[Federal Register: January 9, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 6)]
[Page 1688-1689]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for the Bruneau Hot 
Springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis) for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability for public review of a draft recovery plan for the Bruneau 
hot springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis). This endangered snail is 
native to thermal springs habitats along a 6.9-kilometer (4.3-mile) 
reach of the Bruneau River and its tributary Hot Creek in southwestern 

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan received by March 12, 2001 
will be considered by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
following location: Snake River Basin Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 368, Boise, Idaho 83709 (phone: 
208/378-5243). Requests for copies of the draft recovery plan and 
written comments and materials regarding this plan should be addressed 
to Robert Ruesink, Field Supervisor, at the above address.

Biologist, at the above address.



    Restoring endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point 
where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a

[[Page 1689]]

primary goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 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 for the 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting listed species, 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 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 requires that public notice 
and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during the public comment period prior to approval of each new or 
revised recovery plan. Substantive technical comments will result in 
changes to the plans. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the recovery 
plans, but will be forwarded to the appropriate Federal Agency or other 
entities so that they can take these comments into account during the 
course of implementing recovery actions.
    The Bruneau hot springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis) is listed as 
endangered. The species currently survives in approximately 89, out of 
155, small, flowing geothermal springs and seeps along an approximately 
6.9-kilometer (4.3-mile) reach of the Bruneau River and its tributary 
Hot Creek in southwestern Idaho. The species is found in a narrow 
elevation range of 803.7 to 815.7 meters (2,636.9 to 2,676.1 feet).
    The Bruneau hot springsnail has been found in flowing geothermal 
springs and seeps with temperatures ranging from 15.7 to 36.9 degrees 
Celsius (60.3 to 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit), with the highest densities 
of springsnails noted at temperatures ranging from 22.8 to 36.6 degrees 
Celsius (73 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit). Bruneau hot springsnails are 
found in these habitats on the exposed surfaces of various substrates, 
including rocks, gravel, sand, mud, and algal film. The principal 
threat to this species is the reduction or elimination of its 
geothermal spring habitats as a result of agricultural-related 
groundwater withdrawal and pumping.
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of the Bruneau hot springsnail so that protection by the 
Endangered Species Act is no longer necessary. Recovery is contingent 
upon conserving and increasing geothermal spring habitats within the 
recovery area for the Bruneau hot springsnail, while acknowledging that 
geothermal groundwater can continue to be managed to fulfill other 
beneficial uses.
    The Bruneau hot springsnail will be considered for downlisting to a 
threatened status when groundwater management activities have been 
implemented and monitoring indicates an increasing trend in water 
levels in the geothermal aquifer and occupied geothermal springs for a 
period of 10 years. Delisting of the species will be considered when: 
(1) Water levels in the geothermal aquifer have increased and 
stabilized at 816.96 meters (2,678.54 feet) in elevation (as measured 
in October at one of the Hot Creek water monitoring wells (USGS well 
number 03BDC1)); (2) the total number of geothermal springs discharging 
within the recovery area is 200 or more (this is equivalent to the 1991 
level of 211 geothermal springs), distributed within the current range 
of the Bruneau hot springsnail; (3) more than two-thirds of available 
geothermal springs within the recovery area (approximately 131 springs) 
are occupied by stable, medium to high density populations of the 
Bruneau hot springsnail; and (4) groundwater levels are permanently 
protected against further reductions through implementation of 
groundwater management activities.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the recovery plan described. All 
comments received by the date specified above will be considered prior 
to approval of this plan.


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

    Dated: January 3, 2001.
Anne Badgley,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-505 Filed 1-8-01; 8:45 am]