[Federal Register: November 7, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 216)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 68003-68015]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 68003]]


Part V

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of 
Endangered Status for Lomatium cookii (Cook's Lomatium) and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora (Large-Flowered Woolly Meadowfoam) From 
Southern Oregon; Final Rule

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Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF84

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of 
Endangered Status for Lomatium cookii (Cook's Lomatium) and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora (Large-Flowered Woolly Meadowfoam) From 
Southern Oregon

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine 
endangered status for two plants, Lomatium cookii (Cook's lomatium) and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora (large-flowered woolly 
meadowfoam), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). Both of these plants inhabit seasonally wet habitats known as 
vernal pools in the Agate Desert, an area north of the city of Medford 
(Jackson County), Oregon. Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora are known to occur at about 15 sites each, in the Agate 
Desert. This is based on the last observation of those sites, which 
vary year to year, depending on location and survey effort. Lomatium 
cookii is also known to occur on seasonally wet soils at about 21 sites 
in Josephine County, Oregon (referred to as the French Flat/Illinois 
Valley sites) which are immediately west of Jackson County. The 
continued existence of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora is threatened primarily by destruction of their specialized 
habitat by industrial and residential development, including road and 
powerline construction and maintenance. Agricultural conversion, 
certain grazing practices, off-road vehicle use, and competition with 
non-native plants also contribute to population declines and local 
extirpations. Lomatium cookii sites in Josephine County are 
additionally threatened by habitat alteration associated with gold 
mining and woody species encroachment resulting from fire suppression. 
This rule implements Federal protection and recovery provisions of the 
Act to Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora.

DATES: This rule is effective December 9, 2002.

ADDRESSES: The complete file for this rule is available for inspection, 
by appointment, during normal business hours at U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE. 98th, Suite 100, 
Portland, OR 97266.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kemper McMaster, Oregon Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section) (telephone 503/231-6179; 
facsimile 503/231-6195). Information regarding this designation is 
available in alternate formats upon request.



    Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that form only in regions where 
specialized soil and climatic conditions exist. During fall and winter 
rains, water collects in shallow depressions in areas where downward 
percolation of water is prevented by the presence of an impervious hard 
pan or clay pan layer below the soil surface (Keeley and Zedler 1998). 
Later in the spring when rains decrease and the weather warms, the 
water evaporates, and the pools generally disappear by May. These 
shallow depressions then remain relatively dry until late fall and 
early winter with the advent of greater precipitation and cooler 
temperatures. Vernal pools thus provide unusual ``flood and drought'' 
habitat conditions to which certain plants and animals have 
specifically adapted. Lomatium cookii (Cook's lomatium) and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora (large-flowered woolly meadowfoam) are two 
such plant taxa which occur in vernal pool habitats in a small area of 
Jackson County, southwestern Oregon. Lomatium cookii also occurs in 
seasonally wet habitats at a few sites in Josephine County, the 
adjacent county to the west. The Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
is believed to be extant in only about 15 sites in Jackson County, 
while Lomatium cookii is known to occur at about 15 sites in Jackson 
and 21 sites in Josephine County (Oregon Natural Heritage Information 
Center (ONHIF) Database 2002; Mabel Jones, Bureau of Land Management, 
pers. comm., 2002).

Lomatium cookii

    A perennial forb in the carrot family (Apiaceae), Lomatium cookii 
grows 1.5 to 5 decimeters (dm) (6 to 20 inches (in)) tall, from a 
slender, twisted taproot. Leaves are smooth, finely dissected, and 
strictly basal (growing directly above the taproot on the ground, not 
along the stems). One to four groups of clustered, pale yellow flowers 
produce boat-shaped fruits 8 to 13 millimeters (mm) (0.3 to 0.5 in) 
long with thickened margins. The taproot can often branch at ground 
level to produce multiple stems. The branching taproot distinguishes L. 
cookii from L. bradshawii (Bradshaw's desert-parsley) that is 
indigenous to wet prairies from southern Willamette Valley, Oregon to 
southwest Washington, and L. humile (Caraway leaf lomatium) that is 
found in vernal pools in northern California (Kagan 1986). Lomatium 
utriculatum (Fine-leaved desert-parsley), found on mounds adjacent to 
pools in the Agate Desert, is distinguished from L. cookii by its more 
intensely yellow flowers, the different shape of its involucel 
bracklets (leaf-like structures below the flowers), and thin-winged 
fruits (Kagan 1986). Lomatium tracyi (Tracy's lomatium), occurring in 
California and the Illinois Valley, has a similar appearance to L. 
cookii, but L. tracyi has slender-margined fruits and can grow on dry 
sites. Lomatium cookii has boat or pumpkin-shaped fruits and grows on 
seasonally wet sites (Lincoln Constance, Prof. Emeritus, University of 
California, Berkeley, pers. comm., 1992). Recent genetic research has 
shown L. cookii to be most closely related to L. bradshawii. Lomatium 
marginatum (Butte desert-parsley) and probably L. tracyi are likely the 
next closely related species (M. Gitzendanner, University of Florida, 
pers. comm., 2002).
    James Kagan first collected Lomatium cookii in 1981 from vernal 
pools in the Agate Desert, Jackson County, Oregon, and subsequently 
described the species (Kagan 1986). Additional populations were found 
at French Flat in the Illinois Valley, Josephine County, Oregon in 1988 
(ONHIC database 2002). Plants in the French Flat/Illinois Valley sites 
grow on seasonally wet soils. Slight morphological differences exist 
between L. cookii populations in the Agate Desert and French Flat, but 
these differences are not considered significant enough to separate the 
species into subspecies. Recent genetic research found no evidence of 
significant genetic differences between the Agate Desert and French 
Flat L. cookii populations warranting the separation of the species 
into subspecies (M. Gitzendanner and P. Soltis, pers. comm., 2001).

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora

    A delicate annual in the meadowfoam, or false mermaid, family 
(Limnanthaceae), Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora grows 5 to 15 
centimeters (cm) (2 to 6 in) tall, with 5-cm (2-in) leaves divided into 
five to nine segments. The stems and leaves are sparsely covered with 
short, fuzzy hairs. The flowers, and especially the sepals,

[[Page 68005]]

are densely covered with woolly hairs. Each of the five yellowish to 
white petals has two rows of hairs near their base.
    In his monograph of the genus Limnanthes, Mason (1952) described 
three varieties of Limnanthes floccosa, but did not recognize the 
subspecies grandiflora as distinct. Based on her study of specimens 
grown under controlled conditions from field-collected seed, Arroyo 
(1973) elevated Mason's varieties to subspecies and described two 
additional subspecies, californica and grandiflora. Arroyo (1973) 
distinguished grandiflora from the other subspecies of L. floccosa by a 
combination of: petal length 7.5 to 9 mm (0.30 to 0.35 in); sepal 
length 8.5 to 9 mm (0.33 to 0.35 in); sepal pubescence (dense on inner 
surface and sparse to absent on outer surface); sparsely hairy stems 
and leaves; two lines of hairs at the petal base; relative flowering 
time; and, occurrence relative to soil moisture (Arroyo 1973). Over 
much of its range, the subspecies grandiflora is sympatric or closely 
related with L. floccosa ssp. floccosa; however, the subspecies 
floccosa grows on the slightly drier, outer fringes of the pools, 
whereas ssp. grandiflora grows on the relatively wetter, inner fringe 
of the pools (Arroyo 1973; D. Borgias, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), 
pers. comm., 1998).


    Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora and Lomatium cookii both occur 
in and around vernal pools within an 83-square kilometer (km\2\) (32-
square mile (mi\2\)) landform in southwestern Oregon known as the Agate 
Desert in Jackson County. Located on the floor of the Rogue River basin 
north of Medford, the Agate Desert is characterized by shallow, Agate-
Winlow complex soils; a relative lack of trees; sparse prairie 
vegetation; and agates commonly found on the soil surface (Oregon 
Natural Heritage Program (ONHP) 1997).
    Lomatium cookii also occurs in another area encompassing some 10-
km\2\ (4-mi\2\) in adjacent Josephine County. This area, referred to as 
French Flat, is located within the Illinois Valley near the Siskiyou 
Mountains. The 21 French Flat/Illinois Valley sites are located at: 
French Flat in south central Josephine County; Rough and Ready Creek 
Forest Wayside State Park, southwestern Josephine County; both east and 
west of Cave Junction, Oregon; east and southeast of Woodcock Mountain 
near Woodcock Creek; and a few scattered sites are northeast of Kerby, 
Oregon, near Reeves Creeks. These sites are collectively referred to as 
the French Flat/Illinois Valley sites.
    The Agate Desert landscape consists of a gentle mound-swale 
topography with a characteristic appearance in aerial photographs that 
is sometimes referred to as ``patterned ground.'' During the fall and 
winter rainy season, a striking pattern of shallow pools develops in 
the swales. These vary in size from 1 to 30 meters (m) (3 to 100 feet 
(ft)) across, and attain a maximum depth of about 30-cm (12-in) (ONHP 
1997). Plants native to these pools, including Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora and Lomatium cookii, are specially adapted to grow, flower, 
and set seed during the short time that water is available in the 
spring, finishing their life cycle before the dry hot summers. Special 
assemblages of plants blooming in concentric rings toward the deepest 
part of the pools can be seen as soil moisture recedes throughout the 
spring (ONHP 1997). Native plants that occur with Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora in these vernal pools include: 
Plagiobothrys bracteatus (popcorn flower); Juncus uncialis (a rush); 
Navarretia spp. (Navarretia); Limnanthes floccosa ssp. floccosa (common 
woolly meadowfoam); Deschampsia danthonides; and Triteliea hyacinthina 
(Kagan 1987; D. Borgias, in litt. 2002).
    The historical range for Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora and 
Lomatium cookii in the Agate Desert may have originally encompassed 
over 130 km\2\ (50 mi\2\), within an 18-km (11-mi) radius of White 
City, Oregon (ONHP 1997). Vernal pool habitat, formerly widespread 
south of the Rogue River, is now almost completely eliminated (Brock 
1987, ONHP 1997).
    In the French Flat/Illinois Valley area, Lomatium cookii grows in 
wet meadow areas underlain with floodplain bench deposits that contain 
sufficient clay to form a clay pan at 60 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in) below 
the soil surface (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1983). The clay pan 
creates seasonally wet areas similar to the vernal pools of the Agate 
Desert, but mostly lacking the latter area's distinctive mound-swale 
topography. Common plants associated with Lomatium cookii in the French 
Flat/Illinois Valley sites include: Danthonia californica (oatgrass); 
Plagiobothrys bracteatus; Horkelia congesta (horkelia); Calochortus 
uniflorus (mariposa lily); and Erythronium howellii (trout lily). The 
surrounding forest contains Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa pine) and Pinus 
jeffreyi (Jeffrey pine). Shrub species that grow on serpentine soils, 
such as Ceanothus cuneatus (buckbrush) and Arctostaphylos ssp., are 
found within the area of Lomatium cookii sites (Kaye 2001).
    The historical range of Lomatium cookii in the French Flat/Illinois 
Valley area may have included seasonally wet meadows along the East 
Fork of the Illinois River. Fire suppression, grazing, residential 
development, and extensive gold mining (Shenon 1933) altered Lomatium 
cookii habitat in this area. However, some native perennial communities 
remain in wet meadows that were not affected by mining. Gold mining 
imminently threatens Lomatium cookii habitat at the French Flat site 
(Mark Mousseaux, BLM, pers. comm., 2002).
    In the Agate Desert, there are believed to be about 15 sites 
containing Lomatium cookii and about 15 sites containing Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora. Mapped habitat compiled in 1998 for these 
species in the Agate Desert totals approximately 54 hectares (ha) (133 
acres (ac)) for Lomatium cookii and 80 ha (198 ac) for Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora (ONHIC database 2002). However, due to recent 
alteration and destruction of vernal pools in the Agate Desert (ONHP 
1997), areas currently occupied by these plants is considerably less, 
an estimated 28 ha (69 ac) and 47 ha (116 ac) for Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, respectively (ONHIC database 
2002). The two plants occur in five of the same vernal pool systems 
constituting three different sites. At the French Flat/Illinois Valley 
sites, there are believed to be about 21 known locations of Lomatium 
cookii, occupying up to 61 ha (150 ac) of habitat, but many of these 
sites are very small (50 individuals or less), and their current status 
is not well known.
    Two sites each of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora occur entirely or partially within the Agate Desert 
Preserve (Preserve), owned by TNC. The Preserve contains the only large 
populations on private land specifically managed for the protection of 
these species.
    Two known sites of each taxon are on State land, mainly in the Ken 
Denman Wildlife Area, where much of the habitat has been altered and 
planted to grasses. Two sites containing Lomatium cookii are located on 
land managed by Jackson County; one of these has been largely 
extirpated by construction of a baseball sports complex. Portions of 
two Lomatium cookii and three Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
sites are on lands owned by the City of Medford, within an area 
designated as the Whetstone Industrial Park. Portions of two Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora and four Lomatium cookii

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sites are located in highway or powerline rights-of-way (ONHIC database 
2002), where they are subject to herbicide spraying and other 
maintenance activities conducted by the State or counties. Fifteen 
sites containing Lomatium cookii in Josephine County are located 
partially or entirely on land managed by BLM. The remaining sites of 
Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora occur 
primarily on private land.
    Each year, plant populations exhibit some natural variation in 
numbers, related primarily to temperature and rainfall conditions for 
that year. In general, numbers of annual plants, such as Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora may fluctuate more widely than those of 
perennial plants, such as Lomatium cookii. The year 2000 saw a large 
increase in the number of Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora plants 
due to the wet conditions, but in 2001, a dry year, the number of 
individuals plummeted in many areas. For example, on a protected site 
owned by TNC, one Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora occurrence 
declined from 68,000 in 2000 to 39,000 in 2001. However in 2002, even 
with average rainfall figures still below normal, the population 
increased back to about 63,000 plants. A site owned by the City of 
Medford, contained some 10,000 Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
individuals in the year 2000, while only 112 individuals were noted at 
this site in 2001 (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). Year-to-year changes of 
this magnitude may be within the normal range of variation for this 
annual plant. However, it is possible that a number of consecutive 
drought years could eliminate some populations of Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora. In contrast, numbers of Lomatium cookii in the Agate 
Desert were generally stable or increased during 2000-2002 (D. Borgias, 
in litt. 2002).
    Information regarding three status changes considered outside the 
natural range of year-to-year variation for these plants became 
available to the Service between May 15, 2000, when the proposed rule 
was published in the Federal Register (65 FR 30941) and January 14, 
2002, when the comment period was reopened for these plants (67 FR 
1712). Two of these involve increased population sizes at historical 
Lomatium cookii sites. One of these sites, on private land, was 
believed to contain some 6,000 plants historically. Surveys in 2000 and 
2001 revealed an estimated 580,000 flowering individuals. Another 
population, located on City of Medford airport property, that was 
previously estimated at some 1,000 plants, was found in 1999 to contain 
over 5,000 flowering Lomatium cookii plants. However, this larger 
population was bisected in 2001 by development of a new taxiway at this 
airport (K. O'Hara, David Evans & Associates, in litt. 2002). The third 
status change is that, in the year 2000, Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora was discovered at two new sites on private land. One 
comprises approximately 1,000 flowering individuals and the other about 
170 individuals in three patches.
    The 2000-2002 observations of these two vernal pool plant species 
must be considered within the context of the status and trends of their 
habitat overall. Recent studies of the Agate Desert vernal pool 
hydrology and vegetation indicate that no undisturbed vernal pool 
habitat remains (ONHP 1997, 1999). The latter study (ONHP 1999) 
indicates that the highest quality remaining Agate Desert vernal pool 
habitat, that with intact hydrology and altered vegetation, is now 
present on approximately 17.6 percent of the area that historically 
contained vernal pools. This is a decrease from the earlier study (ONHP 
1997), cited in the May 15, 2000, proposed rule, which estimated that 
this highest quality remaining habitat occurred on 23.1 percent of the 
area. This reported decrease in the amount of best available habitat is 
partially due to better-refined mapping techniques, but there is 
evidence that additional land leveling also occurred between the two 
studies (ONHP 1999). Both reported and unreported fills of Agate Desert 
vernal pool wetlands are occurring continually (C. Tuss, Service 
biologist, pers. comm., 2001). ONHP (1999) reports that over 19 percent 
of Agate Desert vernal pool habitat has been leveled, and development 
(structures, roads, and other impermeable surfaces) has occurred on an 
additional 41 percent of this area (ONHP 1999). Thus, over 60 percent 
of the habitat of these plants in the Agate Desert has been destroyed, 
and none of the remaining habitat has escaped the invasion of weedy 
competitors. This compares with just under 60 percent habitat 
destruction reported in ONHP 1997 and in the proposed rule (65 FR 
    Recent evidence also indicates that non-native annual grasses, 
particularly medusahead (Taeniatherum medusae), are a greater problem 
than previously believed for Lomatium cookii, particularly in the Agate 
Desert (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). Unlike native perennial 
bunchgrasses that originally occupied the area, annual grasses die back 
each year, creating a buildup of thatch from the dead leaves that 
interferes with germination of Lomatium cookii seeds. Current 
observations indicate that, without control of annual grasses through 
mowing, grazing, or prescribed burns, Lomatium cookii populations tend 
to decrease over time, and could be extirpated within a relatively 
short timeframe due to this competition with non-native grasses (D. 
Borgias, in litt. 2002). In many cases, non-native plants have been 
purposefully planted for livestock and other reasons in the Agate 
Desert. For example, the Ken Denman Wildlife Reserve, encompassing some 
720 ha (1,780 ac) of Agate Desert land, is managed by the State 
primarily for waterfowl production. Much of this Reserve has been 
covered with log deck debris, plowed in strips and planted with non-
native wildlife food plants (Brock 1987).
    Populations of Lomatium cookii in Josephine County are becoming 
even more highly threatened by off-road vehicle (ORV) use than they 
were at the time of the proposal. Over the past few years, gates 
erected by the BLM to direct ORV traffic away from Lomatium cookii 
habitat have been repeatedly vandalized, and the intrusion into these 
areas continues. Particularly in the springtime, when the ground is wet 
and muddy (and Lomatium cookii plants are flowering), ORVs cause major 
rutting and disruption of Lomatium cookii habitat (L. Mazzu, BLM 
botanist, pers. comm., 2001).

