et al. 2005) as the best recent estimate of growth rates. To rate this indicator, the team considered whether the population’s growth rate was above 1.0 (indicating an increasing population), or below 1.0 (indicating a declining population). The team’s ratings also accounted for the population’s ‘‘stock category,’’ as described above under Diversity. The team reasoned that indigenous populations would be most important to recovery, while non-native populations VerDate Mar<15>2010 23:27 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 would be of lesser value as they originate from relatively recent introductions that might feasibly be replaced with the same non-native stock through transfers. Thus Category 1 (indigenous) stocks with a growth rate less than one received a rating of 3, while those with a growth rate equal to or greater than 1 received a 2. Category 2 stocks (non-indigenous but part of the ESU) received a rating of 2 or 1, depending on whether the growth rate was above or below 1.0. Category 3 stocks (non-native and not part of the ESU) received a 0, or ‘‘not applicable’’ rating. (2) Habitat Status and Use Scores In response to salmon declines, the Washington Governor’s natural resource cabinet convened a group of agency scientists to provide advice on statewide salmon recovery. The group produced a report that proposed a system for prioritizing watersheds for protection and restoration of wild salmon and steelhead (Beecher et al. 1999). The NMFS’ team relied on two indicators from Beecher et al. (1999) that best reflect habitat value—one indicating current condition and one indicating the extent to which the watershed would benefit from preservation and restoration. The NMFS’ team took the range of scores developed by Beecher et al. (1999) for each of these indicators and divided the range into 3 categories. This allowed the team to assign a score of 1 to 3 based on the scores from this larger range. The team also assigned ratings for a nearshore value indicator, based on the assessment of the number of Chinook salmon populations that may benefit from the watershed’s associated nearshore area for rearing and migration, given its geographic location relative to Chinook salmon population seaward migration routes. The highest score (3) was assigned for nearshore areas used by the greatest number of populations, with areas used by an intermediate number assigned a ‘‘2’’ and nearshore areas used by the least number scored a ‘‘1’’. The team also scored the watershed based on NMFS’ designation of critical habitat (70 FR 52630). For freshwater areas, the team assigned a score of 2 if the area was designated as critical habitat and 0 if it was not. (3) Cumulative Scores and Tier Assignments After determining scores for the viability and habitat condition and use parameters, and considering each population’s relationship to the six viability criteria, the team created index PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 scores for each population by comparing the parameter scores for the populations in each bio-geographical region to an ESU-wide mean score. This allowed the team to make relative comparisons among populations for each parameter (viability, habitat condition and use, and relationship to the six viability criteria). The team then summed the index scores to obtain a cumulative index score for each population in the ESU. The team then assigned each population to one of three recovery ‘‘Tiers’’ using the following rule set. Regardless of score, if a population would have to be viable for the ESU as a whole to meet the Ruckelshaus et al. (2002) viability criteria, the team designated it as a Tier 1 population. Because Ruckelshaus et al. (2002) recommended at least two viable populations per bio-geographical region, in those bio-geographical regions that only have two populations, the team designated both as Tier 1 populations. In bio-geographical regions that have more than two populations, the team assigned populations to a tier based on a comparison of each population’s cumulative index score and relationship to the ESU mean. For those populations that were not assigned to Tier 1, the team compared individual population scores around a mean cumulative score for all populations in the ESU and assigned populations to Tier 2 and 3 based on whether the populations were above or below the mean score (NMFS, 2010). Draft Technical Framework—Results The individual and cumulative index scores for each category and tier rankings are shown in Table 1, below. Consistent with the rule set described above the team assigned to Tier 1 both populations in the three biogeographical regions that contain only two populations: The North and South Nooksack populations in the Georgia Strait bio-geographical region; the MidHood Canal and Skokomish populations in the Hood Canal bio-geographical region; and the Elwha and Dungeness populations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca bio-geographical region. In the Whidbey bio-geographical region, which has more than two populations, the team assigned to Tier 1 all populations with cumulative index scores above the ESU mean: Upper Skagit, Suiattle, Cascade, Upper Sauk, Lower Sauk, and Lower Skagit. In the Central/South Sound biogeographical region, there were not populations with cumulative index scores above the ESU mean. The team therefore assigned to Tier 1 the two populations with the highest cumulative E:\FR\FM\29DEN3.SGM 29DEN3 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices Skykomish populations to Tier 2 and BILLING CODE 3510–22–C Puget Sound Chinook or adversely modify their critical habitat. Under section 4(d) of the ESA, we have prohibited unauthorized take of Puget Sound Chinook. We may authorize take through various mechanisms, including approval under the 4(d) rule or under sections 7 and 10 of the ESA. Each of our authorities has specific standards Management Implications We implement our authorities under the ESA in a variety of contexts. Under section 7(a)(2), all Federal agencies must ensure, in consultation with us, that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of threatened VerDate Mar<15>2010 23:27 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 the Snoqualmie, Sammamish, Cedar and Puyallup populations to Tier 3. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 and requires specific analysis, but all are subject to the ultimate section 7 requirement to avoid jeopardy to the species and destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. We define jeopardy to mean actions that are reasonably expected to directly or indirectly appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of E:\FR\FM\29DEN3.SGM 29DEN3 EN29DE10.026</GPH> jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES3 index scores, the White and Nisqually Rivers. The team assigned the North and South Fork Stillaguamish and 82211 82212 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Notices jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES3 the species (50 CFR 402.02). We have an analytical framework for determining whether actions will result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat (NMFS, 2005). When we analyze a proposed action (e.g., timber or fisheries harvest, dock construction, roadway development) under one of our ESA authorities, we consider which populations and habitat areas are affected by the action. Not all populations and habitats have equal value for the survival and recovery of an ESU. In evaluating a proposed action, we therefore consider the impacts on each affected population and habitat area, and how those impacts affect the overall viability of the population or conservation value of the habitat. The population rankings in Table 1 reflect the team’s determination of each population’s relative role in recovery of the listed ESU. The recovery rankings proposed in the framework will inform our assessment of the effects of proposed actions on overall viability and conservation value under the ESA. In general, we expect actions that harm high-value populations would be more likely to reduce the chances of species survival and recovery than actions that harm low-value populations. A similar logic would apply to actions that harm high-value habitat areas and those that do not. We emphasize that these concepts only apply when we exercise our authority under the ESA. In other contexts we will emphasize the importance of achieving broad sense recovery of all populations in Puget Sound and Washington’s coast, to satisfy tribal treaty rights and recreational and commercial fishing goals. NMFS acknowledges that consultations among fisheries managers and persons interested in the PRA will be ongoing, particularly about its applicability to ESA determinations regarding habitat actions that affect long term productivity of populations. It is not the intent of the PRA to allow actions that preclude the future productivity of a population or the ability to change its future status. Public Comment and Availability of Final Framework We seek comments from the public on the draft framework through the end of the comment period. We will consider all comments received by the end of the comment period in formulating a final framework. The full document describing the framework and the technical team’s work is available on our Web site and by mail upon request. We will make the final framework available on our Northwest Regional Office Web site and by mail upon VerDate Mar<15>2010 23:27 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 request following consideration of comments received. We are specifically interested in comments and information regarding (1) technical documentation upon which the framework is based and (2) the population ranking methods the technical team applied in the framework. Persons wishing to read the full technical document can obtain an electronic copy (i.e., CD–ROM) by calling (503) 231–5400, or by e-mailing a request to Joanna.Donnor@noaa.gov, with the subject line ‘‘CD–ROM Request for Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Population Framework’’, Electronic copies of this document are also available online via the NMFS’ Web site, http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/SalmonRecovery-Planning/Recovery-Domains/ Puget-Sound/PS-Chinook-Plan.cfm. References Federal Register Notices: 70 FR 37160. June 28, 2005. Final ESA listing determinations for 16 ESUs of West Coast salmon, and final 4(d) protective regulations for threatened salmonid ESUs. 70 FR 52630. September 2, 2005. Critical habitat for 12 Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) of salmon and Steelhead (Onchorhynchus spp.) in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Literature Cited 16 U.S.C. 1532 Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended. 50 CFR 402.02. Code of Federal Regulations. Title 50—Wildlife and Fisheries. Part 402—Interagency Cooperation— Endangered Species Act of 1973, As Amended. Appleby, A., 2005, Washington Department of Wildlife, Unpublished data. Beechie, T., E. Buhle, M. Ruckelshaus, A. Fullerton, and L. Holsinger. 2006. Hydrologic regime and the conservation of salmon life history diversity. Conservation:Volume 130, Issue 4, pages 560–572. Beecher and 14 others. 1999. A system for prioritizing water resource inventory areas in western Washington for protection and restoration of wild salmonids. Interagency Science Advisory Team (ISAT) Report to the Washington State Joint Natural Resources Cabinet. Office of the Governor, State of Washington. Olympia, Washington. 103 p. Good, T.P., R.S. Waples, and P. Adams (editors). 2005. Updated status of federally listed ESUs of West Coast salmon and steelhead. U.S. Dept. Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS– NWFSC–66, 598 p. McElhany, P., M. H. Ruckelshaus, M. J. Ford, T. C. Wainwright. 2000. Viable salmonid populations and the recovery of evolutionarily significant units. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo., NMFS–NWFSC–42, 156 p. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2004. Salmon Hatchery Inventory and PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 Evaluation Report (SHIER) for Chinook salmon hatchery programs within the geographic boundaries of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon ESU. Hatcheries and Inland Fisheries Branch. Salmon Recovery Division. NOAA Fisheries Service. Lacey, Washington. 102 p. NMFS. 2005. Memorandum from William T. Hogarth, Ph.D. (NMFS) to NMFS Regional Administrators regarding Application of the ‘‘Destruction or Adverse Modification’’ Standard under Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act. November 7, 2005. Available from NMFS Protected Resources Division, 1201 NE. Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR, 97232. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2006. Final Supplement to the Shared Strategy’s Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan. NMFS Northwest Region. November 17, 2006. 47 p. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2010. Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Population Recovery Approach (PRA), NMFS Northwest Region Approach for Distinguishing Among Individual Puget Sound Chinook Salmon ESU Populations and Watersheds for ESA Consultation and Recovery Planning Purposes. November XX, 2010. XX p. Available on the NMFS Web site at: www.nwr.noaa.gov/Salmon-RecoveryPlanning/Recovery-Domains/PugetSound/PS-Chinook-Plan.cfm. Ruckelshaus, M.H., K. Currens, R. Fuerstenberg, W. Graeber, K. Rawson, N. Sands, and J. Scott. 2002. Planning ranges and preliminary guidelines for the delisting and recovery of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Puget Sound Technical Recovery Team. April 30, 2002. 19 p. Available on the Internet at: http:// research.nwfsc.noaa.gov/trt/ trtpopESU.pdf. Ruckelshaus, M.H., K.P. Currens, W.H. Graeber, R.R. Fuerstenberg, K. Rawson, N.J. Sands, and J.B. Scott. 2006. Independent populations of Chinook salmon in Puget Sound. U.S. Dept. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS– NWFSC–78, 125 p. Dated: December 22, 2010. Susan Pultz, Acting Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–32844 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA110 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\29DEN3.SGM 29DEN3

