Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Draft Recovery Plan for the Giant Garter Snake, 79606-79607 [2015-32108]

Download as PDF 79606 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 245 / Tuesday, December 22, 2015 / Notices PARTICIPATING AGENCIES: The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS–USCIS) is the source agency and the California Department of Social Services (CA–DSS) is the recipient agency. AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING THE MATCHING PROGRAM: Section 121 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, Public Law 99–603, as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law 104–193, 110 Stat. 2168 (1996), requires DHS to establish a system for the verification of immigration status of alien applicants for, or recipients of, certain types of benefits as specified within IRCA, and to make this system available to state agencies that administer such benefits. Section 121(c) of IRCA amends Section 1137 of the Social Security Act and other sections of law that pertain to federal entitlement benefit programs. Section 121(c) requires state agencies administering these programs to use DHS–USCIS’s verification system to make eligibility determinations in order to prevent the issuance of benefits to ineligible alien applicants. The VIS database is the DHS–USCIS system available to the CA–DSS and other covered agencies for use in making these eligibility determinations. CA–DSS will access information contained in VIS for the purpose of confirming the immigration status of alien applicants for, or recipients of, benefits it administers in order to discharge its obligation to conduct such verifications pursuant to Section 1137 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b–7(a), et seq.). Verification of applicants for Food Stamps through DHS/USCIS is optional for CA–DSS under Section 840 of PWORA. CA–DSS has elected to use VIS for all alien applicants for Food Stamps for the length of this Agreement. DHS–USCIS VIS database containing information related to the status of aliens and other persons on whom DHS–USCIS has a record as an applicant, petitioner, or beneficiary. CA–DSS will provide the following to DHS–USCIS: CA–DSS records pertaining to alien and naturalized/ derived United States citizen applicants for, or recipients of, entitlement benefit programs administered by the State. CATEGORIES OF RECORDS: CA–DSS will match the following records with DHS–USCIS records: • Alien Registration Number (A-Number) • I–94 Number • Last Name • First Name • Middle Name • Date of Birth • Nationality • Social Security number (SSN) DHS–USCIS will match the following records with CA–DSS records: • A-Number • I–94 Number • Last Name • First Name • Middle Name • Date of Birth • Country of Birth (not nationality) • SSN (if available) • Date of Entry • Immigration Status Data • Sponsorship Information (sponsor’s full name, SSN, and address) SYSTEM OF RECORDS: DHS/USCIS–004 Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program System of Records Notice, 77 FR 47415 (August 8, 2012). Dated: December 16, 2015. Karen L. Neuman Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2015–32149 Filed 12–21–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES PURPOSE OF THE MATCHING AGREEMENT: This Computer Matching Agreement provides the CA–DSS with electronic access to immigration status information contained within DHS–USCIS’s Verification Information System (VIS). CA–DSS uses the immigration status information to determine whether an applicant is eligible for benefits under Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs administered by the CA–DSS. CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS: DHS–USCIS will provide the following to CA–DSS: Records in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:21 Dec 21, 2015 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2015–N155; FXES11130000– 156–FF08E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Draft Recovery Plan for the Giant Garter Snake Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 availability of the Revised Draft Recovery Plan for Giant Garter Snake for public review and comment. This revised draft recovery plan includes delisting objectives and criteria, and specific actions necessary to delist the species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. DATES: We must receive any comments on this revised draft recovery plan on or before February 22, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of this revised draft recovery plan from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/ endangered/species/recoveryplans.html. Alternatively, you may contact the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W– 2605, Sacramento, CA 95825 (telephone 916–414–6700). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Norris, Field Supervisor, at the above street address or telephone number (see ADDRESSES). 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 Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (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 specified 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. We listed the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) as a threatened species on October 20, 1993 (58 FR 54053). Historical records suggest that the giant garter snake inhabited fresh water marshes, streams, and wetlands throughout the length of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys in Central California. Today only about 5 percent of its historical wetland habitat acreage remains. The 13 populations identified at listing were isolated from one another with no protected dispersal corridors. Nine populations are recognized in this revised draft recovery plan, following an update of the 13 populations described in the original listing. This change is based on recent surveys, which indicate that two populations were extirpated, and on genetic research, which lead to E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 245 / Tuesday, December 22, 2015 / Notices function to support the giant garter snake and its community members. 