Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
Notice of availability.
Ralph Smoot (Applicant) has applied for an incidental take permit (TE-068275-0) pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The requested permit would exempt the applicant from Section 9 prohibitions. The proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and occupation of Earth-sheltered condominiums on a 2.5-acre property on Highway 71, Bastrop County, Texas.
Written comments on the application should be received within 60 days of the date of this publication.
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, Room 4102, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Clayton Napier, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057). Documents will be available for public inspection by written request, by appointment only, Start Printed Page 13719during normal business hours (8 to 4:30) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin, Texas. Written data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted to the Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 Austin, Texas. Please refer to permit number TE-068275-0 when submitting comments.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Clayton Napier, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057).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 Fish and Wildlife Service (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.
The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A determination of jeopardy or non-jeopardy to the species and a decision pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will not be made until at least 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).
Applicant: Ralph Smoot plans to construct Earth-sheltered condominiums, within 5 years, on a 2.5-acre property on Highway 71, Bastrop County, Texas. This action will eliminate 2.5 acres or less of Houston toad habitat and result in indirect impacts to the toad within the property. The Applicant proposes to compensate for the loss of Houston toad habitat by providing $5,000.00 to the Houston Toad Conservation Fund at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the specific purpose of land acquisition and management within Houston toad habitat.Start Signature
Acting Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 03-6675 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-55-P