Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Gila Chub Draft Recovery Plan, 65793-65795 [2015-27259]

Download as PDF 65793 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 207 / Tuesday, October 27, 2015 / Notices A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Promise Zones. OMB Approval Number: 2506–0209. Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Form Number: None. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Under the Promise Zones initiative, the federal government will invest and partner with high-poverty urban, rural, and tribal communities to create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, and reduce violent crime. Additional information about the Promise Zones initiative can be found at Number of respondents Information collection Frequency of response Responses per annum Burden hour per response 300 300 1 1 1 1 3 3 900 900 $40 40 $36,000 36,000 300 300 300 300 300 300 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 3 6 3 3 1200 300 900 1800 900 900 40 40 40 40 40 40 48,000 12,000 36,000 72,000 36,000 36,000 300 1 1 6 1800 40 72,000 300 1 1 6 1800 40 72,000 300 1 1 6 1800 40 72,000 300 1 1 3 900 40 36,000 300 1 1 3 900 40 36,000 300 300 1 1 1 1 3 9 900 2700 40 40 36,000 96,000 300 1 1 2 18600 40 744,000 Section I—Executive Summary ................................................................ Section II—Abstract .................................................................................. Section II—Community Eligibility Criteria and Local Leadership Support Documentation ....................................................................................... Section III—Need ...................................................................................... Section IV—Strategy Part A (Needs and Assets Assessment) ............... Section IV—Strategy Part B (Plan) ........................................................... Section IV—Strategy Part C (Sustainability and Financial Feasibility) .... Section IV—Strategy Part D (Resident Engagement Strategy) ............... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part A (Partnership Structure and Commitment) ........................................................................... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part B (Capacity of Lead Applicant) ............................................................................................... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part C (Capacity of Implementation Partner Organizations) ......................................................... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part D (Data and Evaluation Capacity) ......................................................................................... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part E (Resident Engagement Capacity) ...................................................................................... Section V—Capacity and Local Commitment Part F (Strength & Extent of Gov. Commitment) ............................................................................ Goals and Activities Template .................................................................. Total ................................................................................................... tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1701z–1 Research and Demonstrations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:24 Oct 26, 2015 Jkt 238001 www.hud.gov/promisezones, and questions can be addressed to promisezones@hud.gov. This notice estimates burden for applying for the designation. Respondents (i.e. affected public): Local or Tribal Governments. Dated: October 21, 2015. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–27341 Filed 10–26–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2015–N200; FXES11130200000C2–112–FF02ENEH00] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Gila Chub Draft Recovery Plan Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our draft recovery plan for the Gila chub, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This fish species is currently found in Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, and in northern Mexico. The draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Annual burden hours Hourly cost per response Annual cost met in order to enable us to remove this species from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. We request review and comment on this plan from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public. We will also accept any new information on the status of the Gila chub throughout its range to assist in finalizing the recovery plan. DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or before December 28, 2015. However, we will accept information about any species at any time. ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the draft recovery plan, you may obtain a copy by any one of the following methods: Internet: Access the file at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Documents/ R2ES/GilaChub_DraftRecoveryPlan_ Final_October2014.pdf; U.S. mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021–4951; or Telephone: (602) 242–0210. If you wish to comment on the draft recovery plan, you may submit your comments in writing by any one of the following methods: • U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, at the above address; E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1 65794 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 207 / Tuesday, October 27, 2015 / Notices • Hand-delivery: Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address; • Fax: (602) 242–2513; or • Email: Steve_Spangle@fws.gov. For additional information about submitting comments, see the ‘‘Request for Public Comments’’ section below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address and phone number, or by email at Steve_Spangle@ fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Species History Gila chub was listed as endangered throughout its range with critical habitat on November 2, 2005 (effective date December 2, 2005). The species has a recovery priority number of 2C, which is based on a high degree of threat, high potential for recovery, taxonomic classification as a species, and potential for conflict over resources (primarily water) and economic development. Gila chub is included on the Arizona Game and Fish Departments’ draft species of concern (1996), and possession of Gila chub in Arizona is prohibited except where such collection is authorized by special permit. The species was listed by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish as endangered in 1988. Gila chub is listed as endangered by The Republic of Mexico; a recovery plan, or ´ ´ Program de Accion para la Conservacion de las Especies (PACE), has not been developed for this species in Mexico. Gila chub is a member of the roundtail chub (Gila robusta) complex in the Gila River basin, which also includes headwater chub (G. nigra). Gila chub is a thick-bodied species, chunky in aspect, with females reaching 250 millimeters (mm) (10 inches [in]) in total length, and males rarely exceeding 150 mm (6 in). Body coloration is typically dark overall, with a lighter belly speckled with gray; fins are small. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:24 Oct 26, 2015 Jkt 238001 Breeding males, and to a lesser extent females, develop red or orange on lower parts of the head and body and on bases of the pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins. Gila chub is considered a habitat generalist (Schultz and Bonar 2006), and commonly inhabits pools in smaller (higher order) streams and cienegas throughout its range in the Gila River basin, at elevations between 609 and 1,676 meters (m) (2,000–5,500 feet [ft]) (Miller 1946, Minckley 1973, Rinne 1976, Weedman et al. 1996). Gila chub is a highly secretive species, remaining near cover, including undercut banks, terrestrial vegetation, boulders, root wads, fallen logs, and thick overhanging or aquatic vegetation in deeper waters, especially pools (Minckley and Rinne 1991, Nelson 1993, Weedman et al. 1996). Historically, Gila chub was recorded from nearly 50 higher order streams throughout the Gila River basin in southwestern New Mexico, central and southeastern Arizona, and northern Sonora, Mexico (Miller and Lowe 1967, Rinne and Minckley 1970, Minckley 1973, Rinne 1976, DeMarais 1986, Sublette et al. 1990, Weedman et al. 1996). Recent literature indicates that approximately 25 of these localities are considered occupied, and most are small and isolated, and face one or more threats (Weedman et al. 1996, USFWS 2005, Clarkson et al. 2012). It was also estimated that 90 percent of the currently occupied habitat is degraded, due to the presence of nonnative fishes and land management actions. The few remaining small, isolated populations are vulnerable to environmental conditions such as drought, flood events, and wildfire. Primary threats to Gila chub, such as nonnative fish predation and competition, and secondary threats identified as habitat alteration, destruction, and fragmentation, are all factors identified in the final rule that contribute to the consideration that Gila chub is likely to become extinct throughout all or a significant portion of its range (USFWS 2005). The recovery strategy for Gila chub is to ensure that existing habitat integrity and genetic diversity of the species are adequately protected, represented, and replicated within each of the major subbasins in the greater Gila River watershed, in which the species still resides. This involves protection of remnant populations, through management and regulatory agreements with agencies and partners; captive rearing with appropriate genetic, demographic, and health management for population establishment and supplementation; control of threats of PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 nonnative fish predation and competition, as well as potential hybridization with other chub species; establishment of replicated populations in refuges and selected streams; monitoring of populations under a scientifically based, standardized protocol; and cooperation and education with agencies, partners, Tribes, and Mexico to ensure habitat quantity and quality are maintained and adaptively managed into the future. The draft recovery plan proposes the delineation of five recovery units (RUs) that represent the major subbasins of the Gila River basin. These RUs cover much of the historical and current habitat for the species in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, and provide a diversity of habitats and represent groupings of Gila chub populations, within which gene flow may have been common historically. Designation of RUs is intended to ensure that the species remains distributed across its historical range in representative ecological settings, and will sustain the remaining genetic, demographic, morphological, behavioral, and other life history elements of the species necessary for the long-term conservation of the entire listed taxon. The strategy to recover Gila chub further relies upon identifying, preserving, and replicating 17 genetic Management Units (MUs) that are distributed among the RUs. Recovery Plan Goals The objective of an agency recovery plan is to provide a framework for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be able to reclassify the species to threatened status or remove it from the List. Recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing actions we consider necessary for the species’ conservation, and by estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. To achieve its goals, this draft recovery plan identifies the following objectives: 1. Maintain and protect all remnant populations in the wild. 2. Ensure representation, resiliency, and redundancy by maintaining genetic diversity and expanding the size and number of populations within Gila chub historical range via replication of remnant populations within each RU. 3. Manage or eliminate nonnative fish predation and competition and associated habitat-related modifications or loss. 4. Improve or develop new State regulations or firm agreements that E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 207 / Tuesday, October 27, 2015 / Notices conserve or improve quality Gila chub habitat. 5. Work with stakeholders to improve and conserve existing and newly established Gila chub populations and their habitats and ensure that appropriate management plans and agreements are in place post-delisting. 6. Promote conservation of Gila chub in Mexico and on Tribal lands by forming partnerships and supporting research, outreach, and conservation management. 