Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Desert Yellowhead, 61775-61777 [2021-24392]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 213 / Monday, November 8, 2021 / Notices 9. An individual or entity which knowingly employs or uses the services of an employee of HUD’s Office of Housing (other than in such employee’s official capacity); or 10. An individual or entity that knowingly uses the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity ineligible under 1 through 10 to assist in preparing any of its bids on the mortgage loans. The Qualification Statement has additional representations and warranties which the prospective bidder must make, including but not limited to the representation and warranty that the prospective bidder or its Related Entities are not and will not knowingly use the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity that is, any of the following (and to the extent that any such individual or entity would prevent the prospective bidder from making the following representations, such individual or entity has been removed from participation in all activities related to this sale and has no ability to influence or control individuals involved in formation of a bid for this sale): (1) An entity or individual is ineligible to bid on any included reverse mortgage loan or on the pool containing such reverse mortgage loan because it is an entity or individual that: (a) Serviced or held such reverse mortgage loan at any time during the six-month period prior to the bid, or (b) Is any principal of any entity or individual described in the preceding sentence; (c) Any employee or subcontractor of such entity or individual during that six-month period; or (d) Any entity or individual that employs or uses the services of any other entity or individual described in this paragraph in preparing its bid on such reverse mortgage loan. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Freedom of Information Act Requests HUD reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disclose information regarding HVLS 2022–1, including, but not limited to, the identity of any successful qualified bidder and its bid price or bid percentage for any pool of loans or individual loan, upon the closing of the sale of all the mortgage loans. Even if HUD elects not to publicly disclose any information relating to HVLS 2022–1, HUD will disclose any information that HUD is obligated to disclose pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and all regulations promulgated thereunder. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:37 Nov 05, 2021 Jkt 256001 Scope of Notice This notice applies to HVLS 2022–1 and does not establish HUD’s policy for the sale of other mortgage loans. Janet Golrick, Acting, Chief of Staff, Office of Housing— Federal Housing Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–24294 Filed 11–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R6–ES–2021–N187; FXES11130600000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Desert Yellowhead 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 desert yellowhead, a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and the public. DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or before January 7, 2022. ADDRESSES: Document availability: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ species/recovery-plans.html and at https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/7754. Alternatively, you may request a copy by U.S. mail from the Wyoming Field Office; 334 Parsley Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82007; or by telephone at 307–772– 2374. 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 Tyler Abbott, at tyler_abbott@fws.gov, or by U.S. mail to Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field Supervisor, at the above U.S. mail address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field Supervisor, at the above U.S. mail address or by telephone at 307–772– 2374. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61775 We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for desert yellowhead (Yermo xanthocephalus), a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to remove the species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies and the public. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Species Information On April 15, 2002, we listed desert yellowhead as a threatened plant (March 14, 2002; 67 FR 11442). On April 15, 2004, we designated approximately 360 acres (ac) (146 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat (March 16, 2004; 69 FR 12278). Desert yellowhead is the only member of a monotypic genus. It is an endemic, herbaceous, perennial plant, with two known populations in Fremont County, Wyoming—Sand Draw and Cedar Rim. The two populations are approximately 5 miles (mi) (8 kilometers (km)) apart. New plants establish from seed or ramet, grow for multiple years before flowering, and may subsequently have years in which no flower production occurs (Doak et al. 2016, p. 4). This species is likely pollinated by visually oriented insects attracted to its bright yellow disk flowers and bracts (Dorn 1991, pp. 198–201). The two populations are found in sparsely vegetated cover at approximately 6,750 feet (ft) (2,057 meters (m)) for Sand Draw and 7,080 ft (2,158 m) for Cedar Rim. We do not know the historical distribution of desert yellowhead. Currently, the total area occupied by the two populations is approximately 11.9 ac (4.8 ha). Both populations are located on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Only the Sand Draw population occurs within designated critical habitat; the Cedar Rim population was not discovered until 2010, after critical habitat had been designated. Due to the variability of monitoring methods employed in different years, it is difficult to evaluate abundance trends; however, populations appear relatively stable. The primary threat to desert yellowhead identified at the time of listing was mineral development, and secondary threats included invasive plants; grazing and trampling by livestock, wild horses, and ungulates; off-road vehicle recreation; deliberate E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 61776 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 213 / Monday, November 8, 2021 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 damage or destruction of plants; and wildfire. Currently, the primary threat to the species is exploration for and development of locatable mineral resources, such as opals, gold, uranium, and zeolites. Without additional protections, we anticipate an increase in the magnitude of this threat affecting the species’ future resiliency, redundancy, and representation. Secondary threats continue to include potential invasive plant encroachment; grazing and trampling by livestock, wild horses, and ungulates; off-road vehicle recreation; deliberate damage or destruction of plants; and potential wildfire. The potential threats from invasive plants and wildfire could be exacerbated by climate change. Several regulatory mechanisms have been initiated since listing in 2002 as follows: (1) Desert yellowhead is designated a sensitive species under the BLM’s 6840 Manual (BLM 2008, entire) and under BLM’s current Lander Resource Management Plan (RMP) (BLM 2014, entire). We expect the current Lander RMP to remain in place for another 15– 20 years, and that a renewed RMP would continue to offer protections to this species, regardless of its status as a federally listed species. (2) On July 12, 2005, the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the closure of certain BLM-administered public lands to all types of motor vehicle use to protect desert yellowhead and its critical habitat (70 FR 40053). The closure affects public lands located within, and adjacent to, the 360-ac (146ha) designated critical habitat of the Sand Draw population of desert yellowhead. (3) On January 30, 2008, Public Land Order number 7688 provided for the withdrawal of public lands for the protection of desert yellowhead (FR 73 5586). The order withdrew the 360 ac (146 ha) of land identified as critical habitat surrounding the Sand Draw population from surface entry and mining for 20 years. This protection is due for renewal in 2028. The Cedar Rim population was not known at this time, and discussions regarding the establishment of a mineral withdrawal for this population are ongoing. Recovery Planning Process 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:37 Nov 05, 2021 Jkt 256001 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 Plants; 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 desert yellowhead. 