[Federal Register: September 29, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 189)]
[Page 57557-57558]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for Holmgren milk-vetch (Astragalus holmgreniorum) 
and Shivwits milk-vetch (Astragalus ampullarioides)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the final Holmgren milk-vetch (Astragalus 
holmgreniorum) and Shivwits milk-vetch (Astragalus ampullarioides) 
recovery plan. These species are federally listed as endangered under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the recovery plan by any of the 
following means:
    1. World Wide Web: http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans
; or

    2. U.S. mail or in-person pickup: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Utah Field Office, 2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, 
Utah 84119.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Supervisor, at the above address 
(telephone 801-975-3330).


[[Page 57558]]


    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 the federally listed species native to the United States 
where a plan will promote the conservation of the species. Recovery 
plans help guide the recovery effort by describing actions considered 
necessary for the conservation of the species, establishing criteria 
for downlisting and delisting listed species, and estimating time and 
cost for implementing the measures needed for recovery measures.
    Section 4(f) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that 
public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be 
provided during recovery plan development. In fulfillment of this 
requirement, we made the draft recovery plan for Holmgren milk-vetch 
(Astragalus holmgreniorum) and Shivwits milk-vetch (Astragalus 
ampullarioides) available for public comment from August 1 through 
August 31, 2006 (71 FR 43514, August 1, 2006). In our preparation of 
the final recovery plan, we considered information provided to us 
during the comment period, and we have summarized this information in 
an appendix to the recovery plan. We will provide substantive comments 
regarding recovery plan implementation to appropriate Federal or other 
entities so that they can take comments into account during the course 
of implementing recovery actions.
    Holmgren milk-vetch and Shivwits milk-vetch are endemic to the 
Mojave Desert around St. George, Utah. These perennials were listed as 
endangered in October 2001 (66 FR 49560, September 28, 2001) because of 
their rarity and declining population trends, as well as the threats of 
urban development, off-road vehicle use, grazing, displacement by 
invasive plants, and mineral development. We proposed critical habitat 
for these species on March 29, 2006 (71 FR 15965). For the purpose of 
recovery, each species comprises six extant populations located in 
Washington County, Utah, with one Holmgren milk-vetch population 
extending into Mohave County, Arizona. This also represents the known 
historic distribution, although it is probable that both species 
occupied more habitat in the past.
    Holmgren milk-vetch occurs at elevations between 756 and 914 meters 
(m) (2,480 and 2,999 feet (ft)) in areas that drain to the Santa Clara 
and Virgin Rivers. It is typically found on the skirt edges of hill and 
plateau formations slightly above or at the edge of drainage areas; it 
occurs on soils characterized by small stone and gravel deposits and 
where living cover is less than 20 percent of the landscape. Shivwits 
milk-vetch is found in isolated pockets of Chinle and Moenave soils 
around St. George. Occupied sites are small, and populations are found 
between 920 and 1,330 m (3,018 and 4,363 ft) in elevation in sparsely 
vegetated habitat with an average 12 percent cover. Shivwits milk-vetch 
is thinly and discontinuously distributed within its habitat, and is 
found in dense patches. Depending on precipitation, Holmgren milk-vetch 
has variable seedling output, followed by a low rate of survivorship, 
limiting the number of reproductive adults within a population; 
Shivwits milk-vetch is constrained by the isolation of appropriate soil 
substrate and limited mechanisms for seed dispersal.
    Recovery of Holmgren milk-vetch and Shivwits milk-vetch will hinge 
on conservation of extant populations and establishment of enough 
additional populations to ensure long-term demographic and genetic 
viability. This will require the active involvement of experts and the 
public, as well as a continuing recognition of the role each milk-vetch 
plays in the ecology of southwestern Utah and, in the case of Holmgren 
milk-vetch, northwestern Arizona. Because of the biological and 
historical uncertainties regarding the status and recovery potential of 
these species, the recovery strategy is necessarily contingent on a 
growing understanding of both species and their ecological 
requirements. Consequently, a dynamic and adaptive approach will be key 
to making effective progress toward full recovery.
    The objective of the recovery plan is to provide a framework for 
the recovery of the Holmgren milk-vetch and Shivwits milk-vetch so that 
protection by the Act is no longer necessary. We think the following 
actions are among those necessary to accomplish this objective--(1) 
Conserve known extant Holmgren milk-vetch and Shivwits milk-vetch 
populations and their habitat; (2) Locate and conserve additional 
extant populations, if any; (3) Monitor Holmgren milk-vetch and 
Shivwits milk-vetch sites for population information and trends; (4) 
Establish a set of need-based research priorities aimed at abating or 
reducing threats and increasing population health and numbers; (5) 
Develop and implement a rangewide strategy for augmentation and/or 
establishment of milk-vetch populations; (6) Augment extant populations 
and/or establish new populations of each species in accordance with the 
rangewide strategy; (7) Promote effective communications with partners 
and stakeholders regarding the milk-vetches' recovery needs and 
progress; (8) Develop and implement educational and outreach programs; 
(9) Provide oversight and support for implementation of recovery 
actions; (10) Establish a technical working group to regularly review 
the status of the species and track the effectiveness of recovery 
actions; (11) Revise the recovery program when indicated by new 
information and recovery progress.

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

    Dated: September 7, 2006.
Sharon R. Rose,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. E6-16043 Filed 9-28-06; 8:45 am]