Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
Notice of availability of environmental assessment (EA) and receipt of an application for incidental take permit.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce that Walton Development LLC (applicant) has applied for an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. We are considering issuing a 5-year permit to the applicant that would authorize take of the federally endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus; “SBKR”). The proposed permit would authorize the take of individual SBKR. The applicant needs the permit because take of SBKR could occur during the applicant's proposed construction of a residential and light industrial development on a 42.5-acre site in the City of Redlands, San Bernardino County, California. The permit application includes a proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), which describes the proposed action and the measures that the applicant will undertake to mitigate take of the SBKR.
We must receive any written comments on or before August 6, 2007.
Send written comments to Mr. Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011. You also may send comments by facsimile to (760) 918-0638.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES), (760) 431-9440.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Availability of Documents
You may obtain copies of these documents for review by contacting the above office. Documents also will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above address and at the San Bernardino County Libraries. Addresses for the San Bernardino County Libraries are: (1) 27167 Base Line, Highland, CA 92346; (2) 25581 Barton Rd., Loma Linda, CA 92354; (3) 1870 Mentone Boulevard, Mentone, CA 92359; and (4) 104 West Fourth Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415.
Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits the “take” of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take of federally listed fish and wildlife is defined under the Act to include “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.” We may, under limited circumstances, issue permits to authorize incidental take (i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity). Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are found in 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively.
The applicant is proposing development of residential and light industrial facilities on a 42.5-acre site. The site is located southwest and southeast of the intersection of Pioneer Avenue and Judson Street in the City of Redlands, San Bernardino County, California. The proposed project site is surrounded by a mix of active and abandoned citrus orchards, and an active municipal airport is located approximately 0.25 mile north of the project site.
Based on focused surveys, 3.1 acres of the site are considered occupied by the SBKR. The Service has determined that the proposed development would result in incidental take of the SBKR. No other federally listed species are known to occupy the site.
To mitigate take of SBKR on the project site, the applicant proposes to purchase credits towards conservation in perpetuity of nine (9) acres of Start Printed Page 31339conservation credits from the Cajon Creek Conservation Bank in eastern San Bernardino Valley. The conservation bank collects fees that fund a management endowment to ensure the permanent management and monitoring of sensitive species and habitats, including the SBKR.
Our EA considers the environmental consequences of three alternatives: (1) The Proposed Project Alternative, which consists of issuance of the incidental take permit and implementation of the HCP; (2) the On Site Conservation Alternative, which consists of a reduced project footprint and conservation of SBKR within the proposed project site; and (3) the No Action Alternative, which would result in no impacts to SBKR and no conservation.
National Environmental Policy Act
Proposed permit issuance triggers the need for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, a draft NEPA document has been prepared. We are the lead agency responsible for compliance under NEPA. As NEPA lead agency, we provide notice of the availability and make available for public review the EA.
We invite the public to review the HCP and EA during a 60-day public comment period (see DATES).
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(a) of the Act and the regulations for implementing NEPA, as amended (40 CFR 1506.6). We will evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of NEPA regulations and section 10(a) of the Act. If we determine that those requirements are met, we will issue a permit to the Applicant for the incidental take of the SBKR. We will make our final permit decision no sooner than 60 days after the date of this notice.Start Signature
Dated: May 31, 2007.
Acting Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. E7-10881 Filed 6-5-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P