[Federal Register: January 13, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 8)]
[Page 1976]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice To Extend the Public Comment Period for the Draft Recovery 
Plan for the Vernal Pools of Southern California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of extension of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gives notice that the 
comment period announced in the September 26, 1997 notice of 
availability the Draft Recovery Plan for Vernal Pools of Southern 
California will be extended an additional 30 days. The Service 
experienced difficulty in distributing copies of the draft plan. This 
plan addresses the endangered Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii (San 
Diego button celery), Orcuttia californica (California Orcutt grass), 
Pogogyne abramsii (San Diego mesa mint), Pogogyne nudiuscula (Otay mesa 
mint), San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis) and 
Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus wootonii), and the proposed 
threatened Navarretia fossalis (spreading navarretia). These five plant 
species and two shrimp species collectively occur on scattered and 
limited habitat on Federal and private lands remaining on the coastal 
terraces of Goleta and Isla Vista in Santa Barbara County, California 
to the Simi Hills of eastern Ventura County and the Santa Clarita 
region of Los Angeles County, east through Orange and western Riverside 
Counties, and the more extensive vernal pool complexes of San Diego 
County. The Service extends the current 90-day comment period and 
solicits review and comment from the public on this draft plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan received by February 12, 
1998 will be considered by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft recovery plan may obtain 
a copy by contacting the Carlsbad Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, California 92008. Telephone 
requests may be made by calling 760/431-9440.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Kreager at the above address and 
telephone number.



    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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered 
species program. To help guide the recovery effort, the Service 
prepares recovery plans for most of the listed species native to the 
United States. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for the recovery levels 
necessary to reclassify them from endangered to threatened or remove 
them from the list, and estimate the time and cost for implementing the 
needed recovery measures.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in 1988, 
requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and 
comment be provided during recovery plan development. The Service will 
consider all information presented during a public comment period prior 
to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and other 
Federal agencies will take these comments into account in the course of 
implementing approved recovery plans.
    Southern California vernal pools are habitat to at least 12 endemic 
plants and three endemic fairy shrimp species. Six of the endemic 
species are federally endangered: Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii 
(San Diego button celery), Orcuttia californica (California Orcutt 
grass), Pogogyne abramsii (San Diego mesa mint), Pogogyne nudiuscula 
(Otay mesa mint), San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis) 
and the Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus wootonii); and one is 
proposed for threatened status: Navarretia fossalis (spreading 
    Vernal pool habitat in southern California has suffered extensive 
loss and degradation. The objective of this plan is to stabilize and 
protect existing populations of Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii, 
Pogogyne abramsii, Pogogyne nudiuscula, Orcuttia californica, 
Navarretia fossalis, and San Diego and Riverside fairy shrimps. It is 
also the intent of this plan to establish new protected populations 
within their historic ranges, so that the listed species may be 
considered for reclassification to threatened status and the proposed 
rule for Navarretia fossalis may be withdrawn.

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service solicits written comments on the recovery plan 
described herein. All comments received by the date specified above 
will be considered prior to approval of the plan.


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

    Dated: December 30, 1997.
David L. McMullen,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland Oregon.
[FR Doc. 98-749 Filed 1-12-98; 8:45 am]