[Federal Register: April 25, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 79)]
[Page 23942]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Recovery Plan for Two Plants From Rota (Nesogenes rotensis 
and Osmoxylon mariannense)

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for Two Plants from Rota 
(Nesogenes rotensis and Osmoxylon mariannense) (no common names) for 
public review and comment.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before June 26, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available by request 
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, 
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850 (telephone: 808-792-9400). An electronic copy of 
the draft recovery plan is also available at: http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Field Supervisor, at the above 
Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.



    Restoring endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point 
where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program. The 
Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (ESA) requires the 
development of recovery plans for listed species unless such a plan 
would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Recovery 
plans help guide the recovery effort by describing actions considered 
necessary for the conservation of the species, establishing criteria 
for downlisting or delisting listed species, and estimating time and 
cost for implementing the measures needed for recovery.
    Section 4(f) of the ESA 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. Substantive comments on the recovery needs of the species or 
other aspects of recovery plan development may result in changes to the 
recovery plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the recovery 
plan, but will be forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so 
that they can take these comments into account during the course of 
implementing recovery actions. Individual responses to comments will 
not be provided.
    Nesogenes rotensis and Osmoxylon mariannense are found only on the 
island of Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
(CNMI). Both species were federally listed as endangered in 2004 (69 FR 
18499), and O. mariannense is also protected by the government of the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Currently, there 
are 2 known populations of N. rotensis consisting of 15 to 20 plants 
each. There are 10 known individuals of O. mariannense scattered 
through the Sabana (the cloudswept plateau that dominates the western 
half of Rota), including 2 individuals outplanted from past controlled 
propagation efforts.
    Nesogenes rotensis is found on exposed, raised limestone flats in 
non-forested strand habitat. Osmoxylon mariannense is found in 
limestone forests on the Sabana, a raised plateau unique in the Mariana 
archipelago, that are often shrouded in clouds and mist.
    Human activities are believed to be the primary factors leading to 
the small population sizes and limited distribution of Nesogenes 
rotensis and Osmoxylon mariannense, and include: agriculture, ranching, 
non-native plant and animal introductions, resort and beach park 
development in the coastal habitat of N. rotensis, and road 
construction and maintenance in the Sabana habitat of O. mariannense. 
In the last decade, several major typhoons have made landfall on Rota, 
severely impacting individuals of both species. Another factor that may 
affect the recovery of these two species is their vulnerability to 
extinction from reduced reproductive vigor due to their small 
population sizes.
    The objective of this recovery plan is to restore and maintain 
multiple naturally reproducing populations of Nesogenes rotensis and 
Osmoxylon mariannense on the island of Rota. The draft recovery plan 
for these two plants focuses on the following actions: (1) Coordinating 
and monitoring recovery efforts; (2) addressing factors affecting 
viability of the wild populations; (3) monitoring N. rotensis and O. 
mariannense populations, establishing new populations, and augmenting 
existing populations; and (4) providing educational informational 
opportunities to build public support for conservation.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the draft recovery plan described. 
All comments received by the date specified above will be considered in 
the finalization of this plan.


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

    Dated: February 17, 2006.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E6-6143 Filed 4-24-06; 8:45 am]