[Federal Register: December 12, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 238)]
[Page 70602-70603]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for Hackelia venusta (Showy Stickseed)

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 Hackelia venusta (Showy 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the final recovery plan are available by request 
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central Washington Field 
Office, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, Washington 98801. Requests for 
copies of the final recovery plan and materials regarding this plan 
should be addressed to the Supervisor, Central Washington Field Office, 
at the above Wenatchee address. An electronic copy of the final 
recovery plan will also be made available online at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/plans.html.
 Printed copies of 

the recovery plan will be available for distribution in 4 to 6 weeks.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim McCracken, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above address, by calling 509-665-3508, extension 17, 
or by electronic mail to: Tim_McCracken@fws.gov.



    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. The 
Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (ESA) requires the 
development of recovery plans for listed species unless such a plan 
would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Recovery 
plans help guide the recovery effort by describing actions considered 
necessary for the conservation of the species, establishing criteria 
for downlisting or delisting listed species, and estimating time and 
cost for implementing the measures needed for recovery.
    Section 4(f) of the ESA requires that public notice, and an 
opportunity for public review and comment, be provided during recovery 
plan development. The Draft Recovery Plan for Hackelia venusta (Showy 
Stickseed) was available for public comment from March 13 through May 
12, 2006 (71 FR 12711). All information presented during the public 
comment period has been considered prior to approval of this final 
recovery plan, and is summarized in an appendix to the recovery plan. 
Some substantive technical comments resulted in changes to the recovery 
plan. Some substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation 
did not result in changes to the recovery plan, but were forwarded to 
appropriate Federal or other entities so that they can take these 
comments into account during the course of implementing recovery 
actions. Individual responses to comments were not provided.
    Hackelia venusta is an attractive perennial plant with showy white 
or blue-tinged flowers in the forget-me-not family (Boraginaceae). The 
species is a narrow endemic, being known from only 1 population of 
roughly 600 individuals in Chelan County, Washington. It occurs 
primarily on Federal lands, but a very small portion of the population 
is on private lands. Within its limited range, Hackelia venusta is 
found in open areas of steeply sloping, highly unstable granitic sand 
and granite cliffs. The common feature to its habitat appears to be the 
relatively sparse cover of other vascular plants and low canopy cover.
    Hackelia venusta was listed as an endangered species in 2002 (67 FR 
5515). The major threats to Hackelia venusta include: collection and 
physical disturbance to the plants and habitat by humans; mass wasting 
(landslides); nonnative noxious weeds; competition and shading from 
native trees and shrubs due to fire suppression; some highway 
maintenance activities; and low seedling establishment. The small 
population size and limited geographic extent of the species 
exacerbates all of these threats, and renders Hackelia venusta highly 
vulnerable to extirpation or extinction from either human-caused or 
random natural events.
    The objective of the recovery plan is to reduce the threats to 
Hackelia venusta sufficient to accomplish increases in population size 
and geographic distribution across its estimated historical range so 
that the species is no longer in danger of

[[Page 70603]]

extinction. The first step in the recovery strategy for the species is 
to protect and stabilize the existing population. This includes 
management to maintain an open habitat; noxious weed control; 
minimizing the damage of collection and trampling within the 
population; seed collection and long-term seed banking to protect the 
genetic resources of the species; and the development and 
implementation of management plans. In addition, to reduce the 
potential for extinction due to loss of the single population, recovery 
actions will likely require establishing additional populations within 
the estimated historical range of the species.
    The recovery of Hackelia venusta is complicated by the very small 
size and limited distribution of the single population, as well as by 
the extreme instability of the habitat where it occurs. Monitoring 
activities have the potential to destabilize the habitat and damage or 
even kill plants, particularly young germinants; therefore the need for 
monitoring and data collection must be carefully weighed against the 
possible negative impacts of such actions.


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

    Dated: November 15, 2007.
Ren Lohoefener,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 07-5974 Filed 12-11-07; 8:45 am]