[Federal Register: October 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 204)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 63044-63047]
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; Notice of 
Reclassification of Nine Candidate Taxa

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of candidate taxa reclassification.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), provide 
explanation for a change in the status of one animal and eight plant 
taxa that were under review for possible addition to the Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are removing these 
nine species from candidate status at this time. Based on information 
gathered on all of these

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species, continuation of candidate status is no longer warranted.

DATES: We will accept comments on this notice at any time.

ADDRESSES: Comments and questions concerning this notice should be 
submitted to the Chief, Office of Conservation and Classification, 
Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1849 C 
Street, NW., Mail Stop 420 ARLSQ, Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Gloman, Chief, Office of 
Conservation and Classification, Division of Endangered Species, 703/



    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires that we identify taxa of wildlife and plants 
that are endangered or threatened, based on the best available 
scientific and commercial information. As part of this program, we have 
maintained a list of taxa we regard as candidates for addition to the 
Lists. A candidate is one for which we have on file sufficient 
information on biological vulnerability and threats to support a 
proposal to list as endangered or threatened. Section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act requires us to examine five factors to determine whether a species 
should or should not be added to the Lists:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of the species' habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization of the species for commercial, recreational, 
scientific, or educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation affecting the species;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to protect the 
species; and
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' 
continued existence.
    After review of these factors we are required to make a 
determination ``solely on the basis of the best scientific and 
commercial data available'' and ``taking into account those efforts, if 
any, being made by any State or foreign nation, or any political 
subdivision of a State or foreign nation, to protect such species, 
whether by predator control, protection of habitat and food supply, or 
other conservation practices, within any area under its jurisdiction, 
or on the high seas.'' Sections 4(a)(1) and 4(b)(1)(A) and our 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.11(f) require us to consider any State or 
local laws, regulations, ordinances, programs, or other specific 
conservation measures that either positively or negatively affect a 
species' status (i.e., efforts that create, exacerbate, reduce, or 
remove threats identified through the section 4(a)(1) analysis).
    On October 25, 1999, we published our most recent annual review of 
all candidate taxa (64 FR 57534). As a result of our review, we 
determined that the following species should be removed from candidate 
status based on our evaluation of the five factors listed above. This 
notice provides specific explanations for the reclassification of one 
animal and eight plant taxa.
    It is important to note that candidate assessment is an ongoing 
function and changes in status should be expected. If we remove taxa 
from the candidate list, they may be restored to candidate status if 
additional information supporting such a change becomes available to 
us. We issue requests for such information in a Candidate Notice of 
Review published in the Federal Register every year.


