Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Bradshaw's Lomatium (Bradshaw's lomatium) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 228 (Tuesday, November 26, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 26, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65067-65080]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25545]
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
[Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013; FSES1130900000006-189-FF09E42000]
RIN 1018-BD59
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing
Bradshaw's Lomatium (Bradshaw's lomatium) From the Federal List of
Endangered and Threatened Plants
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule
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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to
remove Bradshaw's lomatium (Bradshaw's lomatium, also known as
Bradshaw's desert parsley), a plant found in western Oregon and
southwestern Washington, from the Federal List of Endangered and
Threatened Plants due to recovery. Our review of the best available
scientific and commercial data indicates that the threats to Bradshaw's
lomatium have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species
no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We request
information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule
and the draft post-delisting monitoring plan for Bradshaw's lomatium.
DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before
January 27, 2020. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59
p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for
public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT by January 10, 2020.
ADDRESSES: Written comments: You may submit comments by one of the
following methods:
 (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013,
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click on the
Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left
side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the
Proposed Rule box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by
clicking on ``Comment Now!''
 (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013; U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
22041-3803.
 We request that you send comments only by the methods described
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide
us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).
 Document availability: This proposed rule and the draft post-
delisting monitoring plan are available on http://www.regulations.gov
under Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013. In addition, the supporting file
for this proposed rule will be available for public inspection, by
appointment, during normal business hours, at the Oregon Fish and
Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266;
telephone: 503-231-6179.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, State Supervisor, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE
98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; telephone 503-231-6179. If
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the
Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document consists of: (1) A summary of
the most recent review of the status of Bradshaw's lomatium, resulting
in a recommendation that the species be removed from the Federal List
of Endangered and Threatened Plants (List); and (2) a proposal to
remove Bradshaw's lomatium from the Federal List of Endangered and
Threatened Plants.
Information Requested
Public Comments
 Any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on
the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate as
possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other
concerned governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community,
industry, or other interested parties concerning this proposed rule.
The comments that will be most useful and likely to influence our
decisions are those supported by data or peer-reviewed studies and
those that include citations to, and analyses of, applicable laws and
regulations. Please make your comments as specific as possible and
explain the basis for them. In addition, please include sufficient
information (such as scientific journal articles or other publications)
with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or
commercial data you reference or provide. In particular, we seek
comments concerning the following:
 (1) Reasons why we should or should not remove Bradshaw's lomatium
from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (i.e.,
``delist'' the species under the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
 (2) New biological or other relevant data concerning any threat (or
lack thereof) to Bradshaw's lomatium and any existing regulations that
may be addressing these or any of the stressors to the species
discussed here.
 (3) New information concerning the population size or trends of
Bradshaw's lomatium.
 (4) New information on the current or planned activities within the
range of Bradshaw's lomatium that may either adversely affect or
benefit the plant.
 (5) New information or data on the projected and reasonably likely
impacts to Bradshaw's lomatium or its habitat associated with climate
change or any other factors that may affect the species in the future.
 (6) Information pertaining to the requirements for post-delisting
monitoring of Bradshaw's lomatium.
 Please note that submissions merely stating support for or
opposition to the action under consideration without providing
supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in
making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that
determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened
species must be made ``solely on the basis of the best scientific and
commercial data available.''
 Prior to issuing a final rule on this proposed action, we will take
into consideration all comments and any additional information we
receive. Such information may lead to a final rule that differs from
this proposal. All comments and recommendations, including names and
addresses, will become part of the administrative record.
 You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you
send
[[Page 65068]]
comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.
 If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your
entire submission--including any personal identifying information--will
be posted on the website. If your submission is made via a hardcopy
that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the
top of your document that we withhold this information from public
review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We
will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
 Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT).
Public Hearing
 Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for a public hearing on this
proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 days after
the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register
(see DATES, above). Such requests must be sent to the address shown in
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule a public hearing on
this proposal, if requested, and announce the date, time, and place of
the hearing, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the
Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the
hearing.
Peer Review
 In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the
Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we sought the expert
opinions of four appropriate and independent specialists with knowledge
of the biology and ecology of Bradshaw's lomatium regarding the species
status assessment report (Service 2018; see Status Assessment for
Bradshaw's lomatium, below) that forms the basis for our 5-year review
and this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that
our determination regarding the status of the species under the Act is
based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We
received feedback from three of the four peer reviewers contacted;
their comments and corrections have been incorporated into the species
status assessment report, as appropriate.
Background
Status Assessment for Bradshaw's Lomatium
 A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of
Bradshaw's lomatium is presented in the document ``Species Status
Assessment Report for Bradshaw's lomatium (Lomatium bradshawii (Rose
ex. Math.) Mathias & Constance) Version 1.0'' (hereafter ``species
status report''; Service 2018), which is available at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013, under Supporting
Documents. The species status report documents the results of our
comprehensive biological status review for Bradshaw's lomatium, and has
undergone peer review. The species status report does not represent any
decision by the Service regarding the status of Bradshaw's lomatium
under the Act. It does, however, provide the scientific basis that
informed our most recent 5-year review, which resulted in a
recommendation that the species should be removed from the List. The
species status report also serves as one of the bases for this proposed
rule and our regulatory decision, which involves the further
application of standards within the Act and its implementing
regulations and policies.
 In this proposed rule, we present only a summary of the key results
and conclusions from the species status report; the full report is
available at http://www.regulations.gov, as referenced above.
Summary of the Biology of the Species
 Bradshaw's lomatium is a perennial herb in the carrot or parsley
family (Apiaceae) that is endemic to wet prairie habitats in western
Oregon's Willamette Valley and adjacent southwestern Washington. These
seasonally wet habitats may be flooded in the spring, or have soils
saturated at or near the surface due to factors such as heavy
precipitation in winter and spring, flooding, and poor drainage. A high
light environment is important for Bradshaw's lomatium to complete its
life cycle and reproduce, as reduced sunlight is associated with lower
flower and seed production (Alverson 1993, unpublished data). This
species is often associated with tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia
cespitosa), and frequently occurs on and around the small mounds
created by senescent tufted hairgrass plants. In wetter areas,
Bradshaw's lomatium occurs on the edges of tufted hairgrass or sedges
in patches of bare or open soil. In drier areas, it is found in low
areas, such as small depressions, trails, or seasonal channels, with
open, exposed soils. Self-fertilization is rare in Bradshaw's lomatium
(Kaye and Kirkland 1994, p. 8), indicating that pollinator-mediated
outcrossing is required for reproduction. Over 30 species of solitary
bees, flies, wasps, and beetles have been observed visiting the flowers
(Kaye 1992, p. 3; Kaye and Kirkland 1994, p. 9; Jackson 1996, pp. 72-
76). Bradshaw's lomatium does not reproduce asexually and depends
exclusively on seeds for reproduction (Kaye 1992, p. 2), but does not
maintain a persistent seed bank in the soil. Although some fruit
survives in the soil for 1 year, the seeds are not viable (Kaye et al.
