Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax), 52567-52575 [2014-21110]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations * * * * * [FR Doc. 2014–20915 Filed 9–3–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2013–0033; 4500030113] RIN 1018–AZ15 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s Small-flowered Flax) Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine endangered species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter’s smallflowered flax), two plants from MiamiDade County, Florida. The effect of this regulation will be to add these plants to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. DATES: This rule becomes effective October 6, 2014. ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov and at http:// www.fws.gov/verobeach/. Comments and materials we received, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http:// www.regulations.gov. All of the comments, materials, and documentation that we considered in this rulemaking are available by appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; telephone 772–562–3909; facsimile 772–562–4288. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Aubrey, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960, by telephone 772–562–3909, or by facsimile 772–562–4288. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 Executive Summary Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, a species may warrant protection through listing if we find that it is an endangered or threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Listing a species as endangered or threatened can only be completed by issuing a rule. We will also be finalizing the designation of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri under the Act in the near future. This rule will finalize the listing of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri as endangered species. The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri meet the definition of an endangered species based on Factors A, D, and E. Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from six independent specialists to ensure that our action is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal. We also considered all other comments and information received during the comment period. Previous Federal Action Please refer to the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) for a detailed description of previous Federal actions concerning these plants. Summary of Comments and Recommendations In the proposed rule published on October 2, 2013 (78 FR 61273), we requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the proposal by December 2, 2013. We also contacted appropriate Federal and State agencies, scientific experts and organizations, and other interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. Newspaper notices inviting general public comment were published in the Miami Herald. Peer Reviewer Comments In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52567 34270), we solicited expert opinion from six knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and/or their habitat, biological needs, and threats; the geographical region of South Florida in which these plants occur; and conservation biology principles. We received responses from all six of the peer reviewers we contacted. We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers for substantive issues and new information regarding the listing of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. The peer reviewers generally concurred with our methods and conclusions, and provided additional information, clarifications, and suggestions to improve the final listing rule. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the following summary and incorporated into the final rule as appropriate. (1) Comment: One peer reviewer commented on the lack of discussion related to the threat of herbivory from invertebrates, both native and nonnative, and noted that Brickellia cordifolia, a north Florida species, experiences considerable damage on an annual basis from a not-yet-identified, leaf-boring-type arthropod. The reviewer also noted the possible threat of unnaturally high herbivory from deer, rabbits, and other vertebrates, as well as threats associated with feral hogs, both of which he stated are threats throughout most of Florida. Our Response: We appreciate the information provided; however, biologists monitoring Brickellia mosieri in Miami-Dade County have not observed any significant damage to the species from invertebrates or vertebrates, native or nonnative. In addition, another peer reviewer noted that deer no longer occur in the areas where these plants exist, and rabbits occur only sparingly, and not in all areas. Based on the information available at this time, the Service does believe that predation poses a threat to Brickellia mosieri. (2) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that two specimens of Brickellia mosieri (filed as B. eupatorioides and annotated by K.A. Bradley as B. eupatorioides var. floridana) in the collection at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Herbarium indicate that the historical range of this species probably extended north of South Miami. Based on these specimens, the reviewer stated that the historical range is better characterized as extending from approximately Coconut Grove to Florida City, while allowing that these observations may have been included E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES 52568 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations with those described as not giving accurate or precise location information under ‘‘Historical Range’’ in the proposed rule. Our Response: We appreciate the information provided. The Service was aware of one of these samples (by Buswell in 1947 from a pineland south of Coral Gables), which was referenced by Bradley and Gann (1999, p. 16), and incorporated into their approximation of historical range (South Miami is less than 3.2 km (2.0 mi) southwest of Coral Cables). However, we were not aware of the second sample (by Small in 1912 from pinelands near Coconut Grove). Based on this new information, we agree that the northern extent of the historical range is more appropriately characterized as Coconut Grove. We have incorporated the revised text and related changes (i.e., calculations of range contraction) in the Background and Determination sections in this final rule. Comment: One peer reviewer noted that an understanding of these plants’ reproductive biology, especially their floral biology, pollination, and breeding systems, is especially critical to helping them recover more robust numbers. A second peer reviewer had a similar comment regarding the need for additional study related to seed dispersal, pollinator mechanisms, and augmentation and reintroduction studies. The first reviewer noted that the effects of habitat conditions on the reproductive allocation of both plants has not yet been quantified, and that individuals in smaller, more isolated, and/or degraded pine rockland habitat fragments have lower reproductive rates than counterparts in larger, more wellmaintained pine rockland sites, leading to the likely loss of genetic diversity represented in those low-quality sites over time. Our Response: We agree and had incorporated similar statements in our discussion of Habitat Fragmentation and Effects of Small Population Size and Isolation (under Factors A and E, respectively, in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section) in the proposed listing rule. (4) Comment: One peer reviewer requested further identification of the area identified as ‘‘Rockdale Pineland Addition’’ in Table 2 of the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Our Response: According to the Florida Natural Area Inventory’s (FNAI) Florida Conservation Lands data layer (September 2013 version), the area known as Rockdale Pineland consists of two parcels: Rockdale Pineland (approximately 26 acres, owned by the State of Florida and managed by Miami- VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 Dade County), and the Rockdale Pineland Addition (approximately 21 acres, owned and managed by MiamiDade County). Rockdale Pineland Addition surrounds Rockdale Pineland, like a buffer. The Linum carteri var. carteri occurrence is within this ‘‘buffer,’’ along the edges of the abandoned FEC Railroad tracks, adjacent to pine rockland habitat. (5) Comment: One peer reviewer noted an apparent discrepancy between the occupancy of Brickellia mosieri on Federal lands (U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) lands in the Richmond Pinelands), as described in Table 1 and in the Federal section under the discussion of Factor D, The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms, in the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Our Response: The discrepancy was related to the difference between how Brickellia mosieri occurrences were reported in Table 1 (i.e., specific to managed area and owner) versus how we evaluated whether an area was considered occupied (i.e., described at the habitat patch level). We considered contiguous pine rockland habitat to be the same habitat patch, regardless of where ownership boundaries were located within it. A habitat patch was considered occupied if the species occurs within its boundaries, although the species may not have been observed throughout the entire patch. Thus, NOAA and some USCG lands are considered occupied by Brickellia mosieri because an extant population occurs within the same habitat patches (Martinez Pineland and University of Miami, respectively). That said, we have revised the language in the discussion of Federal regulations under Factor D in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section to explain this distinction. (6) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that Lygodium microphyllum (Old World climbing fern) is not likely a threat to Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri as it primarily occupies wetland habitats, and is not known to invade pine rockland habitat. Our Response: We agree and have removed this language from our discussion of nonnative plants under Factor E in the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section. (7) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that the U.S. General Services Administration property within the Richmond Pinelands Complex should be more thoroughly surveyed for both plants, especially Brickellia mosieri. Our Response: The lands referenced are now owned by the U.S. Army Corps PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 of Engineers. However, we agree with the peer reviewer and would encourage and support such a survey being conducted. The Richmond Pinelands Complex represents the largest remaining group of contiguous fragments of pine rockland habitat outside of Everglades National Park (ENP), and the Service hopes to cooperatively engage all landowners, including Federal agencies, to survey, manage, and conserve this area. (8) Comment: One peer reviewer specifically supported our rationale for the proposed listing determination, which focused on a more qualitative assessment of threats, rather than some form of population viability analysis, due to limited data available, especially in relation to population response to stochastic events and long-term disturbances. The reviewer also noted that guidelines developed for mediumto-large size animals do not work well for herbaceous plants, which could have 1,000 individuals concentrated in a single site, making the species vulnerable to a single event of human or natural origin. Our Response: We agree, and thank the reviewer for this comment. Comments From States The two plants occur only in Florida. We received no comments from the State of Florida regarding the listing proposal. We note, however, that one peer reviewer was from the Florida Forest Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; those comments are addressed above. Public Comments During the first comment period, we received two public comment letters directly addressing the proposed listing. Both commenters suggested technical corrections to sections of the proposed rule pertaining to the Background and Summary of Factors Affecting the Species, related to scientific names, species biology, and citations, to include additional information and correct minor errors. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing, nor did we receive any comments on the listing rule during the second comment period. The comments are appreciated and have been incorporated into the appropriate sections of the final rule. The remaining comments we received are grouped below into two general issues. Issue 1: Habitat (9) Comment: One commenter noted that the sandhill community does not occur in Miami-Dade County (per FNAI 2010), and suggests that mesic flatwoods E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES would be a more appropriate description of an intergrade community with pine rocklands on the northern Miami Rock Ridge. Our Response: We thank the reviewer for this comment, and acknowledge that there is an apparent discrepancy between the described pine rocklandsandhill community association on the northern Miami Rock Ridge (per Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257, as well as FNAI 2010, p. 63) and the described extent of sandhill within Florida (does not extend into Miami-Dade County; FNAI 2010, p. 40). Based on review of the FNAI community descriptions, we agree that the classification of mesic flatwoods most accurately describes the community into which pine rockland merges in northern Miami-Dade County, and have incorporated this information in the Background section. (10) Comment: One commenter noted that, in our discussion of natural forest communities (NFCs) in Miami-Dade County (in the Local section under the discussion of Factor D, The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms of the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013)), tropical hardwood hammocks include rockland hammocks. Our Response: We agree. In this instance, we used the term ‘‘tropical hardwood hammock’’ in keeping with the terminology used on Miami-Dade County environmental Web sites to describe this type of habitat within NFCs and Environmentally Endangered Lands. Because of this, and because pine rocklands are the focus of the discussion, we believe it is suitable to retain the existing wording in this section. Issue 2: Threats (11) Comment: One commenter stated that Pine Shore Pineland Preserve burned in a wildfire on April 8, 2013, resulting in improved habitat conditions. Because of this, and in relation to this commenter’s previous cited personal communication (in the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013)), the commenter believes that this population of Brickellia mosieri is no longer the most endangered. Our Response: We appreciate the information provided and have removed the subject sentence related to the habitat condition and status of Brickellia mosieri on Pine Shore Pineland Preserve from the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section. (12) Comment: One commenter indicated that the threat of mountain biking at R. Hardy Matheson Preserve has been mitigated (as opposed to remedied, as stated in the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013)) by the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 installation of fencing. This commenter also stated that habitat succession has increased since mountain bikers have been fenced out, which has not benefited habitat for Linum carteri var. carteri. Our Response: We appreciate the information provided and have incorporated it into the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section. Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule Based on information we received in peer review and public comments, we made the following changes: In the Background section: (1) We made the following five changes to scientific names: Revised the names of three plants to reflect the accepted taxonomy per the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), added a subspecies designation and corrected the common name of one plant to represent the intended pine rockland subspecies, and deleted one plant from the vegetation list to prevent potential taxonomic confusion. (2) We corrected one citation (Bradley and Gann 1999), which was missing a digit in the year. (3) We revised the description of pine rockland’s natural community associations on the northern Miami Rock Ridge, changing the association with sandhill to an association with mesic flatwoods. (4) We revised the historical range of Brickellia mosieri, extending the northern extent from ‘‘South Miami’’ to ‘‘approximately Coconut Grove’’, to reflect new information regarding herbarium samples. Related to this change, we revised our calculations of the contraction of historical range, from more than 13 percent to more than 30 percent. (5) We included additional information on the flowering response of Brickellia mosieri to fire. In the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section: (6) We deleted a sentence related to the habitat condition and status of Brickellia mosieri on Pine Shore Pineland Preserve, as it was no longer applicable. (7) We revised wording related to the occurrence of Brickellia mosieri in the Richmond Pinelands and specifically on lands managed by USCG and NOAA. (8) We made the following changes to two scientific names: Revised the name of one plant to reflect the accepted taxonomy per ITIS, and changed the name of one plant in two places to correct a typographical error. (9) We removed a sentence referencing the potential future threat of PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52569 Lygodium microphyllum, since this plant is unlikely to pose a threat to pine rockland species due to its strong association with wetter habitats. (10) We revised and included additional information on the threat of mountain biking and habitat conditions at R. Hardy Matheson Preserve. (11) We revised a sentence regarding IRC’s Brickellia mosieri reintroduction site, replacing ‘‘George and Avery Pineland’’ with ‘‘one private site.’’ Background Brickellia mosieri Please refer to the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) for the description of Brickellia mosieri, its taxonomy, and its suitable climate. Below we present updated summaries of information in the proposed rule, and new information based on peer review and public comment, related to its habitat, historical and current range, population estimates, demographics, reproduction, and genetics. Habitat Brickellia mosieri grows exclusively in pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge in Miami-Dade County outside the boundaries of ENP. This area extends from the ENP boundary, near the park entrance road, northeast approximately 72 kilometers (km) (45 miles (mi)) to the ridge’s end near North Miami. Habitat conditions more specific to this area are highlighted below. The pine rocklands are a unique ecosystem found on limestone substrates in three areas in Florida—the Miami Rock Ridge, in the Florida Keys, and in the Big Cypress Swamp. The pine rocklands differ to some degree between and within these areas with regard to substrate (e.g., amount of exposed limestone, type of soil), elevation, hydrology, and species composition (both plant and animal). The substrate, elevation, and hydrology of pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), while the species composition of this area is discussed below. Pine rockland is characterized by an open canopy of South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa). Subcanopy development is rare in well-maintained pine rocklands, with only occasional hardwoods, such as Lysiloma latisiliquum (wild tamarind) and Quercus virginiana (live oak) growing to tree size in Miami Rock Ridge pinelands (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 253). The shrub/ understory layer is a diverse mix of E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES 52570 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations species including both temperate and tropical shrubs and palms. Dominant plants in the shrub layer of pine rocklands vary based on elevation, substrate, and nearby associated natural communities. The pine rocklands where Brickellia mosieri occurs are characterized by an open shrub canopy of Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), and Sideroxylon salicifolium (willow bustic) as well as species with more restricted distribution within pine rocklands including Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully), Callicarpa americana (beauty berry), Dodonaea angustifolia (varnish leaf), and Ilex cassine (dahoon holly) (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 254; Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). The shrub layer in pinelands occurring in the northern end of the Miami Rock Ridge more closely resembles pine flatwoods as a result of the amount of sandy soils in this area, with species such as Lyonia fruticosa (staggerbush), Quercus minima (dwarf live oak), Quercus pumila (running oak), and Vaccinium myrsinites (shiny blueberry) becoming more common (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 255). The height and density of the shrub layer vary based on fire frequency, with understory plants growing taller and more dense as time since fire increases. Pine rocklands in all three areas of Florida contain a richly diverse herbaceous layer, including a large number of rare and endemic species, such as Brickellia mosieri. The diversity of the herbaceous layer decreases as the density of the shrub layer increases (i.e., as understory openness decreases), and pine rockland on the mainland has a more diverse herbaceous layer, due to the presence of temperate species and some tropical species that do not occur in the Florida Keys (FNAI 2010, p. 63). The herbaceous layer can range from mostly continuous in areas with more soil development and little exposed limestone, to sparse where much of the limestone is at the surface. Most herbaceous species in pine rocklands are perennials (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257). Common herbaceous associates of B. mosieri in the Miami Rock Ridge pine rocklands include Schizachyrium sanguineum (crimson bluestem), Schizachyrium gracile (wire bluestem), Symphyotrichum adnatum (scaleleaf aster), and Acalypha chamaedrifolia (bastard copperleaf) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). B. mosieri may also be found in close association with several other rare plants, including Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. deltoidea (deltoid spurge), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 adhaerens (wedge sandmat), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (pineland sandmat), Galactia smallii (Small’s milkpea), Polygala smallii (tiny polygala), and Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett’s silverbush) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Pine rockland occurs in a mosaic with primarily two other natural community types—rockland hammock and marl prairie. Pine rockland grades into rockland hammock; pine rockland has an open pine canopy, and rockland hammock has a closed, hardwood canopy. Pine rockland is a firemaintained ecosystem—a wellmaintained pine rockland is a savannalike forest, but, in the absence of fire, it will eventually succeed into rockland hammock. The functional relationship and response of pine rocklands and Brickellia mosieri to fire and other natural disturbances are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Pine rockland on the Miami Rock Ridge can also occur within lower, seasonally flooded marl prairies, which differ from pine rockland in having no pines, an understory dominated by grasses and sedges, and a minimal cover of shrubs (FNAI 2010, p. 63). Where pine rockland occurs close to the ocean, it may be bordered by mangrove swamp or salt marsh and can receive flooding by extremely high tides (FNAI 2010, p. 63). Pine rocklands on the northern Miami Rock Ridge grade into scrub and mesic flatwoods vegetation where the three communities intermix in areas with deep sands and rock outcrops (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257; Gann 2014, pers. comm.). Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status Brickellia mosieri is currently distributed from central and southern Miami-Dade County from SW 120 St. (latitude ca. 25 degrees (°) 39.4 minutes (′)N) to Florida City (latitude ca. 25° 26.0′N) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11), suggesting its historical range has contracted at least 13.6 km (8.5 mi), or more than 30 percent. A detailed account of B. mosieri occurrences and population status were provided in the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273) published in the Federal Register on October 2, 2013. Historical Range Brickellia mosieri is endemic to the pine rocklands of the Miami Rock Ridge in Miami-Dade County. It was historically known from central and southern Miami-Dade County from approximately Coconut Grove to Florida City, a range of approximately 45.0 km (28.0 mi), along the Miami Rock Ridge (based on data in Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Virtual Herbarium 2014, page numbers not applicable). However, Bradley and Gann (1999, p. 11) state that herbarium specimens have not been studied from the New York Botanical Garden, so the full extent of its historical range is unknown. Some available herbarium specimens and other records for this plant (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 16; Wunderlin and Hansen 2008, page numbers not applicable) do not give precise or accurate location information. Linum carteri var. carteri Please refer to the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) for a detailed discussion of Linum carteri var. carteri’s taxonomy, suitable climate, habitat, historical and current range, population estimates, demographics, reproduction, and genetics. Below we provide an updated summary of information in the proposed rule, and new information based on peer review and public comment, related to the description of the plant. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Demographic, Reproductive Biology, and Population Genetics Little research has been done into the demography, reproductive biology, or genetics of Brickellia mosieri. Field observations indicate that the species does not usually occur in great abundance—populations are typically sparse and contain a low density of plants even in well-maintained pine rockland habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Reproduction is sexual (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). While specific pollinators or dispersers are unknown, flower morphology suggests this species may be pollinated by butterflies, bees, or both (Koptur 2013, pers. comm.); wind is one likely dispersal vector (Gann 2013b, pers. comm.). Flowering takes place primarily in the fall (August–October) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Off-season flowering is usually the result of fire, and B. mosieri will flower within 1 to 2 months following a fire, regardless of the time of year (Possley 2013 pers. comm.). Description Linum carteri var. carteri (Family: Linaceae) is an annual or short-lived perennial herb endemic to Miami-Dade County, where it grows in pine rocklands, particularly in disturbed pine rocklands (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 70). Its stem is erect, 230–360 millimeters (mm) (9.0–14.2 inches (in)) tall, commonly branched near the base, E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations and puberulent (covered with minute hairs). Its leaves are slender (18–26 mm (0.7–1.0 in) long and 0.8–1.2 mm (0.03– 0.05 in) wide), entire, alternate, and closely overlap at the base of the plant. This variety has stipules (pair of appendages at the base of the petiole, which is the stalk by which a leaf is attached to a stem) with paired dark glands. Its inflorescence (cluster of flowers arranged on a branching stem) is an ascending or spreading cyme (usually flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the main axis and each branch end in a flower that opens before the flowers below or to the side of it), with yellow petals that are broadly obovate (egg-shaped), 9–17 mm (0.35– 0.67 in) long, and quickly deciduous. The fruit is straw-colored, ovoid, 4.1– 4.6 mm (0.16–0.18 in) long, 3.4–3.7 mm (0.13–0.15 in) in diameter, and dehisces (opens spontaneously at defined places) into five two-seeded segments; seeds are narrowly ovoid-elliptic, 2.3–2.8 mm (0.09–0.11 in) long, 1.0–1.3 mm (0.04– 0.05 in) wide. In habit and flower, the plant closely resembles Piriqueta cistoides ssp. caroliniana (pitted stripeseed) in the family Turneraceae (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 70). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Summary of Factors Affecting the Species Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may determine a species to be endangered or threatened due to one or more of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in combination. Each of these factors as applied to these two plants is discussed below or in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri have experienced substantial destruction, modification, and curtailment of their habitat and range (see Status Assessment, in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and L. c. var. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) and revised information above). Specific threats to these plants included in this factor include habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification caused by development (i.e., conversion to both urban and agricultural land uses) and inadequate fire management. Human population growth and development and habitat fragmentation and their specific effects on these plants are discussed in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), while fire management is summarized below. Fire Management One of the primary threats to both of these plants is habitat modification and degradation through inadequate fire management, which includes both the lack of prescribed fire and suppression of natural fires. Where the term ‘‘firesuppressed’’ is used below and in the proposed rule, it describes degraded pine rockland conditions resulting from a lack of adequate fire (natural or prescribed) in the landscape. The effects of fire suppression on pine rocklands, and fire-adapted species such as Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Brickellia mosieri—All occurrences of Brickellia mosieri are affected by some degree of inadequate fire management, with the primary threat being shading by hardwoods (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 15; Bradley and Gann 2005, page numbers not applicable). While management of some County conservation lands (e.g., those in Richmond Pinelands complex and Navy Wells Pineland Preserve) includes regular burning, other such lands can be severely fire-suppressed. Even in areas under active management, some portions are typically fire-suppressed, thereby threatening populations of this species. Linum carteri var. carteri—The status of Linum carteri var. carteri populations in relation to fire suppression are described in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Implementation of a prescribed fire program in Miami-Dade County has been hampered by a shortage of resources, and by logistical difficulties and public concern related to burning next to residential areas. Many homes have been built in a mosaic of pine rockland, so the use of prescribed fire in many places has become complicated because of potential danger to structures and smoke generated from the burns. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52571 Nonprofit organizations, such as the Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) have similar difficulties in conducting prescribed burns due to difficulties with permitting and obtaining the necessary permissions as well as hazard insurance limitations (Gann 2013a, pers. comm.). Few private landowners have the means and/or desire to implement prescribed fire on their property, and doing so in a fragmented urban environment is logistically difficult and may be costly. One of the few privately owned pine rocklands that is successfully managed with prescribed burning is Pine Ridge Sanctuary, located in a more agricultural (less urban) matrix in the southwestern portion of Brickellia mosieri’s current range; it was last burned in November 2010 (Glancy 2013, pers. comm.). Conservation Efforts To Reduce the Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Habitat or Range These are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes Factor B is discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). C. Disease or Predation No diseases or incidences of predation have been reported for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms State and local regulations, and fee title properties, are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), while Federal regulations are discussed below. Federal If these plants were not listed, they would have no Federal regulatory protection in their known occupied and suitable habitat. Neither taxon occurs on National Wildlife Refuge or National Park land. Brickellia mosieri is known to occur within habitat patches (where patch boundaries are based on contiguous pine rockland habitat, irrespective of land ownership) that include Federal lands within the Richmond Pinelands Complex, including lands owned by the USCG E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 52572 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are both threatened by other natural or manmade factors that affect each taxon to varying degrees. Specific threats to these plants included in this factor consist of the spread of nonnative invasive plants, potentially incompatible management practices (such as mowing and herbicide use), direct impacts to plants from recreation and other human activities, small population size and isolation, climate change, and the related risks from environmental stochasticity (extreme weather) on these small populations. With the exception of nonnative plants and recreation, which are discussed below, the rest of these threats and their specific effect on these plants are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). grass), Lantana camara (shrub verbena), and Albizia lebbeck (tongue tree) are some of the other nonnative species in pine rocklands. Nonnative invasive plants compete with native plants for space, light, water, and nutrients, and make habitat conditions unsuitable for both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, which respond positively to open conditions. They also affect the characteristics of a fire when it does occur. Historically, pine rocklands had an open, low understory where natural fires remained patchy with low temperature intensity, thus sparing many native plants such as B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. Dense infestations of Neyraudia reynaudiana and Schinus terebinthifolius cause higher fire temperatures and longer burning periods. With the presence of invasive nonnative species, it is uncertain how fire, even under a managed situation, will affect these plants. Bradley and Gann (1999, pp. 13, 71–72) indicated that the control of nonnative plants is one of the most important conservation actions for these plants and a critical part of habitat maintenance. Management of nonnative invasive plants in pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County is further complicated because the vast majority of pine rocklands are small, fragmented