[Federal Register: April 26, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 81)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 24420-24422]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule To 
Remove the Umpqua River Cutthroat Trout From the List of Endangered 

AGENCIES: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), are amending the 
current regulations by removing the entry of the Umpqua River 
Ecologically Significant Unit (ESU) of the coastal cutthroat trout 
(Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) from the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife (List). The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which 
has jurisdiction for this population, has determined that the Umpqua 
River cutthroat trout population, formerly identified as an ESU of the 
species, is part of a larger population segment that previously was 
determined to be neither endangered nor threatened as defined by the 
Endangered Species Act (Act). Therefore, NMFS determined that the 
Umpqua River cutthroat trout should be removed from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and recommended that the Department 
of the Interior implement this action by amending the List accordingly. 
We concur with the determination by NMFS and are removing all of the 
Act's protections, including critical habitat designation, for this 
population in the Umpqua River basin.

DATES: This rule is effective April 26, 2000.

ADDRESSES: The complete file for this rule is available for inspection, 
by appointment, during normal business hours, at Branch of Conservation 
and Classification, Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Room 420, Arlington, Virginia 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Gloman, Chief, Division of 
Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at the above 
address or telephone 703/358-2171.



    The coastal cutthroat trout subspecies (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) 
is native to western North America and is found in the coastal 
temperate rainforests from southeast Alaska to northern California 
(Trotter 1989). The populations addressed in this document inhabit the 
Umpqua River basin of coastal Oregon. Details of the coastal cutthroat 
trout's life history and ecology, including particular aspects of the 
various resident and migratory life forms, can be found in published 
reviews by Pauley et al. (1989), Trotter (1989), Behnke (1992), Johnson 
et al. (1994), and Johnson et al. (1999).

Previous ESA Actions Related to Coastal Cutthroat Trout

    Descriptions of previous Federal actions pertaining to coastal 
cutthroat trout are summarized in the Federal Register notice on the 
transfer of agency jurisdiction (65 FR 21376, April 21, 2000), final 
delisting rule published by NMFS (65 FR 20915, April 19, 2000), the 
proposed delisting rule (64 FR 16397, April 5, 1999), and the initial 
listing determination (61 FR 41514,

[[Page 24421]]

August 9, 1996). In response to a petition, NMFS proposed to list the 
Umpqua River coastal cutthroat trout ESU as endangered on July 8, 1994 
(59 FR 35089), and made the listing final on August 9, 1996 (61 FR 
41514). The listing was followed by a critical habitat designation on 
January 9, 1998 (63 FR 1388).


    After making the initial findings to list the Umpqua River 
cutthroat trout, NMFS conducted an expanded review of coastal cutthroat 
trout that identified six ESUs in Washington, Oregon, and California 
(Johnson 1999). One of the conclusions of this more comprehensive 
review was that the Umpqua River cutthroat trout population was part of 
a larger Oregon Coast ESU bounded by Cape Blanco in the south and the 
Columbia River mouth in the north. Moreover, NMFS determined that the 
larger ESU did not warrant listing under the ESA. In light of these 
findings, NMFS proposed to delist the Umpqua River ESU on April 5, 1999 
(64 FR 16397). This proposal was announced jointly with us because 
section 4(a)(2)(B) of the Act requires our concurrence on any NMFS 
delisting action. The proposal also noted that a determination would be 
made regarding which of the two agencies should have sole jurisdiction 
over the species of which the Umpqua River ESU is a part. On April 21, 
2000, the agencies published a document announcing that we would retain 
this authority, but that NMFS would complete the final determination on 
the Umpqua delisting proposal (65 FR 21376).
    The agencies requested information on all aspects of the April 1999 
delisting proposal, and NMFS held public hearings May 25-26, 1999, to 
solicit additional comments (64 FR 20248, April 26, 1999). In 
accordance with a July 1, 1994, interagency policy (59 FR 34270), NMFS 
also solicited scientific peer review on the proposal from species 
experts. A summary of the comments received and the NMFS responses can 
be found in the final delisting rule published by NMFS on April 19, 
2000 (65 FR 20915).
    Based on an assessment of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, and after taking into account public and peer 
review comments, NMFS found that the Umpqua River ESU of the coastal 
cutthroat trout is not a valid ``distinct population segment,'' as 
defined by a joint NMFS/FWS policy published on February 7, 1996 (61 FR 
4722). Therefore, NMFS concludes that the Umpqua River cutthroat trout 
should be removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife, thereby removing all protections provided by the Act. In 
accordance with section 4(a)(2)(B) of the Act, NMFS has recommended 
that the Department of the Interior implement this action by amending 
the List accordingly. We have reviewed the complete administrative 
record regarding this action, find that the determination is well 
based, and concur that the Umpqua River ESU of the coastal cutthroat 
trout should be removed from the List. Therefore, in accordance with 
section 4(a)(2) of the Act, we are amending the List (50 CFR 17.11(h)) 
by revising the regulations to remove the entry for this population.

Effects of the Final Rule

    This action removes Umpqua River cutthroat trout from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The Act and its implementing 
regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions that apply to 
all endangered animals. All prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, 
implemented by 50 CFR 223.203, currently apply to Umpqua River 
cutthroat trout. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any 
person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take 
(includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, 
capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these), import or export, 
ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial 
activity, or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce 
any endangered wildlife species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, 
deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been 
taken illegally. Once removed from the List, these prohibitions will no 
longer apply to Umpqua River cutthroat trout.
    The requirements of section 7 of the Act will also no longer apply 
to Umpqua River cutthroat trout, and Federal agencies will no longer be 
required to consult on their actions that may affect Umpqua River 
cutthroat trout.
    The 1988 amendments to the Act require that all species which have 
been delisted due to recovery be monitored for at least 5 years 
following delisting. Umpqua River cutthroat trout is being delisted due 
to a reevaluation of the ESUs in Oregon and California that indicated 
that the Umpqua River ESU is not a valid ESU, and that the Umpqua River 
cutthroat trout is part of a larger ESU. Therefore, since this 
delisting is not due to recovery, no monitoring period is required.
    Critical habitat for the Umpqua River cutthroat trout was 
designated on January 9, 1998 (63 FR 1388). It includes all estuarine 
areas and river reaches accessible to the species in the Umpqua River 
basin, except areas above longstanding, naturally impassable barriers. 
The Act defines critical habitat as ``specific areas within the 
geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed, on 
which are found those physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species and which may require special management 
considerations or protection.'' Because critical habitat can be 
designated only for species listed as endangered or threatened under 
the Act, upon publication of this final rule to amend the regulations, 
critical habitat would no longer be designated for the Umpqua River 
cutthroat trout population.
    This final rule is issued under 50 CFR part 17 and is not subject 
to Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866. 
Because this rule implements a determination previously subject to 
notice and comment and will relieve regulatory restrictions, the 
Service Director, under section 553(b)(3)(B) and (d) of the 
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553 et seq.), for good cause, 
finds that it is unnecessary to provide additional notice and public 
comment on this rule or to delay for 30 days its effective date.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection 
with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We 
published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the 
Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others, 
is available upon request from the Branch of Conservation and 
Classification (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this final rule is Tim Van Norman, Branch of 
Conservation and Classification (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, and Transportation.

[[Page 24422]]

Regulations Promulgation

    Accordingly, part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

Sec. 17.11  [Amended]

    2. Section 17.11(h) is amended by removing the entry for ``Trout, 
Umpqua River cutthroat, Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) clarki clarki'' under 
``FISHES'' from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Dated: April 10, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-10372 Filed 4-25-00; 8:45 am]