[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 148 (Tuesday, August 2, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 46251-46266]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-19447]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2011-0047; MO 92210-0-0008-B2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding 
on a Petition To List the Redrock Stonefly as Endangered or Threatened

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 
12-month finding on a petition to list the Redrock stonefly 
(Anacroneuria wipukupa) as endangered or threatened and to designate 
critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. 
After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we 
find that listing the Redrock stonefly is not warranted at this time. 
However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that 
becomes available concerning the threats to the Redrock stonefly or its 
habitat at any time.

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on August 2, 

ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2011-0047. Supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Office, 2321 
West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Please submit any 
new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this 
finding to the above street address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, 
Arizona Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES); by telephone at 
602-242-0210; or by facsimile at 602-242-2534. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.



    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that, for any petition 
to revise the Federal Lists of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and 
Plants that contains substantial scientific or commercial information 
that listing the species may be warranted, we make a finding within 12 
months of the date of receipt of the petition. In this finding, we will 
determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not warranted, (2) 
warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation 
implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other pending 
proposals to determine whether species are endangered or threatened, 
and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove qualified 
species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we treat a 
petition for which the requested action is found to be warranted but 
precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such finding, that is, 
requiring a subsequent finding to be made within 12 months. We must 
publish these 12-month findings in the Federal Register.

Previous Federal Actions

    On June 25, 2007, we received a formal petition dated June 18, 
2007, from WildEarth Guardians requesting that we list the Redrock 
stonefly as either endangered or threatened and

[[Page 46252]]

that critical habitat be designated under the Act. This species was 
part of a petition to list 475 species in the southwestern United 
States. WildEarth Guardians incorporated all analyses, references, and 
documentation provided by NatureServe in its online database at http://www.natureserve.org into the petition. This included information 
produced by the Natural Heritage Network, particularly the Heritage 
Data Management System compiled by the Arizona Game and Fish Department 
(AGFD) (AGFD 2004, pp. 1-3).
    Relative to the Redrock stonefly, the petition provided information 
on the species' current distribution, indicating it was limited to Oak 
Creek, Yavapai County, Arizona. The remaining information was general 
in nature describing factors that influence the entire stonefly order. 
The petition clearly identified itself as a petition and included the 
identification information required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). We sent a 
letter to the petitioners dated July 11, 2007, acknowledging receipt of 
the petition and stating that the petition was under review. The 90-day 
finding was published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2009 (74 
FR 66866). This notice constitutes the 12-month finding on the June 18, 
2007, petition to list the Redrock stonefly as endangered or 

Species Information

Taxonomy and Species Description
    The Redrock stonefly is an aquatic insect in the Family Perlidae 
and the Order Plecoptera. Immature stoneflies, or nymphs, are aquatic 
and generally live in cold-water streams. The nymphs have external 
gills, which may be present on almost any part of the body. Nymphs 
appear very similar to adults but lack wings (Stewart and Harper 1996, 
p. 218). Most stonefly nymphs are herbivorous, feeding on submerged 
leaves and algae, but other stonefly species are predaceous and feed on 
other aquatic macroinvertebrates (Stewart and Harper 1996, p. 217). 
Stoneflies remain in nymph form for 1 to 3 years, depending on species, 
before emerging and becoming terrestrial adults (Bouchard 2004, p. 77). 
Adult stoneflies generally only survive for a few weeks, and emerge 
only during specific times of the year. Some adult stoneflies do not 
feed at all, but those that do are herbivorous.
    The family Perlidae includes relatively large, predaceous 
stoneflies. They have external gills found on three thoracic (middle 
body) segments (Bouchard 2004, p. 85). The Anacroneuria genus is the 
largest genus in the Perlidae family, primarily occurring in the 
Neotropical regions of Central and South America (Jewitt 1958, p. 159; 
Bispo and Froehlich 2004, p. 191). There are 231 described and 19 
undescribed species within this genus occurring from the southernmost 
United States to South America (DeWalt et al. 2010, p. 1). The genus 
Anacroneuria expanded northward into Central America, Texas, and 
Arizona about 4 million years ago after the formation of the Isthmus of 
Panama, during the Pliocene Period (Fochetti and Tierno de Figueroa 
2008, p. 374).
    Anacroneuria was confirmed to exist in the United States when 
Redrock stonefly was described from Yavapai County, Arizona (Baumann 
and Olson 1984, pp. 489-492). Anacroneuria nymphs (immature stages) 
were first collected in Oak Creek at Page Springs in 1975, and the 
first adults were collected from Oak Creek at Redrock Crossing in 1978 
(Baumann and Olson 1984, p. 489).
    The Redrock stonefly is a large-winged stonefly. Adult male body 
lengths range between 0.4 to 0.5 inches (in) (10 to 12 millimeters 
(mm)), and female body lengths are 0.6 in (15 mm). Overall coloration 
is the same between genders: yellow head, brown and yellow body with 
bands bordering the midline. Redrock stonefly legs are covered with 
small brown spines on the upper surface, and the abdomen has many small 
spinules on the edges (Baumann and Olson 1984, pp. 489-492). Stewart 
and Harper (1996, pp. 231, 255, 258) provide morphological characters 
to separate Anacroneuria adults and nymphs from other Perlidae genera. 
Anacroneuria adults and nymphs are distinguished from all other 
southwestern Perlidae for having two ocelli (simple eyes) on top of 
their head rather than three. The only other western Perlidae genus 
with two ocelli is Neoperla, but it is not found in Arizona (Stewart 
and Stark 2002, p. 350).
    Baumann and Olson (1984, pp. 489-492) is the only published paper 
describing the Redrock stonefly. This paper does not provide any 
specific habitat or ecology information on this species. However, the 
following ecological information is available from published reports on 
other Anacroneuria species. We presume that the information generally 
applies to Redrock stonefly.
    At early ages and small sizes, Anacroneuria nymphs are primarily 
detrivorous, meaning they feed on decayed leaves, algae, and other 
organic matter. Older larger nymphs are predaceous, feeding entirely on 
other aquatic insects including Dipteran (true fly) larvae and 
Ephemeropteran (mayfly) nymphs, and other smaller stonefly nymphs. 
North American Perlidae stonefly nymphs, in addition to foraging in 
riffle (shallow, flowing water) habitats, often forage within leaf 
packs (Femenella and Stewart 1986, pp. 535-536). Neotropical 
Anacroneuria nymphs forage in leaf litter as predators (Baptista et al. 
2001, p. 251; Wantzen and Wagner 2006, p. 220); we assume that leaf 
litter provides an important foraging habitat for Redrock stonefly 
nymphs. Leaf litter availability varies in southwestern U.S. streams 
(Schade and Fisher 1997, p. 612). Leaf litter can accumulate behind 
large rocks, behind logs, along the stream margins where the current is 
slower, and behind other obstructions in high-gradient streams (Hoover 
et al. 2006, pp. 443-444). Intense local thunderstorms generate severe 
flash floods, which may reduce leaf litter availability for that season 
(Schade and Fisher 1997, pp. 612, 624). Predaceous stoneflies, 
including the Redrock stonefly, must then be able to forage in riffle 
areas outside of leaf litter when it is not available in their habitat. 
Adult Anacroneuria do not eat; they apparently rely on the predaceous 
diet of their late nymphal stages for reproductive organ and egg 
development (Fenoglio 2003, pp. 2, 16).
    Neotropical Anacroneuria have a multivoltine life cycle (more than 
one life cycle, from egg to adult, occurs during a year) (Jackson and 
Sweeney 1995, p. 122). Because multivoltine life cycles are unknown in 
stoneflies from temperate climates (United States and Canada) (Brittain 
1990, p. 4), we anticipate that the Redrock stonefly would have a 
univoltine life cycle (only one life cycle from egg to adult per year).
    Stoneflies use egg or nymphal diapause (a period of suspended 
growth or development) during harsh summer conditions to allow them to 
survive seasonally poor water conditions and low stream flows (Snellen 
and Stewart 1979, p. 663; Brittain 1990, p. 8; Favret and DeWalt 2002, 
p. 37). During summer diapause, stonefly eggs or nymphs suspend 
development and remain buried in the moist stream bottom sediment until 
optimal growth conditions return. Stoneflies, including Perlidae, also 
use this summer diapause to survive in intermittent streams (streams 
that only flow as a response to snowmelt or rain storm runoff and have 
insufficient groundwater contribution to provide surface flow during 
the summer) (Snellen and Stewart 1979, p.

[[Page 46253]]

