[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 136 (Tuesday, July 16, 2019)]
[Pages 33962-33963]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-15043]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2018-N125; FXES11130400000C2-189-FF04E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for Short's Bladderpod

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for public comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the draft recovery plan for the endangered Short's 
bladderpod. The draft recovery plan includes specific recovery 
objectives and criteria that must be met in order for us to recover and 
ultimately delist the species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan 
from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public.

DATES: In order to be considered, comments on the draft recovery plan 
must be received on or before September 16, 2019.

    Reviewing documents: If you wish to review this draft recovery 
plan, you may obtain a copy by contacting Geoff Call, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office, 446 Neal 
Street, Cookeville, Tennessee 38506, tel. 931-525-4983; or by visiting 
the Service's Tennessee Field Office website at http://www.fws.gov/cookeville.
    Submitting comments: If you wish to comment, you may submit your 
comments by one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and materials to us, at the 
above address.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Tennessee Field 
Office, at the above address, or fax them to 931-528-7075.
    3. You may send comments by email to geoff_call@fws.gov. Please 
include ``Short's bladderpod Draft Recovery Plan Comments'' on the 
subject line.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see Request 
for Public Comments below.




    Short's bladderpod (Physaria globosa) is an upright biennial or 
perennial plant with several stems, some branched at the base, reaching 
heights up to 50 centimeters (cm) (20 inches (in.)). The species is 
restricted to 31 extant occurrences distributed among 4 sections of the 
Interior Low Plateaus physiographic province: 1 in the Shawnee Hills 
section (Indiana), 11 occurrences in the Bluegrass (Kentucky), 14 in 
the Highland Rim, and 5 in the Nashville Basin (both Tennessee). 
Short's bladderpod typically grows on steep, rocky, wooded slopes and 
talus (sloping mass of rock fragments below a bluff or ledge) areas. It 
also occurs along tops, bases, and ledges of bluffs and infrequently on 
sites with little topographic relief. The species usually is found in 
these habitats on south- to west-facing slopes near rivers or streams. 
Most populations are closely associated with calcareous outcrops.
    The Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) states that a 
species may be listed as endangered or threatened based on one or more 
of five factors. The greatest threat to Short's bladderpod is loss or 
degradation of habitat (Listing Factor A). The main causes of habitat 
degradation or loss include future construction and ongoing maintenance 
of transportation and utility rights-of way; prolonged inundation and 
soil erosion due to flooding and water level manipulation; overstory 
shading due to forest succession; and competition from invasive plant 
species. Additionally, the species' resilience to these threats and 
environmental variation is diminished due to the small sizes of many 
populations (Factor E). We determined that other existing regulatory 
mechanisms were inadequate to reduce these threats (Listing Factor D). 
As a result of these threats, Short's

[[Page 33963]]

bladderpod was listed as endangered under the Act on August 1, 2014 (79 
FR 44712). Approximately 373 hectares (ha) (925.5 acres (ac)), 
distributed among 20 units in Posey County, Indiana; Clark, Franklin, 
and Woodford Counties, Kentucky; and Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, 
Jackson, Montgomery, Smith, and Trousdale Counties, Tennessee, were 
designated as critical habitat on August 26, 2014 (79 FR 50990).

Recovery Plan

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires the development of recovery plans 
for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote the 
conservation of a particular species. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for conservation of the species, establish 
recovery criteria, and estimate time and cost for implementing recovery 
measures. Section 4(f) of the Act also requires us to provide public 
notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery 
plan development. We will consider all information presented during a 
public comment period prior to approval of each new or revised recovery 
plan. We and other Federal agencies will take these comments into 
account in the course of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The draft recovery plan describes actions necessary for the 
recovery of Short's bladderpod, establishes criteria for its delisting, 
and estimates the time and cost for implementing specific measures 
needed to recover the species. The ultimate goal of this draft recovery 
plan is to ensure the long-term viability of the Short's bladderpod in 
the wild to the point that it can be removed from the Federal List of 
Endangered and Threatened Plants in title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (50 CFR 17.12).

Recovery Criteria

    The Short's bladderpod will be considered for delisting when:
    (1) Agreements have been reached with key stakeholders to conserve, 
restore, and manage habitat to provide ecological conditions, as 
described in the Species Status Assessment for Short's bladderpod 
(SSA), that promote growth of individuals and support resilient 
populations. (Addresses Listing Factor A.)
    (2) Monitoring demonstrates stable or increasing population growth 
rates or an average population size for at least 25 populations that is 
equal to or above the minimum viable size. Populations are protected by 
a conservation mechanism. A minimum of 6 of these populations must be 
located in the Kentucky River watershed and 15 populations in the 
Cumberland River watershed, in addition to the population in the Wabash 
River watershed, in order to ensure adequate regional representation 
and intra-regional redundancy of resilient populations. (Addresses 
Listing Factors A and E.)
    (3) In lieu of satisfying criteria 1 and 2, the species could be 
considered for delisting if 50 resilient occurrences (as described in 
the SSA) are distributed among the physiographic regions where the 
species occurs. (Addresses Factor A and E.)

Request for Public Comments

    We request written comments on the draft recovery plan. We will 
consider all comments we receive by the date specified in DATES prior 
to final approval of the plan.
    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.


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

    Dated: October 15, 2018.
Mike Oetker,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.

    Editorial Note: This document was received for publication by 
the Office of the Federal Register on July 11, 2019.

[FR Doc. 2019-15043 Filed 7-15-19; 8:45 am]