2001, p. 1376). Further information on the basic biology and ecology of
Bradshaw's lomatium is summarized in the species status report (Service
2018, entire).
Previous Federal Actions
 Section 12 of the Act directed the Secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution to prepare a report on those plants considered to be
endangered, threatened, or extinct. This report, designated as House
Document No. 94-51, was presented to Congress on January 9, 1975. On
July 1, 1975, the Service published a notice in the Federal Register
(40 FR 27823) of its acceptance of the report of the Smithsonian
Institution as a petition within the context of former section 4(c)(2)
of the Act (petition acceptance is now governed by section 4(b)(3) of
the Act), and of its intention to review the status of the plant taxa
named within. On June 16, 1976, the Service published a proposed rule
in the Federal Register (41 FR 24523) to determine approximately 1,700
vascular plant species to be endangered species pursuant to section 4
of the Act. This list of 1,700 plant taxa was assembled on the basis of
comments and data received by the Smithsonian Institution and the
Service in response to House Document No. 94-51 and the July 1, 1975,
Federal Register publication. Bradshaw's lomatium was included in the
July 1, 1975, notice of review and in the June 16, 1976, proposal.
 The Amendments of 1978 to the Act (Pub L. 95-632, November 10,
1978) required that all proposals over 2 years old be withdrawn. A 1-
year grace period was established for proposals already over 2 years
old. On December 10, 1979, the Service published a document in the
Federal Register (44 FR 70796) withdrawing the still-pending portion of
the June 16, 1976, proposal, along with four other proposals that had
expired. The withdrawal of the proposal to list Bradshaw's lomatium was
not based on biological considerations, but instead
[[Page 65069]]
was the result of the administrative requirements of the Act prior to
the 1982 Amendments.
 An updated notice of review, published on December 15, 1980 (45 FR
82480), listed Bradshaw's lomatium in Category 1, which comprised taxa
for which sufficient information was available to support the proposal
of listing as endangered or threatened. On February 15, 1983, the
Service published notice (48 FR 6752) of its finding that the
petitioned listing of Bradshaw's lomatium may be warranted, in
accordance with section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, as amended in 1982. On
October 13, 1983, October 12, 1984, and again on October 11, 1985, the
petition finding was made that listing of this taxon was warranted, but
precluded by other pending listing actions, in accordance with section
4(b)(3)(B)(iii) of the Act (see 51 FR 42117; November 21, 1986). Such a
finding requires that the petition be treated as a petition that is
resubmitted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(C)(i) of the Act. Therefore, a
new finding was made; the Service found that the petitioned action was
warranted, and on November 21, 1986, published a proposal to list the
species as endangered (51 FR 42116). Bradshaw's lomatium was added to
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (50 CFR 17.12) as
an endangered species with the publication of a final rule in the
Federal Register on September 30, 1988 (53 FR 38448)
 A recovery plan for Bradshaw's lomatium (Service 1993, entire) was
first made available to the public on April 8, 1993 (58 FR 18139, pp.
18225-18226). Subsequently, a new recovery plan was developed for
Bradshaw's lomatium in conjunction with several other plant and animal
species found in prairie ecosystems of western Oregon and southwestern
Washington. The Recovery Plan for the Prairie Species of Western Oregon
and Southwest Washington, hereafter referred to as ``the recovery
plan,'' constitutes the revised recovery plan for Bradshaw's lomatium,
and was made available to the public on June 29, 2010 (75 FR 37460).
 On July 6, 2005, we published a notice (70 FR 38972) announcing
that we were conducting a 5-year review of the status of Bradshaw's
lomatium under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act. The 5-year review,
completed on September 24, 2009 (Service 2009, entire), resulted in a
recommendation that Bradshaw's lomatium remain listed as an endangered
species.
 On February 13, 2015, we published a notice (80 FR 8100) announcing
that we were conducting a new 5-year review of the status of Bradshaw's
lomatium, and requested that the public provide us any new information
concerning this species. We developed the species status report for the
purposes of conducting this 5-year review. This most recent assessment
of the status of the species led us to recommend that Bradshaw's
lomatium be removed from the List, because the species is considered to
be recovered. Because it is our conclusion that Bradshaw's lomatium
does not now meet the definition of either an endangered or a
threatened species, as summarized here, we are proposing to remove
Bradshaw's lomatium from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened
Plants (50 CFR 17.12).
Recovery Planning and Recovery Criteria
 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. Under section 4(f)(1)(B)(ii),
recovery plans must, to the maximum extent practicable, include
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. 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. Section 4(b) of the Act requires that the
determination be made ``solely on the basis of the best scientific and
commercial data available.''
 While recovery plans provide important guidance to the Service,
States, and other partners on methods of minimizing threats to listed
species and measurable objectives against which to measure progress
towards recovery, they are not regulatory documents and cannot
substitute for the determinations and promulgation of regulations
required under section 4(a)(1) of the Act. A decision to revise the
status of a species or remove a species from the Federal List of
Endangered and Threatened Plants (50 CFR 17.12) is ultimately based on
an analysis of the best scientific and commercial data then available
to determine whether a species is no longer an endangered species or a
threatened species, regardless of whether that information differs from
the recovery plan.
 Recovery plans may be revised to address continuing or new threats
to the species as new substantive information becomes available. The
recovery plan recommends site-specific management actions that will
help recover the species, identifies measurable criteria that set a
trigger for eventual review of the species' listing status (e.g., under
a 5-year review conducted by the Service), and methods for monitoring
recovery progress. Recovery plans are intended to establish goals for
long-term conservation of listed species and define criteria that are
designed to indicate when the threats facing a species have been
removed or reduced to such an extent that the species may no longer
need the protections of the Act.
 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 criteria may be exceeded while other criteria may
not yet be met. In that instance, we may determine that the threats are
minimized sufficiently to delist. In other cases, recovery
opportunities may be discovered that were not known when 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. Recovery of a
species is a dynamic process requiring adaptive management that may, or
may not, fully follow the guidance provided in a recovery plan.
 In 2010, we finalized the revised recovery plan for Bradshaw's
lomatium (Service 2010). The recovery plan states that Bradshaw's
lomatium could be considered for downlisting to threatened status when
there are 12 populations and 60,000 plants distributed in such a way as
to reflect the species' historical geographic distribution, when the
number of individuals in the populations have been stable or increasing
over a period of 10 years, when sites are managed to meet established
habitat quality guidelines, when a substantial portion of the species'
habitat is protected for conservation, and when populations are managed
to ensure maintenance of habitat and to control threats. To achieve
desired habitat quality, the recovery plan provides guidelines for a
variety of prairie habitat metrics. These metrics include:
 (1) Sites with populations of target species should have 50 percent
or more relative cover of native vegetation;
[[Page 65070]]
 (2) Woody vegetation should make up no more than 15 percent of the
absolute vegetative cover, and woody species of concern should make up
no more than 5 percent;
 (3) Native prairie species richness should exceed 10 species, with
at least 7 forbs and 1 bunchgrass; and
 (4) No single nonnative should have more than 50 percent cover, and
nonnative species of particular concern should have no greater than 5
percent cover.
