[Federal Register: April 22, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 76)]
[Page 18403-18404]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2009-N0067; 40120-1113-0000-C2]

Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the Endangered St. 
Andrew Beach Mouse

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability and opening of public comment 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the technical agency draft recovery plan for the St. 
Andrew beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus peninsularis). This technical 
agency draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and 
criteria to be met in order to reclassify this species to threatened 
status and delist it under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). We request review and comment on this technical agency 
draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the 

DATES: In order to be considered, comments on the technical agency 
draft recovery plan must be received on or before June 22, 2009.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review this technical agency draft recovery 
plan, you may obtain a copy by contacting Janet Mizzi, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 1601 Balboa Ave, Panama City, FL 32405, tel. (850) 
769-0552, or by visiting either the Service's recovery plan Web site at 
http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans or the Panama City 
Field Office Web site at http://www.fws.gov/panamacity/. If you wish to 
comment, you may submit your comments by one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and materials to Janet Mizzi, at 
the above address.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Panama City Field 
Office, at the above address.
    3. You may fax your comments to (850) 763-2177.
    4. You may send comments by e-mail to janet_mizzi@fws.gov. For 
directions on submitting comments electronically, see the ``Public 
Comments Solicited'' section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Mizzi at the above addresses or 
telephone: (850) 769-0552, ext. 247.


[[Page 18404]]


    The St. Andrew beach mouse was listed as endangered on December 18, 
1998 (63 FR 70053). The St. Andrew beach mouse is one of five 
subspecies of beach mice that inhabit the northern Gulf of Mexico coast 
(James 1992). Beach mice are fossorial creatures that inhabit the 
complex of coastal dune systems composed of the primary and secondary 
dunes and adjacent inland scrub dunes (Blair 1951, Bowen 1968, Holliman 
1983, Holler 1992, James 1992, Moyers et al. 1996, Sneckenberger 2001). 
The beach mouse subspecies are differentiated from each other by their 
non-overlapping geographic distributions and pelage coloration (Hipes 
et al. 2000).
    Currently, there are only two known core populations of the St. 
Andrew beach mouse, which occur in Bay and Gulf counties, Florida. 
Threats to the St. Andrew beach mouse include habitat loss/alteration 
from land development and associated human use, hurricanes and other 
tropical storm events, non-native predators, and recreational activity 
associated with development and tourism, that weaken and encroach on 
the dune ecosystem. Availability of suitable habitat may be a limiting 
factor during periods of population expansion or following catastrophic 
weather events.
    A primary goal of the endangered species program is to restore an 
endangered or threatened species to the point where it is again a 
secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem and protection under 
the Act is no longer necessary. Recovery plans are developed, for most 
listed species, to help guide this process. Within these plans we 
define measurable criteria that are used as benchmarks for downlisting 
or delisting the species. To achieve these benchmarks, the recovery 
plans describe actions considered necessary for conservation of the 
species and the time and costs estimates associated with implementing 
these recovery measures. The status of the species will be reviewed and 
it will be considered for removal from the Federal List of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR part 17) when the recovery 
criteria are met.
    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 requires us to provide a 
public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during a public comment period prior to approval of each new or revised 
recovery plan. We and other Federal agencies will take these comments 
into account in the course of implementing approved recovery plans.

Request for Public Comments

    We will consider all comments received by the date specified above 
prior to final approval of the recovery plan.

Public Availability of Comments

    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.


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

    Dated: March 25, 2009.
Ed Buskirk,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.
[FR Doc. E9-9178 Filed 4-21-09; 8:45 am]