Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana), 66297-66298 [2018-27825]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 enrolled property, even if such alteration or modification results in the incidental take of listed species to such an extent that it returned the species back to the originally agreed upon baseline conditions. We listed the Taylor’s checkerspot as an endangered species on October 3, 2013 (78 FR 61452), with critical habitat. Historically, the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly was likely distributed throughout grassland habitat found on prairies, grassland bluffs, and grassland openings within a forested matrix. Habitat has been lost through conversion and degradation of habitat, particularly from agricultural and urban development, successional changes where grassland habitat reverted more towards forest characteristics, and the spread of invasive plants. In Oregon, the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly is presently only known to occur at two sites. Both sites are located in Benton County on grassland hills within a forested matrix in the Willamette Valley. Proposed Action Crestmont Farm and the Service jointly developed the proposed SHA for the conservation of the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. The physical area addressed by this SHA encompasses approximately 27 acres that lie within a suspended, high-voltage powerline corridor. The area covers the majority of the known population of Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly at this site. Current vegetative conditions are typical of powerline corridor areas and include a mixture of grassland, shrubs, and young trees, with a fairly linear border of managed conifer forest. Management actions taken under the SHA are intended to maintain existing habitat conditions as well as increase the distribution and abundance of Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly through enhancement of adjacent or nearby, unoccupied grassland habitat. Providing additional habitat areas can also increase the likelihood of persistence of the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly by offering microhabitat variations that may provide a range of habitat conditions that is not equally adversely affected by weather, plant community changes, predator populations, etc. The Service will coordinate a variety of management activities with Crestmont Farm pursuant to this SHA. These management activities generally include: (1) Controlling/reducing nonnative grasses; (2) controlling/reducing woody vegetation encroachment; (3) increasing the density and diversity of larval host plants, native nectar species, and other native species; and (4) VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:07 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 maintaining suitable habitat conditions. In addition, the SHA provides for research and monitoring to occur. The draft EAS now available for public review (see ADDRESSESindicates that the proposed SHA and permit decision may be eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We are making the permit application package, including the SHA, and draft EAS, available for public review and comment. Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on our proposed Federal action, including adequacy of the SHA pursuant to the requirements for permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17 and adequacy of the EAS pursuant to NEPA. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, 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. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Authority We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and their PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66297 implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22, and 40 CFR 1506.6, respectively). Rollie White, Acting Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2018–27890 Filed 12–21–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2017–N103; FXES11130000– 189–FF08E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) for public review and comment. The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria for downlisting the species to threatened, and site-specific actions necessary to reclassify the species from endangered to threatened on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or before February 25, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the draft recovery plan from our website 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: SUMMARY: 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 (ESA; 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 E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 66298 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Notices specified in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA. The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Pursuant to section 4(f) of the ESA, a recovery plan must, to the maximum extent practicable, include (1) a description of site-specific management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan’s goals for the conservation and survival of the species; (2) objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would support a determination under section 4(a)(1) that the species should be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species; and (3) estimates of the time and costs required to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan’s goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal. The Service has revised its approach to recovery planning; the revised process is called Recovery Planning and Implementation (RPI). The RPI process is intended to reduce the time needed to develop and implement recovery plans, increase recovery plan relevancy over a longer timeframe, and add flexibility to recovery plans so they can be adjusted to new information or circumstances. Under RPI, a recovery plan will include statutorily required elements (objective, measurable criteria, site-specific management actions, and estimates of time and costs), along with a concise introduction and our strategy for how we plan to achieve species recovery. The RPI recovery plan is supported by a separate Species Status Assessment, or in cases such as this one, a species biological report that provides the background information and threat assessment, which are key to recovery plan development. The essential component to flexible implementation under RPI is producing a separate working document called the Recovery Implementation Strategy (implementation strategy). The implementation strategy steps down from the more general description of actions described in the recovery plan to detail the specific, near-term activities needed to implement the recovery plan. The implementation strategy will be adaptable by being able to incorporate new information without having to concurrently revise the recovery plan, unless changes to statutory elements are required. Franciscan manzanita was thought to be extirpated in the wild prior to the discovery of a single plant in 2009. There is still only a single known wild specimen, although the species also exists in cultivation to a limited extent. We listed Franciscan manzanita throughout its entire range on VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:07 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54434). The species has been known to occur only on the San Francisco peninsula in areas with serpentine soils, bedrock outcrops, greenstone, and mixed Franciscan rock. In addition to these serpentine soils, cool air temperatures, and summer fog are the primary habitat requirements for the species. The most significant threat to Franciscan manzanita is habitat loss from urbanization, which continues to impact remnant suitable habitat. Other threats include competition from invasive native and nonnative plants, potential infestation by Phytophthora sp., damage from herbivores such as the California vole, climate change, visitor use, vandalism, stochastic events, and the effects of small population size, water stress, and hybridization with closely related 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 ESA 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 draft recovery plan is to improve the status of Franciscan manzanita so that it can be downlisted. Due to the current lack of information about the species’ biology and habitat requirements, the magnitude of current threats, and the existence of only a single plant in the wild, it is not currently practicable to determine appropriate delisting criteria; therefore, we focus on meeting the goal of downlisting. To meet the recovery goal of downlisting, the following objectives have been identified: 1. Establish additional stands of Franciscan manzanita using cuttings and layers from the wild plant originally found on Doyle Drive. 2. Establish stands of Franciscan manzanita using cuttings and layers from plants collected from the Laurel Hill Cemetery that represent other genotypes, and plant these individuals sufficiently close to the wild Franciscan manzanita clones so that outcrossing occurs among the genetically distinct individuals. 3. Protect and manage habitat around extant and newly established plants (via vegetation control, irrigation PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 supplementation, disease prevention, herbivore removal, and other means). 4. Protect suitable habitat for future establishment of Franciscan manzanita populations. As Franciscan manzanita meets reclassification criteria, we will review its status and consider it for downlisting on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Public Comments Solicited We solicit written comments on the draft recovery plan described in this notice. All comments received by the date specified in DATES will be considered in development of a final recovery plan for Franciscan manzanita. 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 draft recovery plan under the authority of section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). Lawrence Rabin, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region. [FR Doc. 2018–27825 Filed 12–21–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [AA–6657–A; AA–6657–C; AA–6657–F; AA– 6657–I; AA–6657–A2; 19X.LLAK.944000.L14100000.HY0000.P] Alaska Native Claims Selection Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of decision approving lands for conveyance. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hereby provides constructive notice that it will issue an appealable decision approving conveyance of the surface estate in certain lands to Saguyak Incorporated, for the native village of Clarks Point, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 246 (Wednesday, December 26, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66297-66298]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27825]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2017-N103; FXES11130000-189-FF08E00000]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana)