areas bordered by urban development. Areas near managed pine rockland that contain nonnative species can act as a seed source of nonnatives allowing them to continue to invade the surrounding pine rockland (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 13). Nonnative Plant Species Nonnative plants have significantly affected pine rocklands, and threaten all occurrences of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri to some degree (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 15, 72; Bradley and Gann 2005, page numbers not applicable; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.; Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, pp. 12–16). As a result of human activities, at least 277 taxa of nonnative plants have invaded pine rocklands throughout south Florida (Service 1999, p. 3–175). Neyraudia reynaudiana (Burma reed) and Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper) threaten both plants (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 13, 72). S. terebinthifolius, a nonnative tree, is the most widespread and one of the most invasive species. It forms dense thickets of tangled, woody stems that completely shade out and displace native vegetation (Loflin 1991, p. 19; Langeland and Craddock Burks 1998, p. 54). Acacia auriculiformis (earleaf acacia), Melinis repens (natal Recreation and Other Human Activities Linum carteri var. carteri’s occurrence in disturbed, open areas such as firebreaks and road rights-of-way also makes it much more susceptible than Brickellia mosieri to recreational and other human activities. These activities may inadvertently impact some populations of L. c. var. carteri. In the past, mountain biking has been identified as a threat at R. Hardy Matheson Preserve (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 71, 74; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.). This threat was mitigated by the placement of protective fencing, however, since mountain bikers have been fenced out, habitat succession has increased and resulted in less suitable conditions for L. c. var. carteri (Possley 2013, pers. comm.). More recently, a colony of L. c. var. carteri at Camp Owaissa Bauer Addition has been impacted by ‘‘yard sales’’ and car parking along Krome Avenue (Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, p. 13). While these impacts are usually some distance mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES and NOAA. The only known Federal occurrence of Linum carteri var. carteri is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (Chapman Field). There are no Federal protections for candidate species on these properties. These plants primarily occur on Stateor County-owned and private land (Tables 1 and 2 of the proposed rule), and development of these areas would likely require no Federal permit or other authorization. Therefore, projects that affect them would usually not be analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 from the plants, they sometimes encroach on the edge of the natural area and have the potential to trample the plants. This plant occurs in similar habitat on Rockdale Pineland, where it is found along the edges of the abandoned Florida East Coast Railway tracks, adjacent to pine rockland habitat (Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, p. 16). Here, plants have also been trampled from parking vehicles and machinery along the edges of the railroad right-of-way (Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, p. 16). While these activities have affected individual plants in some populations, they are not likely to have caused significant population declines in the taxon. Conservation Efforts To Reduce Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Continued Existence An IRC program included reintroduction of both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in an effort to establish new occurrences of these plants and increase population sizes. To date, B. mosieri has been reintroduced to at least one private site, although the status of these plants is currently unknown (Gann 2013b, pers. comm.). Ex-situ conservation by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden consists of seed collection of pine rockland plants, including Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, to learn about their germination, storage, and cultivation requirements to help safeguard these plants from extinction. This program is discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013). Summary of Biological Status and Threats Only small and fragmented occurrences of these two plants remain. The current ranges of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri span such a small geographic area—a narrow band no more than 4.0 km (2.5 mi) in width, and approximately 30.1 km (18.7 mi) and 26.9 km (16.7 mi) in length, respectively, along the Miami Rock Ridge—that all populations could be affected by a single event (e.g., hurricane). Four of the seven remaining populations of L. c. var. carteri have fewer than 20 individual plants. B. mosieri populations occur in higher numbers, but are still not considered sizable. L. c. var. carteri shows great differences in plant numbers from year to year, probably because individuals typically live 1–2 years and grow from seed. This trait makes them more vulnerable than perennials to changes in E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES environment. Viable plant populations for small, short-lived herbs may consist of tens of thousands of plants (Menges 1991, p. 48; Lande 1995, p. 789). Although robust population viability analyses (including minimum viable population calculations) have not been conducted for these plants, indications are that most existing populations for both plants are at best marginal. We have determined that the threats to both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri consist primarily of habitat loss and modification through urban and agricultural development, lack of adequate fire management, proliferation of nonnative invasive plants, and sea level rise. Threats described under Factor A—habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation resulting from development and inadequate fire management, and Factor E—competition from nonnative invasive plants, are believed to be the primary drivers in the historical and recent declines of B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. L. c. var. carteri has also been threatened by anthropogenic disturbances which threaten populations in disturbed habitats, such as firebreaks and road rights-of-way, and both plants are suspected to be negatively affected by threats related to small, isolated populations (Factor E). All of these threats are ongoing and expected to continue to impact populations of these plants in the future. Current local, State, and Federal regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) are inadequate to protect these plants from taking and habitat loss. Despite these existing regulatory mechanisms, B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri continue to decline. Other factors that are likely to threaten Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri in the future include climate change (including sea level rise) and extreme weather events (hurricanes, frost events). Effects of these could be catastrophic on isolated, small populations of both plants (Factor E). The narrow distribution of their populations makes them more susceptible to extirpation from a single catastrophic event. This level of isolation makes natural recolonization of extirpated populations virtually impossible without human intervention. Determination We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. As described in detail above and in the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), both plants are VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 currently at risk throughout all of their respective ranges due to the immediacy and severity of threats from habitat destruction and modification (Factor A) and other natural or manmade factors affecting their continued existence (Factor E), and existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to reduce these threats (Factor D). Although actions are ongoing to alleviate some threats, no populations appear to be free of major threats. As a result, impacts from increasing threats, singly or in combination, are likely to result in the extinction of these plants. Brickellia mosieri Numerous threats are occurring now and are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, at a high intensity, and across the entire range of Brickellia mosieri; therefore, we have determined the species is in danger of extinction throughout its range. The threats are currently active, and will continue to affect the populations of B. mosieri into the foreseeable future, and these threats will individually and collectively contribute to the species’ local extirpation and potential extinction. Because these threats are placing the species in danger of extinction now and not only at some point in the foreseeable future, we find that this species meets the definition of an endangered species, rather than a threatened species. Therefore, we have determined that B. mosieri meets the definition of endangered in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act. Linum carteri var. carteri Numerous threats are occurring now and are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, at a high intensity, and across the entire range of Linum carteri var. carteri; therefore, we have determined the taxon is in danger of extinction throughout its range. The threats are currently active, and will continue to affect the populations of L. c. var. carteri into the foreseeable future, and these threats will individually and collectively contribute to the plant’s local extirpation and potential extinction. Because these threats are placing the taxon in danger of extinction now and not only at some point in the foreseeable future, we find this taxon meets the definition of an endangered species rather than a threatened species. Therefore, we have determined that L. c. var. carteri meets the definition of endangered in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is ‘‘in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range’’ and a PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52573 threatened species as any species ‘‘that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.’’ We find that threatened species status is not appropriate for these plants because of contracted range, because the threats are occurring rangewide and are not localized, and because the threats are ongoing and expected to continue into the future. Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The threats to the survival of these plants occur throughout the plants’ respective ranges and are not restricted to any particular significant portion of those ranges. Accordingly, our assessment and proposed determination applies to the plants throughout their entire ranges. Available Conservation Measures Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and requires that recovery actions be carried out for all listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below. The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act requires the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species’ decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, selfsustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems. Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES 52574 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan identifies site-specific management actions that set a trigger for review of the five factors that control whether a species remains endangered or may be downlisted or delisted, and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/ endangered), or from our South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. Following publication of this final listing rule, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the State of Florida would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants. Please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on these plants whenever it VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service. Federal agency actions within the species’ habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph include, but are not limited to, management and any other landscapealtering activities on Federal lands administered by the Department of Defense, Homeland Security/U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Prisons Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture; the issuance of Federal permits under section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; construction and management of gas pipeline and power line rights-of-way by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; construction and maintenance of roads or highways by the Federal Highway Administration; and implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program and disaster relief efforts conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered plants. All prohibitions of section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 50 CFR 17.61, apply. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, or remove and reduce the species to possession from areas under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for plants listed as an endangered species, the Act prohibits the malicious damage or destruction on areas under Federal jurisdiction and the removal, cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of such plants in knowing violation of any State law or regulation, including State criminal trespass law. Exceptions to these prohibitions are outlined in 50 CFR 17.62. Preservation of native flora of Florida (Florida Statutes 581.185) sections (3)(a) and (b) provide limited protection to species listed in the State of Florida Regulated Plant Index including Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, as described under Factor D, The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms. Federal listing increases protection for these plants by making violations of section 3 of the Florida Statute punishable as a Federal offense under section 9 of the Act. This statutory relationship provides increased protection from unauthorized collecting and vandalism for the plants on State and private lands, where they might not otherwise be protected by the Act, and increases the severity of the penalty for unauthorized collection, vandalism, or trade in these plants. We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered and threatened plant species under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.62 for endangered plants, and at 50 CFR 17.72 for threatened plants. With regard to endangered plants, a permit must be issued for activities undertaken for scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the species. It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of listed species. The following activities could potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act; this list is not comprehensive: (1) Import Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri into, or export these plants from, the United States. (2) Remove and reduce to possession Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri from areas under Federal jurisdiction; maliciously damage or E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 52575 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / Thursday, September 4, 2014 / Rules and Regulations destroy these plants on any such area; or remove, cut, dig up, or damage or destroy these plants on any other area in knowing violation of any law or regulation of any State or in the course of any violation of a State criminal trespass law. (3) Deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever and in the course of a commercial activity, Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. (4) Sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. (5) Introduce any nonnative wildlife or plant species to the State of Florida that compete with or prey upon Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. (6) Release any unauthorized biological control agents that attack any life stage of Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri. (7) Manipulate or modify the habitat of Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri on Federal lands without authorization. Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Required Determinations National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes. No tribal lands are impacted by this listing. Species Scientific name Historical range Common name Family References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authors The primary authors of this final rule are the staff members of the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; and 4201–4245; unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.12(h) by adding entries for ‘‘Brickellia mosieri’’ and ‘‘Linum carteri var. carteri’’, in alphabetical order under Flowering Plants, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, to read as follows: ■ § 17.12 * Endangered and threatened plants. * * (h) * * * Status * When listed * Critical habitat Special rules FLOWERING PLANTS * Brickellia mosieri ........ * Brickell-bush, Florida * * * U.S.A. (FL) ................. Asteraceae ................. E * Linum carteri var. carteri. * Flax, Carter’s smallflowered. * * * U.S.A. (FL) ................. Linaceae .................... E * mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * * * * 844 * * [FR Doc. 2014–21110 Filed 9–3–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:31 Sep 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 NA NA * Dated: August 8, 2014. David Cottingham Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. * * 844 E:\FR\FM\04SER1.SGM 04SER1 NA * NA *

