[Federal Register: March 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 60)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 15158-15164]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AE76

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Threatened Status for Chlorogalum purpureum (Purple Amole), a Plant 
from the South Coast Ranges of California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes 
threatened status pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act), for the California plant, Chlorogalum purpureum (purple 
amole). One of the two varieties comprising this species, C. p. var. 
purpureum, is known only from the central south coast ranges in 
Monterey County, on lands managed by the Department of the Army at Fort 
Hunter Liggett. It is threatened by loss and alteration of habitat and 
direct loss of plants from construction and use of military training 
facilities, field training activities, and alteration of fire cycles 
due to military training. The other variety, C. p. var. reductum, is 
known only from two sites in the La Panza region of the coast ranges in 
San Luis Obispo County, on U.S. Forest Service and private lands. This 
taxon is threatened by illegal vehicle trespass into the population on 
Forest Service land. This proposed rule, if made final, would extend 
the Act's protection to these plants. Although this rule proposes 
Chlorogalum purpureum at the species level, each variety would be 
treated as a separate taxonomic unit for the purposes of applying the 
section 7 jeopardy standard and identifying recovery units, if this 
rule is made final.

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by May 29, 
1998. Public hearing requests must be received by May 14, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments and materials concerning this proposal should be 
sent to the Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, 
California 93003. Comments and materials received, as well as the 
supporting documentation used in preparing the rule, will be available 
for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at 
the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Benz, Assistant Field Supervisor, 
Listing and Recovery, at the address above (telephone 805/644-1766; 
facsimile 805/644-3958).



    Chlorogalum purpureum (purple amole) was first described by 
Brandegee in 1893 from specimens collected in the Santa Lucia Mountains 
by William Vortriede a year earlier (Brandegee 1893). In 1904, E.L. 
Greene (1904) published the new combination Laothoe purpurea when he 
discovered that the genus name Laothoe had been published earlier than 
Chlorogalum. However, R.F. Hoover (1940) conserved the name Chlorogalum 
through the rule of nomen conservandum. Hoover (1964) described the 
variety reductum, commonly known as Camatta Canyon amole, based on its 
shorter stature compared to the nominative variety. This nomenclature 
was retained in the most recent treatment of the genus (Jernstedt 
1993). These two varieties comprise the entire species.
    Chlorogalum purpureum is a bulb-forming perennial herb in the lily 
family (Liliaceae). It has a basal rosette of linear leaves 2 to 5 
millimeters (mm) (0.1 to 0.2 inches (in)) wide with wavy margins. A 
widely branching stem supports bluish-purple flowers with six recurved 
tepals (petals and sepals that have a similar appearance). The stems of 
C. p. var. purpureum are 25 to 40 centimeters (cm) (10 to 16 in) high, 
whereas those of C. p. var. reductum are only 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) 
high (Hoover 1964, Jernstedt 1993). Chlorogalum purpureum is the only 
member of the genus with bluish-purple flowers that open during the day 
(Jernstedt 1993). Reproduction in Chlorogalum purpureum is primarily by 
seed. Hoover (1964) reports that clonal reproduction by longitudinal 
splitting of the bulbs is rare; some splitting has been noted in one 
population of C. p. var. reductum (Alice Koch, California Department of 
Fish and Game (CDFG), pers. comm. 1997b).
    Chlorogalum purpureum occurs in grassland, oak woodland, and oak 
savannah between 300 and 620 meters (m) (1,000 and 2,050 feet (ft)) in 
elevation in the south coast ranges of California. Chlorogalum 
purpureum var. purpureum is known from oak woodlands and meadows at 
three sites near Jolon in Monterey County on lands owned and managed by 
the Department of the Army (Fort Hunter Liggett). Historically, 
appropriate habitat may have existed east of the base, in Jolon Valley, 
but most of the flat areas in that valley have been converted to 
cropland, pasture, or vineyards. At Fort Hunter Liggett, the plant 
occurs on flat or gently sloping terrain with a gravelly surface 
underlain by clay soils, where other vegetation is sparse.
    Of the three localities of Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum, 
one is comprised of discontinuous and fragmented patches of plants 
scattered over an area 7 to 9 kilometers (km) (4 to 6 miles (mi)) long 
and about 5 km (3 mi) wide in the cantonment (housing and 
administration area), the Ammunition Supply Point and adjacent Training 
Area 13, and the boundary of Training Area 10 (U.S. Army Reserve 1997, 
map provided by U.S. Army Reserve 1997, Painter and Neese 1997). While 
some of the discontinuities in distribution are due to unsuitable 
intervening habitat, other patches have been fragmented by roads, the 
historical settlement of Jolon, and military training facilities. No 
population counts have been made at this site, but estimates of some 
areas within it suggest that it supports several thousand plants (U.S. 
Department of the Army 1997, Painter and Neese 1997). The second 
locality is about 4 km (2.5 mi) to the southeast in Training Area 25. 
The taxon is patchily distributed in an area of about 6 square km (2 
square mi) that is laced with vehicle tracks and dirt roads. At one 
location there, 400 to 500 plants have been recorded (Painter and Neese 
1997), but the entire site may support several thousand individuals. 
The third and southernmost locality is at the boundaries of Training 
Areas 23, 24, and 27. This is the largest known site and contains 
plants in high densities. Following a fire that may have promoted 
flowering, this site was estimated to support up to 10,000 plants 
(Painter and Neese 1997).
    The primary threats to Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum are the 
loss, fragmentation, and alteration of habitat and direct elimination 
of plants from construction and use of military training facilities, 
military field training activities, alteration of fire cycles due to 
military training, and potentially from grazing and associated habitat 
    About 110 km (70 mi) to the south, Chlorogalum purpureum var. 
reductum occurs in one region in the La Panza Range of San Luis Obispo 
County. It is known from only two sites. One is located just south of 
Highway 58; a smaller site is located approximately 5 to 8 km (3 to 5 
mi) to the south. The

