[Federal Register: March 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 60)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 15142-15152]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AE80

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Threatened Status for Holocarpha macradenia (Santa Cruz tarplant)

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 (Act) of 1973, 
as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), for Holocarpha macradenia (Santa 
Cruz tarplant). It is threatened by alteration and destruction of 
habitat due to historical and ongoing urban and commercial development, 
habitat alteration due to cattle grazing, limited success of seed 
transplant populations, and competition from non-native plants. This 
proposed rule, if made final, would extend the Act's protection to this 
plant. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this 
proposed rule.

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 Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Benz, Assistant Field Supervisor, 
Listing and Recovery, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 
section) (telephone number 805/644-1766; facsimile 805/644-3958).



    Holocarpha macradenia (Santa Cruz tarplant) was first recognized by 
Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle, who published the name Hemizonia 
macradenia in 1836 (Ferris 1960). In 1897, E. L. Greene referred the 
species to the genus Holocarpha with publication of the new combination 
Holocarpha macradenia (DC.) E. Greene (Ferris 1960). This name has 
continued to be recognized in the most recent treatment for the genus 
(Keil 1993).
    Holocarpha macradenia, an aromatic annual herb in the aster 
(Asteraceae) family, is one of only four species of Holocarpha, all of 
which are restricted to California. The genus name is derived from the 
Greek holos for whole and karphos for chaff, referring to the scales 
found among the florets on the receptacle (the structure that supports 
the florets in the daisy-like flower head). The plant is rigid with 
lateral branches that arise to the height of the main stem which is 1 
to 5 decimeters (dm) (4 to 20 inches (in)) tall. The lower leaves are 
broadly linear and up to 12 centimeters (cm) (5 in) long; the upper 
leaves are smaller, with rolled back margins, and are truncated by a 
distinctive craterform gland. The yellow flower head is surrounded from 
beneath by bracts that each have about 25 stout gland-tipped 
projections (Keil 1993). Holocarpha macradenia is distinguished from 
other members of the genus by its numerous ray flowers and its black 
    Historically, habitat for Holocarpha macradenia consisted of 
grasslands and prairies found on coastal terraces below 100 meters (m) 
(330 feet (ft)) in elevation, from Monterey County north to Marin 
County. In the Santa Cruz area, the gently sloping terrace platforms 
are separated by steep-sided ``gulches,'' whereas in the Watsonville 
area (Monterey County) and on the east side of San Francisco Bay, the 
terraces are more extensively dissected, and Holocarpha macradenia 
populations occur on alluvium derived from the terrace deposits (Palmer 
1986). The soils are typically sandy clay soils; the clay component of 
these soils holds moisture long into the growing season. The coastal 
prairie habitat, found from Monterey Bay and northward, is becoming 
increasingly fragmented and restricted in distribution. Historically, 
four major factors contributed to changes in the distribution and 
composition of coastal prairies--the introduction of highly 
competitive, non-native species; an increase in grazing pressures; the 
elimination of annual fires; and cultivation (Heady et al.1988).
    Santa Cruz tarplant is most frequently associated with grasses; 
non-native grasses include wild oats (Avena fatua), Mediterranean 
barley (Hordeum hystrix), and bromes (Bromus sp.). Native associates 
include needlegrass (Nassela sp.), California oatgrass (Danthonia 
californica), and herbaceous species, including other tarplants 
(Hemizonia sp.). At some locations, the plant is found with species of 
concern, including Gairdner's yampah

[[Page 15143]]

(Perideridia gairdneri), San Francisco popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys 
diffusus), Santa Cruz clover (Trifolium buckwestiorum), and the Ohlone 
tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone) (California Natural Diversity Data Base 
(CNDDB) 1997).
    Historically, Holocarpha macradenia was known from ``low dry fields 
about San Francisco Bay'' (Jepson 1925). Around the San Francisco Bay, 
herbarium collections were made from Tamalipas in Marin County in 1934; 
from near Berkeley, Oakland, and San Lorenzo in Alameda County as early 
as 1894; and from Pinole in Contra Costa County (CNDDB 1997, Specimen 
Management System for California Herbaria (SMASCH) 1997). All of the 
native San Francisco Bay area populations have been extirpated; the 
last remaining native population, known as the Pinole Vista population, 
consisting of 10,000 plants, was eliminated in 1993 by a commercial 
development (California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) 1997).
    By 1959, Munz (1959) also noted it from Santa Cruz County, but 
added that the plant was possibly extinct. However, numerous 
collections were made from the Monterey Bay area in Santa Cruz County 
in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1966 and 1969, Hoover made the 
first collections in northern Monterey County, just south of the Santa 
Cruz County line (SMASCH 1997). Additional populations were found in 
Monterey County in the subsequent decades, although the lack of 
specific locational information on herbarium labels makes it difficult 
to determine exactly how many populations occurred there. According to 
CNDDB, nine populations in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties have been 
extirpated by development (CDFG 1993). Most recently, in 1993, a 
population in Watsonville (known as the Anna Street site) was destroyed 
during construction of office buildings and a parking lot (CDFG 1995a).
    Holocarpha macradenia is currently known from a total of 18 
populations; 12 of these are remaining native populations, and 6 are a 
result of experimental seedings. Six of the native populations occur 
around the city of Santa Cruz. The names of the six populations are 
given here, followed by the population size and (in parentheses), the 
year of the most recent survey--Graham Hill Road, 12,000 (1994); Twin 
Lakes, 0 (1997); Arana Gulch, 20,000 (1997); O'Neill/Tan, 2 (1993)/0 
(1997); Winkle, 0 (1994); Fairway, 1,500 (1993).
    The remaining six native populations occur around the city of 
Watsonville, scattered from Watsonville Airport to Hall Road, eight 
kilometers (km) (five miles (mi)) to the south-southeast. The names of 
the six populations are given here, followed by the population size and 
(in parentheses) the year of the most recent survey--Watsonville 
Airport, 240,000 (1994); Harkins Slough, 15,000 (1993); Apple Hill, 700 
(1995); Struve Slough, 1 (1994); Spring Hills Golf Course, 4,000 
(1990); Porter Ranch, 3,200 (1993).
    The other six extant populations of Holocarpha macradenia are a 
result of experimental seed transplants in Wildcat Regional Park in the 
east San Francisco Bay area. The names of the six populations are given 
here, followed by the population size; surveys were most recently 
completed in 1997--Big Belgum, 148; Big Belgum West, 51; Upper Belgum, 
22; Mezue, 5,000'7,000; Fowler, 22; Upper Havey, 17 (Olsen et al. 
    Holocarpha macradenia is threatened primarily by historic and 
current habitat alteration and destruction caused by residential 
development. Destruction of habitat may also result from recreational 
development, airport expansion, and agriculture. Even where occupied 
habitat has been set aside in preserves, conservation easements, and 
open spaces, the plant suffers secondary impacts from that development, 
such as casual use by residents, children, and pets, the inadvertent 
introduction of non-native species into tarplant habitat, and changes 
in hydrology resulting from adjacent residential use. Santa Cruz 
tarplant is also threatened by competition with non-native species 
including a variety of grass species, French broom (Genista 
monspessulana), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sp.), acacia (Acacia decurrens, 
A. melanoxylon), and artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) that are 
favored by historic disturbances such as cattle grazing. This species 
is also threatened by naturally occurring events due to the small 
numbers of individuals and limited area occupied by many of the 

