[Federal Register: March 7, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 44)]
[Page 11441-11442]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for Vernal Pool Ecosystems of California and 
Southern Oregon

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) announce the 
availability of the Recovery Plan for Vernal Pool Ecosystems of 
California and Southern Oregon. This recovery plan covers 33 species, 
of which 20 are federally listed as threatened or endangered. These 
species inhabit vernal pool ecosystems in California and southern 
Oregon. This recovery plan includes recovery criteria and measures for 
20 federally listed species. Federally endangered plants include 
Eryngium constancei (Loch Lomond button-celery), Lasthenia conjugens 
(Contra Costa goldfields), Limnanthes floccosa ssp. californica (Butte 
County meadowfoam), Navarretia leucocephala ssp. pauciflora (few-
flowered navarretia), Navarretia leucocephala ssp. plieantha (many-
flowered navarretia), Orcuttia pilosa (hairy Orcutt grass), Orcuttia 
viscida (Sacramento Orcutt grass), Parvisedum leiocarpum (Lake County 
stonecrop), Tuctoria greenei (Greene's tuctoria), and Tuctoria 
mucronata (Solano grass). Federally threatened plants include 
Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta (fleshy owl's clover), Chamaesyce 
hooveri (Hoover's spurge), Neostapfia colusana (Colusa grass), Orcuttia 
inaequalis (San Joaquin Valley Orcutt grass), and Orcuttia tenuis 
(slender Orcutt grass). Federally endangered animals include the 
Conservancy fairy shrimp (Branchinecta conservatio), longhorn fairy 

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(Branchinecta longiantenna), and vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus 
packardi). Federally threatened animals include the vernal pool fairy 
shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi) and delta green ground beetle (Elaphrus 
viridis). The portions of the plan dealing with the delta green ground 
beetle and Solano grass are a revision of the 1985 Delta Green Ground 
Beetle and Solano Grass Recovery Plan.
    The recovery plan addresses conservation of 10 plant species of 
concern, including Astragalus tener var. ferrisiae (Ferris' milk 
vetch), Astragalus tener var. tener (alkali milk vetch), Atriplex 
persistens (persistent-fruited saltscale), Eryngium spinosepalum 
(spiny-sepaled button-celery), Gratiola heterosepala (Boggs Lake hedge-
hyssop), Juncus leiospermus var. ahartii (Ahart's dwarf rush), Legenere 
limosa (legenere), Myosurus minimus var. apus (little mouse tail), 
Navarretia myersii ssp. deminuta (pincushion navarretia), and 
Plagiobothrys hystriculus (bearded popcorn flower). The three animal 
species of concern addressed in the recovery plan include the mid-
valley fairy shrimp (Branchinecta mesovallensis), California fairy 
shrimp (Linderiella occidentalis), and western spadefoot toad (Spea 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the recovery plan are available by request from 
the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, 
Sacramento, California (telephone (916) 414-6600); Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, California 
(telephone (760) 431-9440); Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 
Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, California (telephone (805-644-1766); 
Southwest Oregon Field Office, 2900 NW., Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, 
Oregon (telephone (541) 957-3473); and Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, 
1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, California (telephone (707) 822-7201). An 
electronic copy of this recovery plan will also be made available on 
the World Wide Web at http://pacific.fws.gov/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/plans.html and http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/


for distribution in 4 to 6 weeks.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Betty Warne, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above Sacramento address.



    Restoring endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point 
where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program. To help 
guide the recovery effort, we are working to prepare recovery plans for 
most of the listed species native to the United States. Recovery plans 
describe actions considered necessary for the conservation of the 
species, establish criteria for downlisting or delisting listed 
species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery 
measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.) (Act), 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 Recovery Plan for 
Vernal Pool Ecosystems of California and Southern Oregon was available 
for public comment from November 18, 2004, through March 18, 2005 (69 
FR 67601). Information presented during the public comment period has 
been considered in the preparation of this final recovery plan, and is 
summarized in an appendix to the recovery plan. We will forward 
substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation to 
appropriate Federal or other entities so they can take these comments 
into account during the course of implementing recovery actions.
    The 33 species covered in this recovery plan occur primarily in 
vernal pool, swale, or ephemeral freshwater habitats within California 
and southern Oregon and are largely confined to a limited area by 
topographic constraints, soil types, and climatic conditions. 
Surrounding (or associated) upland habitat is critical to the proper 
ecological function of these vernal pool habitats. Most of the vernal 
pool plants and animals addressed in the recovery plan have life 
histories adapted to the short period for growth and reproduction 
within inundated or drying pools interspersed with long dormant periods 
when pools are dry, and extreme year-to-year variation in rainfall. 
Threats to the species include habitat loss, fragmentation, and 
degradation due to urban development, recreation, agricultural 
conversion and practices, and altered hydrology; non-native invasive 
species; inadequate regulatory mechanisms; incompatible grazing 
regimes; and stochastic events. All species covered in the recovery 
plan primarily are threatened by the loss, fragmentation, or 
degradation of vernal pool habitat throughout the following areas: the 
Central Valley of California, the southern Sierra foothills, the 
Carrizo Plain, portions of the Coast Ranges, the Modoc Plateau, the 
Transverse Ranges, Los Angeles, and San Diego areas of California, and 
the Klamath Mountains region in Oregon. Therefore, areas currently, 
historically, or potentially occupied by the species are recommended 
for habitat protection and/or special management considerations.
    The objectives of this recovery plan are to: (1) Ameliorate the 
threats that caused the species to be listed, and ameliorate any other 
newly identified threats in order to be able to delist these species; 
and (2) ensure the long-term conservation of the species of concern. 
These objectives will be accomplished through implementation of a 
variety of recovery measures including habitat protection, management 
and restoration; monitoring; reintroduction, introduction, and 
enhancement; research and status surveys; and public participation, 
outreach, and education.


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

    Dated: December 16, 2005.
Paul Henson,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Region 1, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 06-1984 Filed 3-6-06; 8:45 am]