[Federal Register: January 28, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 18)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 4207-4212]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AE57

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Threatened Status for the Plant Astragalus Desereticus (Deseret milk-

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to 
determine a Utah plant species, Astragalus desereticus (Deseret milk-
vetch), to be a threatened species under the authority of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Astragalus 
desereticus, considered extinct for 72 years prior to 1981, exists as 
one small population in Utah County, Utah. Threats to the plant include 
residential development, livestock grazing, livestock and wildlife 
trampling, and threats associated with small population size. This 
proposal, if made final, would implement Federal protection provided by 
the Act. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this 

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by March 
30, 1998. Public hearing requests must be received by March 16, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments and materials concerning this proposal should be 
sent to the Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lincoln Plaza Suite 404, 145 East 1300 
South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115. Comments and materials received will 
be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John L. England at the above address 
(telephone: 801/524-5001, ext. 138).



    Marcus E. Jones collected a distinctive Astragalus from ``below 
Indianola,'' a town in Sanpete County, Utah, on June 2, 1893. The same 
species was again collected by Ivar Tidestrom from ``near Indianola'' 
on June 17, 1909. Specimens from these two collections lay in obscurity 
in various herbaria until Rupert Barneby recognized their uniqueness 
and described them as Astragalus desereticus (Barneby 1964). Efforts to 
relocate the species were initially fruitless (Barneby 1964; Welsh 
1978a, 1978c), leading to a presumption of extinction (Ripley 1975; 
Welsh 1975, 1978b). However, a population of A. desereticus was 
discovered by Elizabeth Neese on May 27, 1981, on a sandstone outcrop 
above the town of Birdseye, Utah County, Utah, less than 16 kilometers 
(km) (10 miles (mi)) from Indianola (Welsh and Chatterley 1985). This 
population remains the only known occurrence of this species (Franklin 
1990, 1991; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 1991). It is 
possible that this population is the one from which Jones and/or 
Tidestrom made their collections more than 70 years earlier (Franklin 
1990, 1991; Welsh and Chatterley 1985).
    Astragalus desereticus is a perennial, herbaceous plant in the bean 
family (Fabaceae). Individual plants are approximately 4 to 15 
centimeters (cm) (2 to 6 inches (in)) in height, with stems about 6 cm 
(2 in) tall. The pinnately compound leaves are 4 to 11 cm (2 to 4 in) 
long with 11 to 17 leaflets. The leaflets are elliptic to ovate in 
shape, with dense silvery gray hairs on both sides. The flowers are 1.8 
to 2.2 cm (0.7 to 0.9 in) long, white in color with a purple tip on the 
keel, and borne on a stalk of 5 to 10 flowers. The seed pods are 1 to 2 
cm (0.4 to 0.8 in) long, covered with lustrous hairs, and bear 14 to 16 
ovules (Barneby 1964; Barneby in Cronquist et al. 1989; Welsh 1978c; 
Welsh et al. 1987).
    Astragalus desereticus occurs primarily on steep south- and west-
facing slopes. The plant grows on soils derived from a specific and 
unusual portion of the geologic Moroni Formation. This geologic feature 
is characterized by coarse, crudely bedded conglomerate (Franklin 
1990). The plant community in which A. desereticus occurs is dominated 
by pinon pine (Pinus edulis) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma). 
Other associated plant species include: sagebrush (Artemisia 
tridentata), scrub oak (Quercus gambelii), and wild buckwheat 
(Eriogonum brevicaule) (Franklin 1990).
    The only known population of Astragalus desereticus consists of 
between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals growing in an area of less than 
120 hectares (ha) (300 acres (ac)) (Franklin 1990, Stone 1992). The 
species' total range is approximately 2.6 km (1.6 mi) long and 0.5 km 
(0.3 mi) across. Extensive searches of similar habitat in other parts 
of Utah have not revealed any other populations (Franklin 1991; Larry 
England, USFWS, pers. comm., 1997). The land upon which A. desereticus 
grows is owned by the State

[[Page 4208]]

of Utah and three private landowners (Franklin 1990, 1991; Chris 
Montague, The Nature Conservancy, pers. comms., 1992, 1997). This plant 
species is threatened by grazing and trampling by ungulates, alteration 
of its habitat due to residential development and road widening, and 
naturally occurring events such as fire, due to its limited 

