[Federal Register: August 5, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 150)]
[Page 50687-50688]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) 
Great Lakes Population Draft Recovery Plan for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces 
availability for public review of the draft recovery plan for the Great 
Lakes population of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus), a species that 
is federally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). This species occurs or 
may occur on public and private land in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Alabama, Florida, 
Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, and 
Texas. The Service solicits review and comment from the public on this 
draft plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before September 4, 2002, will be considered by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft recovery plan may obtain 
a copy by contacting the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, East Lansing Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge 
Road, East Lansing, Michigan 48823 or by accessing the website: http://

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jack Dingledine at the above 
address, or telephone at (517) 351-6320. TTY users may contact Mr. 
Dingledine through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.



    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 the Service's endangered species program. To help

[[Page 50688]]

guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare recovery 
plans for most of the federally listed threatened and endangered 
species native to the United States. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for conservation of the species, establish 
criteria for reclassification and delisting, and provide estimates of 
the time and costs for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The 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, as amended in 1988, 
requires public notice and opportunity for public review and comment be 
provided during recovery plan development. The Service will consider 
all information presented during a public comment period prior to 
approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and other 
Federal agencies will also take these comments into consideration in 
the course of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The Great Lakes population of piping plovers was listed as 
endangered on December 11, 1985. The species inhabits beaches on the 
Great Lakes during the breeding season of April through September, and 
winters on Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches. Destruction of habitat, 
disturbance, and increased predation rates due to elevated predator 
densities in piping plover habitat are described as the main reasons 
for this species' endangered status and continue to be the primary 
threats to its recovery. Thirty nesting pairs were recorded in 2000, 
all in Michigan. Breeding has not occurred outside of Michigan and 
Wisconsin for over a decade, although occurrence during migration has 
been recorded in other Great Lakes States.
    Critical habitat for the breeding population of the Great Lakes 
piping plover was designated on May 7, 2001. A total of 35 units, 
encompassing 325 kilometers (201 miles) of shoreline in eight states 
are included in the designation. Critical habitat designation 
identifies habitat areas that provide essential life cycle needs of the 
species and seeks to protect adequate habitat to meet the recovery 
criteria. Designation does not, however, signify that areas outside of 
designation are unimportant or may be required for recovery.
    Recovery will be achieved and the species may be removed from the 
list of Threatened and Endangered Species when the following five 
criteria are met: (1) The population has increased to at least 150 
pairs with at least 100 breeding pairs in Michigan and 50 breeding 
pairs distributed among other sites in other Great Lakes States; (2) 
five-year average fecundity has increased to 2.0 fledglings each pair 
per year across the breeding range; (3) essential breeding habitat in 
the Great Lakes region and wintering habitat areas are protected; (4) 
genetic diversity within the population is adequate for population 
persistence and can be maintained over the long-term; and (5) 
agreements and funding mechanisms are in place for long-term protection 
and management activities in essential breeding and wintering habitats. 
The species may be reclassified from endangered to threatened when the 
first four criteria are met and delisted when all five criteria are 

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service solicits written comments on the recovery plan 
described. All comments received by the date specified will be 
considered prior to approval of the plan. Written comments and 
materials regarding the plan should be sent to the Field Supervisor, 
Ecological Services Field Office, and comments received will be 
available for public inspection by appointment during normal business 
hours (see ADDRESSES section.)

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

    Dated: July 18, 2002.
Charles M. Wooley,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 02-19626 Filed 8-2-02; 8:45 am]