Previous Federal Action

    Federal action on this plant began when the Secretary of the 
Smithsonian Institution, as directed by section 12 of the Act, prepared 
a report on those native U.S. 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 
Holocarpha macradenia as endangered. On July 1, 1975, the Service 
published a notice in the Federal Register (40 FR 27823) accepting the 
report as a petition within the context of section 4(c)(2) (now section 
4(b)(3)) of the Act and of the Service's intention thereby 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. Holocarpha 
macradenia was included in the June 16, 1976 Federal Register document.
    In 1978, amendments to the 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. Subsequently, on December 10, 
1979, the Service published a notice (44 FR 70796) of the withdrawal of 
the portion of the June 16, 1976, proposal that had not been made 
final, along with four other proposals that had expired. The Service 
published an updated notice of review for plants on December 15, 1980 
(45 FR 82480). This notice included Holocarpha macradenia as a category 
1 candidate (species for which data in the Service's possession was 
sufficient to support proposals for listing).
    On February 15, 1983, the Service published a notice (48 FR 6752) 
of its prior finding that the listing of Holocarpha macradenia was 
warranted but precluded in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B)(iii) of 
the Act as amended in 1982. Pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(C)(i) of the 
Act, this finding must be recycled annually, until the species is 
either proposed for listing, or the petitioned action is found to be 
not warranted. Each October from 1983 through 1990 further findings 
were made that the listing of Holocarpha macradenia was warranted, but 
that the listing of this species was precluded by other pending 
proposals of higher priority.
    Holocarpha macradenia continued to be included as a category 1 
candidate in plant notices of review published September 27, 1985 (50 
FR 39526), February 1, 1990 (55 FR 6184), and September 30, 1993 (58 FR 
51144). Upon publication of the February 28, 1996 notice of review (61 
FR 7596), the Service ceased using category designations and included 
Holocarpha macradenia as a candidate. Candidate species are those for 
which the Service has on file sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list them as 
threatened or endangered. The 1997 notice of review, published 
September 19 (62 FR 49398) retained Holocarpha macradenia as a 
candidate, with a listing priority of 2.

[[Page 15144]]

    The processing of this proposed rule conforms with the Service's 
final listing priority guidance published in the Federal Register on 
December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64475), and extended on October 23, 1997 (62 FR 
55268). The guidance clarified the order in which the Service processed 
rulemakings during fiscal year 1997. The guidance called for giving 
highest priority (Tier 1) to handling emergency situations, second 
highest priority (Tier 2) to resolving the conservation status of 
outstanding proposed listings, and third priority (Tier 3) to new 
proposals to add species to the lists of threatened and endangered 
plants and animals. This proposed rule constitutes a Tier 3 action. The 
1997 listing priority guidance remains in effect pending the 
publication of the Final Listing Priority Guidance for FY 1998/FY 1999.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations (50 
CFR part 424) promulgated to implement 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 Holocarpha macradenia are as follows:

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

    Urbanization has been responsible for severely reducing the extent 
of coastal prairie habitat that supports Holocarpha macradenia. All 
native populations of Holocarpha macradenia have been extirpated from 
Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin counties around the San Francisco Bay 
(CDFG 1997a). Habitat for the last naturally occurring population in 
the San Francisco Bay area, near Pinole in Contra Costa County, was 
converted to a shopping center in 1993 (CDFG 1997a, CNDDB 1997). The 
only populations that persist in this area are six populations that 
were transplanted as seed into Wildcat Canyon Regional Park in Contra 
Costa County.
    Since Holocarpha macradenia was listed as endangered by the State 
of California in 1979, the (CDFG) has been tracking the status of its 
populations. Because locality information on historical collections is 
often general, it is difficult to assess the total number of historical 
populations. However, CDFG has determined that the plant has been 
extirpated from nine locations around the Monterey Bay since 1979 (CDFG 
1993, CNDDB 1997). Most recently, a population at what was referred to 
as the Anna Street site in Watsonville was destroyed sometime after a 
1992 survey, during construction of office buildings and a parking lot 
(CDFG 1995a, CNDDB 1997).
    In the last four years, increasing concern over the loss of 
tarplant habitat and populations have led certain permitting agencies 
to require conservation of remaining habitat during review of 
development projects. Because of this, the rate of habitat destruction 
has been slowed. However, direct impacts and alteration through 
secondary effects of development threaten the remaining habitat and 
populations. In many cases, historical alteration of habitat has been 
exacerbated by current human activities. A detailed description of the 
12 remaining native sites is given here. Because the six seed 
transplant sites in Contra Costa County are not sites where the plant 
was known to be native, the threats to those sites are discussed under 
``Factor E.''
    The Graham Hill Road site is owned by the Cowell Foundation. An 
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was approved by the County of Santa 
Cruz in 1996 for a development that comprises 52 residences, a fire 
station, a common area, a park, and an equestrian facility and trails 
on a 170-acre parcel (Environmental Science Associates 1996). The 
developer has proposed to include 0.5 acre of occupied tarplant habitat 
and 10 acres of coastal prairie habitat within a 17-acre conservation 
easement. In addition to Santa Cruz tarplant, other species of concern 
occur here, including Gairdner's yampah, San Francisco popcorn flower, 
and Santa Cruz clover. In 1994, there were five colonies of tarplant, 
occupying less than one acre of habitat. One colony supported 10,000 
individuals and the other four collectively supported 2,000 
individuals. To date, the development has not proceeded because the 
developer has been unable to negotiate a necessary sewage treatment 
connection with the City of Scotts Valley. The property and attendant 
EIR are currently for sale. French broom has invaded the coastal 
prairie habitat and is considered a threat to all four of the plant 
species of concern, including Santa Cruz tarplant (Environmental 
Science Associates 1995). Holocarpha macradenia is threatened on this 
site by development, competition with non-native plants, and 
vulnerability to naturally occurring events due to the small extent of 
occupied habitat (also see Factor E).
    The Twin Lakes site is owned by the California Department of Parks 
and Recreation (CDPR). The site has been fragmented by an access road 
for park vehicles and several hiking paths. The population occupies 
less than 1 acre and has declined as follows--120 individuals in 1986, 
fewer than 10 in 1994, 1 in 1996, and 0 in 1997. The decline has been 
attributed to competition from French broom and non-native grasses 
(CDFG 1995a; G. Gray, ecologist, CDPR, pers. comm. 1997). In the last 
three years, CDPR has made progress in removing broom from the site. 
They also have experimented with management actions that would enhance 
habitat for Holocarpha macradenia through mowing, raking, simulating 
cattle hoof action with wood blocks, and burning. The population, 
however, has continued to decline. In 1997, CDPR committed significant 
funding to continue with experimental management actions (G. Gray, 
pers. comm. 1997). Holocarpha macradenia is threatened on this site by 
competition with non-native plants, and vulnerability to naturally 
occurring events due to the small population size and small extent of 
occupied habitat (also see Factor E).
    The Arana Gulch population is on a 63-acre parcel of land owned and 
managed by the City of Santa Cruz (City). In the late 1980s, the 
population comprised about 100,000 individuals. Grazing by cattle was 
terminated in 1988, and over the next few years, population sizes 
decreased due to competition with non-native grasses. In 1993, the 
population was down to 133 individuals, and in 1994, no individuals 
were seen. In 1994, the City acquired the parcel from a private 
landowner. The City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 
with CDFG in 1997 to focus on management actions that would enhance the 
four colonies, which cover approximately 5 acres within a 17-acre 
management area (CDFG 1997b). Management actions begun in 1995 included 
mowing, raking, hoeing, and mechanical scraping of the habitat. In 
1997, when the population comprised about 20,000 individuals, the 
highest density of tarplant was on a portion of the habitat that had 
accidentally burned (K. Lyons, consultant, pers. comm. 1997). The City 
is proposing to construct a bicycle path that would bisect the 
management area (Brady and Associates, Inc. 1997). Direct impacts to 
occupied Santa Cruz tarplant habitat would be avoided, but secondary 
impacts associated with increased recreational use may make management 
more difficult. Holocarpha macradenia