Previous Federal Action

    Section 12 of the Act directed the Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution to prepare a report on those plants considered to be 
endangered, threatened, or extinct. This report, designated as House 
Document No. 94-51, was presented to Congress on January 9, 1975. On 
July 1, 1975, the Service published a notice in the Federal Register 
(40 FR 27823) accepting the report as a petition to list those taxa 
named therein under section 4(c)(2) (now 4(b)(3)) of the Act, and its 
intention to review the status of those plants. Astragalus desereticus 
was included in the July 1, 1975, notice on list ``C,'' indicating that 
the species was probably extinct.
    On June 16, 1976, the Service published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register (41 FR 24523) to designate approximately 1,700 
vascular plant species, including Astragalus desereticus, as endangered 
pursuant to section 4 of the Act. The list of those 1,700 plant species 
was assembled on the basis of comments and data received by the 
Smithsonian Institution and the Service in response to House Document 
No. 94-51 and the July 1, 1975, Federal Register publication. In the 
proposed rule, the Service also designated A. desereticus as a species 
about which the Service was particularly interested in obtaining any 
new information on living specimens and extant populations. General 
comments received in relation to the 1976 proposal are summarized in an 
April 26, 1978, Federal Register publication (43 FR 17909). The 1978 
amendments to the Act required that all proposals over 2 years old be 
withdrawn, although proposals published before the 1978 amendments' 
enactment could not be withdrawn before the end of a 1-year grace 
period beginning on the enactment date. On December 10, 1979, the 
Service published a notice of withdrawal (44 FR 70796) of that portion 
of the June 16, 1976, proposal that had not been made final, which 
included A. desereticus.
    On December 15, 1980, the Service published a revised notice of 
review for native plants in the Federal Register (45 FR 82480) 
designating Astragalus desereticus a category 1 candidate species. 
Category 1 candidates were defined as those taxa for which the Service 
had on file information on biological vulnerability and threats to 
support the preparation of listing proposals. In addition, A. 
desereticus was identified as a species that may have recently become 
extinct. In 1981, a population of A. desereticus was discovered. On 
November 28, 1983, the Service published a revised notice of review in 
the Federal Register (48 FR 53640) in which A. desereticus was included 
as a category 2 candidate species. Category 2 candidates were formerly 
defined as taxa for which data on biological vulnerability and threats 
indicated that listing was possibly appropriate, but for which data 
were not sufficient to support issuance of listing proposals. In 
preparing the 1983 notice, the Service deemed it appropriate to acquire 
additional information on the distribution and abundance of A. 
desereticus before proposing the species for listing. The Service 
maintained A. desereticus as a category 2 species in updated notices of 
review published on September 27, 1985 (50 FR 39526), and February 21, 
1990 (55 FR 6184). As a result of additional information obtained in 
1990 and 1991 status surveys (Franklin 1990, USFWS 1991), the Service 
reclassified A. desereticus as a category 1 candidate in the September 
30, 1993, notice of review (58 FR 51144). In the February 28, 1996, 
notice of review (61 FR 7596), the Service discontinued the designation 
of category 2 candidates. Astragalus desereticus was included as a 
candidate in the February 28, 1996 (61 FR 7596), and September 19, 
1997, notices of review (62 FR 49398).
    The processing of this proposed rule conforms with the Service's 
final listing priority guidance for fiscal year 1997, published in the 
Federal Register on December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64475). In a Federal 
Register notice published on October 23, 1997 (62 FR 55628), the 
guidance was extended beyond fiscal year 1997 until new guidance is 
published following passage of the fiscal year 1998 appropriations bill 
for the Department of the Interior. The fiscal year 1997 guidance 
clarifies the order in which the Service will process rulemakings 
following two related events: (1) The lifting on April 26, 1996, of the 
moratorium on final listings imposed on April 10, 1995 (Public Law 104-
6), and (2) the restoration of significant funding for listing through 
passage of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act on April 26, 1996, 
following severe funding constraints imposed by a number of continuing 
resolutions between November 1995 and April 1996. Based on biological 
considerations, this guidance establishes a ``multi-tiered approach 
that assigns relative priorities, on a descending basis, to actions to 
be carried out under section 4 of the Act'' (61 FR 64479). The guidance 
calls for giving highest priority to handling emergency situations 
(Tier 1) and second highest priority (Tier 2) to resolving the listing 
status of the outstanding proposed listings. Tier 3 includes the 
processing of new proposed listings for species facing high magnitude 
threats. This proposed rule for Astragalus desereticus falls under Tier 
3. The guidance states that ``effective April 1, 1997, the Service will 
concurrently undertake all of the activities presently included in 
Tiers 1, 2, and 3'' (61 FR 64480). The Service has thus begun 
implementing a more balanced listing program, including processing more 
Tier 3 activities. The completion of this Tier 3 activity (a proposal 
for a species with high-magnitude, imminent threats) follows those 