 The recovery plan states that Bradshaw's lomatium could be
considered for delisting when there are 20 populations and 100,000
plants properly distributed, in addition to the criteria described
above. To reflect the historical distribution of Bradshaw's lomatium,
the species' range was divided into eight recovery zones (called
Southwest Washington, Portland, Salem West, Salem East, Corvallis West,
Corvallis East, Eugene West, and Eugene East), and targets for number
of populations and number of plants for each zone were established
based on historical presence (Service 2010, pp. IV-1-IV-6, IV-31-IV-
34).
 Two of the recovery zones (Portland and Salem West) are within the
range of Bradshaw's lomatium, but do not have population targets for
the species based on a lack of historical occurrence data. These
recovery zones were nonetheless retained because if any populations of
Bradshaw's lomatium were to be discovered or introduced within these
zones, they could be considered as contributing to the recovery
criteria for the species (under the category ``additional
populations'').
 The expression of recovery criteria in terms of population
abundance, numbers of populations, and distribution across recovery
zones reflects a foundational principle of conservation biology: That
there is a positive relationship between the relative viability of a
species over time and the resiliency, redundancy, and representation of
its constituent populations (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 307-310; Wolf
et al. 2015, entire). To look at it another way, extinction risk is
generally reduced as a function of increased population abundance
(resiliency), numbers of populations (redundancy), and distribution or
geographic or genetic diversity (representation). The recovery criteria
laid out in the recovery plan for Bradshaw's lomatium were, therefore,
informative for our review of the status of the species, as that
analysis leans upon these measures of viability to assess the current
and future status of the species (Service 2018, pp. 1-2).
 The downlisting criteria for number and distribution of populations
and numbers of plants were intended to help identify the point at which
imminent threats to the plant had been ameliorated so that the
populations were no longer in immediate risk of extirpation; the
delisting criteria for number and distribution of populations and
numbers of plants were intended to identify the point at which the
species was unlikely to become in danger of extinction. The estimated
abundance of individuals in all populations has increased over time,
from approximately 25,000 to 30,000 individuals in 11 populations at
listing in 1988, to an estimated 11,277,614 individuals in at least 24
known populations at present (Service 2018, p. 39, updated based on
Wilderman 2018, entire). These 24 populations occur on 71 distinct
sites that are owned by a mix of Federal, State, and local governments;
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and private citizens. Multiple
sites are considered to be part of the same population when those sites
are within a defined pollinator flight distance of 3 kilometers (km) (2
miles (mi)) of each other. The current population estimate is the
combined count data from all sites; for some sites the plant count was
the result of a full census (54 sites), while for others it was derived
by visual estimate or calculated from count subsamples that were then
extrapolated over the total area of the site (17 sites). The increase
in known populations and number of plants over time is due to a
combination of population augmentation and introductions, improved
habitat management, and increased survey effort across the range of the
species. Bradshaw's lomatium has been the focus of concentrated
recovery efforts since it was listed in 1988. We now believe there are
likely more than the recent grand total count of an estimated
11,277,614 individuals across the range of Bradshaw's lomatium because
not all areas of suitable habitat within the range of the species have
been surveyed, and recent visits to previously unsurveyed areas have
resulted in the identification of formerly unknown populations (e.g.,
Service 2018, p. 10).
 In our species status report, we evaluated and ranked the
resiliency of each population of Bradshaw's lomatium using the
following criteria: (1) Population size, (2) current habitat
conditions, (3) protection of the site from development, and (4) site
management to restore and maintain appropriate habitat condition. Using
these criteria, each population was given a rank of high, moderate, or
low condition (Service 2018, pp. 26-30). The resiliency score for each
population incorporates the degree to which the primary threats to the
species have been addressed at each site as well as recovery criteria
(population size and habitat quality), site protection (addressing
habitat loss), and site management (addressing woody encroachment and
invasive species). For details on evaluation and ranking of population
condition, see the species status report (Service 2018, pp. 26-43).
 The table below summarizes our current knowledge of the abundance
and distribution of Bradshaw's lomatium relative to the downlisting and
delisting criteria presented in the recovery plan for the species (from
Service 2018, p. 39, updated based on Wilderman 2018, entire). Because
the table below summarizes only the abundance and distribution data for
the species, the information in the table must be considered in
conjunction with the five-factor analysis of threats to arrive at the
status determination for Bradshaw's lomatium.
[[Page 65071]]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP26NO19.002
 Based on the most recent count, the grand total number of known
plants is 11,277,614 (this total includes plants from populations with
fewer than 200 individuals, which we did not count as contributing
toward recovery). Of this total, an estimated 10,790,658 occur in a
single population in southwestern Washington. The other approximately
486,956 plants are within 23 populations in Oregon. Considering only
the populations in moderate or high condition, and with more than 200
plants (i.e., those we are counting toward recovery and presented in
the table above), we estimate there are 485,595 plants within the 23
populations in Oregon. These populations are distributed from southeast
of Salem, Oregon south to Creswell, Oregon, both east and west of the
Willamette River. The greatest density of populations occurs in the
southern portion of the Willamette Valley near Eugene, Oregon.
 Therefore, the most recent counts of Bradshaw's lomatium identify
nearly 500,000 individuals in 23 known populations distributed across
the historical range of the species in Oregon, and distributed among 69
known sites under various types of land ownership. We considered the
abundance and distribution of Bradshaw's lomatium without the roughly
10.8 million individuals concentrated in a single population (made up
of 2 sites) in southwestern Washington to ensure our evaluation
considered the abundance and distribution of the species across its
entire range and to ensure our evaluation was not unduly influenced by
the single large population in southwestern Washington. Of the 71 known
sites, 51 are in public ownership, are within a public right-of-way, or
are owned by a conservation-oriented NGO. Of the 20 remaining sites, 9
are under conservation easement or are enrolled in the Service's
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Service 2018, pp. 30-35, 36,
38, Appendix A). The remaining 11 sites are on private
[[Page 65072]]
lands and are not currently under any formal protection agreements.
 The figure below shows the results of this assessment across the
range of the species. Of the 24 known populations, 4 are in low
condition, 9 are in moderate condition, 10 are in high condition, and 1
is in unknown condition due to the lack of data (Service 2018, pp. 36-
39). Populations occur in all recovery zones that have population
goals. As noted above, the Portland and Salem West Recovery Zones
contain no known current populations, were not assigned specific
targets by the Recovery Team, and have no documented historical
occurrences of the species within them.