[[Page 15145]]

is threatened on this site by development and competition with non-
native plants (also see Factor E).
    The O'Neill/Tan Ranch population straddles the boundary of two 
    The O'Neill Ranch property is owned by the County Redevelopment 
Agency (CRA). In 1996, the County approved development of the 100-acre 
property into a county park. The tarplant is located in the upper 
reaches of the park where past recreational use has consisted of 
occasional hiking. A park management plan is currently being developed, 
and will include the population of tarplant in a 15-acre conservation 
easement which is zoned for ``passive recreation.'' The plan may 
recommend fencing around 1 acre of tarplant habitat in lieu of trying 
to restrict hikers to designated trails (S. Gilchrist, CRA, pers. comm. 
1997). Although the site receives light use currently, development of 
the Tan property will allow easier access to a larger number of people. 
The County hopes to establish a cooperative management strategy with 
the developers to address management of this population. The size of 
the Holocarpha macradenia population has fluctuated since 1979 as 
follows--between 100 to 200 plants (1979); 0 (1984); 0 (1985); 170 
(1986); 0 (1990); 170 (1991) and 2 (1993) (Brady and Associates 1995). 
Santa Cruz clover and Gairdner's yampah are two sensitive species that 
occur with the tarplant at this site.
    The size of the Holocarpha macradenia population on the Tan parcel 
is difficult to determine, as historic surveys did not count 
individuals separately from those on the O'Neill parcel. However, 
because the total number of individuals in the entire population has 
never been larger than 200, it can be inferred that the Tan parcel 
supported only a portion of these. In 1996, only one tarplant 
individual was seen (Val Haley, consultant, in litt. 1997); in 1997 no 
individuals were seen (K. Lyons, pers. comm. 1997). The coastal prairie 
habitat on this parcel also supports Gairdner's yampah and Santa Cruz 
clover, both species of concern.
    The 106-acre Tan property is privately owned, and was approved for 
development of 28 residential units in 1997. The habitat mitigation 
plan for the development calls for the inclusion of approximately 0.4 
acres that support tarplant in a 10.5-acre conservation parcel that 
will be managed by the homeowner's association (HRG 1996). The plan 
also includes management prescriptions for the conservation parcel, 
including mowing, weed control, fencing, and removal of invasive non-
native plants. Invasive non-native plants in the vicinity of the 
tarplant include French broom, rattlesnake grass (Briza sp.), and 
eucalyptus (HRG 1996). Holocarpha macradenia is threatened on the 
combined O'Neill/Tan site by development, competition with non-native 
plants, and vulnerability to naturally occurring events due to the 
small population size and small extent of occupied habitat (also see 
Factor E).
    The Winkle Avenue site is privately owned. Part of the tarplant 
population at this site was destroyed by two phases of a residential 
development in 1986, and part of the remaining parcel was placed in a 
``temporary open space easement'' (Strelow Consulting 1997). However, 
the remaining 58-acre parcel is now also being proposed for development 
of 21 residential units (Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. 1997). 
Approval by the County of Santa Cruz is pending; the planning 
department will recommend that the development be limited to 10 
residential units, with the remaining 11 lots to be placed in a 
preservation easement (K. Tschantz, County of Santa Cruz Planning 
Department, pers. comm. 1997, CDFG in litt. 1997). In 1993, the 
tarplant population consisted of approximately 100 plants covering 174 
square feet (Parsons Engineering Science, Inc 1997); in 1994, none were 
seen (CDFG 1995). In addition to development, the population on this 
site has been subject to competition with French broom and non-native 
grasses. This site also supports populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle 
and Gairdner's yampah, both species of concern. Holocarpha macradenia 
is threatened on this site by development, competition with non-native 
plants, and vulnerability to naturally occurring events due to the 
small population size and small extent of occupied habitat (also see 
Factor E).
    The Fairway Drive site is privately owned. In 1989, the 30-acre 
parcel supported a population of approximately 5,000 plants on less 
than one acre. At the time, the site was considered a ``well preserved 
fragment of native grassland'' that supported native bunchgrasses 
(California oatgrass and purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra)) as well 
as several species of concern, including Gairdner's yampah and San 
Francisco popcorn flower (CNDDB 1997). Grazing by horses ceased in that 
year. In 1993, the population was approximately 1,500 plants (CDFG 
1995a, Greening Associates 1995); the decline has been attributed to 
cessation of grazing. Several woody non-native species, including 
French broom, acacia, pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata), and eucalyptus 
(Eucalyptus globulus), have invaded the grasslands and are rapidly 
spreading. In 1996, the County approved a lot split into four parcels, 
with the condition that the coastal terrace prairie habitat be placed 
in a preservation easement of approximately 15 acres, and a management 
plan be developed and implemented (K. Tschantz, pers. comm. 1997). 
Holocarpha macradenia is threatened on this site by competition with 
non-native plants and by its vulnerability to naturally occurring 
events due to small population size and small extent of occupied 
habitat (also see Factor E).
    Around the city of Watsonville, six native populations of Santa 
Cruz tarplant are scattered from Watsonville Airport to Hall Road, 
eight kilometers (km) (five mi) to the south-southeast. The Watsonville 
Airport site, owned by the City of Watsonville, supports the largest 
population of Santa Cruz tarplant. In 1993, the population was 
estimated to be 459,000 plants; in 1994, it was estimated to be 240,000 
plants (CNDDB 1997). Portions of the 37-acre site are grazed, and other 
portions are mowed several times between late spring and late summer. 
This management appears to have benefitted the Santa Cruz tarplant by 
reducing competition from non-native species. In 1994, the City 
released an initial study for proposed clay mining and a 20-year 
airport expansion plan. Both activities would potentially reduce 
tarplant habitat (Denise Duffy & Associates 1994). Since then, the 
proposal to mine clay has been removed from consideration due to 
permitting complications. CDFG has been working with City 
representatives to formalize an agreement to use ongoing management 
activities to enhance tarplant habitat, but a final agreement has not 
been reached. CDFG has also been working with City representatives to 
develop a strategy to phase airport expansion over a number of years so 
that loss of tarplant habitat would be minimized. Holocarpha macradenia 
is threatened on this site by development and competition with non-
native plants (also see Factor E).
    The Harkins Slough site is privately owned. In 1993, the population 
consisted of about 15,000 plants in two colonies, one covering 1 acre, 
and the other 0.1 acre in size. Cattle grazing was discontinued in 
1990. Current uses of the property include fava bean production. Due to 
limited access to the property, the current status of the population is 
unknown. In anticipation of developing residences and a golf course, 
the owners requested that the

