[Federal Register: September 17, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 180)]
[Page 57055-57056]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-ES-2008-N188; 60120-1113-0000; C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised 
Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of a draft revised recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog 
(Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Service 
solicits review and comment from the public on this draft revised plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft revised recovery plan must be received on 
or before November 16, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft revised recovery plan are available by 
request from the Utah Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, UT 84119; telephone 
801-975-3330. Submit comments on the draft recovery plan to the Field 
Supervisor at this same address. An electronic copy of the draft 
recovery plan is available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/

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



    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 prepares recovery plans for the 
federally listed species native to the United States where a plan will 
promote the conservation of the species. Recovery plans describe site-
specific actions necessary for the conservation of the species, 
establish objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result 
in a determination that the species no longer needs the protection of 
the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and provide estimates of the time and 
cost for implementing the needed recovery measures.
    The Act requires 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 opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. The Service will consider all information 
received during a public comment period when preparing each new or 
revised recovery plan for approval. The Service and other Federal 
agencies also will take these comments into consideration in the course 
of implementing approved recovery plans. It is our policy to request 
peer review of recovery plans. We will summarize and respond to the 
issues raised by the public and peer reviewers in an appendix to the 
approved recovery plan.
    The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens), found only in 
southwestern and central Utah, was listed as an endangered species on 
June 4, 1973 (38 FR 14678). At the time of listing, the species was 
threatened by habitat destruction and modification, overexploitation, 
disease, and predation. Subsequently, Utah prairie dog populations 
increased significantly in portions of their range, and on May 29, 1984 
(49 FR 22330), the species was reclassified as threatened with a 
special rule to allow regulated take of the species. This special rule 
was amended on June 14, 1991 (56 FR 27438), to increase the amount of 
regulated take allowed throughout the species' range. Recent Utah 
prairie dog population trends appear to be relatively stable, although 
the species remains vulnerable to several serious threats. These 
include habitat loss, plague, changing climatic conditions, 
unauthorized take, and disturbance from recreational and economic land 
    The recovery of Utah prairie dogs will rely on effective 
conservation responses to the issues facing the species, which remain 
varied and complex. These issues include plague, urban expansion, 
grazing, cultivated agriculture, vegetative community changes, invasive 
plants, off-highway vehicle and recreation uses, climate change, energy 
resource exploration and development, fire management, poaching, and 
predation. Strategically, these issues can be reduced to two overriding 
concerns: loss of habitat and plague. The recovery strategy for the 
Utah prairie dog focuses on the need to address colony loss and disease 
through a program that encompasses threats abatement, population 
management, research, and monitoring. We emphasize conserving extant 
colonies, many of which occur on non-Federal lands; establishing 
additional colonies on Federal and non-Federal lands via habitat 
improvement or translocations; controlling the transmission of plague; 
and monitoring habitat conditions.

Request for Public Comments

    The Service solicits public comments on the draft recovery plan. 
All comments received by the date specified in DATES will be considered 
prior to approval of the plan. Written comments and materials regarding 
the plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES 
section). Comments and materials received will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at the 
above address.


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

[[Page 57056]]

    Dated: August 18, 2010.
Hugh Morrison,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-23234 Filed 9-16-10; 8:45 am]