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 171 (Thursday, September 4, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52567-52575]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21110]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2013-0033; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-AZ15


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species 
Status for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri 
var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine 
endangered species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(Act), as amended, for Brickellia mosieri (Florida brickell-bush) and 
Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's small-flowered flax), two plants 
from Miami-Dade County, Florida. The effect of this regulation will be 
to add these plants to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.

DATES: This rule becomes effective October 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov and at http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/. Comments and 
materials we received, as well as supporting documentation we used in 
preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. All of the comments, materials, and documentation 
that we considered in this rulemaking are available by appointment, 
during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South 
Florida Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 
32960; telephone 772-562-3909; facsimile 772-562-4288.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Aubrey, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office, 
1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960, by telephone 772-562-3909, or 
by facsimile 772-562-4288. Persons who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, a species may warrant 
protection through listing if we find that it is an endangered or 
threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range. Listing a species as endangered or threatened can only be 
completed by issuing a rule. We will also be finalizing the designation 
of critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri under the Act in the near future.
    This rule will finalize the listing of Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri as endangered species.
    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may determine that a 
species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five 
factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for 
commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) 
disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory 
mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its 
continued existence. We have determined that Brickellia mosieri and 
Linum carteri var. carteri meet the definition of an endangered species 
based on Factors A, D, and E.
    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from six 
independent specialists to ensure that our action is based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these 
peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal. We also considered 
all other comments and information received during the comment period.

Previous Federal Action

    Please refer to the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) for a 
detailed description of previous Federal actions concerning these 
plants.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on October 2, 2013 (78 FR 61273), we 
requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the 
proposal by December 2, 2013. We also contacted appropriate Federal and 
State agencies, scientific experts and organizations, and other 
interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. 
Newspaper notices inviting general public comment were published in the 
Miami Herald.

Peer Reviewer Comments

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from six knowledgeable 
individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri and/or their habitat, 
biological needs, and threats; the geographical region of South Florida 
in which these plants occur; and conservation biology principles. We 
received responses from all six of the peer reviewers we contacted.
    We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers for 
substantive issues and new information regarding the listing of 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. The peer reviewers 
generally concurred with our methods and conclusions, and provided 
additional information, clarifications, and suggestions to improve the 
final listing rule. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the 
following summary and incorporated into the final rule as appropriate.
    (1) Comment: One peer reviewer commented on the lack of discussion 
related to the threat of herbivory from invertebrates, both native and 
nonnative, and noted that Brickellia cordifolia, a north Florida 
species, experiences considerable damage on an annual basis from a not-
yet-identified, leaf-boring-type arthropod. The reviewer also noted the 
possible threat of unnaturally high herbivory from deer, rabbits, and 
other vertebrates, as well as threats associated with feral hogs, both 
of which he stated are threats throughout most of Florida.
    Our Response: We appreciate the information provided; however, 
biologists monitoring Brickellia mosieri in Miami-Dade County have not 
observed any significant damage to the species from invertebrates or 
vertebrates, native or nonnative. In addition, another peer reviewer 
noted that deer no longer occur in the areas where these plants exist, 
and rabbits occur only sparingly, and not in all areas. Based on the 
information available at this time, the Service does believe that 
predation poses a threat to Brickellia mosieri.
    (2) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that two specimens of 
Brickellia mosieri (filed as B. eupatorioides and annotated by K.A. 
Bradley as B. eupatorioides var. floridana) in the collection at the 
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Herbarium indicate that the 
historical range of this species probably extended north of South 
Miami. Based on these specimens, the reviewer stated that the 
historical range is better characterized as extending from 
approximately Coconut Grove to Florida City, while allowing that these 
observations may have been included