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[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 29, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 82208-82212]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32844]



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Notice of Availability of a Draft Framework for Ranking the Relative 
Importance of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Populations and Watersheds for 
ESU Recovery and Delisting; Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of 
Anadromous Fish; Notices

Federal Register / Vol. 75 , No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / 
Notices

[[Page 82208]]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA111


Notice of Availability of a Draft Framework for Ranking the 
Relative Importance of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Populations and 
Watersheds for ESU Recovery and Delisting

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce the 
availability of a draft technical framework for ranking recovery 
potential of populations of Puget Sound Chinook salmon and watersheds 
supporting them. The draft framework relies on the best available 
scientific information regarding the status and structure of Puget 
Sound Chinook salmon populations and their habitat. It builds on the 
work of the Puget Sound technical recovery team, which provided the 
technical foundation of the Puget Sound Chinook recovery plan (NMFS 
2006). The technical recovery team identified the population structure 
of Puget Sound Chinook and recommended biological recovery criteria 
(Ruckelshaus et al. 2002; 2006). It did not advise, however, on the 
relative roles of the various populations in achieving recovery and no 
such roles were identified in the recovery plan completed for the 
species. In contrast, technical teams that developed recovery criteria 
for other species of salmon in the Northwest did recommend roles for 
individual populations in recovery. Following adoption of the Puget 
Sound Chinook salmon recovery plan, we convened an internal technical 
team to analyze the role each population should play in recovery. The 
draft technical framework described in this notice represents the 
internal technical team's recommendations. This notice also describes 
potential management implications of the framework.

DATES: Information and comments on the draft framework must be received 
at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES), no later than 
5 pm. on January 28, 2011. We encourage the public's involvement in 
reviewing this framework.

