[Federal Register: May 11, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 90)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 25216]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]





Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 

Reclassification of Lesquerella stonensis (Stones River bladderpod)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of candidate taxa reclassification.


SUMMARY: In this document, we explain the changes in the status of 

Lesquerella stonensis (Stones River bladderpod), a plant that is under 

review for possible addition to the List of Endangered and Threatened 

Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We 

are removing this species from candidate status at this time.

ADDRESSES: You may submit questions concerning this notice to the 

Chief, Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 

1849 C Street, N.W., Mail Stop 452 ARLSQ, Washington, D.C. 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief, Division of Endangered Species 

(see ADDRESSES section) (telephone: 703/358-2171).



    Candidate taxa are those taxa for which we have on file sufficient 

information to support issuance of a proposed rule to list under the 

Act. In addition to our annual review of all candidate taxa, we have an 

on-going review process, particularly to update taxa whose status may 

have changed markedly. This notice provides the specific explanation 

for the reclassification of this species.

    It is important to note that candidate assessment is an ongoing 

function and changes in status should be expected. We may restore 

species to candidate status that are removed from the candidate list if 

additional information supporting such a change becomes available. We 

most recently requested such information in the plant and animal 

candidate notice of review published in the Federal Register on 

September 19, 1997 (62 FR 49398).


    Lesquerella stonensis Rollins (Stones River bladderpod), a small 

winter annual plant, occurs in three populations found in the 

floodplain of the Stones River, Rutherford County, Tennessee. The three 

populations are divided among 20 sites located on U.S. Army Corps of 

Engineers' (COE) lands, Tennessee Department of Environment and 

Conservation's (TDEC) lands, and privately owned lands. Over half of 

the known populations are on lands managed by the COE and the TDEC. 

This species requires annual disturbance in order to complete its life 

cycle. Historically, natural events such as flooding maintained its 

habitat by removing perennial grasses and woody plants that quickly 

invade the floodplain without regular natural or artificial 

disturbance. Annual crop production is currently the primary means of 

artificially maintaining L. stonensis' habitat, provided there is no 

fall planting and herbicide use is limited.

    The Smithsonian Institution's January 9, 1975, report to Congress 

on those plants considered to be endangered, threatened, or extinct 

(House Document No. 94-51) included Lesquerella stonensis. We first 

designated Lesquerella stonensis as a candidate species in the December 

15, 1980, Notice of Review (45 FR 82480). In designating this species a 

candidate, we considered the encroachment of more competitive 

vegetation and the loss of habitat through conversion of land to uses 

other than cultivation of annual crops as the primary threats to the 

species. In 1994, we entered into cooperative agreements with TDEC and 

the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to determine the 

management regimes needed to protect and to maintain healthy, viable 

populations of Lesquerella stonensis. This information provided the 

basis for the 1998 Cooperative Management Agreement (CMA) among the 

Service, TWRA, TDEC, and COE for the conservation of L. stonensis. 

Under the CMA, appropriate agricultural management techniques will 

provide the disturbance required for the species. We believe that the 

CMA secures into the foreseeable future the 14 sites where the species 

occurs on public conservation lands. These populations are distributed 

over the historic range of the species. The TDEC will continue to work 

with the owners of the six privately owned sites to gain appropriate 

management for these sites and to obtain long-term protection for them. 

We conclude that habitat loss and modification are not likely to cause 

L. stonensis to become endangered or to be in danger of extinction in 

the foreseeable future over all or a significant portion of its range; 

therefore, neither the issuance of a proposed rule nor continuation of 

candidate status for this species is warranted.


    Staff biologists in our regional and field offices prepared the 

evaluation summarized in this document by Scott Hicks, Division of 

Endangered Species (see ADDRESSES section).


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 

1973, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: April 14, 1999.

Jamie Rappaport Clark,

Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.

[FR Doc. 99-11746 Filed 5-10-99; 8:45 am]