[[Page 15146]]

property be annexed to the City of Watsonville in 1997. However, due to 
the public's concern over the loss of prime agricultural land in the 
area, the city council turned down the request. In 1997, CDFG 
approached the owners with a proposal to assist in conservation 
efforts; no agreements have been reached yet. Holocarpha macradenia is 
threatened on this site by vulnerability to naturally occurring events 
due to the small population size and small extent of occupied habitat 
(see Factor E) and possibly by development.
    The Apple Hill site is owned by the California Department of 
Transportation (CALTRANS). The population used to comprise three 
colonies, but two were extirpated by construction of a housing 
development on the adjacent private property. The remaining colony 
occurs in a strip between the development and Highway 152; the strip 
has been used as a play area for local children and pets, a repository 
for yard waste, and as a short-cut to the local market (CDFG 1994; G. 
Smith, resource ecologist, CDPR, pers. comm 1997). CALTRANS had 
proposed moving a fence along the highway such that it would offer 
additional protection to the remaining colony. However, due to internal 
reorganization and changes in staffing within CALTRANS, this action has 
not been taken yet (G. Ruggerone, CALTRANS, pers. comm. 1997). The 
population size has fluctuated between 4,000 in 1986 down to 81 in 
1994. In the most recent count in 1995, the population supported 700 
individuals (CNDDB 1997). Holocarpha macradenia is threatened on this 
site by development and by vulnerability to naturally occurring events 
due to the small population size and small extent of occupied habitat 
(also see Factor E).
    The Struve Slough site is privately owned. In the late 1980s, it 
supported one of the largest populations of Santa Cruz tarplant, 
occupying 4 acres and comprising 400,000 plants in 1989 (CDFG 1995). 
However, cattle grazing on the site was terminated in 1989, and since 
then, the population size has dropped precipitously. The site is now 
dominated by non-native wild oat (Avena sp.), prickly lettuce (Picrus 
echioides), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which outcompete the 
tarplant (CDFG 1995). By 1993 and 1994, only one tarplant individual 
was observed. The Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (Ambystoma 
macrodactylum croceum), a federally endangered species, has also been 
documented from this site. An EIR for a housing development at this 
site was approved by the City of Watsonville in 1992. However, a 
requirement to add a fire road, which would cross regulated wetlands, 
has held up the development. A revised EIR is due to be released soon. 
The CDFG has expressed an interest in enlisting the property owners in 
conservation efforts, but no agreements have yet been reached (D. 
Hillyard, plant ecologist, CDFG, pers. comm. 1997). Holocarpha 
macradenia is threatened on this site by development, competition with 
non-native plants, and vulnerability to naturally occurring events due 
to the small population size and small extent of occupied habitat (also 
see Factor E).
    The Spring Hills Golf Course (Course) site is privately owned. In 
1989, Santa Cruz tarplant was observed growing in five separate 
colonies scattered over 13 acres in unlandscaped patches between the 
course's fairways. The distribution of the colonies suggests that 
additional habitat for the tarplant was altered by conversion to 
fairway. In 1989 and 1990, the largest colony supported 2,000 to 3,000 
plants, and the other four colonies supported between 100 and 400 
plants each (CNDDB 1997). The tarplant was last observed at this site 
in 1995; at that time, no population size estimates were made, but it 
appeared that all colonies were still present (B. Davilla, pers. comm. 
1997). In 1997, CDFG approached representatives of the Course and 
expressed an interest in enlisting them in conservation efforts. To 
date, however, no agreements have been made (D. Hillyard, pers. comm. 
1997). The threats to Holocarpha macradenia on this site are uncertain.
    The Porter Ranch site is privately owned. Taylor noted that this 
site is unusual in that the Holocarpha macradenia population is 
primarily in the bottom of a small canyon, rather than on the adjacent 
terrace or upper slope (Taylor 1990). The population is scattered over 
approximately 10 acres. Between 1984 and 1993, population sizes 
fluctuated between 1,500 plants in 1984 and 43,000 in 1989 (CNDDB 
1997). The most recent population estimate in 1993 was 3,200 plants. 
The site is grazed by cattle; apparently different patches of 
Holocarpha macradenia have been grazed with varying intensities (M. 
Silverstein, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, pers. comm. 1997). Morgan noted 
that there were fewer than 100 plants in 1996 within a cattle exclosure 
where there had previously been many more plants (R. Morgan, pers. 
comm. 1997). The owners are interested in developing management plans 
in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy that would address 
appropriate grazing levels to benefit the tarplant (CDFG 1994, M. 
Silverstein, pers. comm. 1997). The threats to Holocarpha macradenia on 
this site are uncertain.
    In summary, development, with its associated effects, is a primary 
threat to Holocarpha macradenia. Six of the 12 remaining native 
populations are on privately owned lands that are currently or 
anticipated to be proposed for urban development (Graham Hill Road, the 
Tan portion of O'Neill/Tan, Winkle Avenue, Fairway Drive, Harkins 
Slough, and Struve Slough); 1 is on a site slated for a phased, 20-year 
airport expansion (Watsonville Airport); and 3 are subject to secondary 
effects of adjacent residential development (Arana Gulch, Twin Lakes, 
Apple Hill). Although 7 of the 12 sites include plans for conservation 
of Holocarpha macradenia, either through development-related 
mitigation, or by virtue of being on City, County, or State agency 
lands, the successful implementation of these plans has not been 
demonstrated. In particular, the size and quality of conservation areas 
and management actions prescribed through the environmental review 
process (see Factor D) may not be biologically adequate to meet the 
goal of long-term conservation of the species. In addition, 
conservation areas where Holocarpha macradenia populations are small in 
numbers, small in area, whose habitat is degraded, or that continue to 
receive secondary effects of adjacent human activities, become more 
vulnerable to extirpation from naturally occurring events (see Factor 

