[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 207 (Friday, October 25, 2019)]
[Pages 57468-57470]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-23317]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2019-N094; FXES11130100000-190- FF01E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Amendment to 
the Recovery Plan for the Rough Popcornflower

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft amendment updating the recovery criteria in the 
Recovery Plan for the Rough Popcornflower (Plagiobothrys hirtus). Rough 
popcornflower, listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA), is an annual herb in the borage family (Boraginaceae), endemic 
to wet swales and meadows in Douglas County, Oregon. We are updating 
recovery criteria to better assist in determining when the species has 
recovered to the point that it may be reclassified as threatened, or 
that the protections afforded by the ESA are no longer necessary and 
the species may be removed from the ESA's protections. We request 
review of this draft recovery plan amendment and invite comments from 
local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies, nongovernmental 
organizations, and the public.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or 
before November 25, 2019. However, we will accept information about the 
species at any time.

ADDRESSES: Reviewing documents: If you wish to review the draft 
recovery plan amendment, you may obtain copies on our website, at 
https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plan/Draft_Amendment_Rough_Popcornflower_Recovery_Plan_2019.pdf. You may 
also request copies of the draft recovery plan amendment by contacting 
Michele Zwartjes at the U.S. mail or email address below.
    Submitting comments: If you wish to comment, submit your comments 
by one of the following methods:
    1. U.S. Mail or Hand-Delivery: You may submit written comments and 
materials to Field Supervisor, Attention: Rough Popcornflower Recovery 
Plan Amendment, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2600 SE 98th Ave., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; or
    2. Email: You may send comments by email to fw1ofwo@fws.gov. Please 
include ``Rough Popcornflower Draft Recovery Plan Amendment Comments'' 
in the subject line.

Coordinator, at the above Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office mailing 
address and email, or by telephone at 503-231-6179. Individuals who are 
hearing impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 for 
TTY assistance.



    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the

[[Page 57469]]

availability of a draft recovery plan amendment, which updates recovery 
criteria for the rough popcornflower.
    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 
ESA. Recovery means improvement of the status of listed species to the 
point at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria set 
out in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA. The ESA requires the development of 
recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote 
the conservation of a particular species.
    The purpose of a recovery plan is to provide a feasible and 
effective roadmap for a species' recovery, with the goal of improving 
its status and managing its threats to the point at which protections 
under the ESA are no longer needed. Recovery plans must be designed so 
that all stakeholders and the public understand the rationale behind 
the recovery program, whether they were involved in writing the plan or 
not, and recognize their role in its implementation. We are requesting 
submission of any information that enhances the necessary understanding 
of the species' biology and threats and its recovery needs and related 
implementation issues or concerns, to ensure that we have assembled, 
considered, and incorporated the best available scientific and 
commercial information into the draft recovery plan amendment.
    Recovery plans provide important guidance to the Service, States, 
other partners, and the general public on methods of minimizing threats 
to listed species and objectives against which to measure the progress 
towards recovery; they are guidance and not regulatory documents. A 
recovery plan identifies, organizes, and prioritizes recovery actions 
and is an important guide that ensures sound scientific decision-making 
throughout the recovery process, which can take decades.

Recovery Plan Amendment

    Keeping recovery plans current ensures that threatened species and 
endangered species benefit through timely partner-coordinated 
implementation of recovery actions.
    A review of a recovery plan and its implementation may show that 
the plan is out of date or that the plan's usefulness is limited and 
the plan warrants modification. The need for, and extent of, recovery 
plan modifications will vary considerably among recovery plans, 
depending on the scope and complexity of the initial plan, the 
structure of the document, and the involvement of stakeholders. 
Recovery plan modifications can range from relatively minor updates to 
a substantial rewrite that revises the existing plan in part (i.e., an 
amendment to one of the sections that modifies the existing plan), or 
in full (i.e., a full revision that completely replaces the existing 
plan). The need for a recovery plan amendment or revision may be 
triggered when, among other possibilities: (1) New information has been 
identified, such as population-level threats to the species or 
previously unknown life-history traits, which necessitates new or 
revised recovery strategy, actions, or criteria, or revision of all 
three in order to maintain the adequacy of the plan; and (2) the 
current plan is not achieving its objectives. Amendments and revisions 
benefit endangered and threatened species, our partners, and the public 
by keeping recovery plans consistent with current information about 
what is needed for species' recovery.
    Substantive amendment of recovery plans requires public notice and 
comment under section 4(f)(4) of the ESA, including: (1) A Federal 
Register notice of availability to give opportunity for public review 
and comment, (2) consideration of all information presented during the 
public comment period, and (3) approval by the Regional Director. When 
finalized, this recovery plan amendment will be made publicly available 
on the internet through our Environmental Conservation Online System 
(ECOS, https://ecos.fws.gov).

Recovery Plan for Rough Popcornflower

    The Service approved a recovery plan for rough popcornflower in 
2003; however, the original plan did not establish criteria for 
removing rough popcornflower from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants (delisting).
    Since the publication of the recovery plan in 2003, new information 
has been gathered on the species' biology, distribution, and threats, 
leading us to propose modifiying the original downlisting criteria 
(reclassifying rough popcornflower from endangered to threatened 
status) and to develop new delisting criteria. Therefore, this document 
describing these criteria will serve as a draft amendment to the 2003 
recovery plan.
    The recovery criteria established in a recovery plan (such as those 
proposed in this draft recovery plan amendment) will serve as an 
indicator that a review of the species' status is advisable, and we may 
consider downlisting, or if appropriate, removal from the Federal List 
of Endangered and Threatened Plants following a five factor analysis in 
accordance with section 4(a)(1) of the ESA.

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the ESA requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery 
plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). In an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan amendment, we will summarize and respond to the issues 
raised by the public and peer reviewers. Substantive comments may or 
may not result in changes to the recovery plan; 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 actions. Responses to individual 
commenters will not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how 
we addressed substantive comments in an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan amendment.
    We invite written comments on the draft recovery plan amendment. In 
particular, we are interested in additional information regarding the 
current threats to the species, ongoing beneficial management efforts, 
and the costs associated with implementing the recommended recovery 

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments received, including names and addresses, will become 
part of the administrative record and will be available to the public. 
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--will be publicly available. If you submit a hardcopy 
comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request 
at the top of your document that we withhold this information from 
public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do 
so. Comments and materials we receive will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our 
office (see ADDRESSES).


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

[[Page 57470]]

    Dated: August 8, 2019.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. 2019-23317 Filed 10-24-19; 8:45 am]