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 SSA report for the desert yellowhead (Service 2019, entire). The SSA is an in-depth, but not exhaustive, review of the species’ biology and threats, an evaluation of its biological status, and an assessment of the resources and conditions needed to maintain long-term viability. The SSA provides the scientific background and threats assessment for desert yellowhead, which are key to the development of the recovery plan. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. Draft Recovery Plan Below, we summarize components from our draft recovery plan. Please reference the draft recovery plan for full details (see ADDRESSES). The draft recovery plan describes recovery as the maintenance of two (redundant) stable (resilient) populations within the species’ historical range (representation), with conservation measures in place to reduce key threats. The draft recovery plan includes recovery criteria for delisting that when met would indicate that the desert yellowhead may no longer need the protections of the Act. Delisting criteria include: (1) Long term, renewable protections from mineral resource extraction are in place for both the Sand Draw and Cedar Rim populations and will remain in place for at least 10 years following delisting. (2) The Sand Draw and Cedar Rim populations are secure, as evidenced by a stable or increasing population trend, with more than 5,797 individuals counted in Sand Draw’s monitored quadrats and more than 242 individuals counted in Cedar Rim’s monitored transects for 8 out of 10 consecutive survey years. (3) Both the Sand Draw and Cedar Rim populations show evidence of sexual reproduction as evidenced by the production of at least one seed with a mature embryo in both populations over a 10-year period. (4) A banked seed source containing seeds from both populations of desert yellowhead is secured in a Center for Plant Conservation (CPC)-affiliated institution. To help meet these criteria, the draft recovery plan identifies recovery actions for each criterion. Peer Review In accordance with our July 1, 1994, peer review policy (59 FR 34270; July 1, 1994); our August 22, 2016, Director’s Memo on the Peer Review Process; and the Office of Management and Budget’s December 16, 2004, Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (revised June 2012), we solicited independent scientific reviews of the information contained in the SSA E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 213 / Monday, November 8, 2021 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 report. Results of this structured peer review process can be found at https:// www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/science/ peerReview.php. We also submitted our SSA report to our Federal and State partners for their scientific review. There is no overlap of occupied habitat or critical habitat with Tribal lands. We incorporated the results of the peer and partner review in the SSA report, as appropriate. The SSA report is the scientific foundation for the draft recovery plan. Request for Public Comments This notice opens the public review and comment period for our draft recovery plan for the desert yellowhead. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that we provide public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during the development of recovery plans. 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 one of the means in the ADDRESSES section. We will consider all information we receive during the public comment period, 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. 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, do you think that the estimated time and cost to recovery are 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 desert yellowhead? How could they be improved for clarity? • Are the draft recovery criteria both objective and measurable given the information available for desert yellowhead now and into the future? Please provide suggestions. • Do you think that 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:37 Nov 05, 2021 Jkt 256001 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. Authority The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). Anna Mun˜oz, Acting Deputy Regional Director. [FR Doc. 2021–24392 Filed 11–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2021–0123; FXES11130400000EA–123–FF04EF4000] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Lake County, FL; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Pulte Home Company, LLC—North Florida Division (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink incidental to construction in Lake County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61777 We must receive your written comments on or before December 8, 2021. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents online in Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2021–0123 at http://www.regulations.gov. Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so in writing by any of the following methods: • Online: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R4–ES– 2021–0123. • U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R4– ES–2021–0123; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin M. Gawera, by telephone at (904) 731– 3121 or via email at erin_gawera@ fws.gov. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Pulte Home Company, LLC—North Florida Division (Chicone) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) incidental to the construction of a residential development (project) in Lake County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. DATES: Project The applicant requests a 5-year ITP to take sand skinks through the conversion of approximately 2.70 acres (ac) of occupied sand skink foraging and sheltering habitat incidental to the construction of a residential development located on a 254.87-ac parcel in Section 24, Township 23 South, Range 26 East, Lake County, Florida, identified by Parcel ID numbers 24–23–26–0001–0000–0100, 24–23–26– 0002–0000–0600, 24–23–26–0002– 0000–1200 and 24–23–26–0001–0000– E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 213 (Monday, November 8, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61775-61777]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-24392]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-ES-2021-N187; FXES11130600000]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for Desert Yellowhead

