[Federal Register: April 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 67)]
[Page 16232-16233]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2009-N0059; 20124-11130000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Plan for 
the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow (Hybognathus amarus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability: draft amendment and supplement 
to the 2007 Draft revised recovery plan for Rio Grande Silvery Minnow.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an amendment and supplement to our draft revised 
Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for the Rio Grande silvery minnow 
(Hybognathus amarus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). The species currently inhabits the Rio Grande in New 
Mexico and has been introduced to the Big Bend area of Texas. This 
amendment and supplement consist of revised draft recovery criteria and 
a population viability assessment (PVA, or draft Appendix H), 
respectively. We invite public review and comment on these documents. 
After review we will incorporate the documents into the Final Recovery 
Plan (the PVA as Appendix H).

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive any comments no later 
than May 26, 2009.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the revised draft recovery criteria 
and PVA/draft Appendix H, you may obtain a copy from Jennifer Norris, 
Rio Grande Endangered Species Act Coordinator, by U.S. mail at New 
Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2105 Osuna Road, Albuquerque, NM 87113; by telephone at 505-
761-4710; by facsimile at 505-346-2542; or by e-mail at: Jennifer_
Norris@fws.gov. You may also download the documents from http://
www.fws.gov/endangered. For more on obtaining and commenting on 
documents, see ``Document Availability.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Norris, by telephone at 505-
761-4710, by any means under ADDRESSES.



    The Rio Grande silvery minnow was extirpated from about 93 percent 
of its original range, persisting in only one 280-kilometer (km) ((174-
mile (mi))) reach of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, from just downstream 
of Cochiti Dam to the headwaters of the Elephant Butte Reservoir. As 
part of our efforts to recover the species, on December 17, 2008, we 
reintroduced Rio Grande silvery minnows to the Big Bend area of the Rio 
Grande under Section 10(j) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (73 FR 
74357, December 8, 2008). We listed the species as federally endangered 
in 1994 (July 20, 1994, 59 FR 36988) and designated critical habitat in 
2003 (February 19, 2003, 68 FR 8088). Throughout much of its historic 
range, the decline of the Rio Grande silvery minnow may be attributed 
in part to destruction and modification of its habitat due to 
dewatering and diversion of water, water impoundment, and modification 
of the river (channelization). Competition and predation by introduced 
non-native species, water quality degradation, and other factors may 
also have contributed to its decline.
    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 our endangered species program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are 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 downlisting or delisting them, and estimate time and cost 
for implementing the recovery measures. The recovery criteria form the 
basis from which to gauge the species' recovery and subsequent risk of 
    Our draft revised recovery plan, which we announced and took 
comments on in early 2007 (January 18, 2007, 72 FR 2301), includes 
scientific information about the species and provides criteria and 
actions needed to reclassify or delist (recover) the species. We may 
consider reclassifying the Rio Grande silvery minnow from endangered to 
threatened when three populations (including at least two that are 
self-sustaining) have been established within the historical range of 
the species and have been maintained for at least 5 years each. We may 
consider delisting when three self-sustaining populations have been 
established within the historical range of the species and have been 
maintained for at least 10 years each. The revised recovery criteria 
provide objective measures by which we may determine that populations 
of silvery minnow are self-sustaining.
    We finalized our original Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Recovery Plan 
in 1999. On January 18, 2007, we issued a notice of availability and 
request for comments on our draft revised plan (72 FR 2301). After 
receiving and considering public and peer review comments on the 
original draft revised criteria, we developed the revised criteria and 
PVA document which we announce and make available with this notice. We 
will not re-release the draft revised plan and take further comments. 
After consideration of comments we received during this public comment 
period, we will finalize the recovery plan and make it available to the 
public through a Federal Register notice.

Document Availability

    To download review copies of the documents from the internet, go to 
http://www.fws.gov/endangered and find ``Search For a Species:'' in the 
left-side menu. Type ``silvery minnow'' in the text box and click on 
``Search.'' Although we are no longer accepting comments on the January 
2007 draft revised recovery plan, a copy of the plan may be useful for 
your review of the revised draft criteria and PVA/draft Appendix H. The 
draft revised recovery plan may be also obtained through the methods 
outlined above.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the New 
Mexico Ecological Services Field Office in Albuquerque (see ADDRESSES).

Request for Public Comments

    We are accepting written comments and information during this 
comment period on the revised draft recovery

[[Page 16233]]

criteria and draft Appendix H. You may submit written comments by any 
one of the means under ADDRESSES. If you submitted comments previously 
on the original draft revision to the Recovery Plan (January 2007), you 
need not resubmit them, as we will incorporate them into the public 
record and fully consider them as we prepare our final revised plan.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying 
information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

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

    Dated: March 5, 2009.
Brian A Millsap,
Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. E9-8083 Filed 4-8-09; 8:45 am]