[[Page 65073]]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP26NO19.001
 Based on this information, we conclude Bradshaw's lomatium is much
more numerous than at the time of listing and is distributed throughout
its known historical range. Across the 23 populations in Oregon,
greater than 99 percent of known Bradshaw's lomatium plants are found
on sites receiving some degree of protection from development
[[Page 65074]]
such as public lands, conservancy lands, or private lands with
conservation easements (Service 2018, Appendix A). The single largest
population of the species occurs in southwestern Washington, and is
composed of individuals from two sites. The vast majority of plants in
the southwestern Washington population occur on private property that
is not under some type of protection, but the site is consistently
managed in a manner conducive to supporting Bradshaw's lomatium. The
other portion of the population in southwestern Washington contains
approximately 658 plants, and this site is owned by the Washington
Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The WDNR has been actively
protecting, managing, and augmenting this smaller portion of the
southwestern Washington population, and they are currently working to
further expand protection at this site. Furthermore, WDNR is working to
conserve the sizeable Bradshaw's lomatium site that is on private land.
 Due to ongoing threats from woody encroachment and the spread of
nonnative invasive plants, sites containing Bradshaw's lomatium require
regular management to maintain the open prairie conditions that support
robust populations. Management activities may include, but are not
limited to, herbicide application, mowing, and prescribed fire.
Although guarantee of management into perpetuity exceeds the
requirements of the Act in evaluating whether a species meets the
statutory definition of endangered or threatened, it is necessary to
evaluate whether current and expected future management is sufficient
to maintain resilient populations of Bradshaw's lomatium into the
foreseeable future. Across the range of Bradshaw's lomatium, 53 of 71
sites (75 percent) receive some form of management as described above,
accounting for greater than 99 percent of known Bradshaw's lomatium
plants. Of the sites with some form of management, 41 sites (58 percent
of total sites) have a management plan with goals for the conservation
of Bradshaw's lomatium, or with goals for maintenance of the wet
prairie habitat upon which this species depends. Sites with management
plans include those owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau
of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature
Conservancy, and privately owned sites covered by the Natural Resources
Conservation Service's Wetland Reserve Program (Service 2018, pp. 30-
35, Appendix A).
 These and other data that we analyzed indicate that most threats
identified at listing and in the recovery plan are reduced in areas
occupied by Bradshaw's lomatium. The status of the species has improved
primarily due to: (1) Discovery of previously unknown populations; (2)
reestablishment and augmentation of populations over the 30 years since
the species was listed; (3) improvement in habitat management; and (4)
an increase in protection from development.
Summary of Factors Affecting Bradshaw's Lomatium
 Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part
424) set forth the procedures for listing species, reclassifying
species, or removing species from listed status. The term ``species''
includes ``any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any
distinct population segment [DPS] of any species of vertebrate fish or
wildlife which interbreeds when mature'' (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). As
previously stated, a species may be determined to be an endangered
species or threatened species because of any one or a combination of
the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. We may
consider listing a species due to one or more of the following: (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. We must consider
these same five factors in delisting (removal from the Federal Lists of
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants) or downlisting
(reclassification from endangered to threatened) a species.
 For species that are already listed as endangered or threatened,
this analysis of threats is an evaluation of both the threats currently
facing the species and the threats that are reasonably likely to affect
the species in the foreseeable future following the delisting or
downlisting and the removal of the Act's protections. A recovered
species is one that no longer meets the Act's definition of endangered
or threatened. A species is ``endangered'' for purposes of the Act if
it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a ``significant portion
of its range'' and is ``threatened'' if it is likely to become an
endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a
``significant portion of its range.'' The word ``range'' in the
``significant portion of its range'' phrase refers to the range in
which the species currently exists. For the purposes of this analysis,
we first evaluate the status of Bradshaw's lomatium throughout all of
its range, then consider whether this plant is in danger of extinction
or likely to become so in any significant portion of its range within
the foreseeable future.
 The Act does not define the term ``foreseeable future.'' Our
implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.11(d) set forth a framework
within which we evaluate the foreseeable future on a case-by-case
basis. The term foreseeable future extends only so far into the future
as the Service can reasonably determine that both the future threats
and the species' responses to those threats are likely. We consider 25
to 50 years to be a reasonable period of time within which reliable
predictions can be made for potential stressors and responses for
Bradshaw's lomatium. This period of time is sufficient to observe
population trends for the species and captures the terms of many of the
management plans that are in effect at Bradshaw's lomatium sites; it
also provides a reasonable timeframe for the assessment of the effects
of climate change. Although information exists regarding potential
impacts from climate change beyond a 50-year timeframe, the projections
depend on an increasing number of assumptions, and thus become more
uncertain with increasingly long timeframes. We, therefore, use a
maximum timeframe of 50 years to provide the best balance of scope of
impacts considered versus the certainty of those impacts being
realized.
 In considering what factors might constitute threats, we must look
beyond the exposure of the species to a particular factor to evaluate
whether the species may respond to the factor in a way that causes
actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to a factor and the
species responds negatively, the factor may be a threat, and during the
status review, we attempt to determine the significance of a threat.
The threat is significant if it drives or contributes to the risk of
extinction of the species, such that the species warrants listing as
endangered or threatened as those terms are defined by the Act.
However, the identification of factors that could impact a species
negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the species
warrants listing. The information must include evidence sufficient to
suggest that the potential threat is likely to materialize and that it
has the capacity (i.e., it should be of sufficient magnitude and
extent) to affect the species' status such that it
[[Page 65075]]
meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.
 At the time of listing, the primary threats to Bradshaw's lomatium
were habitat loss due to land use conversion for agriculture or
urbanization and the invasion of prairie vegetation by various woody
plant species (Factor A) (53 FR 38449-38450; September 30, 1988). The
listing rule did not find that overutilization for commercial,
recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B) posed a
threat to Bradshaw's lomatium. The listing rule did note that several
parasitic organisms (a fungus, spittle bug, and two aphids) could
potentially have negative effects on smaller, stressed populations of
the plant (but not the species as a whole; Factor C) and questioned
whether inbreeding depression might pose a threat to the species since
the populations known at the time appeared to be small and isolated
from one another (Factor E). The rule noted that further study was
required to determine the significance of these putative threat
factors. Finally, the listing rule noted that State and Federal
regulations existing at the time did not adequately protect the plant
from habitat loss or other potential threats (Factor D) (53 FR 38450;
September 30, 1988). By the time the recovery plan was developed in
1993, these same threats were still considered relevant (Service 1993,
p. 12). There are three potential threats that were not known or
considered at the time of listing: (1) Competition from nonnative,
invasive plant species (Factor A); (2) potential impacts resulting from
the effects of climate change (Factor E); and (3) predation by voles
(Microtus spp.) (Factor C), which has been observed within Bradshaw's
lomatium sites. Subsequently, we have conducted a 5-year status review
based on the species status report for Bradshaw's lomatium that
includes an analysis of all factors known to affect the viability of
the species (Service 2018, entire).