Previous Federal Action

    Federal action on Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora began with 
section 12 of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973 as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which directed the Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution to prepare a report on plants considered to be endangered, 
threatened, or extinct. That report, designated as House Document No. 
94-51, was presented to Congress on January 9, 1975. On July 1, 1975, 
we published a notice (40 FR 27823) accepting the Smithsonian 
Institution report as a petition within the context of section 4(c)(2) 
(now section 4(b)(3)(A)) of the Act. The notice further indicated our 
intention to review the status of plant species, which included 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora. On June 16, 1976, we published a 
proposed rule, pursuant to section 4 of the Act, proposing endangered 
status for approximately 1,700 vascular plant species, including 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora (41 FR 24523).
    In 1978, amendments to the Act required that all proposals over two

[[Page 68007]]

years old be withdrawn. A 1 year grace period was given to proposals 
already over 2 years old. On December 10, 1979, we published a notice 
in the Federal Register (44 FR 70796) withdrawing that portion of the 
June 16, 1976, proposal that had not been made final, including the 
proposal to list Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora. We published an 
updated notice of review (NOR) for plants on December 15, 1980 (50 FR 
82480), including Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora as a category 1 
candidate species. At the time, category 1 species were defined as we 
presently define candidates, i.e., those species for which we have on 
file substantial information on biological vulnerability and threats to 
support the preparation of proposals to list as threatened or 
endangered. Category 1 status was maintained for Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora in the November 28, 1983, supplement to the notice (48 
FR 53657). However, in the September 27, 1985, NOR (50 FR 39526), the 
status of this taxon was changed to category 2. Category 2 was defined 
at the time to include taxa for which data in our possession indicated 
that listing was possibly appropriate, but for which substantial 
information on biological vulnerability and threats was not currently 
known or on file to support proposed rules. Category 2 status was 
maintained for Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora in the NOR 
published on February 21, 1990 (55 FR 6184). Lomatium cookii was first 
included in that 1990 NOR as a category 1 candidate species. In the 
September 30, 1993, NOR (58 FR 51144), the status of both taxa remained 
    Upon publication of the February 28, 1996, NOR (61 FR 7596), we 
ceased using category designations and included as candidates only 
those taxa previously designated as category 1, i.e., those for which 
we had on file sufficient information to support listing proposals. 
Accordingly, Lomatium cookii was maintained as a candidate species, but 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora was not. The plant NOR, published 
on September 19, 1997 (62 FR 49398), includes both Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora and Lomatium cookii as candidate species. The October 
25, 1999, (64 FR 57534) and June 13, 2002 (67 FR 40657) NORs list both 
species as candidates.
    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act requires the Secretary to make 
certain findings on pending petitions within 12 months of their 
receipt. Section 2(b)(1) of the 1982 amendments further requires that 
all petitions pending on October 13, 1982, be treated as having been 
newly submitted on that date. This was the case for Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora because of our acceptance of the 1975 Smithsonian 
Report as a petition. On October 13, 1983, we found that the petitioned 
listing of this species was warranted, but precluded by other pending 
listing actions, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B)(iii) of the Act. 
Notice of this finding was published on January 20, 1984 (49 FR 2485). 
Such a finding requires the petition to be reviewed annually pursuant 
to section 4(b)(3)(C)(i) of the Act. For the purpose of making these 
annual petition findings, we made an administrative decision to treat 
all candidate plants as if their listings had been petitioned prior to 
1982. Therefore, the ``warranted but precluded'' finding also applies 
to Lomatium cookii, which first appeared on the February 21, 1990, NOR. 
The warranted but precluded finding for both species has been reviewed 
annually through 1997. Publication of the proposed listing rule for 
these two species constituted the final finding for the petitioned 
    On May 15, 2000, the Service published a proposed rule to list 
Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora as endangered 
species and requested public comment for 60 days (65 FR 30941). On 
August 28, 2001, Siskiyou Regional Educational Project filed a citizen 
suit alleging that the Service had failed to make a timely final 
determination on the listing of these two plants, consistent with the 
timeframes set forth in section 4 of the Act (Siskiyou Regional 
Educational Project v. Norton, Civil No. 01-1208-KI (D. Ore). We 
entered into a settlement agreement with the plaintiff and agreed to 
submit a final listing decision for publication in the Federal Register 
on or before October 31, 2002. On January 14, 2002, the Service 
reopened the comment period on the proposed endangered status of the 
two plant species to seek updated information on the status, abundance, 
and distribution of these plants, as well as to provide updated 
information acquired by the Service since the proposed rule was 
published. This comment period closed on March 15, 2002 (67 FR 1712). 
This final rule is made in accordance with the judicially approved 
settlement agreement.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We contacted Federal and State agencies, county governments, 
scientific organizations, and other interested parties and asked that 
they comment. We requested that all interested parties submit factual 
reports or information that might contribute to the development of this 
final rule. We received a total of 19 comment letters over two comment 
periods. Four letters were received during the first comment period and 
fifteen letters were received during the second comment period. Of the 
nineteen total responses, sixteen were in support and three opposed the 
listing action. Two responses were from groups that commented during 
both comment periods, expressing the same or similar viewpoints in both 
letters. No comments were received from Federal, State, or community 
government agencies. All responses were submitted by individuals or 
    This final rule reflects the comments and information we received 
during the comment period. We addressed opposing comments and other 
substantive comments concerning the rule below. Comments of a similar 
nature or point are grouped together (referred to as issues for the 
purpose of this summary) below, along with our response to each.
    Issue 1: The proposed listing rule was not based on the best 
scientific information available and was not from independent sources.
    Our Response: We thoroughly reviewed all available scientific data. 
We sought and reviewed historic and recent publications and unpublished 
reports concerning Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora and other related species, as well as literature 
documenting the decline of the vernal pool ecosystem in general. This 
included reliable unpublished reports, non-literature documentation, 
and personal communications with experts. The public reviewed the 
proposed rule and an update on the species' status when the comment 
period was reopened. The proposed rule was peer reviewed according to 
our policy (see ``Peer Review'' section). In the process of updating 
the proposed rule, some citations may have changed due to publication, 
in peer reviewed journals, of some data originally cited as personal 
communications, unpublished manuscripts, or thesis. We used our best 
professional judgment and based our decision on the best scientific and 
commercial data available, as required by section 4(b)(1) of the Act.
    Issue 2: The effects of cattle grazing are not based on research 
demonstrating the positive and negative effects of cattle grazing and 
seem to be contradictory.
    Our Response: Research conducted by TNC included monitored plots of 
Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora populations on 
the Agate Desert. The results indicated that both Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora

[[Page 68008]]

populations increased in the plots where livestock grazing was 
excluded. Ungrazed plots containing Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora continued to have population increases over time. However, 
Lomatium cookii population gains of the first year were lost by the 
third year when thatch build-up impeded plant growth and seedling 
abundance (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002).
    The perceived ambiguity between the positive and negative effects 
of grazing on these species may lie in how the effects differ depending 
on the time of year, intensity, and duration of grazing within vernal 
pools. Prevailing livestock practices on the Agate Desert are 
considered ``moderate'' grazing. In Jackson County, 37,000 head of 
cattle and 3,000 head of sheep were pastured in 2000. The Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, soil 
survey for Jackson County (Soil Conservation Service 1993) determined 
that the winter production on the Agate Desert soils amounts to 362 
kilograms (kg) (800 pounds (lbs.)) of forage per acre, annually. This 
amount of forage is just above the estimated requirements of a cow/calf 
pair for a month (or 353 kg ``animal unit month'' or 12 kg per day ) 
(780 lbs. ``animal unit month'' or 26 lbs. per day). Stocking rates in 
the Agate Desert are about one cow/calf pair for each 2.5 to 4 or more 
acres and typically grazing occurs in the late fall, winter and early 
spring (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). These are averages and can be 
affected by changes in weather (e.g., above or below normal rainfall). 
However, even moderate grazing can affect Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora and Lomatium cookii populations either positively and/or 
negatively since time of year and duration must be considered.
    Preliminary survey results indicate early fall grazing may be 
beneficial to Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
species through reductions in the populations of non-native 
competitors. Spring grazing may be detrimental to these species' 
populations from the direct effects of herbivory and trampling (D. 
Borgias, in litt. 2002; Kagan in litt. 2002). Precise management 
recommendations to benefit these species are in development while 
research continues.
    Issue 3: The proposed rule ignores protections already in place.
    Our Response: Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora are listed by the State of Oregon as State endangered 
species under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. Despite the State 
listing, population losses of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora continue to occur. The inadequacy of existing Federal 
laws and regulations to protect these species are addressed in greater 
detail in the section titled, ``Summary of Factors Affecting the 
    Issue 4: The proposed rule does not address the economic impacts to 
the surrounding communities, especially the agricultural communities.
    Our Response: The Act requires us to base our listing decisions on 
the best scientific and commercial information available, without 
regard to the effects, including economic effects, of listing a 
species. (See the section titled ``Summary of Factors Affecting the 
Species''). However, the range of these species overlaps considerably 
with the range of the federally-listed vernal pool fairy shrimp, 
Branchinecta lynchi, in southwest Oregon. Actions on Federal property 
or proposed actions that have a Federal nexus are already required to 
conduct section 7 consultations if their actions may affect listed 
species. The listing of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora should not lead to greater restrictions on privately owned 
property as the Endangered Species Act controls take of endangered 
plants on private land only when it involves knowing violation of state 
law. Economic impacts will be analyzed in detail during the process of 
designating critical habitat.
    Issue 5: Rainfall and weather conditions were not discussed to 
explain population declines.
    Our Response: When the proposed rule was published, May 15, 2000, 
(65 FR 30941) it contained the best available information to us on the 
status of the species at that time. Additional information on the 
species was solicited from experts, and public comments were sought to 
update information on the status, abundance, and distribution of these 
plants. The proposed rule to reopen the comment period was published in 
the Federal Register on January 14, 2002 (67 FR 1712). It contained 
updated population numbers and addressed the year to year changes in 
population size from the effects of annually fluctuating environmental 
factors such as rainfall and weather conditions.
    Issue 6: Critical habitat was not designated.
    Our Response: The Northwest Environmental Defense Center wrote in 
support of the listing of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora and recommended that critical habitat be designated for 
these two species. Due to funding constraints we are unable to 
designate critical habitat at this time. We will prepare a critical 
habitat determination in the future as resources allow. (See Critical 
Habitat section).
    Issue 7: Fire, used as an alternative to grazing to remove thatch, 
would kill plants or overly stress the plants, damaging crown and 
    Our Response: Research results on the effects of prescribed burning 
on the Agate Desert have shown that early summer fire is neutral to 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora and beneficial toward Lomatium 
cookii. Seedling recruitment in the second year post burn, and juvenile 
recruitment in the third year post burn far surpassed that in unburned 
units. The crowns are dry at the time when fire can carry through such 
stands, and the roots are insulated from the heat generated by the 
short lasting fuels of a grassland fire (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002).
    Issue 8: Land that is totally protected could result in decreased 
population numbers. Because Lomatium cookii repopulated an area that 
was leveled in the 1940's, this indicates that this species is an 
``early invader.''
    Our Response: Populations of Lomatium cookii have not been shown to 
increase with disturbance. Habitat modification has been shown to be a 
leading contributor to population declines. One explanation for the 
``repopulation'' of the Antelope Road site may be that the seeds lying 
dormant in the soil were stimulated to grow by the immediate 
hydrological conditions. Vernal pool species have very specialized 
conditions in which they have evolved and often have physical 
structures on the parent plant to hold the seed onto the plant. Almost 
a fifth of vernal pool species have mechanisms or structures that 
restrict dispersal (Zedler 1990). This insures the seed will be 
deposited in the same area where the parent plant successfully 
reproduced. Dispersal outside the vernal pool environment is not an 
advantage to highly specialized vernal pool plants because dispersal 
would increase the chance of landing in inhospitable habitat.
    Issue 9: The species range may be wider than acknowledged and is 
not being looked at on a broad enough scale or on other soils.
    Our Response: Many amateur and professional botanists, trained in 
plant taxonomy and the geographic distribution of plant species, devote 
large amounts of their time collecting and identifying plants. These 
experts look specifically for range extensions of known species and 
species new to science (F. Lang, Prof. Emeritus, Southern Oregon 
University, pers. comm., 2000). Factors controlling the distribution of 
Lomatium cookii and the

[[Page 68009]]

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora include the local geological and 
hydrological conditions. The seasonal wetland habitat inhibits plant 
species not specifically adapted to the wet/dry habitat (D. Borgias, 
pers. comm., 2000).

Peer Review

    In accordance with our July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), Interagency 
Cooperative Policy on Peer Review, we requested the expert opinion of 
at least three independent specialists regarding pertinent scientific 
or commercial data and assumptions relating to supportive biological 
and ecological information in the proposed rule. The purpose of such a 
review is to ensure that the listing decision is based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions and analyses, including input of 
appropriate experts and specialists.
    We requested peer review from six individuals who possess expertise 
on Lomatium cookii or Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora natural 
history and ecology to review the proposed rule and provide any 
relevant scientific data relating to taxonomy, distribution, or to the 
supporting biological data used in our analyses of the listing factors. 
We received responses from four peer reviewers. All expressed their 
belief that the data supported the protection of the two plant species 
under the protection of the Act. We have incorporated their comments 
into the final rule, as appropriate, and briefly summarized their 
observations below.
    All four peer reviewers agreed with our conclusion to list these 
species as endangered. Each supported the scientific basis for our 
decision and addressed the urgency of the threats to the species. The 
peer reviewers' comments included suggestions to correct technical 
errors, clarify differences between Limnanthes subspecies, and a 
correction regarding an absent referenced citation. The peer reviewers' 
suggested changes are noted below and/or have been incorporated into 
this final rule document as appropriate.

