[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 163 (Wednesday, August 24, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-20790]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: August 24, 1994]


50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AB73


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Five Plants From 
the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California Determined to be 
Threatened or Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) determines 
Erigeron parishii (Parish's daisy) to be threatened and Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum (Cushenbury buckwheat), Astragalus albens 
(Cushenbury milk-vetch), Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina (San 
Bernardino Mountains bladderpod), and Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana (Cushenbury oxytheca) to be endangered pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). These five plant 
species are endemic to the carbonate deposits (limestone and dolomite) 
of the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino County, California. 
Most of the carbonate deposits in this mountain range are within 
actively used mining claims or mining claims that are being maintained 
for their mineral resources. Limestone, ranging from cement grade to 
pharmaceutical grade, is currently mined in the area; dolomite is not 
currently mined. The open or terraced mining techniques that are used, 
as well as associated overburden dumping and road construction, result 
in destruction of the plants' habitat. Other threats to the plants 
include off-highway vehicle use, urban development near the community 
of Big Bear, expansion of a ski area, and energy development projects. 
Several of the plants are also threatened with stochastic extinction 
due to the small numbers of populations or total number of individuals. 
This rule implements the Federal protection and recovery provisions 
afforded by the Act for these five plants.

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 23, 1994.

ADDRESSES: The complete file for this rule is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Field Office, 2140 Eastman Avenue, 
Suite 100, Ventura, California 93003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Benz at the above address or at 
(805) 644-1766.



    The San Bernardino Mountains in southern California have been 
recognized for supporting a wide diversity of natural habitats that 
have resulted from their geographic position between desert and coastal 
environments, elevational zonation, and uncommon substrates such as 
limestone outcrops. The San Bernardino National Forest (Forest), which 
encompasses most of the San Bernardino Mountains, constitutes less than 
1 percent of the land area of the State, yet contains populations of 
over 25 percent of all plant species that occur naturally in 
    Outcrops of carbonate substrates, primarily limestone and dolomite, 
occur in several bands running on an east-west axis along the desert-
facing slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains, with disjunct patches 
occurring just to the south of Sugarlump Ridge and to the east as far 
as the Sawtooth Hills. These outcrops are a remnant of an ancient 
formation of sandstone, shale, and limestone, through which the 
granitic core of the Transverse Ranges has emerged (Fife 1988).
    The five taxa under discussion, Erigeron parishii (Parish's daisy), 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum (Cushenbury buckwheat), Astragalus 
albens (Cushenbury milk-vetch), Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina (San 
Bernardino Mountains bladderpod), and Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana (Cushenbury oxytheca), are restricted primarily to 
carbonate deposits or soils derived from them. These taxa, and other 
plants that occur on carbonate deposits, have commonly been referred to 
as ``limestone endemics'' by botanists, whether they occur on limestone 
or dolomite (Krantz 1990, Schoenherr 1992). Collectively, these five 
taxa span a range approximately 56 kilometers (km) (35 miles) long, 
ranging in elevation from 1,220 meters (4,000 feet (ft)) at the base of 
the mountains to approximately 2,440 meters (8,000 ft), and occur as 
components in the understory of a variety of plant communities, 
including Jeffrey pine-western juniper woodland, pinyon-juniper 
woodland, pinyon woodland, Joshua tree woodland, blackbrush scrub, and 
desert wash.
    Pinyon-juniper woodland communities dominate the desert-facing 
slopes above 1,220 meters (4,000 ft) in elevation, and grade into a 
Joshua tree woodland at lower elevations (Vasek and Thorne 1988). 
Pinyon-juniper woodlands extend up to almost 2,100 meters (7,000 ft) in 
elevation, where they intergrade with a Jeffrey pine woodland on drier 
sites or mixed conifer forest on wetter sites. Open forests of 
lodgepole pine and limber pine are found at the highest elevations. A 
wide variation in the species composition exists within the pinyon-
juniper woodland. Pinus monophylla (pinyon pine) or Juniperus 
osteosperma (Utah juniper), and more rarely Juniperus occidentalis 
(western juniper) or Juniperus californica (California juniper), are 
the structurally dominant species, occasionally occurring together. 
Holland (1986) has referred to separate Mojavean pinyon woodland and 
Mojavean juniper woodland and scrub communities. The understory varies 
with slope and elevation, but typically includes species such as 
Cercocarpus ledifolius (mountain mahogany), Ephedra viridis (Mormon 
tea), Yucca schidigera (Mohave yucca), Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree), 
and Encelia virginensis (encelia). Patches of local dominance by 
Coleogyne ramosissima (blackbrush) on lower elevation desert facing 
slopes, or Arctostaphylos sp. (manzanita) on more interior canyons, are 
    Erigeron parishii is a small perennial herb of the aster family 
(Asteraceae) that reaches 1 to 3 decimeters (dm) (4 to 12 inches (in)) 
in height. The linear leaves are covered with soft, silvery hairs. Up 
to 10 solitary flower heads are borne on cauline stalks; ray flowers 
are deep rose to lavender, and heads have greyish green and glandular 
phyllaries. E. parishii was first described by Asa Gray in 1884 based 
on specimens collected by Samuel B. Parish in Cushenbury Canyon in 
1881. E. parishii has sometimes been confused with E. utahensis, a 
plant found on carbonate substrates in the mountains of the Mojave 
Desert and in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, but differs from the latter 
in the structure of the pappus and its silvery-white rather than grey-
green stem.
    Erigeron parishii is the most widely ranging of the five taxa 
discussed herein, with a range 56 km (35 miles) long. The plant is 
known from fewer than 25 occurrences, with the total population 
numbering approximately 16,000 individuals. Fewer than a third of the 
occurrences comprise more than 1,000 individuals each (Barrows 1988a). 
From White Knob at the western terminus, populations occur primarily 
along the belt of carbonaceous substrates, southeast to Pioneertown. 
The plant is typically found associated with pinyon woodlands, pinyon-
juniper woodlands, and blackbrush scrub from 1,220 to 1,950 meters 
(4,000 to 6,400 ft) in elevation. It is usually found on dry rocky 
slopes, shallow drainages, and outwash plains on substrates derived 
from limestone or dolomite. Some populations occur on a granite/
limestone interface, usually a granitic parent material overlain with 
an outwash of limestone materials. Two small outlying populations at 
the eastern edge of its range near Pioneertown occur on quartz 
monzonite substrates. Historic occurrences were recorded from 
Rattlesnake Canyon south of Old Woman Springs and from the Little San 
Bernardino Mountains; these locations have not been surveyed in over 50 
years and merit additional field surveys (Andy Sanders, University of 
California, Riverside, pers. comm., 1992).
    Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum is a low, densely-matted 
perennial of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). The flowers are 
whitish-cream, darken to a reddish or purple color with age, and are 
borne on flowering stalks reaching 1 dm (4 in) in height. The plant 
flowers from May through June. The round to ovate leaves are white-
woolly on both surfaces and are 0.7 to 1.5 centimeters (cm) (0.3 to 0.6 
in) long. The diameter of mats is typically 1.5 to 2.5 dm (6 to 10 in), 
but may reach up to 5 dm (20 in) in particularly well-developed 
    Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum was first collected by S.B. 
Parish near Rose Mine, San Bernardino Mountains, in 1894, and was 
described as E. vineum by John K. Small in 1898. In 1911, Aven Nelson 
published the combination E. ovalifolium var. vineum. Jepson in his 
manual used the combination of E. ovalifolium var. vineum in 1943. Munz 
(1959) accepted the work of Stokes (1936), and recognized it as E. 
ovalifolium ssp. vineum, in his flora of California. In 1968, Reveal 
clarified the relationship of the plant to E. ovalifolium var. nivale, 
with which it had been confused, and used the name E. ovalifolium var. 
vineum (Reveal and Munz 1968). Three other varieties of E. ovalifolium 
are distinguished on the basis of floral and leaf characteristics, but 
none of them occur in the San Bernardino Mountains.
    Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum is limited in distribution to the 
belt of carbonate substrates of the north slopes of the San Bernardino 
Mountains. The plant is currently known from approximately 20 
occurrences over a distance of about 40 km (25 miles). Only a quarter 
of those occurrences comprise more than 1,000 individuals each (Barrows 
1988b), with the total population numbering approximately 13,000 
individuals. E. ovalifolium var. vineum occurs from the White Knob area 
east to Rattlesnake Canyon. Surveys by Barrows (1988b) resulted in a 
slight range extension of the plant in the Rattlesnake Canyon drainage. 
Since publication of the proposal, additional surveys by the Forest 
staff located two previously unknown populations, one near Jacoby 
Springs and one just north of Mineral Mountain (CNDDB 1992). Tierra 
Madre Consultants (TMC) located a previously unknown population west of 
White Knob (TMC 1992), which extends the known range of the plant west 
by 1.6 km (1 mile). A dozen other extensions of existing occurrences 
were reported by the Forest Service and TMC; all of these were within 
the known range of the plant (CNDDB 1992, TMC 1992).
    Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum occurs within openings of pinyon 
woodland, pinyon-juniper woodland, Joshua tree woodland, and blackbrush 
scrub communities between 1,400 and 2,400 meters (4,600 and 7,900 ft) 
in elevation. Other habitat characteristics include open areas with 
little accumulation of organic material, a canopy cover generally less 
than 15 percent, and powdery fine soils with rock cover exceeding 50 
percent. The plant typically occurs on moderate slopes, although a few 
occurrences are on slopes over 60 percent. On milder, north-facing 
slopes, it co-occurs with Astragalus albens.
    Recent fieldwork by Howard Brown (Pluess-Staufer Inc., in litt., 
1992) has refined the information on the carbonate geology of the San 
Bernardino Mountains. Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum clearly occurs 
on limestone substrate in the White Knob area, and from Arctic/Bousic 
Canyon west to Terrace Springs, south to Top Spring, and along the 
north side of Lone Valley to Tip Top Mountain. However, E. ovalifolium 
var. vineum occurs on dolomite in the Bertha Ridge area, north Holcomb 
Valley, Jacoby Canyon, and along Nelson Ridge, according to Brown (in 
litt., 1992). Additionally, a population just to the south of Mineral 
Mountain is clearly on non-carbonate substrates; a population in 
Furnace Canyon seems to be on a mixed lithology of granite, limestone, 
and dolomite; and a population on Heartbreak Ridge is on carbonate 
    Astragalus albens is a small silvery-white perennial herb in the 
pea family (Fabaceae). The slender stems are decumbent, grow to 30 cm 
(12 in) in length, and support leaves comprised of 5 to 9 small 
leaflets. The purple flowers, which bloom from March to May, occur 
toward the ends of the branches in 5-to 14-flowered racemes and develop 
8- to 11-seeded pods. In 1885, A. albens was described by Edward L. 
Greene based on a collection made by Parish and Parish 3 years earlier 
(Greene 1885). In 1927, Per Axel Rydberg published the name Hamosa 
albens (Rydberg 1927). In 1964, R.C. Barneby synonymized the genus 
Hamosa and included the species in Astragalus (Barneby 1964). A. 
leucolobus, a common associate on carbonate soils, is distinguished 
from A. albens by its cobwebby pubescence on the leaflets, which are 
strongly folded along the midrib, and differently shaped pods.
    Astragalus albens is currently known from fewer than 20 occurrences 
scattered throughout the eastern half of the carbonate belt, running 
from Furnace Canyon southeast to the head of Lone Valley, a range of 24 
km (15 miles). The proposal stated that the total number of individuals 
was estimated at 2,000, but that this number is likely to be greater in 
years of substantial rainfall. Several known populations comprised a 
larger number of individuals during the 1992 field season than had 
previously been reported. That may, in part, be due to favorable 
rainfall during March 1992, which resulted in a large establishment of 
seedlings, and in part to a more thorough survey effort. Of 
significance is the extension of a population in the Top Spring-Smarts 
Ranch Road area; several thousand individuals were found in this area, 
making it the primary population center for the species. Population 
estimates for 1992 place the total number of individuals between 5,000 
and 10,000.
    The plant is typically found on carbonate substrates along rocky 
washes and gentle slopes within pinyon woodland, pinyon-juniper 
woodland, Joshua tree woodland, and blackbrush scrub communities. 
Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum co-occur with 
Astragalus albens at several locations. Most occurrences are found 
between 1,500 and 2,000 meters (5,000 and 6,600 ft) in elevation on 
soils derived directly from decomposing limestone bedrock. Three 
occurrences are found below 1,500 meters (5,000 ft) in elevation in 
rocky washes that have received limestone outwash from erosion higher 
in the drainages. According to Brown (in litt., 1992), two populations 
occur on granite substrates (Gordon Quarry and Granite Peaks), and one 
occurs on granite and quartzite (Cactus Flat). Other habitat 
characteristics include an open canopy cover with little accumulation 
of organic material, rock cover exceeding 75 percent, and gentle to 
moderate slopes (5 to 30 percent).
    Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina is a silvery, short-lived 
perennial member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) reaching 1 to 2 
dm (4 to 8 in) in height. The plant has yellow flowers located toward 
the ends of the stems. The basal leaves are ovate and have long 
petioles. The type material was collected by Frank W. Peirson at the 
east end of Bear Valley in 1924. In 1932, Munz described this plant as 
L. bernardina. In 1958, Munz combined L. bernardina with L. kingii, and 
made the combination of L. kingii ssp. bernardina (Wilson and Bennett 
1980). L. kingii ssp. kingii is found in the mountains of the eastern 
Mojave Desert and the Inyo-White ranges extending into Nevada. It is 
distinguished from L. kingii ssp. bernardina by its smaller petals and 
    Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina is currently known from two 
areas, on either side of Bear Valley. One cluster of occurrences is on 
the north side of the valley, near the east end of Bertha Ridge, 
adjacent to the community of Big Bear, and is subject to impacts from 
urbanization. The other cluster is centered on the north-facing slope 
of Sugarlump Ridge to the south of the valley, approximately 10 km (6 
miles) south of the Bertha Ridge occurrences. These latter occurrences 
were discovered during spring 1990 on an existing downhill ski run, and 
on and adjacent to proposed ski runs and lift lines within an existing 
ski area (California Natural Diversity Data Base (CNDDB) 1990). The 
estimate of total number of individuals in the Bertha Ridge occurrences 
was 25,000 in 1980 and less than 10,000 in 1988; it is unclear whether 
this was due to differences in sampling techniques or drought 
conditions (Wilson and Bennett 1980, CNDDB 1990). In 1991, the 
Sugarlump Ridge populations totalled approximately 10,000 individuals 
(CNDDB 1991).
    The habitat for Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina is characterized 
by carbonate substrates, either brown sandy soils with white carbonate 
rocks or outcrops of large carbonate rock. According to geologic 
information supplied by Brown (in litt., 1992), all populations of L. 
kingii ssp. bernardina both in the Bertha Ridge and the Sugarlump Ridge 
areas occur on dolomite. Slopes are typically gentle to moderate and 
are both north- and south-facing between 2,100 and 2,700 meters (6,800 
and 8,800 ft) in elevation. Within Jeffrey pine-western juniper 
woodlands, as well as white fir forest in some locations, the 
subspecies is found in open areas with little accumulation of organic 
material. The plant seems to be tolerant of slight disturbance; 
scattered plants were found growing on old roads, undeveloped lots, and 
undeveloped yards within the Whispering Forest housing tract (Myers and 
Barrows 1988). However, the plant is conspicuously absent from heavily 
graded and mulched ski runs in the Bear Mountain ski area.
    The carbonate substrates that support Lesquerella kingii ssp. 
bernardina lie south and west of those that support most of the 
populations of the other four taxa under discussion. However, near the 
east end of Bertha Ridge, the southernmost population of Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum occurs in close proximity to one colony of 
Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina.
    Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana is a small wiry annual of the 
buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). The type material was collected by 
Parish and Parish in 1882 near Cushenbury Spring. For a number of 
years, historical collections were mistakenly identified as O. parishii 
var. abramsii or O. watsonii. Barbara Ertter (1980) described the 
variety in honor of George J. Goodman, who was the first to recognize 
both the distinctiveness of the variety and its close relationship to 
O. parishii. O. parishii var. goodmaniana stands 0.5 to 3 dm (2 to 12 
in) tall with a basal rosette of leaves 1 to 3 cm (0.4 to 1.2 in) long 
and stems with bracts at the nodes. The flowers consist of 6 small 
white to rose or greenish-yellow petals; clusters of 3 to 12 flowers 
are subtended by a distinct involucral bract. O. parishii var. 
goodmaniana is separated from the other three varieties of O. parishii 
by the presence of only four to five awns on the bracts, rather than 
seven or more.
    Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana is the most restricted of the 
carbonate endemic species of the San Bernardino Mountains. Forest 
Service surveys in 1992 located three additional populations, bringing 
the total number of known occurrences to seven (CNDDB 1992). One 
location near Cushenbury Spring is located near an active limestone 
mine; two more occurrences are located near the abandoned Green Lead 
gold mine, one of which is bisected by a road; the fourth occurrence is 
located near the north side of Holcomb Valley. The three newly 
discovered populations are located along the Helendale Fault in the 
vicinity of Tip Top Mountain, Mineral Mountain, and Rose Mine. This 
represents a significant extension of approximately 19 km (12 miles) to 
the southeast from the previously known range of the plant. Given the 
availability of potentially suitable habitat between the newly 
discovered and the previously known populations, other sites supporting 
this taxon may be found with additional surveys.
