[Federal Register: March 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 54)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 14932-14936]
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; 12-Month Finding 
for a Petition To List the Great Basin Redband Trout as Threatened or 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-
month finding for a petition to list the Great Basin redband trout 
(Oncorhynchus mykiss ssp.) as threatened or endangered pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Great Basin redband 
trout maintain viable and self-sustaining populations in the Catlow, 
Fort Rock, Harney, Goose Lake, Warner, and Chewaucan Basins that make 
up Oregon's Great Basin. Great Basin redband trout densities are 
moderate to high in each of these basins. After review of all available 
scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the Great 
Basin redband trout is not warranted at this time.

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on March 13, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit questions concerning this petition finding to 
the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State 
Office, 2600 SE. 98th Ave., Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266. You may 
obtain copies of the status review for Great Basin redband trout from 
the above address. The complete administrative file for this finding is 
also available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Antonio Bentivoglio, at the above 
address, or telephone (503) 231-6179.



    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires 
that we make a finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or 
reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the petitioned action is: (a) Not 
warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) warranted but precluded from immediate 
proposal by other pending listing proposals of higher priority. Such 
12-month findings are to be published promptly in the Federal Register.
    The processing of this petition finding conforms with our Listing 
Priority Guidance published in the Federal Register on October 22, 1999 
(64 FR 57114). The guidance clarifies the order in which we will 
process rulemakings. Highest priority is processing emergency listing 
rules for any species determined to face a significant and imminent 
risk to its well-being (Priority 1). Second priority (Priority 2) is 
processing final determinations on proposed additions to the lists of 
endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Third priority is 
processing new proposals to add species to the lists. The processing of 
administrative petition findings (petitions filed under section 4 of 
the Act) is the fourth priority. The processing of this petition 
finding is a Priority 4 action and is being completed in accordance 
with the current Listing Priority Guidance.
    On September 8, 1997, we received a formal petition to list the 
Great Basin redband trout as threatened or endangered throughout its 
range in southeastern Oregon, northeastern California, and northwestern 
Nevada. Specifically the petition addressed the redband trout 
populations in Catlow, Fort Rock, Harney, Goose Lake, Warner, and 
Chewaucan Basins (together these six closed basins make up the Great 
Basin as described in the petition). The petition also requested the 
designation of critical habitat concurrent with listing. Petitioners 
included the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), Oregon Trout, 
Native Fish Society, and the Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited.
    At the time the petition was received, we were operating under the 
final listing priority guidance for fiscal year 1997, published 
December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64475), and an extension of that listing 
priority guidance published October 23, 1997 (62 FR 55268). Based on 
biological considerations, the guidance established a ``multi-tiered 
approach that assigned relative priorities, on a descending basis, to

[[Page 14933]]

