[Federal Register: December 5, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 234)]
[Page 63248-63249]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides 
melissa samuelis) Technical/Agency Draft Recovery Plan for Review and 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces 
availability for public review of a technical/agency draft recovery 
plan for the endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa 
samuelis). The Karner blue butterfly is known to presently occur in 
seven states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire, 
New York, and Ohio, where it was recently reintroduced. The Service 
solicits review and comments from the public on this draft plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before April 4, 2002 to receive consideration by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft recovery plan may obtain 
a copy by contacting the Field Supervisor of the Green Bay Ecological 
Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1015 Challenger 
Court, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311 or by accessing the website: http//
midwest.fws.gov/endangered. Written comments and materials regarding 
the plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor at the above 
address. Comments and materials received will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours, at the 
above address.

[[Page 63249]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Catherine Carnes, (at the above 
address) Telephone: (920) 465-7415. TTY users may contact Ms. Carnes 
through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.



    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point 
where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. To help 
guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare recovery 
plans for most of the listed species native to the United States. 
Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for conservation 
of the species, establish criteria for the recovery levels for 
reclassification and delisting, and an estimate of time and cost for 
implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. 
seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed species 
unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular 
species. Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in 1988, requires that 
public notice and opportunity for public review and comment to be 
provided during recovery plan development. The Service will consider 
all information presented during a public comment period prior to 
approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and other 
Federal agencies will also take these comments into account in the 
course of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The document submitted for review is the Karner Blue Butterfly 
(Lycaeides melissa samuelis) Technical/Agency Draft Recovery Plan. 
Historically, the butterfly occurred in 12 states and the Province of 
Ontario. Its current range has been reduced to seven states: Minnesota, 
Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio, where 
it was recently reintroduced. Three of these states (Ohio, New 
Hampshire, and Minnesota) have only one extant Karner blue butterfly 
population. Wisconsin and Michigan support the majority of populations 
throughout the range.
    The Karner blue butterfly was listed as endangered on January 21, 
1992. The butterfly depends on savanna and barrens habitats that 
support wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), the only plant Karner blue 
larvae (or caterpillars) are known to feed on. Threats to the butterfly 
include continued loss and alteration of habitat due to commercial, 
residential, and agricultural development, fragmentation, and 
degradation through succession. Today, the butterfly inhabits remnant 
savanna and barrens habitats, as well as other more disturbed habitat 
sites including younger forest stands, military bases, utility and 
roadway rights-of-way, and airports.
    The primary objective of the draft recovery plan is to restore and 
protect an adequate number of Karner blue butterfly populations 
throughout its range to ensure long-term viability of the species in 
the wild. The plan proposes a total of 13 recovery units throughout a 
six state recovery area (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New 
York, and New Hampshire). In order to reclassify the butterfly from 
endangered to threatened status, the plan proposes the establishment of 
at least 28 metapopulations within the recovery units. In order to 
remove the butterfly from the Federal list of ``Threatened and 
Endangered Species,'' the plan recommends a minimum of 29 
metapopulations be established throughout the recovery units.
    The draft recovery plan presents a blueprint for action by Federal 
and state agencies, as well as other organizations, and private 
landowners interested in helping in the recovery of this endangered 
species. Recovery actions include restoration and protection of Karner 
blue butterfly habitat, population monitoring, continued refinement of 
habitat management guidelines, research to guide habitat management and 
captive propagation efforts, and education and outreach efforts. 
Working with Federal, state and private landowners on a voluntary basis 
will be necessary to reduce the threats, and conserve, protect, and 
manage key habitat areas for the Karner blue butterfly.

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service solicits written comments on the recovery plan 
described. All comments received by the date specified will be 
considered prior to approval of the plan. Comments should be sent to 
the Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, at the above 

    Authority: The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: November 9, 2001
T.J. Miller,
Acting Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 01-30079 Filed 12-4-01; 8:45 am]