Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Jones Cycladenia, 2440-2442 [2021-00375]

Download as PDF 2440 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 7 / Tuesday, January 12, 2021 / Notices Location and case No. State and county Virginia: Independent City (FEMA Docket No.: B–2052). City of Fairfax (20– 03–0228P). Chief executive officer of community Community map repository Date of modification Mr. Robert A. Stalzer, Manager, City of Fairfax, 10455 Armstrong Street, Room 316, Fairfax, VA 22030. Public Works Department, 10455 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, VA 22030. Nov. 16, 2020 ................. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We are requesting review and comment from the public on this draft recovery plan. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2021–00396 Filed 1–11–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–12–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R6–ES–2020–N101; FXES11130600000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Jones Cycladenia Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We are requesting review and comment from the public on this draft plan. The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. SUMMARY: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or before March 15, 2021. ADDRESSES: Document availability: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available at http://www.fws.gov/ endangered/species/recoveryplans.html. Alternatively, you may request a copy by U.S. mail from the Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2369 Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, Utah 84119, telephone: 801–975– 3330. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. Submitting comments: If you wish to comment on the draft recovery plan, you may submit your comments in writing by email to yvette_converse@ fws.gov, or by U.S. mail to the Field Supervisor at the address above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yvette Converse, Field Supervisor, at the above U.S. mail address or telephone: 801–975–3330. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:55 Jan 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 Background Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point where it is again a secure, selfsustaining member of its ecosystem is a primary goal of the Service’s endangered species program. Recovery means improving the status of a listed species to the point at which listing is no longer necessary according to the criteria specified under section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires recovery plans for listed species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. To help guide recovery efforts, we prepare recovery plans to promote the conservation of the species. The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a recommended framework for the recovery of a species so that protection of the Act is no longer necessary. Pursuant to section 4(f) of the Act, a recovery plan must, to the maximum extent possible, include: (1) A description of site-specific management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan’s goal for the conservation and survival of the species; (2) objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would support a determination under section 4(a)(1) of the Act that the species should be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species; and (3) estimates of time and costs required to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan’s goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal. We used our new recovery planning and implementation (RPI) process to develop the draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia. The RPI process helps reduce the time needed to develop and implement recovery plans, increases the relevancy of the recovery plan over longer timeframes, and adds flexibility so that the recovery plan can be more easily adjusted to new information and PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Community No. 515524 circumstances. Under our RPI process, a recovery plan will include the three statutorily required elements for recovery plans—objective and measurable criteria, site-specific management actions, and estimates of time and cost—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 biological report, which provides the scientific background information and threat assessment for Jones cycladenia, which are key to the development of the recovery plan. The species biological report is an interim approach taken as we transition to using a species status assessment (SSA) framework as the standard format to analyze species as we make decisions under the Act, and includes similar analyses of the species’ viability in terms of its resiliency, redundancy, and representation. A third, separate working document, called the recovery implementation strategy (RIS), steps down the more general descriptions of actions in the recovery plan to detail the specifics needed to implement the recovery plan, which improves the flexibility of the recovery plan. The RIS will be adaptable, with new information on actions incorporated, as needed, without requiring a concurrent revision to the recovery plan, unless changes to the three statutory elements are required. On May 5, 1986, we listed Jones cycladenia as a threatened plant (51 FR 16526). We did not designate critical habitat. Detailed information regarding the plant’s biology and life history can be found in the species biological report for Jones cycladenia (Service 2020, entire). The species biological report is an in-depth but not exhaustive review of the taxon’s biology and threats, an evaluation of its biological status, and an assessment of the resources and conditions needed to maintain longterm viability. The species biological report provides the scientific background and threats assessment for our draft recovery plan. Peer Review In accordance with our policy, ‘‘Notice of Interagency Cooperative Policy for Peer Review in Endangered Species Act Activities,’’ which was E:\FR\FM\12JAN1.SGM 12JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 7 / Tuesday, January 12, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, Memorandum ‘‘Peer Review Process,’’ we will seek the expert opinion of at least three appropriate