Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans, 67386-67389 [2015-27854]

Download as PDF 67386 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 211 / Monday, November 2, 2015 / Notices that published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65215). Due to additional agenda items, the notice is being re-published in its entirety. Copy of the draft document, ‘‘Amendments to the US Caribbean Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, and Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plans: Timing of Accountability Measure-Based Closures’’, can be found at the CFMC Web page: www.caribbeanfmc.com. Written comments can be sent to the Council not later than December 10, 2015, by regular mail to the address below, or via email to graciela_cfmc@ yahoo.com. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. For more information or request for sign language interpretation and other auxiliary aids, please contact Mr. ´ Miguel A. Rolon, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, ˜ 270 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00918–1903, telephone (787) 766–5926, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: October 28, 2015. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–27838 Filed 10–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE289 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of SEDAR 41 Assessment Webinar 2 and 3. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The SEDAR 41 assessments of the South Atlantic stocks of red snapper and gray triggerfish will consist of a series of workshop and webinars: Data Workshops; an Assessment Workshop and webinars; and a Review Workshop. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: SEDAR 41 Assessment Webinar 2 will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Assessment Webinar 3 will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Oct 30, 2015 Jkt 238001 ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar. SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571– 4366; email: julia.byrd@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a threestep process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report which describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: Data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies. The items of discussion in the Assessment webinar are as follows: Participants will discuss any remaining data issues and provide modeling advice to prepare for the Assessment Workshop. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: October 28, 2015. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–27829 Filed 10–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE232 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce that the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) is available for public review and comment. The Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which is listed as threatened under the ESA. The geographic area covered by E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 211 / Monday, November 2, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES the Proposed Plan is the lower and middle mainstem Snake River and tributaries as well as the mainstem Columbia River below its confluence with the Snake River. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan’s goals, and estimates of the time and cost required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. DATES: We will consider and address, as appropriate, all substantive comments received during the comment period. Comments on the Proposed Plan must be received no later than 5 p.m. Pacific daylight time on January 4, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan by the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via: nmfs.wcr.snakeriverfallchinookplan@ noaa.gov. Please include ‘‘Comments on Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan’’ in the subject line of the email. • Mail: Patricia Dornbusch, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. • Facsimile: (503) 230–5441. Instructions: Electronic copies of the Proposed Plan are available on the NMFS Web site at: http:// www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ protected_species/salmon_steelhead/ recovery_planning_and_ implementation/snake_river/current_ snake_river_recovery_plan_ documents.html. Persons wishing to obtain an electronic copy on CD ROM of the Proposed Plan may do so by calling Bonnie Hossack at (503) 736– 4741 or by emailing a request to bonnie.hossack@noaa.gov with the subject line ‘‘CD ROM Request for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Dornbusch, NMFS Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Coordinator, at (503) 230–5430, or patty.dornbusch@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background We are responsible for developing and implementing recovery plans for Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the ESA of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means that the listed species and their ecosystems are sufficiently restored, and their future secured, to the point that the protections VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Oct 30, 2015 Jkt 238001 of the ESA are no longer necessary. Section 4(f)(1) of the ESA requires that recovery plans include, to the extent practicable: (1) Objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan’s goals; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery. We believe it is essential to have local support of recovery plans by those whose activities directly affect the listed species and whose continued commitment and leadership will be needed to implement the necessary recovery actions. We therefore support and participate in collaborative efforts to develop recovery plans that involve state, tribal, and federal entities, local communities, and other stakeholders. For this Proposed Plan for threatened Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon, we worked collaboratively with state, tribal, and federal partners to produce a recovery plan that satisfies the ESA requirements. We have determined that this Proposed ESA Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon meets the statutory requirements for a recovery plan and are proposing to adopt it as the ESA recovery plan for this threatened species. Section 4(f) of the ESA, as amended in 1988, requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided prior to final approval of a recovery plan. This notice solicits comments on this Proposed Plan. Development of the Proposed Plan For the purpose of recovery planning for the ESA-listed species of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, NMFS designated five geographically based ‘‘recovery domains.’’ The Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU spawning range is in the Interior Columbia domain. For each domain, NMFS appointed a team of scientists, nominated for their geographic and species expertise, to provide a solid scientific foundation for recovery plans. The Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team included biologists from NMFS, other federal agencies, states, tribes, and academic institutions. A primary task for the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team was to recommend criteria for determining when each component population within an ESU or distinct population segment (DPS) should be considered PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67387 viable (i.e., when they are have a low risk of extinction over a 100-year period) and when ESUs or DPSs have a risk of extinction consistent with no longer needing the protections of the ESA. All Technical Recovery Teams used the same biological principles for developing their recommendations; these principles are described in the NOAA technical memorandum Viable Salmonid Populations and the Recovery of Evolutionarily Significant Units (McElhany et al., 2000). Viable salmonid populations (VSP) are defined in terms of four parameters: abundance, productivity or growth rate, spatial structure, and diversity. We also collaborated with state, tribal, and federal biologists and resource managers to provide technical information used to develop the Proposed Plan. In addition, NMFS established a multi-state (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), tribal, and federal partners’ regional forum called the Snake River Coordination Group that addresses the four ESA-listed Snake River salmon and steelhead species. They met twice a year to be briefed and provide technical and policy information to NMFS. We presented regular updates on the status of this Proposed Plan to the Snake River Coordination Group and posted draft chapters on NMFS’ West Coast Region Snake River recovery planning Web page. We also made full drafts of the Proposed Plan available for review to the state, tribal, and Federal entities with whom we collaborated to develop the plan. In addition to the Proposed Plan, we developed and incorporated the Module for the Ocean Environment (Fresh et al. 2014) as Appendix D to address Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon recovery needs in the Columbia River estuary, plume, and Pacific Ocean. To address recovery needs related to the Columbia River Hydropower System, we developed and incorporated the Supplemental Recovery Plan Module for Snake River Salmon and Steelhead Mainstem Columbia River Hydropower Projects (NMFS 2014b) as Appendix E of this Proposed Plan. To address recovery needs related to the Lower Columbia River mainstem and estuary, we incorporated the Columbia River Estuary ESA Recovery Plan Module for Salmon and Steelhead (NMFS 2011a) as Appendix F. To address recovery needs for fishery harvest management in the mainstem Snake and Columbia Rivers, Columbia River estuary, and ocean, we developed and incorporated the Snake River Harvest Module (NMFS 2014a) as Appendix G. E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1 67388 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 211 / Monday, November 2, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The Proposed Plan, including the recovery plan modules, is now available for public review and comment. Contents of Proposed Plan The Proposed Plan contains biological background and contextual information that includes description of the ESU, the planning area, and the context of the plan’s development. It presents relevant information on ESU structure, guidelines for assessing salmonid population and ESU status, and a brief summary of Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team products on population structure and species status. It also presents NMFS’ proposed biological viability criteria and threats criteria for delisting. As described in Chapter 2 of the Proposed Plan, the historical Snake River fall Chinook salmon ESU consisted of two populations. The population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex is extirpated, leaving only one extant population—the Lower Mainstem Snake River population. An ESU with a single population would be at greater extinction risk than an ESU with multiple populations. This is a key consideration in the proposed Snake River fall Chinook salmon biological viability criteria, since there is more than one possible scenario for achieving the criteria. The proposed viability criteria include two possible scenarios and a placeholder for developing additional scenarios that would be consistent with delisting. Scenario A focuses on achieving ESA delisting with two populations (i.e., the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population and a recovered Middle Snake population above the Hells Canyon Complex). Scenario B illustrates a singlepopulation pathway to delisting. The placeholder scenario describes a framework under which additional single-population scenarios could be developed that would involve developing natural