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Construction of a Commercial Park, Brevard County, FL

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Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.


Notice: receipt of application for an incidental take permit; request for comments.


We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of one ITP and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)/Application for one incidental take permit. Marsol Development Corporation (Applicant) requests an incidental take permit (ITP) for a duration of 2 years pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Applicant anticipates taking about 7.5 acres of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) foraging, sheltering, and possibly nesting habitat incidental to lot preparation for the construction of a commercial park and supporting infrastructure in Brevard County, Florida (Project). The destruction of 7.5 acres of foraging, sheltering, and possibly nesting habitat is expected to result in the take of one family of scrub-jays. The Applicant's Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) describes the mitigation and minimization measures proposed to address the effects of the Project to the Florida scrub-jay.


We must receive any written comments on the ITP application and HCP at the Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES) on or before December 8, 2006.


Persons wishing to review the application and HCP may obtain a copy by writing the Service's Jacksonville Field Office. Please reference permit number TE126179-0 in such requests. Documents will also be available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the Jacksonville Field Office, 6620 Southpoint Drive South, Suite 310, Jacksonville, Florida 32216-0912.

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Ms. Erin Gawera, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 904/232-2580, ext. 121.

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If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of several methods. Please reference permit number TE126179-0 in all requests or comments. You may mail comments to the Service's Jacksonville Field Office Start Printed Page 65541(see ADDRESSES). You may also comment via the internet to Please include your name and return address in your internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we have received your internet message, contact us directly at the telephone number listed above (FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Finally, you may hand deliver comments to the Service office listed under ADDRESSES. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the administrative record. We will honor such requests to the extent allowable by law. There may also be other circumstances in which we would withhold from the administrative record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. We will not, however, consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Commercial construction for Marsol Development Corporation will take place within Section 31, Township 26 South, Range 37 East, Port St. Johns, Brevard County, Florida, on the southeast corner of Wickham Road and Summer Brook Drive. This parcel is within locations where scrub-jays were sighted during surveys for this species during the period 1999-2003.

The project encompasses about 9.0 acres, of which there is 7.5 acres of scrub-jay foraging, sheltering, and possibly nesting habitat. The footprint of the commercial park, infrastructure, and landscaping preclude retention of scrub-jay habitat. In order to minimize take on site, the Applicant agrees to avoid construction during the nesting season if active nests are found on site, but no other on-site minimization measures are proposed to reduce take of scrub-jays.

The Applicant proposes to mitigate for the loss of 7.5 acres of scrub-jay habitat by purchasing a minimum of 15 acres of occupied scrub-jay habitat within property in holdings mapped within the Valkaria portion of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL) Coastal Scrub Ecosystem. In addition, $1,200 per acre will be provided for management of this land.

The Service has determined that the Applicant's proposal, including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the ITP is a “low-effect” project and qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1). This preliminary information may be revised based on our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice. Low-effect HCPs are those involving (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources.

The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If it is determined that those requirements are met, the ITP will be issued for the incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay. The Service will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be used in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP.

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Authority: This notice is provided pursuant to Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

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Dated: October 17, 2006.

David L. Hankla,

Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.

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[FR Doc. E6-18822 Filed 11-7-06; 8:45 am]