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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

155 / Friday, August 12, 2005 / Notices 47223

such a plan would not promote the threatened status when the likelihood of 2. For each A-ranked and B-ranked
conservation of a particular species. the species becoming extinct in the population described in #1, population
Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in foreseeable future has been eliminated viability analysis indicates greater than
1988, requires public notice and by the achievement of the following 95% persistence within the next 20
opportunity for public review and criteria: years, or for any population that does
comment be provided during recovery 1. Seventeen populations, in total, are not meet the 95% persistence standard,
plan development. The Service will distributed as follows: 1 A-ranked, 3 B- the population meets the definition of
consider all information presented ranked, 3 C-ranked, and 10 D-ranked viable. For delisting purposes, viability
during a public comment period prior to populations across at least 2 of the 3 is defined as follows: (A) flower
approval of each new or revised regions in which running buffalo clover production is occurring; (B) the
recovery plan. The Service and other currently occurs (Appalachian, population is stable or increasing, based
Federal agencies will also take these Bluegrass, and Ozark). Ranks are on at least 10 years of censusing and
comments into consideration in the defined by both numbers of individuals data analysis that reveals no significant
course of implementing approved present and habitat suitability. The decline in number of plants; and (C)
recovery plans. number of populations required in each appropriate management techniques are
Running buffalo clover was listed as rank category is based on what would be in place.
endangered on July 6, 1987. The necessary to achieve a 95% probability 3. Downlisting criterion #3 is met for
recovery plan was approved on July 8, of persistence based on population all populations described in delisting
1989. This is the first recovery plan viability analysis. criterion #1.
revision. Running buffalo clover 2. For each A-ranked and B-ranked Additional detail on downlisting and
formerly occurred from West Virginia to population described in #1, population delisting criteria is available in the draft
Kansas. It is currently extant in limited viability analysis indicates greater than recovery plan.
portions of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, 95% persistence within the next 20 These criteria will be met through the
Missouri, and West Virginia. Running years, or for any population that does following actions: conserve and manage
buffalo clover occurs in mesic habitats not meet the 95% persistence standard, running buffalo clover populations and
of partial to filtered sunlight, where the population meets the definition of the habitat on which they depend,
there is a prolonged pattern of moderate viable. For downlisting purposes, define population regulation factors,
periodic disturbance, such as mowing, viability is defined as follows: A) flower conserve germplasm and genetic
trampling, or grazing. It is most often production is occurring; B) the diversity, promote public
found in regions underlain with population is stable or increasing, based understanding, and review and track
limestone or other calcareous bedrock. on at least 5 years of censusing and data recovery progress.
The primary threat to running buffalo analysis that reveals no significant
clover is habitat alteration. Factors that decline in number of plants; and C) Public Comments Solicited
contribute to this threat include forest appropriate management techniques are The Service solicits written comments
succession and subsequent canopy in place. on the recovery plan described. All
closure, competition by invasive plant 3. The land on which each of the comments received by the date specified
species, and catastrophic disturbance populations described in #1 occurs is will be considered prior to approval of
such as development or road owned by a government agency or the plan. Written comments and
construction. The elimination of bison private conservation organization that materials regarding the plan should be
and other large herbivores may also be identifies maintenance of the species as addressed to the Field Supervisor (see
a threat to this species because of the one of the primary conservation ADDRESSES). Comments and materials
decrease in disturbance, soil objectives for the site and has received will be available by
enrichment, seed dispersal, and seed demonstrated natural area management appointment for public inspection
scarification that has resulted from their capabilities, or the site is protected by during normal business hours at the
absence. In addition to these threats, a permanent conservation easement or above address.
inherent biological vulnerabilities of deed restriction that commits the
Authority: The authority for this action is
running buffalo clover include its landowner to habitat management for section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act,
reliance on pollinators, seed the species. Natural Resource 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).
scarification, and dispersal mechanisms, Management Plans on Federal lands
Dated: July 12, 2005.
as well as a dependence on disturbance. may be suitable for this criterion.
Given the known threats and Running buffalo clover will be Wendi Weber,
constraints, the recovery effort for considered for delisting when the Assistant Regional Director, Ecological
running buffalo clover focuses primarily likelihood of the species becoming Services, Region 3, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
on increasing the number of protected threatened in the foreseeable future has [FR Doc. 05–16009 Filed 8–11–05; 8:45 am]
and managed populations, determining been eliminated by the achievement of BILLING CODE 4310–55–P
the viability of existing populations, and the following criteria:
research on the species’ ecological 1. Thirty-four populations, in total,
requirements. Key to this strategy is the are distributed as follows: 2 A-ranked, 6 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
protection and management of various- B-ranked, 6 C-ranked, and 20 D-ranked
sized populations of running buffalo populations across at least 2 of the 3 Fish and Wildlife Service
clover throughout the species’ regions in which running buffalo clover
Notice of Availability of a Draft
geographic range. The recovery criteria occurs (Appalachian, Bluegrass, and
Environmental Assessment/Habitat
and actions rely heavily on retaining Ozark). The number of populations in
Conservation Plan Related to
and managing suitable habitat. A greater each rank is based on twice the amount
Application for an Incidental Take
understanding of the biotic and abiotic that would be required to achieve a 95%
Permit for the Predevelopment LTD
needs of running buffalo clover is also or greater probability of persistence; this
Development
key to the species’ recovery. number was doubled to ensure
Running buffalo clover will be biological redundancy across the range AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service,
considered for downlisting to of the species. Interior.