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and regulations (50 CFR part 424) promulgated 
to implement the listing provisions of the Act set forth the procedures 
for adding species to the Federal lists. A species may be determined to 
be endangered or threatened due to one or more of the five factors 
described in section 4(a)(1). These factors and their application to 
Astragalus desereticus Barneby (Deseret milk-vetch) are as follows:

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of Its Habitat or Range

    Astragalus desereticus is located on highly accessible public and 
private land that is used for cattle grazing and wildlife management 
(Franklin 1991, Stone 1992). The land managed by the State of Utah 
Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is a wildlife management area that 
is also used for cattle grazing (Franklin 1991). Cattle are used by DWR 
in the spring to encourage plant growth for big game forage in the 
winter. This grazing occurs within the habitat of A. desereticus (Stone 
1992). The cattle tend to concentrate primarily on the upslope areas 
where forage production is greater (Stone 1992). Erosion in these areas 
is exacerbated by cattle grazing and game trails. In addition to the 
effects of erosion, trampling threatens A. desereticus, particularly at 
the southern end of the range (Franklin 1991). As cattle and

[[Page 4209]]

wildlife graze the habitat of A. desereticus, the animals are likely to 
trample plants as they forage. Whereas mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) 
have maintained stable numbers recently, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervas 
elephas) populations are increasing. Erosion and trampling by cattle 
and wildlife constitute threats to A. desereticus.
    Development in the Wasatch Front metropolitan area is spreading 
into the surrounding agricultural lands, especially small communities 
in the drainages of the Provo, Spanish Fork, and Weber rivers (Utah 
Governor's Office of Planning and Budget (UGOPB) 1997). Areas such as 
Birdseye are predicted to be rezoned residential within a short time. 
The population growth of the metropolitan area is expected to nearly 
double by the year 2020. In addition, conversion of agricultural land 
to urban use is also expected to nearly double in the same time period 
(UGOPB 1997). The entire Astragalus desereticus population is within 
300 meters (1,000 feet) of U.S. Highway 89 and is within the area 
proposed for future development (UGOPB 1997). Transportation needs of 
the expanding population will also require roads to be widened or 
improved. U.S. Highway 89 is currently a two-lane rural highway that 
will likely be expanded when residential development expands into 
southern Utah County and northern Sanpete County. Such highway widening 
and the concomitant residential development could destroy a significant 
portion of the remaining habitat of A. desereticus.
    A potential threat to Astragalus desereticus is related to the 
populations of ungulates in the area and their effect on pollinators. 
Other species in the genus Astragalus have suffered from low numbers of 
pollinators due to the indirect effects ungulates may have on the 
pollinators' nest sites (Stone 1992). Bumblebees (Bombus sp.), which 
nest in abandoned rodent burrows, are likely the primary pollinators of 
A. desereticus. Land use practices which increase grazing pressure may 
cause burrows to collapse, destroying bumblebee nests (Stone 1992). 
Since bees have low fecundity, their populations may not recover for 
many years, particularly if grazing by large numbers of ungulates is 

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Overutilization is not known to be a threat to Astragalus 

C. Disease or Predation

    In contrast to many species of Astragalus, A. desereticus appears 
to be palatable to cattle. Many Astragalus species concentrate the 
toxic element selenium in their tissues; these species, called 
selenophytes, poison grazing cattle (Stone 1992). The fact that A. 
desereticus does not produce a ``snakelike'' odor typical of other 
``snakeweeds,'' as selenophytes are sometimes called, and the fact that 
no other selenophytes occur in the area, indicate that A. desereticus 
is not a selenophyte (Stone 1992). While A. desereticus may not be 
preferred forage for cattle or native ungulates, it is palatable and 
may be inadvertently taken along with preferred forage in the area.
    In habitat similar to that occupied by Astragalus desereticus in 
Utah County that has been surveyed by Service personnel, overgrazing by 
domestic ungulates has almost completely denuded the landscape (USFWS 
1991). Similar grazing pressure has been known from the current habitat 
of A. desereticus; therefore, the effects of grazing, particularly 
overgrazing, constitute a likely threat. This species is much less 
abundant in the more heavily grazed southern portion of its habitat 
(Franklin 1990, 1991), indicating that grazing may be a significant 
threat. Cattle grazing may be particularly harmful because it occurs 
during a critical period for A. desereticus reproduction (i.e., 
flowering) (Stone 1992).
    There are no known insect parasites or disease organisms that 
significantly affect this species.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Astragalus desereticus presently receives no protection or 
consideration under any Federal, State or local law or regulation.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    By virtue of the limited number of individuals and range of the 
single remaining population of Astragalus desereticus, this species may 
be threatened with extinction from naturally occurring events. The 
probability that a natural event such as a fire, drought, or disease 
will cause extinction is greater for species having a small population 
size and highly restricted range (Stone 1992). Rare species in the 
genus Astragalus have exhibited low levels of genetic diversity when 
compared to other more widespread, closely related species (Stone 
1992). Low genetic variability may make it difficult for a species to 
respond to changes in the environment and thus places it at greater 
risk to extinction or additional range reduction.
    The Service has carefully assessed the best scientific and 
commercial information available regarding the past, present, and 
future threats faced by Astragalus desereticus in determining to 
propose this rule. Grazing and trampling by ungulates, residential 
development, road widening, and naturally occurring events such as fire 
variously threaten this species. Based on this evaluation, the 
preferred action is to list A. desereticus as threatened. Threatened 
status reflects the vulnerability of this species to factors that may 
negatively affect the species and its limited habitat. While not in 
immediate danger of extinction, A. desereticus is likely to become an 
endangered species in the foreseeable future if present threats 
continue or increase. Critical habitat is not being proposed for this 
species for reasons discussed in the ``Critical Habitat'' section of 
this proposal.

