John Schuelke (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 (ESA). The Applicant has been assigned permit number TE-023822-0. 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 each on Lots 5-8, 10-15, 22-24, 25A, 26A, 27A&B, 28A&B, 29A&B, 30A in the Pine Oak Estates 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 May 8, 2000.
Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. 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, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057, extension 242). Documents will be available for public inspection by written request or by appointment only during normal business hours (8:00 to 4:30) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office, Austin, Texas. Written data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted to the Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit number TE-023822-0 when submitting comments.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tannika Engelhard at the above U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office, Austin, Texas.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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.
John Schuelke proposes to construct one single family residence on 0.5 acres of each of twenty-two (22) lots (Lots 5-8, 10-15, 22-24, 25A, 26A, 27A&B, 28A&B, 29A&B, 30A) in the Pine Oak Estates Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas. This action will eliminate less than eleven acres of habitat (0.5 acres or less per homesite) and result in indirect impacts within the lot. The applicant proposes to compensate for this incidental take of the Houston toad by providing $33,000.00 ($1,500.00 per 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 properties with federally listed species present was not economically feasible and alteration of the project design would not alter the level of impacts.Start Signature
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-8626 Filed 4-6-00; 8:45 am]
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