3. Ameliorate or eliminate, to the extent possible, the threats that caused the species to be listed or are otherwise of concern, and any foreseeable future threats. The strategy used to recover the giant garter snake is focused on protecting existing occupied habitat and identifying and protecting areas for habitat restoration, enhancement, or creation, including areas that are needed to provide connectivity between populations. Appropriate management is needed for all giant garter snake conservation lands to ensure that stable and viable populations can be maintained in occupied areas, and that colonization will be promoted in restored and enhanced unoccupied habitat. As the giant garter snake meets delisting criteria, we will review its status and consider it for delisting on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We solicit written comments on this revised draft recovery plan described in this notice. All comments received by the date specified in the DATES section will be considered in development of a final recovery plan for giant garter snake. You may submit written comments and information by mail or in person to the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office at the above address (see ADDRESSES). Recovery Plan Goals mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES the grouping together of some of the populations. The giant garter snake has specific habitat needs that include summer aquatic habitat for foraging, bankside basking areas with nearby emergent vegetation for cover and thermal regulation, and upland refugia for extended periods of inactivity. Perennial wetlands provide the highest quality habitat for the giant garter snake, and rice lands, with interconnected water conveyance structures, serve as an alternative habitat in the absence of higher quality wetlands. The loss and subsequent fragmentation of habitat is the primary threat to the giant garter snake throughout the Central Valley of California. Habitat loss has occurred from urban expansion, agricultural conversion, and flood control. Habitat fragmentation restricts dispersal and isolates populations of the giant garter snake, increasing the likelihood of inbreeding, decreasing fitness, and reducing genetic diversity, and ultimately has resulted in the loss of the snake from the southern one-third of its range in former wetlands associated with the historical Buena Vista, Tulare, and Kern Lake beds. In addition to habitat loss, the remaining Central Valley populations of the giant garter snake are subject to the cumulative effects of a number of other existing and potential threats, including: roads and vehicular traffic, climate change, and predation by non-native species. Public Availability of Comments The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the recovery of species so that protection under the Act is no longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the species and provides criteria that enable us to gauge whether downlisting or delisting the species is warranted. Furthermore, recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing actions we consider necessary for each species’ conservation and by estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. The goal of this revised draft recovery plan is to improve the status of giant garter snake so that it can be delisted. To meet the recovery goal of delisting, the following objectives have been identified: 1. Establish and protect selfsustaining populations of the giant garter snake throughout the full ecological, geographical, and genetic range of the species. 2. Restore and conserve healthy Central Valley wetland ecosystems that 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:21 Dec 21, 2015 Jkt 238001 Public Comments Solicited Authority We developed this revised 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) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Alexandra Pitts, Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2015–32108 Filed 12–21–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79607 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA–2015–0179; FXIA16710900000–156–FF09A30000] Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation; Receipt of Applications for Permit Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of receipt of applications for permit. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities. DATES: We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before January 21, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA–2015–0179. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–HQ–IA–2015–0179; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. When submitting comments, please indicate the name of the applicant and the PRT# you are commenting on. We will post all comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information). Viewing Comments: Comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803; telephone 703–358–2095. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Endangered Species Applications: Brenda Tapia, Program Analyst/Data Administrator, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: IA; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803; telephone 703–358–2104; facsimile 703–358–2280. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 245 (Tuesday, December 22, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79606-79607]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-32108]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2015-N155; FXES11130000-156-FF08E00000]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Draft 
Recovery Plan for the Giant Garter Snake