1; Feminella 1996, p. 659; Miller and Golladay 1996, p. 685). The 
Redrock stonefly may be expected to use diapauses during dry periods 
when water conditions and quantity are low.
    Aquatic macroinvertebrates drift, or move downstream in their 
habitats, under different circumstances. Catastrophic drift occurs when 
large flood events carry macroinvertebrates downstream (Brittain and 
Eikland 1988, pp. 82-83). All aquatic macroinvertebrates are likely to 
experience this drift event if they are unable to find suitable 
protection during a flood event. This may also include drift from 
substrate disturbance from other means such as hikers, livestock, or 
vehicles moving across the stream. Aquatic macroinvertebrates may 
behaviorally drift to colonize new habitats to reduce competition for 
food and space (Brittain and Eikland 1988, p. 84). Predator-induced 
drift may occur when they are disturbed by a foraging predator and 
escape by allowing the water current to carry them away (Malmqvist and 
Sjostrom 1987, p. 402). Intentional drifting, as in behaviorally or 
predator-induced cases, is only practiced by those macroinvertebrates 
that are capable swimmers (such as Baetid and Amelitid mayflies) and 
can control when, where, and how far they drift (Malmqvist and Sjostrom 
1987, p. 402). Drifting insects are very susceptible to fish predation; 
they are out in the open water column where they are easily seen. 
Intentional drift often occurs at night to avoid fish predation 
(Flecker 1992, p. 438). Aquatic macroinvertebrates that are poor 
swimmers, such as predaceous stoneflies, are less likely to purposely 
drift because they would be susceptible to fish predation (Radar and 
McArthur 1995, p. 8). However, in some cases, predaceous stoneflies may 
drift when suitable foraging sites are separated by areas, such as 
sand-bottom streams, with little hiding cover to crawl across. Large 
crawling stoneflies, like the Redrock stonefly, are also susceptible to 
fish predation where there is little cover. In contrast, areas of 
continuous cover, such as cobble-bed streams, provide protection from 
fish predation when stoneflies move from one area to another (Radar and 
McArthur 1995, p. 1). The known Redrock stonefly sites are continuous 
cobble-bedded streams, which reduces the need to drift to new areas.
    The Redrock stonefly is known to only occur in Arizona, and it was 
initially described from specimens collected at two sites: Redrock 
Crossing at Red Rock State Park and Page Springs on Oak Creek, Yavapai 
County, Arizona (Baumann and Olson 1984, p. 492; AGFD 2004, p. 1). 
Additional stonefly surveys were conducted to determine the Redrock 
stonefly's current status and distribution (Service 2010a, p. 1). 
During surveys in May and June 2010, adult Redrock stoneflies were 
found at the Page Spring Fish Hatchery on Oak Creek and Wet Beaver 
Creek, and near an Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) 
Bear Flats sampling site on Tonto Creek (Service 2010, p. 1). Surveys 
on West Clear Creek, east of Camp Verde in Yavapai County, did not 
identify any Redrock stoneflies. Identification of adult specimens was 
confirmed by stonefly experts (Kondratieff pers. comm. 2010, p. 1; 
Baumann pers. comm. 2010, p. 1; Stark pers. comm. 2010, p. 1).
    The ADEQ had previously collected Anacroneuria nymphs during water 
quality monitoring on Campbell Blue Creek in Apache County in 2000; 
four sites on Upper Tonto Creek in Gila County from 1995 to 2008; 
Spring Creek in Gila County in 1998; and Wet Beaver Creek (upstream of 
the Service's survey location) in 1995 (Spindler 2010a, p. 1). Species 
identification was not possible because only Anacroneuria nymphs were 
collected. However, because there are no other stonefly species in that 
genus known from Arizona, we presume these nymphs represent collections 
of Redrock stonefly.
    In total, we now believe the Redrock stonefly occupies at least 10 
sites within five different streams in central Arizona. As a result the 
only known change in distribution of the species is the increase from 2 
sites, from which it was initially described, to 10 sites where 
additional surveys found it. The increased range is a result of 
increased survey efforts. We suspect that if additional survey efforts 
were employed for this species, its known range and number of 
occurrences would likely expand as well. This is because the adult 
flying form of the Redrock stonefly has the ability to easily disperse 
into available habitats, and there are numerous other habitats in this 
region of Arizona that would appear suitable to support Redrock 
stoneflies. The species does not appear to be a habitat specialist, and 
so we would expect to find it in other similar stream habitats if more 
survey efforts were undertaken.
    The current sites where the Redrock stonefly occurs span about 180 
miles (mi) (288 kilometers (km)) east to west across the Central 
Highlands Physiographic Region in Arizona and include the Verde and 
Salt Rivers and Tonto Creek headwaters. Because of the high elevations 
and associated higher rainfall and snowfall, these watersheds contain 
the highest concentration of perennial streams (water present 
throughout the year) in Arizona (Arizona Department of Water Resources 
(ADWR) 2009a, p. 4). The Redrock stonefly may also occupy other un-
surveyed water bodies (for example, East Verde River, Dude and Canyon 
Creeks, and numerous sites on the White Mountain Apache Indian 
Reservation) located in this physiographic region. The Redrock stonefly 
sites or their watersheds are found on the Coconino, Tonto, and Apache-
Sitgreaves National Forests. Descriptions of occupied areas on each 
National Forest are provided below.
    To date, the Redrock stonefly has been found only in perennial 
streams. All sites are in moderate gradient (approximately 2 percent 
slope), cobble-bedded streams, with overhanging streambank vegetation 
including willow (Salix sp.), velvet ash (Fraxinus velutina), Arizona 
alder (Alnus oblongifolia), and blackberry (Rubus sp.) (Service 2010a, 
p. 1).
    There is substantial variation in the stream size, elevation, and 
water temperature in areas occupied by the Redrock stonefly, making 
this species more of a generalist than most other stonefly species 
(Brittain 1990, p. 2). Stream sizes range from Campbell Blue Creek (47 
square-mi (122 square-km) watershed and 160 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) 
(4.5 cubic-meters-per-second (cms)) bankfull channel discharge) to Oak 
Creek at Page Springs (355 square-mi (919 square-km) watershed and 
1,400 cfs (39.6 cms) bankfull channel discharge). Bankfull channel 
discharge relates to the relative frequent flow (occurs 2 out of every 
3 years) that fills the river channel to the point of inundating the 
floodplain (Rosgen 1996, p. 2-2). Elevations at Redrock stonefly sites 
range from 3,460 feet (ft) (1,055 meters (m)) on Oak Creek below Page 
Springs to 6,670 ft (2,033 m) on Campbell Blue Creek. Adjacent upland 
vegetation ranges from mixed paloverde and cactus desert (Oak Creek at 
Page Springs) to ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and mixed conifer 
(Campbell Blue Creek). The majority of sites are located between 3,900 
and 5,100 ft (1,190 and 1,555 m) in elevation. Seven of the 10 Redrock 
stonefly sites are considered warm-water streams (streams located below 
5,000 ft (1,524 m) elevation): Oak Creek (two sites), Wet Beaver Creek 
(two sites), Spring Creek, and the two lower Tonto Creek sites 
(Spindler 2010c, p. 1). The remaining three sites (streams above

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5,000 ft (1,524 m)), Campbell Blue Creek and the two higher Tonto Creek 
sites, are considered cold-water streams.

Coconino National Forest

    Oak Creek is a perennial stream in Coconino and Yavapai Counties in 
central Arizona. Average annual precipitation in Oak Creek Canyon is 28 
in (71 cm) (ADWR 2009a, p. 247). Its two main tributaries are the West 
Fork of Oak Creek and Pumphouse Wash on the Coconino National Forest. 
Oak Creek base flow is maintained by springs at Indian Gardens, by Page 
Springs, and from its Spring Creek tributary. Oak Creek, upstream and 
downstream of the Redrock stonefly sites, flows through Coconino 
National Forest, private lands, and State-owned lands. Redrock 
Crossing, the farthest upstream Redrock stonefly site in Redrock State 
Park, is located approximately 4.7 river miles (7.6 km) downstream from 
the city of Sedona. The Page Spring site, at the Page Springs Fish 
Hatchery which is owned and operated by the AGFD, is approximately 18.7 
river miles (30 km) downstream of Sedona.
    Wet Beaver Creek is located east of Interstate Highway 17 and north 
of the city of Camp Verde in Yavapai County, Arizona. It is a tributary 
to Beaver Creek, which eventually flows into the Verde River at Camp 
Verde. The Redrock stonefly was collected at two sites on Wet Beaver 
Creek. The ADEQ collected nymphs upstream of the U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS) stream gage and adults were also collected at the Beaver Creek 
Ranch (Service 10a, p. 1). Both sites are located on the National 
Forest; the downstream site is adjacent to private land.

Tonto National Forest

    Tonto Creek originates on the edge of the Mogollon Rim at about 
7,600 ft (2,300 m) in elevation in mixed conifer forest, dominated by 
ponderosa pine. Average annual precipitation for the Upper Tonto Creek 
watershed ranges from 22 to 30 in (56 to 76 cm) (ADWR 2009a, p. 173). 
There are 10 different springs that produce more than 10 gallons per 
minute (gpm) (38 liters per minute (lpm)) that contribute to Tonto 
Creek (ADWR 2009a, p. 182). Tonto Spring at the headwaters of Tonto 
Creek is the largest spring in the Tonto Creek Basin with a measured 
discharge of 1,291 gpm (4,887 lpm) (ADWR 2009a, p. 180).
    The ADEQ collected Redrock stonefly nymphs at four sites on Tonto 
Creek: above Bear Flats; below the Christopher Creek confluence; below 
the Haigler Creek confluence; and below Bear Flats, south of Kohls 
Ranch (Spindler 2010a, p. 1). Two adult female Redrock stoneflies were 
also collected at the Bear Flats Campground in June 2010. All Redrock 
stonefly sites on Tonto Creek are on the Tonto National Forest. This 
portion of Tonto Creek is predominantly U.S. Forest Service land, with 
the exception of a private development at Bear Flats and Kohl's Ranch. 
The Redrock stonefly sites downstream of Bear Flats and downstream of 
the Haigler Creek confluence are located within the Hells Gate 
Wilderness and managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
    Spring Creek is located on the Tonto National Forest near the town 
of Young, Gila County, Arizona. The Redrock stonefly site on Spring 
Creek is downstream of the Brady Canyon confluence and has an 88 
square-mi (228 square-km) watershed. Spring Creek eventually flows 11 
mi (17.6 km) from this site into Tonto Creek. Annual precipitation 
averages 24 in (61 cm) (ADWR 2009b, p. 173). Spring Creek is an 
interrupted flow system with perennial water disappearing in wider 
alluvial valleys (gently sloping areas with deep sediment deposits) 
then resurfacing in narrow canyons. It is mapped as an intermittent 
stream below its confluence with Walnut Creek (ADWR 2009a, p. 182, 
Figure 5.3-6). There are no springs along Spring Creek or located 
within its watershed that produce stream flows greater than 1 gpm (3.8 
lpm) (ADWR 2009b, p. 182). ADWR (2009, p. 187) does not record any 
wells located within the Spring Creek watershed.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

    Campbell Blue Creek originates southwest of Alpine, Apache County, 
in eastern Arizona, and flows southeasterly for 17 river miles (27 km) 
to its confluence with Dry Blue Creek in New Mexico. Perennial flow 
initiates downstream of the Coleman Creek/Campbell Blue Creek 
confluence. Campbell Blue Creek has one spring that produces at least 
10 gpm (38 L pm), located downstream of the Redrock stonefly site (ADWR 
2009b, pp. 351-352). All of the tributaries that drain into Campbell 
Blue Creek are intermittent (ADWR 2009b, p. 352). The area receives an 
average of 21 inches (53 cm) of precipitation per year (ADWR 2009b, p. 

Summary of Factors Affecting the Redrock Stonefly

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) 
set forth procedures for adding species to, removing species from, or 
reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, a species may be 
determined to be endangered (in danger of extinction throughout all or 
a significant portion of its range) or threatened (likely to become an 
endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of it range) based on any of the following five 
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
    In making this finding, information pertaining to the Redrock 
stonefly in relation to the five factors provided in section 4(a)(1) of 
the Act is discussed below. In making our 12-month finding, we 
considered and evaluated the best available scientific and commercial 
    In considering what factors might constitute threats, we must look 
beyond the mere exposure of the species to the factor to determine 
whether the species responds to the factor in a way that causes actual 
impacts to the species. If there is exposure to a factor, but no 
response, or only a positive response, that factor is not a threat. If 
there is exposure and the species responds negatively, the factor may 
be a threat and we then attempt to determine how significant a threat 
it is. If the threat is significant, it may drive or contribute to the 
risk of extinction of the species such that the species warrants 
listing as endangered or threatened as those terms are defined by the 
Act. This does not necessarily require empirical proof of a threat. The 
combination of exposure and some corroborating evidence of how the 
species is likely impacted could suffice. The mere identification of 
factors that could impact a species negatively is not sufficient to 
compel a finding that listing is appropriate; we require evidence that 
these factors are operative threats that act on the species to the 
point that the species meets the definition of endangered or threatened 
under the Act.

A. The Present or Threatened, Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of the Species' Habitat or Range

    Under Factor A, we will discuss a variety of potential impacts to 
Redrock stonefly habitat including: (1) Water