B. Overuse for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational 

    Overutilization is not known to be a problem for this species.

C. Disease or Predation.

    Disease is not known to be a problem for this species. Predation by 
cattle, livestock, or other wildlife species is not known to occur, and 
is unlikely given that the oil glands of mature Holocarpha macradenia 
would make it unpalatable. Whether very young plants are subject to 
predation prior to maturation of oil glands is unknown.
    Grazing by cattle has altered habitat for Holocarpha macradenia at 
a number of sites (Arana Gulch, O'Neill/Tan, Watsonville Airport, 
Harkins Slough, Struve Slough, Porter Ranch, and all six seed 
transplant populations in Wildcat Regional Park ). Prior to the spread 
of non-native annual grasses in the valleys and foothills of 
California, the openings between perennial grasses in grassland and oak 
woodland communities were probably occupied by native herbs (Barbour et 
al. 1993). Grazing alters the species composition of grasslands in 
several ways. The hooves of cattle create

[[Page 15147]]

sufficient soil disturbance to allow the establishment of non-native 
species, intensive grazing eliminates native species through selective 
foraging and favors the establishment of non-native species, and cattle 
act as dispersal vectors for non-native species (Heady 1977; Sauer 
1988, Willoughby 1986). Once non-native species become established, 
they compete with native herbs and grasses for water, nutrients, and 
light. Because non-native grasses are prolific seeders, they continue 
to increase in abundance at the expense of the native taxa.
    Once habitat for Holocarpha macradenia has been altered by grazing 
and the proliferation of non-native plants, continued grazing may be 
deleterious or beneficial to the persistence of the species. The 
effects of continued grazing on Holocarpha macradenia depend on many 
factors, including the current condition of the site, the timing, and 
the amount of grazing. In some cases, light to moderate grazing will 
remove sufficient biomass of non-native grasses to allow Holocarpha 
macradenia to persist (CDFG 1995a, CDFG 1995b). For example, a 
combination of mowing and grazing has probably favored the persistence 
of Holocarpha macradenia at the Watsonville Airport site. The decline 
of Holocarpha macradenia on the Struve Slough site has been attributed 
to the cessation of grazing (CDFG 1995a, Taylor 1990). On the other 
hand, heavy grazing is most likely responsible for the decline or 
restriction in Holocarpha macradenia population sizes at the Arana 
Gulch, Tan, and portions of the Porter Ranch sites (CNDDB 1997, CDFG 
1995a), as well as one of the seed transplant populations (Big Belgum) 
in Wildcat Canyon Regional Park (CDFG 1995b).
    Because cattle grazing has frequently resulted in increasing the 
abundance of non-native species, competition with these non-natives is 
typically a problem. Additional discussion on this issue is found under 
Factor E of this rule.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The CDFG Commission listed Holocarpha macradenia as an endangered 
species in 1979 under the California Native Plant Protection Act 
(CNPPA) (Div. 2, chapter 10 sec. 1900 et seq. of the CDFG Code) and the 
California Endangered Species Act (CESA) (Division 3, Chapter 1.5 sec. 
2050 et seq.). Although the ``take'' of State-listed plants has long 
been prohibited under the CNPPA, Division 2, Chapter 10, section 1908 
and the CESA, Division 3, Chapter 1.5, section 2080, in the past these 
statutes have not provided adequate protection for such plants from the 
impacts of habitat modification and land use change. For example, under 
CNPPA, after CDFG notifies a landowner that a State-listed plant grows 
on his or her property, the statute requires only that the landowner 
notify the agency ``at least 10 days in advance of changing the land 
use to allow salvage of such plant'' (CNPPA, Division, 2, Chapter 10, 
section 1913). Under recent amendments to CESA, a permit under section 
2081(b) of the CDFG Code is required to ``take'' State listed species 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities. The amendments require that 
impacts to the species be fully mitigated. However these new 
requirements have not been tested and several years will be required to 
evaluate their effectiveness.
    The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a full 
disclosure of the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects. 
The public agency with primary authority or jurisdiction over the 
project is designated as the lead agency, and is responsible for 
conducting a review of the project and consulting with the other 
agencies concerned with the resources affected by the project. Section 
15065 of the CEQA Guidelines requires a finding of significance if a 
project has the potential to ``reduce the number or restrict the range 
of a rare or endangered plant or animal.'' Species that are eligible 
for State listing as rare, threatened, or endangered, but are not so 
listed, are given the same protection as those species that are 
officially listed with the State or Federal governments. Once 
significant effects are identified, the lead agency has the option to 
require mitigation for effects through changes in the project or to 
decide that overriding considerations make mitigation infeasible. In 
the latter case, projects may be approved that cause significant 
environmental damage, such as destruction of endangered species. 
Protection of listed species through CEQA is, therefore, dependent upon 
the discretion of the agency involved.
    The County of Santa Cruz recently revised its Local Coastal Program 
and General Plan (Santa Cruz County 1994). Under this plan, 
``grasslands in the coastal zone'' are identified as one of a number of 
Sensitive Habitats. Uses allowed within Sensitive Habitat areas are 
restricted to those that are dependent on the habitat's resources 
unless other uses are ``(a) consistent with protection policies and 
serve a specific purpose beneficial to the public; (b) it is determined 
through environmental review that any adverse impacts on the resource 
will be completely mitigated and that there is no feasible less-
damaging alternative; and (c) legally necessary to allow a reasonable 
economic use of the land, and there is no feasible less-damaging 
alternative.'' (Santa Cruz County 1994). The County has attempted to 
protect Santa Cruz tarplant during review of proposals for development 
that fall under their purview by establishing conservation easements 
volunteered by the project applicant, or preservation easements 
requested of the applicant by the County. To date, these include 
development projects at the following sites--Graham Hill Road, O'Neill, 
Tan, Winkle, and Fairway Drive. These easements typically set aside all 
or most of the occupied habitat of Holocarpha macradenia and provide 
for implementation of management plans for the attendant coastal 
prairie habitat. Despite these efforts, however, the easements cover 
small remnant acreages that represent only a fragment of the original 
coastal prairie habitat that used to occur in the region, and intensive 
management will be needed to support Holocarpha macradenia on these 
    Since Holocarpha macradenia was listed by the State in 1979, CDFG 
has been tracking the status of its populations. Concern increased in 
the late 1980s and early 1990s when it became apparent that native 
populations were being destroyed by development, both in the San 
Francisco Bay area and the Monterey Bay area. In 1993 and 1995, CDFG 
hosted three Holocarpha macradenia recovery workshops to review the 
status of the species and attendant populations, and to identify needed 
actions to conserve the species. As a result of these workshops, CDFG 
developed a MOU with the City of Santa Cruz addressing management of 
the population at Arana Gulch, initiated discussion with the City of 
Watsonville regarding the development of a MOU for management of the 
Watsonville Airport site, provided funding for management of several 
populations (including those at Arana Gulch and at Wildcat Regional 
Park), and developed a conservation plan for the species, including a 
list of four priority sites to target for conservation. Efforts to 
enlist the four property owners to conserve the species are pending.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    Three additional factors threaten the continued existence of 
Holocarpha macradenia--limited success of transplant efforts, 
competition with