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 desert yellowhead, a plant 
listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We request 
review and comment on this draft recovery plan from Federal, State, 
Tribal, and local agencies and the public.

DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or 
before January 7, 2022.

ADDRESSES: 
    Document availability: Copies of the draft recovery plan are 
available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html 
and at https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/7754. Alternatively, you may 
request a copy by U.S. mail from the Wyoming Field Office; 334 Parsley 
Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82007; or by telephone at 307-772-2374. 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 Tyler Abbott, 
at [email protected], or by U.S. mail to Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field 
Supervisor, at the above U.S. mail address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field 
Supervisor, at the above U.S. mail address or by telephone at 307-772-
2374. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call 
the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for 
desert yellowhead (Yermo xanthocephalus), a plant listed as threatened 
under the Endangered Species Act, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, 
and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to remove the 
species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. We 
request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from Federal, 
State, Tribal, and local agencies and the public.

Species Information

    On April 15, 2002, we listed desert yellowhead as a threatened 
plant (March 14, 2002; 67 FR 11442). On April 15, 2004, we designated 
approximately 360 acres (ac) (146 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat 
(March 16, 2004; 69 FR 12278).
    Desert yellowhead is the only member of a monotypic genus. It is an 
endemic, herbaceous, perennial plant, with two known populations in 
Fremont County, Wyoming--Sand Draw and Cedar Rim. The two populations 
are approximately 5 miles (mi) (8 kilometers (km)) apart. New plants 
establish from seed or ramet, grow for multiple years before flowering, 
and may subsequently have years in which no flower production occurs 
(Doak et al. 2016, p. 4). This species is likely pollinated by visually 
oriented insects attracted to its bright yellow disk flowers and bracts 
(Dorn 1991, pp. 198-201). The two populations are found in sparsely 
vegetated cover at approximately 6,750 feet (ft) (2,057 meters (m)) for 
Sand Draw and 7,080 ft (2,158 m) for Cedar Rim.
    We do not know the historical distribution of desert yellowhead. 
Currently, the total area occupied by the two populations is 
approximately 11.9 ac (4.8 ha). Both populations are located on lands 
administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Only the Sand Draw 
population occurs within designated critical habitat; the Cedar Rim 
population was not discovered until 2010, after critical habitat had 
been designated. Due to the variability of monitoring methods employed 
in different years, it is difficult to evaluate abundance trends; 
however, populations appear relatively stable.
    The primary threat to desert yellowhead identified at the time of 
listing was mineral development, and secondary threats included 
invasive plants; grazing and trampling by livestock, wild horses, and 
ungulates; off-road vehicle recreation; deliberate