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 Draft Recovery Plan for Franciscan Manzanita 
(Arctostaphylos franciscana) for public review and comment. The draft 
recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria for downlisting 
the species to threatened, and site-specific actions necessary to 
reclassify the species from endangered to threatened on the Federal 
Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or 
before February 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the draft recovery plan from our 
website 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 (ESA; 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

[[Page 66298]]

specified in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA. The ESA requires the 
development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan 
would not promote the conservation of a particular species.
    Pursuant to section 4(f) of the ESA, a recovery plan must, to the 
maximum extent practicable, include (1) a description of site-specific 
management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan's goals for 
the conservation and survival of the species; (2) objective, measurable 
criteria which, when met, would support a determination under section 
4(a)(1) that the species should be removed from the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Species; and (3) estimates of the time and costs 
required to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan's goal 
and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal.
    The Service has revised its approach to recovery planning; the 
revised process is called Recovery Planning and Implementation (RPI). 
The RPI process is intended to reduce the time needed to develop and 
implement recovery plans, increase recovery plan relevancy over a 
longer timeframe, and add flexibility to recovery plans so they can be 
adjusted to new information or circumstances. Under RPI, a recovery 
plan will include statutorily required elements (objective, measurable 
criteria, site-specific management actions, and estimates of time and 
costs), along with a concise introduction and our strategy for how we 
plan to achieve species recovery. The RPI recovery plan is supported by 
a separate Species Status Assessment, or in cases such as this one, a 
species biological report that provides the background information and 
threat assessment, which are key to recovery plan development. The 
essential component to flexible implementation under RPI is producing a 
separate working document called the Recovery Implementation Strategy 
(implementation strategy). The implementation strategy steps down from 
the more general description of actions described in the recovery plan 
to detail the specific, near-term activities needed to implement the 
recovery plan. The implementation strategy will be adaptable by being 
able to incorporate new information without having to concurrently 
revise the recovery plan, unless changes to statutory elements are 
required.
    Franciscan manzanita was thought to be extirpated in the wild prior 
to the discovery of a single plant in 2009. There is still only a 
single known wild specimen, although the species also exists in 
cultivation to a limited extent. We listed Franciscan manzanita 
throughout its entire range on September 5, 2012 (77 FR 54434). The 
species has been known to occur only on the San Francisco peninsula in 
areas with serpentine soils, bedrock outcrops, greenstone, and mixed 
Franciscan rock. In addition to these serpentine soils, cool air 
temperatures, and summer fog are the primary habitat requirements for 
the species.
    The most significant threat to Franciscan manzanita is habitat loss 
from urbanization, which continues to impact remnant suitable habitat. 
Other threats include competition from invasive native and nonnative 
plants, potential infestation by Phytophthora sp., damage from 
herbivores such as the California vole, climate change, visitor use, 
vandalism, stochastic events, and the effects of small population size, 
water stress, and hybridization with closely related 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 ESA 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 draft recovery plan is to improve the status of 
Franciscan manzanita so that it can be downlisted. Due to the current 
lack of information about the species' biology and habitat 
requirements, the magnitude of current threats, and the existence of 
only a single plant in the wild, it is not currently practicable to 
determine appropriate delisting criteria; therefore, we focus on 
meeting the goal of downlisting. To meet the recovery goal of 
downlisting, the following objectives have been identified:
    1. Establish additional stands of Franciscan manzanita using 
cuttings and layers from the wild plant originally found on Doyle 
Drive.
    2. Establish stands of Franciscan manzanita using cuttings and 
layers from plants collected from the Laurel Hill Cemetery that 
represent other genotypes, and plant these individuals sufficiently 
close to the wild Franciscan manzanita clones so that outcrossing 
occurs among the genetically distinct individuals.
    3. Protect and manage habitat around extant and newly established 
plants (via vegetation control, irrigation supplementation, disease 
prevention, herbivore removal, and other means).
    4. Protect suitable habitat for future establishment of Franciscan 
manzanita populations.
    As Franciscan manzanita meets reclassification criteria, we will 
review its status and consider it for downlisting on the Federal Lists 
of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the draft recovery plan described in 
this notice. All comments received by the date specified in DATES will 
be considered in development of a final recovery plan for Franciscan 
manzanita. 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 draft recovery plan under the authority of 
section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

Lawrence Rabin,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2018-27825 Filed 12-21-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P