    The McCloud River redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss ssp.) is 
native to the McCloud River system in northern California. The species 
was considered to warrant a proposal to list as threatened due to 
habitat degradation, recreational fishing, and stocking of hatchery 
fish. In December 1998, a Conservation Agreement and Strategy was 
completed and signed in a collaborative effort between Federal and 
State agencies, private industry, and private citizens. Implementation 
of the Conservation Strategy will reduce threats to the McCloud River 
redband trout, such as fish stocking, recreational fishing, stream 
barriers, and land management activities that degrade the species 
habitat. The strategy delineates a refugium to be managed specifically 
for the protection and enhancement of redbands and their habitat and 
provides for the development of a watershed improvement plan to address 
sedimentation, bank stabilization, barrier development or removal, 
riparian restoration, and habitat enhancement. The strategy also 
provides for the monitoring of grazing and timber practices; closing of 
roads; fencing of streams; and the development of flood and drought 
contingency plans. Based on this information, continuation of candidate 
status for this species is not warranted.
    Calochortus umpquaensis (Umpqua mariposa lily) was described by 
Fredericks in 1989 in Douglas County, Oregon (Fredericks 1989a). 
Fourteen populations are known from an area of about 80.4 square 
kilometers (km) (50 square miles (mi)), with four located on Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM) lands. Recent estimates place the number of 
plants extant on BLM lands on Ace Williams Mountain between 400,000 to 
800,000 individuals. Earlier population estimates were 120,000 to 
140,000 individuals (Fredericks 1989b, 1992). A Conservation Agreement 
among the BLM, the Forest Service (FS), and the Fish and Wildlife 
Service was signed on April 4, 1996. The agreement is being 
implemented, and populations appear stable and larger than previously 
thought. The threats of timber harvest and cattle grazing are being 
addressed. Based on this information, continuation of candidate status 
for this species is not warranted.
    Eriogonum argophyllum (Sulphur Springs buckwheat) consists of 3,700 
to 5,000 individuals restricted to approximately 8 hectares (ha) (20 
acres (ac)) of private land on the mound of Sulphur Hot Springs in 
northern Ruby Valley, Elko County, Nevada. The species was considered 
to warrant a proposal to list as threatened due to large-scale 
disturbance associated with geothermal and other land or resource 
development, including diversion of surface water and lowering of the 
water table. The threat of geothermal development has been eliminated. 
We are aware of no proposals for geothermal or other development of the 
Sulphur Hot Springs site at this time, nor do we have any indication 
that proposals will be made in the foreseeable future. In addition the 
area is fenced which will protect against off-highway vehicle activity 
and impacts from livestock. The Sulphur Springs buckwheat is protected 
by the State of Nevada as ``critically endangered,'' and the Nevada 
Division of Forestry (NDF) does monitor any potentially harmful 
activities at or near the Sulphur Hot Springs site and would require 
habitat protection and other mitigation, as appropriate, prior to 
issuing any permits to allow any disturbance of the species. Based on 
this information, no current and no foreseeable threats can be 
identified to the population. Therefore the continuation of candidate 
status for this species is not warranted.]
    Lathyrus biflorus (two-flowered lathyrus) is known only from Red 
Mountain in northern Humboldt County, California. Our best available 
information indicates that no current and no foreseeable threats can be 
identified to the population and that much adjacent potential habitat 
remains uninventoried. We previously had reason to believe that the 