 As discussed in our 2018 species status report, the threat of
habitat loss from land conversion for agriculture and urbanization
(Factor A) has decreased since the time of listing due to land
protection efforts. Although a few privately owned sites are still at
risk, land use conversion is no longer considered a significant threat
to the viability of Bradshaw's lomatium due to the number of sites now
receiving some degree of protection from development (Service 2018, pp.
36-39, Appendix A). As described above, in Oregon, which supports 23 of
the 24 known populations of the species, greater than 99 percent of
known Bradshaw's lomatium plants occur on sites protected through
public or NGO ownership, through designation as a right-of-way, or by
conservation easements on private lands. In Washington, one of two
sites that support Bradshaw's lomatium is owned by WDNR, and the State
is actively working toward the conservation of the very large adjacent
site that supports the majority of known individuals of the species. As
the threat posed to Bradshaw's lomatium from habitat loss is no longer
considered significant, we additionally no longer consider State or
Federal protections to be inadequate to address this threat (Factor D).
 The present threat to Bradshaw's lomatium from modification of
habitat due to invasion of prairies by nonnative, invasive plants and
by woody species (Factor A) has been reduced in many populations due to
active habitat management using herbicides, mowing, and prescribed
fire, but ongoing habitat management is required to maintain these
improvements. As noted above, across the range of Bradshaw's lomatium,
75 percent of the known sites receive active management that benefits
the species, and 58 percent of total sites have a management plan in
place with goals for the conservation of Bradshaw's lomatium, or for
maintenance of the wet prairie habitat upon which it depends (Service
2018, pp. 36-39, Appendix A). Based on the high proportion of sites
protected or managed, the history of positive management observed to
date, and ongoing efforts to further restore and protect wet prairie
habitats, we have confidence that management of Bradshaw's lomatium
sites will continue to provide adequate protection to the species in
the long term. We found no evidence that negative impacts due to
parasitic organisms (Factor C) constitute a threat to the viability of
the Bradshaw's lomatium. Predation by voles (Factor C) appears to vary
year to year, and can substantially reduce aboveground biomass and
reproduction in years when vole abundance is high. However, the effect
on populations is believed to be minimal over time as long as there is
sufficient time for Bradshaw's lomatium to regenerate taproot reserves
between vole outbreaks (Drew 2000, pp. 54-55), and no consistent long-
term declines attributable to vole predation have been reported
(Service 2018, p. 20).
 Concerns over the possibility of inbreeding depression (Factor E)
expressed at the time of listing are now reduced due to a subsequent
study indicating that overall genetic diversity in Bradshaw's lomatium
is relatively high for a rare species (Gitzendanner and Soltis 2001,
pp. 352-353), and is greater than that found in other rare Lomatium
species (Gitzendanner and Soltis 2000, p. 787), though the most
disjunct population in southwestern Washington showed relatively lower
genetic diversity than less geographically isolated populations
(Gitzendanner and Soltis 2001, p. 353). The threat of inbreeding
depression is further considered reduced since we now understand
Bradshaw's lomatium to be primarily an outcrossing species (which
promotes increased genetic diversity), rather than an obligate self-
pollinating species as was believed at the time of listing (Service
2018, pp. 7, 20).
 The potential threat posed to Bradshaw's lomatium from the effects
of climate change (Factor E) is difficult to predict. The primary
threat to the species from the effects of climate change is likely
reduced moisture availability due to warmer temperatures and
alterations to precipitation patterns resulting in increased
evapotranspiration. The vulnerability of Bradshaw's lomatium to the
effects of climate change, assessed over a range of potential future
emissions scenarios, has been ranked as anywhere from low to moderate
(Steel et al. 2011, pp. 25, 89) to highly vulnerable (Kaye et al. 2013,
p. 20). Possible effects of climate change on Bradshaw's lomatium
include a shift toward life cycle completion earlier in the growing
season in response to warmer temperatures and earlier drying, and
reduced population sizes due to some portions of habitat drying too
much to support Bradshaw's lomatium populations. We assessed the
potential impacts of climate change on Bradshaw's lomatium projected
out over a period up to 50 years in the future. Published assessments
provide only qualitative appraisals of the potential response of
Bradshaw's lomatium to the effects of climate change; therefore, to be
conservative in our analysis, we evaluated a ``worst case'' future
scenario in which all populations would be reduced in size by 50
percent. Even in the face of such a severe population reduction, the
species is anticipated to remain viable as indicated by appreciable
levels of resiliency, redundancy, and representation. We estimated that
populations currently in low condition or with very low abundance may
be extirpated due to the combined effects of climate change impacts and
stochastic events; this translated to an estimated loss of up to five
small populations, with other populations reduced in size. However,
even with a presumed 50 percent
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reduction in abundance, at least 14 to 16 populations of Bradshaw's
lomatium in moderate or high condition are expected to persist on the
landscape with ongoing management. We do not anticipate any significant
effect on representation, that is, the ability of the species to adapt
to changing environmental conditions over time (Service 2018, pp. 42-
46).
Cumulative Impacts
 When multiple stressors co-occur, one may exacerbate the effects of
the other, leading to effects not accounted for when each stressor is
analyzed individually. The full impact of these synergistic effects may
be observed within a short period of time, or may take many years
before they are noticeable. For example, high levels of predation on
Bradshaw's lomatium during vole outbreaks can cause large temporary
population declines, but are not generally considered a significant
threat to long-term viability; populations that are relatively large
and well distributed should be able to withstand such naturally
occurring events. However, the relative impact of predation by voles
may be intensified when outbreaks occur in conjunction with other
factors that may lessen the resiliency of Bradshaw's lomatium
populations, such as prolonged woody species encroachment; extensive
nonnative, invasive plant infestations; or possible hydrological
alterations resulting from the effects of climate change.
 Although the types, magnitude, or extent of potential cumulative
impacts are difficult to predict, we are not aware of any combination
of factors that are likely to co-occur with significant negative
consequences for the species. We anticipate that any negative
consequence of co-occurring threats will be successfully addressed
through the same active management actions that have contributed to the
ongoing recovery of Bradshaw's lomatium and that are expected to
continue into the future. The best scientific and commercial data
available indicate that Bradshaw's lomatium is composed of multiple
populations, primarily in moderate to high condition, which are
sufficiently resilient, well distributed, protected, and managed such
that they will be robust to any potential cumulative effects to which
they may be exposed.
 Overall, we conclude that under current conditions, most
populations of Bradshaw's lomatium are resilient, because they have
abundant numbers of individuals. There are redundant populations of
Bradshaw's lomatium, meaning that multiple populations occur in most
recovery zones, indicating that the species has the ability to minimize
potential loss from catastrophic events. The concern at the time of
listing about a possible genetic bottleneck has been alleviated by
genetic studies demonstrating that Bradshaw's lomatium has relatively
high genetic diversity for a rare species. Also, with populations
distributed across the known historical range of the species (Service
2018, p. 40), Bradshaw's lomatium has likely retained much of its
adaptive capacity (i.e., representation). We also considered the
potential future conditions of Bradshaw's lomatium, taking into account
the current condition and additional stressors not considered at the
time of recovery plan development (e.g., the effects of climate
change). Projecting 25 to 50 years into the future, under a
conservative estimate that conditions could potentially worsen such
that all existing populations are reduced by half, the species would
retain its resiliency and redundancy. With an estimated 14 to 16
populations in moderate or high condition expected to persist on the
landscape with ongoing management; representation was not anticipated
to be affected (Service 2018, p. 44). As noted earlier, the degree to
which threats to the species have been successfully addressed is
incorporated into the evaluation of population resiliency at each site
(i.e., site protection and management actions were considered in the
scoring of each population's current condition; Service 2018, p. 28).
