[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 213 (Monday, November 5, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62485-62486]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21670]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Habitat Conservation Plan 
for the Western Snowy Plover Along the Oregon Coast

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.

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SUMMARY: The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has 
submitted an application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) for an incidental take permit (permit) pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). As 
required by section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA, OPRD has prepared a Habitat 
Conservation Plan (Plan) that describes proposed actions and measures 
they will implement to minimize and mitigate take of the threatened 
western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus). The permit 
application is related to public use and recreation, beach management, 
and resource management activities along Oregon's coast. The 
application includes the proposed Plan and a proposed Implementation 
Agreement (IA). The Service also announces the availability of a draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that has been prepared in 
response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements 
of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Service is 
considering issuing a 25-year permit to the OPRD. The requested permit 
would authorize OPRD to engage in activities related to public use and 
recreation, beach management, and resource management activities that 
may result in the incidental take of the western snowy plover.
    We request comments from the public on the permit application, the 
Plan, the IA, and the DEIS, all of which are available for review. The 
Service is furnishing this notice to allow other agencies and the 
public an opportunity to review and comment on these documents. All 
comments received will become part of the public record and will be 
available for review pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. For 
locations to review the documents, please see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section below.

DATES: Comments must be received from interested parties on or before 
January 4, 2008. Written comments may be sent by mail, facsimile, or e-
mail to the addresses listed below.

ADDRESSES: All written comments should be addressed to: Laura Todd, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Newport Field Office, 2127 SE OSU 
Drive, Newport, OR, 97365-5258; facsimile (541) 867-4551. Submit 
comments by e-mail to FW1ORDHCP@fws.gov. In the subject line of the e-
mail include the identifier OPRD HCP DEIS.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: You may view or download the draft Plan, 
draft IA, and DEIS on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/
Species or egov.oregon.gov/OPRD/PLANS/osmp--hcp.shtml. The documents 
can also be reviewed by appointment at the above address during normal 
business hours or at the following libraries: Astoria Public Library, 
450 Tenth St., Astoria, Oregon 97103; Bandon Public Library, City Hall, 
Hwy 101, Bandon, Oregon 97411; Chetco Community Public Library, 405 
Alder St., Brookings, Oregon 97415; Coos Bay Public Library, 525 
Anderson, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420; Siuslaw Public Library, 1460 9th St., 
Florence, Oregon 97439; Curry Public Library, 29775 Colvin St., Gold 
Beach, Oregon 97444; Manzanita Branch Library, 571 Laneda, Manzanita, 
Oregon 97130; Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye St., Newport, Oregon 
97365; Marilyn Potts Guin Library, Hatfield Marine Science Center, 
Oregon State University, 2030 Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365; 
Port Orford Public Library, 555 W. 20th St., Port Orford, Oregon 97465; 
Reedsport Branch Library, 395 Winchester Ave., Reedsport, Oregon 97467; 
Seaside Public Library, 60 N Roosevelt Blvd., Seaside, Oregon 97138; 
Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd St., Tillamook, Oregon 97141; and 
Warrenton Community Library, 225 S Main Ave., Warrenton, Oregon 97146.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, or to receive 
copies of the documents on CD ROM, please contact Laura Todd at (541) 
867-4558.
    Background: Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538) and implementing 
regulations prohibit the ``take'' of fish and wildlife species listed 
as endangered or threatened. The term ``take'' is defined under the ESA 
to mean 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). ``Harm'' is defined by Service regulation to include significant 
habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures 
listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral 
patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3(c)). 
However, under limited circumstances, the Service may issue permits to 
authorize ''incidental take'' of listed species. Incidental take is 
defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing 
incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are found 
at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively.
    The OPRD has management responsibility on all Oregon coastal 
beaches, which extend approximately 230 miles, for such activities as 
public use and recreation, beach management conducted by OPRD staff, 
and natural resource management. These activities may result in the 
incidental take of the threatened western snowy plover (Charadrius 
alexandrinus nivosus). The OPRD has prepared a 25-year Plan that would 
address the incidental take of the western snowy plover caused by the 
above activities. This Plan forms the basis for OPRD's permit 
application to the Service and its implementation is discussed in the 
Service's DEIS.
    Activities that the OPRD is proposing for permit coverage, and for 
which minimization and mitigation measures are described in the Plan, 
include:
    1. Public Use/Recreation Management.
    a. Dog-exercising.
    b. Driving.
    c. Kite-flying.
    d. Non-motorized Vehicle Use.
    e. Other Dry Sand Activities.
    2. Beach Management.
    a. Public Safety.
    b. Law Enforcement.
    c. Boat and Marine Mammal Strandings.
    3. Natural Resource Management.
    a. Snowy Plover Management.
    b. Other Habitat Restoration.
    The Service formally initiated an environmental review of the 
proposed

[[Page 62486]]

permit decision through publication of a Notice of Intent to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (68 FR 13720, March 20, 2003). That 
notice also announced a public scoping period during which interested 
parties were invited to provide written comments expressing their 
issues or concerns relating to the proposal. In a letter jointly signed 
by the OPRD and the Service, agencies and the public were notified of 
the opportunity to comment, and of the dates and locations of upcoming 
public meetings. Information regarding the public meetings was also 
posted on the OPRD's Web site. In March 2003, public meetings were held 
in Coos Bay, Newport, Tillamook, and Portland, Oregon.
    Utilizing the public scoping comments, the Service prepared a DEIS 
to analyze the effects of alternatives on the human environment. 
Alternative 2 in the DEIS is implementation of OPRD's Plan, including 
issuance of a permit by the Service, and was developed in collaboration 
with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Two other alternatives 
are analyzed in the DEIS: Alternative 1, No-Action, under which the 
OPRD would continue their ocean shore management activities with no 
issuance of a permit by the Service; and, Alternative 3, Management of 
Additional OPRD Sites, which would include management of three 
additional western snowy plover management areas than are included in 
Alternative 2.
    The Service invites the public to comment on the Plan, DEIS, and 
draft IA during a 60-day comment period beginning on the date of this 
notice. The Service will evaluate the application, associated 
documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the 
application meets the requirements of the ESA, and to prepare a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Application requirements and 
issuance criteria for incidental take permits are found in 50 CFR 
17.22(b). The Service decision regarding issuance of an incidental take 
permit will be made no sooner than 30 days after completion of the FEIS 
and the associated Record of Decision.
    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 ESA. 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.
    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. If you wish us 
to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently 
at the beginning of your comment. While you can ask us to withhold your 
personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will honor your request to 
withhold your personal information to the extent allowable by law.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA and 
Service regulations for implementing NEPA, as amended (40 CFR 1506.6). 
If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an 
incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the OPRD 
for take of the western snowy plover, incidental to otherwise lawful 
activities, in accordance with the Plan, the IA, and the permit.

Cynthia U. Barry,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. E7-21670 Filed 11-2-07; 8:45 am]
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