[Federal Register: May 13, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 92)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 32003-32004]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Notice of Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for Five Plants 
From Monterey County, CA, for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability for public review of a Draft Recovery Plan for Five Plants 
from Monterey County, California. This recovery plan includes the 
following species: coastal dunes milk-vetch (Astragalus tener var. 
titi), Yadon's piperia (Piperia yadonii), Hickman's potentilla 
(Potentilla hickmanii), Monterey clover (Trifolium trichocalyx), and 
Gowen cypress (Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana). These plant species 
are found primarily along the coast of northern Monterey County, 
California. Hickman's potentilla also occurs in San Mateo County and 
has occurred historically in Sonoma County. Coastal dunes milk-vetch 
has occurred historically in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties, 
California. The Service solicits review and comment from local, State, 
and Federal agencies, and the public on this draft recovery plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before July 12, 2002 to receive consideration by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
following location: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003 
(phone: 805-644-1766). Requests for copies of the draft recovery plan, 
and written comments and materials regarding this plan should be 
addressed to Ms. Diane K. Noda, Field Supervisor, at the above Ventura 

[[Page 32004]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heidi E.D. Crowell, Fish and Wildlife 
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 primary goal of the Service's endangered species 
program. To help guide the recovery effort, the Service is 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 the recovery 
levels for downlisting or delisting them, and estimate time and cost 
for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act, as amended in 1988 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.) (Act), 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. The Service 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 appropriate Federal or other 
entities so that they can take these comments into account during the 
course of implementing recovery actions. Individualized responses to 
comments will not be provided.
    Coastal dunes milk-vetch, Yadon's piperia, Hickman's potentilla and 
Monterey clover are listed as endangered. Gowen cypress is listed as a 
threatened species.
    Coastal dunes milk-vetch is restricted to sandy soils that occur 
within 30 meters (m) (98 feet (ft)) of the ocean beach on relatively 
flat coastal terraces that are exposed to ocean sprays and periodic 
saturation. Only one extant population is currently known to occur, 
made up of approximately 11 scattered patches of plants that are 
separated by 17-Mile Drive on the western edge of the Monterey 
Peninsula. The land is owned by the Pebble Beach Company and the 
Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
    Yadon's piperia is endemic to Monterey County and has a center of 
distribution within large undeveloped tracts of Monterey pine forest. 
Its range extends from the Los Lomos area near the border of Santa Cruz 
County in the north to approximately 25 kilometers (km) (15 miles (mi)) 
south of the Monterey Peninsula near Palo Colorado Canyon where it 
occurs in a maritime chaparral habitat. Some of the plants occur on 
protected property, while a large proportion of plants occur on 
unprotected private property.
    Hickman's potentilla is currently known from one site on the 
Monterey Peninsula and at one site in San Mateo County. The population 
in Monterey County grows in fine sandy soils within an opening of 
Monterey pine forest that supports wet conditions for a variety of 
native and nonnative grassland species. The population in San Mateo 
County was presumed extirpated until it was rediscovered on private 
land in 1995 by biologists conducting surveys for a highway project.
    Monterey clover is known from only one area in the vicinity of 
Huckleberry Hill within the Monterey Peninsula. Only a few scattered 
individuals were reported in the late 1990's. This species is a classic 
fire-follower, taking advantage of reduced forest cover that allows a 
significantly higher proportion of light to reach the herbaceous ground 
cover for the first few years after a fire. Fire suppression activities 
and development within the Pebble Beach Company property are likely 
negatively affecting this species' habitat and seed bank.
    Gowen cypress is currently found in only two stands, in addition to 
individuals that occur locally in cultivation. The largest stand (Del 
Monte Forest) is near Huckleberry Hill on the west side of the Monterey 
Peninsula and covers approximately 40 hectares (ha) (100 acres (ac)) 
within lands owned by the Pebble Beach Company and the Del Monte Forest 
Foundation. The second stand (Point Lobos) occurs 10 km (6 mi) south of 
Huckleberry Hill on the north side of Gibson Creek inland of the Point 
Lobos Peninsula. This stand occurs on a 60-ha (150-ac) parcel owned by 
the California Department of Parks and Recreation and is somewhere 
between 16 and 32 ha (40 and 80 ac) in size. The stands occur in mixed 
conifer forest and maritime chaparral habitats. Within the chaparral 
habitat, the cypress also grows in a dense, dwarf or pygmy forest.
    These plants are threatened by one or more of the following: 
alteration, destruction, and fragmentation of habitat resulting from 
urban and golf course development; recreational activities; competition 
with nonnative plant species; herbivory from native or nonnative 
species; demographic stochasticity; and disruption of natural fire 
cycles due to fire suppression associated with increasing residential 
development around and within occupied habitat.
    The objective of this recovery plan is to provide a framework for 
the recovery of coastal dunes milk-vetch, Yadon's piperia, Hickman's 
potentilla, Monterey clover, and Gowen cypress so that protection by 
the Act is no longer necessary. This recovery plan establishes criteria 
necessary to accomplish delisting of Gowen cypress and downlisting of 
coastal dunes milk-vetch, Yadon's piperia, Hickman's potentilla, and 
Monterey clover to threatened status. These criteria include: (1) 
Permanent protection of habitat presently occupied by the species and 
the surrounding ecosystem on which they depend, with long-term 
commitments to conserving the species; (2) in a protected habitat, 
successful control of invasive, nonnative plants and successful 
management of other problems (management success must be demonstrated 
through at least 10 years of biological monitoring); (3) development of 
management strategies that include results from research on the life 
histories of the taxa, and results from monitoring the species' 
response to vegetation management; (4) successful reintroduction or 
establishment of populations for coastal dunes milk-vetch, Hickman's 
potentilla, and Monterey clover; (5) implementation of a prescribed 
burn plan or successful alternative management strategy for Gowen 
cypress; (6) monitoring to demonstrate long-term viability of existing 
populations, including successful recruitment and reproduction; and (7) 
establishment of seed banks at recognized institutions. Criteria for 
delisting of coastal dunes milk-vetch, Yadon's piperia, Hickman's 
potentilla, and Monterey clover may be addressed in future revisions of 
this recovery plan when additional information about the biology of the 
species is available.


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

    Dated: May 6, 2002.
D. Kenneth McDermond,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Region 1, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-11802 Filed 5-10-02; 8:45 am]