actions carried out under section 4 of the Act'' (61 FR 64479).
    On September 24, 1997, we sent a letter to the main petitioner, 
ONDA, acknowledging receipt of the Great Basin redband trout petition 
and stating our intent to proceed with a 90-day finding according to 
the listing priority guidance issued on December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64475). 
On November 10, 1997, we sent a letter to ONDA informing them that we 
had done a preliminary review of the petition (as described in 61 FR 
64475) and no emergency existed for listing the Great Basin redband 
trout and, therefore, that the petition fell into the Tier 3 category 
as described in 61 FR 64475.
    We further indicated that our Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office 
(which was assigned the responsibility for processing the petition) in 
Portland, Oregon, would continue to direct personnel and budget toward 
accomplishment of ongoing Tier 2 and Tier 3 activities for species 
judged to be in greater need of the Act's protection than Great Basin 
redband trout. As these higher priority activities were accomplished, 
and personnel and funds became available, we would proceed with the 90-
day finding on the petition for Great Basin redband trout.
    On January 13, 1998, we received a notice of intent to sue from the 
petitioners for failure to respond to the Great Basin redband trout 
petition within 90 days. On March 13, 1998, a lawsuit was filed asking 
for declaratory judgment that we failed to make a 90-day finding on the 
petition to list the Great Basin redband trout.
    On May 8, 1998, we published the final listing priority guidance 
for fiscal years 1998 and 1999 (63 FR 25502). This new guidance changed 
the four-tier priority system to a three-tier system. Under the three-
tier system, first priority (Tier 1) was completion of emergency 
listings for species facing the greatest risk to their well-being. 
Second priority (Tier 2) was processing final decisions on pending 
proposed listings; processing new proposals to add species to the list; 
processing 90-day and 12-month administrative findings on petitions to 
add species to the lists, and petitions to delist or reclassify 
species; and delisting or downlisting actions on species that have 
achieved or are moving toward recovery. Third priority (Tier 3) was 
processing petitions for critical habitat designations and preparing 
proposed and final critical habitat designations. Under the new 
guidance, the processing of the Great Basin redband trout petition was 
a Tier 2 action.
    On November 16, 1998, we published a 90-day finding (63 FR 63657) 
that the petition provided substantial information indicating that the 
listing of the Great Basin redband trout as threatened or endangered 
may be warranted. At the time, we initiated a status review for the 
Great Basin redband trout with a request for information and public 
comment with a closing date of January 15, 1999. On January 6, 1999 (64 
FR 821), the public comment period was extended until March 16, 1999. 
Public information meetings were held in Lakeview, Oregon, on February 
2, 1999, and in Burns, Oregon, on February 3, 1999.
    On November 23, 1998, Earthlaw filed a notice of intent to sue for 
violation of the Act. On March 22, 1999, a lawsuit was filed by the 
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity for failure to complete a 12-
month finding on the Great Basin redband trout. On November 17, 1999, 
the Court ordered us to complete the 12-month finding by March 15, 

Status Review

    A status review team consisting of our biologists was appointed to 
prepare the status review for Great Basin redband trout and make 
appropriate recommendations in response to the petitioned listing 
    Redband trout are related to the more widely distributed rainbow 
trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Great Basin redband trout occur in 
Oregon's Great Basin, which comprises six closed basins in southeastern 
Oregon, and small portions of northeastern California and northwestern 
Nevada. These six basins have no direct connection to the ocean. 
Several of these basins have semipermanent lakes or marshes that 
redband trout occupy when they contain water. Severe drought in the 
early 1990s dried up most of these lakes, restricting the redband trout 
to streams. Great Basin redband trout have a distinctive red stripe on 
both sides, and smaller individuals have parr marks (dark lateral marks 
typical of immature trout) (Hendricks 1995). These trout are adapted to 
the dry, hot summers of eastern Oregon and can withstand short periods 
of time at peak water temperatures of 24-27 deg. C (75-80 deg. F), 
which would be lethal to most other trout (Bowers et al. 1979).

Petitioners' Assertions

    The petitioners asserted that non-anadromous redband trout 
populations in the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau are extinct in 72 
percent of their historic range, and strong populations remain in only 
10 percent of their historic habitat. The petitioners indicated that 
habitat degradation from improper livestock grazing practices, 
irrigation, stream channel manipulation, and timber harvest impact 
redband trout by increasing erosion of stream banks, increasing 
sedimentation, reducing stream bottom complexity, widening and 
shallowing the stream cross-sections, increasing stream temperatures, 
reducing streamside vegetation, fragmenting populations, dewatering 
streams, reducing water tables, and reducing the amount of large, woody 
debris. The petitioners presented the effects of such degradation for 
each individual basin and as widespread occurrences in the Great Basin.
    The petitioners provided evidence that introgression and 
competition by introduced fishes are threats to the continued existence 
of Great Basin redband trout. Introgression resulting from Great Basin 
redband trout interbreeding with stocked hatchery rainbow trout reduces 
the native redband offspring's ability to survive harsh Great Basin 
conditions; introduced nonnative fishes (both hatchery rainbow trout 
(Oncorhynchus mykiss) and species like brook trout (Salvelinus 
fontinalis), carp (Cyprinus carpio), bass (Micropterus spp.), catfish 
(Ictalurus spp.), and crappie (Pomoxis spp.) feed on or compete with 
native redband for resources and can degrade the habitat.
    The petitioners asserted that threats to Great Basin redband trout 
remain because of the inadequacy of existing regulations. They also 
asserted that emergency fishing regulations, conservation/protective 
designations by government agencies and professional societies, water 
quality protection measures, and other current and planned conservation 
measures have failed to stop the decline of Great Basin redband trout.

