[Federal Register: November 30, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 231)]
[Page 59807]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of a Final Revised Recovery Plan for the Oregon 
Silverspot Butterfly

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service announce the availability of 
a final revised recovery plan for the Oregon silverspot butterfly 
(Speyeria zerene hippolyta), which will update the original recovery 
plan that was completed in 1982. 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. Actions needed for 
recovery include permanent protection of habitat, restoration and 
management of native coastal grasslands, and prevention of further 
habitat fragmentation by minimizing the effects of human disturbance.

ADDRESSES: Recovery plans that have been approved by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service are available on the World Wide Web at http://
endangered.fws.gov/recovery/recplans/index.htm. Recovery plans may also 
be obtained from: Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, 5430 Grosvenor 
Lane, Suite 110, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, (301) 429-6403 or 1-800-582-
3421. The fee for the plan varies depending on the number of pages of 
the plan.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rollie White, Endangered Species 
Division Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon, 
97266; phone (503) 231-6179.



    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 (Act), as amended (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, as amended in 1988, 
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 plans.
    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 and Clatsop Plains, Mt. Hebo, Cascade Head, Bray Point and 
Rock Creek-Big Creek in Oregon. A population in Long Beach, Washington 
may be extirpated and the population on the Clatsop Plains is extremely 
low and at risk of extirpation. The original 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 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. The revised 
recovery plan also calls for augmenting declining populations with 
captive-reared individuals and reintroducing butterflies in areas where 
they have been extirpated. The plan serves as a guide for all Federal 
and State agencies whose actions affect the conservation of the Oregon 
silverspot butterfly.
    The objective of the plan is to conserve the Oregon silverspot 
butterfly so that protection by the Act is no longer necessary. As 
recovery criteria are met, the status of the species will be reviewed 
and it will be considered for removal from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR part 17). Major actions necessary to 
accomplish this objective include permanent management of protected 
habitat in the habitat conservation areas listed in the plan to 
maintain native, early successional grassland communities which include 
early blue violet and native nectar species.


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

    Dated: August 22, 2001.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. 01-29733 Filed 11-29-01; 8:45 am]