    With the exception of the north Holcomb Valley population, which 
occurs on dolomite, all populations of Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana occur on limestone or a mixed lithology of limestone and 
dolomite (TMC 1992). In 1990, the total known population consisted of 
fewer than 3,000 individuals. With discovery of the new populations, 
however, current estimates have been doubled. Since it is an annual 
species, the number of individuals might be higher in years with winter 
and spring rainfall and temperatures favorable to seed germination and 
seedling establishment. The low number of occurrences, however, as well 
as individuals, also subjects the species to the possibility of 
stochastic extinction.

Previous Federal Action

    Federal action on three of the five plants began when the Secretary 
of the Smithsonian Institution, as directed by section 12 of the Act, 
prepared a report on those native U.S. plants considered to be 
endangered, threatened, or extinct in the United States. This report 
(House Document No. 94-51), which included Erigeron parishii and 
Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina as threatened and Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum as endangered, was presented to Congress on 
January 9, 1975. On July 1, 1975, the Service published a notice in the 
Federal Register (40 FR 27823) accepting the report as a petition 
within the context of section 4(c)(2) (now section 4(b)(3)) of the Act 
and of the Service's intention thereby to review the status of the 
plant taxa named therein, including Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum, and Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina.
    The Service published an updated notice of review for plants on 
December 15, 1980 (45 FR 82480). This notice included Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum and Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina as 
category 1 candidates (species for which the Service has substantial 
information on biological vulnerability and threat to support proposals 
for listing) and Erigeron parishii as a category 2 candidate (species 
for which data in the Service's possession indicate listing is possibly 
appropriate, but for which substantial information on biological 
vulnerability and threats is not currently available to support 
proposals for listing).
    On February 15, 1983 (48 FR 6752), the Service published a notice 
of its prior finding that the listing of Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum and Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina is warranted but 
precluded in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B)(iii) of the Act, as 
amended in 1982. Pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(C)(i) of the Act, the 
finding must be recycled on an annual basis, until the species is 
either proposed for listing or the petitioned action is found to be not 
warranted. In October 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 
1990, further findings were made that the listing of Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum and Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina was 
warranted, but that the listing of these species was precluded by other 
pending proposals of higher priority. In the September 27, 1985 (50 FR 
39526), and February 21, 1990 (55 FR 6184), plant notices of review, 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum and Lesquerella kingii ssp. 
bernardina were again included as category 1 candidates, and Erigeron 
parishii as a category 2 candidate. The February 21, 1990, notice also 
included Astragalus albens in category 1 and Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana in category 2. Since publication of that notice, additional 
survey work was completed for Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana, 
providing new information on the status of that species. Similarly, the 
Service was made aware of increased threats to Erigeron parishii, in 
the form of two new pending mining operations that would likely 
adversely impact this species. As a result, on November 19, 1991 (56 FR 
58332), the Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register 
to list the five plants as endangered.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the November 19, 1991, proposed rule and associated 
notifications, all interested parties were requested to submit factual 
reports or information relevant to a final decision on the listing 
proposal. Appropriate State agencies, county governments, Federal 
agencies, scientific organizations, and other interested parties were 
contacted and requested to comment. Requests for a public hearing were 
received from eight parties, primarily mining industry representatives, 
but also including the National Inholders Association and the Bear 
Mountain Ski Resort. As a result, on May 15, 1992, and again on May 26, 
1992, the Service published notices in the Federal Register (57 FR 
20805 Bernardino Sun and the Barstow Desert Dispatch. Requests for a 
public hearing were received from eight parties, primarily mining 
industry representatives, but also including the National Inholders 
Association and the Bear Mountain Ski Resort. As a result, the Service 
conducted a hearing on June 3, 1992, at the San Bernardino County 
Government Center in San Bernardino. Testimony was taken from 1 p.m. to 
4 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with 21 parties presenting 
    During the comment periods, the Service received written and oral 
comments from 51 parties. Multiple comments were received from mining 
industry representatives, both during and after the closure of the 
comment periods. The California Department of Fish and Game, The Nature 
Conservancy, California Native Plant Society, Audubon Society, Sierra 
Club, Natural Heritage Foundation, Center for Plant Conservation, 
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, University of California Natural 
Reserve System, and the Forest Service were 10 of 36 commenters 
expressing support for the listing proposal. Eleven commenters, 
including seven mining industry representatives, two multiple-use 
groups, and one assemblyman opposed the listing. The Bureau of Mines 
initially opposed the listing during the public comment period. 
However, oral testimony at the public hearing by a Bureau of Mines 
representative indicated a more neutral stance and an offer to assist 
in data analysis to be used in the development of a Forest Service 
habitat management guide for the five taxa. Most of those opposed to 
the listing also asked for a 6-month extension to the rulemaking 
process to allow results of additional surveys completed during the 
1992 field season to be included in the final determination. Four 
commenters were neutral, including a Congressman, one county 
supervisor, and the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce. In addition, results 
of additional surveys for the plants (CNDDB 1992, TMC 1992) and 
additional biological information that was submitted to the Service 
since publication of the proposal have been incorporated into this 
final rule. Opposing comments and other comments questioning the rule 
have been organized into specific issues. These issues and the 
Service's response to each are summarized as follows:
    Issue 1: Numerous comments were received concerning the Service's 
reference to the five plants as ``limestone endemics'' in the proposal. 
This reference appears to be of great concern to the mining industry 
because a number of populations occur on dolomite, quartz monzonite, 
granite, or mixed lithologies of these substrates, and not solely on 
limestone, in the strict sense. Other commenters focused on the 
Service's use of inaccurate geologic maps that indicated that 
substrates at particular plant locations were limestone, while maps 
currently being revised by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will 
indicate that substrates in those locations may actually consist of 
dolomite or other rock types. Many of these commenters believe that 
more accurate geologic data would disprove the hypothesis that these 
plants are ``limestone endemics.''
    Service Response: According to the Dictionary of Geologic Terms, 
one definition of ``limestone'' is given as ``(A) general term for that 
class of rocks that contain at least 80 per cent of the carbonates of 
calcium or magnesium'' (American Geologic Institute 1976). Apparently 
in keeping with this definition, the USGS map for the Lucerne Valley 
quadrangle (7.5 minute series) referred to the Furnace Limestone unit 
as being comprised of white carbonate rocks, grey carbonate rocks, 
quartzite, and phyllite--metasedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age (USGS 
1964). Similarly, the California Division of Mines and Geology map for 
the San Bernardino quadrangle (1:250,000) refers to the same units as 
upper Paleozoic limestone and marble, and Cambrian and uppermost 
Precambrian crystalline limestone (California Division of Mines and 
Geology 1986). These maps represent the best information available to 
the Service. The colloquial use of the term ``limestone endemic'' to 
refer to the five taxa under discussion is based, in part, on the 
generic use of the term ``limestone'' by geologists and botanists. 
While intending to use ``limestone'' as a generic term, the Service 
erred in the proposal by referring to such substrates as calcium 
carbonate deposits, rather than simply carbonate deposits. The term 
calcium carbonate, or limestone in the more technical sense, refers to 
carbonate with a high percent of calcium, as differentiated from 
dolomite, which is carbonate with a high percent of magnesium. The 
Service has used more precise descriptions of substrate type in this 
rule and generally refers to these species as ``carbonate endemics.'' 
The Service looks forward to any additional information that the 
revised USGS maps will provide.
    Issue 2: Numerous commenters contended that the plants are not 
endemic to the 35-mile range of the north slope of the San Bernardino 
Mountains but are also found to the east and west of that range and in 
mountain ranges of the Mojave Desert. Several commenters indicated that 
geologists had observed several of the taxa in the New York Mountains.
    Service Response: The record of botanical collections and surveys 
from the San Bernardino Mountains and the Mojave Desert ranges is more 
than adequate to establish general ranges of the plants. Additional 
surveys were conducted in 1992 in four mountain ranges in the east 
Mojave Desert, in the San Bernardino Mountains, and in the San Gabriel 
Mountains to determine any range extensions for the five taxa. Only one 
of the four new populations of Erigeron ovalifolium var. vineum was 
located outside of the known range and this was within a mile of known 
locations. The Forest Service also conducted additional surveys in 1991 
and 1992 for all five taxa, which resulted in a significant range 
extension for Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana. However, with the 
exception of the range extension for Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana, the newly located populations do not represent significant 
new biological or distributional data affecting the status of the 
remaining four plants. Although the new range extension for Oxytheca 
parishii var. goodmaniana is considered significant, the taxon is still 
so limited in distribution that listing as endangered is still 
appropriate. In addition, no unthreatened populations were discovered.