Petition Finding

    In response to our 90-day finding notice, we received information 
on Great Basin redband trout from State fish and wildlife departments, 
the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 
and private corporations, as well as private citizens, organizations, 
species experts, and other entities. We also reviewed information on 
Great Basin redband trout obtained from peer-reviewed journal articles, 
agency reports and file documents, and telephone interviews and written 
correspondence with natural resources managers familiar with Great 
Basin redband trout.

[[Page 14934]]

    For the purposes of the status review, we assumed that trout 
classified by State fish and wildlife departments in the six basins as 
redband trout represent the Great Basin redband trout, even though the 
precise genetic characteristics of those stocks may not be known. In 
addition, we evaluated Great Basin redband trout status solely on the 
basis of Great Basin redband trout stocks that currently occur within 
the historic range of the subspecies.

Distinct Vertebrate Population Segment Analysis

    Species is defined in the Act as ``any subspecies of fish or 
wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment (DPS) of any 
species of vertebrate fish or wildlife that interbreeds when mature.'' 
Thus, DPSs are eligible for protection under the Act. One of the 
purposes of defining species to include subspecies and DPSs is to 
conserve genetic diversity that is found in a taxon smaller than a 
    On February 7, 1996, we published a joint policy with the National 
Marine Fisheries Service to clarify our interpretation of the phrase 
``distinct population segment'' for the purposes of listing, delisting, 
and reclassifying species under the Act (61 FR 4721). This policy 
consists of three elements to be considered in a decision regarding the 
status of a possible DPS as endangered or threatened under the Act--(1) 
the discreteness of the population segment in relation to the remainder 
of the species or subspecies to which it belongs; (2) the significance 
of the population segment to the species or subspecies to which it 
belongs; and (3) the population segment's conservation status in 
relation to the Act's standards for listing.
    The petitioners stated their belief that grouping the redband trout 
populations from the six basins qualified as a DPS. They also stated 
that they would not object to identifying as a DPS each of the 
populations in the six basins specified in the petition. To determine 
the most appropriate grouping, we analyzed existing scientific 
information for designation of the redband trout in the six basins as 
one DPS, as six individual DPSs, or as any number between one and six 
    The first criterion to be fulfilled in designating a DPS is 
discreteness of the taxon in question. As defined in our policy (61 FR 
4721), discreteness may include physical, physiological, ecological, or 
behavioral factors showing a marked separation from other populations. 
The information summarized in the status report (Service 2000) provides 
evidence of a mosaic of mixing and isolation that has led to the 
redband trout that we see today in the Great Basin.
    As a whole, the redband trout in the Great Basin show many 
similarities, which make them distinct from surrounding redband 
populations. Evident in all of the six basins are similar climatic 
conditions and fish species assemblages. The current fish assemblages 
in the Great Basin probably arose from other basins (Snake, Klamath, or 
Sacramento basins). Similarities in the fish assemblages of the six 
basins making up the Great Basin, combined with knowledge of past 
connections and mixing of fishes, make determination of which basin(s) 
transferred fish to which other basin(s) difficult. However, for 
approximately the past 10,000 years, the fishes in the Great Basin have 
largely been isolated from the Sacramento, Snake, and Klamath basins. 
Extremes in temperature and harsh climatic conditions have forced all 
redband trout in the Great Basin to adapt in similar ways, and all 
redband trout in the Great Basin have retained a high degree of 
flexibility in their life-history characteristics, to take best 
advantage of the habitats that occur in these six basins. 
Morphologically, all Great Basin redband trout share an increase in the 
number of gill rakers that is not as prevalent in redband from basins 
outside the Great Basin. Geologically, all six basins are closed 
basins, with the extremely rare exception of the Goose Lake basin, 
which can drain into the Pit River Basin. This is a one-way movement of 
fish out of Goose Lake since no fish can move from the Pit River into 
Goose Lake.
    The naturally closed nature of these basins creates a unique 
ecological setting not found in other basins where redband exist. 
Behnke (1999) notes, ``The significance aspect of the DPS [question] 
fittingly characterizes the Great Basin redband trout.'' For these 
reasons, we recognize the redband trout in the six basins, Fort Rock, 
Chewaucan, Goose Lake, Warner, Catlow, and Harney, as a single DPS, 
which we will collectively refer to as Great Basin redband trout.
    We, therefore, find that the most appropriate grouping of Great 
Basin redband from these six basins is as a single group encompassing 
all populations as was petitioned for listing. This finding recognizes 
that using only a limited set of information, such as only genetics, 
other groupings of the redband forms could be defined as discrete and 
thus possibly qualify as a DPS. However, as described above, a single 
group encompassing all six basins has the most compelling support of 
all the available evidence.

