Federal Register, Volume 76, Number 149, August 3, 2011, Pages 46595-47054 Page: 46,632
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46632 Federal Register/Vol. 76, No. 149/Wednesday, August 3, 2011 /Rules and Regulations
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2011-19416 Filed 8-2-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2010-0059;
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
and Plants; Removal of Echinacea
tennesseensis (Tennessee Purple
Coneflower) From the Federal List of
Endangered and Threatened Plants
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service,
ACTION: Final rule; availability of final
post-delisting monitoring plan.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS),
are removing the plant Echinacea
tennesseensis (commonly referred to as
Tennessee purple coneflower) from the
List of Endangered and Threatened
Plants. This action is based on a
thorough review of the best scientific
and commercial data available, which
indicate that this species has recovered
and no longer meets the definition of
threatened or endangered under the
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as
amended (Act). Our review of the status
of this species shows that populations
are stable, threats are addressed, and
adequate regulatory mechanisms are in
place so that the species is not
currently, and is not likely to again
become, an endangered species within
the foreseeable future in all or a
significant portion of its range. Finally,
we announce the availability of the final
post-delisting monitoring plan for E.
DATES: This rule is effective on
September 2, 2011.
ADDRESSES: Copies of the post-delisting
monitoring plan are available by request
from the Tennessee Ecological Services
Field Office (see FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT) or online at:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mary E. Jennings, Field Supervisor, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee
Ecological Services Field Office, 446
Neal Street, Cookeville, TN 38501
(telephone 931/528-6481; facsimile
931/528-7075). Persons who use a
telecommunications device for the deaf
(TDD) may call the Federal Information
Relay Service (FIRS) at 800/877-8339,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Previous Federal Actions
Section 12 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531
et seq.) directed the Secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution to prepare a
report on those plants considered to be
endangered, threatened, or extinct. On
July 1, 1975, the Service published a
notice in the Federal Register (40 FR
27824) accepting the Smithsonian report
as a petition to list taxa named therein
under section 4(c)(2) [now 4(b)(3)] of the
Act and announced our intention to
review the status of those plants.
Echinacea tennesseensis was included
in that report (40 FR 27873). Tennessee
purple coneflower is the common name
for E. tennesseensis; however, we will
primarily use the scientific name of this
species throughout this final rule.
On June 16, 1976, we published a
proposed rule in the Federal Register
(41 FR 24524) to designate
approximately 1,700 vascular plant
species, including Echinacea
tennesseensis, as endangered under
section 4 of the Act. On June 6, 1979,
we published a final rule in the Federal
Register (44 FR 32604) designating E.
tennesseensis as endangered. The final
rule identified the following threats to
E. tennesseensis: Loss of habitat due to
residential and recreational
development; collection of the species
for commercial or recreational purposes;
grazing; no State law protecting rare
plants in Tennessee; and succession of
cedar glade communities in which E.
On February 14, 1983, we published
the Tennessee Coneflower Recovery
Plan (Service 1983, 41 pp.), a revision
of which we published on November 14,
1989 (Service 1989, 30 pp.). On
September 21, 2007, we initiated a 5-
year status review of this species (72 FR
54057). On August 12, 2010, we
published a proposed rule to remove
Echinacea tennesseensis from the List of
Endangered and Threatened Plants,
provided notice of the availability of a
post-delisting monitoring plan, and
opened a 60-day public comment period
(75 FR 48896).
A member of the sunflower family
(Asteraceae), Echinacea tennesseensis is
a perennial herb with a long, fusiform
(i.e., thickened toward the middle and
tapered towards either end), blackened
root. In late summer, the species bears
showy purple flower heads on one-to-
many hairy branches. Linear to lance-
shaped leaves up to 20 centimeters (cm;
8 inches (in.)) long and 1.5 cm (0.6 in.)
wide arise from the base of E.
tennesseensis and are beset with coarse
hairs, especially along the margins. The
ray flowers (i.e., petals surrounding the
darker purple flowers of the central
disc) are pink to purple and spread
horizontally or arch slightly forward
from the disc to a length of 2-4 cm (0.8-
The following description of this
species' life history is summarized from
Hemmerly (1986, pp. 193-195): Seeds
are shed from plants during fall and
winter and begin germinating in early
March of the following year, producing
numerous seedlings by late March. Most
of the seedling growth occurs during the
first 6 or 7 weeks of the first year, during
which plants will grow to a height of 2-
3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) or less. Plants remain
in a rosette stage and root length
increases rapidly during these weeks.
Plants can reach sexual maturity by the
middle of their second growing season
and only small losses in seed viability
have been observed after a period of 5
years in dry storage (Hemmerly 1976, p.
17). However, Baskin and Baskin (1989,
p. 66) suggest that Echinacea
tennesseensis might not form persistent
seed banks, based on results of field
germination trials. Individuals of E.
tennesseensis can live up to at least 6
years, but the maximum lifespan is
probably much longer (Baskauf 1993, p.
Echinacea tennesseensis was first
collected in 1878 in Rutherford County,
Tennessee, by Dr. A. Gattinger and later
described by Beadle (1898, p. 359) as
Brauneria tennesseensis on the basis of
specimens collected by H. Eggert in
1897 from "a dry, gravelly hill" near the
town of LaVergne. Fernald (1900, pp.
86-87) did not accept Beadle's
identification of B. tennesseensis as a
distinct species, instead he merged it
with the more widespread E.
angustifolia. This treatment was upheld
by many taxonomists until McGregor
(1968, pp. 139-141) classified the taxon
as E. tennesseensis (Beadle) Small,
based on examination of materials from
collections discussed above and from
collections by R. McVaugh in 1936. As
McGregor (1968, p. 141) was unable to
locate any plants while conducting
searches during the months of June
through August, 1959-1961, he
concluded that the species was very rare
or possibly extinct in his monograph of
the genus Echinacea. The species went
unnoticed until its rediscovery in a
cedar glade in Davidson County as
reported by Baskin et al. (1968, p. 70),
and subsequently in Wilson County by
Quarterman and Hemmerly (1971, pp.
304-305), who also noted that the area
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United States. Office of the Federal Register. Federal Register, Volume 76, Number 149, August 3, 2011, Pages 46595-47054, periodical, August 3, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc52326/m1/46/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.