ADDRESSES: Information and comments on this draft framework should be 
submitted to Garth Griffin, Chief, Protected Resources Division, NMFS. 
Comments may also be sent via facsimile (fax) to (503) 230-5435 or by 
e-mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Babcock, NMFS, Northwest 
Region, (206) 526-4505.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Puget Sound Chinook salmon are listed as ``threatened'' under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) (70 FR 37160). The ESA defines species to 
include subspecies and ``distinct population segments'' (16 U.S.C. 
1532). We have identified 52 distinct population segments of salmon and 
steelhead that spawn in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We 
have listed 28 of these as threatened or endangered under the ESA. For 
Pacific salmon, we recognize distinct population segments based on 
evolutionarily significant units, or ESUs. Nearly all of the salmon 
ESUs we identified are comprised of multiple populations. An ESU with 
healthy populations distributed throughout the ESU's range and 
exhibiting diverse life history characteristics will be resilient to 
natural variation and catastrophic events (McElhany et al. 2000). Thus, 
multiple populations contribute to ESU viability when they are healthy 
and are subject to non-correlated risks (McElhany et. al. 2000).
    While all populations in an ESU may contribute to ESU viability, 
some may contribute more than others. McElhany et al. (2000) 
recommended several characteristics of a viable ESU. They recommended 
that an ESU should contain multiple populations; that some populations 
in an ESU should be geographically widespread while some should be 
geographically close; that populations should not all share common 
catastrophic risks; that populations that display diverse life-
histories and phenotypes should be maintained; and that some 
populations should exceed the minimum viability guidelines.
    In 1999 we established technical recovery teams to develop 
scientific advice for salmon and steelhead recovery throughout the 
Pacific Northwest. The teams identified the historical and current 
spawning populations, and the population structure, for each listed 
species. Relying on the work of McElhany et al. (2000) and other 
conservation literature, they established the biological criteria 
necessary for each ESU to have a high probability of persistence over 
time (referred to here as ``biological recovery criteria''). Most of 
the teams also provided guidance on the role of each population in 
recovering the listed ESUs. For example, the team convened to provide 
advice on lower Columbia River salmon and steelhead determined the 
contribution of individual populations to ESU recovery and designated 
them as ``primary, contributing, or sustaining'' (McElhany, 2004).
    The team we convened to provide scientific advice on Puget Sound 
Chinook identified the historical and current populations of the ESU 
and the population structure. The team identified 38 historical and 22 
extant populations (Ruckelshaus et al. 2006). The team also advised on 
the biological recovery criteria for the ESU. The team did not, 
however, provide guidance on the relative role of individual 
populations in overall ESU recovery. In the recovery plan for Puget 
Sound Chinook (NMFS 2006), we accepted the biological recovery criteria 
as the applicable criteria for delisting the ESU. Although we 
identified certain of the 22 populations that must be at low risk of 
extinction for delisting to occur (NMFS, 2006), we did not attempt to 
otherwise supplement the team's work with guidance on the relative role 
of each population in recovery.
    We explained in the recovery plan that we intended to continue 
working with states, tribes, and others to develop a process for 
identifying priority populations and watersheds.
    NMFS believes that a systematic approach is needed to identify 
those Chinook salmon populations that should receive the highest 
priority for recovery activities, with the overarching goal of meeting 
ESU delisting criteria. This position is based on the premise that not 
all of the 22 Puget Sound Chinook salmon populations or their 
watersheds have the same role in contributing to the recovery of the 
ESU. Key considerations are the uniqueness, status, and physical 
location of the population, the present condition of the population's 
freshwater, estuarine and adjacent nearshore habitats, and the 
likelihood for preserving and restoring those habitats given present 
and likely future condition.
    In the case of other salmon and steelhead species, we have found 
that technical information on the relative recovery roles of 
populations helps inform decision-making under the ESA. We therefore 
convened an internal team of NMFS technical experts to advise the 
agency on this aspect of Puget Sound Chinook recovery. We are mindful 
that recovery of an ESU under the ESA is not necessarily equivalent to 
the broad

[[Page 82209]]

sense recovery that would fulfill the expectations of Indian tribes 
with treaty-reserved fishing rights. We remain fully committed to broad 
sense recovery of all populations contributing to treaty Indian 
fisheries but acknowledge that this level of recovery is not 
necessarily the same as recovery under the ESA. This framework 
addresses only recovery under the ESA.

Biological Recovery Criteria

    The draft technical framework builds on the work of the technical 
recovery team (Ruckelshaus et al. 2002; 2006). The technical recovery 
team identified five major bio-geographical regions within the Puget 
Sound Chinook ESU, based on biological and geological characteristics 
of each watershed and the probability of catastrophic risk to 
populations in close proximity to one another. Their biological 
recovery criteria, which incorporate the concepts developed by McElhany 
et al. (2000), are:
    1. The viability status of all populations in the ESU is improved 
from current conditions.
    2. At least two and up to four Chinook salmon populations in each 
of five bio-geographical regions within the ESU achieve viability, 
depending on the historical biological characteristics and acceptable 
risk levels for populations within each region.
    3. At least one population from each major genetic and life history 
group historically present within each of the five bio-geographical 
regions is viable.
    4. Tributaries to Puget Sound not identified as primary freshwater 
habitat for any of the 22 identified populations are functioning in a 
manner that is sufficient to support an ESU-wide recovery scenario.
    5. Production of Chinook salmon from tributaries to Puget Sound not 
identified as primary freshwater habitat for any of the 22 identified 
populations occurs in a manner consistent with an ESU recovery.
    6. Populations that do not meet the viability criteria for all VSP 
parameters (i.e. abundance, productivity, spatial structure and 
diversity) are sustained to provide ecological functions and preserve 
options for ESU recovery.
    Together, these six criteria describe the status of Chinook salmon 
populations and the habitat conditions that would result in a naturally 
self-sustaining ESU with a high likelihood of persistence. Criteria 1, 
2, 3, and 6 describe the conditions of extant populations and their 
primary freshwater areas within the ESU that are consistent with 
recovery. Criteria 4 and 5 describe the roles that habitat conditions 
and Chinook salmon juveniles and adults occurring in secondary habitat 
areas play in ESU viability.