Summary of Changes from the Proposed Rule and Reopening of Comment 

    An error was found in our taxonomic description of Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora published in the proposed rule which 
distinguishes it from other Limnanthes subspecies. The corrected 
description and the proper literature citation have been incorporated 
in this final rule.
    Population data regarding the status of both taxa was supplied to 
us by the ONHP which transferred their data to Oregon State University 
Institute for Natural Resources. As of June 28, 2002, the organization 
name was changed to Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center. The 
change in citation has been noted in this final rule.
    A peer reviewer suggested a name change to differentiate three 
Lomatium cookii occurrence sites collectively referred to as the French 
Flat occurrence located in the Illinois Valley. The peer reviewer 
believes there is the potential for confusion because the southernmost 
site is located in an area known as French Flat, while the other 
populations are further north, some adjacent to Cave Junction and 
others located at the westernmost edge of the Illinois Valley or 
further north. Additional descriptors have been added where appropriate 
to define the specific area being addressed or are referred to as 
French Flat/Illinois Valley sites in this final rule.
    Special concern was expressed regarding the population of Lomatium 
cookii located on the west side of the Illinois Valley. Due to a large 
wildfire just west of the Illinois Valley, in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness 
Area, fire suppression related activities, such as fireline 
construction or the use of heavy equipment, may be a new additional 
threat to Lomatium cookii. Because the effects of the suppression 
action will not be known until after the publication of the final rule, 
these potential threats are not likely to reduce the need to list the 
species as endangered and will not be addressed in the final rule.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 
424) set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal lists. 
A species may be determined to be endangered or threatened due to one 
or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1). These factors 
and their application to Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora are as follows:
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range. The vernal pools and other 
seasonally wet soils where Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora grow are susceptible to various land-use disturbances. The 
primary threats to the vernal pool habitat of Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora in the Agate Desert are 
industrial, commercial, and residential development and related road 
and utilities construction and maintenance, including mowing, herbicide 
spraying, firebreak construction, and hydrologic alteration, 
particularly the conversion of non-irrigated land to irrigated 
agricultural use (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). Competition, particularly 
from introduced annual grass species (see Factor E), and grazing, 
especially during the fall and winter months, can also reduce or 
eliminate populations of these species (Kagan 1987; James Kagan, ONHP, 
pers. comm., 1998; D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). Josephine County 
populations of Lomatium cookii are additionally threatened by proposed 
gold mining operations, the uncontrolled use of ORVs in the areas 
occupied by this plant, timber sale activities, and tree encroachment 
into open areas associated with fire suppression.
    Human-related impacts to vernal pool habitat in the Agate Desert 
began in the mid-1800s, when the area was grazed by cattle and sheep 
(ONHP 1997). In 1905, a land speculation company acquired a large part 
of the area and attempted to establish pear orchards by constructing an 
extensive system of shallow irrigation ditches and in some cases, 
blasting through the hardpan layer. This failed, and grazing continued 
as the dominant use until 1942, when the U.S. military purchased a 
large segment of the Agate Desert for a training center. When this 
center was decommissioned in 1946, a 158-ha (390-ac) portion of the 
area west of Highway 62 was purchased by a timber industry consortium, 
and a timber mill industrial center began to grow (ONHP 1997). Other 
industries were drawn to the area, and around 1980, the City of Medford 
established the 290-ha (720-ac) Whetstone Industrial Park. Much of this 
area has been leveled and compacted, destroying any vernal pools, 
although some potential vernal pool habitat remains in the area (ONHP 
1997). Another area west of Highway 62, encompassing some 728-ha 
(1,800-ac), is State land, managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and 
Wildlife, as the Ken Denman Wildlife Area (ONHP 1997). Devoted to 
waterfowl production, much of this area has been covered with log deck 
debris, plowed in strips, and planted with non-native wildlife food 
plants (Brock 1987; J. Kagan, pers. comm., 1997).
    East of Highway 62, much of the Agate Desert landform was 
subdivided into 2-ha (5-ac) homesites in the 1950s, many of which were 
leveled. This area harbors some intact vernal pool habitat (Brock 1987, 
ONHP 1997).
    The southernmost section of the historical Agate Desert has been 
largely modified by cultivation for pasture. The Medford-Jackson County 
Airport occupies some 374 ha (925 ac) at the southern limit of the 
landform. A Foreign Trade Zone at this airport has

[[Page 68010]]

been under development (Bern Case, Director, Medford Jackson County 
Airport, pers. comm., 2002). However, construction associated with this 
facility has not directly impacted Lomatium cookii plants at the site 
to date.
    Jackson County is experiencing a rapid human population increase. 
Between 1990 and 2000 the population of Jackson County increased 23.8 
percent (U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau 2000). It is the 
seventh fastest growing county in Oregon, and the majority of this 
growth is centered in the Medford area (Portland State University, 
Population Research Center. 2000). Much development has occurred in and 
around Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora habitat 
near the City of Medford and White City.
    A habitat assessment map and report (ONHP 1997) indicated that 
residential, commercial and industrial development, along with land 
leveling, have claimed nearly 60 percent of the historic Agate Desert 
vernal pool landscape. According to this assessment, no pristine vernal 
pool habitat remains due to the presence of introduced plants 
throughout the Agate Desert. The highest quality remaining vernal pool 
habitat occurs on 23 percent of the landform. By overlaying ONHIC plant 
occurrence polygons on the habitat assessment base map, one can 
determine that over 50 percent of Lomatium cookii sites and nearly 50 
percent of Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora sites originally mapped 
in the Agate Desert during the 1980's have been severely altered. 
Habitat alterations in the Agate Desert are continuing as indicated by 
numerous examples below.
    In 1992, a sewage line was built by the City of Medford across the 
southwest corner of the Cardinal Avenue site in the Agate Desert. A 
large department store was built on land adjacent to this site. The 
Cardinal Avenue site, with a population of approximately 140 Lomatium 
cookii individuals, was graded in January 1993 (J. Kagan, pers. comm., 
1998). The landowner was contacted by TNC to request permission to 
remove some plants for experimental transplantation. The landowner 
agreed to allow removal of the plants, but TNC was only able to obtain 
one individual prior to completion of grading, and was unable to 
successfully transplant the individual (D. Borgias, pers. comm., 1999).
    In 1986, private lands with 4 ha (10 ac) of Lomatium cookii habitat 
and some 500 individual plants were developed into a sports park 
complex by Jackson County with Federal Land and Water Conservation 
Funds. The area was leveled and playing fields and parking lots were 
constructed. Approximately 80 percent of the available habitat was 
removed at this site. Inventory of this site in 1992 documented 150 
plants at this location (Kagan 1992). Based on preliminary surveys in 
1997, these plants may have since become extirpated (J. Kagan, pers. 
comm., 1998).
    Another project related to development in the Agate Desert area 
that adversely affected Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora habitat is a 500-kilovolt powerline that Pacific Power and 
Light constructed in June 1992 (Gerald Nielsen, Pacific Power Co., 
pers. comm., 1992). The powerline directly affected 7.5 ha (18.5 ac) 
out of a total of 80 ha (198 ac), or 9.3 percent, of the existing 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora habitat in the Agate Desert. About 
2.6 ha (6.4 ac), out of a total of 54 ha (133 ac), or 4.8 percent, of 
the existing Lomatium cookii habitat was affected in the Agate Desert. 
Maintenance activities along the powerline corridor may continue to 
adversely impact Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora habitat.
    Two sites where Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora was collected 
in 1969 have been destroyed, one by construction of a mill, and another 
1.6 ha (4.0 ac) occurrence by construction of a large industrial plant 
(J. Kagan, pers. comm., 1997). A number of additional sites with 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora occurrences (50 percent of the 
total extant) have been severely degraded, as follows (J. Kagan, pers. 
comm., 1998): (1) One site, at the intersection of three major roads, 
has been reduced to a few fragmented patches. The site is ringed with 
development with two fast-food restaurants on one side, a powerline on 
another, and residential development to the east. The isolation of this 
site may eventually result in the loss of these plants especially if 
the number of individual plants is too small to be self-sustaining; (2) 
another site occurs at the corner of a building adjacent to railroad 
tracks and has been reduced to approximately 5 square meters (54-square 
feet), again, leaving no avenue for site conservation; (3) a sewer 
plant for the City of Medford has reduced the type locality for this 
taxon to two small pools; (4) the two sites on Denman Wildlife Area 
have been leveled and scraped for planting tall wheatgrass as wildlife 
food. In 1985, Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora was estimated to 
cover some 16 ha (40 ac) at one of these sites, but by 1993, coverage 
had been reduced to 1.2 ha (3 ac), a 92 percent reduction; and (5) more 
recently, over two-thirds of another site (29.5 ha (73 ac) in size) has 
been leveled, grazed, and piped for irrigation.
    In the early 1990's, a proposed highway connector between 
Interstate 5 and Highway 140 across the Agate Desert would have 
impacted a number of sites of both Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora. Although that specific project is no longer 
under consideration, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is 
currently considering a number of alternatives for moving traffic 
through the area, some of which could impact vernal pools. An 
additional potential impact to vernal pool habitat from the highway 
project is future industrial and residential development that may 
result from increased access to the area from Interstate 5.
    The only Lomatium cookii and/or Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora habitat currently protected from industrial, residential, 
or commercial development in the Agate Desert area is the habitat 
located on the Agate Desert, Whetstone Savanna, and Rogue River Plains 
Preserves and managed by TNC. These three areas encompass approximately 
21 ha, 20 ha, and 53 ha (53, 50, and 132 acres), respectively. The 
Rogue River Plains Preserve only contains Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora, while the other two properties also contain Lomatium 
    The Agate Desert Preserve, supporting the largest populations of 
Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, is located in 
an area that may soon be surrounded by commercial and industrial 
developed land. Although the Preserve land is protected, the alteration 
of land adjacent to the Preserve could disrupt the hydrologic processes 
within the Preserve. For example, a road was built along the southern 
edge of the Preserve in 1988. Water runs off the road into a ditch 
after rainstorms, where it would have normally remained in pools in the 
Preserve. This ditch drained several of the vernal pools on the 
southern portion of the Preserve, further reducing approximately 0.2 ha 
(0.5 ac) of vernal pools available to Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora in the Preserve (J. Kagan, pers. comm., 
1998). In addition, potential habitat that borders the west side of the 
Preserve was partitioned and developed into industrial property in 
January 1993 (J. Kagan, pers. comm., 1998). Hydrology and available 
management (e.g., prescribed burning) were also altered by the 
    During development of land west of the Preserve, land-moving 

