[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 69 (Monday, April 12, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18482-18484]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-8300]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

RIN 0648-XV36


Stanford University Habitat Conservation Plan

AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Interior (DOI).

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement, 
multi-species habitat conservation plan, and receipt of application; 
notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Authorization for Incidental 
Take and Implementation of Stanford University

[[Page 18483]]

Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan), and the Implementing Agreement (IA) 
for public review and comment. In response to receipt of an application 
from The Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University 
(Stanford; Applicant), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries 
Service (Services), are considering the proposed action of issuing a 
50-year permit for four federally listed species and one currently 
unlisted species. The proposed permit would authorize the incidental 
take of individual species listed under the Federal Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The permit is needed because take of 
species could occur during the operation and maintenance of the 
University, academic activities, athletic and recreational activities, 
leasehold activities, urban development, and resource conservation 
activities associated with the Plan at Stanford, which is located on 
8,180-acres in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, California.

DATES: Written comments on the DEIS, Plan, and IA, must be received by 
5 p.m. Pacific Time on July 12, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning the DEIS, Plan, and IA can be sent by 
U.S. Mail, facsimile, or email to (1) Eric Tattersall, Chief, 
Conservation Planning and Recovery Division, Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, 
Sacramento, California 95825; facsimile (916) 414-6713; (2) Gary Stern, 
San Francisco Bay Region Supervisor at National Marine Fisheries 
Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, facsimile 
(707) 578-3435; or (3) Stanford.HCP@noaa.gov. Include the document 
identifier: Stanford HCP.
    A public meeting will be held on May 25, 2010, from 7 p.m. to 9 
p.m. at the Stanford University Tresidder Student Student Union Oak 
West Lounge, 459 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila Larsen, Senior Staff Biologist, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; telephone 707-575-6060.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Copies of the DEIS, Plan and IA are 
available for public review during regular business hours from 9 a.m. 
to 5 p.m. at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), and the National 
Marine Fisheries Service, Santa Rosa Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT). Additionally, hard bound copies of the DEIS, 
Plan, and IA are available for viewing, or for partial or complete 
duplication, at the following locations:
    1. Social Sciences Resource Center, Green Library, Room 121, 
Stanford, CA 94305
    2. Palo Alto Main Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
    Individuals wishing copies of the DEIS, Plan, or IA should contact 
either of the Services by telephone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT) or by letter (see ADDRESSES). These documents are also 
available electronically for review on the NMFS Southwest Region 
website at: http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office Website at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/.

Background

    Section 9 of the Federal ESA of 1973, as amended, and Federal 
regulations prohibit the take of fish and wildlife species listed as 
endangered or threatened (16 U.S.C. 1538). The term ''take'' means 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). 
Harm includes significant habitat modification or degradation that 
actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing 
essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and 
sheltering (50 CFR 17.3(c)). The National Marine Fisheries Service 
further defines harm as an act which actually kills or injures fish or 
wildlife, and expands the list of essential behavioral patterns that 
can be impaired by habitat modification or degradation to include 
breeding, spawning, rearing, migrating, feeding or sheltering (50 CFR 
222.102). Under limited circumstances, the Services may issue permits 
to authorize incidental take of listed fish or wildlife; i.e., take 
that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful 
activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened 
and endangered species are found in 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, 
respectively.
    Each of the Services has received an application for an incidental 
take permit for implementation of the Plan. The applications were 
prepared and submitted by The Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford 
Junior University (Applicant). The Applicant has prepared the Plan to 
satisfy the application requirements for a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit 
under the Federal ESA, of 1973, as amended.
    The Applicant seeks a 50-year incidental take permit for covered 
activities within a proposed 8,180 acre permit area located in southern 
San Mateo and northern Santa Clara counties. The permit area includes 
all of Stanford's lands, which are located on portions of the Santa 
Cruz Mountains and at the base of the San Francisco Peninsula. Stanford 
University is located in two main watersheds, Matadero/Deer Creek and 
San Francisquito Creek watersheds. The San Francisquito Creek watershed 
spans San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, and encompasses an area of 
approximately 45 square miles. This watershed includes San 
Francisquito, Los Trancos, Corte Madera, Bear, Dennis Martin, Sausal, 
and Alambique creeks, and portions of San Francisquito, Los Trancos, 
Corte Madera, and Bear creeks flow through Stanford lands. The Matadero 
Creek watershed is entirely within Santa Clara County, and portions of 
Matadero and Deer creeks flow through Stanford. In addition to 
significant riparian areas associated with the creeks, the permit area 
includes foothills, and most of the main campus is located on an 
alluvial plain located between the foothills and San Francisco Bay.
    The Applicant has requested permits that will authorize the take of 
four animal species, which are currently listed as threatened or 
endangered under the Federal ESA, and one animal species that may 
become listed under the ESA. Proposed covered species includes the 
federally listed as threatened California tiger salamander (Ambystoma 
californiense), California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii), San 
Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia), and Central 
California Coast steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Proposed covered 
species also includes one animal species that is not listed under the 
Federal ESA at the current time: the western pond turtle (Clemmys 
marmorata).
    If the proposed Plan is approved and the permit issued, take 
authorization of covered listed species would be effective at the time 
of permit issuance. Take of the currently non-listed covered species 
would be authorized concurrent with the species' listing under the 
Federal ESA, should it be listed during the duration of the permit.
     The proposed Plan is intended to be a comprehensive document, 
providing for species conservation and habitat planning, while allowing 
the applicant to better manage ongoing operations and future growth. 
The proposed Plan also is intended to provide a coordinated process for 
permitting and mitigating the take of covered species as an alternative 
to a project-by-project approach.