    Issue 3: Numerous commenters contended that surveys for the plants 
were not adequate or up-to-date, that the plants have only been found 
on limestone because only limestone substrates were targeted for 
surveys, and that the discovery of additional populations with each new 
survey indicates that the plants are more widespread than previously 
thought. Some commenters stated that the surveys were performed by 
``biased individuals'' whose unpublished reports had not been subject 
to peer review, and that information on which the proposal was based 
constituted ``junk science.'' Other commenters stated that the existing 
knowledge of the plants was more than adequate to proceed with listing, 
and that a 6-month extension for the purpose of collecting additional 
information on the range and distribution of the plants, as requested 
by the mining industry, was unnecessary.
    Service Response: Botanists have been collecting plants in southern 
California for scientific study for over 150 years; all five plants 
were originally collected at least 100 years ago. Carbonate substrates 
in particular have been the focus of numerous surveys because botanists 
have recognized that these nutrient-deficient substrates often support 
unique taxa. As early as 1979, the Forest Service performed rangewide 
surveys of three of the taxa (Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium 
var. vineum, and Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina). Moreover, since 
1979, the Forest Service has conducted surveys of almost all ground-
disturbing projects on the San Bernardino National Forest to determine 
project impacts to species considered to be sensitive and has performed 
botanical investigations of at least 25 taxa. The surveys have been 
conducted on numerous substrates and throughout the geographic range of 
the San Bernardino and adjacent National Forests, including the San 
Bernardino, San Gabriel, and San Jacinto Mountains. While the Service 
recognizes that new occurrences may be discovered through additional 
surveys, the body of information is adequate to proceed with this 
listing. The Service accepts the reliability of the surveys performed 
and considered this information the best scientific information 
    Issue 4: Several commenters charged that the Service ignored 
results of propagation studies on Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum performed by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 
that indicate that 1) the two plants do not require limestone, and 2) 
the plants are easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings. The industry 
believes these results show a potential for successful reclamation 
after mining.
    Service Response: The Service is fully aware of the propagation 
efforts for two of the species (Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum) by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden researchers 
(Mistretta 1991). However, germination or survival under horticultural 
conditions does not accurately represent conditions required for long-
term survival in the wild. Other efforts to propagate Erigeron parishii 
from seed have met with less success (Forest Service 1992). The results 
of these studies are preliminary and inconclusive, and the long-term 
viability of species under cultivation is questionable. In addition, 
the normal life histories and other habitat characteristics of 
substrate endemics typically are not maintained in horticultural 
    The success rate for salvage of Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum 
from the Gordon Quarry was less than 50 percent (Forest Service 1992). 
Although some potential for reclamation with these species after mining 
may exist, the purpose of the Act is to conserve ecosystems upon which 
listed species depend. Reintroduction is a potentially important 
recovery tool, but it has not been shown to restore mine sites to pre-
disturbance conditions that would ensure the long-term survival of such 
plants and, therefore, does not preclude the need to list the species.
    Issue 5: Several commenters were concerned that important 
information concerning the potential for reclamation of mined sites was 
not included in the proposal. They claim that three of the plants 
(Astragalus albens, Erigeron parishii, and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum) are opportunistic, weedy intruders, or invaders. As evidence, 
they cited the Barrows surveys that document populations occurring on 
roadbeds, roadcuts, and quarry benches. They also state that 
accompanying notes indicate populations in these disturbed habitats are 
more vigorous or more dense than those on adjacent pristine areas, and 
the plants appear to tolerate light disturbances. Some commenters 
indicated that old roadbeds, roadcuts, and old quarry benches 
constituted more than ``lightly disturbed'' habitat, and that the 
plants in fact can recolonize heavily disturbed sites. One commenter 
stated that ``the effects of mining as a possible positive influence'' 
had not been considered.
    Service Response: The Service did not reference Astragalus albens, 
Erigeron parishii, and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum growing on old 
roadbeds, roadcuts, and quarry benches because, in most cases, these 
plants did not constitute independent self-perpetuating populations, 
but rather scattered individuals that had dispersed into disturbed 
habitat from adjacent populations on undisturbed habitat. The Forest 
Service has noted that Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum and Erigeron 
parishii have colonized infrequently used roads at three sites, and 
small quarries at two sites, each of which is less than 1 hectare (2 
acres) in size, have been abandoned for 20 to 25 years, and had small 
patches of native vegetation left within them at the time of mining. In 
contrast, no colonization by any of the five plants has been observed 
in the larger quarries. Furthermore, Forest Service surveys at the 
Right Star site for Astragalus albens indicate that the mean density of 
individuals in disturbed areas is significantly lower than that in 
adjacent undisturbed areas (137 versus 679 per acre) (Forest Service, 
in litt., 1992).
    Initial flushes of recolonization by plants may occur in response 
to light and very intermittent disturbance. The mechanism under which 
recolonization occurs and its role in the long-term survival of the 
five species is unknown. Research on recolonization may indicate that 
the species can recolonize areas to aid in their long-term survival. 
However, data do not indicate that these plants have extensive 
recolonization capabilities. Heavily disturbed sites, (i.e., those 
stripped to bedrock with little residual fine-textured substrates, and 
with no nearby islands of native vegetation from which plants can 
recolonize) do not show any levels of successful recolonization.
    Several recent reports document Erigeron parishii occurring on 
tailing slopes (Brown, in litt., 1992). Recent observations by an 
interagency reclamation review team that visited all four current 
quarry operations on the north slope of the San Bernardino Mountains 
found that Salsola sp. (Russian thistle) was the most prevalent plant 
on tailing slopes and road berms (Forest Service 1992). Erigeron 
parishii or the other taxa under discussion on even ``lightly 
disturbed'' sites may or may not represent independent self-
perpetuating populations.
    Issue 6: Several commenters stated that a lack of understanding of 
mining operations has led to a premature conclusion about the impact of 
mining on plant habitat. One commenter noted that a block of mining 
claims does not represent the actual area that would be disturbed 
during mining operations. Brown (in litt., 1992), who recently remapped 
the geology of the San Bernardino quadrangle in collaboration with 
USGS, stated that about 2 percent of the limestone in the San 
Bernardino Mountains is of commercial value and would be subject to 
mining within the next 75 years. The remaining limestone will not be 
mined, though virtually all of it is under claim.
    Service Response: The impact of mining on plant habitat is not 
restricted to the quarry site itself, but includes loss of habitat 
through overburden (materials that need to be removed to reach the 
underlying limestone, as well as the low-grade limestone that is 
currently not being marketed) dumping, tailing dumping, road 
construction (including sidecasting), and exploratory mining activity, 
which may constitute a surface disturbance several times the size of 
the quarry. Additional biological values of the habitat may be lost 
through habitat fragmentation, alteration of hydrology, and an increase 
in airborne particulates that may depress pollinator success.
    Aside from whether the extent of primary and secondary impacts of 
mining on plant habitat are being accurately assessed, the threat that 
exists to plant habitat from the mere presence of mining claims must be 
considered. According to the Mining Law of 1872 (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.), 
a claimholder must have a sincere intent to mine; in fact, a claim can 
be legally seized by another party if the original claimholder is shown 
not to meet this requirement. No mechanisms are currently available to 
Federal land management agencies making regulatory decisions to protect 
sensitive natural resources on lands that are under claim. This 
situation is discussed more thoroughly under Factor D below.
    Issue 7: A few commenters stated that the Endangered Species Act 
addresses species, and not varieties or subspecies. Therefore, if the 
range of the three species (Eriogonum ovalifolium, Lesquerella kingii, 
and Oxytheca parishii), which includes the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the 
desert mountain ranges, Oregon, and Nevada, is considered, none of the 
varieties or subspecies of these three plants could be considered 
endangered under the Act.
    Service Response: Section 3(15) of the Act states that ``The term 
``species'' includes any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants. * * 
*'' In response to concerns from the Smithsonian Institution that the 
definition included subspecies but not varieties, the Service published 
regulations on April 26, 1978 (43 FR 17912) that discussed common use 
of both terms by botanists and recognized plant ``varieties'' as 
equivalent to ``subspecies'' and, therefore, ``species,'' as defined by 
the Act.
    Issue 8: A few commenters thought that the five taxa do not meet 
the definition of ``endangered'' according to the Act. Similar comments 
stated that the taxa are so ``regenerative'' and so common they could 
never be endangered, farmers in Lucerne Valley have been trying to 
eradicate Astragalus albens for years without success, the California 
Department of Fish and Game has not listed these taxa as rare, and the 
only reason the taxa were being proposed for listing was to satisfy the 
California Native Plant Society lawsuit agreement.