[[Page 15148]]

non-native plants, and extinction caused by naturally occurring events.
    In Factor A above, detailed accounts were given of the 12 remaining 
native populations of Holocarpha macradenia. The other six extant 
populations of Holocarpha macradenia are a result of experimental seed 
transplants. A brief summary of these transplanted populations is 
warranted. In 1911, Jepson referred to Holocarpha macradenia as being 
``abundant'' in west Berkeley and Oakland (Havlik 1986). Due to loss of 
habitat to urbanization, Munz (1959) considered the taxon ``possibly 
extinct.'' Therefore, when several populations were found near Pinole 
and Richmond in Contra Costa County in the late 1970s and early 1980s, 
botanists placed a high priority on establishing additional populations 
to forestall extinction. Experiments were carried out to establish new 
populations by seeding what was thought to be appropriate habitat 
(Havlik 1986). Most of the transplants were done at Wildcat Canyon 
Regional Park, which straddles Alameda and Contra Costa counties, but 
several transplants were on lands owned and managed by East Bay 
Municipal Utility District (EBMUD).
    Havlik (1989) reviewed results from the first seven years of seed 
transplants and discussed how habitat characteristics, including soil 
type, grazing pressure (cattle), and occurrence within the coastal fog 
belt, may have affected transplant success. Initial data suggested that 
populations exposed to moderate grazing pressure were larger than those 
exposed to low grazing pressure. From 1982 to 1986, a total of 22 seed 
transplants was attempted within Wildcat Regional Park and on EBMUD 
land. Most of the sites have been monitored annually since then. In 
1989, 3 sites supported over 3,000 plants; two had over 1,000 plants; 
eleven had over 100 plants; 2 had over 10 plants; and 4 had no plants.
    By 1993, 1 site (referred to as Mezue) supported a population of 
6,400 plants; 4 had fewer than 300 plants; 2 had fewer than 100 plants; 
10 had no plants; and 3 sites could not be relocated (CDFG 1994). By 
1997, the Mezue site supported between 5,000 and 7,000 plants; 1 had 
fewer than 300 plants; 4 had fewer than 100 plants; and 7 had no 
plants. Most of the remaining sites were not checked since previous 
multiple-year monitoring indicated that plants had disappeared from 
those sites.
    Although the information gathered from these seed transplant trials 
has been valuable for understanding the life history of the plant and 
how it responds to various types of management, the limited success of 
establishing viable populations means that these transplant sites have 
a limited value for maintaining the viability of the species compared 
to the native populations. The seeded populations of tarplant are 
threatened to some extent by competition with artichoke thistle and 
non-native grasses.
    One of the most prevalent forms of habitat alteration occurring 
within the coastal prairie habitat of Santa Cruz tarplant is the 
conversion of the flora from one comprised primarily of native grasses 
to one comprised primarily of non-native grasses. As discussed in 
factors A and C above, the conversion of native habitats to grazing 
lands enhances the opportunity for non-native grasses to be introduced 
and disseminate into the surrounding areas. Because many non-native 
grasses germinate early and seed prolifically, they may quickly gain a 
competitive advantage over native grasses (Heady 1977, McClintock 
1986). Field survey reports show that non-native grasses have become 
prevalent, and thus represent a potential threat, at the following 
sites for Holocarpha macradenia--Arana Gulch, Twin Lakes, Tan, 
Watsonville Airport, Harkins Slough, Struve Slough, Spring Hills, 
Porter (CNDDB 1997, Taylor 1990).
    The Struve Slough site, which until 1989 supported one of the 
largest populations of Santa Cruz tarplant, is currently dominated by 
non-native species, primarily wild oat, prickly lettuce, and wild 
fennel. Before 1989, grazing by cattle had favored the presence of 
ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and quaking grass (Briza maxima) on the 
site; cattle grazing was removed in 1989. Although a seed bank for 
Santa Cruz tarplant still exists on the site, the plant has not been 
seen since 1994.
    The seeded populations of tarplant are also threatened to some 
extent by competition with non-native species, particularly artichoke 
thistle and non-native grasses. This thistle, the wild variety of the 
edible artichoke, modifies habitat for the tarplant by virtue of its 
large size, its allelopathic properties (chemical inhibition of growth 
of other plants), and by creating shade (Kelley and Pepper, in press). 
Other weedy characteristics of the artichoke thistle include its 
ability to resprout vigorously from a perennial taproot, extended 
flowering, seed production, and germination seasons, and the ability to 
germinate and grow rapidly in a variety of environmental conditions 
(Kelley and Pepper, in press). Apparently, artichoke thistle was 
introduced to the area around Benicia, only a few miles north of the 
Regional Park, in the 1880s; by the 1930s, 70,000 acres in the hills 
around the east and north side of San Francisco Bay were infested with 
the artichoke thistle (Ball in Thomsen et al. 1986).
    Starting in 1996, the Regional Park, with the County of Alameda, 
initiated an artichoke thistle removal program using herbicides. 
Although sites that support tarplant are a priority for artichoke 
thistle removal, the abundance of artichoke thistle in adjacent areas 
facilitates reestablishment into already treated areas.
    Non-native grasses also occur with tarplant at the six seed 
transplant sites. All six sites are also grazed by cattle. If non-
native grasses become too abundant, they outcompete the tarplant. 
Cattle grazing decreases the abundance of non-native grasses; however, 
at one of the sites (Big Belgum), an increase in cattle grazing was 
thought to be the cause of a declining tarplant population (CDFG 
    French broom is another non-native species that threatens 
Holocarpha macradenia. French broom is very aggressive, spreads 
rapidly, and easily colonizes disturbed areas such as roadsides and 
recently cleared land. Like artichoke thistle, French broom can 
eventually form dense thickets that displace native vegetation (Habitat 
Restoration Group (HRG) n.d.). French broom occurs at the following 
sites that support Holocarpha macradenia--Arana Gulch, Graham Hill 
Road, Twin Lakes, Tan, and Fairway Drive (CDFG 1997, HRG 1996).
    So much of the coastal prairie habitat that supports Holocarpha 
macradenia has been altered, fragmented, or destroyed that most of the 
remaining habitat supports only very small populations, both in numbers 
of individuals and in acreage. Species with few populations and 
individuals are vulnerable to the threat of naturally occurring events 
causing extinction in several ways. First, the loss of genetic 
diversity may decrease a species' ability to maintain fitness within 
the environment, often manifested in depressed reproductive vigor. 
Secondly, species with few populations or individuals may be subject to 
forces that affect their ability to complete their life cycle 
successfully. For example, the loss of pollinators may reduce 
successful seed set. Thirdly, random, natural events, such as storms, 
drought, or fire could destroy a significant percentage of a species' 
individuals or entire populations. Also, the restriction of certain 
populations to small sites increases their risk of extinction from 
naturally occurring events. Of the 12

