[Federal Register: January 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 2)]
[Page 386-387]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Sonora Tiger Salamander 
Recovery Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability 
of the final Recovery Plan for the Sonora tiger salamander (Ambystoma 
tigrinum stebbinsi). The species occurs on lands managed by the U.S. 
Forest Service, Coronado National Forest; U.S. Department of the Army, 
Fort Huachuca, Arizona State Parks, and private lands in the San Rafael 
Valley and adjacent portions of the Huachuca and Patagonia mountains in 
southeastern Santa Cruz and southwestern Cochise counties, Arizona.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to obtain a copy of the Recovery Plan may 
contact Jim Rorabaugh, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, 
Phoenix, Arizona, 85021-4951 (602/640-2720 x238, Jim--
Rorabaugh@fws.gov). The Plan is also available at http://arizonaes.fws.gov.
 The complete administrative record supporting the 
development of the Recovery Plan is available on request for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 




    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant species to 
the point where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its 
ecosystem is a primary goal of the Service's endangered species 
program. To help guide the recovery effort, the Service prepares 
recovery plans for most of the listed species native to the United 
States. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for the

[[Page 387]]

recovery levels for downlisting or delisting them, and estimate time 
and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in 1988, 
requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and 
comment be provided during recovery plan development. On June 16, 2000, 
the Service published a notice of document availability in the Federal 
Register announcing the availability for public review of the draft 
Recovery Plan for the Sonora tiger salamander. Public comments were 
accepted through August 15, 2000. Three letters of comment were 
received during the comment period. The draft recovery plan was revised 
and finalized based on this input.
    The Sonora tiger salamander Recovery Plan describes the status, 
current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific 
actions needed to reclassify the Sonora tiger salamander from 
endangered to threatened, and to ultimately delist it. The Recovery 
Plan was developed by Dr. James P. Collins and Jonathan Snyder, Arizona 
State University, Tempe, Arizona, in coordination with the Service and 
a team of stakeholders (the Participation Team), which included 
ranchers, land owners and managers, agency and organization 
representatives, and herpetologists. The salamander currently only 
breeds in livestock watering tanks in the San Rafael Valley of 
southeastern Arizona. Its natural breeding habitats are no longer 
present or are now unsuitable. The salamander is threatened by loss of 
natural habitats; predation by nonnative fish, bullfrogs, and crayfish; 
genetic swamping by nonnative barred tiger salamanders; disease; low 
genetic diversity; and collection for bait or translocation by anglers. 
Actions needed to recover the salamander include maintenance and 
enhancements of habitats, control of nonnative organisms, control of 
collection and transport of tiger salamanders, actions to reduce spread 
of disease, monitoring, research, public education and information, and 
adaptive management. The Recovery Plan includes a Participation Plan, 
prepared by the Participation Team, which details how the plan should 
be implemented to minimize social and economic impacts while still 
providing for the prompt recovery of the salamander. The Service worked 
with Dr. Collins and the Participation Team to address comments 
received on the draft Plan during the comment period.


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

    Dated: September 24, 2002.
H. Dale Hall,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 03-45 Filed 1-2-03; 8:45 am]