production emphasis areas that would have a low percentage of hatchery-origin spawners. NMFS is interested in comments on how such additional scenarios might be developed, potentially for inclusion in the final recovery plan. The Proposed Plan also describes specific information on the following: Current status of Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon; limiting factors and threats throughout the life cycle that have contributed to the species decline; recovery strategies and actions addressing these limiting factors and threats; and a proposed research, monitoring, and evaluation program for adaptive management. For recovery actions, the Proposed Plan includes a VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Oct 30, 2015 Jkt 238001 table summarizing each proposed action, life stage affected, estimated costs, timing, and potential implementing entities. It also describes how implementation, prioritization of actions, and adaptive management will proceed. The Proposed Plan also summarizes time and costs (Chapter 9) required to implement recovery actions. In some cases, costs of implementing actions could not be determined at this time and NMFS is interested in additional information regarding scale, scope, and costs of these actions. We are also particularly interested in comments on establishing appropriate forums to coordinate implementation of the recovery plan. How NMFS and Others Expect To Use the Plan With approval of the final recovery plan, we will commit to implement the actions in the plan for which we have authority and funding; encourage other federal and state agencies and tribal governments to implement recovery actions for which they have responsibility, authority, and funding; and work cooperatively with the public and local stakeholders on implementation of other actions. We expect the recovery plan to guide us and other federal agencies in evaluating federal actions under ESA section 7, as well as in implementing other provisions of the ESA and other statutes. For example, the plan will provide greater biological context for evaluating the effects that a proposed action may have on a species by providing delisting criteria, information on priority areas for addressing specific limiting factors, and information on how the ESU can tolerate varying levels of risk. When we are considering a species for delisting, the agency will examine whether the section 4(a)(1) listing factors have been addressed. To assist in this examination, we will use the delisting criteria described in Section 3.2 and Section 3.3 of the Proposed Plan, which include both biological criteria and criteria addressing each of the ESA section 4(a)(1) listing factors, as well as any other relevant data and policy considerations. We will also work with the proposed implementation structure, as described in Chapter 8 of the Proposed Plan, to coordinate among existing forums, develop implementation priorities, and address science and adaptive management issues. Conclusion Section 4(f)(1)(B) of the ESA requires that recovery plans incorporate, to the PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 extent practicable, (1) objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan’s goals; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. We conclude that the Proposed Plan meets the requirements of ESA section 4(f) and are proposing to adopt it as the ESA Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon. Public Comments Solicited We are soliciting written comments on the Proposed Plan. All substantive comments received by the date specified above will be considered and incorporated, as appropriate, prior to our decision whether to approve the plan. While we invite comments on all aspects of the Proposed Plan, we are particularly interested in comments on developing specific scenarios to address the placeholder recovery scenario, comments on the cost of recovery actions for which we have not yet determined implementation costs, and comments on establishing an appropriate implementation forum for the plan. We will issue a news release announcing the adoption and availability of the final plan. We will post on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site (www.wcr.noaa.gov) a summary of, and responses to, the comments received, along with electronic copies of the final plan and its appendices. Literature Cited Fresh, K. et al. 2014. Module for the Ocean Environment. NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA. http:// www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ publications/recovery_planning/salmon_ steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/ snake/ocean_module.pdf. McElhany, P., M.H. Ruckelshaus, M.J. Ford, T.C. Wainwright, and E.P. Bjorkstedt. 2000. Viable salmon populations and the recovery of evolutionarily significant units. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo., NMFS NWFSC 42, 156 p. NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2011. Columbia River Estuary ESA Recovery Plan Module for Salmon and Steelhead. NMFS Northwest Region. Portland, OR. January. Prepared for NMFS by the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership (contractor) and PC Trask & Associates, Inc., subcontractor. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ publications/recovery_planning/salmon_ steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/ snake/estuary-mod.pdf. NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2014a. Supplemental recovery plan module for Snake River salmon and steelhead mainstem Columbia River E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 211 / Monday, November 2, 2015 / Notices hydropower projects. Portland, OR. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ publications/recovery_planning/salmon_ steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/ snake/hydro_supplemental_recovery_ plan_module_063014.pdf. NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2014b. Snake River Harvest Module. Portland, OR. http:// www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ publications/recovery_planning/salmon_ steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/ snake/harvest_module_062514.pdf. Dated: October 27, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Chapter, and the stock assessments for BSAI and GOA groundfishes), and recommend final groundfish harvest specifications for 2016/17. PLEASE NOTE: Beginning October 10th, U.S. Driver’s licenses will be accepted for admittance to the NOAA facility only if they are Real ID compliant. Alternative identification, such as a passport, will be required if a license is non-compliant. For more information see http://www.dhs.gov/ real-id-public-faqs. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/fisherymanagement-plan-team/goa-bsaigroundfish-plan-team/. [FR Doc. 2015–27854 Filed 10–30–15; 8:45 am] Special Accommodations Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. BILLING CODE 3510–22–P These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271–2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE277 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: [FR Doc. 2015–27832 Filed 10–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION SUMMARY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Groundfish Plan Team will meet in Seattle, WA. DATES: The meeting will be held on Monday, November 16, to Friday, November 20, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Policy Guidance. AGENCY: The meeting will be held at the Alaska Fishery Science Center, Traynor Room 2076 and NMML Room 2039, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Seattle, WA 98115. Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501–2252; telephone: (907) 271–2809. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diana Stram, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271–2809. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Dated: October 28, 2015. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. SUMMARY: On September 29, 2015, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) joined with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education to release a Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing as a framework for policymakers and market participants looking to improve student loan servicing practices, promote borrower success, and mitigate defaults. This Policy Guidance sets forth those joint principles. Agenda DATES: Monday, November 16, 2015 to Friday, November 20, 2015 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Plan Teams will compile and review the annual Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports, (including the Economic Report, the Ecosystems Consideration Michael Pierce, Program Manager, Office for Students and Young Americans, 1700 G Street NW., 20552, 202–435–7938. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Oct 30, 2015 Jkt 238001 This Policy Guidance is applicable November 2, 2015. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67389 1. Policy Guidance Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing The U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have developed a Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing as a framework to improve student loan servicing practices, promote borrower success and minimize defaults.1 General Principles for Student Loan Servicing 2 Consistent with their respective authorities, responsibilities, and missions, the Departments and the Bureau are committed to working together so that all student loan borrowers have access to (1) the information they need to repay their loans responsibly and avoid default; (2) protections so that they will be treated fairly even if they are struggling to repay their loans; and (3) mechanisms so that errors are resolved expeditiously and assurances that student loan servicers, both in the marketplace and through federally-contracted companies, are held accountable for their conduct. The following principles have been developed to advance these goals. There are four main types of postsecondary education loans under which borrowers have outstanding balances. Direct Loans are federal loans made directly to borrowers by the U.S. Department of Education through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program. Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans were originated by private lenders and guaranteed by the federal government. Federal Perkins Loans, which are cofunded by institutions of higher education and the federal government, 1 On March 10, 2015, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum on a Student Aid Bill of Rights to Help Ensure Affordable Loan Repayment. The President directed the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to issue a report by October 1, 2015 on, among other things, recommendations concerning private and federal student loan servicing standards, flexible repayment opportunities for all student loan borrowers, and changes to bankruptcy laws. This Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing informed this required report. 2 On September 30, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released Student Loan Servicing: Analysis of Public Input and Recommendations for Reform, analyzing comments the Bureau solicited from stakeholders including student loan borrowers, federal student loan servicers, private student loan market participants, policy experts, and state law enforcement officials and regulators as part of the Departments’ and the Bureau’s joint efforts to identify initiatives to strengthen student loan servicing. E:\FR\FM\02NON1.SGM 02NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 211 (Monday, November 2, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67386-67389]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-27854]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE232


Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce that the Proposed Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) 
is available for public review and comment. The Proposed Plan addresses 
the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) 
evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which is listed as threatened 
under the ESA. The geographic area covered by

[[Page 67387]]

the Proposed Plan is the lower and middle mainstem Snake River and 
tributaries as well as the mainstem Columbia River below its confluence 
with the Snake River. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan 
contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific 
management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan's goals, and 
estimates of the time and cost required to implement recovery actions. 
We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested 
parties on the Proposed Plan.

DATES: We will consider and address, as appropriate, all substantive 
comments received during the comment period. Comments on the Proposed 
Plan must be received no later than 5 p.m. Pacific daylight time on 
January 4, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan by 
the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via: nmfs.wcr.snakeriverfallchinookplan@noaa.gov. Please 
include ``Comments on Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan'' 
in the subject line of the email.
     Mail: Patricia Dornbusch, National Marine Fisheries 
Service, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.
     Facsimile: (503) 230-5441.
    Instructions: Electronic copies of the Proposed Plan are available 
on the NMFS Web site at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/salmon_steelhead/recovery_planning_and_implementation/snake_river/current_snake_river_recovery_plan_documents.html. Persons wishing to 
obtain an electronic copy on CD ROM of the Proposed Plan may do so by 
calling Bonnie Hossack at (503) 736-4741 or by emailing a request to 
bonnie.hossack@noaa.gov with the subject line ``CD ROM Request for 
Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Dornbusch, NMFS Snake River 
Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Coordinator, at (503) 230-5430, or 
patty.dornbusch@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    We are responsible for developing and implementing recovery plans 
for Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the ESA of 1973, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means that the listed 
species and their ecosystems are sufficiently restored, and their 
future secured, to the point that the protections of the ESA are no 
longer necessary. Section 4(f)(1) of the ESA requires that recovery 
plans include, to the extent practicable: (1) Objective, measurable 
criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the 
species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific 
management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goals; and (3) 
estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. 
The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery.
    We believe it is essential to have local support of recovery plans 
by those whose activities directly affect the listed species and whose 
continued commitment and leadership will be needed to implement the 
necessary recovery actions. We therefore support and participate in 
collaborative efforts to develop recovery plans that involve state, 
tribal, and federal entities, local communities, and other 
stakeholders. For this Proposed Plan for threatened Snake River Fall 
Chinook Salmon, we worked collaboratively with state, tribal, and 
federal partners to produce a recovery plan that satisfies the ESA 
requirements. We have determined that this Proposed ESA Recovery Plan 
for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon meets the statutory requirements 
for a recovery plan and are proposing to adopt it as the ESA recovery 
plan for this threatened species. Section 4(f) of the ESA, as amended 
in 1988, requires that public notice and an opportunity for public 
review and comment be provided prior to final approval of a recovery 
plan. This notice solicits comments on this Proposed Plan.

