[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 12 (Friday, January 17, 2020)]
[Pages 3073-3074]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-00718]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-ES-2019-N056; FXES11130600000-189-FF06E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for the Topeka Shiner

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of a draft recovery plan for Topeka shiner, a fish species 
listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. We are 
requesting review and comment from the public on this draft plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before March 17, 2020.

    Obtaining documents: Copies of the draft recovery plan are 
available at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. 
Alternatively, you may request a copy by U.S. mail from the Kansas 
Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2609 
Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502; or via telephone at 785-539-3474.
    Submitting comments: Submit comments on the draft recovery plan via 
email to kansases@fws.gov, or to the Field Supervisor at the address 
    Viewing public comments: Comments and materials the Service 
receives will be available for public inspection by appointment during 
normal business hours at the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Luginbill, Field Supervisor, 
Kansas Ecological Services Field Office, at the above U.S. mail 
address, or by telephone at 785-539-3474.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for 
Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka), a fish species listed as endangered 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). We are requesting review and comment from the public on 
this draft plan.


    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 Service's endangered species program. In 
furtherance of this goal, we prepare recovery plans to help guide 
recovery efforts and to promote the conservation of the species. 
Recovery plans describe site-specific actions necessary for the 
conservation of the species, establish objective, measurable criteria 
that, when met, would result in a determination that the species no 
longer needs the protection of the ESA, and provide estimates of the 
time and cost for implementing the needed recovery actions.
    The ESA requires recovery plans for listed species unless such a 
plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. 
Section 4(f) of the ESA, as amended in 1988, requires that public 
notice and opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information we receive 
during a public comment period when preparing the recovery plan for 
approval. The Service and other Federal agencies will take these 
comments into consideration in the course of implementing an approved 
recovery plan.
    It is our policy to request peer review of recovery plans. We will 
summarize and respond to the issues raised by the public and peer 
reviewers in an appendix to the approved recovery plan. We will revise 
the plan between draft and final stages as appropriate, including using 
information gathered from peer and public review.

Species Information

    The Topeka shiner is a small minnow that lives and breeds in low-
order prairie streams in the Great Plains States of South Dakota, 
Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. It was listed as 
endangered under the ESA in 1998 (effective in January 1999) because of 
significant population declines due primarily to alteration of prairie 
stream hydrology and habitat degradation (63 FR 69008, December 15, 
1998). Post-listing, increased survey efforts revealed additional 
populations not known at the time of listing, particularly in South 
Dakota and Minnesota, while losses and/or reductions appeared to 
continue in other States. Since 1999, the Topeka shiner has been 
documented as occupying over 200 small to mid-size streams. In 2004, 
the Service also designated critical habitat for the Topeka shiner in 
Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa; areas in South Dakota, Missouri, and 
Kansas were exempt from the designation due to the existence of 
management plans (69 FR 44736, July 27, 2004).

[[Page 3074]]

Recovery Strategy

    The recovery vision for the Topeka Shiner is to have multiple 
resilient groups of populations, distributed across the species' range, 
that encompass adequate geographic and genetic diversity of the species 
to shield it from extirpation by catastrophic events and preserve 
adaptive potential. To summarize, the recovery criteria are designed 
to: (1) Maintain the species in currently known occupied habitats 
across a broad portion of its current ecological settings to preserve 
future adaptive capacity and potential; (2) maintain, increase, and 
expand populations in currently known occupied habitats to ensure 
species persistence by mitigating catastrophic events; (3) increase the 
ability of populations in currently known occupied habitats to resist 
impacts of stochastic events and persist long-term; (4) and ensure 
management plans are in place for each of nine population complexes or 
by state, to ensure future maintenance of those complexes, as well as 
that of the populations/sub-populations within them. To accomplish 
conservation and recovery of the Topeka shiner, recovery actions need 
to be implemented that include the following general categories: 
Habitat protection, management, and restoration; population management, 
augmentation, translocations, and reintroductions; monitoring; 
research; collaboration with stakeholders; and education and outreach.

Request for Public Comments

    The Service solicits public comments on the draft recovery plan. 
All comments we receive by the date specified (see DATES) will be 
considered prior to approval of the plan. Written comments and 
materials regarding the plan should be sent via the means in the 
ADDRESSES section.
    We are specifically seeking comments and suggestions on the 
following questions:

--Understanding that the time and cost presented in the draft recovery 
plan will be revised when localized recovery implementation strategies 
are developed, are the estimated time and cost to recovery realistic? 
Is the estimate reflective of the time and cost of similar previous 
actions that have already been implemented? Please provide suggestions 
or methods for determining a more accurate estimation of time and cost.
--Do the draft recovery criteria provide clear direction to partners on 
what is needed to recover the species? How could they be improved for 
--Are the draft recovery criteria both objective and measurable given 
the information available for this species now and into the future? 
Please provide suggestions to improve the objectivity and measurability 
of criteria.
--Understanding that specific, detailed, and area-specific recovery 
actions will be developed in the localized recovery implementation 
strategies, do the draft recovery actions presented in the draft 
recovery plan generally cover the types of actions necessary to meet 
the recovery criteria? If not, what general actions are missing? Are 
any of the draft recovery actions unnecessary for achieving recovery? 
Are the draft recovery actions prioritized appropriately?

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. You may 
request at the top of your comment that we withhold this information 
from public review; however, 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: September 19, 2019.
Noreen Walsh,
Regional Director, Lakewood, Colorado.

    Editorial note:  This document was received for publication by 
the Office of the Federal Register on January 14, 2020.

[FR Doc. 2020-00718 Filed 1-16-20; 8:45 am]