[[Page 61776]]

damage or destruction of plants; and wildfire. Currently, the primary 
threat to the species is exploration for and development of locatable 
mineral resources, such as opals, gold, uranium, and zeolites. Without 
additional protections, we anticipate an increase in the magnitude of 
this threat affecting the species' future resiliency, redundancy, and 
representation. Secondary threats continue to include potential 
invasive plant encroachment; grazing and trampling by livestock, wild 
horses, and ungulates; off-road vehicle recreation; deliberate damage 
or destruction of plants; and potential wildfire. The potential threats 
from invasive plants and wildfire could be exacerbated by climate 
change.
    Several regulatory mechanisms have been initiated since listing in 
2002 as follows:
    (1) Desert yellowhead is designated a sensitive species under the 
BLM's 6840 Manual (BLM 2008, entire) and under BLM's current Lander 
Resource Management Plan (RMP) (BLM 2014, entire). We expect the 
current Lander RMP to remain in place for another 15-20 years, and that 
a renewed RMP would continue to offer protections to this species, 
regardless of its status as a federally listed species.
    (2) On July 12, 2005, the BLM published a notice in the Federal 
Register announcing the closure of certain BLM-administered public 
lands to all types of motor vehicle use to protect desert yellowhead 
and its critical habitat (70 FR 40053). The closure affects public 
lands located within, and adjacent to, the 360-ac (146-ha) designated 
critical habitat of the Sand Draw population of desert yellowhead.
    (3) On January 30, 2008, Public Land Order number 7688 provided for 
the withdrawal of public lands for the protection of desert yellowhead 
(FR 73 5586). The order withdrew the 360 ac (146 ha) of land identified 
as critical habitat surrounding the Sand Draw population from surface 
entry and mining for 20 years. This protection is due for renewal in 
2028. The Cedar Rim population was not known at this time, and 
discussions regarding the establishment of a mineral withdrawal for 
this population are ongoing.

Recovery Planning Process

    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 Plants; 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 desert yellowhead. 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 SSA 
report for the desert yellowhead (Service 2019, entire). The SSA is an 
in-depth, but not exhaustive, review of the species' biology and 
threats, an evaluation of its biological status, and an assessment of 
the resources and conditions needed to maintain long-term viability. 
The SSA provides the scientific background and threats assessment for 
desert yellowhead, which are key to the development of the recovery 
plan. 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.

Draft Recovery Plan

    Below, we summarize components from our draft recovery plan. Please 
reference the draft recovery plan for full details (see ADDRESSES).
    The draft recovery plan describes recovery as the maintenance of 
two (redundant) stable (resilient) populations within the species' 
historical range (representation), with conservation measures in place 
to reduce key threats.
    The draft recovery plan includes recovery criteria for delisting 
that when met would indicate that the desert yellowhead may no longer 
need the protections of the Act. Delisting criteria include:
    (1) Long term, renewable protections from mineral resource 
extraction are in place for both the Sand Draw and Cedar Rim 
populations and will remain in place for at least 10 years following 
delisting.
    (2) The Sand Draw and Cedar Rim populations are secure, as 
evidenced by a stable or increasing population trend, with more than 
5,797 individuals counted in Sand Draw's monitored quadrats and more 
than 242 individuals counted in Cedar Rim's monitored transects for 8 
out of 10 consecutive survey years.
    (3) Both the Sand Draw and Cedar Rim populations show evidence of 
sexual reproduction as evidenced by the production of at least one seed 
with a mature embryo in both populations over a 10-year period.
    (4) A banked seed source containing seeds from both populations of 
desert yellowhead is secured in a Center for Plant Conservation (CPC)-
affiliated institution.
    To help meet these criteria, the draft recovery plan identifies 
recovery actions for each criterion.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our July 1, 1994, peer review policy (59 FR 
34270; July 1, 1994); our August 22, 2016, Director's Memo on the Peer 
Review Process; and the Office of Management and Budget's December 16, 
2004, Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (revised June 
2012), we solicited independent scientific reviews of the information 
contained in the SSA

[[Page 61777]]

report. Results of this structured peer review process can be found at 
https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/science/peerReview.php. We also 
submitted our SSA report to our Federal and State partners for their 
scientific review. There is no overlap of occupied habitat or critical 
habitat with Tribal lands. We incorporated the results of the peer and 
partner review in the SSA report, as appropriate. The SSA report is the 
scientific foundation for the draft recovery plan.

Request for Public Comments

    This notice opens the public review and comment period for our 
draft recovery plan for the desert yellowhead. Section 4(f) of the Act 
requires that we provide public notice and an opportunity for public 
review and comment during the development of recovery plans. 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 one of the 
means in the ADDRESSES section.
    We will consider all information we receive during the public 
comment period, 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. 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, do you think that the 
estimated time and cost to recovery are 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 desert yellowhead? How could they 
be improved for clarity?
     Are the draft recovery criteria both objective and 
measurable given the information available for desert yellowhead now 
and into the future? Please provide suggestions.
     Do you think that 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.

Authority

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

Anna Mu[ntilde]oz,
Acting Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2021-24392 Filed 11-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P