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47224 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 155 / Friday, August 12, 2005 / Notices

ACTION: Notice of availability. Our practice is to make comments, Lake Erie watersnakes from the
including names and home addresses of proposed activities. Measures in the
SUMMARY: This notice advises the public respondents, available for public review HCP designed to avoid, minimize, and
and other agencies of the availability of during regular business hours. mitigate the impacts of the proposed
a draft Environmental Assessment (EA)/ Individual respondents may request that action on Lake Erie Watersnakes
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and we withhold their home address from include: (1) Seasonal and temperature
Incidental Take Permit (ITP) application the record, which we will honor to the
for review and comment. The draft EA/ restrictions on ground disturbing
extent allowable by law. If a respondent activities including construction and
HCP and ITP application were wishes us to withhold his/her name
submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife mowing; (2) establishment of a 3.95-acre
and/or address, this must be stated
Service (Service) by Predevelopment conservation area; (3) restrictions on
prominently at the beginning of the
LTD proposing residential development pesticide and fertilizer use; (4)
comment.
of a 6.45-acre property on Long Point, restrictions on size and placement of
Kelleys Island, Erie County, Ohio. Background structures including the residence,
Federally threatened Lake Erie Section 9 of the Act and its garage, decks, driveway, and septic
watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon implementing Federal regulations system; and (5) monitoring the Lake Erie
insularum) occupy the project area, and prohibit the take of animal species listed Watersnake population response to the
it has been determined that the as endangered or threatened. The proposed construction and mitigation
proposed actions will result in definition of take under the Act for 15 years.
incidental take of this species. includes the following activities: To The Proposed Action consists of
Predevelopment LTD submitted an ITP harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, issuing an ITP and implementing the
application to the Service for incidental wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect
HCP. The draft EA considers two action
take pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of listed animal species, or attempt to
alternatives and the No Action
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 engage in such conduct (16 U.S.C.
1538). However, under section 10(a) of alternative. The NEPA process will be
(Act), as amended (Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531,
et seq.). The submission of the ITP the Act, the Service may issue permits completed after the comment period, at
application requires the development of to authorize incidental take of listed which time the Service will evaluate the
an HCP by the applicant detailing species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by permit application (if appropriate to the
measures to be taken to avoid, the Act as take that is incidental to, and selected alternative), the HCP, and
minimize, and mitigate impacts to Lake not the purpose of, carrying out an comments submitted thereon to
Erie Watersnakes. This notice is otherwise lawful activity. Regulations determine whether the application
provided pursuant to section 10(a) of governing incidental take permits for meets the requirements of section 10(a)
the Act and National Environmental threatened species are found in the of the Act. If the requirements are met,
Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (40 CFR Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR the Service will issue a permit to
1506.6). 17.32. Predevelopment LTD for take of Lake
DATES: Written data or comments must Predevelopment LTD proposes to Erie watersnakes associated with the
be received on or before October 11, develop the 6.45-acre property on Long proposed activities on Kelleys Island,
2005. Point, Kelleys Island, Erie County, Ohio. Erie County, Ohio. The final permit
The Lake Erie watersnake and its habitat decision will be made no sooner than 60
ADDRESSES: Send written data or occur on the 6.45-acre tract. Within the
comments to the Regional Director, U.S. days after the date of this notice.
HCP boundary, 2.5 acres would be
Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological cleared and 2.0 acres of these The area encompassed by the HCP
Services, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, permanently maintained for the may contain facilities eligible to be
Minnesota 55111–4056. proposed development of one seasonal listed on the National Register of
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. residence. Incidental take of Lake Erie Historic Places and other historical or
Peter Fasbender, (612) 713–5343. watersnakes is expected to occur archeological resources may be present.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: through loss and degradation of habitat The National Historic Preservation Act
and increased human activity in the and other laws require that these
Availability of Documents project area. Loss of suitable habitat properties and resources be identified
Individuals requesting copies of the would likely reduce overwinter survival and considered in project planning. The
applications and proposed Plan should due to hibernacula loss and increased public is requested to inform the Service
contact the Service by telephone at (612) predation due to the loss of shelter. of concerns about archeological sites,
713–5343 or by letter (see ADDRESSES). More human activity on the 6.45-acre buildings and structures, historic
Copies of the proposed Plan also are property would increase human-related events, sacred and traditional areas, and
available for public inspection during disturbance and disruption of snakes, other historic preservation concerns.
regular business hours at the U.S. Fish vehicular strikes, harassment and/or
and Wildlife Service, Ecological predation of snakes by pets, and Dated: July 19, 2005.
Services office located at 6950 mortality of snakes caused by mowing. Robert Krska,
Americana Parkway, Suite H, The purpose of the HCP is to ensure Acting Assistant Regional Director, Ecological
Reynoldsburg, Ohio, or at the Service’s incidental take will be minimized and Services, Region 3, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
Regional Web site at: http:// mitigated to the maximum extent [FR Doc. 05–16005 Filed 8–11–05; 8:45 am]
www.fws.gov/midwest/NEPA. All practicable and will not appreciably BILLING CODE 4310–55–P
comments received from individuals reduce the likelihood of the survival
become part of the official public and recovery of this species in the wild.
record. Requests for such comments will Predevelopment LTD designed the HCP
be handled in accordance with the in consultation with the Service to
Freedom of Information Act and the ensure the project area will continue to
Council on Environmental Quality’s support suitable habitat for the species,
NEPA regulations [40 CFR 1506.6(f)]. while allowing for incidental take of

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