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Notice

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Availability of Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan; Lakes at St. Sebastian Preserve, Brevard County, FL

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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; request for comments/information.

SUMMARY:

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Atlantic Coast Paladin Estates, LLC and Micco Road Investments, LLC c/o the Kelsey Group are requesting a 10-year Start Printed Page 29093ITP. We request public comment on the permit application and accompanying proposed Lakes at St. Sebastian Preserve habitat conservation plan, as well as on our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as low effect under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which are also available for review.

DATES:

To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by July 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

If you wish to review the application and HCP, 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.

Email: northflorida@fws.gov. Use “Attn: Permit number TE-24376C-0” as your message subject line for Lakes at St. Sebastian Preserve.

Fax: Field Supervisor, (904) 731-3191, Attn: Permit number TE24376C-0.

U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE-24376C-0, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256.

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:

Tera Baird, telephone: (904) 731-3196; email: Tera Baird@fws.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and our implementing Federal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17 prohibit the “take” of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct” (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under limited circumstances, we 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 at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The Act's take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants on private lands unless such take would violate State law. In addition to meeting other criteria, an incidental take permit's proposed actions must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants.

Applicants' Proposal

Lakes at St. Sebastian Preserve

Atlantic Coast Paladin Estates, LLC and Micco Road Investments, LLC c/o the Kelsey Group are requesting take of approximately 99.85 acres of nesting and foraging habitat for the Audubon's crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii), incidental to the construction of a residential development, and together they seek a 10-year permit. The project is located on 98 separate parcels (Tax Account Nos. 3010967-3011065), located within Section 01, Township 30 South, Range 38 East in Brevard County, Florida. The applicants propose to mitigate for impacts to the species by protecting 20 acres of Audubon's crested caracara habitat within the Allen Broussard Conservancy. The applicants will also provide a $10,000 management endowment to ensure the continued success of managing these lands for two nesting pairs of Audubon's crested caracara.

Our Preliminary Determination

We have determined that the applicants' proposal, including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or negligible effects on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, our proposed issuance of the requested ITP qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215). A low-effect HCP is one 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.

Next Steps

We will evaluate the HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the ITP application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the application meets these requirements, we will issue ITP number TE24376C-0. We 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. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP. If the requirements are met, we will issue the permit to the applicants.

Public Comments

If you wish to comment on the permit application, HCP, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods in ADDRESSES.

Public Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, email 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 cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Authority: We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

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Dated: March 21, 2017.

Jay B. Herrington,

Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, Southeast Region.

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[FR Doc. 2017-13404 Filed 6-26-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-55-P