[[Page 52568]]

with those described as not giving accurate or precise location 
information under ``Historical Range'' in the proposed rule.
    Our Response: We appreciate the information provided. The Service 
was aware of one of these samples (by Buswell in 1947 from a pineland 
south of Coral Gables), which was referenced by Bradley and Gann (1999, 
p. 16), and incorporated into their approximation of historical range 
(South Miami is less than 3.2 km (2.0 mi) southwest of Coral Cables). 
However, we were not aware of the second sample (by Small in 1912 from 
pinelands near Coconut Grove). Based on this new information, we agree 
that the northern extent of the historical range is more appropriately 
characterized as Coconut Grove. We have incorporated the revised text 
and related changes (i.e., calculations of range contraction) in the 
Background and Determination sections in this final rule.
    Comment: One peer reviewer noted that an understanding of these 
plants' reproductive biology, especially their floral biology, 
pollination, and breeding systems, is especially critical to helping 
them recover more robust numbers. A second peer reviewer had a similar 
comment regarding the need for additional study related to seed 
dispersal, pollinator mechanisms, and augmentation and reintroduction 
studies. The first reviewer noted that the effects of habitat 
conditions on the reproductive allocation of both plants has not yet 
been quantified, and that individuals in smaller, more isolated, and/or 
degraded pine rockland habitat fragments have lower reproductive rates 
than counterparts in larger, more well-maintained pine rockland sites, 
leading to the likely loss of genetic diversity represented in those 
low-quality sites over time.
    Our Response: We agree and had incorporated similar statements in 
our discussion of Habitat Fragmentation and Effects of Small Population 
Size and Isolation (under Factors A and E, respectively, in the Summary 
of Factors Affecting the Species section) in the proposed listing rule.
    (4) Comment: One peer reviewer requested further identification of 
the area identified as ``Rockdale Pineland Addition'' in Table 2 of the 
proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013).
    Our Response: According to the Florida Natural Area Inventory's 
(FNAI) Florida Conservation Lands data layer (September 2013 version), 
the area known as Rockdale Pineland consists of two parcels: Rockdale 
Pineland (approximately 26 acres, owned by the State of Florida and 
managed by Miami-Dade County), and the Rockdale Pineland Addition 
(approximately 21 acres, owned and managed by Miami-Dade County). 
Rockdale Pineland Addition surrounds Rockdale Pineland, like a buffer. 
The Linum carteri var. carteri occurrence is within this ``buffer,'' 
along the edges of the abandoned FEC Railroad tracks, adjacent to pine 
rockland habitat.
    (5) Comment: One peer reviewer noted an apparent discrepancy 
between the occupancy of Brickellia mosieri on Federal lands (U.S. 
Coast Guard (USCG) and National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) 
lands in the Richmond Pinelands), as described in Table 1 and in the 
Federal section under the discussion of Factor D, The Inadequacy of 
Existing Regulatory Mechanisms, in the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; 
October 3, 2013).
    Our Response: The discrepancy was related to the difference between 
how Brickellia mosieri occurrences were reported in Table 1 (i.e., 
specific to managed area and owner) versus how we evaluated whether an 
area was considered occupied (i.e., described at the habitat patch 
level). We considered contiguous pine rockland habitat to be the same 
habitat patch, regardless of where ownership boundaries were located 
within it. A habitat patch was considered occupied if the species 
occurs within its boundaries, although the species may not have been 
observed throughout the entire patch. Thus, NOAA and some USCG lands 
are considered occupied by Brickellia mosieri because an extant 
population occurs within the same habitat patches (Martinez Pineland 
and University of Miami, respectively). That said, we have revised the 
language in the discussion of Federal regulations under Factor D in the 
Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section to explain this 
distinction.
    (6) Comment: One peer reviewer noted that Lygodium microphyllum 
(Old World climbing fern) is not likely a threat to Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri as it primarily occupies wetland 
habitats, and is not known to invade pine rockland habitat.
    Our Response: We agree and have removed this language from our 
discussion of nonnative plants under Factor E in the Summary of Factors 
Affecting the Species section.
    (7) Comment: One peer reviewer stated that the U.S. General 
Services Administration property within the Richmond Pinelands Complex 
should be more thoroughly surveyed for both plants, especially 
Brickellia mosieri.
    Our Response: The lands referenced are now owned by the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers. However, we agree with the peer reviewer and would 
encourage and support such a survey being conducted. The Richmond 
Pinelands Complex represents the largest remaining group of contiguous 
fragments of pine rockland habitat outside of Everglades National Park 
(ENP), and the Service hopes to cooperatively engage all landowners, 
including Federal agencies, to survey, manage, and conserve this area.
    (8) Comment: One peer reviewer specifically supported our rationale 
for the proposed listing determination, which focused on a more 
qualitative assessment of threats, rather than some form of population 
viability analysis, due to limited data available, especially in 
relation to population response to stochastic events and long-term 
disturbances. The reviewer also noted that guidelines developed for 
medium-to-large size animals do not work well for herbaceous plants, 
which could have 1,000 individuals concentrated in a single site, 
making the species vulnerable to a single event of human or natural 
origin.
    Our Response: We agree, and thank the reviewer for this comment.

Comments From States

    The two plants occur only in Florida. We received no comments from 
the State of Florida regarding the listing proposal. We note, however, 
that one peer reviewer was from the Florida Forest Service, Florida 
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; those comments are 
addressed above.

Public Comments

    During the first comment period, we received two public comment 
letters directly addressing the proposed listing. Both commenters 
suggested technical corrections to sections of the proposed rule 
pertaining to the Background and Summary of Factors Affecting the 
Species, related to scientific names, species biology, and citations, 
to include additional information and correct minor errors. We did not 
receive any requests for a public hearing, nor did we receive any 
comments on the listing rule during the second comment period. The 
comments are appreciated and have been incorporated into the 
appropriate sections of the final rule. The remaining comments we 
received are grouped below into two general issues.
Issue 1: Habitat
    (9) Comment: One commenter noted that the sandhill community does 
not occur in Miami-Dade County (per FNAI 2010), and suggests that mesic 
flatwoods

[[Page 52569]]

would be a more appropriate description of an intergrade community with 
pine rocklands on the northern Miami Rock Ridge.
    Our Response: We thank the reviewer for this comment, and 
acknowledge that there is an apparent discrepancy between the described 
pine rockland-sandhill community association on the northern Miami Rock 
Ridge (per Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257, as well as FNAI 2010, p. 63) and 
the described extent of sandhill within Florida (does not extend into 
Miami-Dade County; FNAI 2010, p. 40). Based on review of the FNAI 
community descriptions, we agree that the classification of mesic 
flatwoods most accurately describes the community into which pine 
rockland merges in northern Miami-Dade County, and have incorporated 
this information in the Background section.
    (10) Comment: One commenter noted that, in our discussion of 
natural forest communities (NFCs) in Miami-Dade County (in the Local 
section under the discussion of Factor D, The Inadequacy of Existing 
Regulatory Mechanisms of the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013)), tropical hardwood hammocks include rockland hammocks.
    Our Response: We agree. In this instance, we used the term 
``tropical hardwood hammock'' in keeping with the terminology used on 
Miami-Dade County environmental Web sites to describe this type of 
habitat within NFCs and Environmentally Endangered Lands. Because of 
this, and because pine rocklands are the focus of the discussion, we 
believe it is suitable to retain the existing wording in this section.
Issue 2: Threats
    (11) Comment: One commenter stated that Pine Shore Pineland 
Preserve burned in a wildfire on April 8, 2013, resulting in improved 
habitat conditions. Because of this, and in relation to this 
commenter's previous cited personal communication (in the proposed rule 
(78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013)), the commenter believes that this 
population of Brickellia mosieri is no longer the most endangered.
    Our Response: We appreciate the information provided and have 
removed the subject sentence related to the habitat condition and 
status of Brickellia mosieri on Pine Shore Pineland Preserve from the 
Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section.
    (12) Comment: One commenter indicated that the threat of mountain 
biking at R. Hardy Matheson Preserve has been mitigated (as opposed to 
remedied, as stated in the proposed rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013)) by the installation of fencing. This commenter also stated that 
habitat succession has increased since mountain bikers have been fenced 
out, which has not benefited habitat for Linum carteri var. carteri.
    Our Response: We appreciate the information provided and have 
incorporated it into the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species 
section.

Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    Based on information we received in peer review and public 
comments, we made the following changes:
    In the Background section:
    (1) We made the following five changes to scientific names: Revised 
the names of three plants to reflect the accepted taxonomy per the 
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), added a subspecies 
designation and corrected the common name of one plant to represent the 
intended pine rockland subspecies, and deleted one plant from the 
vegetation list to prevent potential taxonomic confusion.
    (2) We corrected one citation (Bradley and Gann 1999), which was 
missing a digit in the year.
    (3) We revised the description of pine rockland's natural community 
associations on the northern Miami Rock Ridge, changing the association 
with sandhill to an association with mesic flatwoods.
    (4) We revised the historical range of Brickellia mosieri, 
extending the northern extent from ``South Miami'' to ``approximately 
Coconut Grove'', to reflect new information regarding herbarium 
samples. Related to this change, we revised our calculations of the 
contraction of historical range, from more than 13 percent to more than 
30 percent.
    (5) We included additional information on the flowering response of 
Brickellia mosieri to fire.
    In the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section:
    (6) We deleted a sentence related to the habitat condition and 
status of Brickellia mosieri on Pine Shore Pineland Preserve, as it was 
no longer applicable.
    (7) We revised wording related to the occurrence of Brickellia 
mosieri in the Richmond Pinelands and specifically on lands managed by 
USCG and NOAA.
    (8) We made the following changes to two scientific names: Revised 
the name of one plant to reflect the accepted taxonomy per ITIS, and 
changed the name of one plant in two places to correct a typographical 
error.
    (9) We removed a sentence referencing the potential future threat 
of Lygodium microphyllum, since this plant is unlikely to pose a threat 
to pine rockland species due to its strong association with wetter 
habitats.
    (10) We revised and included additional information on the threat 
of mountain biking and habitat conditions at R. Hardy Matheson 
Preserve.
    (11) We revised a sentence regarding IRC's Brickellia mosieri 
reintroduction site, replacing ``George and Avery Pineland'' with ``one 
private site.''