[[Page 15159]]

larger locality occurs on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service 
(USFS) on Los Padres National Forest (LPNF), extending into a Caltrans 
right-of-way along the highway. This population is located on a narrow, 
flat-topped ridge or plateau surrounded by blue oak (Quercus douglasii) 
woodland. The plateau is probably the remains of an ancient elevated 
alluvial terrace, most of which has been eroded away by surrounding 
drainages that are now 90 to 120 m (300 to 400 ft) below the plateau 
(H. Ehrenspeck, in litt. 1994). The soils have been described as well-
drained red clays with a large component of gravel and pebbles (Hoover 
1964, Lopez 1992).
    The population is patchily distributed over the plateau and 
adjacent high areas and has been estimated to occupy just 2 to 3 
hectares (ha) (less than 8 acres (ac)) (Lopez 1992; M. Borchert and K. 
Danielsen, USFS, pers. comm. 1997). A graded dirt road about 10 m (30 
ft) wide bisects the population. The road leads to private inholdings 
and residences on the LPNF and is bounded on either side by a pipe 
barrier that was installed in 1989 or 1990 to prevent off-highway 
vehicles (OHVs) from using the site (David Magney, biological 
consultant, pers. comm. 1997). A removable portion of the barrier and a 
barbed wire section of fence are still routinely breached by OHVs. Such 
illegal use has increased in the past two years, particularly during 
the past year (A. Koch, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), 
in litt. 1997a).
    The population size at this site has ranged from 1,000 individuals 
to several hundred thousand individuals (Borchert 1981, Warner 1991, 
Borchert et al. 1997). This variability probably reflects changes in 
the above-ground presence of plants, since bulbs may remain dormant 
during years with unfavorable growing conditions. Monitoring along a 
100 m (330 ft) transect showed that plant numbers were relatively 
stable between 1991 and 1997 (Borchert et al. 1997). This transect is 
not located in an area where vehicle trespass has continued to occur 
and is therefore not representative of the status of the population in 
areas subject to OHV activity.
    The second known locality of Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum 
was first documented by botanists in the mid 1990s. It is located 5 to 
8 km (3 to 5 mi) south of the LPNF population in an area with similar 
soils and topography (David Chipping, California Polytechnic State 
University, in litt. 1997). The taxon has been estimated to occupy less 
than 0.1 ha (0.25 ac) and consists of several hundred plants in two or 
more patches on private land. The landowner has expressed an interest 
in the plant and its protection (D. Chipping, in litt. 1997).
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum is threatened by illegal 
vehicle trespass into the larger locality on LPNF. In addition, grazing 
by livestock may potentially pose a threat.