Draft Technical Framework--Methods

    The internal technical team developed an analytical approach that 
allowed it to assign an ESA recovery priority to each population based 
on the best available scientific information. Recognizing that 
biological populations are inseparable from their habitats, the team 
developed an approach that also allowed them to identify the relative 
importance of different habitat areas to Chinook recovery. The team 
first identified all watersheds in Puget Sound where Chinook salmon 
spawn, organized according to the Washington Department of Ecology 
classification system of water resource inventory areas. They 
identified the watersheds within each inventory area and the population 
occupying each watershed.
    For each population, the technical team identified its bio-
geographical region (using Ruckelshaus et al. (2002)) and ``stock 
category.'' The stock categories were those that had been assigned to 
differentiate Puget Sound Chinook salmon in a separate process by state 
and tribal salmon managers. The managers assigned categories to stocks 
based on their origin (native or introduced) and whether the stock's 
watershed of origin historically supported a self-sustaining Chinook 
salmon population. Category 1 stocks are indigenous, genetically unique 
populations that are native to the watersheds where they originate, 
Category 2 stocks are non-native stocks, introduced into watersheds 
capable of sustaining natural production but that no longer contain 
indigenous populations. Category 3 stocks originate from watersheds 
that historically did not support natural spawning by Chinook salmon.
    The team developed a rating scheme for each population and 
watershed that assigned scores of 0 to 3 for several indicators. For 
populations, the indicators were based on the criteria developed by 
McElhany et al. (2000) to describe a viable salmon population: 
Abundance, diversity, distribution, and productivity. For watersheds, 
the indicators were based on an existing analysis of habitat condition 
and value by Beecher et al. (1999), the relative value of adjacent 
estuaries to ESU populations, and NMFS' critical habitat designation 
for Puget Sound Chinook. The team summed the scores for each indicator 
to arrive at a total score for each population and each watershed, 
reflecting the viability status and uniqueness of each population, 
immediacy of risk to the population, and the condition and relative 
recovery value of the watersheds the populations inhabit.
    The team next examined the relationship of each population to the 
six recovery criteria adopted in the recovery plan. The team assigned 
one point for each criterion met by the population. The team developed 
a rule set to determine whether a population met a specific criterion. 
Thus for this element a population could receive a score as high as 6. 
In the final step of its analysis, the team compared scores for the 
populations across all three categories (population viability, habitat 
status and use, and relationship to the recovery criteria). The team 
then divided populations into three categories, based on their relative 
total scores within their respective bio-geographical regions, which 
the team called Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3.
    The following discussion describes in more detail the method the 
team used to assign population viability scores and habitat status and 
use scores.

(1) Population Viability Scores

    Abundance. The team considered the abundance of natural origin 
spawners and whether hatchery fish in the watershed were part of or 
separate from the ESU. The team rated the abundance of natural-origin 
spawners relative to the current carrying capacity of the habitat, 
factoring in the population's stock category assignment. For example, 
indigenous (category 1) populations at critical status received a 
higher score than indigenous populations identified as meeting the 
current capacity of the habitat. Introduced (category 2) populations 
were assigned lower scores compared to indigenous stocks for a given 
abundance status. With respect to hatchery programs, the team indicated 
whether hatchery fish are present, whether they are considered in or 
out of the ESU, whether they are managed to be separate from or 
integrated with the natural origin population, and whether they are 
produced for conservation or harvest augmentation purposes.
    Diversity. To assess diversity the team considered the uniqueness 
of the population's life history within its bio-geographical region, 
the risk posed by non-native strays on the spawning grounds, and the 
proportion of juveniles that emigrate as yearlings versus sub-
yearlings. The team relied on two indicators of uniqueness. First, the 
team assigned a score of 1 to 3 based on how many other populations of 
the same history type occurred within the bio-geographical region, with 
a score of 3

