Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans, 78719-78721 [2015-31748]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 242 / Thursday, December 17, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Fisheries Service; and the Office of the General Counsel Natural Resources Section (GCNRS). The DARRP conducts Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) as a basis for recovering damages from responsible parties, and uses the funds recovered to restore injured natural resources. Consistent with federal accounting requirements, the DARRP is required to account for and report the full costs of its programs and activities. Further, the DARRP is authorized by law to recover reasonable costs of damage assessment and restoration activities under CERCLA, OPA, and the NMSA. Within the constraints of these legal provisions and their regulatory applications, the DARRP has the discretion to develop indirect cost rates for its component organizations and formulate policies on the recovery of indirect cost rates subject to its requirements. The DARRP’s Indirect Cost Effort In December 1998, the DARRP hired the public accounting firm Rubino & McGeehin, Chartered (R&M) to: Evaluate the DARRP cost accounting system and allocation practices; recommend the appropriate indirect cost allocation methodology; and determine the indirect cost rates for the three organizations that comprise the DARRP. A Federal Register notice on R&M’s effort, their assessment of the DARRP’s cost accounting system and practice, and their determination regarding the most appropriate indirect cost methodology and rates for FYs 1993 through 1999 was published on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611). R&M continued its assessment of DARRP’s indirect cost rate system and structure for FYs 2000 and 2001. A second federal notice specifying the DARRP indirect rates for FYs 2000 and 2001 was published on December 2, 2002 (67 FR 71537). In October 2002, DARRP hired the accounting firm of Cotton and Company LLP (Cotton) to review and certify DARRP costs incurred on cases for purposes of cost recovery and to develop indirect rates for FY 2002 and subsequent years. As in the prior years, Cotton concluded that the cost accounting system and allocation practices of the DARRP component organizations are consistent with federal accounting requirements. Consistent with R&M’s previous analyses, Cotton also determined that the most appropriate indirect allocation method continues to be the Direct Labor Cost Base for all three DARRP component organizations. The Direct Labor Cost Base is computed by allocating total indirect cost over the sum of direct labor VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Dec 16, 2015 Jkt 238001 dollars, plus the application of NOAA’s leave surcharge and benefits rates to direct labor. Direct labor costs for contractors from ERT, Inc. (ERT), Freestone Environmental Services, Inc. (Freestone), and Genwest Systems, Inc. (Genwest) were included in the direct labor base because Cotton determined that these costs have the same relationship to the indirect cost pool as NOAA direct labor costs. ERT, Freestone, and Genwest provided onsite support to the DARRP in the areas of injury assessment, natural resource economics, restoration planning and implementation, and policy analysis. Subsequent federal notices have been published in the Federal Register as follows: • FY 2002, published on October 6, 2003 (68 FR 57672) • FY 2003, published on May 20, 2005 (70 FR 29280) • FY 2004, published on March 16, 2006 (71 Fed Reg. 13356) • FY 2005, published on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6221) • FY 2006, published on June 3, 2008 (73 FR 31679) • FY 2007 and FY 2008, published on November 16, 2009 (74 FR 58948) • FY 2009 and FY 2010, published on October 20, 2011 (76 FR 65182) • FY 2011, published on September 17, 2012 (77 FR 57074) • FY 2012, published on August 29, 2013 (78 FR 53425) • FY 2013, published on October 14, 2014 (79 FR 61617) Cotton’s recent reports on these indirect rates can be found on the DARRP Web site at www.darrp.noaa.gov. Cotton reaffirmed that the Direct Labor Cost Base is the most appropriate indirect allocation method for the development of the FY 2014 indirect cost rates. 78719 The FY 2014 rates will be applied to all damage assessment and restoration case costs incurred between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. DARRP will use the FY 2014 indirect cost rates for future fiscal years, beginning with FY 2015, until subsequent year-specific rates can be developed. For cases that have settled and for cost claims paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, the DARRP will not re-open any resolved matters for the purpose of applying the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. For cases not settled and cost claims not paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, costs will be recalculated using the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. Where a responsible party has agreed to pay costs using previous year’s indirect rates, but has not yet made the payment because the settlement documents are not finalized, the costs will not be recalculated. David Westerholm, Director, Office of Response and Restoration. [FR Doc. 2015–31728 Filed 12–16–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–JE–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; extension of public comment period. AGENCY: We, NMFS, announce the extension of the comment period for the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall The DARRP will apply the indirect Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) cost rates for FY 2014 as recommended published on November 2, 2015. The by Cotton for each of the DARRP component organizations as provided in Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon the following table: (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) FY 2014 evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which is listed as threatened under the DARRP indirect component organization rate ESA. The geographic area covered by (%) the Proposed Plan is the lower and middle mainstem Snake River and Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) ................................. 113.54 tributaries as well as the mainstem Restoration Center (RC) ............... 67.50 Columbia River below its confluence with the Snake River. As required under General Counsel Natural Resources Section (GCNRS) ........ 