[Federal Register: October 15, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 199)]
[Page 59414-59415]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Recovery Plan for Sidalcea oregana var. calva (Wenatchee 
Mountains Checker-mallow)

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (``we'') announces the 
availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for Sidalcea oregana var. calva 
(Wenatchee Mountains Checker-mallow) for public review. This endangered 
plant is found only in Chelan County, Washington. This draft recovery 
plan describes the status of the species, recovery objectives and 
criteria, and specific actions needed to reclassify Sidalcea oregana 
var. calva from endangered to threatened, and to ultimately delist it. 
We solicit review and comment from local, State, and Federal agencies, 
and the public on this draft recovery plan.

DATE: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or before 
December 15, 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: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central Washington 
Field Office, 215 Melody Lane, Suite 119, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 
(telephone: 509-665-3508). Requests for copies of the draft recovery 
plan and written comments and materials regarding the plan should be 
addressed to the Field Supervisor at the above address. An electronic 
copy of this recovery plan is also available at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim McCracken, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, 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.). Recovery means improvement 
of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no 
longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting listed 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 the public comment period prior to approval of each 
new or revised recovery plan. Substantive technical comments may result 
in changes to the plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the recovery 
plan, but will be forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so 
that they can take these comments into account during the course of 
implementing recovery actions. Individual responses to comments will 
not be provided.
    This draft recovery plan was developed by Service biologists 
coordinating with botanists, plant ecologists, and planners from the 
Natural Heritage Program and Natural Area Program, Washington 
Department of Natural Resources; and the U.S. Forest Service. We also 
consulted with various experts from universities, agency 
representatives, and non-governmental organizations in the development 
of this plan.
    Sidalcea oregana var. calva was listed as an endangered species on 
December 22, 1999 (64 FR 71680). This rare, attractive member of the 
mallow family (Malvaceae) is endemic to Chelan County, Washington, 
where it is found in wetlands and moist meadows of the Wenatchee 
Mountains. Just five populations are known, and four of these five 
number from only eight to a few hundred individuals. Populations occur 
on a mixture of private, State, and Federal lands. Critical habitat was 
designated for this species on September 6, 2001 (66 FR 46536).
    The primary threats to Sidalcea oregana var. calva include habitat 
fragmentation, degradation, or loss due to conversion of native 
wetlands to orchards and other agricultural uses; rural residential 
development and associated impacts; altered hydrology; competition from 
native and nonnative plants; recreational impacts; woody plant 
encroachment; and activities associated with fire suppression. To a 
lesser extent the species is threatened by livestock grazing, road 
construction, and

[[Page 59415]]

timber harvesting and associated impacts including changes in surface 
runoff. The species is highly vulnerable to extirpation from 
demographic factors or random, naturally occurring events due to the 
very small size of most of the remaining populations.
    The interim objective of this draft recovery plan is to stabilize 
the existing populations and accomplish increases in population sizes 
and geographic distribution across the historical range of the species 
sufficient to consider downlisting of Sidalcea oregana var. calva to 
threatened status. The primary objective of the plan is to recover the 
species to the point that it can be delisted.
    Actions proposed to achieve the recovery of Sidalcea oregana var. 
calva include maintaining the current geographical distribution of the 
species through effective management and coordination with private 
landowners and other agencies; identifying potential habitat and 
developing a sound protocol for reintroducing the species within its 
historically occupied range; conducting research and monitoring 
essential to the conservation of the species; collecting seed 
representing the genetic diversity of the species across its range and 
storing it in a secure facility; surveying to identify potential 
additional populations; and developing outreach materials to provide 
information about the species, its habitat, and management 
recommendations to local landowners.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the draft recovery plan described. 
All comments received by the date specified above will be considered in 
developing a final recovery plan.

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

    Dated: August 11, 2003.
Don Weathers,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-25983 Filed 10-14-03; 8:45 am]