Background

Brickellia mosieri

    Please refer to the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013) for the description of Brickellia mosieri, its taxonomy, and its 
suitable climate. Below we present updated summaries of information in 
the proposed rule, and new information based on peer review and public 
comment, related to its habitat, historical and current range, 
population estimates, demographics, reproduction, and genetics.
Habitat
    Brickellia mosieri grows exclusively in pine rocklands on the Miami 
Rock Ridge in Miami-Dade County outside the boundaries of ENP. This 
area extends from the ENP boundary, near the park entrance road, 
northeast approximately 72 kilometers (km) (45 miles (mi)) to the 
ridge's end near North Miami. Habitat conditions more specific to this 
area are highlighted below. The pine rocklands are a unique ecosystem 
found on limestone substrates in three areas in Florida--the Miami Rock 
Ridge, in the Florida Keys, and in the Big Cypress Swamp. The pine 
rocklands differ to some degree between and within these areas with 
regard to substrate (e.g., amount of exposed limestone, type of soil), 
elevation, hydrology, and species composition (both plant and animal). 
The substrate, elevation, and hydrology of pine rocklands on the Miami 
Rock Ridge outside of ENP are discussed in detail in the proposed 
listing rule for B. mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 
61273; October 3, 2013), while the species composition of this area is 
discussed below.
    Pine rockland is characterized by an open canopy of South Florida 
slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa). Subcanopy development is rare 
in well-maintained pine rocklands, with only occasional hardwoods, such 
as Lysiloma latisiliquum (wild tamarind) and Quercus virginiana (live 
oak) growing to tree size in Miami Rock Ridge pinelands (Snyder et al. 
1990, p. 253). The shrub/understory layer is a diverse mix of

[[Page 52570]]

species including both temperate and tropical shrubs and palms. 
Dominant plants in the shrub layer of pine rocklands vary based on 
elevation, substrate, and nearby associated natural communities. The 
pine rocklands where Brickellia mosieri occurs are characterized by an 
open shrub canopy of Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Myrica cerifera 
(wax myrtle), Metopium toxiferum (poisonwood), and Sideroxylon 
salicifolium (willow bustic) as well as species with more restricted 
distribution within pine rocklands including Sideroxylon reclinatum 
ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully), Callicarpa americana (beauty 
berry), Dodonaea angustifolia (varnish leaf), and Ilex cassine (dahoon 
holly) (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 254; Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). The 
shrub layer in pinelands occurring in the northern end of the Miami 
Rock Ridge more closely resembles pine flatwoods as a result of the 
amount of sandy soils in this area, with species such as Lyonia 
fruticosa (staggerbush), Quercus minima (dwarf live oak), Quercus 
pumila (running oak), and Vaccinium myrsinites (shiny blueberry) 
becoming more common (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 255). The height and 
density of the shrub layer vary based on fire frequency, with 
understory plants growing taller and more dense as time since fire 
increases.
    Pine rocklands in all three areas of Florida contain a richly 
diverse herbaceous layer, including a large number of rare and endemic 
species, such as Brickellia mosieri. The diversity of the herbaceous 
layer decreases as the density of the shrub layer increases (i.e., as 
understory openness decreases), and pine rockland on the mainland has a 
more diverse herbaceous layer, due to the presence of temperate species 
and some tropical species that do not occur in the Florida Keys (FNAI 
2010, p. 63). The herbaceous layer can range from mostly continuous in 
areas with more soil development and little exposed limestone, to 
sparse where much of the limestone is at the surface. Most herbaceous 
species in pine rocklands are perennials (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257). 
Common herbaceous associates of B. mosieri in the Miami Rock Ridge pine 
rocklands include Schizachyrium sanguineum (crimson bluestem), 
Schizachyrium gracile (wire bluestem), Symphyotrichum adnatum 
(scaleleaf aster), and Acalypha chamaedrifolia (bastard copperleaf) 
(Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). B. mosieri may also be found in close 
association with several other rare plants, including Chamaesyce 
deltoidea ssp. deltoidea (deltoid spurge), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. 
adhaerens (wedge sandmat), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum 
(pineland sandmat), Galactia smallii (Small's milkpea), Polygala 
smallii (tiny polygala), and Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett's 
silverbush) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12).
    Pine rockland occurs in a mosaic with primarily two other natural 
community types--rockland hammock and marl prairie. Pine rockland 
grades into rockland hammock; pine rockland has an open pine canopy, 
and rockland hammock has a closed, hardwood canopy. Pine rockland is a 
fire-maintained ecosystem--a well-maintained pine rockland is a 
savanna-like forest, but, in the absence of fire, it will eventually 
succeed into rockland hammock. The functional relationship and response 
of pine rocklands and Brickellia mosieri to fire and other natural 
disturbances are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for 
B. mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013).
    Pine rockland on the Miami Rock Ridge can also occur within lower, 
seasonally flooded marl prairies, which differ from pine rockland in 
having no pines, an understory dominated by grasses and sedges, and a 
minimal cover of shrubs (FNAI 2010, p. 63). Where pine rockland occurs 
close to the ocean, it may be bordered by mangrove swamp or salt marsh 
and can receive flooding by extremely high tides (FNAI 2010, p. 63). 
Pine rocklands on the northern Miami Rock Ridge grade into scrub and 
mesic flatwoods vegetation where the three communities intermix in 
areas with deep sands and rock outcrops (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 257; 
Gann 2014, pers. comm.).
Historical Range
    Brickellia mosieri is endemic to the pine rocklands of the Miami 
Rock Ridge in Miami-Dade County. It was historically known from central 
and southern Miami-Dade County from approximately Coconut Grove to 
Florida City, a range of approximately 45.0 km (28.0 mi), along the 
Miami Rock Ridge (based on data in Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11, and 
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Virtual Herbarium 2014, page numbers 
not applicable). However, Bradley and Gann (1999, p. 11) state that 
herbarium specimens have not been studied from the New York Botanical 
Garden, so the full extent of its historical range is unknown. Some 
available herbarium specimens and other records for this plant (Bradley 
and Gann 1999, p. 16; Wunderlin and Hansen 2008, page numbers not 
applicable) do not give precise or accurate location information.
Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status
    Brickellia mosieri is currently distributed from central and 
southern Miami-Dade County from SW 120 St. (latitude ca. 25 degrees 
([deg]) 39.4 minutes (')N) to Florida City (latitude ca. 25[deg] 
26.0'N) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 11), suggesting its historical range 
has contracted at least 13.6 km (8.5 mi), or more than 30 percent. A 
detailed account of B. mosieri occurrences and population status were 
provided in the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273) published in the 
Federal Register on October 2, 2013.
Demographic, Reproductive Biology, and Population Genetics
    Little research has been done into the demography, reproductive 
biology, or genetics of Brickellia mosieri. Field observations indicate 
that the species does not usually occur in great abundance--populations 
are typically sparse and contain a low density of plants even in well-
maintained pine rockland habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). 
Reproduction is sexual (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). While specific 
pollinators or dispersers are unknown, flower morphology suggests this 
species may be pollinated by butterflies, bees, or both (Koptur 2013, 
pers. comm.); wind is one likely dispersal vector (Gann 2013b, pers. 
comm.). Flowering takes place primarily in the fall (August-October) 
(Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 12). Off-season flowering is usually the 
result of fire, and B. mosieri will flower within 1 to 2 months 
following a fire, regardless of the time of year (Possley 2013 pers. 
comm.).

Linum carteri var. carteri

    Please refer to the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013) for a detailed discussion of Linum carteri var. carteri's 
taxonomy, suitable climate, habitat, historical and current range, 
population estimates, demographics, reproduction, and genetics. Below 
we provide an updated summary of information in the proposed rule, and 
new information based on peer review and public comment, related to the 
description of the plant.
Description
    Linum carteri var. carteri (Family: Linaceae) is an annual or 
short-lived perennial herb endemic to Miami-Dade County, where it grows 
in pine rocklands, particularly in disturbed pine rocklands (Bradley 
and Gann 1999, p. 70). Its stem is erect, 230-360 millimeters (mm) 
(9.0-14.2 inches (in)) tall, commonly branched near the base,

[[Page 52571]]

and puberulent (covered with minute hairs). Its leaves are slender (18-
26 mm (0.7-1.0 in) long and 0.8-1.2 mm (0.03-0.05 in) wide), entire, 
alternate, and closely overlap at the base of the plant. This variety 
has stipules (pair of appendages at the base of the petiole, which is 
the stalk by which a leaf is attached to a stem) with paired dark 
glands. Its inflorescence (cluster of flowers arranged on a branching 
stem) is an ascending or spreading cyme (usually flat-topped or convex 
flower cluster in which the main axis and each branch end in a flower 
that opens before the flowers below or to the side of it), with yellow 
petals that are broadly obovate (egg-shaped), 9-17 mm (0.35-0.67 in) 
long, and quickly deciduous. The fruit is straw-colored, ovoid, 4.1-4.6 
mm (0.16-0.18 in) long, 3.4-3.7 mm (0.13-0.15 in) in diameter, and 
dehisces (opens spontaneously at defined places) into five two-seeded 
segments; seeds are narrowly ovoid-elliptic, 2.3-2.8 mm (0.09-0.11 in) 
long, 1.0-1.3 mm (0.04-0.05 in) wide. In habit and flower, the plant 
closely resembles Piriqueta cistoides ssp. caroliniana (pitted 
stripeseed) in the family Turneraceae (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 70).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding 
species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and 
Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may determine a species to 
be endangered or threatened due to one or more of the following five 
factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for 
commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) 
disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory 
mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its 
continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of 
the above threat factors, singly or in combination. Each of these 
factors as applied to these two plants is discussed below or in the 
proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013).