    Service Response: Although additional survey data and information 
on threats posed to the five plant taxa by mining were presented to the 
Service, none of the information contradicted the Service's contention 
that the five taxa are threatened by mining and other potential impacts 
in the San Bernardino Mountains (see Factor A in Summary of Factors 
Affecting the Species). In fact, a report submitted on behalf of the 
mining industry (TMC 1992) confirmed the limited distribution of these 
five taxa. For example, in the TMC report, the greatest increase in 
population size for any of the five taxa surveyed amounted to less than 
2 percent for Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum and occurred primarily 
within the currently known range of the plant. Thus, the Service has 
concluded that the distribution of the five species was sufficiently 
well known prior to the proposed listing, and has not significantly 
changed with additional survey results. The comment concerning the 
commonness of Astragalus albens in Lucerne Valley is evidently a case 
of mistaken identity; A. albens has never been recorded from the 
    The procedures for designating species as threatened or endangered 
are outlined in section 4(a)(1) of the Act and promulgated regulations 
(50 CFR part 424). As discussed earlier in this rule, Federal action on 
several of these taxa began as early as 1975. While the California 
Native Plant Society lawsuit settlement may have accelerated the rate 
at which California plant species have been proposed for listing, the 
suit does not change the standards by which species are evaluated for 
potential listing. Moreover, preparation of the proposal was 
essentially completed prior to the California Native Plant Society 
settlement agreement. Although the State has not pursued listing any of 
these taxa, the California Department of Fish and Game has clearly 
stated its support for the listing of all five taxa and has provided a 
substantial amount of information to the Service that was used in 
preparation of this final rule.
    Based upon information the Service has received regarding the 
status and distribution of these five species, including data from the 
Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, local botanists, private 
consultants, and mining industry, the Service believes that the listing 
of these plants is warranted. The Service finds that Astragalus albens, 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina, 
and Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana are in danger of extinction 
throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges and, therefore, 
fit the definition of endangered as defined in the Act. Erigeron 
parishii has the widest range and largest number of populations of the 
species proposed herein for listing; moreover, several populations are 
known to occur on non-carbonate substrates that are not under claim. 
However, a large portion of its range is under mining claims, and only 
the population at the Burns Reserve currently has any permanent 
protection. Therefore, it is likely to become endangered in the 
foreseeable future and fits the definition of threatened as defined in 
the Act.
    Issue 9: Several commenters stated that the effects of drought on 
the plants had not been considered in the proposal, implying that the 
plants would not be considered rare if surveys were performed during 
non-drought years when the species were more abundant. One commenter 
felt that the effects of drought should be studied and quoted Rupert 
Barneby who, when describing Astragalus albens, wrote ``* * * in years 
of low rainfall, * * * the populations become decimated or even 
annihilated except for dormant seeds. In the first spring after a 
drought of several seasons duration, whole colonies of young plants can 
be found in prolific flower * * *'' (Barneby 1964).
    Service Response: It is well known that drought will reduce both 
vigor and abundance of annual as well as short-lived or herbaceous 
perennial species. In the same sentence that was quoted above, Rupert 
Barneby wrote that ``* * * the plants flower precociously; and a good 
proportion of them are probably monocarpic, especially in years of low 
rainfall * * *'' (Barneby 1964). Monocarpic plants, those which flower 
and fruit once and then die, may be particularly subject to the 
vagaries of climate, especially in regions that are typically arid. 
Seed for these plants may persist in the soil for years before 
favorably climatic conditions allow for successful seedling germination 
and establishment. This habit points out the need to maintain 
undisturbed habitat for the plants to accommodate the ``boom and bust'' 
cycles in population sizes. While the Service agrees that it would be 
interesting to study the effects of drought on the fluctuations in 
plant population sizes, the ranges of all five plants under discussion 
are small and their habitat currently receives little protection. 
Reference to the effects of drought on Astragalus albens and 
Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina is included in this rule in the 
Background section and under Factor E in the Summary of Factors 
Affecting the Species.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and 
regulations (50 CFR part 424) promulgated to implement the listing 
provisions of the Act set forth the procedures for adding species to 
the Federal Lists. A species may be determined to be an endangered or 
threatened species due to one or more of the five factors described in 
section 4(a)(1). These factors and their application to Erigeron 
parishii Gray (Parish's daisy), Eriogonum ovalifolium Nuttall var. 
vineum (Small) A. Nelson (Cushenbury buckwheat), Astragalus albens 
Greene (Cushenbury milk-vetch), Lesquerella kingii Wats. ssp. 
bernardina (Munz) Munz (San Bernardino Mountains bladderpod), and 
Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana Ertter (Cushenbury oxytheca) are as 
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range. All five species proposed for 
listing are restricted primarily to carbonate and adjacent carbonate/
granitic substrates occupied by pinyon-juniper woodland on the northern 
side of the San Bernardino Mountains. The imminent and primary threat 
facing these species is the ongoing destruction of the carbonate 
substrates on which they grow by activities associated with limestone 
mining, including direct removal of mined materials, disposal of 
overburden on adjacent unmined habitat, and road construction. 
Additional threats to their habitat include off-highway vehicle use, 
urban development near the community of Big Bear, development of a ski 
run, and energy development projects.
    The first burst of mining activity in the San Bernardino Mountains 
occurred in the 1860s with the discovery of gold in Holcomb Valley. 
Historically, gold was extracted both by underground mining and by 
placer mining. Only small-scale and weekend prospecting for gold 
continues today. However, gold-bearing alluvium in Holcomb Valley has a 
low to medium potential for development in the future, and a good 
potential exists for a large gold extraction operation in the Blackhawk 
area (Forest Service 1988). Several silver mines were also in operation 
during the late 1800s in Cushenbury Canyon and near Blackhawk Mountain.
    Limestone is considered a locatable mineral, as are gold and 
silver, and, therefore, is open to claim under the 1872 mining law. 
Virtually all of the approximately 13,210 hectares (32,620 acres) of 
carbonate substrates within the San Bernardino Mountains are currently 
under claim. Recent calculations by Brown (in litt., 1992) break down 
the 13,210 hectares (32,620 acres) into component substrates as 
follows: 4,040 hectares (9,980 acres) of dolomite (30.6 percent), 7,910 
hectares (19,530 acres) of limestone (59.9 percent); and 1,260 hectares 
(3,110 acres) mixed limestone and dolomite (9.5 percent).
    Most of the currently mined limestone is being processed by four 
operations that are located along the base of the north slope of the 
mountains. Because of the limited availability of limestone in the 
western United States, those claims currently not under production are 
still being maintained either in anticipation of a future market, as a 
means of keeping claims from being mined by competing companies, or in 
anticipation of leasing out claims for the extraction of other valuable 
    In the surrounding Lucerne Valley mining district, the first 
limestone mines started operation in the 1940s; the current annual 
production of limestone is approximately 3.3 million tons (Forest 
Service 1988). Annual production, however, typically represents only 
the fraction of material that is trucked off the mine site as product. 
The ratio of disturbed material to product material may range from 1:1 
up to more than 5:1. Forest Service records indicate that ratios at 
Riverside Cement (Partin) between 1972 and 1977 ranged from 4.9:1 to 
13:1, and averaged 7.1:1. A 1988 calculation for the same operator 
placed the ratio at 6.7:1 (Forest Service 1988). Thus, based on the 
1988 production of 3.3 million tons of limestone and a 5:1 ratio of 
disturbed material to limestone, 16.5 million tons of waste material 
would be generated. A typical mine site consists of an open pit or 
terraced pit, haul roads for hauling the blasted rock to a processing 
plant, and the processing plant itself, which sorts and crushes the 
material. The overburden is redistributed in piles on site. In the 
future, less low-grade limestone will be left onsite as the market for 
limestone products changes. The direct impacts to four of the five 
plants from limestone mining include the removal and destruction of 
individuals and habitat from mining, the construction of haul roads, 
and the deposition of overburden piles on top of currently occupied 
habitat. Certain operations targeting pharmaceutical grade limestone 
tend to create a higher ratio of exploratory roads and access roads 
relative to the size of the quarry operations since those deposits are 
    Aside from impacts associated with gold and limestone mining, 
several species are potentially threatened by destruction of habitat by 
other activities. Sand and gravel is currently being mined, and a new 
operation has been proposed for several washes on the lower desert-
facing slopes that may impact at least one occurrence of Erigeron 
parishii (TMC 1989). Urban development has encroached upon several 
occurrences of Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina near Big Bear City 
and threatens to encroach upon an occurrence of Erigeron parishii near 
Pioneertown. The proposed addition of a downhill ski run to the ski 
area on the north side of Sugarlump Ridge may eliminate portions of an 
occurrence of Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina.
    Other impacts include the destruction of individuals and habitat 
through increased off-highway vehicle and other recreational use that 
departs from roads built for mining assessment work as well as 
abandoned mine roads. The Forest Service has proposed construction of 
two new sections of the integrated off-highway vehicle system; these 
will potentially impact populations of all taxa except Lesquerella 
kingii ssp. bernardina.
    Since publication of the proposal to list the five taxa, initial 
proposals for two energy developments have been received by the Forest 
Service. A proposed hydroelectric generation plant, which includes the 
use of an old mine quarry to hold water and new ground disturbance for 
construction of water delivery pipelines, would likely negatively 
affect populations of all five taxa except Lesquerella kingii ssp. 
bernardina. A 115-kilovolt powerline proposed for construction through 
Cushenbury Canyon may affect Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium 
var. vineum, Astragalus albens, and Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana.