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would likely be developed. However, given that the area is remote and 
has many access problems, immediate and future development of the 
parcel is not likely. The California Department of Fish and Game and 
the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are aware of 
the species and intend to protect its habitat. Based on this 
information, no current and no foreseeable threats can be identified to 
the population. Therefore the continuation of candidate status for this 
species is not warranted.
    Silene campanulata ssp. campanulata (Red Mountain campion (or 
catchfly)) occurs in chaparral and lower coniferous forests on the 
mostly eastern side of the northern Coast Mountain Range, California. 
Local agency botantists have determined that populations of Silene 
found on BLM and FS lands are a subspecies of Silene other than Silene 
campanulata ssp. campanulata. At this time, the expert for this species 
maintains that the standing of the taxon, Silene campanulata ssp. 
campanulata, is doubtful and that certain collections are intermediates 
(hybrids) between Silene campanulata ssp. campanulata and Silene 
campanulata ssp. glanulosa. Originally the subspecies was thought to be 
restricted to Red Mountain in Mendocino County, California, where 
subsurface and surface mining of nickel and cobalt threaten two 
populations. Since 1980, additional populations have been discovered. 
Beginning in 1993, as many as seven additional populations were 
documented. No documentation of any threats to the newly discovered 
populations and the uncertain taxonomic status have led us to 
discontinue candidate status for this species. Therefore, at this time 
we do not have on file sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support a proposal to list as endangered 
or threatened.
    Cimicifuga arizonica (Arizona bugbane) is an herbaceous perennial 
plant that occurs in mixed-conifer and high-elevation riparian 
deciduous forests and is known only from National Forest lands in 
central Arizona, within Coconino and Gila Counties. The species was 
primarily considered threatened due to activities, such as livestock 
grazing and timber harvest, that reduce canopy closure and destroy 
shaded areas that the species needs for survival. The three National 
Forests that contain all known populations of this species have 
developed conservation strategies adequate to protect the species. The 
Forest Service completed its conservation strategy in 1993 and updated 
it in 1999 for the Tonto National Forest; in 1995, the Forest Service 
completed a conservation assessment and strategy for the Coconino and 
Kaibab National Forests. These strategies have become part of a 1999 
conservation agreement between the Forest Service and us that will 
ensure the survival and conservation of the species. Based on this 
information, no current and no foreseeable threats can be identified to 
the population. Therefore the continuation of candidate status for this 
species is not warranted.
    Zanthoxylum parvum (Shinner's tickle-tongue) is a plant member of 
the oak-maple complex community understory and was known only from 2 
populations (each containing less than 20 small individuals, all male) 
in the Davis Mountains, in arid west Texas. Recently we received 
reports from The Nature Conservancy of Texas and from Dr. Jim Zechs, 
Sul Ross University, that several additional sites have been found, 
including some female plants. Dr. Zechs now believes that the total 
number of sites is between seven and nine. We do not have any further 
information, however, on locality and population status for these new 
sites. The Nature Conservancy of Texas has recently acquired 
significant new lands in the area, and has secured conservation 
easements on others, which may improve conservation for the species. 
The biological, threat, and conservation information appears to be 
substantially changed for this species; based on this information, 
continuation of candidate status for this species is not warranted.
    Arabis pusilla (small rock-cress) is endemic (native) to Wyoming, 
occurring within the southern Wind River Mountains. The species was 
only recently discovered and is known from a single documented 
population and type locality estimated at approximately 1,000 plants 
scattered over a 64.8-ha (160-ac) area. Lands containing A. pussila are 
completely under BLM jurisdiction. Adverse impacts to the plant and its 
habitat were occurring until 1994 when BLM approved the A. pusilla 
Habitat Management Plan (HMP). At that time, BLM implemented an 
emergency closure of the Habitat Management Area to all mechanized and 
nonmotorized vehicle use, and in 1996 constructed a cattle exclosure 
fence around the habitat. The 1998 Green River Resource Management Plan 
designated the area as a Plant Area of Critical Environmental Concern, 
and provides a no-surface-occupancy stipulation for oil and gas 
development. Although A. pussila is still rare, BLM's activities in 
approving and implementing the HMP have served to reduce or eliminate 
the threats facing this species and ensures the survival and 
conservation of the species. Based on this information, continuation of 
candidate status for this species is not warranted.
    Allium gooddingii (Goodding's onion) is an herbaceous perennial 
plant occurring most frequently in drainage bottoms associated with 
perennial, intermittent streams, and on moist, north-facing slopes of 
mature mixed-conifer and spruce-fir forests. A. gooddingii is found on 
lands in the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado, Lincoln, and Gila National 
Forests. Habitat destruction and modification from logging, road 
construction, and grazing were considered the primary threats to the 
species. A 1998 conservation agreement between the FS and us ensures 
the continued survival and conservation of A. gooddingii. Some 
components of the agreement that reduce or eliminate threats to the 
onion include maintaining the canopy cover and avoiding ground 
disturbance and erosion during timber harvesting activities in and near 
occupied sites, prohibiting new livestock structures that would attract 
grazing ungulates to occupied sites, and prohibiting or redesigning new 
roads and trails found to adversely affect the onion. Based on this 
information, continuation of candidate status for this species is not 
    We have removed the taxa listed below from the candidate list. 
However, we did not provide an explanation for their change in status 
in this notice, since we published this information previously in the 
Federal Register on the dates given:
    Clematis hirsutissma var. arizonica (Arizona leatherflower), 
January 9, 1998 (63 FR 1418); Astragalus oophorus var. clokeyanus 
(Clokey's egg-vetch), Castilleja elongata (tall paintbrush), Dalea 
tentaculoides (Gentry's indigobush), Pediocactus paradinei (Kaibab 
plains cactus), April 2, 1998 (63 FR16217); Columbia spotted frog 
(Wasatch front population and West Desert population) (Rana 
luteiventris), April 2, 1998 (63 FR 16218); Florida black bear (Ursus 
americanus floridanus), December 8, 1998 (63 FR 67613); Lesquerella 
stonensis (Stones River bladderpod May 11, 1999 (64 FR 25216).


    This notice was compiled from materials supplied by staff 
biologists located in the Service's regional and field offices. The 
materials were compiled by Susan Jacobsen, Division of

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Endangered Species (see ADDRESSES section).

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: October 13, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-26968 Filed 10-19-00; 8:45 am]