Development of the Proposed Plan

    For the purpose of recovery planning for the ESA-listed species of 
Pacific salmon and steelhead in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, NMFS 
designated five geographically based ``recovery domains.'' The Snake 
River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU spawning range is in the Interior 
Columbia domain. For each domain, NMFS appointed a team of scientists, 
nominated for their geographic and species expertise, to provide a 
solid scientific foundation for recovery plans. The Interior Columbia 
Technical Recovery Team included biologists from NMFS, other federal 
agencies, states, tribes, and academic institutions.
    A primary task for the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team 
was to recommend criteria for determining when each component 
population within an ESU or distinct population segment (DPS) should be 
considered viable (i.e., when they are have a low risk of extinction 
over a 100-year period) and when ESUs or DPSs have a risk of extinction 
consistent with no longer needing the protections of the ESA. All 
Technical Recovery Teams used the same biological principles for 
developing their recommendations; these principles are described in the 
NOAA technical memorandum Viable Salmonid Populations and the Recovery 
of Evolutionarily Significant Units (McElhany et al., 2000). Viable 
salmonid populations (VSP) are defined in terms of four parameters: 
abundance, productivity or growth rate, spatial structure, and 
diversity.
    We also collaborated with state, tribal, and federal biologists and 
resource managers to provide technical information used to develop the 
Proposed Plan. In addition, NMFS established a multi-state (Idaho, 
Oregon, and Washington), tribal, and federal partners' regional forum 
called the Snake River Coordination Group that addresses the four ESA-
listed Snake River salmon and steelhead species. They met twice a year 
to be briefed and provide technical and policy information to NMFS. We 
presented regular updates on the status of this Proposed Plan to the 
Snake River Coordination Group and posted draft chapters on NMFS' West 
Coast Region Snake River recovery planning Web page. We also made full 
drafts of the Proposed Plan available for review to the state, tribal, 
and Federal entities with whom we collaborated to develop the plan.
    In addition to the Proposed Plan, we developed and incorporated the 
Module for the Ocean Environment (Fresh et al. 2014) as Appendix D to 
address Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon recovery needs in the Columbia 
River estuary, plume, and Pacific Ocean. To address recovery needs 
related to the Columbia River Hydropower System, we developed and 
incorporated the Supplemental Recovery Plan Module for Snake River 
Salmon and Steelhead Mainstem Columbia River Hydropower Projects (NMFS 
2014b) as Appendix E of this Proposed Plan. To address recovery needs 
related to the Lower Columbia River mainstem and estuary, we 
incorporated the Columbia River Estuary ESA Recovery Plan Module for 
Salmon and Steelhead (NMFS 2011a) as Appendix F. To address recovery 
needs for fishery harvest management in the mainstem Snake and Columbia 
Rivers, Columbia River estuary, and ocean, we developed and 
incorporated the Snake River Harvest Module (NMFS 2014a) as Appendix G.

[[Page 67388]]

    The Proposed Plan, including the recovery plan modules, is now 
available for public review and comment.

Contents of Proposed Plan

    The Proposed Plan contains biological background and contextual 
information that includes description of the ESU, the planning area, 
and the context of the plan's development. It presents relevant 
information on ESU structure, guidelines for assessing salmonid 
population and ESU status, and a brief summary of Interior Columbia 
Technical Recovery Team products on population structure and species 
status. It also presents NMFS' proposed biological viability criteria 
and threats criteria for delisting.
    As described in Chapter 2 of the Proposed Plan, the historical 
Snake River fall Chinook salmon ESU consisted of two populations. The 
population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex is extirpated, leaving 
only one extant population--the Lower Mainstem Snake River population. 
An ESU with a single population would be at greater extinction risk 
than an ESU with multiple populations. This is a key consideration in 
the proposed Snake River fall Chinook salmon biological viability 
criteria, since there is more than one possible scenario for achieving 
the criteria. The proposed viability criteria include two possible 
scenarios and a placeholder for developing additional scenarios that 
would be consistent with delisting. Scenario A focuses on achieving ESA 
delisting with two populations (i.e., the extant Lower Mainstem Snake 
River population and a recovered Middle Snake population above the 
Hells Canyon Complex). Scenario B illustrates a single-population 
pathway to delisting. The placeholder scenario describes a framework 
under which additional single-population scenarios could be developed 
that would involve developing natural production emphasis areas that 
would have a low percentage of hatchery-origin spawners. NMFS is 
interested in comments on how such additional scenarios might be 
developed, potentially for inclusion in the final recovery plan.
    The Proposed Plan also describes specific information on the 
following: Current status of Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon; limiting 
factors and threats throughout the life cycle that have contributed to 
the species decline; recovery strategies and actions addressing these 
limiting factors and threats; and a proposed research, monitoring, and 
evaluation program for adaptive management. For recovery actions, the 
Proposed Plan includes a table summarizing each proposed action, life 
stage affected, estimated costs, timing, and potential implementing 
entities. It also describes how implementation, prioritization of 
actions, and adaptive management will proceed. The Proposed Plan also 
summarizes time and costs (Chapter 9) required to implement recovery 
actions. In some cases, costs of implementing actions could not be 
determined at this time and NMFS is interested in additional 
information regarding scale, scope, and costs of these actions. We are 
also particularly interested in comments on establishing appropriate 
forums to coordinate implementation of the recovery plan.

