[Federal Register: July 27, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 144)]
[Page 41350-41351]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the 
Apache Trout (Oncorhynchus apache)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability for public review of the draft revised Recovery Plan for 
the Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache). The Apache trout currently 
inhabits the upper Salt River and Little Colorado River drainages in 
Arizona. The Service solicits review and comment from the public on 
this draft revised Recovery Plan. The Service will also accept any new 
information received during the comment period to complete its 5-year 
review of the Apache trout.

DATES: The comment period for this draft revised Recovery Plan 
(Recovery Plan) closes September 25, 2007. Comments on the Recovery 
Plan must be received by the closing date to ensure consideration.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the Recovery Plan can obtain a 
paper or CD copy from the Arizona Fishery Resources Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 39, Pinetop, Arizona 85935, telephone 
928/338-4288, facsimile 928/338-4763, e-mail: Stewart_Jacks@fws.gov. 
The Recovery Plan may also be obtained from the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/endangered
 by selecting ``Species Search'' from the left-

side menu bar and entering the species' name in the ``Search Species'' 
text box. If you wish to comment on the Recovery Plan, you may submit 
your comments and materials to the Arizona Fishery Resources Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stewart Jacks, Project Leader, at the 
Pinetop address above.



    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 Service will 
consider all information presented during a public comment period prior 
to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and other 
Federal agencies will also take these

[[Page 41351]]

comments into account in the course of implementing recovery plans.
    The Service is also conducting a 5-year review for Apache trout 
under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act. A 5-year review is a periodic 
process, based on the best scientific and commercial data available at 
the time of the review, conducted to ensure that the classification of 
a species as threatened or endangered on the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Species (List) is accurate. We initiated the 5-year review 
for Apache trout on April 21, 2006 (71 FR 20714). Because the Service 
has not yet completed this review, we will use any new information 
received during the comment period for the revised Recovery Plan to 
complete the 5-year review for Apache trout. Based on the results of 
the 5-year review, we will make a recommendation whether the Apache 
trout should retain its current classification as threatened, be 
reclassified to endangered, or removed from the List (delisted). The 
Service will undertake a separate rulemaking process if the Apache 
trout is to be reclassified or delisted.
    The document submitted for review is the revised Recovery Plan for 
the Apache trout. Currently, the Apache trout is believed to occur in a 
190 km (118 mi) reach of the upper Salt River and Little Colorado River 
drainages in Arizona. The species was listed as federally endangered in 
1967 (32 FR 4001) and reclassified to threatened in 1975 (40 FR 29863). 
Critical habitat has not been designated. Throughout much of its 
historic range, the decline of the Apache trout may be attributed to 
destruction, drastic modification, or severe curtailment of its habitat 
and hybridization with introduced trout species.
    The Recovery Plan includes scientific information about the species 
and provides criteria and actions needed to delist (recover) the 
species. Delisting of the species may be considered when 30 self-
sustaining populations that maintain, to the maximum extent 
practicable, the remaining genetic diversity of the species have been 
established within historical range and threats to the populations have 
been identified, assessed, and ameliorated. Recovery actions designed 
to achieve this criterion include: (1) Complete any regulatory 
compliance required under the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean 
Water Act, or other applicable legislation to implement recovery 
actions; (2) Construct new fish barriers and maintain existing fish 
barriers; (3) Remove or minimize undesirable fish using piscicides or 
other feasible means in all or portions of recovery streams; (4) 
Establish and maintain 30 self-sustaining populations of pure Apache 
trout; and, (5) Monitor all populations.
    The original Apache trout Recovery Plan was finalized in 1979 and 
revised in 1983. This draft revised Recovery Plan retains the 1983 
criterion to establish and maintain 30 self-sustaining populations; 
however, it limits recovery populations to those within historic range. 
It also includes additional objectives to ameliorate threats relative 
to the five listing factors. The revised recovery strategy allows for 
the use of hatchery propagated Apache trout to repatriate a renovated 
and secured stream if such populations cannot be established by moving 
fish from a relict or replicated population. A post-delisting 
management plan will incorporate genetic considerations.
    The Recovery Plan is being submitted for review to all interested 
parties. Peer review will be conducted concurrent with public review. 
After consideration of comments received during the public and peer 
review period, the Recovery Plan will be submitted for final approval.

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service solicits written comments on the Recovery Plan 
described. All comments received by the date specified above will be 
considered prior to approval of the final Recovery Plan and new 
information will also be used to complete the 5-year review.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.


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

    Dated: June 28, 2007.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Region 2.
 [FR Doc. E7-14550 Filed 7-26-07; 8:45 am]