and independent specialists regarding scientific data and interpretations contained in the species biological report and the draft recovery plan. We will send copies of both documents to the peer reviewers immediately following publication of this notice in the Federal Register. We will ensure that the opinions of peer reviewers are objective and unbiased by following the guidelines set forth in the Director’s Memo, which updates and clarifies Service policy on peer review (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2016). The purpose of such review is to ensure that our decisions are based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis. Accordingly, our final species biological report and recovery plan may differ from the draft documents. Request for Public Comments This notice opens the public review and comment period for our draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that we notify the public and provide an opportunity for public review and comment during the development of recovery plans. We will consider all information we receive during a public comment period when preparing the recovery plan for approval, and particularly look for comments that provide scientific rationale or factual background. The Service and other Federal agencies and partners will take these comments into consideration in the course of implementing an approved final recovery plan. All comments we receive by the date specified (see DATES) will be considered prior to approval of the recovery plan. Written comments and materials regarding the recovery plan should be sent via the means in the ADDRESSES section. We are specifically seeking comments and suggestions on the following questions: • Understanding that the time and cost presented in the draft recovery plan will be fine-tuned when localized recovery implementation strategies are developed, are the estimated time and cost to recovery realistic? Is the estimate reflective of the time and cost of actions that may have already been implemented by Federal, State, county, or other agencies? Please provide suggestions or methods for determining a more accurate estimation. • Do the draft recovery criteria provide clear direction to partners on VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Jan 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 what is needed to recover Jones cycladenia? How could they be improved for clarity? • Are the draft recovery criteria both objective and measurable given the information available for Jones cycladenia now and into the future? Please provide suggestions. • Understanding that specific, detailed, and area-specific recovery actions will be developed in the RIS, do the draft recovery actions presented in the draft recovery plan generally cover the types of actions necessary to meet the recovery criteria? If not, what general actions are missing? Are any of the draft recovery actions unnecessary for achieving recovery? Have we prioritized the actions appropriately? Public Availability of Comments We will summarize and respond to the issues raised by the public in an appendix to the approved final recovery plan. 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. You may request at the top of your comment that we withhold this information from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Species Information Jones cycladenia is a long-lived herbaceous perennial plant in the dogbane family. It is one of three varieties within the Sacramento waxy dogbane (Cycladenia humilis Benth.) species. The other two varieties occur in California (Cycladenia humilis var. humilis and var. venusta) (Burge et al. 2016, p. 28). Jones cycladenia is endemic to the Colorado Plateau in Utah and Arizona. It occurs between 4,000 to 6,660 feet (ft) (1,220 to 2,030 meters (m)) in elevation and typically grows on steep slopes in soils that are easily degraded, highly erodible, and difficult to rehabilitate after disturbances. It is found in sparsely vegetated plant communities of mixed desert scrub with less than five percent vegetative cover (JGMS 2012, pp. 21–24; JGMS 2014, Appendix; Sipes et al. 1994, p. 16; Spence and Palmquist 2007, p. 5). Jones cycladenia reproduces by seeds (sexually) and by clonal growth (asexually). We do not know the historical distribution of Jones cycladenia. At the time of listing in 1986, it was known from four populations in Emery, Grand, and Garfield counties, Utah (51 FR 16526, May 5, 1986). It is now known PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2441 to occur at 60 sites, which we have grouped into 20 populations in Emery, Grand, Garfield, San Juan, and Kane Counties of Utah and Mohave County, Arizona. We further group these populations into four recovery units (San Rafael Swell, Greater Circle Cliffs, Moab, and Pipe Spring). The primary threats to Jones cycladenia at the time of listing were oil, natural gas, and mineral development. These remain the primary threats to the taxon. A large percentage of the total population occurs on lands open to future energy and mineral development. Without additional protections, we anticipate an increase in the magnitude of this threat affecting the taxon’s future resiliency, redundancy and representation. Small populations, lack of pollinators, and sexual reproduction limitations may exacerbate the threat. Conservation partners conducted additional surveys after Jones cycladenia was listed. This resulted in the discovery of 16 additional populations. Consequently, Jones cycladenia is now known from more sites and has a larger range than we estimated at the time of listing. The total population was estimated to be 7,500 stems when the taxon was listed; the most recent estimate is 79,196 stems (Service 2020, pp. 14–18). The recovery units have not yet met the proposed delisting criteria in this draft recovery plan. Therefore, we anticipate that recovery will take a minimum of 10 years––recovery criteria include a requirement for stable to increasing populations in each of the four recovery units over a 10-year period. We have estimated recovery costs for a 15-year period for added flexibility during implementation of the recovery plan, when finalized. Recovery Strategy Below, we summarize components from our draft recovery plan. Please reference the draft recovery plan for full details (see ADDRESSES above). The draft