[[Page 15149]]

native sites, the Watsonville Airport site is the largest, supporting 
200,000 to 400,000 plants on 37 acres. The Struve Slough site formerly 
supported 400,000 individuals on 4 acres, but had declined to a single 
individual in 1994. The Spring Hills Golf Course site supports up to 
3,500 plants on 13 acres. The Porter Ranch site used to support 43,000 
plants on 10 acres, but the population had declined to fewer than 100 
plants in 1996. The Arana Gulch site supported 20,000 plants on 5 acres 
in 1997. The remaining seven native sites support approximately 1 acre 
or less of occupied habitat; of these, at least two (Twin Lakes, Tan) 
had no plants in 1997. Of the 6 seed transplant sites in Wildcat Canyon 
Regional Park in the east San Francisco Bay area, 1 supported a 
population of 6,000 to 7,000 individuals, and the remaining 5 supported 
between 17 and 148 individuals. Olsen estimates that each of these 
sites covers 1 to 3 acres, and that the total area of all six sites is 
between 10 and 20 acres (B. Olsen, biologist, EBRPD, pers. comm. 1997).
    The Service has carefully assessed the best scientific and 
commercial information available regarding the past, present, and 
future threats faced by this taxon in determining to propose this rule. 
Based on this evaluation, the preferred action is to list Holocarpha 
macradenia (Santa Cruz tarplant), as threatened. This species is likely 
to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range due to habitat alteration and 
destruction resulting primarily from urban and commercial development, 
invasion of its habitat by non-native vegetation due to cattle grazing, 
limited success of seed transplant populations, competition with non-
native plants, and vulnerability to naturally occurring events due to 
low numbers of individuals. Although a few of the remaining native 
populations are on City, County, or State-owned lands, most of them are 
on private lands. Conservation efforts to date have shown that this 
species may be maintained by applying intensive management techniques. 
These efforts will be most effective on sites where acreage of 
remaining habitat is large, support naturally large populations, and 
are secure from threats. Although conservation efforts have been 
prescribed as part of mitigation for a number of development projects, 
the small acreage, small population sizes, and physical proximity of 
threats lessen the chance that such efforts will lead to secure, self-
sustaining populations at these sites. Therefore, the preferred action 
is to list Holocarpha macradenia as threatened. Critical habitat is not 
being proposed for Holocarpha macradenia for the reasons discussed 