7. Monitor remnant, repatriated, and refuge populations to inform adaptive management strategies. The draft recovery plan contains recovery criteria based on protecting all available remnant populations and replicating each MU in at least two streams. To achieve recovery criteria, threats of nonnative fish predation and competition, habitat alteration and fragmentation, and decreasing water availability should be controlled to manageable levels in streams occupied by Gila chub such that these threats do not pose imminent or chronic downward pressures on population sizes. When the status of Gila chub meets these criteria, the species will no longer meet the conditions of being endangered throughout a significant portion of its range and will no longer warrant listing. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Request for Public Comments Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). We will summarize and respond to the issues raised by the public and peer reviewers and post our responses on our Web site. Substantive comments may or may not result in changes to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery plan implementation will be forwarded as appropriate to Federal or other entities so that they can be taken into account during the course of implementing recovery actions. Responses to individual commenters will not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how we addressed substantive comments in an appendix to the approved recovery plan. We invite written comments on the draft recovery plan. In particular, we are interested in additional information regarding the current threats to the species and the costs associated with implementing the recommended recovery actions. Suggestions of how to craft recovery criteria addressing threats VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:24 Oct 26, 2015 Jkt 238001 that are objective and measureable are welcome. Before we approve our final recovery plan, we will consider all comments we receive by the date specified in DATES. Methods of submitting comments are in the ADDRESSES section. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive will be available, by appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our office (see ADDRESSES). References Cited A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section). Authority We developed our draft recovery plan under the authority of section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice under section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: October 15, 2015. Benjamin N. Tuggle, Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2015–27259 Filed 10–26–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–R–2015–N189; FXRS282108E8PD0–167–F2013227943] South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Reopening of the public comment period. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65795 coordination with the California State Coastal Conservancy, announce the reopening of the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties, California. The DEIS/EIR, which we prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), describes and analyzes the alternatives identified for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 30, 2015. ADDRESSES: Document Availability: You may obtain copies of the document in the following places: • Internet: http:// www.southbayrestoration.org/planning/ phase2/. • In-Person: Æ San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94555. Æ The following libraries: D Alviso Branch Library, 5050 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95002. D Biblioteca Latino America, 921 South First St., San Jose, CA 95110. D California State University Library, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542. D Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538. D Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park, CA 94025. D Mountain View Library, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View, CA 94041. D Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303. D King Library, 150 E San Fernando St., San Jose, CA 95112. D Redwood City Main Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063. D San Mateo County East Palo Alto Library, 2415 University Ave., East Palo Alto, CA 94303. D Santa Clara County Milpitas Library, 160 N Main St., Milpitas, CA 95035. D Santa Clara Public Library, 2635 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara, CA 95051. D Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W Olive Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. D Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240–0001. For how to view comments on the draft EIS from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or for information on EPA’s role in the EIS DATES: E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 207 (Tuesday, October 27, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65793-65795]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-27259]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2015-N200; FXES11130200000C2-112-FF02ENEH00]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Gila Chub Draft 
Recovery Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our draft recovery plan for the Gila chub, which is 
listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). This fish species is currently found in Arizona and New 
Mexico in the United States, and in northern Mexico. The draft recovery 
plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in 
order to enable us to remove this species from the list of endangered 
and threatened wildlife and plants. We request review and comment on 
this plan from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the 
public. We will also accept any new information on the status of the 
Gila chub throughout its range to assist in finalizing the recovery 
plan.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or 
before December 28, 2015. However, we will accept information about any 
species at any time.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the draft recovery plan, you may 
obtain a copy by any one of the following methods:
    Internet: Access the file at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Documents/R2ES/GilaChub_DraftRecoveryPlan_Final_October2014.pdf;
    U.S. mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm 
Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021-4951; or
    Telephone: (602) 242-0210.
    If you wish to comment on the draft recovery plan, you may submit 
your comments in writing by any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, at the above address;