recovery plan describes the recovery goal as the conservation and survival of Jones cycladenia. For recovery, the taxon needs at least four (redundant) and persistent (resilient) recovery units across the taxon’s range, where recruitment over time equals or exceeds loss of individuals and ecological and genetic diversity are maintained (representation). These conditions provide sufficient representation and redundancy across the taxon’s range. Recovery criteria in the draft plan include: (1) Maintaining stable or increasing population growth rates and E:\FR\FM\12JAN1.SGM 12JAN1 2442 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 7 / Tuesday, January 12, 2021 / Notices evidence of viable seed production over a consecutive 10-year period for each of the 4 recovery units; (2) maintaining a range-wide total population of at least 3,500 individuals (approximately 77,700 stems (ramets) for at least 5 consecutive years; (3) each of the four recovery units have regulatory mechanisms or conservation plans in place that address habitat loss and degradation from energy and mineral development, thus helping meet population trend and abundance targets identified in the first two criteria; and (4) each of the four recovery units are represented in an offsite seed or tissue collection to preserve the genetic diversity of Jones cycladenia and provide added protection from potential stochastic events. Collections should represent at least 75 percent of the genetic diversity, as measured by the number of unique alleles, represented in each recovery unit. To help meet these criteria, the draft recovery plan identifies recovery actions for each criteria. Authority The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). Noreen Walsh, Regional Director, Lakewood, Colorado. [FR Doc. 2021–00375 Filed 1–11–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R6–ES–2020–N113; FXES11130600000–201–FF06E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 7 Species in the MountainPrairie Region AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Common name Scientific name Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information. ACTION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year status reviews of 7 species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any new information on these species that has become available since the last review of the species. DATES: To ensure consideration in our reviews, we are requesting submission of new information no later than March 15, 2021. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information, contact Craig Hansen, Regional Recovery Coordinator, by phone at 303–236–4748 or by email at craig_hansen@fws.gov. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. For information on a particular species, contact the appropriate person or office listed in the table in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Why do we conduct 5-year status reviews? Under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we maintain Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (which we collectively refer to as the List) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 17.12 (for plants). Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires us to review each listed species’ status at least once every 5 years. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species under active review. For Listing status Historical range Final listing rule (Federal Register citation and publication date) Barneby reed-mustard Schoenocrambe barnebyi. Endangered ... Utah ............... 57 FR 1398; 1/14/ 1992. Barneby ridge-cress .... Endangered ... Utah ............... Dwarf bear-poppy ........ Lepidium barnebyanum. Arctomecon humilis ... Endangered ... Utah ............... Welsh’s milkweed ........ Asclepias welshii ....... Threatened .... Utah, Arizona Colorado hookless cactus. Sclerocactus glaucus Threatened .... Colorado ........ 55 FR 39860; 1990. 44 FR 64250; 1979. 52 FR 41435; 1987. 44 FR 58868; 1979. DeBeque phacelia ....... Phacelia submutica ... Threatened .... Colorado ........ VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Jan 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 9/28/ 11/6/ 10/28/ 10/11/ 76 FR 45054; 7/27/ 2011. Sfmt 4703 additional information about 5-year status reviews, go to http:// www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/ recovery-overview.html, scroll down to ‘‘Learn More about 5-Year Status Reviews,’’ and click on our factsheet. What information do we consider in our review? A 5-year status review considers all new information available at the time of the review. In conducting these reviews, we consider the best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the listing determination or most recent status review, such as: (A) Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics; (B) Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability; (C) Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species; (D) Threat status and trends in relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the Act); and (E) Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods. Any new information will be considered during the 5-year status review and will also be useful in evaluating the ongoing recovery programs for the species. Which species are under review? This notice announces our active review of the seven species listed in the table below. Contact person, phone, email Contact person’s U.S. mail address Yvette Converse, Project Leader, 801–975–3330; yvette_converse@ fws.gov. Yvette Converse (information above). Yvette Converse (information above). Yvette Converse (information above). Ann Timberman, Colorado Field Office, 970–628– 7181; ann_timberman@ fws.gov. Ecological Services, Utah Field Office, 2369 W Orton Circle, #50, West Valley City, UT 84119. Ann Timberman (information above). E:\FR\FM\12JAN1.SGM 12JAN1 Ecological Services, Western Colorado Field Office, 445 W Gunnison Ave., #240, Grand Junction, CO 81501–5711.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 7 (Tuesday, January 12, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2440-2442]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-00375]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-ES-2020-N101; FXES11130600000]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for Jones Cycladenia

