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Notice

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan and Receipt of Application for an Incidental Take Permit (Purcell)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

Purcell Investments, L.P., (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-838761-0. The requested permit, which is for a period of 30 years, would authorize incidental take of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia). The proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and operation of a commercial development on 19.3-acres (7.8-hectares) of the Horizon Center Development, Travis 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:

To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or before November 16, 2004.

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 Sybil Vosler, 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, Ecological Services Office, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit number TE-838761-0 when submitting comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sybil Vosler at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 9 of the Act prohibits the “taking” of endangered species such as the golden-cheeked warbler. 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.

Applicant: Purcell Investments, L.P., plans to construct a commercial development on 19.3-acres (7.8-hectares) of the Horizon Center Development, Travis County, Texas. This action would eliminate approximately 8.4 acres (3.4 hectares) of habitat and adversely affect 25.5 acres (10.3 hectares) resulting in incidental take of the golden-cheeked warbler. The Applicant proposes to compensate for this incidental take of the golden-cheeked warbler by preserving 32.5 acres (13.2 hectares) of habitat which will be managed in perpetuity for the benefit of the golden-cheeked warbler or purchasing 32.5 Participation Certificates in the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, a regional permit which will preserve 30,428 acres (12,314 hectares) of habitat.

Pursuant to the June 10, 2004, order in Spirit of the Sage Council v. Norton, Civil Action No. 98-1873 (D. D.C.), the Service is enjoined from approving new section 10(a)(1)(B) permits or related documents containing “No Surprises” assurances until such time as the Service adopts new permit revocation rules specifically applicable to section 10(a)(1)(B) permits in compliance with public notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. This notice concerns a step in the review and processing of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit and any subsequent permit issuance will be in accordance with the Court's order. Until such time as the Service's authority to issue permits with “No Surprises” assurances has been reinstated, the Service will not approve any incidental take permits or related documents containing “No Surprises” assurances.

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq.

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Bryan Arroyo,

Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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[FR Doc. 04-20991 Filed 9-16-04; 8:45 am]

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