[[Page 82210]]

indicating the greatest uniqueness. Second, the team examined how much 
the genetic integrity of the natural population might be affected by 
the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds. To determine 
the ``proportion of natural influence,'' the team relied on scores from 
an existing model (A. Appleby, unpublished WDFW data, 2005). The team 
assigned ratings, with a score of 3 indicating the greatest proportion 
of natural origin spawners and a score of 1 indicating the lowest.
    The team also considered the proportion of non-native hatchery 
strays on the spawning grounds as an aspect of diversity. As with the 
risk presented by a low proportion of natural origin spawners, the team 
gave a higher score to populations with fewer non-native hatchery 
strays on the spawning grounds. Finally, the team considered 
populations with a substantial proportion of juvenile fish that 
emigrate seaward as yearlings as a rare and diminishing component of 
Puget Sound Chinook diversity. The team rated populations from 1 to 3, 
with the higher scores going to populations with a higher percentage of 
yearling emigrants.
    Distribution. The team referred to this criterion as spatial 
structure. It identified five factors, each of which indicates some 
desirable aspect of population distribution. Some of the factors relate 
to the population, while others relate to the watershed. These factors 
are: (1) The watershed is in an area at the geographical boundary of 
the ESU; (2) the watershed bridges bio-geographical regions; (3) the 
population is a stronghold and thus a source for re-colonizing vacant 
habitat; (4) Chinook use the watershed extensively, in terms of miles; 
and (5) the area is important in preserving or re-establishing the sub-
yearling life history type (as per Beechie et al. 2006). Populations 
meeting any one of the five factors received a rating of 3 while those 
meeting none of the five factors received a rating of 1.
    Productivity. The team identified growth rate (noted as lambda, or 
[lambda]) as the best indicator of productivity. It relied on NMFS' 
most recent status review (Good et al. 2005) as the best recent 
estimate of growth rates. To rate this indicator, the team considered 
whether the population's growth rate was above 1.0 (indicating an 
increasing population), or below 1.0 (indicating a declining 
population). The team's ratings also accounted for the population's 
``stock category,'' as described above under Diversity. The team 
reasoned that indigenous populations would be most important to 
recovery, while non-native populations would be of lesser value as they 
originate from relatively recent introductions that might feasibly be 
replaced with the same non-native stock through transfers. Thus 
Category 1 (indigenous) stocks with a growth rate less than one 
received a rating of 3, while those with a growth rate equal to or 
greater than 1 received a 2. Category 2 stocks (non-indigenous but part 
of the ESU) received a rating of 2 or 1, depending on whether the 
growth rate was above or below 1.0. Category 3 stocks (non-native and 
not part of the ESU) received a 0, or ``not applicable'' rating.

(2) Habitat Status and Use Scores

    In response to salmon declines, the Washington Governor's natural 
resource cabinet convened a group of agency scientists to provide 
advice on statewide salmon recovery. The group produced a report that 
proposed a system for prioritizing watersheds for protection and 
restoration of wild salmon and steelhead (Beecher et al. 1999). The 
NMFS' team relied on two indicators from Beecher et al. (1999) that 
best reflect habitat value--one indicating current condition and one 
indicating the extent to which the watershed would benefit from 
preservation and restoration. The NMFS' team took the range of scores 
developed by Beecher et al. (1999) for each of these indicators and 
divided the range into 3 categories. This allowed the team to assign a 
score of 1 to 3 based on the scores from this larger range.
    The team also assigned ratings for a nearshore value indicator, 
based on the assessment of the number of Chinook salmon populations 
that may benefit from the watershed's associated nearshore area for 
rearing and migration, given its geographic location relative to 
Chinook salmon population seaward migration routes. The highest score 
(3) was assigned for nearshore areas used by the greatest number of 
populations, with areas used by an intermediate number assigned a ``2'' 
and nearshore areas used by the least number scored a ``1''. The team 
also scored the watershed based on NMFS' designation of critical 
habitat (70 FR 52630). For freshwater areas, the team assigned a score 
of 2 if the area was designated as critical habitat and 0 if it was 
not.