Previous Federal Action

    Federal government actions on this species began as a result of 
section 12 of the Endangered Species Act, which directed the Secretary 
of the Smithsonian Institution to prepare a report on those plants 
considered to be endangered, threatened, or extinct in the United 
States. This report (House Doc. No. 94-51) was presented to Congress on 
January 9, 1975, and included Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum and 
C. p. var. reductum as endangered. The Service published a notice on 
July 1, 1975, Federal Register (40 FR 27823) of its acceptance of the 
report as a petition within the context of section 4(c)(2) (petition 
provisions are now found in section 4 (b)(3)) of the Act and its 
intention to review the status of the plant taxa named therein.
    On June 16, 1976, the Service published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register (41 FR 24523) to determine approximately 1,700 
vascular plant species to be endangered species pursuant to section 4 
of the Act. This list, which included Chlorogalum purpureum var. 
purpureum and C. p. var. reductum 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. General comments received in relation to 
the 1976 proposal were summarized in an April 26, 1978, Federal 
Register publication (43 FR 17909). In 1978, amendments to the 
Endangered Species Act required that all proposals over two years old 
be withdrawn. A 1-year grace period was given to those proposals 
already more than 2 years old. In a December 10, 1979, notice (44 FR 
70796), the Service withdrew the portion of the June 16, 1976, proposal 
that had not been made final, along with four other proposals that had 
expired. Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum and C. p. var. reductum 
were included in that withdrawal notice.
    The Service published an updated Candidate Notice of Review for 
plants on December 15, 1980 (45 FR 82480). This notice included 
Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum and C. p. var. reductum as 
category 2 candidates. Category 2 candidates were formerly defined as 
taxa for which data on biological vulnerablilty and threats in the 
Service's possession indicated that listing was possibly appropriate, 
but was not sufficient to support proposed rules. The two Chlorogalum 
taxa were listed as category 1 candidates in the revised plant notices 
of review published in the Federal Register on September 27, 1985 (50 
FR 39526), February 21, 1990 (55 FR 6184), and September 30, 1993 (58 
FR 51144). Category 1 candidates were defined as those taxa for which 
the Service had on file sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support the preparation of listing 
proposals, but issuance of the proposed rule was precluded by other 
pending listing proposals of higher priority. The two Chlorogalum taxa 
were listed as candidates in the Notice of Review published on February 
28, 1996 (61 FR 7596), as well as in the Notice of Review published on 
September 19, 1997 (62 FR 49398). The definition formerly applied to 
category 1 candidates now applies to candidates as a whole.
    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 such time as the 
fiscal year 1998 appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior 
becomes law and new final guidance is published. 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 
(Pub. L. 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 
Chlorogalum purpureum falls under

[[Page 15160]]