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia 
humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act. We are requesting review and comment from the 
public on this draft plan. The draft recovery plan includes objective, 
measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be 
necessary to remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants.

DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or 
before March 15, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: Copies of the draft recovery plan are 
available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. 
Alternatively, you may request a copy by U.S. mail from the Utah 
Ecological Services Field Office, 2369 Orton Circle, Suite 50, West 
Valley City, Utah 84119, telephone: 801-975-3330. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay 
Service at 800-877-8339.
    Submitting comments: If you wish to comment on the draft recovery 
plan, you may submit your comments in writing by email to 
[email protected], or by U.S. mail to the Field Supervisor at the 
address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yvette Converse, Field Supervisor, at 
the above U.S. mail address or telephone: 801-975-3330.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones 
cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 
16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We are requesting review and comment from the 
public on this draft recovery plan.

Background

    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point 
where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. Recovery 
means improving the status of a listed species to the point at which 
listing is no longer necessary according to the criteria specified 
under section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires recovery plans for 
listed species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of 
a particular species. To help guide recovery efforts, we prepare 
recovery plans to promote the conservation of the species.
    The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a recommended 
framework for the recovery of a species so that protection of the Act 
is no longer necessary. Pursuant to section 4(f) of the Act, a recovery 
plan must, to the maximum extent possible, include: (1) A description 
of site-specific management actions as may be necessary to achieve the 
plan's goal for the conservation and survival of the species; (2) 
objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would support a 
determination under section 4(a)(1) of the Act that the species should 
be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species; and (3) 
estimates of time and costs required to carry out those measures needed 
to achieve the plan's goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward 
that goal.
    We used our new recovery planning and implementation (RPI) process 
to develop the draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia. The RPI 
process helps reduce the time needed to develop and implement recovery 
plans, increases the relevancy of the recovery plan over longer 
timeframes, and adds flexibility so that the recovery plan can be more 
easily adjusted to new information and circumstances. Under our RPI 
process, a recovery plan will include the three statutorily required 
elements for recovery plans--objective and measurable criteria, site-
specific management actions, and estimates of time and cost--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 biological report, which provides the scientific background 
information and threat assessment for Jones cycladenia, which are key 
to the development of the recovery plan. The species biological report 
is an interim approach taken as we transition to using a species status 
assessment (SSA) framework as the standard format to analyze species as 
we make decisions under the Act, and includes similar analyses of the 
species' viability in terms of its resiliency, redundancy, and 
representation. A third, separate working document, called the recovery 
implementation strategy (RIS), steps down the more general descriptions 
of actions in the recovery plan to detail the specifics needed to 
implement the recovery plan, which improves the flexibility of the 
recovery plan. The RIS will be adaptable, with new information on 
actions incorporated, as needed, without requiring a concurrent 
revision to the recovery plan, unless changes to the three statutory 
elements are required.
    On May 5, 1986, we listed Jones cycladenia as a threatened plant 
(51 FR 16526). We did not designate critical habitat. Detailed 
information regarding the plant's biology and life history can be found 
in the species biological report for Jones cycladenia (Service 2020, 
entire). The species biological report is an in-depth but not 
exhaustive review of the taxon's biology and threats, an evaluation of 
its biological status, and an assessment of the resources and 
conditions needed to maintain long-term viability. The species 
biological report provides the scientific background and threats 
assessment for our draft recovery plan.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy, ``Notice of Interagency Cooperative 
Policy for Peer Review in Endangered Species Act Activities,'' which 
was