[[Page 68011]]

trespassed onto a portion of the Preserve. At the time, vernal pools on 
the Preserve had no fences or physical barriers to prevent trespass by 
ORVs or earth-moving equipment (D. Borgias, pers. comm., 1998).
    To summarize these plants' current status in the Agate Desert, 
existing Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora plant numbers are 
relatively stable. However, they do vary considerably from year to 
year, likely being influenced by seasonal precipitation levels. Two new 
sites were recorded in 2000, with one site containing about 1,000 
plants and the other about 170 in that year. Numbers of Lomatium cookii 
plants over the past few years are stable to increasing in the Agate 
Desert. One site exhibited a dramatic increase from an average of about 
5,500 plants to over 500,000 plants in 2001 in a 6 ha (15 acre) area on 
private land. Habitat originally mapped for these species and believed 
to be occupied in the Agate Desert totaled some 54 ha (133 ac) for 
Lomatium cookii and 80 ha (198 ac) for Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora (ONHP Database 1998). However, habitat currently occupied 
by these plants is considerably less, an estimated 28 ha (69 ac) and 47 
ha (116 ac) for Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora, respectively (ONHIC database 2002). Thus, while some 
populations show local increases in abundance, overall the ranges of 
both plants have declined by roughly 50 percent in the Agate Desert, 
and habitat loss or degradation continues to be a significant threat to 
these species.
    Sites containing Lomatium cookii in Josephine County in the French 
Flat and Illinois Valley regions are also subject to numerous threats. 
The only habitat for this plant on federally-owned land is located near 
French Flat and managed by BLM. Gold mining operations threaten 
approximately 10 percent of the federally-owned portion of this 
habitat. Approximately 600 plants occur in the area threatened by 
mining. Mining activities could result in direct habitat loss for the 
species and limit recovery at this site. If existing mining claims on 
BLM lands are pursued, habitat destruction would be substantially 
increased beyond 20 percent.
    Indirect effects from mining operations in French Flat could also 
occur due to off-site activities such as road construction, which are 
likely to alter hydrologic cycles at Lomatium cookii habitat sites. 
These changes could cause seasonally saturated soils to drain and could 
impede seed germination or lead to death of seedlings and mature 
plants. Currently, no safeguards exist to protect habitat in the French 
Flat area from mining operations.
    ORV use damages other Lomatium cookii habitat on BLM-managed lands 
at French Flat. In 1992, ORV use damaged a large wet meadow in this 
area, creating ruts that punctured the clay pan layer and allowed soil 
moisture to drain from the wet meadow habitat (Linda Knight, pers. 
comm., 1992). Heavy ORV use of Lomatium cookii habitat in the area is 
continuing. To date, ORV use has caused puncturing and draining of at 
least 6 ha (15 ac) of meadow habitat in the French Flat population. As 
a result, at least 20 percent of the remaining Lomatium cookii habitat 
on federally managed land has been destroyed. BLM has gated part of the 
area and closed access roads to discourage ORV trespass, but 
restricting access to this large open area is difficult (Linda Mazzu, 
BLM, pers. comm., 1998; Joan Seevers, Medford District BLM, pers. 
comm., 1998; Mark Mousseaux, Medford District BLM, pers.com., 2002).
    The Oregon Parks & Recreation Department has undertaken protective 
measures for Lomatium cookii in Illinois River Forks State Park. Their 
entrance road was recently fenced to exclude ORV use from areas near 
the road where this plant occurs.
    Several sites containing Lomatium cookii at Indian Hill and Rough 
and Ready Creek are threatened by encroachment of woody species from 
the surrounding forest. The invasion of these trees and shrubs, which 
could shade out Lomatium cookii plants and decrease available water, is 
likely associated with fire suppression activities (L. Mazzu, pers. 
comm., 1998).
    Residential development and road building in the Illinois Valley 
also threaten populations of Lomatium cookii. For example, construction 
of a residential driveway and roto-tilling on private ground extirpated 
a Josephine County population of this species in 1991 (J. Kagan, pers. 
comm., 1998).
    Therefore, the on-going and future threats associated with mining, 
ORV use, and development may lead to continued loss of individual 
plants and/or habitat throughout the Illinois Valley.
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes. Lomatium cookii has no known commercial, 
recreational, or scientific use at this time. There is no evidence of 
overcollection by botanists and/or horticulturists at this time. 
However, Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora may be of interest to 
collectors and researchers since some members of the genus have the 
potential to become important new crop plants because they possess a 
seed oil which exhibits stability at high temperature and pressure. 
This oil could be used as a lubricant for various industrial uses 
(Savonen, in litt. 1998). Limnanthes alba, a wildlflower found in 
California, is now poised to become a multi-million dollar crop in the 
Willamette Valley of Oregon for its oil (Savonen in litt. 1998). To 
domesticate the species and improve strains, seeds have been, and 
continue to be, collected from wild Limnanthes alba, as well as other 
Limnanthes species, including Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora to 
cross with the domesticated plants. Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora was crossed with Limnanthes alba to develop a self-
pollinating Limnanthes variety (Jolliff et al. 1984). This species may 
continue to be sought for collection, if its rarity and population 
locations become well known. The relatively few remaining populations 
of the species are easily accessed and so small that even limited 
collecting pressure could have significant adverse impacts.
    About 80 percent of the Lomatium cookii sites and 40 percent of the 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora sites consist of 2 ha (5 ac) of 
land or less. Easy access exists to these plants in the Agate Desert, 
and to Lomatium cookii sites near Cave Junction, since they occur near 
heavily traveled roads. Most sites for these species lack fences or 
other measures to discourage collectors or others from accessing the 
    C. Disease or predation. No data exists to substantiate whether 
disease threatens Lomatium cookii or Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora. An unidentified Ascomycete fungus was responsible for the 
mortality of four Lomatium cookii plants in a single population (Kagan 
1987). Since this fungus has not been observed at other sites, no 
conclusions can be drawn regarding the threat of the fungus to the 
species as a whole. Predation has been observed on Lomatium cookii from 
gophers, other rodents, and black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus 
californicus) feeding on vegetative portions, wireworms and other 
insect larvae eating the roots of plants, and insects preying on 
Lomatium cookii seeds (Kagan 1987).
    Cattle grazing can cause substantial impacts to Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora. Tracts heavily grazed from 
October to April are less likely to support these taxa. The majority of 
the seasonal growth occurs during the winter. If the plants are grazed 
during fall and winter and spring, they are less likely to survive to 
produce seed in the spring or early summer (Brock 1987).

[[Page 68012]]