Tier 3, since C. p. var. reductum has a listing priority number of 3; 
the listing priority number for C. p. var. purpureum is 9. 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 follows those guidelines.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Endangered Species 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 an endangered or threatened species due 
to one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1). These 
factors and their application to Chlorogalum purpureum Brandegee 
(purple amole) are as follows:
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range. Chlorogalum purpureum var. 
purpureum is known only from three localities on Fort Hunter Liggett, 
Monterey County. The northern site comprises discontinuous and 
fragmented patches over a 7 to 9 km (4 to 6 mi) area in the cantonment 
(housing and command center), several training areas, the Ammunition 
Supply point, and near the Jolon entrance gate. Habitat for C. p. var. 
purpureum has been destroyed and patches of plants have been isolated 
and fragmented by the historical settlement of Jolon, roads, and the 
construction and use of training facilities over the past several 
decades. In the 1980s, a large group of plants near the Jolon entrance 
gate was isolated by the addition of a new road (Matthews 1988). 
Bounded on all sides by roads, this area was used as a vehicle parking 
area. Representatives from Fort Hunter Liggett and the Monterey Chapter 
of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) cooperated in 
constructing barriers to reduce impacts to the area (Matthews 1988). 
Although the military has committed to maintaining these protective 
barriers, this site remains vulnerable due to its proximity to roads. 
For example, in 1996 a vehicle mishap resulted in a large piece of 
earth-moving machinery entering the site; its tracks through the 
population were still evident in September 1997 (Painter and Neese 
1997; D. Steeck, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pers. obs. 1997).
    In another portion of this northern locality, the Army is expanding 
training facilities (Holmann 1996). Since 1996, a new obstacle course 
and two small parking areas have been placed in habitat occupied by 
Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum. Although the obstacles themselves 
were placed to avoid some individual plants, foot traffic and use of 
the training facilities will likely degrade the habitat and eliminate a 
portion of the population. In addition to the obstacle course and 
parking areas, the Army has in the past 3 years constructed a 
confidence course and upgraded a firing range along the stretch of dirt 
road adjacent to the locality. The existence of some training 
facilities made this area more attractive for additional construction 
because the facilities could be located within walking distance of one 
another (Hormann 1996). For the same reason, this area is likely to be 
attractive for the siting of future training facilities.
    The second locality is in Training Area 25, which is used for 
bivouacking and is crossed by numerous dirt roads and tracks. Large 
areas where substantial bivouacking occurred in 1997 were denuded, with 
much of the herbaceous grassland vegetation among the oaks destroyed. 
Dirt tracks were evident throughout the site (D. Steeck, pers. obs. 
1997). Bivouacking in these areas apparently occurs in summer. Although 
soils are not as susceptible to compaction at that time, fruiting 
stalks are destroyed and the loss of vegetation, especially on vehicle 
tracks, may lead to erosion and the consequent loss of existing seeds 
and bulbs in the soil. Vehicle tracks were also evident in the third 
locality of Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum at the boundaries of 
Training Areas 23, 24, and 27. In 1997, the vegetation of this area 
appeared to be the least affected by training activities, although 
military training the previous year had caused a spring fire that 
burned the site and destroyed most of the year's seed crop (Painter and 
Neese 1997).
    The larger site of Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum, located on 
LPNF and estimated to occupy less than 3 ha (8 ac), is bisected by a 
dirt road that is currently about 10 m (33 ft) wide and runs the length 
of the population. Although this road has existed for many decades, 
grading during the past 5 years has widened it toward the bounds of the 
pipe barrier fence that lines it, causing direct loss of some 
individuals of C. p. var. reductum and additional habitat loss (D. 
Magney, pers. comm. 1997). Because the roadbed is graded and highly 
compacted, the loss of habitat due to the roadbed is relatively 
permanent, barring extensive restoration efforts. In addition, the 
roadbed is now below the level of the surrounding soil, creating the 
potential for it to alter local drainage patterns.
    In the 1970s and 1980s, most of the LPNF locality of Chlorogalum 
purpureum var. reductum was used as a staging area by OHV enthusiasts 
(McLeod 1987). An established 4-wheel drive route still runs near the 
population (USFS 1993). A portion of the population was fenced in the 
early 1980s by the CNPS with help from the USFS to protect it from OHV 
use. In 1989 or 1990, due to continued OHV use in the area, the USFS 
installed a pipe barrier along the dirt road to exclude vehicles from 
most of the population. Two areas, one a gap between the pipe fence and 
the barbed wire fence and the other a removable section of the pipe 
barrier, currently allow access by vehicles. Repeated vehicle trespass 
occurs on the site; vehicles, broken fencing, and recent vehicle tracks 
have been reported (A. Koch, CDFG, in litt. 1997; D. Steeck, pers. obs. 
1997). The extent of trespass appears to have increased during the past 
two years (A. Koch, in litt. 1997). Repeated vehicle passes cause soil 
compaction, altering the soil's water-holding capacity and interfering 
with the ability of roots to penetrate the soil (Webb and Wilshire 
1983). The existing scars of older vehicle tracks in the population are 
probably partly the result of soil compaction. Biologists attempting to 
establish seedlings of C. p. var. reductum in old OHV tracks in the 
LPNF population found that only 36 percent of the seeds planted in 
untreated tracks germinated and survived through their first 1.5 years. 
Survival was 66 percent for seeds planted in old tracks where the top 
10 cm (4 in) of soil was scarified (loosened) prior to planting to 
reduce the effects of soil compaction. Bulbs in unscarified soil of old 
tracks also had a lower survival rate compared to those in scarified 
soil (Koch 1997).
    The sites of Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum on private land 
are reported to be extremely small (less than 0.1 ha (0.25 ac) with 
several hundred plants), compared to the population managed by USFS. 
Because this taxon is so narrowly distributed, the degradation of even 
an acre or two of the habitat in the LPNF population constitutes a 
significant portion of this taxon's range.
    Most localities of Chlorogalum purpureum are, or have been, subject 
to cattle grazing. Potential negative effects of livestock use of 
habitat occupied by C. purpureum include soil compaction, soil 
disturbance, introduction or spread