    Because the location of the five plants is tied primarily to the 
location of carbonate deposits, it is useful to discuss threats 
relative to the primary plant population centers. A description of the 
primary population centers of the five plants and the threats in each 
area follows.
    The westernmost occurrences of two of the plants under discussion 
(Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum) are in the 
vicinity of White Mountain, an outcrop that rises to 2,100 meters 
(6,900 ft) in elevation above the desert community of Lucerne Valley. 
The third largest of the limestone mines is located here, with an 
annual production of approximately 500,000 tons. The proximity of 
occurrences of Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum 
to current mining operations indicates that these plants occurred on 
the mining site, but have been extirpated from it. The westernmost 
populations of these two species will soon be eliminated under a 
recently approved mining plan of operations. As compensation for this 
impact, the County of San Bernardino has directed the mining company to 
sponsor horticultural studies and experimental reseeding on reclaimed 
portions of the mine site.
    Approximately 7.5 km (6 miles) to the east of White Mountain, the 
north side of Holcomb Valley drops off abruptly into Furnace Canyon. 
Habitat for Erigeron parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum was 
removed by quarry operations, including the construction of haul roads 
and the dumping of overburden at these quarry sites, which were 
primarily abandoned prior to 1974. In the areas adjacent to the quarry 
sites, populations of Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum, and Astragalus albens, portions of which have been eliminated, 
are still found. A proposed hydroelectric generation plant would use 
one of the abandoned quarries. If the proposed hydroelectric plant is 
approved, new disturbance associated with the project would likely 
disturb habitat for Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum, Astragalus albens, and Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana.
    The second largest operating limestone mine, with an annual 
production of 800,000 tons, is operating in the vicinity of Marble 
Canyon, a few miles east of Furnace Canyon. A recent expansion of one 
overburden pile is eliminating a sizable population of Astragalus 
    Six kilometers (4 miles) to the east of Furnace Creek is the deeply 
incised Cushenbury Canyon. The mining operation located at this site 
has an annual production of 2,000,000 tons of limestone, the largest of 
the four currently operating limestone mines. Erigeron parishii, 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, and Astragalus albens are found on 
the rocky slopes surrounding Cushenbury Canyon. A number of populations 
have already been negatively affected by mining and road construction. 
Up until several years ago, dust from the crushing operation was 
settling on the slopes downwind from the operation. The resultant and 
still present crust that formed on the slopes is thought to have 
inhibited the growth and survival of a number of plant species, 
including populations of Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum, and Astragalus albens. A population of Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana, one of the most restricted of the five taxa under 
discussion, was also rediscovered in this area in 1978. The species was 
not searched for in a 1990 survey at this location due to continuing 
drought conditions. A few populations of Erigeron parishii are found on 
alluvial substrates below the mouth of Cushenbury Canyon. A recent 
proposal to mine these alluvia for sand and gravel would threaten these 
    Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, and 
Astragalus albens occur 3.2 km (2 miles) to the east of Cushenbury 
Canyon on Blackhawk Mountain, which rises to an elevation of 2,000 
meters (6,700 ft). Historically, gold and silver were mined near 
Blackhawk Mountain. New gold mining activity using cyanide heap-leach 
methods has been proposed for the north slope of Blackhawk Mountain, 
although to date only exploratory drilling has been done. Blackhawk 
Mountain currently supports one of the best assemblages of the 
carbonate endemic species. Old roads bisect the habitat, but the lack 
of limestone mining has left much of the landscape intact. Creek 
drainage, another dozen occurrences of these three species are 
scattered along Nelson Ridge and an unnamed ridge that flank Long 
Valley for a distance of approximately 6.4 km (4 miles). No active 
mining is currently found along the Helendale Fault, though historic 
mining may have affected certain occurrences, and some assessment work 
is currently being done.
    Above Lone Valley, the main fork of Arrastre Creek slowly climbs 
for another 6.4 km (4 miles) towards the Rose Mine Valley-Tip Top 
Mountain area. Scattered occurrences of Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum are found along this stretch. Some of the densest stands of 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum have been bisected by motorcycle and 
jeep trails near Rose Mine Valley (Krantz 1979b); such use of the area 
    Farther south and east, the tributaries of Arrastre Creek run off 
the north and west slopes of Tip Top Mountain, which rises to an 
elevation of 2,000 meters (6,700 ft). On the south and east side of Tip 
Top Mountain, tributaries flow into the Rattlesnake Canyon drainage. 
Along this drainage is another cluster of occurrences of Erigeron 
parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum. Significant new 
populations of Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana were located by 
Forest Service surveys in 1992 near Tip Top Mountain and nearby Mineral 
Mountain. The easternmost occurrences for Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum occur a few miles 
east of Tip Top Mountain. Historic mining has affected Erigeron 
parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum; Krantz (1979b) noted 
that a dirt road leading to an abandoned quarry had bisected habitat 
for both plants. Erigeron parishii may be able to tolerate some 
disturbance, as evidenced by its occurrence along roadsides, while 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum remains absent from roadsides in this 
area (Krantz 1979a, 1979b). Off-road vehicle traffic currently 
adversely impacts plants in this area.
    About 24 km (15 miles) south and east of Tip Top Mountain, the 
mountains give way to the broad alluvial fans of the upper desert. Near 
Burns Reserve and Pioneertown, a few disjunct occurrences of Erigeron 
parishii are found. The Burns Reserve is protected by the State of 
California through the auspices of the Natural Reserve System of the 
University of California. The Pioneertown site has been proposed for 
urban development. The Nature Conservancy has secured a voluntary 
agreement with the landowner to protect the Erigeron parishii at this 
    Scattered patches of carbonate substrate occur outside the main 
belt that traverses the San Bernardino Mountains. On the east end of 
Bertha Ridge, north of Bear Valley, several small patches of 
Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum occur. These populations are adjacent to the community of Big 
Bear and are subject to impacts associated with urban development. 
Surveys by Myers and Barrows (1988) indicated that several occurrences 
of Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina have been reduced in size since 
the previous surveys were performed in 1980 (Wilson and Bennett 1980).
    At the northern edge of Holcomb Valley, Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana is found near an old gold mine site. A low to moderate 
potential exists for the reactivation of mining activity in this area 
in the future, depending on the price of gold (Forest Service 1988).
    On the north-facing slope of Sugarlump Ridge on the south side of 
Bear Valley, several large populations of Lesquerella kingii ssp. 
bernardina were recently discovered. Several of these populations may 
be affected by the proposed expansion of a downhill ski area (Michael 
Brandman & Associates 1990).
    In summary, virtually all of the carbonate substrates where these 
five species occur are under claim and subject to being mined or are 
threatened by other disturbance. The only sizable carbonate substrates 
not under claim are located on the south side of Bear Valley near 
Sugarlump Ridge. Those claims that are not currently being mined are 
being maintained either in anticipation of expanding operations once 
current quarry supplies are depleted (as a means of keeping competing 
companies from mining the claims) or in anticipation of leasing the 
claims for the mining of other valuable minerals.
    All five taxa, except Erigeron parishii, are limited mainly in 
distribution to carbonate substrates within a 40-km (25-mile) range 
along the primarily northern slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains. 
The range of the five taxa overlap for the most part, but Erigeron 
parishii extends to the southeast another 16 km (10 miles). Although 
Erigeron parishii is found primarily on carbonate substrates, several 
occurrences are on non-carbonate substrates. The five species occur on 
lands under mining claim or on lands that have been patented, which 
subjects them to habitat destruction. Other activities, such as off-
highway vehicle recreation, urbanization, development of a ski run, and 
energy development projects, threaten to alter or destroy habitat for, 
as well as the limited number of occurrences of, these five species.
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes. Although these species are not presently sought 
after by collectors, they are vulnerable to taking because of their 
limited distribution. Some plant taxa have become vulnerable to 
collecting by curiosity seekers as a result of increased publicity 
following listing. The increased public attention could potentially 
increase their desirability, thereby increasing the threat of 
    C. Disease or predation. No data exist to substantiate whether or 
not disease threatens any of the plants. The seed capsules of 
Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina were observed to have been broken 
open by unknown seed predators at one of the Big Bear occurrences (C. 