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of Its Habitat or Range

    Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri have experienced 
substantial destruction, modification, and curtailment of their habitat 
and range (see Status Assessment, in the proposed listing rule for B. 
mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013) and 
revised information above). Specific threats to these plants included 
in this factor include habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification 
caused by development (i.e., conversion to both urban and agricultural 
land uses) and inadequate fire management. Human population growth and 
development and habitat fragmentation and their specific effects on 
these plants are discussed in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri 
and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), while fire 
management is summarized below.
Fire Management
    One of the primary threats to both of these plants is habitat 
modification and degradation through inadequate fire management, which 
includes both the lack of prescribed fire and suppression of natural 
fires. Where the term ``fire-suppressed'' is used below and in the 
proposed rule, it describes degraded pine rockland conditions resulting 
from a lack of adequate fire (natural or prescribed) in the landscape. 
The effects of fire suppression on pine rocklands, and fire-adapted 
species such as Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, are 
discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for B. mosieri and L. 
c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013).
    Brickellia mosieri--All occurrences of Brickellia mosieri are 
affected by some degree of inadequate fire management, with the primary 
threat being shading by hardwoods (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 15; 
Bradley and Gann 2005, page numbers not applicable). While management 
of some County conservation lands (e.g., those in Richmond Pinelands 
complex and Navy Wells Pineland Preserve) includes regular burning, 
other such lands can be severely fire-suppressed. Even in areas under 
active management, some portions are typically fire-suppressed, thereby 
threatening populations of this species.
    Linum carteri var. carteri--The status of Linum carteri var. 
carteri populations in relation to fire suppression are described in 
the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and L. c. var. carteri 
(78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013).
    Implementation of a prescribed fire program in Miami-Dade County 
has been hampered by a shortage of resources, and by logistical 
difficulties and public concern related to burning next to residential 
areas. Many homes have been built in a mosaic of pine rockland, so the 
use of prescribed fire in many places has become complicated because of 
potential danger to structures and smoke generated from the burns. 
Nonprofit organizations, such as the Institute for Regional 
Conservation (IRC) have similar difficulties in conducting prescribed 
burns due to difficulties with permitting and obtaining the necessary 
permissions as well as hazard insurance limitations (Gann 2013a, pers. 
comm.). Few private landowners have the means and/or desire to 
implement prescribed fire on their property, and doing so in a 
fragmented urban environment is logistically difficult and may be 
costly. One of the few privately owned pine rocklands that is 
successfully managed with prescribed burning is Pine Ridge Sanctuary, 
located in a more agricultural (less urban) matrix in the southwestern 
portion of Brickellia mosieri's current range; it was last burned in 
November 2010 (Glancy 2013, pers. comm.).
Conservation Efforts To Reduce the Present or Threatened Destruction, 
Modification, or Curtailment of Habitat or Range
    These are discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 
3, 2013).

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Factor B is discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 
3, 2013).

C. Disease or Predation

    No diseases or incidences of predation have been reported for 
Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    State and local regulations, and fee title properties, are 
discussed in detail in the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013), while 
Federal regulations are discussed below.
Federal
    If these plants were not listed, they would have no Federal 
regulatory protection in their known occupied and suitable habitat. 
Neither taxon occurs on National Wildlife Refuge or National Park land. 
Brickellia mosieri is known to occur within habitat patches (where 
patch boundaries are based on contiguous pine rockland habitat, 
irrespective of land ownership) that include Federal lands within the 
Richmond Pinelands Complex, including lands owned by the USCG

[[Page 52572]]

and NOAA. The only known Federal occurrence of Linum carteri var. 
carteri is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Subtropical 
Horticultural Research Station (Chapman Field). There are no Federal 
protections for candidate species on these properties. These plants 
primarily occur on State- or County-owned and private land (Tables 1 
and 2 of the proposed rule), and development of these areas would 
likely require no Federal permit or other authorization. Therefore, 
projects that affect them would usually not be analyzed under the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri are both 
threatened by other natural or manmade factors that affect each taxon 
to varying degrees. Specific threats to these plants included in this 
factor consist of the spread of nonnative invasive plants, potentially 
incompatible management practices (such as mowing and herbicide use), 
direct impacts to plants from recreation and other human activities, 
small population size and isolation, climate change, and the related 
risks from environmental stochasticity (extreme weather) on these small 
populations. With the exception of nonnative plants and recreation, 
which are discussed below, the rest of these threats and their specific 
effect on these plants are discussed in detail in the proposed listing 
rule for B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013).
Nonnative Plant Species
    Nonnative plants have significantly affected pine rocklands, and 
threaten all occurrences of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri to some degree (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 15, 72; Bradley and 
Gann 2005, page numbers not applicable; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.; 
Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, pp. 12-16). As a result of human 
activities, at least 277 taxa of nonnative plants have invaded pine 
rocklands throughout south Florida (Service 1999, p. 3-175). Neyraudia 
reynaudiana (Burma reed) and Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian 
pepper) threaten both plants (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 13, 72). S. 
terebinthifolius, a nonnative tree, is the most widespread and one of 
the most invasive species. It forms dense thickets of tangled, woody 
stems that completely shade out and displace native vegetation (Loflin 
1991, p. 19; Langeland and Craddock Burks 1998, p. 54). Acacia 
auriculiformis (earleaf acacia), Melinis repens (natal grass), Lantana 
camara (shrub verbena), and Albizia lebbeck (tongue tree) are some of 
the other nonnative species in pine rocklands.
    Nonnative invasive plants compete with native plants for space, 
light, water, and nutrients, and make habitat conditions unsuitable for 
both Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, which respond 
positively to open conditions. They also affect the characteristics of 
a fire when it does occur. Historically, pine rocklands had an open, 
low understory where natural fires remained patchy with low temperature 
intensity, thus sparing many native plants such as B. mosieri and L. c. 
var. carteri. Dense infestations of Neyraudia reynaudiana and Schinus 
terebinthifolius cause higher fire temperatures and longer burning 
periods. With the presence of invasive nonnative species, it is 
uncertain how fire, even under a managed situation, will affect these 
plants. Bradley and Gann (1999, pp. 13, 71-72) indicated that the 
control of nonnative plants is one of the most important conservation 
actions for these plants and a critical part of habitat maintenance.
    Management of nonnative invasive plants in pine rocklands in Miami-
Dade County is further complicated because the vast majority of pine 
rocklands are small, fragmented areas bordered by urban development. 
Areas near managed pine rockland that contain nonnative species can act 
as a seed source of nonnatives allowing them to continue to invade the 
surrounding pine rockland (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 13).
Recreation and Other Human Activities
    Linum carteri var. carteri's occurrence in disturbed, open areas 
such as firebreaks and road rights-of-way also makes it much more 
susceptible than Brickellia mosieri to recreational and other human 
activities. These activities may inadvertently impact some populations 
of L. c. var. carteri. In the past, mountain biking has been identified 
as a threat at R. Hardy Matheson Preserve (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 
71, 74; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.). This threat was mitigated by the 
placement of protective fencing, however, since mountain bikers have 
been fenced out, habitat succession has increased and resulted in less 
suitable conditions for L. c. var. carteri (Possley 2013, pers. comm.). 
More recently, a colony of L. c. var. carteri at Camp Owaissa Bauer 
Addition has been impacted by ``yard sales'' and car parking along 
Krome Avenue (Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, p. 13). While these 
impacts are usually some distance from the plants, they sometimes 
encroach on the edge of the natural area and have the potential to 
trample the plants. This plant occurs in similar habitat on Rockdale 
Pineland, where it is found along the edges of the abandoned Florida 
East Coast Railway tracks, adjacent to pine rockland habitat (Bradley 
and van der Heiden 2013, p. 16). Here, plants have also been trampled 
from parking vehicles and machinery along the edges of the railroad 
right-of-way (Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, p. 16). While these 
activities have affected individual plants in some populations, they 
are not likely to have caused significant population declines in the 
taxon.
Conservation Efforts To Reduce Other Natural or Manmade Factors 
Affecting Continued Existence
    An IRC program included reintroduction of both Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri in an effort to establish new 
occurrences of these plants and increase population sizes. To date, B. 
mosieri has been reintroduced to at least one private site, although 
the status of these plants is currently unknown (Gann 2013b, pers. 
comm.).
    Ex-situ conservation by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden consists 
of seed collection of pine rockland plants, including Brickellia 
mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri, to learn about their 
germination, storage, and cultivation requirements to help safeguard 
these plants from extinction. This program is discussed in detail in 
the proposed listing rule for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. 
carteri (78 FR 61273; October 3, 2013).

Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    Only small and fragmented occurrences of these two plants remain. 
The current ranges of Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri 
span such a small geographic area--a narrow band no more than 4.0 km 
(2.5 mi) in width, and approximately 30.1 km (18.7 mi) and 26.9 km 
(16.7 mi) in length, respectively, along the Miami Rock Ridge--that all 
populations could be affected by a single event (e.g., hurricane). Four 
of the seven remaining populations of L. c. var. carteri have fewer 
than 20 individual plants. B. mosieri populations occur in higher 
numbers, but are still not considered sizable. L. c. var. carteri shows 
great differences in plant numbers from year to year, probably because 
individuals typically live 1-2 years and grow from seed. This trait 
makes them more vulnerable than perennials to changes in

[[Page 52573]]

environment. Viable plant populations for small, short-lived herbs may 
consist of tens of thousands of plants (Menges 1991, p. 48; Lande 1995, 
p. 789). Although robust population viability analyses (including 
minimum viable population calculations) have not been conducted for 
these plants, indications are that most existing populations for both 
plants are at best marginal.
    We have determined that the threats to both Brickellia mosieri and 
Linum carteri var. carteri consist primarily of habitat loss and 
modification through urban and agricultural development, lack of 
adequate fire management, proliferation of nonnative invasive plants, 
and sea level rise. Threats described under Factor A--habitat loss, 
fragmentation, and degradation resulting from development and 
inadequate fire management, and Factor E--competition from nonnative 
invasive plants, are believed to be the primary drivers in the 
historical and recent declines of B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri. L. 
c. var. carteri has also been threatened by anthropogenic disturbances 
which threaten populations in disturbed habitats, such as firebreaks 
and road rights-of-way, and both plants are suspected to be negatively 
affected by threats related to small, isolated populations (Factor E). 
All of these threats are ongoing and expected to continue to impact 
populations of these plants in the future. Current local, State, and 
Federal regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) are inadequate to protect 
these plants from taking and habitat loss. Despite these existing 
regulatory mechanisms, B. mosieri and L. c. var. carteri continue to 
decline.
    Other factors that are likely to threaten Brickellia mosieri and 
Linum carteri var. carteri in the future include climate change 
(including sea level rise) and extreme weather events (hurricanes, 
frost events). Effects of these could be catastrophic on isolated, 
small populations of both plants (Factor E). The narrow distribution of 
their populations makes them more susceptible to extirpation from a 
single catastrophic event. This level of isolation makes natural 
recolonization of extirpated populations virtually impossible without 
human intervention.

Determination

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
to Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. As described in 
detail above and in the proposed listing rule (78 FR 61273; October 3, 
2013), both plants are currently at risk throughout all of their 
respective ranges due to the immediacy and severity of threats from 
habitat destruction and modification (Factor A) and other natural or 
manmade factors affecting their continued existence (Factor E), and 
existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to reduce these threats 
(Factor D). Although actions are ongoing to alleviate some threats, no 
populations appear to be free of major threats. As a result, impacts 
from increasing threats, singly or in combination, are likely to result 
in the extinction of these plants.

Brickellia mosieri

    Numerous threats are occurring now and are likely to continue in 
the foreseeable future, at a high intensity, and across the entire 
range of Brickellia mosieri; therefore, we have determined the species 
is in danger of extinction throughout its range. The threats are 
currently active, and will continue to affect the populations of B. 
mosieri into the foreseeable future, and these threats will 
individually and collectively contribute to the species' local 
extirpation and potential extinction. Because these threats are placing 
the species in danger of extinction now and not only at some point in 
the foreseeable future, we find that this species meets the definition 
of an endangered species, rather than a threatened species. Therefore, 
we have determined that B. mosieri meets the definition of endangered 
in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

Linum carteri var. carteri

    Numerous threats are occurring now and are likely to continue in 
the foreseeable future, at a high intensity, and across the entire 
range of Linum carteri var. carteri; therefore, we have determined the 
taxon is in danger of extinction throughout its range. The threats are 
currently active, and will continue to affect the populations of L. c. 
var. carteri into the foreseeable future, and these threats will 
individually and collectively contribute to the plant's local 
extirpation and potential extinction. Because these threats are placing 
the taxon in danger of extinction now and not only at some point in the 
foreseeable future, we find this taxon meets the definition of an 
endangered species rather than a threatened species. Therefore, we have 
determined that L. c. var. carteri meets the definition of endangered 
in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.
    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is ``in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range'' and a threatened species as any species ``that is likely to 
become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range 
within the foreseeable future.'' We find that threatened species status 
is not appropriate for these plants because of contracted range, 
because the threats are occurring rangewide and are not localized, and 
because the threats are ongoing and expected to continue into the 
future.
    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may 
warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range. The threats to the survival of these 
plants occur throughout the plants' respective ranges and are not 
restricted to any particular significant portion of those ranges. 
Accordingly, our assessment and proposed determination applies to the 
plants throughout their entire ranges.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, 
requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain 
practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and 
conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private 
organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the 
States and requires that recovery actions be carried out for all listed 
species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the 
prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.
    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered 
and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The 
ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these 
listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of 
the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act requires the Service to develop and 
implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and 
threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the 
identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the 
species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and 
recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a 
point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning 
components of their ecosystems.
    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline 
shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final 
recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation 
of urgent

[[Page 52574]]

recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a 
recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing 
or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes 
available. The recovery plan identifies site-specific management 
actions that set a trigger for review of the five factors that control 
whether a species remains endangered or may be downlisted or delisted, 
and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also 
establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts 
and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. 
Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State 
agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often 
established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery 
outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan will be 
available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our 
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the 
participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal 
agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, 
and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat 
restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive 
propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The 
recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on 
Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-
Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires 
cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands.
    Following publication of this final listing rule, funding for 
recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including 
Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal 
landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. 
In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the State of Florida 
would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions 
that promote the protection or recovery of Brickellia mosieri and Linum 
carteri var. carteri. Information on our grant programs that are 
available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.
    Please let us know if you are interested in participating in 
recovery efforts for Brickellia mosieri and Linum carteri var. carteri. 
Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on these 
plants whenever it becomes available and any information you may have 
for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their 
actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an 
endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical 
habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in 
destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a 
species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires 
Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or 
carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the 
species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a 
Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the 
responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the 
Service.
    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require 
conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding 
paragraph include, but are not limited to, management and any other 
landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the 
Department of Defense, Homeland Security/U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Prisons 
Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park 
Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of 
Agriculture; the issuance of Federal permits under section 404 of the 
Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) by the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers; construction and management of gas pipeline and power line 
rights-of-way by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; construction 
and maintenance of roads or highways by the Federal Highway 
Administration; and implementation of the National Flood Insurance 
Program and disaster relief efforts conducted by the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered plants. 
All prohibitions of section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 50 CFR 
17.61, apply. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any 
person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or 
export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a 
commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign 
commerce, or remove and reduce the species to possession from areas 
under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for plants listed as an 
endangered species, the Act prohibits the malicious damage or 
destruction on areas under Federal jurisdiction and the removal, 
cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of such plants in 
knowing violation of any State law or regulation, including State 
criminal trespass law. Exceptions to these prohibitions are outlined in 
50 CFR 17.62.
    Preservation of native flora of Florida (Florida Statutes 581.185) 
sections (3)(a) and (b) provide limited protection to species listed in 
the State of Florida Regulated Plant Index including Brickellia mosieri 
and Linum carteri var. carteri, as described under Factor D, The 
Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms. Federal listing increases 
protection for these plants by making violations of section 3 of the 
Florida Statute punishable as a Federal offense under section 9 of the 
Act. This statutory relationship provides increased protection from 
unauthorized collecting and vandalism for the plants on State and 
private lands, where they might not otherwise be protected by the Act, 
and increases the severity of the penalty for unauthorized collection, 
vandalism, or trade in these plants.
    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered and threatened plant species under certain 
circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 
17.62 for endangered plants, and at 50 CFR 17.72 for threatened plants. 
With regard to endangered plants, a permit must be issued for 
activities undertaken for scientific purposes or to enhance the 
propagation or survival of the species.
    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 
1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at 
the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not 
constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this 
policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a listing on 
proposed and ongoing activities within the range of listed species. The 
following activities could potentially result in a violation of section 
9 of the Act; this list is not comprehensive:
    (1) Import Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri into, 
or export these plants from, the United States.
    (2) Remove and reduce to possession Brickellia mosieri or Linum 
carteri var. carteri from areas under Federal jurisdiction; maliciously 
damage or

[[Page 52575]]

destroy these plants on any such area; or remove, cut, dig up, or 
damage or destroy these plants on any other area in knowing violation 
of any law or regulation of any State or in the course of any violation 
of a State criminal trespass law.
    (3) Deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or 
foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever and in the course of a 
commercial activity, Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri.
    (4) Sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce 
Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri.
    (5) Introduce any nonnative wildlife or plant species to the State 
of Florida that compete with or prey upon Brickellia mosieri or Linum 
carteri var. carteri.
    (6) Release any unauthorized biological control agents that attack 
any life stage of Brickellia mosieri or Linum carteri var. carteri.
    (7) Manipulate or modify the habitat of Brickellia mosieri or Linum 
carteri var. carteri on Federal lands without authorization.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a 
violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the South 
Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act need not be prepared in connection with 
listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the 
Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for 
this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244).

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 
(Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and 
Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, 
Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), 
we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with 
tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge 
that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal 
public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make 
information available to tribes. No tribal lands are impacted by this 
listing.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available 
on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the 
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this final rule are the staff members of the 
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 
of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245; 
unless otherwise noted.

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.12(h) by adding entries for ``Brickellia mosieri'' 
and ``Linum carteri var. carteri'', in alphabetical order under 
Flowering Plants, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, to 
read as follows:


Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Species
----------------------------------------------------------   Historical  range           Family              Status         When     Critical   Special
          Scientific name                Common name                                                                       listed    habitat     rules
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Flowering Plants
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Brickellia mosieri................  Brickell-bush,         U.S.A. (FL)..........  Asteraceae..........  E                      844         NA         NA
                                     Florida.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Linum carteri var. carteri........  Flax, Carter's small-  U.S.A. (FL)..........  Linaceae............  E                      844         NA         NA
                                     flowered.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

    Dated: August 8, 2014.
David Cottingham
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-21110 Filed 9-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P