[[Page 15161]]

of nonnative aggressive weedy species, direct crushing of the above-
ground portion of plants, loss of flowers or fruit, and diminished 
seedling establishment. It has been suggested, however, that light 
grazing may benefit C. purpureum var. reductum by reducing competition 
from annual grasses (The Nature Conservancy 1987, CDFG 1990). Predation 
by cattle is discussed below under factor C of the ``Summary of Factors 
Affecting the Species.''
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes. Overutilization is not known to be a factor 
affecting this species.
    C. Disease or predation. Nearly every locality of Chlorogalum 
purpureum either is or has been subject to cattle grazing. The 
potential negative effects of grazing in the habitat include the loss 
of flowers or fruit, which could result in reduced reproduction. All 
three localities of C. p. var. purpureum at Fort Hunter Liggett were 
grazed prior to 1991. A recent grazing assessment of Fort Hunter 
Liggett states that documented overgrazing occurred there from 1963 to 
1977, after which a study of grazing was begun (Stechman 1995). During 
this time, cattle stocking rates continued to exceed the capacity of 
the habitats to support them, especially when combined with the drought 
of the late 1980s and early 1990s (Stechman 1995). No specific 
information is available on the condition of the localities of C. p. 
var. purpureum during the period of overgrazing, as no basewide surveys 
for sensitive plant species had been conducted and the status of 
populations was not tracked. Grazing on Fort Hunter Liggett stopped in 
1991 (Stechman 1995), but is scheduled to be resumed in the future, 
although no date has been set. If the recommendations in the grazing 
assessment are followed, cattle grazing leases would include most of 
the extended northern locality of this taxon and all of the second 
locality in Training Area 25. Only the southernmost locality, at the 
boundaries of Training Areas 23, 24, and 27, would be completely 
excluded from cattle use.
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum is within an active grazing 
allotment on the LPNF that cattle use from February through May (USFS 
1997). The permitted level of use of the allotment by livestock is 
moderate (USFS 1997). The effects of grazing on this taxon are not 
known. In 1986 livestock use became a problem when cattle congregated 
within the population behind a fence built to block vehicle access (The 
Nature Conservancy 1987). A pipe barrier with low sections was later 
installed to permit cattle movement over the barriers. Because the 
period of cattle use coincides with that of growth and flowering of C. 
p. var. reductum, it is likely that reproduction would be negatively 
affected if cattle congregated on the plateau within the locality 
containing the population for extended periods. In 1995 and 1996, 
cattle appeared to move relatively rapidly from the locality into lower 
areas (A. Koch, pers. comm. 1997). In 1997, fecal evidence suggests 
that they spent relatively more time within the locality (D. Steeck, 
pers. obs. 1997; A. Koch, pers. comm. 1997). Although current 
monitoring data are insufficient to evaluate the effects of grazing on 
C. p. var. reductum, grazing has the potential to negatively affect 
reproduction and seedling establishment, and may exacerbate damage 
already caused by vehicles.
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. Pursuant to 
the Native Plant Protection Act (Div. 2, chapter 10 sec. 1900 et seq. 
of the California Department of Fish and Game Code) and the California 
Endangered Species Act (Div. 3, chapter 1.5 sec. 2050 et seq.), the 
California Fish and Game Commission listed Chlorogalum purpureum var. 
reductum as rare in 1978. California Senate Bill 879, passed in 1997 
and effective January 1, 1998, requires individuals to obtain a section 
