[Federal Register: October 30, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 210)]
[Page 61821-61822]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered Wildlife and Plants; Candidate Conservation Agreement 
and Best Available Information for Slickspot Peppergrass (Lepidium 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and public comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received the ``Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Slickspot 
Peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum)'' (CCA), a document authored by 
representatives from the Idaho Governor's Office of Species 
Conservation, the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the Idaho Department 
of Fish and Game, the Idaho Department of Lands, the Idaho Army 
National Guard, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and several 
private property owners who hold grazing permits on BLM-managed and 
maintained lands, collectively referred to as Cooperating Parties. The 
CCA commits the Cooperating Parties to implementing conservation 
measures to prevent and minimize threats to L. papilliferum. We are 
seeking public comment on the CCA because the Service will be making a 
determination by January 15, 2004, on whether or not it will list L. 
papilliferum under the Endangered Species Act (Act) and must consider 
in its listing determinations all pertinent biology, threats, and 
conservation agreements for the species. We also seek public comment on 
a document compiled by the Service, ``Best Available Information on 
Lepidium papilliferum'' (Available Information), because we will be 
considering information in this document in making a final listing 
determination for the species.

DATES: We will accept comments and information pertaining to the CCA 
and the Available Information through November 14, 2003. Comments must 
be received by 5 p.m. on the closing date. Any comments that are 
received after the closing date may not be considered. No extensions to 
the public comment will be granted due to the short time

[[Page 61822]]

frame for publication of the final listing determination by January 15, 

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Jeff Foss, Field Supervisor, 
Snake River Fish and Wildlife Office, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Room 368, 
Boise, ID 83709; facsimile number (208) 378-5262; electronic address fw1srbocomment@fws.gov. Please put ``LEPA'' in the subject line of all 
comments. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, Public Review and Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Foss, Field Supervisor, at the
above address or by calling (208) 378-5243.

Comments are solicited on both the CCA and the Available
Information for Lepidium papilliferum. Individuals wishing copies of
either or both of the these documents should contact the office and
personnel listed in the ADDRESSES section or locate these documents
online at http://idahoes.fws.gov. Documents also will be available for
public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the
Snake River Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).
All comments received, including names and addresses, will become
part of the Service's administrative record and may be released to the
public. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must
state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. All
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations
or businesses, are available for public inspection in their entirety.


On July 15, 2002, the Service published a proposed rule (64 FR
46441) to list Lepidium papilliferum as endangered under the Act. A
final listing decision was due by July 15, 2003. Comments were
solicited from both the public and 12 independent scientists in an
initial 60-day public comment period that opened on July 18, 2002, and
closed on September 13, 2002. On September 25, 2002, we reopened the
comment period for an additional 60 days to allow time for all
interested parties to submit written comments on the proposal (67 FR
60206). The second comment period closed on November 25, 2002. On July
18, 2003, due to substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or
accuracy of the available data relevant to the prosed listing rule, we
announced a 6-month extension of the deadline for our final
determination on whether to list L. papilliferum. An additional 30-day
public comment period was opened on July 18, 2003, and closed on August
18, 2003. A final listing determination is due by January 15, 2004. The
extended time is being used to update the best available information on
L. papilliferum, using information from our files, information received
during the two 60-day comment periods, and information received during
the 30-day comment period associated with the extension.
An additional intent of the extension was to explore the
possibility of a candidate conservation agreement for Lepidium
papilliferum with cooperators from Idaho. Subsequently, the CCA was
developed by the Cooperating Parties with technical assistance from the
Service on policy and science. Its purpose is to implement conservation
measures for L. papilliferum that will ensure the conservation of the
plant and its habitat while maintaining predictable and sustainable
levels of use for current and future activities on the lands. It is
also meant to provide a means of protecting and conserving the species
and its habitat through the mutual and voluntary commitment of the
Cooperating Parties. The CCA was developed using criteria laid out in
the final Policy for the Evaluation of Conservation Effort, of June 13,
2003 (68 FR 37102). This policy applies to our evaluation of all
formalized conservation efforts when making listing decision for
species not listed. It identifies criteria the Service will use to
evaluate the certainty of implementation and effectiveness of such
formalized conservation efforts that have not yet been implemented or
have been recently implemented and have not yet demonstrated
effectiveness at the time of a listing decision. Comments received on
the CCA will be used by the Service as it considers the CCA in its
final listing determination for L. papilliferum. The comments will also
be made available to the Cooperating Parties of the CCA.

Dated: October 22, 2003.
David B. Allen,
Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-27319 Filed 10-29-03; 8:45 am]