[Federal Register: April 17, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 74)]
[Page 20480-20481]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the 
Oregon Silverspot Butterfly for Review and Comment

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of a draft revised recovery plan for the Oregon silverspot butterfly 
(Speyeria zerene hippolyta) for public review. This butterfly is 
distributed in six small areas along the Pacific coast from northern 
California to southern Washington. The Oregon silverspot butterfly 
depends upon coastal grasslands that contain the larval host plant 
(early blue violet), nectar sources, and adult courtship areas. This 
draft revised plan updates the original recovery plan that was 
completed in 1982.

DATES: We must receive your comments on the draft revised recovery plan 
on or

[[Page 20481]]

before June 16, 2000 for us to consider them in developing the final 

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the draft revised recovery plan by 
contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State Office, 
2600 S.E. 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon, 97266; phone (503) 
231-6179. Send written comments or other materials on the plan to the 
State Supervisor at the above address. Comments and materials received 
are available on request for public inspection, by appointment, during 
normal business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Szlemp, Supervisory Fish and 
Wildlife Biologist, at the above address.



    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 our endangered species program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are working to prepare recovery plans for most of 
the listed species native to the United States. Recovery plans describe 
actions considered necessary to conserve the species, establish 
criteria for recognizing the recovery levels for downlisting or 
delisting them, and estimate time and cost for implementing the 
recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) requires that recovery plans be developed for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that during 
recovery plan development, we provide public notice and an opportunity 
for public review and comment. We will consider all information 
presented during a comment period before we approve a new or revised 
recovery plan. We and other Federal agencies will also take these 
comments into account in the course of implementing approved recovery 
    The Oregon silverspot butterfly, which was listed as threatened 
with critical habitat in 1980, is a small, darkly marked coastal 
subspecies of the Zerene fritillary butterfly. This subspecies occurs 
in six small pockets of remaining habitat at: Del Norte/Lake Earl in 
California; Clatsop Plains, Mt. Hebo, Cascade Head, and Rock Creek-Big 
Creek in Oregon; and Long Beach in Washington. The Long Beach 
population may be extirpated and the population on the Clatsop Plains 
is extremely low and at risk of extirpation. A recovery plan was 
completed in 1982. At the time of listing, the only known viable 
population occurred in the Rock Creek-Big Creek area. The original 
recovery plan included recovery actions for the Rock Creek-Big Creek 
area as well as the rediscovered population of butterflies at Mt. Hebo. 
Since that time, additional Oregon silverspot populations have been 
discovered or rediscovered at Cascade Head, Bray Point, Clatsop Plains, 
and Del Norte.
    The open vegetation preferred by the butterfly has always had a 
patchy distribution that was maintained through wildfire, salt-laden 
winds, grazing, and controlled burning. Habitat has declined due to 
residential and commercial development, invasion of exotic plant 
species, overgrazing, and lack of fire. Current threats to Oregon 
silverspot butterflies include continued habitat alteration, continued 
invasion of non-native plants, off-road vehicle use, and vegetation 
change due to fire suppression.
    The draft revised recovery plan calls for restoring and protecting 
habitat for the Oregon silverspot butterfly to establish or maintain 
viable populations in six habitat conservation areas. Because Oregon 
silverspot butterfly populations have been extirpated and existing ones 
are still declining, the revised recovery plan also calls for 
augmenting existing populations with captive-reared individuals and 
reintroducing butterflies in areas where they have been extirpated. 
When the revised plan is completed, it will guide all Federal and State 
agencies whose actions affect the conservation of the Oregon silverspot 

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on this draft revised recovery plan. We 
are particularly interested in receiving any recent information 
regarding the occurrence, distribution, or number of butterflies that 
is not included in the draft revised plan. We are also particularly 
interested in information pertaining to specific criteria to be 
considered when proposing to augment or reintroduce Oregon silverspot 
butterflies. We will consider all comments received by the date 
specified above before approving the plan.


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

    Dated: April 11, 2000.
Thomas Dwyer,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1.
[FR Doc. 00-9459 Filed 4-14-00; 8:45 am]