2081(b) permit from CDFG to take a listed species incidental to 
otherwise lawful activities, and requires that all impacts be fully 
mitigated and all measures be capable of successful implementation. 
These requirements have not been tested; it will take several years 
before their effectiveness can be evaluated.
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum occurs primarily on Federal 
lands managed by the LPNF. State listing provides no consultation or 
other requirements for protection on Federal lands, although it is USFS 
policy to work with the State in the conservation of such taxa. The 
management of sensitive resources on the LPNF is guided by various 
policies and regulations, including the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Pub.L. 91-109, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, 83 Stat. 852), 
National Forest Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and the Land 
and Resource Management Plan for the Los Padres National Forest (1988).
    The NEPA requires that the USFS disclose and consider potential 
environmental impacts of a proposed project. Under new regulations, 10-
year grazing permits are subject to the NEPA process. The USFS recently 
produced an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the grazing allotment 
where Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum occurs (USFS 1997). This EA 
states that the USFS will monitor the effects of grazing on this taxon. 
Although NEPA requires disclosure of potential effects of Federal 
actions, and allows for comment by agencies and the public, it does 
not, of itself, provide additional protection.
    The Land and Resource Management Plan for LPNF (1988) directs the 
USFS to ensure the viability of sensitive plant species and to 
emphasize the improvement and protection of habitat for sensitive 
species in their management activities. These regulations appear to be 
adequate, but their implementation by the USFS has not been consistent. 
Unless the points of access are blocked by more permanent means, 
illegal trespass by vehicles into the habitat of Chlorogalum purpureum 
var. reductum is likely to continue. Since the construction of the pipe 
barriers, it appears that staff and funding have not been adequate to 
monitor trespassing, repair fencing, or bolster barriers in a timely 
manner, particularly during the past two years.
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum occurs solely on Federal lands 
managed by Fort Hunter Liggett. The Department of Defense has various 
policies and directives to guide the management of sensitive natural 
resources. Army Regulation 200-3 provides for environmental review of 
projects that might affect sensitive and listed species. Fort Hunter 
Liggett has had an environmental review process since 1994. Chlorogalum 
purpureum var. purpureum is included in this process. In some cases, 
projects are being modified to reduce impacts to this taxon. For 
example, an alternative site for a planned bayonet course is being 
considered to avoid placing it within or directly adjacent to the 
locality of C. p. var. purpureum. In other cases, such as the recent 
construction of the obstacle course and parking areas, projects 
continue to be sited in occupied habitat and to affect this taxon. In 
addition, environmental review only occurs for projects that require 
excavation; bivouacking and vehicle impacts are not covered by this 
process. The environmental review process does not always allow for 
assessment surveys to be conducted at the time of year when the plant 
can be identified (H. Hormann, in litt. 1997). For example, surveys for 
the proposed bayonet course occurred in late summer 1997, when the 
above-ground portions of the plants were dry and difficult to locate.
    Under Army Regulation 200-3, a Species Management Plan for 
Chlorogalum purpureum var.

