[Federal Register: September 15, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 178)]
[Page 54567-54568]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Recovery Plan for the Pecos 
Sunflower (Helianthus paradoxus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 54568]]

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the Final Recovery Plan for the Pecos sunflower 
(Helianthus paradoxus). The Pecos sunflower is a wetland annual plant 
that grows on wet, alkaline soils at spring seeps, wet meadows and pond 
margins. It occurs in seven widely spaced populations in west-central 
and eastern New Mexico and west Texas. Loss and/or alteration of 
wetland habitat is the primary threat to Pecos sunflower, primarily by 
surface water diversion and wetland filling for agriculture and 
recreational uses, and groundwater pumping and aquifer depletion for 
municipal uses. The Recovery Plan outlines the necessary criteria, 
objectives, and actions to reduce these threats and accomplish the goal 
of delisting the Pecos sunflower.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the Recovery Plan may be requested by contacting 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Ecological Services 
Field Office, 2105 Osuna NE., Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87113. The 
Recovery Plan can also be obtained from the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/recovery/

Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address; telephone 505/
346-2525, facsimile 505/346-2542.



    Pecos sunflower was listed as threatened under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, on October 20, 1999 (64 FR 
56582-56590). The threats facing the survival and recovery of this 
species are the loss and alteration of its wetland habitat due to 
aquifer depletions, diversions of surface water, and filling wetlands 
for conversion to dry land; competition from non-native plant species, 
including Russian olive and tamarisk; excessive livestock grazing; and 
highway maintenance and mowing. The Final Recovery Plan includes 
scientific information about the species and provides the objectives, 
criteria, and actions needed to delist the species. Recovery actions 
designed to achieve the objectives and criteria include identifying and 
securing core conservation habitats essential for the long-term 
survival of this species, continuing life history, population, and 
habitat studies, ensuring compliance with existing regulations, and 
promoting opportunities for voluntary conservation of the species.
    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant 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 listed species, establish criteria for downlisting or delisting 
those species, and estimate time and costs for implementing the 
recovery measures needed.
    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, as amended in 1988, 
requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and 
comment be provided during recovery plan development. The Service 
considers all information presented during a public comment period 
prior to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and 
others also take these comments into account in the course of 
implementing recovery plans.
    A Draft Recovery Plan for Pecos sunflower was available for a 30-
day public comment period beginning July 2, 2004 (69 FR 40409). The 
Service also requested and received peer review from two independent 
specialists with expertise regarding Pecos sunflower and closely 
related species. During the comment period, we received letters from 
seven individuals and organizations, including both peer reviewers. In 
response to two requests to extend the public comment period, we re-
opened the comment period for an additional 30 days on September 14, 
2004 (69 FR 55447). No additional comments were received during that 
time. The recovery plan was modified to address many of the comments 
and specific responses for substantive comments are summarized in 
appendix A of the Final Recovery Plan.


    This document is published under the authority of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 17, 2005.
H. Dale Hall,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 05-18324 Filed 9-14-05; 8:45 am]