The continuation of these conservation measures was an assumption of
our projection.
 See the species status report (Service 2018, entire) for a more
detailed discussion of our evaluation of the biological status of the
Bradshaw's lomatium and the influences that may affect its continued
existence. Our conclusions are based upon the best available scientific
and commercial data and the expert opinions of the species status
assessment team members.
Determination of Bradshaw's Lomatium Species Status
 Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing
regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining
whether a species meets the definition of ``endangered species'' or
``threatened species.'' The Act defines an ``endangered species'' as a
species that is ``in danger of extinction throughout all or a
significant portion of its range,'' and a ``threatened species'' as a
species that is ``likely to become an endangered species within the
foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its
range.'' The Act requires that we determine whether a species meets the
definition of ``endangered species'' or ``threatened species'' because
of any of the following 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.
Status Throughout All of Its Range
 After evaluating threats to the species under the section 4(a)(1)
factors, we found that the known range of Bradshaw's lomatium was
considered dramatically reduced when we listed it as an endangered
species in 1988, and we estimated that there were 11 small populations
that included a total of roughly 25,000 to 30,000 individuals. In
addition, the species faced threats from habitat loss due to land
conversion for agriculture and urbanization, as well as natural
succession to woody species dominance due to loss of historical
disturbance regimes. As such, it was perceived to be upon the brink of
extinction. Bradshaw's lomatium has been the subject of intensive
recovery efforts since it was listed under the Act 30 years ago, and
the discovery of new, previously unknown populations; success in
augmentation and habitat restoration and management efforts; and the
protection of Bradshaw's lomatium populations and habitats on public
lands and on private lands through conservation easements and
management agreements with NGOs and other parties have led to a
significant reduction in threats and improvement in the status of the
species since that time.
 Recovery goals for delisting Bradshaw's lomatium were set at a
minimum of 20 populations with a total of 100,000 individual plants
distributed across its historical range. Under current conditions,
there are 24 known populations of Bradshaw's lomatium distributed
throughout the species' historical range; if we consider only those
populations in high or moderate condition and containing at least 200
individuals as contributing to recovery, there are 17 such populations
throughout the range of the species (see table above). Considering only
those 17 populations in high or moderate condition and with greater
than 200 plants, the most recent counts demonstrate there are an
estimated
[[Page 65077]]
486,253 individuals known distributed throughout the historical range
of the species (our evaluation does not include the southwestern
Washington population to ensure our evaluation considered the abundance
and distribution of the species across its entire range and that it was
not unduly influenced by this single large population). Our analysis of
current population condition on the basis of plant abundance, habitat
quality, management, and protection from development resulted in
rankings of 10 populations in high condition overall, 9 populations in
moderate condition, and 4 populations in low condition. Therefore, we
are significantly less concerned about small population sizes or
limited distribution of the species than we were at the time of
listing. The increase in known populations is due in large part to
increased survey efforts and incidental discovery of more occupied
habitat, leaving open the potential of finding even more populations of
Bradshaw's lomatium in the future. Acquisition by conservation NGOs, or
enrollment into conservation easement programs, of sites containing
Bradshaw's lomatium populations has substantially reduced the risk of
habitat and population losses due to land use conversion (Factor A). In
addition, population augmentation or introduction, combined with
ongoing active management of woody encroachment and of nonnative,
invasive plant infestations, has ameliorated the threat posed by these
processes (Factor A) and increased the resilience of many Bradshaw's
lomatium populations on protected sites. Other potential threats
identified at the time of listing have either never materialized
(parasitism by other organisms (Factor C) or negative effects of
inbreeding depression (Factor E)) or have been addressed through other
means (i.e., habitat protections and management, addressing Factor D).
 Since listing, we have become aware of the potential for the
effects of climate change (Factor E) to affect organisms and
ecosystems, including potentially Bradshaw's lomatium. We considered
the potential consequences of climate change and evaluated a future
scenario with up to a 50 percent reduction in the size of all known
populations across the range of the species. Even in the face of such a
severe population reduction, the species retained appreciable levels of
resiliency, redundancy, and representation such that we did not
consider the effects of climate change to pose a significant threat
(Service 2018, pp. 42-46). To be conservative, our analysis of future
conditions did not consider that ongoing efforts to improve population
sizes and habitat quality have the potential to further increase the
number of resilient populations of Bradshaw's lomatium. Many stressors
to the species are being addressed through habitat management and
population augmentation, but ongoing management is necessary to
maintain resilient populations throughout the species' range.
 In sum, significant impacts at the time of listing such as habitat
loss due to land use conversion and woody encroachment that could have
resulted in the extirpation of all or parts of populations have been
either eliminated or reduced since listing. An assessment of likely
future conditions, including the status of known stressors, management
trends, and possible impacts of climate change, finds that although
populations may decline in abundance, at least 14 to 16 populations
across the range of the species are expected to maintain high or
moderate resiliency over a timeframe of 25 to 50 years into the future
(Service 2018, pp. 42-46). We, therefore, conclude that the previously
recognized impacts to Bradshaw's lomatium from present or threatened
destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range
(specifically, habitat development for agriculture or urbanization and
invasion of prairie vegetation by various woody plant species) (Factor
A); disease or predation (specifically, parasitism by insects and
predation by voles) (Factor C); the inadequacy of existing regulatory
mechanisms (Factor D); and other natural or manmade factors affecting
its continued existence (specifically, genetic isolation, inbreeding
depression, and the effects of climate change) (Factor E) do not rise
to a level of significance, either individually or in combination, such
that the species is in danger of extinction now or likely to become so
within the foreseeable future. Overutilization for commercial,
recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B) was not a
factor in listing and based on the best available information, we
conclude that it does not constitute a threat to the Bradshaw's
lomatium now or in the foreseeable future. The Service recognizes that
woody encroachment and nonnative, invasive plant species are stressors
with ongoing impacts to Bradshaw's lomatium, but finds that current and
expected trends in site protection and habitat management are
sufficient to prevent these stressors from constituting a threat to the
continued existence of the species. Thus, after assessing the best
available information, we conclude that Bradshaw's lomatium is not in
danger of extinction or likely to become so within the foreseeable
future throughout all of its range.