    The effects of cattle grazing on Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes 
floccosa ssp. grandiflora are exemplified by the history of land use on 
what is now TNC's Agate Desert Preserve. Prior to TNC's acquisition of 
this tract, the area was grazed for a number of years. An estimated 480 
individuals of Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora were noted at this 
site between 1984-1987. Cattle were removed in 1987, and in 1988, the 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora population had soared to over 
7,000 individuals. By 1991, the population had grown to an estimated 
17,600 plants, and in 2002 was at over 63,000 and is stable or 
increasing (D. Borgias, in litt. 2002). Despite the potential 
deleterious effects of fall to spring cattle grazing, carefully managed 
and timed grazing may actually reduce competition with introduced grass 
species (see Factor E).
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. The majority 
of Lomatium cookii and all Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora plants 
grow in association with vernal pools that can contain water from 
November to March (Brock 1987). In accordance with the Clean Water Act 
of 1977 (91 Stat. 1566), these vernal pools are classified as wetlands, 
since they meet the requirement of containing water for at least two 
weeks during the growing season. Under section 404 of the Clean Water 
Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) regulates discharge of 
fill into waters of the United States, including wetlands (33 CFR parts 
320-330). To be in compliance with the Clean Water Act, parties are 
generally required to notify the Corps prior to undertaking any 
activity that would result in the discharge of fill, including soil, 
into wetlands under the Corps' jurisdiction. An individual permit is 
required in many cases.
    A ruling by the Supreme Court (Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook 
County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 148 L. Ed. 2d. 576 (2001)) on 
January 9, 2001, involved statutory challenges to the assertion of 
Clean Water Act jurisdiction over isolated, non-navigable, intrastate 
waters used as habitat by migratory birds. This Supreme Court ruling 
provided some limitations to regulatory jurisdiction of isolated, non-
navigable waters under the Clean Water Act. Based on our experience 
with the Portland District's jurisdictional determinations since the 
SWANCC ruling, we anticipate that the majority of the vernal pools 
occupied by these species will still be regulated under the 
jurisdiction of the Corps pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water 
    The Nationwide Permit Program (33 CFR Part 330) was recently 
revised in January 2002 (67 FR 2020) and became effective March 18, 
2002. The Nationwide Permit Program was designed to eliminate the need 
for individual permits, requiring agency review and public comment, for 
some activities involving relatively small amounts of discharge or fill 
into waters of the U.S. Nationwide Permit (NWP) number 14, addressing 
liner transportation projects; NWP 39, addressing residential, 
commercial, and institutional developments; NWP 40, addressing 
agricultural activities; NWP 42, addressing recreational activities; 
and NWP 44, addressing mining activities allow the discharge of fill 
affecting up to only 0.2 ha (0.5 ac) of non-tidal wetlands. For NWPs 
14, 39, 40, and 42 the permittee must notify the Corps prior to 
discharge if the discharge causes the loss of greater than 0.04-ha 
(0.10-ac) of non-tidal wetland and must generally provide a 
compensatory mitigation proposal to offset the permanent loss of 
wetlands. Under NWP 44, the permittee must avoid and minimize 
discharges into wetlands to the maximum extent practicable, and the 
Corps must be notified in a written statement detailing compliance with 
this provision.
    The Clean Water Act does not regulate drainage of wetlands unless 
that action results in the discharge of dredged or fill material into a 
wetland. In addition, normal farming, silviculture, and ranching 
activities do not require permits for discharge or fill activities (see 
33 CFR 323.4).
    Most Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora sites 
occupy wetlands less than a few hectares in size. Therefore, activities 
resulting in the filling of even less than 0.2 ha (0.5 ac) of vernal 
pools can have a measurable effect on their habitats. While 
compensatory mitigation may be required, vernal pools are location 
specific and cannot likely be created, but only restored. Currently, 
the Corps is not required to request consultation on fill activities 
which may affect Lomatium cookii, Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, 
or other unlisted species. When Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa 
ssp. grandiflora are listed, section 7 consultation under the Act would 
be required by the Nationwide Permit conditions prior to the Corps' 
authorization of an activity that would affect the species. The 
Portland District of the Corps has issued General Regulatory Conditions 
that accompany all nationwide permits. One of these conditions 
indicates that if at any time the permittee becomes aware of the 
presence of a listed species within the authorized project area, all 
work activity must cease immediately, the Corps must be notified, and 
work must not resume until approved by the Corps. When Lomatium cookii 
and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora are listed, these regulatory 
conditions will offer some Federal protection for them in the ephemeral 
wetlands they occupy.
    State of Oregon wetland laws do not protect many Lomatium cookii or 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora sites due to their small size and 
their susceptibility to small fills. The Removal-Fill Law of 1989 (ORS 
196.800-196.990), administered by the Oregon Division of State Lands, 
does not regulate activities that involve less than 38 cubic meters (50 
cubic yards) of fill. Such an amount of fill could seriously impact 
many smaller vernal pool wetlands in which Lomatium cookii and 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora occur.
    Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora are listed 
as endangered species under the State of Oregon threatened or 
endangered plant law (OAR 603-073-0070). In general, State-listed plant 
populations on private lands are afforded very little protection by 
this law. The law prohibits the ``take'' of State-listed plants only on 
State, county, and city-owned or leased lands. On these lands, the 
State law does not guarantee the protection of State-listed plants 
because it allows for the loss of populations if a proposed project or 
activity is considered to be a public benefit. State-listed plants may 
be ``taken'' on private lands, provided the land owner provides their 
written permission.
    With the listing of Lomatium cookii, BLM generally will provide a 
protection buffer when a plant population may be impacted by a project 
(L. Mazzu, pers. comm., 1999).
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence. Herbicide spraying, mowing, grading, and other road 
maintenance activities threaten small Lomatium cookii sites adjacent to 
roads, on private lands near Cave Junction in the Illinois Valley. In 
the Agate Desert, Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora individuals in road or powerline rights-of-way could be 
accidentally destroyed by local public works departments, highway 
districts, fire departments, or private citizens when carrying out 
maintenance activities (Rose Hayden-Owens, ODOT, pers. comm., 1998).
    Invasion of non-native annual plants in the Agate Desert has 
altered native perennial plant communities (Brock 1987) where Lomatium 
cookii and

[[Page 68013]]

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora grow. Native bunch grasses on 
mounds between vernal pools have been replaced by introduced European 
grasses such as Bromus mollis (brome grass), Taeniatherum caput-medusae 
(medusahead), Cynosurus echinatus (dogtail), and Poa bulbosa 
(bluegrass). Taeniatherum caput-medusae competes with Lomatium cookii 
and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora on seasonally wet mounds 
between the pools. Seeds of both the native taxa are not able to 
germinate under the dense thatch produced by introduced annual species. 
Competition with introduced plant species is exacerbated on the Denman 
Wildlife Area, where game bird food plots are seeded with non-native 
plant species. Brock (1987) supports the contention that the main cause 
of the reduction of Lomatium cookii populations has been intensive 
cattle grazing accompanied by the negative competitive effects of 
introduced grasses, specifically Taeniatherum caput-medusae.
    Mowing, burning, light grazing, or even raking of vernal pool 
habitat after Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
seeds have matured, but before the fall growth period, may help reduce 
plant cover from exotic annual plants (Brock 1987). In a small 
experiment conducted on the Preserve, germination and seedling 
survivorship of the rare plants was increased on plots that were raked, 
as compared with untreated, or raked and scarified plots (D. Borgias, 
pers. comm., 1998).
    Catastrophic events, such as severe fire, could eliminate the large 
areas of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, 
located on the Preserve (J. Kagan, pers. comm., 1998). Demographic 
extinction is possible for nine other sites of Lomatium cookii, mostly 
in the French Flat area, because of their small size (fewer than 100 
plants). Many of the known French Flat sites are found directly 
adjacent to roads, increasing the possibility of extirpation, due to 
road and road right-of-way maintenance activities, human-caused 
wildfire, and other activities or effects commonly associated with 

Summary of Five Listing Factors

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
faced by Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora in 
determining to publish this final rule. In the Agate Desert, these 
species occupy an extremely restricted geographic range, with an 
estimated 28 ha (69 ac) and 47 ha (116 ac) of known occupied habitat 
for Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, 
respectively. Lomatium cookii is found in an additional approximately 
61 ha (150 ac) in the French Flat/Illinois Valley area. The majority of 
the known sites are small in area and/or contain relatively few 
individuals which makes them susceptible to extirpation. Individual 
sites can have widely fluctuating plant numbers from year to year, 
which is likely at least in part based upon annual weather variation. 
Even with increased population numbers, their range is limited by 
specific habitat requirements. Vernal pool habitats are a unique 
feature in the Agate Desert and they likely cannot be recreated. Past 
and on-going leveling and drainage activities in both the Agate Desert 
and Illinois Valley have permanently changed the hydrology in many 
instances such that restoration is not feasible. The majority of these 
plants' remaining occupied habitat is threatened by commercial, 
industrial, and residential development, road and utilities 
construction and maintenance, including herbicide spraying, leveling 
for agriculture or pasture, grazing or mowing at the inappropriate time 
of year, competition with introduced plants, mining, ORV use, certain 
timber sale activities, encroachment of trees and shrubs associated 
with fire suppression, and random natural events. In view of the 
limited, historically available habitat for these plants, the past and 
present habitat alteration and destruction, and numerous threats cited 
above, both plants are in danger of extinction throughout all or a 
significant portion of their range, fitting the definition of 
endangered under the Act. Based on this evaluation, listing Lomatium 
cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora as endangered is 