Summary of the Species Status

    In the context of the Act, the term ``threatened species'' means 
any species (or subspecies or DPS for vertebrate organisms) that is 
likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future 
throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The term 
``endangered species'' means any species that is in danger of 
extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The 
Act does not indicate threshold levels of historic population size at 
which, as the population of a species declines, listing as either 
threatened or endangered becomes warranted. Instead, the principal 
considerations in the determination of whether a species warrants 
listing are the threats that currently confront the species and the 
likelihood that the species will persist in the foreseeable future. 
Thus, listing of a species may be warranted when the species still 
occupies much of its historic range but confronts significant, 
widespread threats. In contrast, if not confronted by significant 
threats, a species occupying only a small portion of its historic range 
may be considered to be neither threatened nor endangered. Similarly, a 
species that has experienced past reductions but has since increased in 
abundance may not warrant listing under the Act.
    In the case of Great Basin redband trout, at least two major 
declines in population numbers and distribution apparently occurred in 
historic times. Undoubtedly a prehistoric major reduction occurred 
around 2,000 years ago when the pluvial lakes dried to current levels, 
but no available data to demonstrate this occurrence. Good anecdotal 
evidence suggests that during the latter part of the 19th century and 
into the first part of the 20th century, widespread habitat destruction 
occurred that undoubtedly correlated with reduced redband trout numbers 
and distribution. A good example is presented in the Upper Chewaucan 
Watershed Assessment (USFS 1999) that probably is representative of 
most of the other basins. In 1909, 110,000 sheep, and 26,000 cattle and 
horses were allowed to graze Fremont National Forest lands in the 
Chewaucan Basin. By 1929, these numbers dropped to 78,000 sheep and 
10,996 cattle and horses but the habitat was reported to be in a 
deplorable state. For example, a tributary of Coffeepot Creek was 
described as having drastically reduced vegetation that resulted in 
severe bank erosion and downcutting. By 1959,

[[Page 14935]]