Status Throughout a Significant Portion of Its Range
 Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may
warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so
in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of
its range (SPR). Where the best available information allows the
Services to determine a status for the species rangewide, that
determination should be given conclusive weight because a rangewide
determination of status more accurately reflects the species' degree of
imperilment and better promotes the purposes of the Act. Under this
reading, we should first consider whether the species warrants listing
``throughout all'' of its range and proceed to conduct a ``significant
portion of its range'' analysis if, and only if, a species does not
qualify for listing as either an endangered or a threatened species
according to the ``throughout all'' language.
 Having determined that Bradshaw's lomatium is not in danger of
extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout
all of its range, we now consider whether it may be in danger of
extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future in an SPR.
The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an
infinite number of ways, so we first screen the potential portions of
the species' range to determine if there are any portions that warrant
further consideration. To do the ``screening'' analysis, we ask whether
there are portions of the species' range for which there is substantial
information indicating that: (1) The portion may be significant; and,
(2) the species may be, in that portion, either in danger of extinction
or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. For a particular
portion, if we cannot answer both questions in the affirmative, then
that portion does not warrant further consideration and the species
does not warrant listing because of its status in that portion of its
range. We emphasize that answering both of these questions in the
affirmative is not a determination that the species is in danger of
extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout
a significant portion of its range--rather, it is a step in determining
whether a more-detailed analysis of the issue is required.
 If we answer these questions in the affirmative, we then conduct a
more
[[Page 65078]]
thorough analysis to determine whether the portion does indeed meet
both of the SPR prongs: (1) The portion is significant and (2) the
species is, in that portion, either in danger of extinction or likely
to become so in the foreseeable future. Confirmation that a portion
does indeed meet one of these prongs does not create a presumption,
prejudgment, or other determination as to whether the species is an
endangered species or threatened species. Rather, we must then
undertake a more detailed analysis of the other prong to make that
determination. Only if the portion does indeed meet both SPR prongs
would the species warrant listing because of its status in a
significant portion of its range.
 At both stages in this process--the stage of screening potential
portions to identify any portions that warrant further consideration
and the stage of undertaking the more detailed analysis of any portions
that do warrant further consideration--it might be more efficient for
us to address the ``significance'' question or the ``status'' question
first. Our selection of which question to address first for a
particular portion depends on the biology of the species, its range,
and the threats it faces. Regardless of which question we address
first, if we reach a negative answer with respect to the first question
that we address, we do not need to evaluate the second question for
that portion of the species' range.
 The Service's most-recent definition of ``significant'' has been
invalidated by the courts (for example, Desert Survivors v. Dep't of
the Interior, No. 16-cv-01165-JCS (N.D. Cal. Aug. 24, 2018)).
Therefore, we determined whether the populations in Oregon and
Washington could be significant under any reasonable definition of
``significant.'' To do this, we evaluated whether these populations
taken together may be biologically important in terms of the
resiliency, redundancy, or representation of the species.
 We identified the population of Bradshaw's lomatium in southwestern
Washington as a potential portion of the range warranting further
detailed consideration due to its potential contributions to the
resiliency, redundancy, and representation of the species. This
population is the northernmost known population of the species
(contributing to representation), and is separated from the majority of
the range by the Columbia River and a large, historically unoccupied
area in northern Oregon (contributing to redundancy). It is also the
largest known population of Bradshaw's lomatium (contributing to
resiliency).
 The southwestern Washington population of Bradshaw's lomatium is
composed of individuals occurring at two separate sites in close
proximity to each other. The smaller of the two sites contained an
estimated 658 Bradshaw's lomatium individuals in 2018 (Wilderman 2018,
entire), and is owned and managed by the WDNR. The WDNR manages this
site with an emphasis on habitat management, population augmentation,
and monitoring to benefit Bradshaw's lomatium. The larger site occurs
on the rough of a privately owned golf course, and contained
approximately 10.8 million Bradshaw's lomatium plants at the most
recent survey in 2010 (Service 2018, p. 57). Although a count was not
done, a recent visit by Service biologists confirmed that expansive
areas of suitable habitat remain occupied by Bradshaw's lomatium, and
there was no sign of any obvious substantial stressors to the species
(Brumbelow 2018, pers. obs.). Although not managed specifically for
Bradshaw's lomatium, ongoing management to maintain open conditions in
the rough area, primarily through mowing, appears to benefit the
species, which is clearly robust. Managers of the golf course have
demonstrated interest in the conservation of Bradshaw's lomatium by
placing signs, which highlight the presence of a listed species, along
pathways. Although the southwestern Washington population of Bradshaw's
lomatium is the largest known population of the species, genetic
diversity at the smaller WDNR site is lower than other sampled sites
for this species (Gitzendanner and Soltis, 2001 p. 353); genetic
information is not available specific to the larger site.
Analysis of Status
 Having identified the southwestern Washington population as a
portion of the range of Bradshaw's lomatium that warrants further
consideration, we now analyze whether the species is in danger of
extinction or likely to become so within the foreseeable future in this
portion.
 We determine the status of the species in a portion of its range
the same way we determine the status of a species throughout all of its
range. We consider whether threats are reasonably likely to affect the
species in that portion to such an extent that the species is in danger
of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future in that
portion.
 Of the two sites that comprise the sole population of Bradshaw's
lomatium in southwestern Washington, one is on the Lacamas Prairie
Natural Area, a preserve owned and managed by the WDNR. Due to this
ownership, there is currently no risk of loss of habitat due to
development, nor is there any reason to believe this area would be at
risk of such a loss within the foreseeable future. Habitat quality at
the site is considered high, and the site is managed specifically for
prairie habitat conditions that support Bradshaw's lomatium (Service
2018, pp. 29, 57), using a combination of manual invasive species
removal, herbicide treatments, mowing, and prescribed burning
(Abbruzzese 2017, entire). The other site is located on a privately
owned golf course, and has high-quality habitat. Current management at
the site, as in past years, supports open wet prairie conditions
(Service 2018, pp. 29, 57), primarily through mowing. Although no
formal protections are in place that would prevent future development,
we have no information to indicate that it is likely the site would be
developed or that habitat management will change in any way that would
substantially impact Bradshaw's lomatium. In addition, the areas
occupied by Bradshaw's lomatium are within wetlands, which may have
protections from development under State or Federal law. Based on the
current protections of the Lacamas Prairie Natural Area, the lack of
any present threat of destruction or degradation at the privately owned
golf course site, and ongoing appropriate management at both sites, we
have confidence that habitat at these sites will continue to support
Bradshaw's lomatium for the foreseeable future. Thus the present or
threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat (Factor
A) is not a concern for Bradshaw's lomatium in this portion of its
range, now or within the foreseeable future.
 We have no information to suggest that overutilization for
commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes poses a
threat to Bradshaw's lomatium in any part of its range, including
southwestern Washington, now or in the foreseeable future (Factor B).