[[Page 65794]]

     Hand-delivery: Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 
at the above address;
     Fax: (602) 242-2513; or
     Email: Steve_Spangle@fws.gov.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see the 
``Request for Public Comments'' section below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, 
Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address and 
phone number, or by email at Steve_Spangle@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status 
of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. 
The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, 
unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular 
species.

Species History

    Gila chub was listed as endangered throughout its range with 
critical habitat on November 2, 2005 (effective date December 2, 2005). 
The species has a recovery priority number of 2C, which is based on a 
high degree of threat, high potential for recovery, taxonomic 
classification as a species, and potential for conflict over resources 
(primarily water) and economic development. Gila chub is included on 
the Arizona Game and Fish Departments' draft species of concern (1996), 
and possession of Gila chub in Arizona is prohibited except where such 
collection is authorized by special permit. The species was listed by 
the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish as endangered in 1988. Gila 
chub is listed as endangered by The Republic of Mexico; a recovery 
plan, or Program de Acci[oacute]n para la Conservaci[oacute]n de las 
Especies (PACE), has not been developed for this species in Mexico.
    Gila chub is a member of the roundtail chub (Gila robusta) complex 
in the Gila River basin, which also includes headwater chub (G. nigra). 
Gila chub is a thick-bodied species, chunky in aspect, with females 
reaching 250 millimeters (mm) (10 inches [in]) in total length, and 
males rarely exceeding 150 mm (6 in). Body coloration is typically dark 
overall, with a lighter belly speckled with gray; fins are small. 
Breeding males, and to a lesser extent females, develop red or orange 
on lower parts of the head and body and on bases of the pectoral, 
pelvic, and anal fins.
    Gila chub is considered a habitat generalist (Schultz and Bonar 
2006), and commonly inhabits pools in smaller (higher order) streams 
and cienegas throughout its range in the Gila River basin, at 
elevations between 609 and 1,676 meters (m) (2,000-5,500 feet [ft]) 
(Miller 1946, Minckley 1973, Rinne 1976, Weedman et al. 1996). Gila 
chub is a highly secretive species, remaining near cover, including 
undercut banks, terrestrial vegetation, boulders, root wads, fallen 
logs, and thick overhanging or aquatic vegetation in deeper waters, 
especially pools (Minckley and Rinne 1991, Nelson 1993, Weedman et al. 
1996).
    Historically, Gila chub was recorded from nearly 50 higher order 
streams throughout the Gila River basin in southwestern New Mexico, 
central and southeastern Arizona, and northern Sonora, Mexico (Miller 
and Lowe 1967, Rinne and Minckley 1970, Minckley 1973, Rinne 1976, 
DeMarais 1986, Sublette et al. 1990, Weedman et al. 1996). Recent 
literature indicates that approximately 25 of these localities are 
considered occupied, and most are small and isolated, and face one or 
more threats (Weedman et al. 1996, USFWS 2005, Clarkson et al. 2012).
    It was also estimated that 90 percent of the currently occupied 
habitat is degraded, due to the presence of nonnative fishes and land 
management actions. The few remaining small, isolated populations are 
vulnerable to environmental conditions such as drought, flood events, 
and wildfire. Primary threats to Gila chub, such as nonnative fish 
predation and competition, and secondary threats identified as habitat 
alteration, destruction, and fragmentation, are all factors identified 
in the final rule that contribute to the consideration that Gila chub 
is likely to become extinct throughout all or a significant portion of 
its range (USFWS 2005).
    The recovery strategy for Gila chub is to ensure that existing 
habitat integrity and genetic diversity of the species are adequately 
protected, represented, and replicated within each of the major 
subbasins in the greater Gila River watershed, in which the species 
still resides. This involves protection of remnant populations, through 
management and regulatory agreements with agencies and partners; 
captive rearing with appropriate genetic, demographic, and health 
management for population establishment and supplementation; control of 
threats of nonnative fish predation and competition, as well as 
potential hybridization with other chub species; establishment of 
replicated populations in refuges and selected streams; monitoring of 
populations under a scientifically based, standardized protocol; and 
cooperation and education with agencies, partners, Tribes, and Mexico 
to ensure habitat quantity and quality are maintained and adaptively 
managed into the future.
    The draft recovery plan proposes the delineation of five recovery 
units (RUs) that represent the major subbasins of the Gila River basin. 
These RUs cover much of the historical and current habitat for the 
species in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, and provide a diversity of 
habitats and represent groupings of Gila chub populations, within which 
gene flow may have been common historically. Designation of RUs is 
intended to ensure that the species remains distributed across its 
historical range in representative ecological settings, and will 
sustain the remaining genetic, demographic, morphological, behavioral, 
and other life history elements of the species necessary for the long-
term conservation of the entire listed taxon. The strategy to recover 
Gila chub further relies upon identifying, preserving, and replicating 
17 genetic Management Units (MUs) that are distributed among the RUs.

