[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 146 (Thursday, July 30, 2015)]
[Pages 45547-45548]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-18671]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2015-N126; FXES11130000-156-FF08E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for Vine Hill Clarkia

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for Vine Hill Clarkia (Clarkia 
imbricata) for public review and comment. The draft recovery plan 
includes recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions 
necessary to achieve downlisting and delisting from the Federal Lists 
of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or 
before September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the recovery plan from our Web site 
at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. 
Alternatively, you may contact the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2605, 
Sacramento, CA 95825 (telephone 916-414-6700).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Norris, Field Supervisor, at 
the above street address or telephone number (see ADDRESSES).



    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 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status of listed species to 
the point at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria 
specified 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.
    We listed Vine Hill clarkia throughout its entire range as 
endangered on October 22, 1997 (62 FR 55791). It is a narrow endemic, 
historically known from three locations in central Sonoma County, 
California, all three of which may be extirpated. Currently, the 
species is only known to exist as a single introduced population on the 
0.6-hectare (1.5-acre) Vine Hill Preserve, owned and managed by the 
California Native Plant Society. Between 2007 and 2012, the population 
fluctuated from approximately 500 to 8,781 plants.
    All known populations of Vine Hill clarkia are located between 60 
to 75 meters (197 to 246 feet) elevation, on what has been mapped as 
Goldridge acidic sandy loams, in an area sometimes referred to as the 
Sonoma Barrens. The ability of Vine Hill clarkia to persist naturally 
outside of Sonoma Barrens conditions is unknown. The Sonoma Barrens are 
an area within Sonoma County located halfway between maritime and 
inland climates, in a pronounced fog gap that makes it subject to 
peculiar climatic fluctuations (Roof 1972).
    At this time, the primary threats to Vine Hill clarkia are 
competition for light and space with native and non-native species and 
risk of extinction from stochastic environmental events associated with 
small populations. Because of the extreme range restriction of this 
already-narrow endemic, and its small population size, the plant is 
highly vulnerable to extinction from random events, including wildfire, 
herbivory, disease and pest outbreaks, and human disturbance.
    Two species of concern are also addressed in this draft recovery 
plan, Vine Hill manzanita (Arctostaphylos densiflora) and Vine Hill 
ceanothus (Ceanothus foliosus var. vineatus), which historically 
coexisted with Vine Hill clarkia. Vine Hill manzanita and Vine Hill 
ceanothus are included in this draft recovery plan because a community-
based recovery strategy provides for conservation of species with 
similar habitat requirements to those of Vine Hill clarkia, and because 
recovery actions implemented for Vine Hill clarkia that do not consider 
these other rare species may negatively affect the community. These two 
species are, respectively, State listed as endangered and listed Rank 
1B by the California Native Plant Society.

[[Page 45548]]

Recovery Plan Goals

    The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of species so that protection under the Act is no longer 
necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the 
species and provides criteria that enable us to gauge whether 
downlisting or delisting the species is warranted. Furthermore, 
recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing actions we 
consider necessary for each species' conservation and by estimating 
time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures.
    The goal of this recovery plan is to improve the status of Vine 
Hill clarkia so that it can be delisted. The interim goal is to recover 
the species to the point that it can be downlisted from endangered to 
threatened status. The recovery objectives of the plan are:
     Restore Sonoma Barrens habitat and establish Vine Hill 
     Manage native and nonnative vegetation that competes with 
Vine Hill clarkia.
     Ensure locations with Vine Hill clarkia are secure from 
incompatible uses.
    The draft recovery plan contains recovery criteria based on 
protecting, maintaining, and increasing populations, as well as 
increasing habitat quality and quantity. As Vine Hill clarkia meets 
recovery criteria, we will review its status and consider it for 
downlisting or removal from the Federal Lists of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
    Community conservation efforts recommended for Vine Hill manzanita 
and Vine Hill ceanothus include establishing these species, either in 
concert with each other and Vine Hill clarkia, or separately.

Request for Public Comments

    We request written comments on the draft recovery plan described in 
this notice. All comments received by the date specified above will be 
considered in development of a final recovery plan for Vine Hill 
clarkia. You may submit written comments and information by mail or in 
person to the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office at the above address 

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.


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

    Dated: July 23, 2015.
Ren Lohoefener,
Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2015-18671 Filed 7-29-15; 8:45 am]