numbers had been reduced to 31,210 sheep and 12,392 cattle and horses. 
In the 1960s, sheep were removed; currently, there are about 12,500 
cattle in the Upper Chewaucan watershed.
    These degraded habitat conditions were exacerbated by droughts in 
1926 and from 1929 to 1934 that dried up Goose Lake (dry in 1926 and 
virtually dry 1929-1934) and Malheur Lake (dry in 1926 and 1934 and 
virtually dry 1931-1933). Despite half a decade of drought conditions, 
the redband trout survived and have increased their numbers and 
distribution in all six basins.
    More recently the Great Basin experienced a drought from 1987 to 
1992, with 1994 also being a very dry year. The drought caused Goose 
Lake, Hart Lake (Warner basin), and Malheur Lakes to go dry in 1992. 
This second drought eliminated the lake habitat and, consequently the 
lacustrine redband trout that made spawning runs up connected creeks. 
This drought also undoubtedly reduced the available stream habitat. 
However, despite this recent drought, the numbers of redband trout in 
all basins appear to have rebounded. As an example, in 1995 no fish 
were found in Skull Creek (Catlow basin), whereas in 1997, 16 fish 
representing 3 different age classes were found after sampling 263 
square meters.
    An analysis of historic and current distributions based on area 
concluded that Great Basin redband trout currently occupy 59 percent of 
their historic distribution. Specific stream surveys in 1999 (Dambacher 
1999) determined densities of Great Basin redband trout in each of the 
six basins. The densities were 0.423 fish per meter square in the 
Catlow basin, 0.372 fish per meter square in the Harney basin, 0.216 
fish per meter square in the Warner basin, 0.171 fish per meter square 
in the Fort Rock basin, 0.143 fish per meter square in the Chewaucan 
basin, and 0.140 fish per meter square in the Goose Lake basin. These 
densities correspond with moderate and high categories according to 
Dambacher and Jones (in press). Dambacher and Jones (in press) analyzed 
80 redband trout density estimates from the Great Basin between 1968 
and 1995 and determined qualitative ranges for densities. They 
concluded that a low density was less than 0.059 fish per meter square, 
moderate density was between 0.06 and 0.19 fish per meter square, and 
high density was over 0.2 fish per meter square. Based on this 
analysis, Catlow, Harney, and Warner basins had high densities of 
redband trout, and Fort Rock, Goose Lake, and the Chewaucan Basins had 
moderate densities. Because redband trout populations in all basins 
have rebounded, the effects of any potential threats to the Great Basin 
redband trout and the likelihood of extinction of the species is 
substantially reduced.
    The petition identified general threats causing changes to 
ecological processes that result in habitat degradation. We agree that 
habitat degradation is present in all six basins. Historic overgrazing 
combined with water withdrawal, building of dams and roads, timber 
harvest, and draining of marshes and wetlands has reduced the habitat 
available for the Great Basin redband trout. However, the data on Great 
Basin redband trout abundance and distribution reflect an aquatic 
habitat that provides enough of the ecological parameters necessary for 
spawning, rearing, and survival to have supported an increasing 
population since the end of the drought. Therefore, the current level 
of threat from aquatic habitat destruction or modification or 
curtailment in range does not place the Great Basin redband trout in 
danger of extinction or make it likely to become so in the foreseeable 
    Furthermore, a Conservation Agreement (CA) in the Catlow Basin and 
a Conservation Strategy (CS) in the Goose Lake basin are improving 
habitat for redband trout. The goal of both the CA and CS is to 
identify the threats to the native fishes (including Great Basin 
redband trout) and implement projects to remove threats and enhance 
habitat. These cooperative efforts among private, State, and Federal 
entities are largely responsible for habitat or fish population 
improvements in the Catlow and Goose Lake basins.
    Based on the Catlow CA 1999 Progress Report (Catlow Valley CA 
Signatories in litt. 1999), most of the originally identified actions, 
and numerous, additional ``adaptive management'' actions, have been 
initiated or completed. Of the 74 actions identified in the Catlow CA, 
36 were completed, 33 other long-term projects were well under way and 
showing success, and only 5 were not initiated (often because they were 
to be initiated at a later date, after preliminary data were 
collected). In addition, 22 new conservation actions were identified by 
CA participants, and of these, only 1 was either not completed or 
initiated as of the summer of 1999.
    Significant habitat restoration has occurred within the Catlow 
basin due to the Catlow CA. During 1998, vegetation objectives were 
reached on 95 percent of redband streams, and in 1999 alternate grazing 
sites were found so that almost all of the streams covered by the 
Catlow CA were rested. These actions significantly increased riparian 
recovery. Threemile Reservoir had filled with sediment since Kunkel's 
(1976) report. The reservoir was dredged in 1998 and enlarged in 1999 
to again provide a lacustrine habitat for redband trout and connection 
with Threemile Creek. Numerous fences and water enhancement projects 
were installed that benefitted cattle management and overall upland and 
riparian health. A road in Upper Skull Creek was closed and multiple 
fire rehabilitation and juniper encroachment projects were completed. 
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted fish surveys and 
habitat monitoring throughout the Catlow basin in 1997 through 1999 and 
found that redband trout densities had increased significantly from the 
surveys in 1995, when densities were depressed due to the drought. 
Based on the cooperation between private, State and Federal parties, 
most if not all of the current threats to redband trout in the Catlow 
Basin are being or will be addressed.
    Due to a continuing drought (1987-1994) affecting the water level 
of Goose Lake and its tributaries, a group of concerned individuals 
from private, State, and Federal agencies formed the Goose Lake Fishes 
Working Group (GLFWG) in 1991. The GLFWG signed a Memorandum of 
Understanding in July 1994 to protect and reestablish native fishes in 
the Goose Lake basin in California and Oregon. On May 22, 1995, the 
GLFWG completed the Goose Lake Fishes Conservation Strategy (GLFCS 
1996). The goal of this strategy was to conserve all native fishes in 
Goose Lake by reducing threats, stabilizing population numbers, and 
maintaining the ecosystem. The Conservation Strategy identified factors 
in each stream that were affecting fish and provided a list of actions 
since 1958 that were implemented to benefit potential problems.
    Since publication of the GLFCS in 1996, a number of additional 
projects have been completed or long-term projects begun. These include 
2 culvert improvements, 11 diversion or passage projects, 10 fencing 
projects, 16 habitat improvement projects, 11 fish surveys, and road 
improvement project to reduce sedimentation. Based on the conscientious 
efforts of the GLFWG, threats to redband in the Goose Lake basin are 
being addressed. The Goose Lake basin is a much larger system than the 
Catlow basin with many more interested parties and specific projects 
needed to benefit redband trout. Recent projects have substantially 
benefitted redband trout but more resources and