[[Page 18484]]

    In order to comply with the requirements of the Federal ESA, the 
proposed Plan addresses a number of required elements, including: 
species and habitat goals and objectives; evaluation of the effects of 
covered activities on covered species, including indirect and 
cumulative effects; a conservation strategy; a monitoring and adaptive 
management program; descriptions of changed circumstances and remedial 
measures; identification of funding sources; and an assessment of 
alternatives to take of listed species.
    The Plan divides the permit area into four ``zones.'' Zone 1 
supports one or more of the covered species or provides critical 
resources for the species. Zone 2 areas are occasionally occupied by a 
covered species and provide some of the resources used by the species, 
or buffers between occupied habitat and urbanized areas. Zone 3 
consists of generally undeveloped land that provides only limited and 
indirect benefit to the covered species. Zone 4 includes urbanized 
areas that do not support the covered species. The Plan covers the 
ongoing operation and maintenance of the University, existing 
facilities, and a limited amount of future development. Ongoing 
operations and maintenance are divided into the following categories of 
activities: water management; creek maintenance; academic activities; 
utility installation and maintenance; general infrastructure; 
recreation and athletics; grounds and vegetation; agricultural and 
equestrian leaseholds; and commercial and institutional leaseholds. Up 
to 180 acres of development in Zones 1, 2, and 3 are also covered by 
the Plan, but the Plan does not supersede any permitting or entitlement 
required by other regulations.
     The Plan's proposed conservation strategy is designed to minimize 
and mitigate the impacts of covered activities, improve habitat 
conditions for listed covered species, and protect populations of the 
non-listed covered species. The Plan includes minimization measures 
that would avoid and minimize the take of covered species from ongoing 
operation and maintenance of the University and future development. The 
Plan also includes mitigation for the loss of habitat, and proposes to 
conserve approximately 360 acres of riparian habitat within 
conservation easements within one year of issuance of the permits. 
Additional riparian habitat would be preserved as needed. A 315-acre 
``California Tiger Salamander Reserve'' also would be established at 
the outset of the Plan. No development would be permitted within the 
Reserve for the term of the permits, and habitat within the Reserve 
would be permanently protected to offset any loss of tiger salamander 
habitat that occurs during the permit term. Habitat protected under the 
Plan would be managed and monitored, and annual reports documenting the 
status of the species and compliance with the Plan would be submitted 
to the Services. In addition to the minimization measures and 
mitigation for the loss of habitat, the Plan includes a number of 
potential habitat enhancements that Stanford may perform during the 
term of the permits. Other conservation activities include a California 
tiger salamander management plan that covers 95 acres, including 
Lagunita Reservoir and habitat around Lagunita Reservoir.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    Proposed permit issuance triggers the need for compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As co-lead agencies, the 
Services have prepared a DEIS which evaluates the impacts of the 
proposed issuance of the permit and implementation of the Plan, as well 
as a reasonable range of alternatives.
    The DEIS analyzes three alternatives including the issuance of 
incidental take permits and applicant implementation of the proposed 
Plan described above. The issuance of 50-year take permits and 
applicant implementation of the proposed Plan is considered the 
Preferred Alternative. Two other alternatives being considered by the 
Services include the following:
    Under the No Action Alternative, the Services would not issue 
incidental take permits for implementation of the Stanford University 
Habitat Conservation Plan. As a result, the Applicant would likely seek 
individual incidental take authorization as needed for new projects and 
ongoing operations that would result in the take of federally listed 
species.
    Under the California Tiger Salamander Only Alternative, Stanford 
would prepare a Habitat Conservation Plan only for the California tiger 
salamander, and obtain section 10 authorization only for the take of 
California tiger salamander. Future development and ongoing activities 
that would result in the take of other listed species would be 
permitted individually, as needed.

Public Comments

    The Services invite the public to comment on the draft Plan, draft 
IA, and DEIS during a 90-day public comment period beginning on the 
date of this notice. All comments and materials received, including 
names and addresses, will become part of the administration record and 
may be released to the public. Our practice is to make comments, 
including names, home addresses, home telephone numbers, and email 
addresses of respondents available for public review. 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 may 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.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and 
regulations for implementing NEPA, as amended (40 CFR 1506.6), We 
provide this notice in order to allow the public, agencies, or other 
organizations to review and comment on these documents.

Special Accommodations

    The public meeting is physically accessible to people with 
disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other 
auxiliary aids should be directed to Gary Stern, National Marine 
Fisheries Service, at 707-575-6060, at least 5 working days prior to 
the meeting date.

Next Steps

    The Services will evaluate the applications, associated documents, 
and public comments submitted to them to prepare a final EIS. A permit 
decision will be made no sooner than 30 days after the publication of 
the final EIS and completion of the Record of Decision.

    Dated: April 7, 2010.
Ken McDermond,
Deputy Region Director, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.

    Dated: April 7, 2010.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-8300 Filed 4-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODES 3510-22-S, 4310-55-S