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Notice

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; Charlotte County, FL

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of availability; request for comment/information.

SUMMARY:

We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of an incidental take permit (ITP) application and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). James A. Goedde (applicant) requests an ITP under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicant anticipates taking about 0.23 acre of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) breeding, feeding, and sheltering habitat incidental to lot preparation for the construction of a single-family residence and associated infrastructure in Charlotte County, Florida (project). The destruction of 0.23 acre is expected to result in the take of two families of scrub-jays. The applicant's HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures proposed to address the effects of the project on the scrub-jay.

DATES:

Written comments on the ITP application and HCP should be sent to the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) and should be received on or before July 25, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may request documents by email, U.S. mail, or phone (see below). These documents are also available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the office below. Send your comments or requests by any one of the following methods.

E-mail: Trish_Adams@fws.gov. Use “Attn: Permit number TE45203A-0” as your message subject line.

Fax: Trish Adams, (772) 562-4288, Attn.: Permit number TE45203A-0.

U.S. mail: Trish Adams, HCP Coordinator, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE45203A-0, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559.

In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular business hours at the above office address.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Trish Adams, HCP Coordinator, South Florida Ecological Services Office, Vero Beach, Florida (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 772-562-3909, extension 232.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

If you wish to submit comments or information, you may do so by any one of several methods. Please reference permit number TE45203A-0, in such comments. You may mail comments to the Service's South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also comment via e-mail to trish_adams@fws.gov. Please also include your name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we have received your e-mail message, contact us directly at the telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Finally, you may hand deliver comments to the Service office listed under ADDRESSES.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, 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 Start Printed Page 37143cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Applicant's Proposed Project: We received an application from the applicant for an incidental take permit, along with a proposed habitat conservation plan. The applicant requests a 15-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (87 Stat.884; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we approve the permit, the applicant anticipates taking approximately 0.23 acre (0.1 hectares (ha)) of Florida scrub-jay breeding, feeding, and sheltering habitat incidental to land preparation for construction of a single family residence and associated infrastructure in Charlotte County, Florida.

Project construction would take place at latitude 26.9777, longitude -82.0096 in Harbor Heights, Charlotte County, Florida. This lot is within occupied scrub-jay habitat. In 1987, we listed this species as threatened (June 3, 1987; 52 FR 20715). The listing became effective July 6, 1987.

The applicant proposes to mitigate for the loss of 0.23 acre (0.1 ha) of occupied scrub-jay habitat by contribution of 0.46 acre (0.19 ha) of suitable scrub-jay habitat to nearby existing conservation lands within Charlotte County, along with a fee of $1,380.00 for perpetual maintenance of the donated land, within 180 days of permit issuance or before the commencement of clearing and construction activities, whichever is sooner.

Our Preliminary Determination: The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant's project, including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will individually and cumulatively 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) (40 CFR 1506.6), as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1), and as defined in our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). We base our determination that the project qualifies as a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the project would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the project would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) Impacts of the plan, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. As more fully explained in our environmental action statement and associated Low Effect Screening Form, the applicant's proposed project qualifies as a “low-effect” project. This preliminary determination may be revised based on our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice.

Next Steps: 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. The Service will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP comply 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. If it is determined that the requirements of the Act are met, the ITP will be issued for the incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay.

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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: June 14, 2011.

Spencer Simon,

Acting Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.

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[FR Doc. 2011-15811 Filed 6-23-11; 8:45 am]

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