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quality, (2) livestock grazing, (3) crayfish, (4) wildfires, (5) 
prescribed fires, (6) recreation, and (7) urban and rural development. 
The potential impacts of nonnative crayfish are discussed here related 
to habitat alterations, and other impacts from crayfish are discussed 
under Factor C below.
Water Quality
    Impacts to aquatic habitats, especially from pollution, have been 
identified as a concern for the Redrock stonefly (AGFD 2004, p. 2). 
Most stonefly species are restricted to cold-water environments because 
their small external gills require water with high dissolved oxygen 
levels (Surdick and Gaufin 1978, p. 3; Covich 1988, p. 365; Brittain 
1990, p. 2). In unpolluted, cold-water streams and rivers, dissolved 
oxygen concentrations usually remain high, well above 80 percent 
saturation, because oxygen solubility (ability to be absorbed in water) 
increases as temperature decreases (Hauer and Hill 1996, p. 96). High 
organic nutrient levels can also be detrimental because they cause 
excessive microbial (microscopic organisms) growth. These organisms 
consume oxygen from the water (Hauer and Hill 1996, pp. 96-97). Organic 
pollution can also cause excessive algae growth, which can decrease 
dissolved oxygen when the algae respires or absorbs oxygen at night 
(Hauer and Hill 1996, p. 97) or when the vegetation dies and decomposes 
(Jewell 1971, p. 1457). Because Plecoptera are considered sensitive to 
low dissolved oxygen levels in water, their presence is often used for 
monitoring water quality (Surdick and Gaufin 1978, p. 1; Udo et al. 
1984, p. 189). However, stoneflies in the genus Anacroneuria are an 
exception to this standard practice, because species in this genus are 
well-established in warm-water neotropic regions of Central and South 
America and can withstand lower dissolved oxygen levels (Stark and 
Kondratieff 2004, p. 1; Fenoglio 2007, p. 220; Nelson 2008, p. 184; 
Springer 2008, p. 274). Anacroneuria are often found in streams with 
warm-water temperatures ranging from 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 
26 degrees Celsius) (Froehlich and Oliveira 1997, p. 1882; Fenoglio and 
Rosciszewska 2003, p. 163), which limits available dissolved oxygen. 
Anacroneuria are adapted to low dissolved oxygen levels by having egg 
capsules with tiny, thin canals oriented perpendicularly to the surface 
of the shell that enhance oxygen uptake compared to other stoneflies 
(Fenoglio and Rosciszewska 2003, p. 163). As a result of these 
adaptations, the Redrock stonefly may be tolerant of impaired water 
quality, particularly elevated water temperature and excessive 
nutrients that can lead to low dissolved oxygen.
    Several researchers have reported that Anacroneuria are tolerant of 
poor water quality conditions. In fact, due to its tolerance for low 
dissolved oxygen and poor water quality, Tomanova and Tedesco (2007, p. 
69) determined that Anacroneuria may not be a good indicator of water 
quality. Baptista et al. (2007, p. 92) noted that in tropical streams, 
Anacroneuria was an exception to the rule that Plecoptera are 
considered sensitive to environmental degradation. In addition, 
Anacroneuria were documented in numerous bioassessment reviews and 
studies in South America in waters with high organic (nutrients) 
levels, although less so than in unpolluted waters (Froelich and 
Oliveria 1997, p. 183; Bispo et al. 2002, p. 413; Bispo and Oliveria 
2007, p. 287). Bobot and Hamada (2002, p. 300) found that Anacroneuria 
densities did not respond to suspended sediment caused by deforestation 
in streams in central Brazil. In another study, Anacroneuria were the 
only stoneflies found in streams under strong anthropogenic (human-
caused) influences (Bispo et al. 2002, p. 413). We presume that the 
Redrock stonefly is similar to other species of stoneflies in the 
Anacroneuria genus and would, therefore, be tolerant of poor quality 
conditions, should these types of conditions be present in their 
    The ADEQ is required by the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et 
seq.) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of water quality data 
associated with Arizona's surface waters to determine whether State 
water quality standards are being met and designated uses (such as 
human contact, aquatic, and wildlife) are being supported. Since 1992, 
the ADEQ has evaluated water quality at eight sites currently known to 
be occupied by Redrock stonefly nymphs (Spindler 2010b, p. 1). The ADEQ 
rated five of the eight sites, Oak Creek (two sites) and Tonto Creek 
(three sites), as having impaired water quality as a result of 
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria level exceedance in 2006 and 2008 
(Avila et al. 2009, pp. VR-33, VR-35, SR-64, SR-65). The ADEQ notes 
that high E.coli levels, on their own, do not affect aquatic 
invertebrates (Spindler 2010b, p. 1), and we do not expect them to 
affect Redrock stoneflies. This parameter is measured for safety 
thresholds for the human contact designated use (Marsh 2009, p. G-22). 
The ADEQ found no other water quality concerns during these surveys. 
Our review found no other information indicating water quality concerns 
in the streams where Redrock stoneflies are known to occur.
    Based on the results of ADEQ water quality analyses and the Redrock 
stonefly's wide range of habitats and presumed tolerance to higher 
levels of sedimentation and nutrient enrichment, we conclude that water 
quality conditions in Arizona are not a significant threat to the 
Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
Livestock Grazing
    If livestock grazing is not well-managed, aquatic insects can be 
negatively impacted by decreased riparian vegetation, stream bank 
destabilization, and increases in sedimentation and water temperature 
(Braccia and Voshell 2006, p. 269; McIver and McInnis 2007, p. 294). 
Improper grazing use levels may lead to soil erosion from riparian and 
upland vegetation removal, soil litter removal, increased soil 
compaction from trampling, and increased bare ground (Kauffman and 
Krueger 1984, p. 434; Schulz and Leininger 1990, pp. 297-298; Belsky et 
al. 1999, p. 30). Excessive livestock grazing in upland watersheds can 
also lead to bare, compacted soils, which in turn allow less water 
infiltration, which generates increased rates of surface runoff and can 
contribute to soil erosion as well as flooding and stream bank 
alterations (Abdel-Magid et al. 1987, pp. 304-305; Orodho et al. 1990, 
pp. 9-11). Increased soil erosion leads to higher sediment loads in 
nearby waters, which can degrade instream and riparian habitat and 
increase water turbidity. Perlidae stoneflies, like Redrock stoneflies, 
may experience reduced respiratory ability when their gills are covered 
by sediment (Lemly 1982, pp. 238-239). Sediment that becomes embedded 
in the interstitial spaces around large substrate can smother insect 
(such as stonefly) eggs and larvae, reduce forage for the nymphal 
stage, and limit suitable egg depositing sites (Brusven and Prather 
1974, p. 31; Waters 1995, pp. 65-66).
    The ADEQ (Spindler 2010c, p. 1) classified the Redrock stonefly 
sites as moderate gradient based on riffle-dominated cobble or gravel 
or both substrate streams (Rosgen Stream Classification B3 channel 
types) (Rosgen 1994, p. 174; Rosgen 1996, pp. 5-68, 5-72). The B3 
stream types are moderately entrenched systems with channel gradients 
of 2 to 4 percent. The channel bottom materials are composed primarily 
of cobble (2.5 to 10 in (64 to 256 mm) intermediate axis diameter) with 
a few boulders and lesser amounts

[[Page 46256]]

of sands and gravels. Rosgen (1994, p. 194) determined that B3 stream 
types have low sensitivity to disturbance and low streambank erosion 
potential. The large cobble substrate that is resistant to movement 
during frequent flood events is also resilient to livestock 
disturbance. Given the energy required to initiate movement of large 
cobbles, these stream channel types do not rely on vegetation for 
stability; the substrate size in itself provides stabilization.
    Recent ADEQ water quality data do not show that livestock are 
having a negative impact on water condition at any of the Redrock 
stonefly sites, in the form of excess sediment or nutrients that are 
contributing to impairment (Avila et al. 2009, pp. SR-64, SR-65, VR-33, 
VR-35, VR-61, VR-62). The ADEQ sites that are impaired and the causes 
of impairment are discussed above in the Water Quality section.
    One reason that grazing is not affecting streams that provide 
habitat for the Redrock stonefly is that many of the streams are in 
areas with well-managed grazing or no grazing. In Coconino National 
Forest, the Oak Creek sites are not on livestock grazing allotments. 
Almost the entire Oak Creek corridor is excluded from livestock 
grazing. The Wet Beaver Creek stonefly sites are also excluded from 
livestock grazing. In the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Campbell 
Blue Creek is also excluded from livestock grazing within the 
downstream segment where Redrock stoneflies were collected by ADEQ 
(USDA 2009, p. 87).
    In the Tonto National Forest, the five Upper Tonto Creek sites are 
located on two livestock grazing allotments: Christopher Mountain/
Ellinwood and Diamond Butte. The Redrock stonefly sites in the 
Christopher and Tonto Creeks are excluded from grazing due to their 
topography (they are in very steep terrain), or they are located in 
pastures that are not grazed. The Spring Creek site is not located on a 
grazing allotment, but is used for the Heber-Reno Sheep Driveway on the 
Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Two permitted livestock 
operators are authorized to use the driveway as part of their 10-year 
grazing permits. The permitted sheep herding is currently managed 
through Annual Operating Instructions that are prepared for the Long 
Tom and Beehive/Sheep Springs allotments in coordination with the 
livestock operators and six ranger districts on the two forests. The 
Sheep Driveway is used to access summer grazing allotments on the 
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest from winter grazing lands located on 
private property in Phoenix, Arizona. Approximately 8,000 permitted 
sheep, plus 7 pack animals per band for the sheep herders and camp 
tender, are authorized on the Sheep Driveway (USDA 2010a, pp. 1-2). 
Sheep are kept out of all riparian areas except when crossing and 
watering (USDA 2010a, p. 11). All riparian areas are excluded from use 
as bedding grounds. The limited sheep grazing at established stream 
channel crossings does not likely affect the Redrock stonefly. These 
stream crossing sites have little to no riparian vegetation and no 
potential to produce riparian vegetation because they are dry washes or 
road surfaces, or they consist of large cobble and boulder substrate 
(USDA 2010a, p. 3).
    Livestock grazing is not threatening the habitat of the Redrock 
stonefly, because the habitat has limited exposure to the effects of 
grazing. Livestock are excluded from the Oak, Wet Beaver, and Campbell 
Blue Creeks Redrock stonefly sites due to decisions of land managers or 
property owners. The Tonto Creek Redrock stonefly sites are located in 
areas difficult for livestock to access. Only one area is used as a 
travel corridor for moving sheep (Spring Creek), and the stream 
crossing sites are not likely to affect Redrock stoneflies. Therefore, 
we find that grazing is not a significant threat to the Redrock 
stonefly or its habitat.
    Crayfish are not native to Arizona. The red swamp crayfish 
(Procambarus clarkii) and the green or northern crayfish (Orconectes 
virilis) were introduced in Arizona in the 1970s (Taylor et al. 1996, 
p. 27; Inman et al. 1998, p. 3). The red swamp crayfish is not 
currently found in any of the Redrock stonefly sites (Sorensen 2010, p. 
1; USGS 2010a, p. 1). The northern crayfish, however, is found 
throughout Arizona, including the following Redrock stonefly sites: 
Tonto Creek drainage; Oak Creek drainage (Holycross et al. 2006, pp. 
23, 40-44, 59); Verde River drainage (Inman et al. 1998, Appendix B; 
Holycross et al. 2006, pp. 14, 20-28, 54-56); Salt River drainage 
(Inman et al. 1998, Appendix B; Holycross et al. 2006, pp. 15, 29-44, 
56-60); and Spring Creek drainage and Campbell Blue Creek drainage 
(Holycross et al. 2006, pp. 25, 46, 55, 60).
    Crayfish are known to affect aquatic macroinvertebrate habitat in 
three ways: (1) By increasing leaf litter decomposition rates; (2) by 
feeding on aquatic plants; and (3) by increasing turbidity and 
sedimentation from bioturbation when crayfish are physically moving 
through fine substrates. The following discussion addresses each of 
these three mechanisms. Crayfish can also prey on macroinvertebrates, 
and this is discussed under Factor C.
    First, crayfish may reduce the amount of leaf litter in streams and 
reduce the amount of forage and foraging habitat available to Redrock 
stonefly nymphs. The nymphs feed on detritus when young; they then prey 
upon other aquatic macroinvertebrates found in the leaf litter 
(Fenoglio 2003, pp. 2, 16). Forested streams receive a large portion of 
their energy input from allochthonous litter (mainly plant material 
from terrestrial sources) (Minshall 1967, p. 147; Vannote et al. 1980, 
p. 132; Wallace et al. 1997, p. 102). This litter, in the form of 
leaves and wood, is an important food source and foraging area for 
stream invertebrates (Wallace and Webster 1996, p. 120; Usio 2000, p. 
608). Invertebrates that feed on leaf litter are called shredders and 
consume course particulate organic matter in the stream channel. 
Shredders convert coarse particulate organic matter into fine 
particulate organic matter, which breaks down litter and provides 
additional food sources for stream macroinvertebrates. In their native 
range, crayfish serve an important function by shredding coarse 
particulate organic matter into fine matter in litter-based food webs 
(Usio 2000, p. 612; Creed and Reed 2004, p. 225).
    However, nonnative crayfish feeding on leaf litter can 
significantly reduce the time it would otherwise take to break down 
leaf litter and may lower the amount of foraging area available to 
native macroinvertebrates (Usio 2000, p. 612; Creed and Reed 2004, p. 
231; Bobeldyk and Lamberti 2010, pp. 648, 652). Nonnative crayfish are 
typically the largest invertebrate shredder in streams (Usio 2000, p. 
609; Parkyn et al. 2001, p. 641). Studies show that reduced terrestrial 
litter amounts in streams resulted in decreased abundance of 
invertebrates (and their predators) that feed on large and fine 
particulate organic matter (Wallace et al. 1997, p. 102; Bobeldyk and 
Lamberti 2010, pp. 649, 652). Neotropical Anacroneuria nymphs feed on 
the small invertebrates that occur in association with leaf litter and 
leaf packs (accumulated piles of leaf litter) (Benstead 1996, p. 371; 
Mathuriau and Chauvet 2002, p. 390; Wantzen and Wagner 2006, p. 220). 
Redrock stonefly nymphs are expected to use leaf packs as foraging 
habitat when leaf packs are available and have not been removed from 
the site by flooding (Schade and Fisher 1997, p. 624). Redrock stonefly

