[Federal Register: May 26, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 101)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 28392-28393]

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





Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF62


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status 

for Johnson's Seagrass

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is adding Johnson's 

seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) to the List of Endangered and Threatened 

Plants (List) as a threatened species in accordance with the Endangered 

Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This amendment to the List is 

based on a determination by the National Marine Fisheries Service 

(NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of 

Commerce, which has jurisdiction for this species, published on 

September 14, 1998, in the Federal Register (63 FR 49035).

DATES: The effective date of this action is May 26, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief, Division of Endangered Species, 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 452, 

Arlington, Virginia 22203 (703/358-2171).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Act is administered jointly by the 

Service and NMFS. In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding 

between the Service and NMFS regarding jurisdictional responsibilities 

and listing procedures under the Act signed on August 28, 1974, the 

agencies agreed that NMFS would assume jurisdiction for the Johnson's 

seagrass. Under section 4(a)(2) of the Act, NMFS must decide whether a 

species under its jurisdiction should be classified as endangered or 

threatened. The Service is responsible for the actual amendment of the 

List in 50 CFR 17.12(h).

    NMFS published a proposed rule to list Johnson's seagrass as a 

threatened species on September 15, 1993 (58 FR 48326). In the proposed 

rule, NMFS solicited comments from peer reviewers, the public, and all 

other interested parties. NMFS held a public hearing on the proposed 

listing in Vero Beach, Florida, on September 20, 1994. NMFS reopened 

the comment period for the proposed listing on April 20, 1998 (63 FR 


    On September 14, 1998, NMFS published a final rule to list 

Johnson's seagrass as threatened (63 FR 49035). In the final rule, NMFS 

addressed the comments received in response to the proposed rule. 

Because NMFS provided public comment periods on the proposed rule, and 

because this action of the Service to amend the List in accordance with 

the determination by NMFS is nondiscretionary and administrative in 

nature, the Service has omitted the notice and public comment 

procedures of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) for this action.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Service has determined that an Environmental Assessment, 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 Act. A notice outlining the Service's 

reasons for this determination was published in the Federal Register on 

October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Export, Import, Reporting and 

recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation


    Accordingly, the Service amends part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, 

title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 

4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. The Service amends section 17.12(h) by adding the following, in 

alphabetical order under FLOWERING PLANTS, to the List of Endangered 

and Threatened Plants:



--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range        Family name          Status      When listed    Critical     Special

         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules


Flowering Plants

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

Halophila johnsonii..............  Johnson's seagrass..  U.S.A. (FL)........  Hydrocharitaceae...  T                       663           NA           NA

[[Page 28393]]

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *


    Dated: May 17, 1999.

Jamie Rappaport Clark,

Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.

[FR Doc. 99-13251 Filed 5-25-99; 8:45 am]