[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 129 (Tuesday, July 7, 2015)]
[Pages 38729-38730]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16595]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2015-N104; FXES11130200000C2-112-FF02ENEH00]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Barton Springs 
Salamander Recovery Plan Draft Addendum

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft addendum to the 2005 Barton Springs salamander 
(Eurycea sosorum) Recovery Plan, to include the Austin blind salamander 
(Eurycea waterlooensis). Both species are listed as endangered under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). These salamander 
species are currently found in Barton Springs in Austin, Texas. The 
Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) currently 
includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order 
to enable us to remove the Barton Springs salamander from the list of 
endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. This draft addendum adds 
to the Recovery Plan's recovery goals, objectives, downlisting 
criteria, and delisting criteria in order to reflect the addition of 
the Austin blind salamander. The Recovery Plan also includes additional 
time and cost estimates for recovery actions for the Austin blind 
salamander. We request review and comment on this draft addendum from 
local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or 
before September 8, 2015. However, we will accept information about any 
species at any time.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the draft addendum, you may obtain a 
copy by any one of the following methods:
    Internet: Access the file at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Documents/R2ES/BSS_RP_DraftAddendum_June2015.pdf; http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/;
    U.S. mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 
200, Austin, TX 78758; or
    Telephone: (512) 490-0057.
    If you wish to comment on the draft addendum, you may submit your 
comments in writing by any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, at the above address;
     Hand-delivery: Austin Ecological Services Field Office, at 
the above address;
     Fax: (512) 490-0974; or
     Email: Adam_Zerrenner@fws.gov.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see the 
``Request for Public Comments'' section below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, at 
the above address and phone number, or by email at 



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status 
of listed species to the point

[[Page 38730]]

at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria set out in 
section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires the development of 
recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote 
the conservation of a particular species.

Species History

    The Austin blind salamander was federally listed as endangered 
throughout its range on September 9, 2013 (78 FR 51277), and detailed 
background information on the taxonomy, habitat, range, threats, and 
life history attributes of the Austin blind salamander can be found in 
the final rule. It has a recovery priority number of 2C, which is based 
on a high degree of threat, high potential for recovery, taxonomic 
classification as a species, and potential for conflict over resources 
(primarily water quality and quantity) and economic development.
    When we developed the Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan, the 
Austin blind salamander was a candidate for Federal listing as 
endangered or threatened (67 FR 40657). We included information on the 
Austin blind salamander to facilitate adding this species to the 
Recovery Plan if it ultimately became listed. The existing recovery 
plan for the Barton Springs salamander presents a recovery strategy, 
objective and measurable recovery criteria, and site-specific 
management actions to monitor and reduce or remove threats to the 
Barton Springs salamander. The Barton Springs and Austin blind 
salamanders occur in the same ecosystem, have similar ecology and life 
history needs, and face similar threats. The Barton Springs Salamander 
Recovery Plan was developed to address the Barton Springs ecosystem as 
a whole, as well as both salamander species, which are vulnerable to 
threats to this ecosystem. Therefore, the recovery strategy for the 
Barton Springs salamander is also applicable to and appropriate for the 
Austin blind salamander. For these reasons, we are proposing an 
efficient approach to recovery planning for the Austin blind salamander 
by supplementing the Barton Springs Salamander Recovery Plan with an 
addendum to include the Austin blind salamander.

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. We are, therefore, providing the public the opportunity to 
comment on the draft addendum. Because the Barton Springs Salamander 
Recovery Plan has already been through peer and public review and 
because this plan is a valid recovery plan, we seek public comments on 
only the draft addendum. We will summarize and respond to the issues 
raised by the public and post our responses on our Web site. 
Substantive comments may or may not result in changes to the draft 
addendum; comments regarding recovery plan implementation will be 
forwarded as appropriate to Federal or other entities so that they can 
be taken into account during the course of implementing recovery 
    We invite written comments on the draft addendum. In particular, we 
are interested in additional information regarding the appropriateness 
of the draft recovery criteria and recovery actions for the Austin 
blind salamander as well as the costs associated with implementing the 
recommended recovery actions.
    Before we approve a final addendum, we will consider all comments 
we receive by the date specified in DATES. Methods of submitting 
comments are in the ADDRESSES section.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available on our Web site 
http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/, by appointment, for 
public inspection during normal business hours at our office (see 

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR 


    We developed this recovery plan addendum under the authority of 
section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice 
under section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: June 18, 2015.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2015-16595 Filed 7-6-15; 8:45 am]