Endangered and threatened species: Recovery plans— Giant garter snake,


[Federal Register: July 2, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 127)]


[Page 36033-36034]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Draft Recovery Plan for the Giant Garter Snake for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability for public review of the Draft Recovery Plan for the Giant Garter Snake. This recovery plan includes the threatened giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas). Additional species of concern that will benefit from recovery actions taken for the giant garter snake are also discussed in the draft recovery plan. The draft plan includes recovery criteria and measures for the giant garter snake.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or before August 31, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the following location: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 3310 El Camino Avenue, Suite 130, Sacramento, California (telephone (916) 979-2710). Requests for copies of the draft recovery plan and written comments and materials regarding this plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor, Ecological Services, at the above Sacramento address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Miller, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at the above Sacramento address.



Restoring endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their ecosystems is a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. To help guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare recovery plans for most of the listed species native to the United States. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or delisting listed species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act), requires the development of recovery plans for listed species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act as amended in 1988 requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided during recovery plan development. The Service will consider all information presented during the public comment period prior to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. Substantive technical comments will result in changes to the plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the recovery plan, but will be forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they can take these comments into account during the course of implementing recovery actions. Individualized responses to comments will not be provided.

The giant garter snake is an endemic species of wetlands in the Central Valley of California. Historically, giant garter snakes were found in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys from the vicinity of Butte County southward to Buena Vista Lake, near Bakersfield in Kern County. Today, populations of the giant garter snake are found in the Sacramento Valley and isolated portions of the San Joaquin Valley. They historically inhabited natural wetlands and now occupy a variety of agricultural, managed, and natural wetlands including their waterways and adjacent uplands. This species is threatened by historic wetland habitat loss and resulting habitat fragmentation, and by continuing urban expansion.

The objective of this recovery plan is to delist the giant garter snake through implementation of a variety of recovery measures including (1) habitat protection; (2) public participation,

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outreach and education; (3) habitat management and restoration; (4) surveying and monitoring; and (5) research.

Public Comments Solicited

The Service solicits written comments on the recovery plan described. All comments received by the date specified above will be considered prior to approval of this plan.


The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

Dated: June 28, 1999. Elizabeth H. Stevens, California/Nevada Operations Manager, Sacramento, California.

[FR Doc. 99-16850Filed7-1-99; 8:45 am]