[Federal Register: November 22, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 226)]
[Page 70452-70453]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for Fritillaria 
Gentneri (Gentner's fritillary) for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability for public review of the draft recovery plan for 
Fritillaria gentneri (Gentner's fritillary). Gentner's fritillary is 
restricted to southwestern Oregon, where it is known from scattered 
localities in the Rogue and Illinois River drainages in Jackson and 
Josephine Counties. The species is highly localized within a 48-
kilometer (30-mile) radius of the Jacksonville Cemetery in 
Jacksonville, Oregon (the Jacksonville Cemetery harbors one of the 
largest known Fritillaria gentneri populations and serves as a 
convenient center reference point for the species' range). The majority 
of known individuals (about 73 percent) occur within an 11-kilometer 
(7-mile) radius of the Jacksonville Cemetery. Fritillaria gentneri has 
a distribution characterized by several distinct clusters of 
occurrences, as well as two outlying occurrences in the northeast and 
southeast corners of its range. We solicit review and comment from the 
public on this draft recovery plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received by January 
21, 2003 to receive consideration by us.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft recovery plan may obtain 
a copy by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State 
Office at 2600 SE. 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266-1398. 
If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 
concerning this draft revised recovery plan to the Field Supervisor at 
the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Robinson, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the address above or at 503-231-6179.



    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 our Endangered Species Program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are working to prepare recovery plans for most 
listed species native to the United States. Recovery plans describe 
actions considered necessary for conservation of the species, establish 
recovery criteria for reclassification and delisting species, and 
estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act (Act) (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 requires that public notice, and an opportunity for 
public review and comment, be provided during recovery plan 
development. We will consider all information presented during a public 
comment period prior to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. 
We, along with and other Federal agencies, will also take these 
comments into account in the course of implementing approved recovery 
plans. Individual responses to comments will not be provided.
    Fritillaria gentneri, also known as Gentner's fritillary and 
Gentner's mission-bells, is a member of the lily family (Liliaceae) 
with showy, deep red to maroon flowers. Fritillaria gentneri is a 
perennial herb arising from a fleshy bulb. Non-flowering individuals 
vastly outnumber flowering plants in natural populations, and are 
recognizable only by their single basal leaves, which appear virtually 
identical to those of other co-occurring Fritillaria species. 
Considered a mid-successional species, Fritillaria gentneri occupies 
grassland and chaparral habitats within, or on the edges of, dry, open, 
mixed-species woodlands at elevations below 1,360 meters (4,450 feet). 
The species is threatened by a variety of factors including habitat 
loss associated with rapidly expanding residential and agricultural 
development, alteration of habitat by invasive weeds and successional 
encroachment by trees and brush, habitat disturbance from timber 
harvest and recreational activities, and vulnerability associated with 
extremely small population sizes. Other potential threats include bulb 
collecting for gardens, herbivory by deer, and fungal pathogens. 
Conservation needs include establishing a network of protected 
populations in natural habitat distributed throughout its native range.
    This plan identifies four Recovery zones. Recovery zones are 
geographically bounded areas containing extant Fritillaria gentneri 
populations that are the focus of recovery actions or tasks. Recovery 
zones include lands both essential and not essential to the long-term 
conservation of Fritillaria gentneri.
    The overall objective of this recovery plan is to reduce the 
threats to Fritillaria gentneri to the point where it can be 
reclassified to threatened, with the ultimate goal of being removed 
from the Act's protection entirely.
    Recovery of Fritillaria gentneri would be contingent upon the 
following criteria: each recovery zone would maintain at least 750 
flowering plants for reclassification to threatened status, 1,000 
flowering Fritillaria gentneri per zone would be a basis for delisting 
under the following criteria are met:
    (1) To avoid the threat of habitat loss, the reserve areas within 
the recovery zones identified for recovery should be located on public 
land, or private land subject to permanent conservation easement or 
other permanently binding conservation agreements. Because populations 
elsewhere on public land continue to experience loss and degradation of 
habitat, each agency involved in land ownership or management in 
association with reserve areas should take appropriate steps to ensure 
the long term conservation of this species by outlining their specific 
responsibilities for site protection and maintenance in land management 
plans, conservation agreements, and the like.
    (2) To remove threats inherent among populations comprised of too 
few and too widely scattered individuals, 2 of the reserve areas within 
each recovery zone would have to consist of at least

[[Page 70453]]

100 flowering individuals within a 0.8-kilometer (0.5-mile) radius, and 
exhibit net demographic stability or growth for at least 15 years, as 
determined through annual demographic monitoring. For the purposes of 
this plan, measurements of population size and structure are based only 
on flowering individuals because non-flowering plants cannot be 
reliably identified to species. If necessary, a reserve area would be 
subject to augmentation using genetically appropriate cultivated 
individuals to meet the minimum size criterion. Reserves should contain 
ample habitat to provide a spatial buffer around each population, and 
allow room for population migration and expansion over time.
    (3) To avoid population vulnerability arising from the inordinate 
concentration of individuals within a very small area, potentially 
subject to unpredictable catastrophic events, flowering individuals 
must be distributed over a minimum of 500 square meters (0.05 hectares 
or 0.12 acres) of occupied habitat \1\ within each recovery area. Thus, 
reserve populations may have more than the minimum of 1,000 flowering 
individuals if their distribution, densely confined to a small area, 
falls short of the occupied habitat requirement.

    \1\ ``Occupied habitat'' is defined based on a vegetation 
sampling procedure employed by the Service using 1 meter by 1 meter 
plots that are scored for the presence or absence of Fritillaria 
gentneri. A plot with one or more Fritillaria gentneri flowering 
stems is considered a square meter of occupied habitat.

    (4) To maintain favorable habitat conditions, a site-specific 
habitat management plan would be developed for each reserve area to 
prevent colonization of invasive weeds and maintain favorable mid-
successional characteristics.
    (5) To protect plants from bulb collecting and herbivory by deer, 
each reserve area would be subject to fencing or other measures if 
annual population monitoring determine the severity of these threats.
    (6) To protect plants from fungal disease, each reserve area would 
be subject to treatment with fungicides or other measures if annual 
population monitoring to evaluate the severity of the fungal disease 

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the recovery plan described. All 
comments received by the date specified above will be considered prior 
to approval of this plan.


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

    Dated: August 30, 2002.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-29734 Filed 11-21-02; 8:45 am]