[[Page 46257]]

nymphs could have less available food and foraging habitat as a result 
of nonnative crayfish feeding on the leaf litter and increasing the 
rate of leaf breakdown. However, because leaf litter availability is 
also affected by flood events, the Redrock stonefly would be expected 
to be adaptable and to satisfy its foraging needs in other habitats 
such as riffle areas. Therefore, the potential loss of some leaf litter 
due to crayfish is not expected to impact Redrock stoneflies.
    Second, crayfish may reduce the amount of living aquatic vegetation 
in streams. Crayfish feed heavily on living aquatic plants (Chambers et 
al. 1990, p. 90; Creed 1994, p. 2098; Nystrom and Strand 1996, pp. 678, 
680). The northern crayfish feeds on and reduces aquatic vegetation 
available in streams, removing food sources for herbaceous 
invertebrates, which reduces macroinvertebrate habitat, and may cause a 
decrease in available prey items as food for the Redrock stonefly. In 
one example, Creed (1994, p. 2098) found that a filamentous alga 
(Cladophora glomerata), an aquatic plant commonly fed upon by crayfish, 
was at least 10-fold greater in aquatic habitats without crayfish in 
Michigan streams. Filamentous alga is an important component of aquatic 
vegetation that provides cover and food for macroinvertebrates that 
predatory stoneflies may feed on.
    However, we believe that crayfish feeding on aquatic plants is not 
likely to impact the Redrock stonefly. This is because Redrock stonefly 
nymphs occur in moderately steep-gradient streams with cobble 
substrates that do not provide many areas with fine substrates or low 
water velocities for herbaceous vegetation to establish and persist. 
The three factors that limit aquatic vegetation growth in stream 
channels are shade, large cobble substrate, and high water velocity, 
and they are all present at all Redrock stonefly sites (Vannote et al. 
1990, p. 132; Biggs 1996, p. 135; Riis and Biggs 2003, pp. 1495-1496; 
O'Hare et al. 2010, pp. 6-7; Service 2010a, p. 1). We presume that 
Redrock stoneflies, like most Anacroneuria, feed in leaf litter and 
gravel and cobble substrates rather than in aquatic vegetation 
(Tamaris-Turizo 2007, p. 1). Therefore, crayfish herbivory does not 
significantly impact stonefly foraging habitat or prey availability.
    Third, crayfish can increase turbidity (suspended sediment in the 
water column) in wetlands and lakes as they move and forage for prey in 
fine sediments (Statzner et al. 2000, p. 1039; Dorn and Wojdak 2004, p. 
157). Many aquatic invertebrates depend upon open interstitial spaces 
(small openings between rocks) in channel substrate (gravels and 
cobbles). Excessive sediments in streams can fill the interstitial 
spaces and reduce aquatic invertebrate habitat (Waters 1995, pp. 65-
68). Crayfish bioturbation (the mobilizing of sediments by crayfish 
activity) can impact lakes, ponds, and wetlands, but it is not likely 
to significantly affect high-gradient streams, such as the sites where 
Redrock stoneflies are present, because the small amounts of suspended 
sediment would be carried by stream flow through the water column until 
they are deposited downstream at lower gradient and lower velocity 
    In some situations, crayfish bioturbation may actually improve 
macroinvertebrate habitat in the stream environment by removing fine 
sediments from interstitial spaces. For example, Statzner et al. (2000, 
p. 1039) observed that crayfish bioturbation removed fine sediments and 
benefited gravel-spawning salmonids. Also, Creed and Reed (2004, p. 
234) found that mayfly (Ephemeroptera) numbers increased when crayfish 
bioturbation removed fine sediments from gravel streambeds in Maryland. 
This may be particularly important for the recovery of stream bottom 
habitats after silt deposition following floods or other upstream 
disturbances (Parkyn et al. 1997, p. 689). The Redrock stonefly sites 
are stable stream channels that are moderately steep and dominated by 
cobbles. These sites usually have little soft or fine sediments to be 
disturbed and enter the water column. Therefore, crayfish bioturbation 
is not likely to impact Redrock stoneflies.
    In summary, we considered three mechanisms by which nonnative 
crayfish could alter the habitat of the Redrock stonefly: (1) 
Increasing leaf litter decomposition rates; (2) feeding on aquatic 
plants; and (3) increasing turbidity and sedimentation from 
bioturbation when crayfish are physically moving through fine 
substrates. Our analysis of the biology of the stonefly and known 
ecology of the crayfish finds that crayfish are not likely a 
significant threat to the Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
    Wildfires, through alterations of the terrestrial environment, can 
cause many physical disturbances to streams (Gresswell 1999, p. 194). 
Low-intensity fire, which is cooler burning and does not result in 
major changes in the vegetation community in which it occurs, has been 
a natural disturbance factor in forested landscapes for centuries, and 
low-intensity fires were common in Southwestern forests and grasslands 
prior to European settlement (Harrington and Sackett 1990, p. 122). 
Fire suppression and wildfire control during the past decades have 
changed this natural fire regime, resulting in unnatural fuel build-up 
by increased understory vegetation and stand density of large trees, 
which increases fire severity (Harrington and Sackett 1990, p. 122; 
Schoennagel et al. 2004, p. 661; Westerling et al. 2006, p. 940). This 
increased wildfire severity can result in large increases in the 
magnitude and frequency of floods resulting from vegetation removal by 
fire that did not likely occur prior to wildfire suppression and 
control efforts (Neary et al. 2003, p. 30). Moody and Martin (2001, p. 
2990) and Viera et al. (2004, p. 1254) each noted increased soil 
erodibility and reduced infiltration after severe fires, which resulted 
in dramatic increases in peak flow and sediment load in streams 
draining burned catchments. In Southwestern montane watersheds, flood 
events may occur during the July-August monsoon period immediately 
following the May-June fire season (Rinne 1996, p. 653).
    Wildfires have occurred in the past within watersheds that contain 
the Redrock stonefly sites (for example, the Picture Fire above Spring 
Creek, the Brady Fire above Wet Beaver Creek, and the Brins Fire and 
Division Fire above Oak Creek). The Brady Fire burned approximately 
4,000 acres (ac) (1,620 hectares (ha)) in the upper Wet Beaver Creek 
watershed in 2009 (U.S. Forest Service 2010b, p. 1). Two USGS stream 
gages are near the Oak Creek and Wet Beaver Creek Redrock stonefly 
sites. Wet Beaver Creek stream flow data do not show that there has 
been a significantly higher peak flow event after the fire. The nearest 
Oak Creek stream gage, immediately upstream of Page Springs, began 
functioning in October 1981. The Division Fire burned approximately 650 
ac (260 ha) on the slopes above Oak Creek at Page Springs in August 
1980, and the Brins Fire burned 4,317 ac (1,744 ha) north of Sedona in 
June 2006 (U.S. Forest Service 2010b, p. 1). The USGS stream flow data 
do not show any significantly higher peak flows after the two fires 
(USGS 2010).
    The direct effects of fire on stream macroinvertebrate communities 
generally are minor or indiscernible (Rinne 1996, p. 655; Minshall et 
al. 1997, p. 2519; Minshall 2003, p. 155). However, important 
exceptions may include intense heating in areas of small water volume 
(for example, small first-

[[Page 46258]]

or second-order streams or shallow, sluggish margins of larger streams) 
and extended exposure to toxins from dense smoke and errant retardant 
drops (Minshall 2003, p. 156). Redrock stoneflies may only experience 
limited exposure to these effects in the swifter flowing water they 
inhabit. Toxins and heated water may be transported through their 
habitat before cumulative adverse effects result.
    Instead, adverse effects of wildfire on stream macroinvertebrates 
are largely the result of physical changes in habitat due to increased 
runoff after the fire (Minshall et al. 1989, p. 712). This higher 
runoff can scour, transport, and redistribute sediments and organic 
matter, and it can restructure the physical stream environment (Herbst 
and Cooper 2010, p. 1355). Aquatic macroinvertebrates are somewhat 
resilient to flood events. High numbers may be removed after floods, 
but their numbers quickly recover (Molles 1985, p. 281; Hering et al. 
2004, p. 454). However, aquatic macroinvertebrates showed low 
resistance and resilience to the effects of repeated, large, post-fire 
flood events (Viera et al. 2004, p. 1253). Macroinvertebrate taxa 
richness and densities in general were reduced after the first large 
post-fire flood events, then recovered until the next large flood event 
(Viera et al. 2004, pp. 1247-1248). In one example, a 3-year study from 
central Arizona, Rinne (1996, p. 655) found large flood events reduced 
macroinvertebrate densities by 85 to 90 percent after the Dude Fire.
    Primary consumers, organisms that feed on plants, such as blackfly 
and midge larvae (Diptera), and Baetid mayflies, quickly recolonized 
and dominated the community after wildfire (Minshall et al. 1997, p. 
2523; Viera et al. 2004, p. 1255). Many of these primary consumers are 
filter feeders, which are able to take advantage of increased organic 
matter entering the stream after a fire (Minshall et al. 1989, p. 713; 
Herbst and Cooper 2010, p. 1363). They also disperse easily from 
upstream areas through drift (Minshall et al. 1997, p. 2523) or from 
adult dispersal from adjacent undisturbed habitats (Hughes et al. 2003, 
p. 2151). Because of the increased availability of prey species 
(primary consumers), large stonefly nymphs and other predatory 
macroinvertebrates can dramatically increase in abundance after a fire 
(Viera et al. 2004, pp. 1253-1254; Herbst and Cooper 2010, p. 1360; 
Malison and Baxter 2010, p. 1335). For example, Viera et al. (2004, p. 
1251) found the predaceous stonefly, Isoperla (Perlodidae), had 
recovered in the first post-fire year that did not experience a 
significant flood event. We would, therefore, anticipate that under 
most circumstances, if fires resulted in a decrease in the availability 
of primary consumer prey species for food of Redrock stoneflies, such 
an effect would be short-term in nature.
    Because of the limited exposure of the species to the effects of 
wildfires and the expected resiliency of the species to recover 
following any short-term habitat alteration resulting from wildfires, 
we find the wildfires are not a significant threat to the Redrock 
stonefly or its habitat.
Prescribed Fires
    To avoid the detrimental effects of large, high-severity fires and 
to restore more natural fire disturbance patterns in forest ecosystems 
of the western United States, prescribed fires and mechanical forest 
thinnings (selected removal of trees) are being used as management 
tools, particularly near wildland-urban interfaces (Arkle and Pilliod 
2010, p. 893). Prescribed fires are often intentionally excluded from, 
or near, riparian forests to avoid fire-associated increases in 
sediment levels and other habitat changes that could be detrimental to 
ecologically sensitive habitats and aquatic taxa (Arkle and Pillirod 
2010, pp. 893-894). Therefore, prescribed fires in Arizona are usually 
designed to avoid impacting riparian and stream habitats. For example, 
the U.S. Forest Service has formally consulted with the Service under 
section 7 of the Act on two prescribed fires that they determined would 
have an adverse effect on two listed species, Gila topminnow 
(Poeciliopsis occidentalis) and loach minnow (Tiaroga cobitis), in a 
riparian or stream community in Arizona: the Quien Sabe Fire Management 
Treatment (Service 1991, pp. 8-9) and the Robinson Mesa Prescribed Fire 
Project (Service 1999, pp. 22-23). Both consultations included 
mandatory terms and conditions to reduce the adverse effects of project 
implementation to listed species. We anticipate that the exclusion of 
prescribed fire from riparian areas, along with conservation measures 
put in place during prescribed fire planning for other species, is 
adequate to minimize impacts to the Redrock stonefly. The Redrock 
stonefly's resilience to wildfire, discussed above, would also reduce 
the effects of prescribed fire. Therefore, we find that prescribed 
fires are not a significant threat to the Redrock stonefly or its 
    The Redrock stonefly sites or their watersheds occur on private, 
State, and Federal lands. The Federal lands are managed for recreation 
and other purposes, and some level of recreation occurs on every stream 
occupied by the Redrock stonefly. A study of outdoor recreation trends 
in the United States found increases in participation in most of the 
activities surveyed, which included bicycling, primitive or developed-
area camping, bird watching, hiking, backpacking, and snowmobiling 
(Cordell et al. 1999, pp. 221-321). Human population growth trends are 
expected to continue into the future throughout the Southwest, leading 
to higher demand for outdoor recreational opportunities. In the arid 
Southwest, the human desire to recreate in or near water, and the 
relative scarcity of such recreational opportunities, tends to focus 
recreation impacts on riparian areas (Winter 1993, p. 155; Briggs 1996, 
p. 36).
    Streams are popular hiking destinations in Arizona. While there are 
hiking opportunities at each of the Redrock stonefly sites, actual use 
is limited by their location in remote rugged canyons with poor access 
or due to land ownership restrictions (State and private lands). Spring 
Creek and the three lower Tonto Creek sites are located in areas 
without easy road access. The upper Tonto Creek site is difficult to 
access because of private land downstream of its location. The Campbell 
Blue Creek site is located along a forest road, leading to a private 
ranch in a remote area in eastern Arizona. The Redrock stonefly is not 
affected by hiking in Oak Creek. The Page Springs Oak Creek site, at 
the Page Springs Hatchery, has hiking trails on the adjacent uplands. 
The AGFD allows very limited creek access from their property, due to 
concerns of fish disease transmission from the creek to the hatchery. 
Redrock State Park only allows visitor access along designated trails; 
swimming or wading is prohibited in Oak Creek. The Beaver Creek Ranch 
is a private high school that limits public access to the east side of 
the creek. Recreational use is primarily hiking through the area along 
the west side of the creek.
    Hiking in streams can be a source of disturbance to stream 
invertebrates. Aquatic invertebrates can be induced to drift as a 
result of disturbance by hikers within the stream. In one study, 
increased numbers of hikers resulted in increased densities of drifting 
aquatic invertebrates (Caires et al. 2010, p. 555). However, this is 
not likely to be a significant effect, because aquatic invertebrates 
are adapted to flash floods, which cause a similar, but larger, 
disturbance (Caires et al. 2010, p. 555).

