[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 171 (Wednesday, September 5, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50976-50977]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-4316]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for the Oregon Chub, Lane County, 
OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Marilyn and Randy Sprick have applied to the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). The permit application includes a proposed Safe 
Harbor Agreement (Agreement) between Mr. and Mrs. Sprick, the Oregon 
Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Service. The proposed term of 
the Agreement is 10 years and the term of the permit is 30 years. The 
requested permit would authorize Mr. and Mrs. Sprick to carry out 
habitat management measures that would benefit the federally-listed as 
endangered Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri). The covered area or 
geographic scope of this Agreement includes an artificial pond 
surrounded by a 100-foot buffer. We request comments from the public on 
the permit application, proposed Agreement, and related documents, 
which are available for review.

DATES: Comments must be received from interested parties on or before 
October 5, 2007. The final permit decision will be made no sooner than 
October 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain copies of the documents for review by 
contacting Richard Szlemp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2600 SE. 
98th Ave., Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266; facsimile (503) 231-6195; 
or by making an appointment to view the documents at the above address 
during normal business hours. You may also view the documents on the 
Internet through http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/species/. You may submit 
your written comments to Kemper M. McMaster, State Supervisor, Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2600 SE. 98th Ave., Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 
97266, or facsimile (503) 231-6195. Include your name and address in 
your comments and refer to the `Sprick SHA'.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Szlemp (see ADDRESSES) (503) 
231-6179.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under a Safe Harbor Agreement, participating 
landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their 
property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species 
listed under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Safe Harbor Agreements, 
and the subsequent enhancement of survival permits that are issued 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, encourage private and other 
non-federal property owners to implement conservation efforts for 
listed species by assuring the landowners that they will not be 
subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of their 
efforts to attract listed species to their property, or to increase the 
numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of 
survival permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in 50 CFR 
17.22(c). These permits allow any necessary future incidental take of 
any covered species above the mutually agreed upon baseline conditions 
for those species in accordance with the terms of the permit and 
accompanying agreement.
    We have worked with Mr. and Mrs. Sprick and the Oregon Department 
of Fish and Wildlife to develop the proposed Agreement for the 
conservation of the Oregon chub. The area covered by this Agreement is 
composed of an artificial pond with an approximate area of 0.65 acre, 
and a 100-foot buffer surrounding the pond. The total area covered by 
this Agreement is approximately 1.7 acres. Environmental baseline 
conditions have been established as zero Oregon chub being present in 
the pond. The purpose of this Agreement is to establish a new 
population of Oregon chub as refugia for the natural population. Under 
this Agreement, a minimum of 500 Oregon chub will be introduced from an 
existing wild population by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 
The estimated carrying capacity of the Sprick's pond is approximately 
1,000 individuals. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will 
monitor the Oregon chub population and habitat conditions at least once 
a year. Upon reaching this threshold, this population may be used as a 
source for translocations by the Oregon Department of Fish and 
Wildlife, but would not be lowered beyond 500 individuals at the time 
of removal.

[[Page 50977]]

    The Spricks will avoid conducting activities that could adversely 
affect the Oregon chub's habitat within 100 feet of the pond's 
perimeter during the 10-year term of the Agreement. The permit duration 
is 30 years, which would allow up to an additional 20 years for the 
terms of the Agreement to remain in effect before a return to baseline 
conditions may occur.
    Without the regulatory assurances provided through the Agreement 
and permit, landowners may otherwise be unwilling or reluctant to 
engage in activities that would place federally-listed species such as 
the Oregon chub onto their properties. The proposed Agreement is 
expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the Oregon chub by 
creating a protected refugia, increasing the population, and 
translocating individuals, beyond those needed to maintain the refugia 
population, to other suitable locations.
    The Oregon chub was listed as an endangered species by the Service 
in 1993 (58 FR 53800). At the time of listing, their were only five 
known populations and they were restricted to an 18.6 mile stretch of 
the Middle Fork Willamette River drainage, representing approximately 
two percent of the species' historic range. In 2006, there were 18 
populations totaling 500 or more individuals. Oregon chub remain at 
risk due to the loss of suitable habitat and the continued threats 
posed by the proliferation of non-native fishes, water withdrawals, 
accelerated sedimentation due to land management activities, and 
potential chemical spills or careless pesticide applications. Their 
status has improved in recent years, resulting primarily from 
successful introductions and the discovery of previously undocumented 
populations.
    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed 
Agreement and permit application are eligible for a categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). 
We explain the basis for this determination in an Environmental Action 
Statement that is also available for public review (see ADDRESSES).
    The Service will evaluate the permit application, associated 
documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the 
permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act 
and NEPA regulations. All comments received, including names and 
addresses, will become part of the administrative record and will be 
available for review pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. Individual 
respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the 
record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. If you wish 
us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this 
prominently at the beginning of your comment. Anonymous comments will 
not be considered. All submissions from organizations or businesses, 
and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or 
officials of organizations or businesses, are available for public 
inspection in their entirety.
    If we determine that all requirements are met, we will sign the 
Agreement and issue an enhancement of survival permit under section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to Mr. and Mrs. Sprick for the take of Oregon 
chub, incidental to otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the 
terms of the Agreement. This notice is provided pursuant to section 
10(c) of the Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: August 29, 2007.
Kemper M. McMaster,
State Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife 
Office, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 07-4316 Filed 9-4-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P