[[Page 2441]]

published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, 
Memorandum ``Peer Review Process,'' we will seek the expert opinion of 
at least three appropriate and independent specialists regarding 
scientific data and interpretations contained in the species biological 
report and the draft recovery plan. We will send copies of both 
documents to the peer reviewers immediately following publication of 
this notice in the Federal Register. We will ensure that the opinions 
of peer reviewers are objective and unbiased by following the 
guidelines set forth in the Director's Memo, which updates and 
clarifies Service policy on peer review (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
2016). The purpose of such review is to ensure that our decisions are 
based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis. 
Accordingly, our final species biological report and recovery plan may 
differ from the draft documents.

Request for Public Comments

    This notice opens the public review and comment period for our 
draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia. Section 4(f) of the Act 
requires that we notify the public and provide an opportunity for 
public review and comment during the development of recovery plans. We 
will consider all information we receive during a public comment period 
when preparing the recovery plan for approval, and particularly look 
for comments that provide scientific rationale or factual background. 
The Service and other Federal agencies and partners will take these 
comments into consideration in the course of implementing an approved 
final recovery plan.
    All comments we receive by the date specified (see DATES) will be 
considered prior to approval of the recovery plan. Written comments and 
materials regarding the recovery plan should be sent via the means in 
the ADDRESSES section.
    We are specifically seeking comments and suggestions on the 
following questions:
     Understanding that the time and cost presented in the 
draft recovery plan will be fine-tuned when localized recovery 
implementation strategies are developed, are the estimated time and 
cost to recovery realistic? Is the estimate reflective of the time and 
cost of actions that may have already been implemented by Federal, 
State, county, or other agencies? Please provide suggestions or methods 
for determining a more accurate estimation.
     Do the draft recovery criteria provide clear direction to 
partners on what is needed to recover Jones cycladenia? How could they 
be improved for clarity?
     Are the draft recovery criteria both objective and 
measurable given the information available for Jones cycladenia now and 
into the future? Please provide suggestions.
     Understanding that specific, detailed, and area-specific 
recovery actions will be developed in the RIS, do the draft recovery 
actions presented in the draft recovery plan generally cover the types 
of actions necessary to meet the recovery criteria? If not, what 
general actions are missing? Are any of the draft recovery actions 
unnecessary for achieving recovery? Have we prioritized the actions 
appropriately?

