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Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan for Issuance of an Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit for the Incidental Take of the Houston Toad During Construction of a Single Family Residence on Two Lots in the Circle D Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas

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Cornerstone Construction (Applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit pursuant to Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The Applicant has been assigned permit number TE-021793. The requested permit, which is for a period of 5 years, would authorize the incidental take of the endangered Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis). The proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and occupation of one single family residence on Lot 17, Section 5 and Lot 21, Section 6 in the Circle D Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas.

The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A determination of jeopardy to the species or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will not be made before 30 days from the date of publication of this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to Section 10(c) of the Act and National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).


Written comments on the application should be received on or before March 6, 2000.


Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy by writing to the Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Tannika Engelhard, Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057). Documents will be available for public inspection by written request or by appointment only during normal business hours (8:00 to 4:30) at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin, Texas. Written data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted to the Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit number TE-021793 when submitting comments.

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Tannika Engelhard at the above Austin Ecological Service Field Office.

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Section 9 of the Act prohibits the “taking” of endangered species such as the Houston toad. However, the Service, under limited circumstances, may issue permits to take endangered wildlife species incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.


Cornerstone Construction plans to construct one single family residence each on Lot 17, Section 5 and Lot 21, Section 6 in the Circle D Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas. This action will eliminate less than one acre of habitat and result in an unquantifiable amount of indirect impact. The applicant proposes to compensate for this incidental take of the Houston Toad by contributing $3,000.00 ($1,500.00 for each homesite) to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the specific purpose of land acquisition and management within Houston toad habitat, as identified by the Service.

Alternatives to this action were rejected because not developing the subject property with federally listed species present was not economically feasible and alteration of the project design would not alter the level of impacts.

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Thomas L. Bauer,

Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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[FR Doc. 00-2462 Filed 2-3-00; 8:45 am]