(3) Cumulative Scores and Tier Assignments

    After determining scores for the viability and habitat condition 
and use parameters, and considering each population's relationship to 
the six viability criteria, the team created index scores for each 
population by comparing the parameter scores for the populations in 
each bio-geographical region to an ESU-wide mean score. This allowed 
the team to make relative comparisons among populations for each 
parameter (viability, habitat condition and use, and relationship to 
the six viability criteria). The team then summed the index scores to 
obtain a cumulative index score for each population in the ESU.
    The team then assigned each population to one of three recovery 
``Tiers'' using the following rule set. Regardless of score, if a 
population would have to be viable for the ESU as a whole to meet the 
Ruckelshaus et al. (2002) viability criteria, the team designated it as 
a Tier 1 population. Because Ruckelshaus et al. (2002) recommended at 
least two viable populations per bio-geographical region, in those bio-
geographical regions that only have two populations, the team 
designated both as Tier 1 populations. In bio-geographical regions that 
have more than two populations, the team assigned populations to a tier 
based on a comparison of each population's cumulative index score and 
relationship to the ESU mean. For those populations that were not 
assigned to Tier 1, the team compared individual population scores 
around a mean cumulative score for all populations in the ESU and 
assigned populations to Tier 2 and 3 based on whether the populations 
were above or below the mean score (NMFS, 2010).

Draft Technical Framework--Results

    The individual and cumulative index scores for each category and 
tier rankings are shown in Table 1, below.
    Consistent with the rule set described above the team assigned to 
Tier 1 both populations in the three bio-geographical regions that 
contain only two populations: The North and South Nooksack populations 
in the Georgia Strait bio-geographical region; the Mid-Hood Canal and 
Skokomish populations in the Hood Canal bio-geographical region; and 
the Elwha and Dungeness populations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca bio-
geographical region. In the Whidbey bio-geographical region, which has 
more than two populations, the team assigned to Tier 1 all populations 
with cumulative index scores above the ESU mean: Upper Skagit, 
Suiattle, Cascade, Upper Sauk, Lower Sauk, and Lower Skagit. In the 
Central/South Sound bio-geographical region, there were not populations 
with cumulative index scores above the ESU mean. The team therefore 
assigned to Tier 1 the two populations with the highest cumulative

[[Page 82211]]

index scores, the White and Nisqually Rivers. The team assigned the 
North and South Fork Stillaguamish and Skykomish populations to Tier 2 
and the Snoqualmie, Sammamish, Cedar and Puyallup populations to Tier 
3.
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Management Implications

    We implement our authorities under the ESA in a variety of 
contexts. Under section 7(a)(2), all Federal agencies must ensure, in 
consultation with us, that their actions are not likely to jeopardize 
the continued existence of threatened Puget Sound Chinook or adversely 
modify their critical habitat. Under section 4(d) of the ESA, we have 
prohibited unauthorized take of Puget Sound Chinook. We may authorize 
take through various mechanisms, including approval under the 4(d) rule 
or under sections 7 and 10 of the ESA. Each of our authorities has 
specific standards and requires specific analysis, but all are subject 
to the ultimate section 7 requirement to avoid jeopardy to the species 
and destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. We define 
jeopardy to mean actions that are reasonably expected to directly or 
indirectly appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery 
of

[[Page 82212]]

the species (50 CFR 402.02). We have an analytical framework for 
determining whether actions will result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of critical habitat (NMFS, 2005).
    When we analyze a proposed action (e.g., timber or fisheries 
harvest, dock construction, roadway development) under one of our ESA 
authorities, we consider which populations and habitat areas are 
affected by the action. Not all populations and habitats have equal 
value for the survival and recovery of an ESU. In evaluating a proposed 
action, we therefore consider the impacts on each affected population 
and habitat area, and how those impacts affect the overall viability of 
the population or conservation value of the habitat.
    The population rankings in Table 1 reflect the team's determination 
of each population's relative role in recovery of the listed ESU. The 
recovery rankings proposed in the framework will inform our assessment 
of the effects of proposed actions on overall viability and 
conservation value under the ESA. In general, we expect actions that 
harm high-value populations would be more likely to reduce the chances 
of species survival and recovery than actions that harm low-value 
populations. A similar logic would apply to actions that harm high-
value habitat areas and those that do not. We emphasize that these 
concepts only apply when we exercise our authority under the ESA. In 
other contexts we will emphasize the importance of achieving broad 
sense recovery of all populations in Puget Sound and Washington's 
coast, to satisfy tribal treaty rights and recreational and commercial 
fishing goals. NMFS acknowledges that consultations among fisheries 
managers and persons interested in the PRA will be ongoing, 
particularly about its applicability to ESA determinations regarding 
habitat actions that affect long term productivity of populations. It 
is not the intent of the PRA to allow actions that preclude the future 
productivity of a population or the ability to change its future 
status.

