[Federal Register: October 11, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 198)]
[Page 63443-63444]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Approved Recovery Plan for the 
Pitcher's Thistle (Cirsium pitcheri)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of the approved recovery plan for the Pitcher's thistle 
(Cirsium pitcheri), a species that is federally listed as threatened 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). This species occurs on the shoreline dunes of Lakes 
Michigan, Huron and Superior. Actions needed for recovery of the 
Pitcher's thistle include managing and protecting its current highest 
quality and extirpated historic sites.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's approved recovery plans are 
available from:

1. Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, 5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 110, 
Bethesda, Maryland 20814 (the fee for the plan varies depending on the 
number of pages of the plan).
2. Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, East Lansing 
Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, 
Michigan 48823
3. The World Wide Web at http://endangered.fws.gov/RECOVERY/RECPLANS/

Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section No. 2 above); 
telephone (517) 351-2555. The Fish and Wildlife Reference Service may 
be reached at (301) 492-6403 or (800) 582-3421. TTY users may contact 
Mr. DeCapita and the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service through the 
Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals or plants is a primary 
goal of the Service's endangered species program. A species is 
considered recovered when the species' ecosystem is restored and/or 
threats to the species are removed so that self-sustaining and self-
regulating populations of the species can be supported as persistent 
members of native biotic communities. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for the conservation of the species, establish 
criteria for reclassification to threatened status or delisting listed 
species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, 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. Information presented during the comment period has 
been considered in the preparation of the approved recovery plan, and 
is summarized in an appendix to the recovery plan. We will forward 
substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation to 
appropriate Federal Agencies and other entities so that they can take 
these comments into account during the course of implementing recovery 
    The Pitcher's thistle, a rare, distinctive, perennial plant, was 
listed as a threatened species under the Act in July 1988 (53 FR 
27137). It is endemic to the shoreline dune systems of Lakes Michigan, 
Huron and Superior. The species ranges from the north shore of Lake 
Superior south to Indiana, and formerly occurred in northern Illinois. 
Pitcher's thistle occurs only on dynamic open sand dunes subject to 
natural processes that maintain habitat in early successional stages. 
It is currently threatened by human recreational activities and 
development that obliterate habitat, stabilize sand dune areas, and 
directly harm individual plants. Introduction of biological agents to 
control noxious weeds may also threaten this plant.
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of the Pitcher's thistle 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

[[Page 63444]]

and Plants (50 CFR part 17). The Pitcher's thistle will be considered 
for delisting when: (1) The essential habitat associated with a total 
of 115 priority occurrences representing each biogeographic region and 
dune type is protected and managed under a management plan for each 
management unit; (2) regular field surveys to verify occurrences and 
record new occurrences have been established; (3) landowner contacts 
have been initiated and protection has been investigated for the 
remaining (rank