[[Page 46259]]

Caires et al. (2010, p. 555) found that aquatic invertebrates areas 
disturbed by hikers quickly recolonized from upstream. Redrock 
stoneflies do not intentionally drift, but if hiking causes then to 
enter the water column, they would be susceptible to fish predation 
until they settled back down to the stream bed. Future flood events 
could carry Redrock stoneflies downstream to unoccupied habitats. 
Because of the limited opportunity for hikers in streams occupied by 
the Redrock stonefly and the likely, but short-term, effects of hiking, 
this type of recreational activity is not a significant threat to the 
Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
    Off-road vehicle (ORV) use is another form of recreation that can 
increase sedimentation in streams by damaging riparian vegetation and 
stream banks. However, most Redrock stonefly sites are either 
inaccessible or minimally impacted by ORV use. The Oak Creek sites are 
not accessible to ORV use. The Page Springs site, at the Page Springs 
Fish Hatchery, limits visitors to walking trails on both sides of Oak 
Creek, fish hatchery tours, and fishing. Also, ORV use is prohibited at 
the Redrock Crossing site at Red State Park. The Wet Beaver Creek sites 
are inaccessible to ORVs because the U.S. Forest Service road leading 
to the site upstream of the USGS gage is closed to all vehicular 
traffic. The lower Wet Beaver Creek site, near the Beaver Creek Ranch, 
is protected by private land on the east side and the closed U.S. 
Forest Service road on the west side. Similarly, the three Tonto Creek 
sites are either located in a narrow canyon or have private land at 
Bear Flats that blocks access. The lower site is located in the Hells 
Gate Wilderness, where mechanized and motorized vehicle uses are 
prohibited. The Spring Creek site is located in a steep-walled canyon 
without any road access. The Campbell Blue Creek site is the only 
habitat that may experience some ORV use because there is a road 
paralleling the creek that provides vehicle access into the area. 
Therefore, due to the lack of access to all but one of the known 
occupied sites, we do not consider ORV use a threat to the Redrock 
stonefly or its habitat.
    In summary, we considered the potential impacts to Redrock stonefly 
habitat from recreational activities primarily associated with hiking 
and ORV use. We found there is limited access to Redrock stonefly 
habitats for these activities and very minor effects when they occur. 
Therefore, we find that recreation is not a significant threat to the 
Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
Urban and Rural Development
    The effects of urban and rural development on natural habitats are 
expected to increase as human populations increase. Consumer interest 
in second home and retirement real estate investments has increased 
significantly in recent times within the southwestern United States. 
Medina (1990, p. 351) points out that many real estate investors are 
looking for scenic areas with mild climates to develop properties that 
are within, or adjacent to, riparian areas, due to their aesthetic 
appeal and available water, especially in the southwestern United 
States. Arizona's population increased by 28 percent from 2000 to 2009 
(U.S. Census Bureau 2010, p. 1). Over the same time period, population 
increases in the Arizona counties where Redrock stoneflies occur are as 
follows: Yavapai County (28 percent); Gila County (1.8 percent); and 
Apache County (1.8 percent) (U.S. Census Bureau 2010, p. 1).
    Increased urbanization and population growth results in increased 
demands for water development projects. Collier et al. (1996, p. 16) 
mentions that water development projects are one of two main causes of 
decline of native fish in the Salt and Gila Rivers of Arizona, and 
municipal water use in central Arizona increased by 39 percent over 8 
years (American Rivers 2006, p. 1). Water for development and 
urbanization is often supplied by groundwater pumping and surface water 
diversions from sources that include reservoirs and the Central Arizona 
Project's allocations from the Colorado River. The hydrologic 
connection between groundwater and surface flow of intermittent and 
perennial streams is becoming better understood as a result of new 
research. Groundwater pumping creates a cone of depression within the 
affected aquifer that slowly extends outward from the well site. When 
the cone of depression intersects the hyporheic zone of a stream (the 
transition zone between surface water and groundwater), the surface 
water flow may decrease, and the subsequent drying of riparian and 
wetland vegetative communities may result (Webb and Leake 2006, p. 
    Streamflow reduction from increased groundwater use and surface 
water diversion can have a dramatic impact on stream habitat and 
associated macroinvertebrate communities. Artificial flow reductions 
frequently lead to negative changes in aquatic ecosystems, such as 
decreased water depth, increased sedimentation, and altered water 
temperatures and chemistry; all of these can reduce or influence 
macroinvertebrate numbers, richness, competition, predation, and other 
interactions (Dewson et al. 2007, pp. 401-411). Twenter and Metzger 
(1963, p. 29) determined that permeable sandstone beds are the primary 
source of water for springs in the Page Springs (also referred to as 
Cave Springs) and Spring Creek areas, and much of the perennial flow in 
Oak Creek is from these springs. Twenter and Metzger (1963, p. 14) 
determined that the average base flow of Oak Creek just above the 
springs complex during winter months was 40 cfs (1.13 cms). After 
adding the 36 cfs (1.01 cms) inflow from springs and 16 cfs (0.45 cms) 
from Spring Creek, the base flow increased to 92 cfs (2.6 cms) near the 
mouth of the creek. There are six springs, not including Page Springs, 
immediately upstream of the Page Springs Redrock stonefly site that 
produces more than 10 gpm (37.8 lpm) (ADWR 2009a, p. 268). Page Springs 
is the second highest discharging spring in the Verde River watershed, 
flowing at 29 cfs (0.82 cms) (Flora 2004, p. 38). These springs and 
seeps in the Page Springs area provide a large volume of water to Oak 
Creek, where the Redrock stonefly occurs (Mitchell 2001, p. 4). An 
analysis of the Page Springs flow rate between January 1, 1996, and 
February 9, 2000, detected a 15 percent decline in flow (Mitchell 2001, 
p. 5). This analysis period coincided with a severe to extreme drought, 
and with the drilling of three new wells upstream of Page Springs 
(Mitchell 2001, p. 6). The ADWR's records show that three wells have 
been drilled in close proximity and up gradient of Cave Springs 
(Mitchell 2001, p. 6). Two of these wells pump between 1,200 gpm (4,542 
lpm) and 1,500 gpm (5,678 lpm), and are within 0.75 mi (1.2 km) of Page 
Springs. Given their proximity, production rate, and hydrological 
connectivity, groundwater withdrawal by these wells could have a direct 
impact on flow at Page Springs (Mitchell 2001, p. 6). However, the 
extent of the impact of these wells on the spring cannot be determined 
without long-term aquifer tests and simultaneous discharge monitoring 
at Cave Springs (Mitchell 2001, p. 6).
    Wet Beaver Creek, upstream of the USGS stream gage, is not affected 
by diversions or wells, because the watershed above this site is on the 
Coconino National Forest. The Beaver Creek Ranch, adjacent to the lower 
Wet Beaver Creek site, has a small pond that is filled by a diversion 
from the creek. This pond is not large enough to impact

[[Page 46260]]