[[Page 15162]]

purpureum has been developed (Hazebrook and Clark 1997). While some of 
the goals will benefit the taxon if achieved, the actual protection it 
affords is minimal and based primarily on avoiding impacts to 
populations ``when feasible.'' To date, no areas where C. purpureum 
var. purpureum occurs on the base are off-limits to training. The 
Service concludes that Army directives, while improving the 
consideration that this taxon receives on the base, have not yet 
altered activities to sufficiently reduce the threats posed by military 
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence. Other factors affecting individuals of this species include 
military training and changes in fire frequency. Training activities 
that involve trampling, camping, or driving through occupied habitat 
are likely to directly crush flowers, fruits, and vegetative parts of 
Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum and result in diminished 
reproductive success, lower seedling establishment, and reduced plant 
vigor. Training activities increase in the spring, around April, and 
peak in the summer (U.S. Dept. of Army 1997), a period that coincides 
with flowering and fruiting of the taxon. Seedling establishment may be 
reduced by direct crushing and also due to changes in soil bulk density 
and water-holding capacity. Training activities lead to soil compaction 
and soil disturbance which also encourages the invasion of weedy, 
nonnative plant species that may compete directly with C. p. var. 
    Burning at too frequent intervals or during seasons of growth and 
reproduction may threaten Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum at Fort 
Hunter Liggett. A spring burn at the southernmost locality on Fort 
Hunter Liggett in 1995 may have stimulated increased flowering in the 
spring of 1996. However, the fire destroyed most of the seed crop 
because it occurred in May, rather than August, when most seeds would 
have been dispersed (Painter and Neese 1997). Burning at too frequent 
intervals may damage a population due to the slow growth rate of 
seedlings, which take from 8 to 15 years to reach reproductive maturity 
(Judith Jernstedt, University of California at Davis, pers. comm. 
1997). In addition, immature plants with small bulbs located near the 
soil surface may be particularly vulnerable to fires.
    The Service has carefully assessed the best scientific and 
commercial information available regarding the past, present, and 
future threats faced by this species in determining to propose this 
rule. Based on this evaluation, the preferred action is to list the 
species as threatened. Chlorogalum purpureum does not appear to be in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range at this time. Threats to the species are primarily associated 
with unauthorized activity (i.e., vehicle trespass) on USFS lands and 
military activities due to its location in active training areas and 
the housing and administration area of an Army base. However, because 
the Army's environmental directives are increasing the consideration 
afforded this and other rare plant species on Fort Hunter Liggett and 
because the USFS has implemented some management actions for this 
species, the Service determines that threatened status is currently 
appropriate. The species is not currently in danger of extinction, but 
is likely to become so if trends of increasing use of its habitat for 
military training activities continue and if OHV activities increase on 
USFS lands.

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 
consideration or protection and; (ii) specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed, upon 
a 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, as amended, 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. The Service 
finds that designation of critical habitat for Chlorogalum purpureum is 
not prudent. 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 largest sites of Chlorogalum purpureum are located at Fort 
Hunter Liggett military base. Military training and support activities 
comprise the primary threat to the three localities. The Army is aware 
of the plant's location and is developing a monitoring program. 
Designation of these areas as critical habitat would provide no 
additional protection against threats to the species. On Federal lands 
managed by the LPNF, suitable habitat for Chlorogalum purpureum occurs 
in a discrete, well-defined area. The primary threat to this population 
is illegal trespass by OHVs. The USFS is aware of the plant's location 
and has implemented active management, including construction of fences 
and barriers as well as monitoring. Designation of this area as 
critical habitat would add no additional protection against the threats 
faced by the species. The other known localities of Chlorogalum 
purpureum are small and occur only on private lands where there is very 
little likelihood of Federal involvement. Designation of critical 
habitat for this species is, therefore, not prudent because of lack of 

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act include recognition, 
recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions 
against certain activities. Recognition through listing encourages and 
results in conservation actions by Federal, State, and local agencies, 
private organizations, and individuals. The Act provides for possible 
land acquisition from willing sellers 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, as amended, 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 any proposed or 
designated critical habitat. Regulations implementing this interagency 
cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. 
Section 7(a)(4) requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on 
any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a 
species proposed for listing 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 

[[Page 15163]]

