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Notice

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan and Receipt of Application for Incidental Take of the Houston Toad

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

Elizabeth Ott (Applicant) has applied for an incidental take permit (TE-074986-0) pursuant to Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The requested permit would authorize the incidental take of the endangered Houston toad. The proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and occupation of a single-family residence on approximately 0.5 acres of a 4.137-acre property on Highway 290, Bastrop County, Texas.

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 National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

DATES:

Written comments on the application should be received by September 17, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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 written or telephone request to Clayton Napier, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, Texas. Data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted in writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, Texas at 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758. Please refer to permit number TE-074582-0 when submitting comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clayton Napier at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057).

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 Start Printed Page 49512purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.

Applicant: Elizabeth Ott plans to construct a single family residence, within 5 years, on approximately 0.5 acres of a 4.137-acre property on Highway 290, Bastrop County, Texas. This action will eliminate 0.5 acres or less of Houston toad habitat and result in indirect impacts within the lot. The Applicant proposes to compensate for this incidental take of the Houston toad by providing $2,000.00 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.

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Bryan Arroyo,

Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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[FR Doc. 03-20988 Filed 8-15-03; 8:45 am]

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