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as: (i) The 
specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, at 
the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found 
those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation 
of the species and (II) that may require special management 
considerations or protection and; (ii) specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, 
upon determination that such areas are essential for the conservation 
of the species. ``Conservation'' means the use of all methods and 
procedures needed to bring the species to the point at which listing 
under the Act is no longer necessary.
    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act and implementing regulations (50 CFR 
424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, 
the Secretary designate critical habitat at the time a species is 
determined to be endangered or threatened. Service regulations (50 CFR 
424.12(a)(1)) state that designation of critical habitat is not prudent 
when one or both of the following situations exist: (1) The species is 
threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of 
critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to 
the species, or (2) such designation of critical habitat would not be 
beneficial to the species. The Service determines that designation of 
critical habitat for

[[Page 4210]]

Astragalus desereticus is not prudent due to lack of benefit to the 
    Critical habitat receives consideration under section 7 of the Act 
with regard to actions carried out, authorized, or funded by a Federal 
agency (see Available Conservation Measures section). As such, 
designation of critical habitat may affect activities on Federal lands 
and may affect activities on non-Federal lands where such a Federal 
nexus exists. Under section 7 of the Act, Federal agencies are required 
to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the continued existence 
of a species or result in destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. However, both jeopardizing the continued existence of 
a species and adverse modification of critical habitat have similar 
standards and thus similar thresholds for violation of section 7 of the 
Act. In fact, biological opinions that conclude that a Federal agency 
action is likely to adversely modify critical habitat but not 
jeopardize the species for which the critical habitat has been 
designated are extremely rare. Also, the designation of critical 
habitat for the purpose of informing Federal agencies of the locations 
of Astragalus desereticus habitat is not necessary because the Service 
can inform Federal agencies through other means. For these reasons, the 
designation of critical habitat for A. desereticus would provide no 
additional benefit to the species beyond that conferred by listing, and 
therefore, such designation is not prudent.
    Astragalus desereticus has an extremely narrow distribution in a 
sandstone outcrop, totaling about 120 ha (300 ac) in one population. At 
the present time, no other site is known to be occupied by or suitable 
for this plant. The private landowners at Birdseye are aware of the 
plant's presence and extremely limited habitat, as are the DWR managers 
and others involved in management of the area. Therefore, designation 
of critical habitat would provide no benefit with respect to 
notification. In addition, given the species' narrow distribution and 
precarious status, virtually any conceivable adverse effect to the 
species' habitat would very likely jeopardize its continued existence. 
Designation of critical habitat for A. desereticus would, therefore, 
provide no benefit to the species apart from the protection afforded by 
listing the plant as threatened.
    Protection of the habitat of Astragalus desereticus will be 
addressed through the section 4 recovery process and the section 7 
consultation process. Although this plant occurs only on private and 
State land, it may be affected by projects with Federal connections, 
including potential Federal Highway Administration funding of road 
widening. The Service believes that activities involving a Federal 
action which may affect A. desereticus can be identified without 
designating critical habitat, by providing Federal agencies with 
information on the location of occupied habitat and information on the 
kinds of activities which could affect the species. For the reasons 
discussed above, the Service finds that the designation of critical 
habitat for A. desereticus is not prudent.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, 
requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain 
practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and 
conservation actions by Federal, State and local agencies, private 
organizations, and individuals. The Act provides for possible land 
acquisition and cooperation with the States and requires that recovery 
actions be carried out for all listed species. The protection required 
of Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities 
involving listed plants are discussed, in part, below.
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their 
actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as 
endangered or threatened and with respect to its critical habitat, if 
any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency 
cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. 
Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the 
Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of a proposed species or result in destruction or adverse 
modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed 
subsequently, section 7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of such a species or to destroy or 
adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a 
listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency 
must enter into formal consultation with the Service. The single known 
population of Astragalus desereticus is on State and privately owned 
land. However, highway widening, which could adversely affect A. 
desereticus due to the proximity of the plants to the highway, could be 
partially funded by the Federal Highway Administration, thereby 
providing an avenue for section 7 consultation.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all threatened 
plants. All prohibitions of section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 
50 CFR 17.71 for threatened plants, apply. These prohibitions, in part, 
make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the 
United States to import or export, transport in interstate or foreign 
commerce in the course of a commercial activity, sell or offer for sale 
in interstate or foreign commerce, or remove and reduce the species to 
possession from areas under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for 
plants listed as endangered, the Act prohibits malicious damage or 
destruction on areas under Federal jurisdiction, and the removal, 
cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of such plants in 
knowing violation of any State law or regulation, including State 
criminal trespass law. Section 4(d) of the Act allows for the provision 
of such protection to threatened species through regulation. This 
protection may apply to this species in the future if such regulations 
are promulgated. Seeds from cultivated specimens of threatened plants 
are exempt from these prohibitions provided that their containers are 
marked ``Of Cultivated Origin.'' Certain exceptions to the prohibitions 
apply to agents of the Service and State conservation agencies.
    The Act and 50 CFR 17.72 also provide for the issuance of permits 
to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened 
species under certain circumstances. Such permits are available for 
scientific purposes and to enhance the propagation or survival of the 
species. For threatened plants, permits are also available for 
botanical and horticultural exhibition, educational purposes, or 
special reasons consistent with the Act's purposes. With respect to 
Astragalus desereticus, it is anticipated that few, if any, trade 
permits would be sought or issued, since the species is not common in 
the wild and is unknown in cultivation. Requests for copies of the 
regulations regarding listed species and inquiries about prohibitions 
and permits may be addressed to: Regional Director, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, 
Colorado 80225.
    It is the policy of the Service, published in the Federal Register 
on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent 

