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Notice

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Review of 19 Southeastern Species

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces 5-year reviews of the duskytail darter (Etheostoma percnurum), snail darter (Percina tanasi), smoky madtom (Noturus baileyi), yellowfin madtom (Noturus flavipinnus), Carolina heelsplitter (Lasmigona decorata), birdwing pearlymussel (Conradilla caelata), cracking pearlymussel (Hemistena lata), dromedary pearlymussel (Dromus dromus), little wing pearlymussel (Pegias fabula), fine-rayed pigtoe (Fusconaia cuneolus), shiny pigtoe (Fusconaia cor), ring pink (Obovaria retusa), royal marstonia (snail) (Pyrgulopsis ogmorhaphe), Braun's rockcress (Arabis perstellata), golden sedge (Carex lutea), mountain golden heather (Hudsonia montana), Canby's dropwort (Oxypolis canbyi), Ruth's golden aster (Pityopsis ruthii), and American hart's-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium var. americanum) under section 4(c)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The purpose of reviews conducted under this section of the Act is to ensure that the classification of species as threatened or endangered on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR 17.11 and 17.12) is accurate. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review.

DATES:

To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, information submitted for our consideration must be received on or before September 26, 2006. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.

ADDRESSES:

Information submitted on the duskytail darter, snail darter, smoky madtom, yellowfin madtom, birdwing pearlymussel, cracking pearlymussel, dromedary pearlymussel, royal marstonia snail, and Ruth's golden aster should be sent to the Field Supervisor, Cookeville Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501. Information submitted on the Carolina heelsplitter, fine-rayed pigtoe, shiny pigtoe, mountain golden heather, and American hart's-tongue fern should be sent to the Field Supervisor, Asheville Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 160 Zillicoa Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801. Information submitted on Canby's dropwort should be sent to the Field Supervisor, Charleston Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 176 Croghan Spur Road, Suite 200, Charleston, South Carolina 29407. Information submitted on the little wing, ring pink, and Braun's rockcress should be sent to the Field Supervisor, Frankfort Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 3761 Georgetown Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Information submitted on the golden sedge should be sent to the Field Supervisor, Raleigh Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 551-F Pylon Drive, P.O. Box 33726, Raleigh, North Carolina 27636-3726. Information received in response to this notice of review will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at the same addresses.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Timothy Merritt at the Cookeville, Tennessee, address above for the duskytail darter, snail darter, smoky madtom, and yellowfin madtom (telephone, 931/528-6481, ext. 211); Geoff Call at the Cookeville, Tennessee, address above for the royal marstonia snail and Ruth's golden aster (telephone 931/528-6481, ext. 213); Jim Widlak at the Cookeville, Tennessee, address above for the birdwing pearlymussel, cracking pearlymussel, and dromedary pearlymussel (telephone 931/528-6481, ext. 202); Bob Butler at the above Asheville, North Carolina, address for the Carolina heelsplitter, shiny pigtoe, and fine-rayed pigtoe (telephone, 828/258-3939, ext. 235), Carolyn Wells at the above Asheville, North Carolina, address for the mountain golden heather (telephone 828/258-3939, ext. 231); Robert Currie at the above Asheville, North Carolina, address for the American hart's-tongue fern (telephone, 828/258-3939, ext. 224); Ed Eudaly at the above Charleston, South Carolina, address for the Canby's dropwort (telephone 843/727-4707, ext. 220); Mike Floyd at the above Frankfort, Kentucky, address for the Braun's rockcress (telephone 502/695-0468, ext. 226); Leroy Koch at the above Frankfort, Kentucky, address for the little wing and ring pink (telephone 502/695-0468, ext. 222); and Dale Suiter at the above Raleigh, North Carolina, address for the golden sedge (telephone 910/695-3323, ext. 18).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq.), the Service maintains a list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plant species at 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 17.12 (for plants) (collectively referred to as the List). Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires that we conduct a review of listed species at least once every 5 years. Then, on the basis of such reviews, under section 4(c)(2)(B), we determine whether or not any species should be removed from the List (delisted), or reclassified from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered. Delisting a species must be supported by the best scientific and commercial data available and only considered if such data substantiate that the species is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons: (1) The species is considered extinct; (2) the species is considered to be recovered; and/or (3) the original data available when the species was listed, or the interpretation of such data, were in error. Any change in Federal classification would require a separate rulemaking process.

The regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species currently under active review. This notice announces our active review of the following species that are currently federally listed as endangered: duskytail darter, smoky madtom, Carolina heelsplitter, birdwing pearlymussel, cracking pearlymussel, dromedary pearlymussel, little wing pearlymussel, fine-rayed pigtoe, shiny pigtoe, ring pink, royal snail, Braun's rockcress, golden sedge, Canby's dropwort, and Ruth's golden aster. This notice also announces our active review of the following species that are currently federally listed as threatened: snail darter, yellowfin madtom, mountain golden heather, and American hart's-tongue fern.

The List is found in 50 CFR 17.11 (wildlife) and 17.12 (plants) and is also available on our internet site at http://endangered.fws.gov/​wildlife.html#Species. Amendments to the List through final rules are published in the Federal Register.

What information is considered in the review?

A 5-year review will consider the best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the current listing determination or most recent status review of each species, such as:

A. Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;

B. Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability; Start Printed Page 42872

C. Conservation measures that have been implemented to benefit the species;

D. Threat status and trends (see five factors under heading “How do we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened?”); and

E. Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods.

Definitions Related to This Notice

The following definitions are provided to assist those persons who contemplate submitting information regarding the species being reviewed:

A. Species includes any species or subspecies of fish, wildlife, or plant, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate which interbreeds when mature.

B. Endangered means any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

C. Threatened means any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

How do we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened?

Section 4(a)(1) of the Act establishes that we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened based on one or more of the following five factors:

A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

C. Disease or predation;

D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

Section 4(a)(1) of the Act requires that our determination be made on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.

What could happen as a result of this review?

If we find that there is new information concerning any of these 19 species indicating that a change in classification may be warranted, we may propose a new rule that could do one of the following: (a) Reclassify the species from endangered to threatened (downlist); (b) reclassify the species from threatened to endangered (uplist); or (c) delist the species. If we determine that a change in classification is not warranted, then the species will remain on the List under its current status.

Public Solicitation of New Information

We request any new information concerning the status of any of these 19 species. See “What information is considered in the review?” heading for specific criteria. Information submitted should be supported by documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the data, and/or copies of any pertinent publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home addresses from the supporting record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we may withhold from the supporting record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment, but you should be aware that the Service may be required to disclose your name and address pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. We will not consider anonymous comments, however. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Authority

This document is published under the authority of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

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Dated: June 12, 2006.

Cynthia K. Dohner,

Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.

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[FR Doc. E6-12108 Filed 7-27-06; 8:45 am]

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