29.37 the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, These rates are based on the Direct site-specific management actions Labor Cost Base allocation methodology. necessary to achieve the Proposed SUMMARY: The DARRP’s Indirect Cost Rates and Policies PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 78720 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 242 / Thursday, December 17, 2015 / Notices Plan’s goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. The close of the comment period is being extended— from January 4, 2016, to February 5, 2016—to provide additional opportunity for public comment. DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments on the Proposed Recovery Plan published on November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386), is extended to close of business on February 5, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Proposed 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. • Facsimile: (503) 230–5441. • Mail: Patricia Dornbusch, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that they are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Electronic copies of the Proposed Plan are available 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: Extension of Comment Period On November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386) we (NMFS) published in the Federal Register a request for public comment VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Dec 16, 2015 Jkt 238001 on the Proposed Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon. The public comment period for this action is set to end on January 4, 2016. The comment period is being extended through February 5, 2016, to provide additional opportunity for public comment. 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.). 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 we 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 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 which 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 E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 242 / Thursday, December 17, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES River Harvest Module (NMFS 2014a) as Appendix G. The Public Draft Recovery 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 table summarizing each proposed VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Dec 16, 2015 Jkt 238001 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. 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. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. Dated: December 14, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–31748 Filed 12–16–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings FEDERAL REGISTER CITATION OF PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT: 80 FR 76948, Dec. 11, 2015. PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TIME AND DATE OF THE MEETING: 10:00 a.m., Friday, December 18, 2015. The time of the meeting has changed. This meeting CHANGES IN THE MEETING: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78721 will now be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, December 18, 2015. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202–418–5964. Natise Allen, Executive Assistant. [FR Doc. 2015–31877 Filed 12–15–15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351–01–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID USA–2015–HQ–0049] Proposed Collection; Comment Request Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, (OAA–AAHS), DoD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 16, 2016. SUMMARY: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301–9010. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 242 (Thursday, December 17, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78719-78721]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31748]


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

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; extension of public comment period.

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

SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce the extension of the comment period for the 
Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River 
Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) published on November 2, 2015. The 
Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon 
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which 
is listed as threatened under the ESA. The geographic area covered by 
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

[[Page 78720]]

Plan's goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement 
recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public 
and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. The close of the 
comment period is being extended--from January 4, 2016, to February 5, 
2016--to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments on the Proposed Recovery 
Plan published on November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386), is extended to close 
of business on February 5, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the Proposed 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.
     Facsimile: (503) 230-5441.
     Mail: Patricia Dornbusch, National Marine Fisheries 
Service, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that they are received, documented, and considered by 
NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or 
individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be 
considered. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Electronic copies of the Proposed Plan are available 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:

Extension of Comment Period

    On November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386) we (NMFS) published in the 
Federal Register a request for public comment on the Proposed 
Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook 
Salmon. The public comment period for this action is set to end on 
January 4, 2016. The comment period is being extended through February 
5, 2016, to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

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.). 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 we 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 which 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

[[Page 78721]]

River Harvest Module (NMFS 2014a) as Appendix G.

The Public Draft Recovery 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.

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.

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

    Dated: December 14, 2015.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-31748 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P