Public Comment and Availability of Final Framework

    We seek comments from the public on the draft framework through the 
end of the comment period. We will consider all comments received by 
the end of the comment period in formulating a final framework. The 
full document describing the framework and the technical team's work is 
available on our Web site and by mail upon request. We will make the 
final framework available on our Northwest Regional Office Web site and 
by mail upon request following consideration of comments received. We 
are specifically interested in comments and information regarding (1) 
technical documentation upon which the framework is based and (2) the 
population ranking methods the technical team applied in the framework.
    Persons wishing to read the full technical document can obtain an 
electronic copy (i.e., CD-ROM) by calling (503) 231-5400, or by e-
mailing a request to Joanna.Donnor@noaa.gov, with the subject line 
``CD-ROM Request for Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Population Framework'', 
Electronic copies of this document are also available online via the 
NMFS' Web site, http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Salmon-Recovery-Planning/Recovery-Domains/Puget-Sound/PS-Chinook-Plan.cfm.

References

    Federal Register Notices:
70 FR 37160. June 28, 2005. Final ESA listing determinations for 16 
ESUs of West Coast salmon, and final 4(d) protective regulations for 
threatened salmonid ESUs.
70 FR 52630. September 2, 2005. Critical habitat for 12 
Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) of salmon and Steelhead 
(Onchorhynchus spp.) in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Literature Cited
16 U.S.C. 1532 Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended.
50 CFR 402.02. Code of Federal Regulations. Title 50--Wildlife and 
Fisheries. Part 402--Interagency Cooperation--Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, As Amended.
Appleby, A., 2005, Washington Department of Wildlife, Unpublished 
data.
Beechie, T., E. Buhle, M. Ruckelshaus, A. Fullerton, and L. 
Holsinger. 2006. Hydrologic regime and the conservation of salmon 
life history diversity. Conservation:Volume 130, Issue 4, pages 560-
572.
Beecher and 14 others. 1999. A system for prioritizing water 
resource inventory areas in western Washington for protection and 
restoration of wild salmonids. Interagency Science Advisory Team 
(ISAT) Report to the Washington State Joint Natural Resources 
Cabinet. Office of the Governor, State of Washington. Olympia, 
Washington. 103 p.
Good, T.P., R.S. Waples, and P. Adams (editors). 2005. Updated 
status of federally listed ESUs of West Coast salmon and steelhead. 
U.S. Dept. Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-NWFSC-66, 598 p.
McElhany, P., M. H. Ruckelshaus, M. J. Ford, T. C. Wainwright. 2000. 
Viable salmonid populations and the recovery of evolutionarily 
significant units. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo., NMFS-
NWFSC-42, 156 p.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2004. Salmon Hatchery 
Inventory and Evaluation Report (SHIER) for Chinook salmon hatchery 
programs within the geographic boundaries of the Puget Sound Chinook 
salmon ESU. Hatcheries and Inland Fisheries Branch. Salmon Recovery 
Division. NOAA Fisheries Service. Lacey, Washington. 102 p.
NMFS. 2005. Memorandum from William T. Hogarth, Ph.D. (NMFS) to NMFS 
Regional Administrators regarding Application of the ``Destruction 
or Adverse Modification'' Standard under Section 7(a)(2) of the 
Endangered Species Act. November 7, 2005. Available from NMFS 
Protected Resources Division, 1201 NE. Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, 
Portland, OR, 97232.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2006. Final Supplement to 
the Shared Strategy's Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan. NMFS 
Northwest Region. November 17, 2006. 47 p.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 2010. Puget Sound Chinook 
Salmon Population Recovery Approach (PRA), NMFS Northwest Region 
Approach for Distinguishing Among Individual Puget Sound Chinook 
Salmon ESU Populations and Watersheds for ESA Consultation and 
Recovery Planning Purposes. November XX, 2010. XX p. Available on 
the NMFS Web site at: www.nwr.noaa.gov/Salmon-Recovery-Planning/Recovery-Domains/Puget-Sound/PS-Chinook-Plan.cfm.
Ruckelshaus, M.H., K. Currens, R. Fuerstenberg, W. Graeber, K. 
Rawson, N. Sands, and J. Scott. 2002. Planning ranges and 
preliminary guidelines for the delisting and recovery of the Puget 
Sound Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Puget Sound 
Technical Recovery Team. April 30, 2002. 19 p. Available on the 
Internet at: http://research.nwfsc.noaa.gov/trt/trtpopESU.pdf.
Ruckelshaus, M.H., K.P. Currens, W.H. Graeber, R.R. Fuerstenberg, K. 
Rawson, N.J. Sands, and J.B. Scott. 2006. Independent populations of 
Chinook salmon in Puget Sound. U.S. Dept. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. 
NMFS-NWFSC-78, 125 p.

    Dated: December 22, 2010.
Susan Pultz,
Acting Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-32844 Filed 12-28-10; 8:45 am]
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