Recovery Plan Goals

    The objective of an agency recovery plan is to provide a framework 
for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no 
longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about 
the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be 
able to reclassify the species to threatened status or remove it from 
the List. Recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing 
actions we consider necessary for the species' conservation, and by 
estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. To 
achieve its goals, this draft recovery plan identifies the following 
objectives:
    1. Maintain and protect all remnant populations in the wild.
    2. Ensure representation, resiliency, and redundancy by maintaining 
genetic diversity and expanding the size and number of populations 
within Gila chub historical range via replication of remnant 
populations within each RU.
    3. Manage or eliminate nonnative fish predation and competition and 
associated habitat-related modifications or loss.
    4. Improve or develop new State regulations or firm agreements that

[[Page 65795]]

conserve or improve quality Gila chub habitat.
    5. Work with stakeholders to improve and conserve existing and 
newly established Gila chub populations and their habitats and ensure 
that appropriate management plans and agreements are in place post-
delisting.
    6. Promote conservation of Gila chub in Mexico and on Tribal lands 
by forming partnerships and supporting research, outreach, and 
conservation management.
    7. Monitor remnant, repatriated, and refuge populations to inform 
adaptive management strategies.
    The draft recovery plan contains recovery criteria based on 
protecting all available remnant populations and replicating each MU in 
at least two streams. To achieve recovery criteria, threats of 
nonnative fish predation and competition, habitat alteration and 
fragmentation, and decreasing water availability should be controlled 
to manageable levels in streams occupied by Gila chub such that these 
threats do not pose imminent or chronic downward pressures on 
population sizes. When the status of Gila chub meets these criteria, 
the species will no longer meet the conditions of being endangered 
throughout a significant portion of its range and will no longer 
warrant listing.

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery 
plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). We will summarize and respond to the 
issues raised by the public and peer reviewers and post our responses 
on our Web site. Substantive comments may or may not result in changes 
to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery plan implementation 
will be forwarded as appropriate to Federal or other entities so that 
they can be taken into account during the course of implementing 
recovery actions. Responses to individual commenters will not be 
provided, but we will provide a summary of how we addressed substantive 
comments in an appendix to the approved recovery plan.
    We invite written comments on the draft recovery plan. In 
particular, we are interested in additional information regarding the 
current threats to the species and the costs associated with 
implementing the recommended recovery actions. Suggestions of how to 
craft recovery criteria addressing threats that are objective and 
measureable are welcome.
    Before we approve our final recovery plan, we will consider all 
comments we receive by the date specified in DATES. Methods of 
submitting comments are in the ADDRESSES section.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our 
office (see ADDRESSES).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section).

Authority

    We developed our draft recovery plan under the authority of section 
4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice under 
section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.).

    Dated: October 15, 2015.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-27259 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P