Wet Beaver Creek base flow (Hedwall 2011, p. 1).
    The Upper Tonto Creek headwaters are fed by numerous springs, the 
largest of which is Tonto Springs. Long-term flow records from Tonto 
Springs show little fluctuation in baseflow over a 20-year period 
(Parker et al. 2005, p. 73). There are numerous small wells located on 
private lands and at U.S. Forest Service campgrounds upstream of the 
Redrock stonefly site. The ADWR (2009a, p. 187) does not monitor water 
depth in these wells, nor address the wells' impact to Tonto Creek 
    The Redrock stonefly site on Spring Creek is not affected by 
groundwater wells as ADWR does not identify any wells in the vicinity 
(2009a, p. 197). The Campbell Blue Creek Redrock stonefly site is 
located in an undeveloped watershed with only two small parcels of 
private land upstream of two ADWR-registered wells at the Blue River 
Ranch. There are no other ADWR-registered wells on Campbell Blue Creek 
(ADWR 2010, p. 1). There will likely be continued human population 
growth in the foreseeable future in some areas around Redrock stonefly 
habitats that could result in increased groundwater usage. However, we 
do not have sufficient information to reasonably determine whether any 
future groundwater would result in declines to stream flows in Redrock 
stonefly habitats. Overall, because of the low level of water 
development currently occurring within the watersheds that support the 
species, water development associated with urban and rural development 
does not appear to threaten the Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
Summary of Factor A
    Overall, our review found that the best available scientific and 
commercial information indicates that the Redrock stonefly is not 
threatened by the destruction, modification, or curtailment of its 
habitat or range either now or in the foreseeable future. The Redrock 
stonefly spends most of its life in a nymph stage in gravel and cobble 
substrates of perennial streams. Therefore, water quality and 
streamflow are important habitat factors in assessing the status of the 
species. In considering potential threats due to the degradation of 
water quality, we first found that the Redrock stonefly, unlike other 
species of stoneflies, is not known to be particularly sensitive to 
changes in water quality. This is due to anatomical adaptations of the 
genus that allow it to persist in warmer water with lower oxygen levels 
compared to other stoneflies. Because of these adaptations, any 
potential changes in water quality are likely to have minimal impacts 
to the Redrock stonefly. In addition, studies by the State of Arizona, 
ADEQ, at eight sites near Redrock stonefly habitat found no water 
quality problems that would be a concern for the stonefly. We also 
considered the potential impacts to water quality, particularly 
increased sedimentation, from livestock grazing in watersheds where the 
Redrock stonefly occurs. Our analysis found that grazing is not a 
significant source of sedimentation because most of the sites where the 
stoneflies occur have either adequately managing grazing programs or no 
grazing activity. In addition, water quality assessments by ADEQ did 
not indicate increased levels of sediments or other pollutants of 
    We also considered the possible habitat concerns related to the 
presence of nonnative crayfish in streams inhabited by the Redrock 
stonefly. We found that while crayfish may increase leaf litter 
decomposition rates and reduce foraging habitat for Redrock stoneflies, 
the availability of this habitat is naturally limited by flood events. 
Redrock stoneflies have other foraging habitats available to them in 
the stream channel, such as in gravel and cobble substrates. Crayfish 
could also reduce foraging habitat for stoneflies by feeding on aquatic 
plants, if they served as stonefly feeding substrate. However, as 
Redrock stoneflies likely feed in leaf litter and gravel and cobble 
substrates (rather than on aquatic vegetation), and their streams do 
not contain much habitat for aquatic vegetation, this change would not 
impact the stoneflies. Finally, the potential for crayfish to increase 
turbidity of the water through foraging was not found to be a problem 
because the stream habitats where the stonefly occurs are high gradient 
with fast velocity that flushes most mobilized sediments downstream. 
Thus, the nature of the Redrock stonefly's feeding strategies and 
habitat (fast-flowing water over riffles of gravel and cobble 
substrates) reduces the potential impacts of nonnative crayfish.
    We next considered the potential impacts from wildfires and 
prescribed fires to Redrock stonefly habitats. We found that the 
species has limited exposure to the effects of wildfires and is 
expected to show high resiliency to recover following any short-term 
habitat alteration resulting from wildfires. In addition, for 
prescribed fires, we anticipate that the exclusion of riparian areas, 
along with other conservation measures, will likely be adequate to 
minimize any potential impacts to the Redrock stonefly or its habitat.
    We evaluated the potential impacts to Redrock stonefly habitat from 
recreational activities primarily associated with hiking and ORV use, 
because many of the streams where the species occurs are popular 
recreational destinations. However, we found there is limited access 
for these activities to the actual Redrock stonefly habitats, and very 
minor effects are expected when recreational activities occur near 
Redrock stonefly habitat. This limits the likelihood of any potential 
impacts to the species associated with recreational activities. We also 
assessed the risk of stream flow declines as a consequence to increases 
in human development and associated groundwater use. While there are 
potential effects to stream flows in some areas, we found no indication 
that groundwater withdrawals either currently, or in the foreseeable 
future, are likely to impact Redrock stonefly habitats.
    Finally, there has been no reduction in the known range of the 
Redrock stonefly (see discussion under Distribution section above). The 
only change in the distribution of Redrock stonefly is the increase in 
the number of known locations that resulted from a recent increase in 
survey efforts. Therefore, in conclusion, we find that the best 
scientific and commercial information available indicates that the 
Redrock stonefly is not now, or in the foreseeable future, threatened 
by the destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or 
range to the extent that listing under the Act as an endangered or 
threatened species is warranted at this time.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    There is no information available indicating that overutilization 
is a threat to Redrock stonefly. Because of limited access, collection 
of the species is not likely to occur with any frequency. The Redrock 
stonefly is currently known to occur at 10 sites. Access to three, 
Tonto Creek above Bear Flats, Page Springs, and Redrock Crossing, is 
limited by private land, State park, or State fish hatchery. The two 
Wet Beaver Creek sites have limited access due to closed roads and 
private land. The three sites on Tonto Creek, below the Bear Flat 
Campground and the Spring Creek site, have limited access due to rugged 
terrain and poor road conditions. There is no commercial or 
recreational use for Redrock stoneflies. Further, even though small 
collections for scientific and educational purposes may occasionally 
occur, we do not believe these collections are large enough in

[[Page 46261]]

magnitude to constitute a threat to the species. Therefore, we conclude 
that the best scientific and commercial information available indicates 
that Redrock stonefly is not threatened now or in the foreseeable 
future from overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, 
or educational purposes.

C. Disease or Predation

    We have no information that disease may be a threat to Redrock 
stonefly. However, potential impacts from predation by native fish, 
nonnative fish, and nonnative crayfish are discussed below.
Predation by Native Fish
    Native fish species, found in some or all of the Redrock stonefly 
sites, that may feed on Redrock stoneflies include: Roundtail chub 
(Gila robusta), Gila chub (G. intermedia), headwater chub (G. nigra), 
longfin dace (Agosia chrysogaster), speckled dace (Rhinichthys 
osculus), and Sonoran sucker (Catostomus insignis) (Rinne 1992, p. 39; 
Pilger et al. 2010, p. 307). The Oak Creek sites are also considered 
historical Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) habitat (Service 2003, p. 
6), and the Campbell Blue River site, although outside their historical 
range, may contain introduced Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache) 
(Service 2009b, p. 12). These two trout feed upon Redrock stonefly and 
other aquatic insects (Behnke 1992, p. 43).
    Native fish predation is not likely to negatively impact Redrock 
stoneflies. Aquatic macroinvertebrates, like Redrock stonefly, have 
adapted over time to fish predation (including small body size, cryptic 
coloration, and nocturnal activity) so that they are affected little by 
changes in fish density (Allan 1982, p. 1454). Two studies found that 
when fish numbers were reduced (Allan 1982, p. 1454) or increased (Culp 
1986, p. 146), there were no significant effects on stoneflies and 
other macroinvertebrates. The stonefly, Hesperaperla (Perlidae), 
experienced decreased sculpin (Cottus sp.) predation when hiding cover 
was available (Brusven and Rose 1981, p. 1447). Flecker and Allan 
(1984, p. 311) found that fish predation had very little effect on 
macroinvertebrate taxa and individuals regardless of substrate size 
(embedded or un-embedded gravel and cobble substrate). Fish predation 
may be negligible if fish are feeding primarily on ``surplus'' 
secondary production of macroinvertebrates that exceeds the local 
carrying capacity.
    The vulnerability of large predatory stonefly to fish predation is 
largely a function of their exposure, large size, and active foraging 
habits (Meissner and Muotka 2006, p. 428). However, most Perlidae 
stoneflies, including Anacroneuria, forage at night to avoid predators 
that seek prey visually (Zanetell and Peckarsky 1996, p. 574). Where 
focused predation on predatory stoneflies occurs, it can decrease 
stonefly density in two ways: Direct consumption by predatory fish, or 
apparent emigration to an area with fewer fish (Feltmate and Williams 
1989, p. 1579). Stoneflies also modify habitat use to avoid predation 
by selecting larger substrate on which they are less vulnerable 
(Brusven and Rose 1981, p. 1447; Feltmate et al. 1986, p. 1587).
    Because of the findings of past studies showing a lack of effect of 
predation on stoneflies and the ability of stoneflies to avoid exposure 
to predation, we find that predation by native fish is not a 
significant threat to Redrock stonefly.
Predation by Nonnative Fish
    Nonnative fish are found in the majority of aquatic communities in 
Arizona, including the Redrock stonefly sites. Holycross et al. (2006, 
pp. 14-15) found nonnative fish species in 64 percent of the sample 
sites in the Agua Fria watershed, 85 percent of the sample sites in the 
Verde River watershed, 75 percent of the sample sites in the Salt River 
watershed, and 56 percent of the sample sites in the Gila River 
watershed. In total, nonnative fish were observed at 41 of the 57 sites 
surveyed (72 percent) across the Mogollon Rim in Arizona (Holycross et 
al. 2006, p. 14).
    Several studies have been conducted that analyzed the effects of 
nonnative fish predation on predaceous aquatic invertebrates like the 
Redrock stonefly. Pilger et al. (2010, pp. 306-307, 311, 319-321) found 
the nonnative brown trout (Salmo trutta), rainbow trout, flathead 
catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), 
smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and yellow bullhead (Ameiurus 
natalis) preyed more frequently on predaceous aquatic invertebrates 
than did native fish species. The study also found stonefly remains in 
rainbow trout and yellow bullhead stomach contents (Pilger et al. 2010, 
pp. 316-317). Other studies (Nystrom et al. 2003, p. 603; Meissner and 
Muotka 2006, pp. 428-429; Herbst et al. 2009, pp. 1336-1337) also found 
that trout prefer large active prey such as predatory invertebrates, 
which may include the Redrock stonefly. In Argentina, Molineri (2008, 
p. 111) found Anacroneuria densities lower in streams with introduced 
rainbow trout than in streams with a single native fish species. In a 
second study, introduced trout were also found to decrease invertebrate 
predaceous stonefly abundance when compared with paired fishless 
streams (Herbst et al. 2009, p. 1330). Herbst et al. (2009, p. 1337) 
also found that two of the three abundant predaceous stoneflies 
declined with trout introductions, whereas the third species was 
    In streams where a previously nonexistent feeding guild (a group of 
organisms that feed on resources in similar ways) has become 
established by the presence of a nonnative fish, macroinvertebrate 
community-level effects are likely to be more detectable. For example, 
introduced brown trout in the Shag River, New Zealand, occupy the 
diurnal invertebrate drift feeder niche (species that feed on drifting 
macroinvertebrates during the day), which was not previously filled by 
native fish (Flecker and Townsend 1994, p. 805; Nystrom and McIntosh 
2003, p. 280). Macroinvertebrate numbers and densities were lowest in 
the brown trout-occupied channels (Flecker and Townsend 1994, pp. 801-
802). The effects of introduced trout on the macroinvertebrate 
community of previously fishless streams was also studied by Flecker 
(1992, p. 443), who compared differences in invertebrate drift timing 
between streams with an introduced drift feeder (rainbow trout) and 
nearby fishless streams. Where trout were introduced, invertebrate 
drift peaked at night, whereas the drift occurred at all times in the 
fishless streams. These studies indicate some potential impacts of 
nonnative fishes on stream invertebrates.
    The studies described above involved nonnative fish that were 
stocked into previously fishless streams or streams with extremely low 
native fish diversity. None of the streams occupied by the Redrock 
stonefly were fishless prior to nonnative fish establishment. As a 
result of evolving in habitat already containing native predatory fish, 
the Redrock stonefly has likely developed effective anti-predator 
behavior (Sih et al. 2010, p. 610). Also, in North America introduced 
nonnative trout co-exist with, or have replaced, native trout, rather 
than being released into streams without trout. So the introduced trout 
are not a novel predatory threat that Redrock stoneflies, in Oak, Wet 
Beaver, and the Campbell Blue Creeks, have not experienced (Flecker and 
Townsend 2003, p. 805). Tonto and Spring Creeks are not considered 
historic native trout habitat (Service 2003, p. 4). Therefore, we 
conclude that the anti-predatory behaviors of Redrock stoneflies are 
likely sufficient to prevent nonnative