How NMFS and Others Expect To Use the Plan

    With approval of the final recovery plan, we will commit to 
implement the actions in the plan for which we have authority and 
funding; encourage other federal and state agencies and tribal 
governments to implement recovery actions for which they have 
responsibility, authority, and funding; and work cooperatively with the 
public and local stakeholders on implementation of other actions. We 
expect the recovery plan to guide us and other federal agencies in 
evaluating federal actions under ESA section 7, as well as in 
implementing other provisions of the ESA and other statutes. For 
example, the plan will provide greater biological context for 
evaluating the effects that a proposed action may have on a species by 
providing delisting criteria, information on priority areas for 
addressing specific limiting factors, and information on how the ESU 
can tolerate varying levels of risk.
    When we are considering a species for delisting, the agency will 
examine whether the section 4(a)(1) listing factors have been 
addressed. To assist in this examination, we will use the delisting 
criteria described in Section 3.2 and Section 3.3 of the Proposed Plan, 
which include both biological criteria and criteria addressing each of 
the ESA section 4(a)(1) listing factors, as well as any other relevant 
data and policy considerations.
    We will also work with the proposed implementation structure, as 
described in Chapter 8 of the Proposed Plan, to coordinate among 
existing forums, develop implementation priorities, and address science 
and adaptive management issues.

Conclusion

    Section 4(f)(1)(B) of the ESA requires that recovery plans 
incorporate, to the extent practicable, (1) objective, measurable 
criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the 
species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific 
management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goals; and (3) 
estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. 
We conclude that the Proposed Plan meets the requirements of ESA 
section 4(f) and are proposing to adopt it as the ESA Recovery Plan for 
Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon.

Public Comments Solicited

    We are soliciting written comments on the Proposed Plan. All 
substantive comments received by the date specified above will be 
considered and incorporated, as appropriate, prior to our decision 
whether to approve the plan. While we invite comments on all aspects of 
the Proposed Plan, we are particularly interested in comments on 
developing specific scenarios to address the placeholder recovery 
scenario, comments on the cost of recovery actions for which we have 
not yet determined implementation costs, and comments on establishing 
an appropriate implementation forum for the plan. We will issue a news 
release announcing the adoption and availability of the final plan. We 
will post on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site (www.wcr.noaa.gov) a 
summary of, and responses to, the comments received, along with 
electronic copies of the final plan and its appendices.

Literature Cited

Fresh, K. et al. 2014. Module for the Ocean Environment. NMFS 
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/recovery_planning/salmon_steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/snake/ocean_module.pdf.
McElhany, P., M.H. Ruckelshaus, M.J. Ford, T.C. Wainwright, and E.P. 
Bjorkstedt. 2000. Viable salmon populations and the recovery of 
evolutionarily significant units. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. 
Memo., NMFS NWFSC 42, 156 p.
NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2011. Columbia River 
Estuary ESA Recovery Plan Module for Salmon and Steelhead. NMFS 
Northwest Region. Portland, OR. January. Prepared for NMFS by the 
Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership (contractor) and PC Trask & 
Associates, Inc., subcontractor. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/recovery_planning/salmon_steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/snake/estuary-mod.pdf.
NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2014a. Supplemental 
recovery plan module for Snake River salmon and steelhead mainstem 
Columbia River

[[Page 67389]]

hydropower projects. Portland, OR. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/recovery_planning/salmon_steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/snake/hydro_supplemental_recovery_plan_module_063014.pdf.
NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service). 2014b. Snake River Harvest 
Module. Portland, OR. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/recovery_planning/salmon_steelhead/domains/interior_columbia/snake/harvest_module_062514.pdf.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: October 27, 2015.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-27854 Filed 10-30-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P