[Federal Register: September 25, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 186)]
[Page 49035-49036]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Supplement and Amendment to the 
Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan--Recovery Criteria and Estimates of 
Time for Recovery Actions--for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability 
for public review of a Draft Supplement and Amendment to the 1998 Final 
Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) Recovery Plan. 
The species is currently known to occur on federal lands in Maricopa, 
Pima, and Yuma counties in southwestern Arizona. The Service solicits 
review and comment from the public on this Draft Supplement and 

DATES: Comments on the Draft Supplement and Amendment to the 1998 Final 
Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan must be received on or before November 
26, 2001 to receive consideration by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the Draft Supplement and Amendment 
to the 1998 Final Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan may obtain a copy by 
accessing the Service's Arizona Ecological Service Field Office 
internet web page at Arizonaes.fws.gov or contacting John Morgart, 
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
1611 North Second Avenue, Ajo, Arizona, 85321 (520/387-4989 Direct; 
520/387-6483 Refuge Office; 520/387-5359 Fax; john_morgart@fws.gov e-
mail). Written comments and materials regarding the supplement and 
amendment to the plan should be addressed to the Refuge Manager, Don 
Tiller, at this same 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: John Morgart (see Addresses).



    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant species to 
the point where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its 
ecosystem is a primary goal of the 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 species, establish criteria for the recovery levels for 
downlisting or delisting them, and estimate time and cost for 
implementing the recovery measures needed.
    In a recent court decision (Civil Action No. 99-927 [ESH]), the 
judge ruled that the 1998 Final Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan ``* * * 
fails to establish (1) objective measurable criteria which, when met, 
would result in a determination that the pronghorn may be removed from 
the list of endangered species or, if such criteria are not 
practicable, an explanation of that conclusion and (2) estimates of the 
time required to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan's 
goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal where 
practicable, or, if such estimates are not practicable, an explanation 
of that conclusion.'' The Court has ordered the Service to reconsider 
these portions of the 1998 Final Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan. 
Deadline for completion of this task is November 30, 2001.
    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

[[Page 49036]]

comment be provided during recovery plan development. Public review and 
comment is also sought for this supplement and amendment to an existing 
recovery plan. The Service will consider all information presented 
during a public comment period prior to approval of the supplement and 
amendment to the 1998 Final Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan. The 
Service and other Federal agencies will also take these comments into 
account in the course of implementing recovery activities.
    The Draft Supplement and Amendment to the 1998 Final Sonoran 
Pronghorn Recovery Plan updates selected biological sections of the 
Recovery Plan, addresses the five listing factors mandated by Section 
4(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, reassesses recovery 
criteria presented in the Final Recovery Plan, and where practicable, 
provides estimates of time necessary to carry out measures needed to 
effect recovery of Sonoran pronghorn as articulated in the Final 
Recovery Plan. The Draft Supplement and Amendment to the 1998 Final 
Recovery Plan was developed by the Service in coordination with an 
appointed Recovery Team that includes a group of scientists and agency 
biologists with expertise in the ecology of the Sonoran pronghorn. The 
Draft Supplement and Amendment to the Recovery Plan has undergone peer 
review by scientists, conservation biologists, range experts, and 
others experienced in reviewing recovery plans. This Draft Supplement 
and Amendment to the Recovery Plan incorporates their comments where 

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the Draft Supplement and Amendment 
to the 1998 Final Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan. 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: September 13, 2001.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 01-23825 Filed 9-24-01; 8:45 am]