[[Page 14936]]

time will be needed to complete all of the projects identified in the 
    Existing CAs have had a large influence in protecting redband trout 
and the habitat they require for survival. These efforts continue to 
improve habitat, provide for passage over barriers, screen diversions, 
and survey for redband trout. Cooperative efforts involving all parties 
are excellent avenues for restoring habitat and species.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information available, and we find that listing the Great 
Basin redband trout as a threatened or endangered species is not 
warranted at this time because it is not in danger of extinction or 
likely to become so within the foreseeable future. This conclusion is 
based on information on Great Basin redband trout populations within 
the historic range of redband trout, as reported and summarized in the 
Great Basin redband trout status review (Service 2000). However, in the 
event that conditions change and the species becomes imperiled due to 
the factors discussed in this finding, or other unforeseen factors, we 
could propose to list the species under the Act or, if circumstances 
warranted, invoke the emergency listing provisions of the Act.

References Cited

Behnke, R. J. 1992. Native trout of western North America. American 
Fisheries Society Monograph 6.
Behnke, R. J. In litt. 1999. Report entitled, Great Basin Redband 
Bowers, W., B. Hosford, A. Oakley and C. Bond. 1979. Wildlife 
habitats in managed rangelands--the Great Basin of southeastern 
Oregon, Native Trout. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report 
PNW-84. 1979.
Dambacher, J. 1999. Assessment of Stream Populations and Habitat of 
Great Basin Redband Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Dambacher, J., and K. Jones. (In press). Regional and Basin-Wide 
Patterns of Abundance of Redband Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in 
Oregon Streams.
Hendricks, S. 1995. Fishes found in the tributaries of Goose Lake. 
California Department of Fish and Game. Inland Fisheries Division. 
Endangered Species Project. February 1, 1995.
U.S. Forest Service. 1999. Upper Chewaucan Watershed Assessment. 
Prepared for the Upper Chewaucan Watershed Council, September 1999, 
Paisley, OR.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2000. Status Review for Great Basin 
Redband Trout. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Region 1, Portland, Oregon. January 2000.

    The primary author of this document is Antonio Bentivoglio, Oregon 
Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES 


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: March 13, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-6864 Filed 3-17-00; 8:45 am]