they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its 
critical habitat, if any is designated. 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.
    Although this rule treats Chlorogalum purpureum at the specific 
level (i.e., it is proposed as one species rather than as two separate 
varieties), each of the varieties would be treated as a separate 
taxonomic entity for the purposes of section 7 consultation and the 
recovery process, if the species is listed. In other words, the 
jeopardy standard could be applied to either C. p. var. purpureum or C. 
p. var. reductum as separately identified recovery units.
    Federal agencies that may affect the species proposed in this rule 
through activities they fund, authorize, or carry out are the USFS (at 
Los Padres National Forest), the Department of the Army (at Fort Hunter 
Liggett) and, to a much smaller extent, the Federal Highway 
Administration through funds provided for State highway construction or 
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum occurs wholly on Federal lands 
managed by the Department of the Army. Activities the Army funds, 
authorizes, or carries out that could affect this taxon include, but 
are not limited to, construction and use of training facilities, field 
training exercises, road construction and maintenance, prescribed 
burning, fire suppression activities, livestock grazing, and hunting.
    Chlorogalum purpureum var. reductum occurs primarily on public 
lands managed by the USFS on Los Padres National Forest. Activities 
that the USFS funds, authorizes, or carries out that could affect this 
taxon include grazing, OHV activities, road maintenance, and special 
use permits authorizing use and the development of management plans for 
special use areas.
    Listing Chlorogalum purpureum as threatened will provide for the 
development of a recovery plan. The plan will bring together Federal, 
State, and local efforts for the plant's conservation, establishing a 
framework for cooperation and coordination. The plan will set recovery 
priorities and describe site-specific management actions necessary to 
achieve the conservation of the species. Additionally, pursuant to 
section 6 of the Act, the Service will be more likely to grant funds to 
affected states for management actions promoting the protection and 
recovery of the species.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered or 
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 the 
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 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 17.62, 17.63, and 17.72 also provide for the 
issuance of permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered or threatened plant 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 or horticultural 
exhibition, educational purposes, or special purposes consistent with 
the purposes of the Act. It is anticipated that few trade permits would 
ever be sought or issued because this species is not in cultivation or 
common in the wild. Information collections associated with these 
permits are approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq., and assigned Office of Management and Budget clearance number 
1018-0094. For additional information concerning these permits and 
associated requirements, see 50 CFR 17.72.
    Requests for copies of the regulations on listed species and 
inquiries about prohibitions and permits may be addressed to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Permits, 911 NE 11th 
Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232-4181 (telephone: 503/231-2063; 
facsimile: 503/231-6243).
    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 
practicable those activities that would or would not be likely to 
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 the listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the species' 
range. Chlorogalum purpureum occurs on lands under the jurisdiction of 
the USFS and Department of the Army. Collection of the species on 
Federal lands is prohibited, although in appropriate cases a Federal 
endangered species permit may be issued to allow collection. Such 
activities on areas not under Federal jurisdiction would constitute a 
violation of section 9 if conducted in knowing violation of California 
State law or regulations, or in violation of State criminal trespass 
law. The Service is not currently aware of any otherwise lawful 
activities being conducted or proposed by the public that will be 
affected by this listing and result in a violation of section 9. The 
Service believes that, based upon the best available information, the 
following actions will not result in a violation of section 9, provided 
these activities are carried out in accordance with existing 
regulations and permit requirements:
    (1) Activities authorized, funded, or carried out by Federal 
agencies (e.g., grazing management, military activities, road 
construction and maintenance, prescribed burning, fire suppression 
activities, hunting, or other land use activities that would 
significantly modify the species' habitat), when such activity is 
conducted in accordance with any reasonable and prudent measures given 
by the Service according to section 7 of the Act;
    (2) Casual, dispersed human activities on foot or horseback (e.g., 
bird-watching, photography, camping, hiking); and
    (3) Activities on private lands (without Federal funding or 
involvement), such as grazing management, residential development, road 
construction, pesticide/herbicide application, residential landscape 
maintenance, and pipelines or utility lines crossing suitable habitat.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a 
violation of section 9, should this species be listed, should be 
directed to the Field Supervisor of the Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).

[[Page 15164]]

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service intends that any final action resulting from this 
proposal will be as accurate and as 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. Comments are 
particularly sought concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to Chlorogalum purpureum;
    (2) The location of any additional populations of the species and 
the reasons why any habitat should or should not be determined to be 
critical habitat pursuant to section 4 of the Act;
    (3) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and 
population size of the 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-making 
document that differs from this proposal.
    The Act provides for a public hearing on this proposal, if 
requested. Requests must be received within 45 days of the date of 
publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. Such requests must 
be made in writing and be addressed to the Field Supervisor (see 
ADDRESSES section).

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

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 
    Author: The primary author of this proposal is Diane Steeck, 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife 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. 
4201-4205; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend Sec. 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                                                                                                                               
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
Chlorogalum purpureum............  Purple amole........  U.S.A. (CA)........  Liliaceae--Lily....  T               ...........           NA           NA
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  

    Dated: March 17, 1998.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 98-8050 Filed 3-27-98; 8:45 am]