Rutherford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and M. Lardner, U.S. Forest 
Service, pers. obs., 1990). It is unknown whether seed predation would 
affect the viability of the species. In the vicinity of Round Mountain, 
several occurrences of Astragalus albens are known to occur within a 
grazing allotment administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 
The effects of cattle grazing on this species have not yet been 
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. All five 
plants are on List 1B of the California Native Plant Society, 
indicating that, in accordance with chapter 10, sec. 1901 of the 
California Department of Fish and Game Code, they are eligible for 
State listing. If State listing were pursued, the Native Plant 
Protection Act and the California Endangered Species Act would prohibit 
the ``take'' of State-listed plants (Fish and Game Code chapter 10, 
sec. 1908, and chapter 1.5, sec. 2080), but would not protect the 
plants from taking via habitat modification or land use change by the 
landowner. After the California Department of Fish and Game notifies a 
landowner that a State-listed plant grows on his or her property, State 
law requires only that the landowner notify the agency ``at least 10 
days in advance of changing the land use to allow salvage of such 
plant'' (chapter 10, sec. 1913). Although these State laws provide a 
measure of protection to the species, they are not adequate to protect 
the species in all cases. Numerous activities do not fall under the 
purview of this legislation, such as certain projects proposed by the 
Federal government and projects falling under State statutory 
exemptions. Where overriding social and economic considerations can be 
demonstrated, these laws allow project proposals to go forward, even in 
cases where the continued existence of the species may be jeopardized 
or where adverse impacts are not mitigated to the point of 
    About 20 to 25 percent of the occurrences of Erigeron parishii and 
15 to 20 percent of the occurrences of Eriogonum ovalifolium var. 
vineum occur on private land. The mining of limestone on private land 
is under the jurisdiction of the county of San Bernardino, which is 
responsible for administering regulations in accordance with the 
California Environmental Quality Act and the California Endangered 
Species Act. The county has included terms and conditions in the 
granting of certain operating permits that have directed the applicants 
to undertake efforts to restore the habitat and reintroduce Erigeron 
parishii and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum to the site. Recently, 
the county included a permit condition for the expansion of an 
overburden pile that required the applicant to designate preserve areas 
with the concurrence of the California Department of Fish and Game and 
the Service. One population of Erigeron parishii occurs on land owned 
by the University of California at the Burns Pinyon Reserve; no 
activities are currently planned that would affect the population. The 
remaining occurrences of these two species, as well as almost all the 
occurrences of the other three species are primarily on lands managed 
by the Forest Service and, to a lesser degree, by BLM.
    Several laws enacted by Congress and regulations promulgated to 
implement them address surface management of Federal lands, including 
mining, but they provide limited protection for natural resources. For 
instance, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 
(43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), as amended, was passed to provide policy for 
``the management, protection, development, and enhancement'' of public 
lands managed by BLM. Section 302 of FLPMA, which addresses management 
of use, occupancy, and development of public lands, states ``* * * the 
Secretary shall, by regulation or otherwise, take any action necessary 
to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the lands'' (43 U.S.C. 
1732 (b)). Unnecessary or undue degradation is defined to mean surface 
disturbance greater than that which would normally result by a prudent 
operator taking into account the effects of mining operations on other 
resources (43 CFR 3809.0-5(k)). The policy of FLPMA as expressed by 
regulation is that a person has a statutory right to mine certain 
Federal lands (43 CFR 3809.0-6). Mining operations that exceed 5 acres 
in extent and certain other defined operations require a plan of 
operations that must be approved by BLM (43 CFR 3809.1-4, 1-6). 
However, prior to approval of the plan, BLM must evaluate the action 
with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as endangered or 
threatened and with respect to its critical habitat if any.
    Federal agencies, such as BLM, are required to (1) confer 
informally with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize 
the continued existence of a proposed species or result in destruction 
or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat, or (2) enter into 
formal consultation with the Service on any action that is likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. However, 
Federal agencies are not required to implement Service recommendations 
for proposed species or proposed critical habitat. Therefore, although 
FLPMA affords some general protection in that resources other than 
mining interests must be considered by an operator, the protections 
afforded listed species pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act are not required to be implemented unless listing takes place. 
Thus, listing affords additional protection to these particular 
    Additionally, section 601 of FLPMA specifically addresses 
management of public lands within the California Desert Conservation 
Area, which includes all BLM lands where four of the five plants occur 
(except Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina) (43 U.S.C. 1781). The 
purpose of this section is ``to provide for the immediate and future 
protection and administration of the public lands in the California 
desert within the framework of a program of multiple use and sustained 
yield, and the maintenance of environmental quality'' (43 U.S.C. 1781). 
Multiple use is defined, in part, to mean ``the management of the 
public lands and their various resource values so that they are 
utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future 
needs of the American people . . .'' (43 U.S.C. 1702(c)). The concept 
of multiple use includes the ``harmonious and coordinated management of 
the various resources without permanent impairment of the . . . quality 
of the environment with consideration being given to the relative 
values of the resources . . .'' (Id.).
    Section 1781 of FLPMA states that the use of these desert resources 
should be provided for in a multiple use and sustained yield management 
plan (43 U.S.C. 1781(a)(4)). These resources specifically include 
``certain rare and endangered species of wildlife, plants, and fishes . 
. . [which] are seriously threatened by inadequate Federal management 
authority, and pressures of increased use . . .'' (43 U.S.C. 
1781(a)(3)). As a result, the Secretary of the Department of the 
Interior is directed to prepare and implement a long-term plan for the 
``management, use, development, and protection'' of the lands within 
this Conservation Area (43 U.S.C. 1781(d)). This plan is to take into 
account multiple use and sustained yield, and provide for resource use 
and development, which is to include ``maintenance of environmental 
quality, rights-of-way, and mineral development'' (Id.). So even though 
FLPMA may contain language to protect the five plant species to a 
certain degree through the maintenance of environmental quality, FLPMA 
was written to provide for multiple use. Such use does not necessarily 
elevate the needs of these species over other public land uses. Indeed, 
regulations promulgated to implement certain provisions of FLPMA 
provide for the approval of mining if the appropriate Federal official 
has complied with the section 7 consultation provisions of the 
Endangered Species Act (43 CFR 3809.1-6(a)(5)). However, the 
protections afforded listed species pursuant to section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act are not required to be implemented unless 
listing takes place. Therefore, listing affords another layer of 
protection to these species.
    Similar regulations have been promulgated for National Forest 
System lands (36 CFR part 228) so that mining ``shall be conducted so 
as to minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System 
surface resources'' (36 CFR 228.8). Although these regulations do not 
specifically require compliance with section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act as a prerequisite to approval of a mining plan of 
operations, the Act requires Service consultation for any action the 
Federal action agency authorizes, funds, or carries out (16 U.S.C. 
1536) that may affect a federally listed species. Therefore, Forest 
Service approval of a mining plan of operations would require section 7 
compliance, which would afford additional protection to listed plant 
    The Forest Service has attempted to reduce impacts of mining within 
carbonate plant habitat. As early as 1977, the Forest Service 
recognized four of the plants (all but Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana) as ``sensitive species;'' Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana was added to its list of sensitive species in 1990. The 
Forest Service has worked with the mining companies to minimize impacts 
to the plants since at least 1987 (Forest Service, in litt., 1992). In 
the Management Plan for the San Bernardino National Forest (Forest 
Service 1988), the Forest Service recommended conserving at least two-
thirds of the existing populations for three of the taxa (Erigeron 
parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, and Astragalus albens) in 
perpetuity by establishing refugia for conserving selected occurrences 
of these five plants as part of a regional conservation plan. In 
addition, all of the habitat for Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina was 
recommended for protection. This would entail securing refugia sites 
either by withdrawal from mineral entry or by transferring claim 
rights. To date, the Forest Service has hosted several interagency 
meetings to develop strategies to implement this forest management plan 
direction by identifying criteria for refuge design and strategies for 
establishing a minerals withdrawal. A draft habitat management guide 
for the carbonate plants is expected to be released within several 
years. However, approval and implementation of recommended actions may 
not take place for several years subsequent to release of the guide.
    In response to the proposal, Brown (in litt., 1992) has claimed 
that the actual amount of limestone to be mined in the foreseeable 
future (defined as 75 years) is only 2 percent of the existing surface 
expression of limestone deposits in the San Bernardino Mountains. The 
1872 mining law states that claimholders must have an actual intent to 
mine. The Service, therefore, must assume that all claims are being 
held with the intent to mine. One industry representative cited two 
reasons why claimholders would not relinquish claims even if no future 
mining were intended. First, it would prohibit a competing company from 
mining the mineral resource. Secondly, the claims could be mined for 
strategic minerals other than limestone. The 1872 mining law does not 
include a mechanism for voluntary relinquishment of a claim or transfer 
of a claim to a third party for the purposes of resource conservation 
even if a claimholder wished to do so. Once it was proven that the 
third party had no intent to mine, the claim could legally be seized by 
other mining interests (Bill Tilden, Pfizer, Inc., pers. comm., 1992).
