[Federal Register: January 10, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 6)]
[Page 1736-1737]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Re-Opening of the Comment Period for the Draft Recovery Plan for 
the Sentry Milk-Vetch

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of re-opening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
re-opening of the comment period for public review of a draft Recovery 
Plan for the sentry milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. 
cremnophylax) for an additional 30 days. The original public comment 
period was held from September 14, 2004 to October 14, 2004. We are re-
opening the public comment period in response to a specific request 
from the National Park Service, Grand Canyon National Park (Park) to 
allow additional time for public review of this draft Recovery Plan. 
All known populations of the species occur on land managed by the Park 
in Coconino County, Arizona.

DATES: Comments on the draft Recovery Plan must be received on or 
before February 9, 2005, to receive consideration by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft Recovery 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 address above. Written comments and materials 
regarding the plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor at the 
address 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 Recovery Plan describes the status, current management, 

[[Page 1737]]

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 Recovery Plan was 
conducted concurrent with the original public review period.
    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) over-utilization due to 
collection; (3) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to provide 
protection of habitat; and (4) naturally low reproduction of the 
species. The draft Recovery Plan contains action items to alleviate 
these factors.

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: November 24, 2004.
Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-409 Filed 1-7-05; 8:45 am]