[[Page 46262]]

trout from being a significant threat to the Redrock stonefly.
    Yellow bullheads, a nonnative fish species, do represent a 
previously nonexistent feeding guild in Arizona. They are nocturnal 
tactile feeders that forage along the stream bottom (Reynolds and 
Casterlin 1977, p. 132). Yellow bullheads are found in Oak, Wet Beaver, 
Tonto, and Spring Creeks, and are likely present in the Redrock 
stonefly sites. However, the Redrock stonefly may have specific 
behaviors to avoid predation by fish. For example, Moore and Williams 
(1990, p. 52) found that when the stonefly Pteranarcys dorsata was 
touched by sculpin and suckers feeding along the stream bottom, it 
froze and, if attacked, feigned death by curling up and extending its 
cerci (paired appendages on the posterior body segment) as spines. This 
reduced handling success or feeding ability by fish. Otto and 
Sj[ouml]str[ouml]m (1983, p. 203) also found that the stonefly Dinocras 
cephalotes used this anti-predator strategy to avoid trout predation. 
We do not know if this anti-predator strategy is used by Redrock 
stoneflies to avoid yellow bullhead predation, but we expect that this 
or other anti-predatory behaviors likely diminish any potential threat 
to the species posed by yellow bullheads.
Predation by Crayfish
    Predatory activities by introduced crayfish can affect aquatic 
macroinvertebrates by direct predation and increased macroinvertebrate 
drift as escaped prey escape and incidental dislodgment by crayfish 
foraging. Research indicates that crayfish are primarily carnivorous as 
juveniles before becoming omnivorous or even herbivorous as they mature 
(Bondar et al. 2005, p. 2633; Flinders and Magoulick 2007, p. 775). 
However, Momot (1995, pp. 34, 38) states that the crayfish's role as a 
predator has been greatly underestimated.
    Fernandez and Rosen (1996, p. 3) studied the effects of crayfish on 
a low-elevation semi-desert stream and a high-mountain stream in 
Arizona. They concluded that crayfish predation can noticeably reduce 
aquatic vertebrate and macroinvertebrate species diversity and 
destabilize food chains in riparian and aquatic ecosystems. However, 
specific information on nonnative crayfish predation on 
macroinvertebrates, or specifically stoneflies, is less conclusive. 
Some studies suggest that slow-moving organisms (unlike the Redrock 
stonefly) kept in enclosures with crayfish (for example, leeches 
(Hirudinea), dragonflies (Odonata), caddisflies (Trichoptera), isopods, 
and mollusks) are preyed on by crayfish, whereas more mobile prey or 
prey living in sediments (for example, trout fry, chironomids, and 
stoneflies) were less affected by crayfish (Hanson et al. 1990, p. 78; 
Stenroth and Nystrom 2003, p. 472). For example, Fernandez and Rosen 
(1996, p. 10) found significantly lower macroinvertebrate numbers and 
biomass (primarily slow-moving caddisflies, snails, and mussels) in 
crayfish-occupied sites than in unoccupied sites in the White 
Mountains, Arizona. Crayfish reduced slow or immobile invertebrate 
numbers and biomass in other studies as well (Hanson et al. 1990, p. 
78; Perry et al. 1997, p. 124; Stenroth and Nystrom 2003, p. 472; 
Olsson et al. 2009, p. 1735).
    One study found a negative relationship between crayfish numbers 
and invertebrates, such as stoneflies, as a result of crayfish 
predation. Charlebois and Lamberti (1996, pp. 556, 560) found lower 
macroinvertebrate numbers, including Perlid stoneflies, in areas with 
both low and high crayfish densities in a Michigan stream. They 
concluded that invasive crayfish can significantly affect 
macroinvertebrate numbers. However, when Bobeldyk and Lamberti (2008, 
pp. 268-269) returned 10 years later, they found that, while 
macroinvertebrate numbers were still significantly higher in areas 
without crayfish, areas with high and intermediate crayfish densities 
were dominated by highly mobile stoneflies and mayflies. This later 
study substantiates the conclusion from studies discussed above: more 
mobile aquatic macroinvertebrate species, such as the Redrock stonefly, 
may not be significantly impacted by crayfish predation.
    Crayfish predation on macroinvertebrates may be more pronounced in 
coldwater streams that lack crayfish predators, such as largemouth bass 
(Micropterus salmoides) and smallmouth bass (Hill and Lodge 1995, p. 
310; Charlebois and Lambertii 1996, p. 560). Hill and Lodge (1994, p. 
2122; 1995, p. 310) found higher macroinvertebrate numbers in 
enclosures that contained both bass and crayfish and attributed this to 
decreased crayfish feeding on vegetative cover and less foraging time 
in the presence of bass predation. In the cool-water streams occupied 
by the Redrock stonefly (the two uppermost Tonto Creek sites and the 
Campbell Blue Creek site), crayfish may not experience a high degree of 
fish predation; therefore, crayfish may not be limiting their foraging 
time. In contrast, green sunfish and yellow bullhead are found in the 
lower three Tonto Creek and Spring Creek Redrock stonefly sites. These 
species are crayfish predators (Pilger et al. 2010, pp. 319, 321). Wet 
Beaver Creek and Oak Creek contain smallmouth bass and yellow bullhead. 
These crayfish predators may decrease crayfish-predation on 
macroinvertebrates, such as the Redrock stonefly in Oak, Wet Beaver, 
the lower three Tonto, and Spring Creek sites.
    Crayfish are tactile predators and some stonefly nymphs have 
evolved appropriate defenses from predation such as retreat, deflection 
of an attack by reflex bleeding (fluid is forcibly expelled from pores 
on the legs), and spacing. Sedentary prey have been found to be more 
vulnerable than mobile prey to tactile predators (Allan and Flecker 
1988, p. 502); therefore, upon encountering a crayfish, stoneflies 
rapidly retreat rather than freezing to minimize the risk of being 
caught (Moore and Williams 1990, p. 53). Reflex bleeding or auto-
hemorrhaging is known to be used by at least four Plecoptera genera in 
two families: Pteronarcidae (Pteronarcys (Moore and Williams 1990, p. 
50) and Peltoperla (Benfield 1974, p. 740)), and Perlidae (Agnetina and 
Acroneuria (Bukantis and Peckarsky 1985, p. 202)). This is used as a 
defense only when retreat from the predator fails and capture occurs. 
Crayfish that are sprayed immediately drop the stonefly and clean their 
antennae and mouthparts before continuing to forage (Moore and Williams 
1990, p. 50). The spacing of nymphs may also serve as a deterrent to 
predation. Some stonefly nymphs display aggressive behavior towards 
each other when they come in close contact (Moore and Williams 1990, p. 
54). By avoiding close contact and high densities, Redrock stoneflies 
may reduce their susceptibility to predation by decreasing the time and 
exposure to predators (Tinbergen et al. 1967, p. 308; Moore and William 
1990, p. 55).
    Crayfish may also cause macroinvertebrate drift or movement within 
the water column indirectly by incidentally dislodging them during 
foraging, or directly by attempted predation (Charlebois and Lamberti 
1996, p. 557). As discussed earlier, predator-induced drift is a 
predator-avoidance mechanism used by macroinvertebrates that swim well, 
whereas poor swimming invertebrates (which would include Redrock 
stoneflies) crawl rather than drift, when approached by predators 
(Malmqvist and Sjostrom 1987, p. 401; Peckarsky 1996, p. 1902). Poor 
swimmers would be susceptible to fish predation if crayfish were to 
induce their drift up into the water column, especially during

[[Page 46263]]

the day (Flecker 1992, pp. 1-12; Radar and MacArthur 1995, pp. 7-8). 
Therefore, Redrock stoneflies crawl rather than drift to avoid crayfish 
predation, and so reduce the likelihood of predation by crayfish.
    In conclusion, because of the expected limited exposure of the 
Redrock stoneflies to crayfish and the stonefly's ability to avoid 
predation, we conclude that nonnative crayfish do not threaten the 
Redrock stonefly.
Summary of Factor C
    Disease is not known to be a threat to Redrock stonefly. Native 
fish, nonnative fish, and nonnative crayfish are found in Redrock 
stonefly habitat and likely prey on all available food resources, 
including the Redrock stonefly. However, we have no evidence to suggest 
that predation has been, or will be, a threat to the Redrock stonefly. 
The species has numerous morphological and behavioral adaptations that 
may be used to avoid predation by fish or crayfish. Aquatic 
macroinvertebrates and, presumably, Redrock stoneflies are well-adapted 
to fish predation, whether from native or nonnative species. While 
crayfish do feed on other aquatic macroinvertebrates, because of its 
mobility to avoid exposure to crayfish predation, the Redrock stonefly 
is not expected to be significantly affected. Consequently, we conclude 
that the best commercial and scientific information available indicates 
that the Redrock stonefly is not now, or in the foreseeable future, 
threatened by disease or predation to the extent that listing under the 
Act as an endangered or threatened species is warranted at this time.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The Arizona Department of Agriculture has the primary authority to 
manage insects in the State of Arizona. They currently do not provide 
any regulatory protection for the Redrock stonefly. Because we have not 
found any existing or future threats to the Redrock stonefly, we 
believe this lack of direct regulatory protection is acceptable. 
However, several mechanisms exist that provide some indirect protection 
for the Redrock stonefly and its habitat from various forms of 
disturbance and habitat loss, and these are described below.
    Redrock stoneflies may derive some indirect conservation benefit 
from their co-occurrence with other species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act and their critical habitat in Arizona. For 
example, the Campbell Blue Creek was designated as loach minnow 
critical habitat in 2007 (72 FR 13355; March 21, 2007). The Service is 
currently reevaluating loach minnow critical habitat and is proposing 
approximately 709 mi (1,141 km) of streams as critical habitat (75 FR 
66482; October 28, 2010). The Service has also proposed 726 mi (1,168 
km) of streams as critical habitat for spikedace (Meda fulgida) (75 FR 
66482; October 28, 2010). These proposed critical habitat segments 
overlap the Redrock stonefly sites on Oak, Campbell Blue, Wet Beaver, 
and Spring Creeks. The Wet Beaver Creek site upstream of the USGS gage 
and the Upper Tonto Creek sites upstream of Houston Creek were not 
proposed for critical habitat designation. If the proposed areas are 
included in critical habitat for one or both endangered fishes, some 
limited benefits for the Redrock stonefly may occur. Critical habitat 
only applies to Federal actions and would only consider the impacts to 
habitat for the fishes; however, there is sufficient overlap in 
habitats with the Redrock stonefly, so some conservation benefits could 
    The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (NWSR System) was 
created by Congress in 1968 (Pub. L. 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) to 
preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and 
recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of 
present and future generations. This NWSR System is notable for 
safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while also 
recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It 
encourages river management that crosses political boundaries and 
promotes public participation in developing goals for river protection. 
The U.S. Forest Service's policy at FSH 1909.12, Chapter 8.12 states 
that management prescriptions for eligible rivers should provide the 
following protection:
    (1) Free-flowing characteristics cannot be modified.
    (2) Outstandingly remarkable values must be protected, and to the 
extent practicable, enhanced.
    (3) Management and development of the river and its corridor cannot 
be modified to the degree that eligibility or classification would be 
    The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest recently submitted an 
eligibility report, which recommended that Campbell Blue Creek be 
included in the NWSR System (USDA 2010, pp. 83-87). This Redrock 
stonefly site is located in Eligible Segment 3, which has the proposed 
classification as ``Recreational.'' `Recreational'' river sections are 
readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along 
their shorelines, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion 
in the past (USDA 2010, p. 1). During the interim period, until 
Congress approves the designation, eligible rivers must be managed 
under the same guidelines as if designated. Therefore, the Redrock 
stonefly site on Campbell Blue Creek currently receives protection as 
if the creek was designated part of the NWSR System (USDA 2006, p. 22). 
This protection entails specifically the Campbell Blue Creek's free-
flowing condition and outstanding remarkable values. Free-flowing is 
defined in part in the NWRS Act as without impoundment, diversion, 
straightening, rip-rapping, or other modification of the waterway (16 
U.S.C. 1286(b)); all of which benefits the Redrock stonefly and its 
habitat in Campbell Blue Creek.
    An Instream Flow Water Right Permit with the ADWR is a surface 
water right that remains in-situ or ``in-stream,'' is not physically 
diverted or consumptively used, and is for maintaining the flow of 
water necessary to preserve wildlife, including fish and recreation 
(ADWR 2009a, pp. 29-30). The Tonto National Forest has an instream flow 
water right (permit number 96757) for Christopher Creek, which drains 
into Tonto Creek at one of the Redrock stonefly sites. The Tonto 
National Forest also has pending instream flow water right applications 
for Tonto (application number 33-96684) and Haigler (application number 
33-96571) Creeks. Both of these applications are currently being 
protested (Nelson 2011, p. 1). The Tonto National Forest is also 
compiling an instream flow water right application for Spring Creek 
(application number 33-96815). The Coconino National Forest has an 
instream flow water right permit on Spring Creek, an important 
perennial tributary to Oak Creek (permit number 90114) and a pending 
instream flow water right for Oak Creek (application number 33-90106). 
Once in place, these instream water rights will protect enough flow to 
provide for Redrock stonefly habitat in perpetuity.
    Because we have found no other existing or future threats that 
warrant listing the Redrock stonefly, and some conservation mechanisms 
are currently in place, we conclude that the best scientific and 
commercial information available indicates that the Redrock stonefly is 
not now, or in the foreseeable future, threatened by the inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms to the extent that listing under the Act 
as an endangered or threatened species is warranted at this time.