    The surface management of public lands under U.S. mining laws (43 
CFR part 3809) requires BLM to process applications to ``patent'' 
mining claims on all Federal lands. BLM has reported that since the 
proposal to list the carbonate plants was published, it has received an 
increase in patent applications submitted by industry claimholders with 
claims occurring within the range of the five carbonate plants (Mike 
Ford, geologist, formerly BLM, pers. comm., 1992). One industry 
representative has indicated that changes in the 1872 mining law will 
require that the cost of the required annual assessment work per 8-
hectare (20-acre) claim ($100) be paid as a fee directly to BLM, rather 
than performed as on-the-ground assessment work. This may provide 
additional incentive to claimholders to patent claims to avoid the 
increase in out-of-pocket costs for the annual assessment work. An 
increase in the number of claims being patented could remove these 
lands from continued Federal jurisdiction. The elimination of Federal 
jurisdiction becomes important regarding protection of plants because 
of the reduced protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act for 
plants on private lands.
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence. Populations consisting of a small number of individuals 
always face the possibility of stochastic extinction (i.e., extinction 
due to random events, including fire, flood, drought, landslide, 
disease, or predation). The total amount of annual precipitation, as 
well as the timing of such precipitation, may be crucial for seedling 
germination and subsequent establishment. A significant drop in the 
size of Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina populations in the Bertha 
Ridge area between 1980 and 1988 (from 25,000 to 15,000 individuals) 
may be in part due to several years of drought conditions. Conversely, 
the high amount of precipitation received during March 1992 may, in 
part, account for the increased number of Astragalus albens individuals 
observed during 1992 surveys compared to the number found in previous 
surveys. Such fluctuations in population sizes should be expected, but 
at the same time emphasize the need to maintain in situ seedbanks on 
suitable habitat. Moreover, drought-stressed plants can become 
vulnerable to additional damage from pathogens or insects. The risk of 
stochastic extinction for A. albens and Oxytheca parishii var. 
goodmaniana, which currently consist of fewer than 10,000 individuals 
each, is considered high.
    The Service has carefully assessed the best scientific and 
commercial information available regarding the past, present, and 
future threats faced by these five species in determining to issue this 
final rule. Based on this evaluation, the preferred action is to list 
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, Astragalus albens, Lesquerella 
kingii ssp. bernardina, and Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana as 
endangered. Destruction of their habitat by activities associated with 
limestone mining, sand and gravel mining, off-road vehicle and other 
recreational use, and energy development projects, as well as their 
vulnerability to stochastic events, exposes these four plant species to 
the danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of 
their ranges. These species thus fit the Act's definition of 
endangered. While Erigeron parishii faces the same threats as the other 
four species, it has the widest range of distribution; at least a few 
populations within the range of the species occur at locations with 
non-carbonate substrates, which are not currently under mining claim. 
Therefore, the preferred action is to list Erigeron parishii as 

Critical Habitat

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act requires that, to the maximum extent 
prudent and determinable, the Secretary designate critical habitat at 
the time a species is determined to be endangered or threatened. The 
Service finds that designation of critical habitat for Eriogonum 
ovalifolium var. vineum, Astragalus albens, Lesquerella kingii ssp. 
bernardina, Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana, and Erigeron parishii 
is not presently prudent. The publication of critical habitat 
descriptions and maps required for critical habitat designation would 
increase the degree of threat to these plants from possible take or 
vandalism, and could contribute to their decline. The listing of 
species as either endangered or threatened publicizes the rarity of the 
plants and can make these plants attractive to researchers, curiosity 
seekers, or collectors of rare plants. All appropriate Federal agencies 
and local planning agencies have been notified of the location of these 
species and importance of protecting their habitat. Protection of these 
species' habitat will be addressed through the recovery process and 
potentially through the section 7 consultation process. Therefore, the 
Service finds that designation of critical habitat for these plants is 
not prudent at this time; such designation likely would increase the 
degree of threat from vandalism, collecting, or other human activities.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act include recognition, 
recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions 
against certain practices. Recognition through listing encourages and 
results in conservation actions by Federal, State, and private 
agencies, groups, and individuals. The Endangered Species Act provides 
for possible land acquisition and cooperation with the States and 
requires that recovery actions be carried out for all listed species. 
The protection required of Federal agencies and the prohibitions 
against certain activities involving listed plants are discussed, in 
part, below.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, requires Federal agencies to 
evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or 
listed as endangered or threatened and with respect to its critical 
habitat, if any is being designated. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or to destroy or 
adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a 
listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency 
must enter into formal consultation with the Service.
    Populations of all five plant species occur in large part on 
Federal land. Erigeron parishii, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum, and 
Astragalus albens occur on land managed by the San Bernardino National 
Forest and the California Desert District of BLM. Lesquerella kingii 
ssp. bernardina and Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana occur primarily 
on land managed by the San Bernardino National Forest. Federal 
activities potentially impacting one or more of the five plants and 
likely to trigger formal consultation under section 7 of the Act 
include the approval of mining plans of operations; approval of mining 
reclamation plans; construction of recreational facilities, such as 
off-highway vehicle trails and the ski run; rights-of-way for various 
activities including access to mining claims and energy development 
corridors; and grazing allotments. The patenting of mining claims are 
processed by BLM; however, legal opinions differ as to whether this 
process can be considered a Federal activity subject to section 7 of 
the Endangered Species Act. The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will 
have permitting authority as described under section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act for construction of a hydroelectric power plant and a sand 
and gravel mining operation being proposed for the Cushenbury Springs 
area. By regulation, nationwide or individual permits cannot be issued 
where a federally listed endangered or threatened species would be 
affected by a proposed project without first completing formal 
consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. In 
addition, construction of the hydroelectric power plant most likely 
will require the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
and thus require formal consultation.
    The Act and its implementing regulations found at 50 CFR 17.61, 
17.62, and 17.63 for endangered plants and 17.71 and 17.72 for 
threatened plants set forth a series of general prohibitions and 
exceptions that apply to all listed plants. With respect to the five 
carbonate endemics from southern California, all trade prohibitions of 
section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 50 CFR 17.61 and 17.71, 
apply. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any person 
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or export; 
transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a 
commercial activity; sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign 
commerce; or to remove and reduce to possession any such species from 
areas under Federal jurisdiction; maliciously damage or destroy any 
such species on any area under Federal jurisdiction, or remove, cut, 
dig up, damage or destroy listed plants on any other area in knowing 
violation of any State law or regulation, or in the course of any 
violation of a State criminal trespass law. Seeds from cultivated 
specimens of threatened plant species are exempt from these 
prohibitions provided that a statement of ``cultivated origin'' appears 
on their containers. Certain exceptions apply to agents of the Service 
and State conservation agencies. The Act and 50 CFR 17.62, 17.63, and 
17.72 also provide for the issuance of permits to carry out otherwise 
prohibited activities involving endangered and threatened plant species 
under certain circumstances.
    It is anticipated that few trade permits would ever be sought or 
issued because the five plant species are not common in cultivation or 
in the wild. Requests for copies of the regulations on plants and 
inquiries regarding them may be addressed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Endangered Species Permits, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, 
Oregon 97232-4181 (telephone 503/231-6241, facsimile 503/231-6243).

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that an Environmental 
Assessment, or Environmental Impact Statement, as defined under the 
authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be 
prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 
4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. A notice 
outlining the Service's reasons for this determination was published in 
the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein, as well as others, 
is available upon request from the Ventura Field Office (see ADDRESSES 


    The primary author of this rule is Constance Rutherford, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Ventura Field Office, 2140 Eastman Avenue, Suite 
100, Ventura, California 93003 (805/644-1766).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, and Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend Sec. 17.12(h) by adding the following, in alphabetical 
order under the plant families indicated, to the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Plants:

Sec. 17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

-------------------------------------------    Historic range      Status    When listed    Critical    Special 
   Scientific name         Common name                                                      habitat      rules  
                                                    ****** *                                                    
                                                    ****** *                                                    
    Erigeron          Parish's daisy......  U.S.A. (CA)........  T                   548           NA         NA
     parishii .                                                                                                 
                                                    ****** *                                                    
 d family:                                                                                                      
                                                    ****** *                                                    
    Lesquerella       San Bernardino        U.S.A. (CA)........  E                   548           NA         NA
     kingii ssp.       Mountains                                                                                
     bernardina.       bladderpod.                                                                              
                                                    ****** *                                                    
                                                    ****** *                                                    
    Astragalus        Cushenbury milk-      U.S.A. (CA)........  E                   548           NA         NA
     albens .          vetch.                                                                                   
                                                    ****** *                                                    
 eat family:                                                                                                    
                                                    ****** *                                                    
    Eriogonum         Cushenbury buckwheat  U.S.A. (CA)........  E                   548           NA         NA
     var. vineum .                                                                                              
                                                    ****** *                                                    
    Oxytheca          Cushenbury oxytheca.  U.S.A. (CA)........  E                   548           NA         NA
     parishii var.                                                                                              
     goodmaniana .                                                                                              
                                                    ****** *                                                    

    Dated: August 3, 1994.
Mollie H. Beattie,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 94-20790 Filed 8-23-94; 8:45 am]