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3(5)(A) of the Act as--(i) 
the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, 
at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found 
those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation 
of the species and (II) which may require special management 
considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in 
accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the Act, upon a 
determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the 
conservation of the species. ``Conservation'' means the use of all 
methods and procedures needed to bring the species to the point at 
which listing under the Act is no longer necessary.
    Critical habitat designation, by definition, affects Federal agency 
actions including actions involving private lands, through consultation 
under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. Section 7(a)(2) requires Federal 
agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out 
are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed 
species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat.
    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent 
and determinable, we designate critical habitat at the time the species 
is determined to be endangered or threatened. Our regulations (50 CFR 
424.12(a)) further state that the designation of critical habitat is 
not prudent when one or both of the following situations exist--(1) the 
species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and 
identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical 
habitat would not be beneficial to the species.
    The Final Listing Priority Guidance for FY 1999/2000 (64 FR 57114) 
states that the processing of critical habitat determinations (prudency 
and determinability decisions) and proposed or final designations of 
critical habitat will be funded separately from other section 4 listing 
actions and will no longer be subject to prioritization under the 
Listing Priority Guidance. Critical habitat determinations, which were 
previously included in final listing rules published in the Federal 
Register, may now be processed separately, in which case stand-alone 
critical habitat determinations will be published as notices in the 
Federal Register. We will undertake critical habitat designations as 
funding and priorities allow. As explained in detail in the Listing 
Priority Guidance, our listing budget is currently insufficient to 
allow us to immediately complete all of the listing actions required by 
the Act.
    Recent Interior appropriations bills have included language 
limiting the amount of funds that could be expended on listing actions 
to only the amount specifically appropriated for that purpose. The 
Fiscal Year 2002 appropriations bill also placed a cap on the amount 
that could be spent on designation of critical habitat for already 
listed species.
    Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora are 

[[Page 68014]]

vulnerable to unrestricted over-collection, vandalism, or disturbance 
due to their small number of known sites and mostly small populations. 
We are concerned that these threats might be exacerbated by the 
publication of critical habitat maps and further dissemination of 
locational information. However, at this time we do not have specific 
evidence of over-collection or intentional vandalism of these species.
    The deferral of the critical habitat designation for these species 
will allow us to concentrate our limited resources on higher priority 
listing actions, while allowing us to put in place protections needed 
for the conservation of Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora without further delay. This is consistent with section 
4(b)(6)(C)(i) of the Act, which states that final listing decisions may 
be issued without concurrent designation of critical habitat if it is 
essential to the conservation of the species that such determinations 
be promptly published. We will prepare a critical habitat determination 
for this species in the future at such time as resources allow.
    We plan to employ a priority system for deciding which outstanding 
critical habitat designations should be addressed first. We will focus 
our efforts on those designations that will provide the most 
conservation benefit, taking into consideration the efficacy of 
critical habitat designation in addressing the threats to the species 
and the magnitude and immediacy of those threats. Currently, and for 
the immediate future, most of the Service's listing budget must be 
directed to complying with numerous court orders and settlement 
agreements, as well as due and overdue final listing determinations.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act include recognition, 
recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions 
against certain activities. Recognition through listing results in 
public awareness and conservation actions by Federal, State, and local 
agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act provides for 
possible land acquisition and cooperation with the States and requires 
that recovery plans be developed for all listed species. The protection 
required of Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain 
activities involving listed plants are discussed below.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, requires Federal agencies to 
evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or 
listed as endangered or threatened, and with respect to its critical 
habitat if any is being designated. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer with us on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of a species proposed for listing, or result in destruction 
or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is 
listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal 
agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out 
are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or 
destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action 
may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible 
Federal agency must enter into consultation with us.
    Several Federal agencies are expected to have involvement under 
section 7 of the Act regarding these species. BLM currently has about 
15 sites containing Lomatium cookii on its property. The association of 
Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora with vernal 
pools and/or areas of wet soil conditions can result in the Corps 
becoming involved through its responsibilities and permitting authority 
under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Federal Highway 
Administration may be affected through potential funding of future 
highway construction or maintenance affecting these species. The 
Department of Housing and Urban Development may become involved through 
the granting of loans for housing. The Federal Aviation Administration 
may become involved through their oversight of the City of Medford 
Airport. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm 
Services Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture may become 
involved through administering their programs and services directed 
towards farming, ranching, and general land management.
    Listing Lomatium cookii and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora 
provides for the development and implementation of recovery plans for 
these species. Recovery plans bring together Federal, State, local 
agency, and private efforts for conservation of the species. A recovery 
plan establishes a framework for interested parties to coordinate their 
recovery efforts. Recovery plans set recovery priorities, assign 
responsibilities, and estimate the costs of the tasks necessary to 
accomplish the priorities. They also describe the site specific 
management actions necessary to achieve conservation and recovery of 
the species. Additionally, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, we will be 
able to grant funds to the state of Oregon for the management actions 
promoting the protection and recovery of these species. Based on the 
biology and current status of these species, attention should be given 
to preservation of as many different sites as possible, and protecting 
the sites from direct effects of habitat destruction or degradation and 
the indirect effects of encroachment by invasive non-native species.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered 
plants. All prohibitions of section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 
50 CFR 17.61, apply. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for 
any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import 
or export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of 
a commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign 
commerce, or remove and reduce the species to possession from areas 
under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for plants listed as 
endangered, the Act prohibits malicious damage or destruction on areas 
under Federal jurisdiction and the removal, cutting, digging up, or 
damaging or destroying of such plants in knowing violation of any State 
law or regulation, including State criminal trespass law. Certain 
exceptions to the prohibitions apply to our agents and State 
conservation agencies.
    The Act and 50 CFR 17.62 and 17.63 also provide for the issuance of 
permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving 
endangered plants under certain circumstances. Such permits are 
available for scientific purposes and to enhance the propagation or 
survival of the species. We anticipate that few trade permits would 
ever be sought or issued for Lomatium cookii because this plant is not 
in cultivation or common in the wild. Since Limnanthes ssp. are being 
cultivated to produce oil and there continues to be research into 
developing strains suitable for wide-scale commercial propagation, 
there may be a greater demand for permits to collect or cultivate 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora.
    It is our policy, published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the 
time a species is listed those activities that would or would not 
constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this 
policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of this listing on 
proposed and

[[Page 68015]]

ongoing activities within the species' range. Limnanthes floccosa ssp. 
grandiflora is not presently known to occur on Federal land, although 
two sites are known from the vicinity of Table Rock, near where BLM 
manages some land. Lomatium cookii is known to occur on lands under the 
jurisdiction of the BLM. Collection, damage, or destruction of 
endangered plants on public lands is prohibited, although in 
appropriate cases a Federal endangered species permit may be issued to 
allow collection. Removal, cutting, digging up, damaging or destroying 
endangered plants on non-Federal lands also constitutes a violation of 
section 9 of the Act if conducted in knowing violation of State law or 
regulations, including State criminal trespass law. We are not aware of 
any otherwise lawful activities being conducted or proposed by the 
public that will be affected by application the section 9 to this 
    Questions regarding whether specific activities will constitute a 
violation of section 9 should be directed to the State Supervisor of 
our Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Requests for 
copies of the regulations concerning listed plants and general 
inquiries regarding prohibitions and issuance of permits under the Act 
may be addressed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services, Endangered Species Permits, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, 
OR, 97232-4181 (telephone 503/231-2063; facsimile 503/231-6243).

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that Environmental Assessments and Environmental 
Impact Statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection 
with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. We published a notice outlining our 
reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 
1983 (48 FR 49244).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not 
impose record keeping or reporting requirements on State or local 
governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may 
not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number. Information collections associated with endangered 
species permits are covered by an existing OMB approval and are 
assigned control number 1018-0093, which expires March 31, 2004.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued an Executive Order on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This rule is not 
expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. 
Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no 
Statement of Energy Effects is required.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see 


    The authors of this final rule are Richard Szlemp, Anne Walker, and 
Judy Jacobs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
record keeping requirements, and Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we hereby amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, 
title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 17.12(h) is amended by adding the following, in 
alphabetical order under Flowering Plants, to the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Plants to read as follows:

Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

-----------------------------------------------------   Historic range          Family             Status        When        Critical      Special rules
        Scientific name              Common name                                                                listed       habitat
        Flowering Plants

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Limnanthes floccosa ssp.         large-flowered       U.S.A. (OR).......  Limnanthaceae.....  E                     733  NA               NA
 grandiflora.                     woolly meadowfoam.

                                                                      * * * * * * *
Lomatium cookii................  Cook's lomatium....  U.S.A. (OR).......  Apiaceae..........  E                     733  NA               NA

                                                                      * * * * * * *

    Dated: October 30, 2002.
Steve Williams,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-28237 Filed 11-6-02; 8:45 am]