[[Page 46264]]

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

Climate Change and Drought
    Projected future climate change is most likely to affect aquatic 
species in the southwestern United States, like the Redrock stonefly, 
through reduced surface water availability resulting from lower water 
flows from decreased precipitation. Periods of drought in the Southwest 
are common, but the frequency and duration of dry periods may be 
altered by future climate change. Global climate change, and associated 
effects on regional climatic regimes, is not well understood, but the 
predictions for the Southwest indicate less overall precipitation and 
longer periods of drought. Seager et al. (2007, p. 1181) predict, based 
on broad consensus among 19 climate models, that the Southwest will 
become drier in the 21st century and that the transition to this drier 
state is already underway. The increased aridity associated with the 
current ongoing drought will become the norm for the Southwest within a 
timeframe of years to decades, if the models are correct (Jacobs et al. 
2005, p. 438; Shaw et al. 2005, p. 280; Seager et al. 2007, p. 1183).
    Exactly how climate change will affect precipitation patterns is 
less certain because precipitation predictions are based on 
continental-scale general circulation models that do not yet account 
for land use and land-cover-change effects on climate. Consistent with 
recent observations in changes from climate, the outlook presented for 
the Southwest predicts warmer, drier, drought-like conditions (Jacobs 
et al. 2005, p. 437; Shaw et al. 2005, pp. 280-281; Seager et al. 2007, 
p. 1183; Hoerling and Eischeid 2007, p. 19). A decline in water 
resources, with or without climate change, will be a significant factor 
in the watersheds of the desert Southwest.
    One predicted effect of climate change is an increase in summer 
monsoon rains that would seasonally increase stream flows. McGavock 
(2009, pp. 1-6) describes the effects of increasing air temperatures on 
base flow of streams within the Verde River watershed, which would 
apply to the Oak Creek and Wet Beaver Creek Redrock stonefly sites, and 
likely be applicable to the other sites. Streamflow in Redrock stonefly 
habitats may increase seasonally as a result of summer monsoon storm 
runoff. Mitchell et al. (2002, p. 2262) defines the onset of the 
Arizona summer monsoon period as occurring when sea surface 
temperatures are a minimum of 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees 
Celsius) in the Gulf of California. Earlier attainment of this 
temperature correlates with a stronger summer monsoon, with the 
opposite being true if the trigger occurs later. Gradual climate 
warming could result in earlier and stronger monsoons occurring more 
frequently and leading to larger summer runoff in Arizona streams 
(McGavock 2009, p. 3). The resiliency of stoneflies, and presumably the 
Redrock stonefly, to flooding was discussed under wildfires in Factor 
A. Flecker and Feifarek (1994, p. 139) found that reductions in aquatic 
macroinvertebrate densities, including Anacroneuria sp., following 
floods quickly improved in Venezuelan streams. Aquatic 
macroinvertebrates have several means to persist during and after flood 
events such as highly developed refuge-seeking behavior, flexible life 
histories (such as delaying metamorphism from eggs to young or to 
adults to more favorable periods), and the ability to recolonize 
flooded areas rapidly (Scrimgeour and Winterbourn 1989, p. 42). We 
anticipate that given the widely fluctuating occurrence of summer flood 
events that presently occur in Arizona (Grimm and Fisher 1989, p. 294) 
the Redrock stonefly is likely to be resilient and persist if stronger 
summer floods occur in its habitat as a result of global climate 
    Another potential effect of climate change is increased snowmelt 
runoff into streams through a reduction in sublimation. Sublimation is 
the process of snow evaporating into the atmosphere instead of melting, 
and can remove large amounts of water from snow that would have led to 
stream runoff (Montesi et al. 2004, p. 763). Sublimation occurs under 
cold temperatures with intense sunlight, especially in forested 
watersheds where snow is held above the ground in trees, where it can 
sublimate easier (Montesi et al. 2004, p. 763). The Verde River 
watershed is forested, and during cold winters, can lose large amounts 
of snow moisture to sublimation. Warmer winter temperatures, as 
predicted, would reduce sublimation, making more snowmelt available for 
stream runoff (McGavock 2009, p. 2).
    However, if winter temperatures warm too much, winter rains would 
be expected to increasingly replace snowfall. Snowfall is more 
conducive to groundwater recharge because water from melting snow has a 
longer time to infiltrate into the ground than runoff from rainfall. 
Base flows in these streams that support Redrock stoneflies would be 
expected to decline later in the summer if groundwater recharge is 
decreased during future warmer winters (McGavock 2009, p. 5).
    Lower summer base flows in streams could result in either the 
elimination of available surface water (and loss of all habitat), or 
the reduction in the amount of available surface water. When stream 
flows are reduced during the summer, water quality generally decreases 
due to increased water temperature, decreased dissolved oxygen, and 
concentrated pollutants. Redrock stoneflies would likely use egg or 
nymphal diapause to survive decreased habitat conditions if climate 
change or other factors result in reduced flows and degradation of 
summer habitat conditions.
    Climate change may be a significant, long-term source of stress 
that indirectly exacerbates other potential threats by mechanisms, such 
as increasing the likelihood of prolonged drought that would reduce 
groundwater availability and result in future habitat loss. However, we 
do not currently have sufficient information to determine the potential 
effects of climate change on the Redrock stonefly. Both the magnitude 
(the extent of any specific effects) and the imminence (when the 
effects might occur) of the future effects of climate change remain 
highly uncertain. Climate change may serve to exacerbate other current 
or future concerns for habitat loss from other factors. But because we 
have determined that the Redrock stonefly is not threatened by habitat 
loss, we cannot predict with any certainty that climate change will 
exacerbate future habitat concerns sufficiently to consider it a threat 
to the species. The degree of impact would depend on the intensity and 
longevity of Redrock stonefly habitat changes that may occur, and these 
changes cannot be predicted with any certainty in the foreseeable 
future. In addition, we find that the Redrock stonefly's adaptations to 
both warm and cold water, low dissolved oxygen, and sediment, discussed 
above in Factor A, will lessen the potential impacts from climate 
change. We conclude that the best scientific and commercial information 
available indicates that the Redrock stonefly is not now, or in the 
foreseeable future, threatened by other natural or anthropogenic 
factors affecting its continued existence, or that these factors act 
cumulatively with other potential threats to the extent that listing 
under the Act as an endangered or threatened species is warranted at 
this time.


    As required by the Act, we considered the five factors in assessing 
whether the Redrock stonefly is endangered or

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threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We 
examined the best scientific and commercial information available 
regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the Redrock 
stonefly. We reviewed the petition, information available in our files, 
and other available published and unpublished information, and we 
consulted with recognized stonefly experts and other Federal agencies.
    Our review of all the available information in consideration of the 
five factors does not support a determination that any current 
activities or activities in the foreseeable future are threatening the 
Redrock stonefly or its habitat. Under our Factor A analysis, we found 
no significant modifications have occurred to the habitats of the 
Redrock stonefly and none are expected in the foreseeable future. In 
addition, the species is well-adapted to sustain itself in areas with 
minor habitat alterations associated with degraded water quality or 
altered stream habitats. The only known change in the range of the 
species has been an increase in distribution due to additional survey 
efforts. Overutilization (Factor B) and disease (Factor C) are not 
concerns for this species. Predation (Factor C) by both native and 
nonnative species likely occurs, but the Redrock stonefly has anti-
predatory adaptations that are expected to allow it to withstand the 
anticipated predatory pressures. We find that existing regulatory 
mechanisms are sufficient (Factor D). Furthermore, there are current 
management practices and protections in place that limit or prevent 
possible negative impacts from human activities. The only issue of 
concern we found under Factor E is the potential effects of climate 
change. Future climate change could affect the habitat of Redrock 
stonefly by reduced stream flows and declining water quality. However, 
the species appears to be adapted to withstand some habitat 
degradation. At this time, because of the uncertainties of the local, 
specific effects of climate change, we cannot adequately assess the 
magnitude of those effects in the foreseeable future, and therefore, 
find that climate change is not a threat to the Redrock stonefly.
    Based on our review of the best scientific and commercial 
information available pertaining to the five factors, we find that the 
threats are not of sufficient imminence, intensity, or magnitude to 
indicate that the Redrock stonefly is in danger of extinction 
(endangered), or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable 
future (threatened), throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range (see ``Significant Portion of the Range'' below). Therefore, we 
find that listing the Redrock stonefly as an endangered or a threatened 
species is not warranted at this time.

Significant Portion of the Range

    Having determined that the Redrock stonefly is not in danger of 
extinction or likely to become so within the foreseeable future 
throughout all of its range, we must next consider whether there are 
any significant portions of the range where the species is in danger of 
extinction or is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
    The Act defines an endangered species as one ``in danger of 
extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,'' and 
a threatened species as one ``likely to become an endangered species 
within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion 
of its range.'' The term ``significant portion of its range'' is not 
defined by the statute. For the purposes of this finding, a portion of 
a species' (Redrock stonefly) range is ``significant'' if it is part of 
the current range of the species, and it provides a crucial 
contribution to the representation, resiliency, or redundancy of the 
species. For the contribution to be crucial, it must be at a level such 
that, without that portion, the species would be in danger of 
    In determining whether a species is endangered or threatened in a 
significant portion of its range, we first identify any portions of the 
range of the species that warrant further consideration. The range of a 
species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite 
number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of 
the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and 
endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant 
further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial 
information indicating that: (1) The portions may be significant, and 
(2) the species may be in danger of extinction there or likely to 
become so within the foreseeable future. In practice, a key part of 
this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in 
some way. If the threats to the species are essentially uniform 
throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further 
consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats applies only 
to portions of the species' range that clearly would not meet the 
biologically based definition of ``significant'' (i.e., the loss of 
that portion clearly would not reasonably be expected to increase the 
vulnerability to extinction of the entire species to the point that the 
species would then be in danger of extinction), such portions will not 
warrant further consideration.
    If we identify portions that warrant further consideration, we then 
determine their status (i.e., whether in fact the species is endangered 
or threatened in a significant portion of its range). Depending on the 
biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it might 
be more efficient for us to address the ``significant'' question first, 
or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of 
the range is not ``significant,'' we do not need to determine whether 
the species is endangered or threatened there; if we determine that the 
species is not endangered or threatened in a portion of its range, we 
do not need to determine if that portion is ``significant.''
    Applying the process described above for determining whether a 
species is endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its 
range, we considered status first to determine if any threat or 
potential threat acting individually or collectively threaten or 
endanger the Redrock stonefly in a portion of its range. We have 
analyzed the potential threats to the species and found that some 
threats, such as potential habitat alteration from water quality 
degradation from urban development or decline in stream flows from 
groundwater use, may be acting only in geographic areas associated with 
larger human populations. However, based on our threats analysis, we 
found that none of the potential threats, either individually or 
collectively, are severe enough to cause the Redrock stonefly to be 
endangered or threatened in these portions of its range, or in any 
portions of its range that may meet the biologically based definition 
of ``significant.''

Conclusion of 12-Month Finding

    We do not find that the Redrock stonefly is in danger of extinction 
now, nor is it likely to become endangered within the foreseeable 
future, throughout all or a significant portion of its range. 
Therefore, listing the Redrock stonefly as endangered or threatened 
under the Act is not warranted at this time.
    We request that you submit any new information concerning the 
status of, or threats to, Redrock stonefly to our Arizona Ecological 
Services Office (see ADDRESSES) whenever it becomes available. New 
information will help us monitor the stonefly and encourage its 
conservation. If an emergency situation develops for the Redrock 
stonefly, or

[[Page 46266]]

any other species, we will act to provide immediate protection.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Arizona Ecological 
Services Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary authors of this notice are staff members of the Arizona 
Ecological Services Office.


    The authority for this section is section 4 of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 21, 2011.
Gregory E. Siekaniec,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-19447 Filed 8-1-11; 8:45 am]