[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 153 (Tuesday, August 9, 2011)]
[Page 48881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-20137]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2011-N130; 40120-1113-0000-C2]

Recovery Plan for the Endangered Pyne's Ground-plum (Astragalus 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the final recovery plan for Pyne's ground-plum (Astragalus 
bibullatus), a species endemic to the Central Basin in Tennessee. The 
recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be 
met in order to reclassify this species to threatened status and delist 
it under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the recovery plan by contacting the 
Tennessee Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 446 Neal 
Street, Cookeville, TN 38501 (telephone 931-528-6481), or by visiting 
our recovery plan Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Geoff Call at the above address, 
or telephone: (931) 528-6481, ext. 213.



    We listed Pyne's ground-plum as an endangered species under the Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), on September 26, 1991 (56 FR 48748). This 
species is a rare perennial member of the pea family (Fabaceae) endemic 
to the limestone cedar glades in the Central Basin Section of the 
Interior Low Plateau (Tennessee). It is currently known from only eight 
extant occurrences (specific locations or sites) located within 90 
square miles in Rutherford County, Tennessee, within a short distance 
of the rapidly growing city of Murfreesboro.
    Factors contributing to its endangered status are an extremely 
limited range and loss of habitat. The primary threat is the loss of 
habitat from residential, commercial, or industrial development; 
livestock grazing; woody encroachment; and recreational uses such as 
all-terrain vehicles.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide a 
public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during 
recovery plan development. We made the draft recovery plan available 
for public comment from April 1 through June 1, 2010 (75 FR 16499). We 
considered information we received during this public comment period 
and information from peer reviewers in our preparation of this final 
recovery plan. We will forward comments to other Federal agencies so 
each agency can consider these comments in implementing approved 
recovery plans.
    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point 
where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the endangered species program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are preparing recovery plans for most listed 
species. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting, and estimate time and cost for implementing recovery 
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of this species so that protection under the Act is no longer 
necessary. Astragalus bibullatus will be considered for 
reclassification to threatened status when there are 11 viable 
protected occurrences distributed throughout the cedar glade ecosystem 
of the Stones River Basin which is located within Davidson, Rutherford, 
and Wilson Counties. Viability of each occurrence should be determined 
using a population viability analysis framework. Populations considered 
viable for recovery purposes should exhibit either stable or increasing 
population growth trends and have been shown through at least 10 
consecutive monitoring events to possess suitable population structure 
for maintaining observed population growth into the foreseeable future. 
In order for an A. bibullatus occurrence to be considered protected, it 
should be located:
     On lands owned and managed by a public agency, with a 
written plan committing to conserve A. bibullatus and the cedar glade 
ecosystem on that site; the plan must include necessary resources, 
management recommendations, etc. for the site; or
     On private lands protected by a permanent conservation 
easement, State Natural Area registry, or other legally binding 
agreement, with a written plan committing to conserve A. bibullatus and 
the cedar glade ecosystem on that site; the plan must include necessary 
resources, management recommendations, etc. for the site.
    Astragalus bibullatus will be considered for delisting when there 
are 16 viable protected occurrences that are distributed throughout the 
cedar glade ecosystem of the Stones River Basin within Davidson, 
Rutherford, and Wilson Counties.
    The reclassification and recovery criteria were made more 
protective in the final recovery plan than they were in the draft 
recovery plan for this plant based on: (1) Comments from peer reviewers 
that the plan should provide additional redundancy on the landscape to 
help protect this plant against threats like drought, (2) new 
scientific information showing that this plant exhibits density-
dependent regulation of population growth, and (3) recognition that 
more information was needed about the role of this plant's seed bank in 
maintaining population viability.
    As reclassification and recovery criteria are met, the status of 
the species will be reviewed and the species will be considered for 
reclassification or removal from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants.

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

    Dated: June 15, 2011.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-20137 Filed 8-8-11; 8:45 am]