 We found no evidence that negative impacts due to parasitic
organisms constitute a threat to the viability of Bradshaw's lomatium
in any part of its range, including southwestern Washington, now or in
the foreseeable future. Predation by voles appears to vary year to
year, and can substantially reduce aboveground biomass and reproduction
of Bradshaw's lomatium in years when vole abundance is high. However,
the effect on populations is believed to be minimal over time, as long
as there is sufficient time for Bradshaw's lomatium to regenerate
[[Page 65079]]
taproot reserves between vole outbreaks (Drew 2000, pp. 54-55), and no
consistent long-term declines attributable to vole predation have been
reported (Service 2018, p. 20). Predation by voles has not been
previously reported in either site within the southwestern Washington
population of Bradshaw's lomatium. We, therefore, have no information
to indicate that predation is a threat to Bradshaw's lomatium in this
portion of its range, now or within the foreseeable future (Factor C).
 We do not consider State or Federal protections to be inadequate to
address the loss of Bradshaw's lomatium habitat in southwestern
Washington, now or within the foreseeable future (Factor D). As
described above, we do not consider habitat loss to be a threat to the
species in this portion of its range. Of the two known sites containing
Bradshaw's lomatium in this portion of the range, one is protected
through ownership by the WDNR. Although the second, larger site lacks
formal protection, it faces no currently known threat of habitat loss
or degradation, either now or within the foreseeable future.
Additionally, the WDNR continues to make efforts to provide additional
conservation at the site. Bradshaw's lomatium remains listed as
endangered by the State of Washington.
 Concerns over the possibility of inbreeding depression expressed at
the time of listing are now reduced due to a subsequent study
indicating that overall genetic diversity in Bradshaw's lomatium is
relatively high for a rare species (Gitzendanner and Soltis 2001, pp.
352-353), and is greater than that found in other rare Lomatium species
(Gitzendanner and Soltis 2000, p. 787). Although the most disjunct
population in southwestern Washington showed relatively lower genetic
diversity than less geographically isolated populations (Gitzendanner
and Soltis 2001, p. 353), the threat of inbreeding depression is
considered reduced, as we now understand Bradshaw's lomatium to be
primarily an outcrossing species (which promotes increased genetic
diversity), rather than an obligate self-pollinating species as was
believed at the time of listing (Service 2018, pp. 7, 20).
 In our species status report, we assessed the potential impacts of
climate change on Bradshaw's lomatium projected up to 50 years in the
future, and conservatively evaluated a future scenario in which the
potential negative effects of climate change were such that all
populations were reduced in size by up to 50 percent. Such an impact
would reduce population numbers at Lacamas Prairie Natural Area to
approximately 329 individuals. Although substantial, such losses are
not expected to cause extirpation of the species from this site,
especially as beneficial management actions targeted specifically at
the preservation of wetland prairie habitat are anticipated to continue
at this preserve area. At the privately owned golf course site, a 50
percent reduction from the most recently estimated population size
would result in approximately 5.4 million plants at this site, which
would still represent by far the largest known population of the
species. We, therefore, have no information to indicate that other
natural or manmade factors pose a threat to the continued existence of
Bradshaw's lomatium (Factor E), now or within the foreseeable future.
 Although the types, magnitude, or extent of potential cumulative
impacts are difficult to predict, we are not aware of any combination
of factors that are likely to co-occur with significant negative
consequences for the species within the southwestern Washington portion
of its range. We anticipate that any negative consequence of co-
occurring threats will be successfully addressed through the same
active management actions that have contributed to the ongoing recovery
of Bradshaw's lomatium and that are expected to continue into the
future.
 Therefore, we have determined that Bradshaw's lomatium is not in
danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future,
within a significant portion of its range. Our approach to analyzing
SPR in this determination is consistent with the court's holding in
Desert Survivors v. Department of the Interior, No. 16-cv-01165-JCS,
2018 WL 4053447 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 24, 2018).
Determination of Status
 Our review of the best available scientific and commercial
information indicates that Bradshaw's lomatium is not in danger of
extinction or likely to become an endangered species within the
foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its
range. Therefore, we are removing Bradshaw's lomatium from the Federal
List of Endangered and Threatened Plants at 50 CFR 17.12(h) due to
recovery.
Effects of This Rule
 This proposed rule, if made final, would revise 50 CFR 17.12(h) by
removing Bradshaw's lomatium from the Federal List of Endangered and
Threatened Plants. The prohibitions and conservation measures provided
by the Act, particularly through sections 7 and 9, would no longer
apply to this species. Federal agencies would no longer be required to
consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act in the event that
activities they authorize, fund, or carry out may affect Bradshaw's
lomatium. There is no critical habitat designated for this species, so
there would be no effect to 50 CFR 17.96.
Post-Delisting Monitoring
 Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires the Secretary of the Interior,
through the Service and in cooperation with the States, to implement a
monitoring program for not less than 5 years for all species that have
been delisted due to recovery. The purpose of this requirement is to
develop a program that detects the failure of any delisted species to
sustain itself without the protections of the Act. If, at any time
during the monitoring period, data indicate that the protective status
under the Act should be reinstated, we can initiate listing procedures,
including, if appropriate, emergency listing.
 We propose to delist Bradshaw's lomatium based on new information
that has become available as well as recovery actions taken. Because
delisting would be due to recovery, we have prepared a draft post-
delisting monitoring plan. The draft post-delisting monitoring plan
discusses the current status of the species and describes the methods
proposed for monitoring if the species is removed from the Federal List
of Endangered and Threatened Plants. Monitoring would take place for a
minimum of 5 years. It is our intent to work with our partners to
maintain the recovered status of Bradshaw's lomatium. We seek public
and peer review comments on the draft post-delisting monitoring plan,
including its objectives and procedures (see Public Comments, above),
with the publication of this proposed rule.
Required Determinations
Clarity of the Rule
 We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
 (a) Be logically organized;
 (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
 (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
 (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
 (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments
by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To
[[Page 65080]]
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as
possible. For example, you should tell us the names of the sections or
paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are
too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful,
etc.
National Environmental Policy Act
 We determined we do not need to prepare an environmental assessment
or an environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.),
in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the
Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination
in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).
Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes
 In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994,
Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal
Governments (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and the Department of
the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights,
Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act),
we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with
Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge
that Tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal
public lands, to remain sensitive to Native American culture, and to
make information available to Tribes.
 We do not believe that any Tribes would be affected if we adopt
this rule as proposed.
References Cited
 A complete list of all references cited in this proposed rule is
available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket
No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0013 or upon request from the State Supervisor,
Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
Authors
 The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff of the
Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17
 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.
Proposed Regulation Promulgation
 Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter
I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:
PART 17--ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS
0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:
 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; 4201-4245, unless
otherwise noted.
Sec. 17.12 [Amended]
0
2. Amend Sec. 17.12(h) by removing the entry for ``Lomatium
bradshawii'' under FLOWERING PLANTS from the List of Endangered and
Threatened Plants.
 Dated: October 28, 2019.
Margaret E. Everson,
Principal Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising
the Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-25545 Filed 11-25-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P