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Revised Draft Recovery Plan for Giant Garter Snake 
for public review and comment. This revised draft recovery plan 
includes delisting objectives and criteria, and specific actions 
necessary to delist the species from the Federal Lists of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We request review and comment on 
this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and 
the public.

DATES: We must receive any comments on this revised draft recovery plan 
on or before February 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of this revised draft recovery plan 
from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. Alternatively, you may contact the Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, 
Suite W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825 (telephone 916-414-6700).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Norris, Field Supervisor, at 
the above street address or telephone number (see ADDRESSES).

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 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (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 
specified 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.
    We listed the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) as a threatened 
species on October 20, 1993 (58 FR 54053). Historical records suggest 
that the giant garter snake inhabited fresh water marshes, streams, and 
wetlands throughout the length of the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
Valleys in Central California. Today only about 5 percent of its 
historical wetland habitat acreage remains. The 13 populations 
identified at listing were isolated from one another with no protected 
dispersal corridors. Nine populations are recognized in this revised 
draft recovery plan, following an update of the 13 populations 
described in the original listing. This change is based on recent 
surveys, which indicate that two populations were extirpated, and on 
genetic research, which lead to

[[Page 79607]]

the grouping together of some of the populations.
    The giant garter snake has specific habitat needs that include 
summer aquatic habitat for foraging, bankside basking areas with nearby 
emergent vegetation for cover and thermal regulation, and upland 
refugia for extended periods of inactivity. Perennial wetlands provide 
the highest quality habitat for the giant garter snake, and rice lands, 
with interconnected water conveyance structures, serve as an 
alternative habitat in the absence of higher quality wetlands.
    The loss and subsequent fragmentation of habitat is the primary 
threat to the giant garter snake throughout the Central Valley of 
California. Habitat loss has occurred from urban expansion, 
agricultural conversion, and flood control. Habitat fragmentation 
restricts dispersal and isolates populations of the giant garter snake, 
increasing the likelihood of inbreeding, decreasing fitness, and 
reducing genetic diversity, and ultimately has resulted in the loss of 
the snake from the southern one-third of its range in former wetlands 
associated with the historical Buena Vista, Tulare, and Kern Lake beds. 
In addition to habitat loss, the remaining Central Valley populations 
of the giant garter snake are subject to the cumulative effects of a 
number of other existing and potential threats, including: roads and 
vehicular traffic, climate change, and predation by non-native species.

Recovery Plan Goals

    The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of species so that protection under the Act is no longer 
necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the 
species and provides criteria that enable us to gauge whether 
downlisting or delisting the species is warranted. Furthermore, 
recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing actions we 
consider necessary for each species' conservation and by estimating 
time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures.
    The goal of this revised draft recovery plan is to improve the 
status of giant garter snake so that it can be delisted. To meet the 
recovery goal of delisting, the following objectives have been 
identified:
    1. Establish and protect self-sustaining populations of the giant 
garter snake throughout the full ecological, geographical, and genetic 
range of the species.
    2. Restore and conserve healthy Central Valley wetland ecosystems 
that function to support the giant garter snake and its community 
members.
    3. Ameliorate or eliminate, to the extent possible, the threats 
that caused the species to be listed or are otherwise of concern, and 
any foreseeable future threats.
    The strategy used to recover the giant garter snake is focused on 
protecting existing occupied habitat and identifying and protecting 
areas for habitat restoration, enhancement, or creation, including 
areas that are needed to provide connectivity between populations. 
Appropriate management is needed for all giant garter snake 
conservation lands to ensure that stable and viable populations can be 
maintained in occupied areas, and that colonization will be promoted in 
restored and enhanced unoccupied habitat. As the giant garter snake 
meets delisting criteria, we will review its status and consider it for 
delisting on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on this revised draft recovery plan 
described in this notice. All comments received by the date specified 
in the DATES section will be considered in development of a final 
recovery plan for giant garter snake. You may submit written comments 
and information by mail or in person to the Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office at the above address (see ADDRESSES).

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.

Authority

    We developed this revised 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) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

Alexandra Pitts,
Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 2015-32108 Filed 12-21-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-55-P