[Federal Register: September 14, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 177)]
[Page 55447-55448]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Draft Sentry Milk-vetch Recovery 
Plan for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability for public review of a draft recovery plan for the sentry 
milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax). All known 
populations of the species occur on land managed by the National Park 
Service, Grand Canyon National Park (Park) in Coconino County, Arizona. 
We solicit review and comment from the public on this Draft Sentry 
Milk-vetch Recovery Plan (Draft Plan).

DATES: Comments on the Draft Plan must be received on or before October 
14, 2004, to receive consideration by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the Draft Plan may obtain a copy 
by accessing the Service's Arizona Ecological Services Field Office 
Internet Web page at http://arizonaes.fws.gov or by contacting the 

Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, 
Arizona, 85021-4951 (602/242-0210) to obtain a copy via the mail or in 
person at the addresses above. Written comments and materials regarding 
the plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor at the address

[[Page 55448]]

provided above. Comments and materials received are available on 
request for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mima Falk, Arizona Ecological Services 
Tucson Suboffice, 201 N Bonita Ave., Tucson, Arizona 85745 (520/670-
6150 ext. 225).



    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 is working to 
prepare recovery plans for most of the listed species native to the 
United States. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 
conservation of species, establish criteria for the 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. We will consider 
all information presented during the public comment period prior to 
approval of each new or revised recovery plan. We, along with other 
Federal agencies, will also take these comments into account in the 
course of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The Draft Plan describes the status, current management, recovery 
objectives and criteria, and specific actions needed to reclassify the 
sentry milk-vetch from endangered to threatened and for eventual 
consideration for delisting. An original draft of the recovery plan was 
developed by Dr. Joyce Maschinski, a botanist and species specialist 
from The Arboretum at Flagstaff. The document was reviewed and updated 
by a team of botanists, soil scientists, naturalists and National Park 
Service land managers that have a history of researching or managing 
the plant and its environs. In 1993, a draft recovery plan for the 
sentry milk-vetch underwent technical and public review. The draft was 
not finalized at that time due to other high priority work. The reviews 
received on the 1993 draft are maintained in the Service's 
administrative record. Peer review of this Draft Plan is being 
conducted concurrent with public review.
    Sentry milk-vetch is known from two, and up to three, locations on 
the South Rim and one location on the North Rim of the Park, where 
Kaibab limestone forms large flat platforms with shallow soils near 
pinyon-juniper woodlands. The primary cause of population decline prior 
to protection was trampling by Park visitors, although drought 
conditions may have worsened the situation. We carefully assessed the 
best scientific and commercial information available regarding the 
past, present, and future threats faced by sentry milk-vetch as part of 
our 1990 final determination to list this species as endangered (55 FR 
50184). The four major threats identified in the rule listing the 
species were: (1) Destruction of habitat and damage to individuals 
through human disturbance (trampling); (2) overutilization due to 
collection; (3) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to provide 
protection of habitat; and (4) naturally low reproduction of the 
species. The Draft Plan contains action items to alleviate these 

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the Draft Plan. All comments 
received by the date specified above will be considered prior to 
approval of the plan.


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

    Dated: August 16, 2004.
Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-20685 Filed 9-13-04; 8:45 am]