Public Availability of Comments

    We will summarize and respond to the issues raised by the public in 
an appendix to the approved final recovery plan. 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. You may request at the top of your 
comment that we withhold this information from public review; however, 
we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Species Information

    Jones cycladenia is a long-lived herbaceous perennial plant in the 
dogbane family. It is one of three varieties within the Sacramento waxy 
dogbane (Cycladenia humilis Benth.) species. The other two varieties 
occur in California (Cycladenia humilis var. humilis and var. venusta) 
(Burge et al. 2016, p. 28). Jones cycladenia is endemic to the Colorado 
Plateau in Utah and Arizona. It occurs between 4,000 to 6,660 feet (ft) 
(1,220 to 2,030 meters (m)) in elevation and typically grows on steep 
slopes in soils that are easily degraded, highly erodible, and 
difficult to rehabilitate after disturbances. It is found in sparsely 
vegetated plant communities of mixed desert scrub with less than five 
percent vegetative cover (JGMS 2012, pp. 21-24; JGMS 2014, Appendix; 
Sipes et al. 1994, p. 16; Spence and Palmquist 2007, p. 5). Jones 
cycladenia reproduces by seeds (sexually) and by clonal growth 
(asexually).
    We do not know the historical distribution of Jones cycladenia. At 
the time of listing in 1986, it was known from four populations in 
Emery, Grand, and Garfield counties, Utah (51 FR 16526, May 5, 1986). 
It is now known to occur at 60 sites, which we have grouped into 20 
populations in Emery, Grand, Garfield, San Juan, and Kane Counties of 
Utah and Mohave County, Arizona. We further group these populations 
into four recovery units (San Rafael Swell, Greater Circle Cliffs, 
Moab, and Pipe Spring).
    The primary threats to Jones cycladenia at the time of listing were 
oil, natural gas, and mineral development. These remain the primary 
threats to the taxon. A large percentage of the total population occurs 
on lands open to future energy and mineral development. Without 
additional protections, we anticipate an increase in the magnitude of 
this threat affecting the taxon's future resiliency, redundancy and 
representation. Small populations, lack of pollinators, and sexual 
reproduction limitations may exacerbate the threat.
    Conservation partners conducted additional surveys after Jones 
cycladenia was listed. This resulted in the discovery of 16 additional 
populations. Consequently, Jones cycladenia is now known from more 
sites and has a larger range than we estimated at the time of listing. 
The total population was estimated to be 7,500 stems when the taxon was 
listed; the most recent estimate is 79,196 stems (Service 2020, pp. 14-
18).
    The recovery units have not yet met the proposed delisting criteria 
in this draft recovery plan. Therefore, we anticipate that recovery 
will take a minimum of 10 years--recovery criteria include a 
requirement for stable to increasing populations in each of the four 
recovery units over a 10-year period. We have estimated recovery costs 
for a 15-year period for added flexibility during implementation of the 
recovery plan, when finalized.

Recovery Strategy

    Below, we summarize components from our draft recovery plan. Please 
reference the draft recovery plan for full details (see ADDRESSES 
above).
    The draft recovery plan describes the recovery goal as the 
conservation and survival of Jones cycladenia. For recovery, the taxon 
needs at least four (redundant) and persistent (resilient) recovery 
units across the taxon's range, where recruitment over time equals or 
exceeds loss of individuals and ecological and genetic diversity are 
maintained (representation). These conditions provide sufficient 
representation and redundancy across the taxon's range.
    Recovery criteria in the draft plan include: (1) Maintaining stable 
or increasing population growth rates and

[[Page 2442]]

evidence of viable seed production over a consecutive 10-year period 
for each of the 4 recovery units; (2) maintaining a range-wide total 
population of at least 3,500 individuals (approximately 77,700 stems 
(ramets) for at least 5 consecutive years; (3) each of the four 
recovery units have regulatory mechanisms or conservation plans in 
place that address habitat loss and degradation from energy and mineral 
development, thus helping meet population trend and abundance targets 
identified in the first two criteria; and (4) each of the four recovery 
units are represented in an off-site seed or tissue collection to 
preserve the genetic diversity of Jones cycladenia and provide added 
protection from potential stochastic events. Collections should 
represent at least 75 percent of the genetic diversity, as measured by 
the number of unique alleles, represented in each recovery unit. To 
help meet these criteria, the draft recovery plan identifies recovery 
actions for each criteria.

Authority

    The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered 
Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

Noreen Walsh,
Regional Director, Lakewood, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 2021-00375 Filed 1-11-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P