[Federal Register: September 10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 175)]
[Page 53386-53387]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Revised Recovery Plan for the 
Gila Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the final revised Recovery Plan for the Gila trout 
(Oncorhynchus gilae). The Gila trout is native to relatively 
undisturbed high altitude mountain streams in Arizona and New Mexico. 
Historically, Gila trout occurred in the Verde and Agua Fria drainages, 
Arizona, and in the upper Gila drainage in New Mexico. Gila trout may 
also have been indigenous to Eagle Creek, Arizona, and some tributaries 
of the San Francisco River, New Mexico. Although formerly locally 
abundant, competition and hybridization with non-native trout, habitat 
degradation from improper livestock grazing and timber harvest 
practices, catastrophic forest fires, drought, and floods caused 
widespread declines. Recovery tasks include establishing additional 
populations of Gila trout; protecting existing populations and habitat; 
and continuing to obtain information needed to address conservation 

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to receive the Final Revised Recovery Plan 
can obtain a copy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico 
Ecological Services Field Office, 2105 Osuna NE., Albuquerque, New 
Mexico, 87113. The recovery plan will also be available through the 
Fish and Wildlife Region 2 Web site at: http://southwest.fws.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Office Supervisor, New Mexico 
Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address; telephone 505/
346-2525, facsimile 505/346-2542.



    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 downlisting or delisting them, 
and estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures 
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), 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 an opportunity for public review and 
comment be provided during recovery plan development. The draft revised 
recovery plan was submitted for

[[Page 53387]]

technical and agency review. Information presented during the public 
comment period has been considered in the preparation of this final 
recovery plan. We will forward substantive comments regarding recovery 
plan implementation to appropriate Federal or other entities so that 
they can take these comments into account during the course of 
implementing recovery actions.
    The Gila trout was listed as endangered on March 11, 1967, under 
the Federal Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Federal status 
of the fish as endangered was continued under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973. The threats facing the survival and recovery of this 
species are competition and hybridization with non-native trout species 
(e.g., Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salmo trutta), improper forest management 
practices, improper grazing management practices, severe drought, 
catastrophic wildfires, and floods.
    This recovery plan supersedes the recovery plan finalized for the 
species in 1993. The plan includes new scientific information about the 
species gathered since 1993 and provides objectives and actions needed 
to downlist then delist the species. Recovery activities designed to 
achieve these objectives include establishing additional populations of 
Gila trout; protecting existing populations and habitat; continuing to 
obtain information needed to address conservation issues; and 
continuing to provide information and coordinating recovery of this 
species. The recovery plan provides criteria for delisting and 
reclassification (i.e., from endangered to threatened).


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

    Dated: September 3, 2003.
Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 03-22988 Filed 9-9-03; 8:45 am]