[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 136 (Friday, July 16, 1999)]
[Pages 38465-38466]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-18138]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Supplemental Information Regarding the Recovery 
Plan for the Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our finding on supplemental information relative to the 
recovery plan for the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Portions 
of the information will be added to the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan 
after appropriate public notice and comment.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to receive a copy of the supplemental 
information finding may obtain a copy by contacting the Grizzly Bear 
Recovery Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University Hall, 
Room 309, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812. Comments and 
materials received are available on request for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Christopher Servheen, Grizzly Bear 
Recovery Coordinator (see ADDRESSES above), at telephone (406) 243-



    The primary goal of our endangered species program is to restore 
endangered or threatened animals or plants to the point where they are 
secure, self-sustaining members of their ecosystem. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we prepare recovery plans for most of the listed 
species native to the United States. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for conservation of the species, establish 
criteria for recovery levels for downlisting or delisting them, and 
estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The grizzly bear was listed under the Act as a threatened species 
in the 48 conterminous States on July 28, 1995 (40 FR 31734). Threats 
to grizzly bear populations come primarily from habitat modification 
caused by human activities and from direct bear/human conflicts 
resulting from recreational and resource use activities, highway and 
railroad corridors, and illegal mortality.
    Under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act) as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we approved the revised Grizzly Bear 
Recovery Plan on September 10, 1993.

[[Page 38466]]

    In May 1994 The Fund For Animals, Inc., and 22 other organizations 
and individuals filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District 
of Columbia over the adequacy of the Plan approved in 1993. Later in 
May 1994 the National Audubon Society and 19 other organizations and 
individuals also filed suit in the same court. The two cases were 
eventually consolidated. In September 1995 the court issued an opinion. 
The motions for summary judgment of both the plaintiffs and the 
defendants were granted in part and denied in part. The court ordered 
us to reconsider certain portions of the Plan, and to provide 
supplemental information. The court remanded five issues that might 
affect grizzly bear recovery for our reconsideration. Those issues 
were: disease and parasites; livestock interactions and mortality; the 
effects of genetic isolation; population monitoring methods; and our 
reliance on Canada for recovery of the grizzly bear.
    On September 10, 1997, we published a Notice of Availability (62 FR 
47677, Sept. 10, 1997) for the draft supplemental information on the 
five remanded issues. We provided our final finding on the issues to 
the court on May 15, 1999, and this notice announces that the document 
is available for public distribution.
    We are also in the process of developing draft grizzly bear 
habitat-based recovery criteria, which are being made available for 
public review and comment under a separate notice of availability.
    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. We will provide a public comment 
period prior to approval of each new amendment to the recovery plan. We 
and other Federal land management agencies also will take these 
comments into account in the course of implementing approved recovery 

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

    Dated: July 9, 1999.
Terry T. Terrell,
Deputy Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-18138 Filed 7-15-99; 8:45 am]