[Federal Register: January 28, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 18)]
[Page 4228-4229]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for the Rough 
Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys hirtus) for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability for public review of a draft

[[Page 4229]]

recovery plan for the rough popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys hirtus). The 
draft recovery plan includes specific recovery criteria and measures to 
be taken in order to delist the rough popcorn flower. We solicit review 
and comment from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public on 
this draft recovery plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before March 31, 2003 to receive our consideration.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
following location: Roseburg Field Office, 2900 NW. Stewart Parkway, 
Roseburg, Oregon 97470 (phone: 541-957-3474). Requests for copies of 
the draft recovery plan, and written comments and materials regarding 
this plan should be addressed to Craig Tuss, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Tuss, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered 
Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). 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 conservation of the species, establish recovery criteria 
for downlisting or delisting species, and estimate time and cost for 
implementing the measures needed for recovery.
    The Act, requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice 
and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during a public comment period prior to approval of this recovery plan. 
Substantive technical comments may result in changes to the plan. 
Substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation will be 
forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities for consideration 
during the implementation of recovery actions.
    The rough popcorn flower was listed as endangered on January 25, 
2000 and is found only in the Umpqua River drainage in Douglas County, 
Oregon, at sites ranging from 102 to 232 meters (m) (330 to 750 feet) 
in elevation. Extant, naturally occurring populations of this species 
occur along the Sutherlin Creek drainage from Sutherlin to Wilbur, 
adjacent to Calapooya Creek west of Sutherlin, and in roadside ditches 
near Yoncalla Creek just north of Rice Hill. The northern site is near 
Yoncalla, and the southern at Wilbur. All known sites were east of 
Interstate Highway 5 (I-5), until 1998 when a site was discovered at 
the junction of Stearns Lane and Highway 138, 0.8.kilometers 0.5 miles 
west of I-5. The eastern site is east of Plat K Road outside of 
Sutherlin. Historic collections have been made farther east near 
Nonpareil, but recent surveys (1998 to 1999) did not locate any 
populations in that area.
    The rough popcorn flower is a perennial herbaceous plant, but can 
be annual depending on environmental conditions. The species occurs in 
seasonal wetlands. The majority of sites occur on the Conser-type soil 
series which is characterized as poorly drained flood plain soils. 
Urban and agriculture development, invasion of non-native species, 
habitat fragmentation and degradation, and other human-caused 
disturbances have resulted in substantial losses of seasonal wetland 
habitat throughout the species' historic range. Conservation measures 
include establishing a network of protected populations in natural 
habitat distributed throughout its native range.
    The draft recovery plan identifies three recovery zones. The 
recovery zones are geographically bounded areas containing extant rough 
popcorn flower populations that are the focus of recovery actions or 
tasks. The recovery zones include lands both essential and non-
essential to the long-term conservation of the rough popcorn flower.
    The overall objective of this draft recovery plan is to reduce the 
threats to the rough popcorn flower to the point it can be reclassified 
to threatened, with the ultimate goal of being removed from protection 
entirely. Under the draft recovery plan downlisting of the rough 
popcorn flower would be contingent upon the following criteria: (1) At 
least 9 reserves, containing a minimum of 5,000 plants each, are 
protected and managed to assure their long term survival; (2) a minimum 
of 1,000 m\2\ are occupied by the rough popcorn flower within each 
reserve, with at least 100 m\2\ having a density of 100 plants/m\2\ or 
greater; (3) a minimum of 9 reserves are distributed among the 3 
recovery zones (Calapooya Creek, Sutherlin Creek, and Yoncalla Creek), 
with at least 3 reserves present in each zone; (4) patches within each 
reserve are within 1 kilometers (2\1/2\ miles) of each other to allow 
pollinator movement and gene flow among them; (5) averages of 5 years 
of demographic data that indicates populations in at least 7 of the 9 
reserves within the 3 recovery zones have average population numbers 
that are stable or increasing, without decreasing trends lasting more 
than 2 years; (6) 75 percent or more of the plants are reproductive 
each year, with evidence of seed maturation and dispersal in all 
populations; (7) seed germination and seedling recruitment are 
occurring in all populations; and (8) each existing or reintroduced 
population is secure from the threats identified in the Reasons for 
Listing section.

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

    Dated: November 5, 2002.
Rowan W. Gould,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-1826 Filed 1-27-03; 8:45 am]