[[Page 4211]]

those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of 
section 9 of the Act if a species is listed. The intent of this policy 
is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on 
proposed and ongoing activities within a species' range. This species 
is not located on areas under Federal jurisdiction. Collection, damage, 
or destruction of this species on Federal lands is prohibited (although 
in appropriate cases a Federal endangered species permit may be issued 
to allow collection for scientific or recovery purposes). Such 
activities on areas not under Federal jurisdiction would constitute a 
violation of section 9 if conducted in knowing violation of State law 
or regulations, or in violation of State criminal trespass law. Normal 
highway maintenance, fence maintenance, and recreational hunting are 
among the activities that would be unlikely to violate section 9. 
Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a 
violation of section 9, should this species be listed, should be 
directed to the Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office 
(see ADDRESSES section).

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service intends that any final action resulting from this 
proposal will be as accurate and effective as possible. Therefore, 
comments or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental 
agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested 
party concerning this proposed rule are hereby solicited. In 
particular, comments are sought concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to Astragalus desereticus;
    (2) The location of any additional populations of this species and 
the reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined to be 
critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act;
    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population size of this species; and
    (4) Current or planned activities in the subject area and their 
possible impacts on this species.
    A final determination of whether to list this species will take 
into consideration the comments and any additional information received 
by the Service. Such communications may lead to a final decision 
document that differs from this proposal.
    The Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, 
if requested. Requests for hearings must be received within 45 days of 
the date of the publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. 
Such requests must be made in writing and be addressed to the Field 
Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES 

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that Environmental 
Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements, as defined under the 
authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be 
prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 
4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. A notice 
outlining the Service's reasons for this determination was published in 
the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

Required Determinations

    This rule does not contain collections of information that require 
approval by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).
    Author: The primary author of this proposed rule is John L. 
England, Utah Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, the Service hereby proposes to amend part 17, 
subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 
as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend section 17.12(h) by adding the following, in alphabetical 
order under Flowering Plants, to the List of Endangered and Threatened 

Sec. 17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special  
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules   
         Flowering Plants                                                                                                                               
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
Astragalus desereticus...........  Deseret milk-vetch..  U.S.A. (UT)........  Fabaceae...........  T               ...........           NA           NA
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  

[[Page 4212]]

    Dated: December 30, 1997.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 98-2012 Filed 1-27-98; 8:45 am]