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3(5)(A)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 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(a)) 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. 
Critical habitat for Santa Cruz tarplant is determinable. Although 
additional information would be useful, sufficient information 
concerning the physical and biological features of the tarplant's 
habitat exists to determine critical habitat (CNDDB 1997, CDFG 1995a, 
CDFG 1995b, Palmer 1986).
    Critical habitat can be designated for suitable, but unoccupied, 
habitat of listed species. There are no opportunities to do so for the 
Santa Cruz tarplant because sites where it historically occurred have 
all been rendered unsuitable. Sites where plants have been regularly 
seen, but not on the most recent inspection, are assumed to have viable 
seed banks, and cannot be considered ``unoccupied.'' Similarly, because 
the six seed transplant populations on park land (owned by East Bay 
Regional Parks District) have been at best moderately successful, the 
Service is unable to conclude that these sites are suitable to the 
plant. The transplant sites thus are not appropriate for designation as 
critical habitat.
    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--(i) the species is threatened by taking or other 
human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected 
to increase the degree of such threat to the species, or (ii) such 
designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. 
The Service finds that designation of critical habitat for the Santa 
Cruz tarplant is not prudent because it would provide no additional 
benefit to the species beyond that conferred by listing it as 
threatened. The basis for this conclusion, including the factors 
considered in weighing the benefits against the risks of designation, 
is provided below.
    As discussed above, 8 out of 12 extant native populations occur 
predominantly on private land, and 4 are on City, County or State land. 
Because Santa Cruz tarplant is State-listed, activities occurring on 
these private and public lands are subject to State regulations. For 
populations that occur within Santa Cruz County outside of City limits 
(Graham Hill Road, O'Neill/Tan, Winkle, Fairway Drive, Harkins Slough, 
Struve Slough, Spring Hills Golf Course), activities are also subject 
to ordinances through the Local Coastal Program and General Plan. The 
Porter Ranch population is subject to ordinances through the County of 
Monterey. Because there is no Federal assistance to, or regulation of 
activities (i.e., a Federal nexus) on these privately owned sites, 
designation of critical habitat would provide no benefit to the Santa 
Cruz tarplant in addition to that provided by listing. Federal 
involvement, should it occur, would be identified without the 
designation of critical habitat because interagency coordination 
requirements (e.g. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and the 
Endangered Species Act) are already in place. Designating critical 
habitat would not create a management plan for the plant, establish 
goals for its recovery, nor directly affect areas not designated as 
critical habitat. Additionally, the designation of critical habitat, 
which does not affect private landowners, may distract these landowners 
from, or discourage their participation in State and local conservation 
programs. Landowner participation in these programs is essential to the 
long term conservation and recovery of the Santa Cruz tarplant. 
Designation of critical habitat on private land would therefore not 
merely provide no benefit to the tarplant, but would actually create a 
needless risk.
    For the 4 native populations on City, County, or State lands, 
policies of the various agencies involved regarding protection and 
conservation of sensitive species apply. The Twin Lakes population is 
on park land owned by CDPR; the Arana Gulch population occurs on park 
land owned by the City of Santa Cruz. The Apple Hill

[[Page 15150]]

population occurs on land owned by CALTRANS. The Watsonville Airport 
population is owned by the City of Watsonville. In addition to these 
four populations, a portion of the O'Neill/Tan population occurs on 
park land owned by the County of Santa Cruz. All of these populations 
are currently recognized for conservation purposes by their managers, 
or progress is being made toward such recognition (as at Watsonville 
Airport). There is currently no Federal nexus at any of these sites. A 
Federal nexus could emerge at the airport if federally-funded 
construction is proposed, but the airport population's importance to 
the conservation of the species (it is the largest population in 
existence) assures that virtually any adverse effect at the airport 
would very likely jeopardize the continued existence of the Santa Cruz 
tarplant. Thus, designation of critical habitat at any of the publicly-
owned sites would provide no additional benefit.

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, 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 its critical 
habitat, if any is being designated. 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 activities 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 a Federal action may 
affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible 
Federal agency must enter into formal consultation with the Service. No 
Federal agency involvement has been identified at this time.
    Listing of this plant as threatened will provide for the 
development of a recovery plan. Such a plan will bring together 
Federal, State, and local efforts for its conservation. The plan will 
establish a framework for cooperation and coordination in recovery 
efforts. The plan will set recovery priorities and estimate costs of 
various tasks necessary to accomplish them. It also will describe site-
specific management actions necessary to achieve conservation and 
survival of Holocarpha macradenia.
    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, applies. 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 to possession 
the species 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 Holocarpha macradenia in the future if 
regulations are promulgated. Seeds from cultivated specimens of 
threatened plant species 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 also are 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. 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, Portland Regional Office, 911 NE 
11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232-4181 (telephone 503/231-6131, FAX 
    The Service adopted a policy on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to 
identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is 
proposed for listing those activities that would or would not 
constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this 
policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of the listing on 
proposed and ongoing activities within a species' range. 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, agricultural conversions, land use 
activities that would significantly modify the species' habitat, 
wetland and riparian habitat modification, flood and erosion control, 
residential development, recreational trail development, road 
construction, hazardous material containment and cleanup activities, 
prescribed burns, pesticide/herbicide application, pipelines or utility 
line crossing suitable 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; or when such activity does 
not occur in habitats suitable for the survival and recovery of 
Holocarpha macradenia and does not alter the hydrology or habitat 
supporting this plant.
    (2) Casual, dispersed human activities on foot or horseback (e.g., 
bird watching, sightseeing, photography, camping, hiking).
    (3) Activities on private lands (without Federal funding or 
involvement), such as grazing management, agricultural conversions, 
wetland and riparian habitat modification (not including filling of 
wetlands), flood and erosion control, residential development, road 
construction, pesticide/herbicide application, and pipelines or utility 
lines crossing suitable habitat.
    (4) Residential landscape maintenance, including the clearing of 
vegetation around one's personal residence as a fire break.

[[Page 15151]]

    The Service believes that the actions listed below might 
potentially result in a violation of section 9; however, possible 
violations are not limited to these actions alone:
    (1) Unauthorized collecting of the species on Federal lands;
    (2) Application of herbicides violating label restrictions;
    (3) Interstate or foreign commerce and import/export without 
previously obtaining an appropriate permit. Permits to conduct 
activities are available for purposes of scientific research and 
enhancement of propagation or survival of the species.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities, such as changes in 
land use, will constitute a violation of section 9 should be directed 
to the Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).

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. The Fish and 
Wildlife Service will follow its current peer review policy (59 FR 
34270) in the processing of this rule. Comments particularly are sought 
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to this species;
    (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 pursuant to 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.
    Final promulgation of the regulations on this species will take 
into consideration the comments and any additional information received 
by the Service, and such communications may lead to a final regulation 
that differs from this proposal.
    The Endangered Species 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 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, as well as others, 
is available upon request from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this proposed rule is Constance Rutherford, 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 
Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003 (telephone 805/644-

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 17.12(h) by adding the following, in alphabetical order 
under FLOWERING PLANTS, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants 
to read as follows:

Sec. 17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------    Historic Range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special  
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules   
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
         Flowering Plants                                                                                                                               
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
Holocarpha macradenia............  Santa Cruz tarplant.  U.S.A. (CA)........  Compositae.........  T               ...........           NA           NA
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  

[[Page 15152]]

    Dated: March 17, 1998.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 98-8052 Filed 3-27-98; 8:45 am]