Federal Register, Volume 76, Number 149, August 3, 2011, Pages 46595-47054 Page: 46,636

46636 Federal Register/Vol. 76, No. 149/Wednesday, August 3, 2011 /Rules and Regulations
[* Colony 4.1 was destroyed circa 2004-2005.]
1987 1998 2000 2001 2004 2006 2008
Origin Colony EO
No. No. Mean Mean 9/o Mean 90 o Mean 9/o Mean 9/o Mean 9/o Mean 95/
6.1 9 .......... .. ........ .......... . ...... .......... 41.37 47.09 .......... .........

Natural colonies, or those not known
to have been established through
introductions, included 83,895
flowering stems in 2005 (TDEC 2006, p.
6). Introduced colonies, excluding the
two mentioned above, accounted for
23,454 flowering stems (TDEC 2006, p.
6). Natural colonies constituted
approximately 78 percent of the total
flowering stems and introduced
colonies approximately 22 percent. In
this rule, we use the colony numbers
reported by TDEC (1996, Appendix I)
and have sequentially assigned
additional colony numbers to those
which have been discovered since that
report was issued. In some instances,
there are gaps evident in the sequence
of colony numbers discussed,
representing colonies that have been
documented in the past but were either
extirpated or of unknown status at the
time of this rule.
Section 4(f) of the Act directs us to
develop and implement recovery plans
for the conservation and survival of
endangered and threatened species
unless we determine that such a plan
will not promote the conservation of the
species. The Act directs that, to the
maximum extent practicable, we
incorporate into each plan:
(1) Site-specific management actions
that may be necessary to achieve the
plan's goals for conservation and
survival of the species;
(2) Objective, measurable criteria,
which when met would result in a
determination, in accordance with the
provisions of section 4 of the Act, that
the species be removed from the list;
(3) Estimates of the time required and
cost to carry out the plan.
However, revisions to the list (adding,
removing, or reclassifying a species)
must reflect determinations made in
accordance with sections 4(a)(1) and
4(b) of the Act. Section 4(a)(1) requires
that the Secretary determine whether a
species is endangered or threatened (or
not) because of one or more of five
threat factors. Therefore, recovery
criteria must indicate when a species is
no longer endangered or threatened by
any of the five factors. In other words,

objective, measurable criteria, or
recovery criteria contained in recovery
plans, must indicate when we would
anticipate an analysis of the five threat
factors under section 4(a)(1) would
result in a determination that a species
is no longer endangered or threatened.
Section 4(b) of the Act requires that the
determination be made "solely on the
basis of the best scientific and
commercial data available."
Thus, while recovery plans are
intended to provide guidance to the
Service, States, and other partners on
methods of minimizing threats to listed
species and on criteria that may be used
to determine when recovery is achieved,
they are not regulatory documents and
cannot substitute for the determinations
and promulgation of regulations
required under section 4(a)(1) of the
Act. Determinations to remove a species
from the list made under section 4(a)(1)
of the Act must be based on the best
scientific and commercial data available
at the time of the determination,
regardless of whether that information
differs from the recovery plan.
In the course of implementing
conservation actions for a species, new
information is often gained that requires
recovery efforts to be modified
accordingly. There are many paths to
accomplishing recovery of a species,
and recovery may be achieved without
all criteria being fully met. For example,
one or more recovery criteria may have
been exceeded while other criteria may
not have been accomplished, yet the
Service may judge that, overall, the
threats have been minimized
sufficiently, and the species is robust
enough, that the Service may reclassify
the species from endangered to
threatened or perhaps delist the species.
In other cases, recovery opportunities
may have been recognized that were not
known at the time the recovery plan was
finalized. These opportunities may be
used instead of methods identified in
the recovery plan.
Likewise, information on the species
may be learned that was not known at
the time the recovery plan was
finalized. The new information may
change the extent that criteria need to be
met for recognizing recovery of the
species. Overall, recovery of species is

a dynamic process requiring adaptive
management, planning, implementing,
and evaluating the degree of recovery of
a species that may, or may not, fully
follow the guidance provided in a
recovery plan.
Thus, while the recovery plan
provides important guidance on the
direction and strategy for recovery, and
indicates when a rulemaking process
may be initiated, the determination to
remove a species from the Federal List
of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
is ultimately based on an analysis of
whether a species is no longer
endangered or threatened. The
following discussion provides a brief
review of recovery planning for
Echinacea tennesseensis as well as an
analysis of the recovery criteria and
goals as they relate to evaluating the
status of the species.
We first approved the Tennessee
Coneflower Recovery Plan on February
14, 1983 (Service 1983, 41 pp.) and
revised it on November 14, 1989
(Service 1989, 30 pp.). The recovery
plan includes one delisting criterion:
Echinacea tennesseensis will be
considered recovered when there are at
least five secure wild populations, each
with three self-sustaining colonies of at
least a minimal size. A colony will be
considered self-sustaining when there
are two juvenile plants for every
flowering one. Minimal size for each
colony is 15 percent cover of flowers
over 669 square meters (m2; 800 square
yards (yd2); 7,200 square feet (ft2)) of
suitable habitat. Establishing multiple
populations during the recovery of
endangered species serves two
important functions:
(1) Providing redundancy on the
landscape to minimize the probability
that localized stochastic disturbances
will threaten the entire species, and
(2) Preserving the genetic structure
found within a species by maintaining
the natural distribution of genetic
variation among its populations.
In the case of Echinacea
tennesseensis, the need for multiple
distinct populations to maintain genetic
structure is diminished, as Baskauf et al.
(1994, p. 186) determined that the
majority of genetic variability within
this species is maintained within each

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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/m1/50/ocr/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.