[Federal Register: October 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 192)]
[Page 57483-57484]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice To Announce the Revision of the Alabama Beach Mouse 
Recovery Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice to announce the revision of the Alabama beach mouse 
recovery plan; request for information.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce our intention to 
prepare a separate species recovery plan for the Alabama beach mouse 
(ABM) (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates), which is listed as endangered 
throughout its range, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). A 1987 multi-species recovery plan addressed recovery 
needs for three subspecies of the old field mouse (Peromyscus 
polionotus) that inhabit the beaches and dunes of the Gulf coast of 
Alabama and Florida--the ABM, the Choctawhatchee beach mouse (P. p. 
allphrys), and the Perdido Key beach mouse (P. p. trissyllepsis). The 
1987 recovery plan is being revised to prepare a separate species 
recovery plan for the ABM. A separate species recovery plan is needed 
for the ABM in order to incorporate new information related to the 
range of the species, to update information regarding known habitat, 
and to update the framework for addressing problems of the species and 
for prioritizing actions necessary for recovery. The ABM recovery plan 
will not include recovery information on the Choctawhatchee beach mouse 
or the Perdido Key beach mouse. Recovery plans for the Choctawhatchee 
beach mouse and the Perdido Key beach mouse will be updated or revised 
at a later date.
    To ensure a comprehensive revision, we are soliciting information 
on the ABM's population status and trends, threats, and conservation 

DATES: Information related to this notice must be received by December 
2, 2003, to be considered in the initial stages of the revision. 
However, we will accept information and comments submitted after this 
date for consideration at later stages in the recovery planning process 
until further notice.

ADDRESSES: Information should be mailed to the Daphne Ecological 
Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Drawer 
1190, Daphne, AL 36526. Information may also be sent via fax to 251-
441-6222 or through the Internet Web site for the ABM recovery plan at 
    Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Daphne 
Field Office at 1208 Main Street, Daphne, Alabama.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Lori McNease at the above mailing 
address (telephone 251-441-5867, fax 251-441-6222, e-mail alabamabeachmouse@fws.gov).



    The ABM was listed as endangered under the Act on June 6, 1985 (50 
FR 23884). Upon listing a species, section 4(f) of the Act requires the 
preparation and implementation of a recovery plan and revisions to such 
plans as necessary. Under section 4(f)(1)(B), each plan, at a minimum, 
must contain--(a) a description of such site-specific management 
actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan's goal for conservation 
and survival of the species; (b) objective, measurable criteria that, 
when met, would result in a determination, in accordance with the 
provisions of this section, that the species be removed from the list; 
and (c) estimates of the time required and the cost to carry out those 
measures needed to achieve the plan's goal and to achieve intermediate 
steps toward that goal.
    In addition, recovery plans must include a concise summary of the 
current status of the species and its life history, and an assessment 
of the factors that led to population declines and/or which are 
impeding recovery. The plan must also include a comprehensive 
monitoring and evaluation program for gauging the effectiveness of 
recovery measures and overall progress toward recovery.
    In 1987, we issued a multi-species recovery plan for three listed 
beach mice along the Gulf coast of Alabama and Florida. The plan is 
being revisited at this time in order to prepare a separate species 
recovery plan for the ABM. An Alabama Beach Mouse Recovery Team, 
consisting of governmental and non-governmental organizations as well 
as species experts and stakeholders, was established to draft this 
    Since the development of the 1987 plan, significant research has 
been accomplished and important conservation and recovery activities 
have been undertaken. As a result, we have a greater knowledge of the 
species, its status, and distribution. These advances in our 
understanding of the ABM make a revision of the ABM recovery plan 
necessary at this time. The revised ABM recovery plan will serve as a 
basis for future recovery efforts, guide research to ensure that new 
information will contribute toward the greatest research needs, and 
enable effective monitoring to allow us to track the status of the ABM 
and the factors that may affect the species.
    A schedule for completing the revised ABM recovery plan will be 
made available on the internet website for the ABM recovery plan when 
it is developed by the recovery team (see ADDRESSES). Draft sections of 
the Work in Progress will also be made available on the internet 
website to provide interested stakeholders an opportunity to review and 
provide input on the revised plan during its development. Once all 
sections of the revised plan have been drafted, we will publish a 
notice of availability of the draft recovery plan in the Federal 
Register and will formally solicit public comment on the draft prior to 
finalizing the plan.

Information Solicited

    To ensure that the revised ABM recovery plan is based on the best 
available data, we are soliciting information on historical and current 
abundance; historical and current distribution and movements; 
population status and trends; genetics; current or planned activities 
that may adversely impact the species; and ongoing efforts to protect 
the ABM along the Alabama Gulf coast. We request that all data, 
information, and comments be accompanied by supporting documentation 
such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent 
    All submissions must contain the submitter's name and address, as 
well as any association, institution, or business that the person 
represents. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Respondents may request that we withhold their home 
address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also 
may be circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish for us to withhold your name 
and/or address, you must state this request prominently at the 
beginning of your comment. We will not consider anonymous comments. To 
the extent consistent with applicable law, we will make all submissions 
from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives of organizations or

[[Page 57484]]

businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

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

    Dated: September 15, 2003.
Sam D. Hamilton,
Regional Director, Southeast Region, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-25087 Filed 10-2-03; 8:45 am]