[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 8, 2011)]
[Pages 12751-12752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5160]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2011-N031; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of 
Applications for Incidental Take Permits; Availability of Proposed Low-
Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; Indian River 
County, FL

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 incidental take permit (ITP) applications and a Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). Johns Island Club, Incorporated, and the 
Church of God by Faith (applicants) request ITPs under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicants anticipate taking 
about 1.75 acres of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-
jay) breeding, feeding, and sheltering habitat incidental to land 
preparation for the extension and paving of a road, the construction of 
a fellowship hall and storm water retention area, and the expansion and 
paving of a parking lot located in Indian River County, Florida 
(project). The permanent alteration of 1.75 acres is expected to result 
in the take of two families of scrub-jays. The applicants' HCP 
describes the minimization and mitigation measures proposed to address 
the effects of the project on the scrub-jay.

DATES: Written comments on the ITP applications and HCP should be sent 
to the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) and 
should be received on or before April 7, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may request documents by e-mail, U.S. mail, or fax (see 
below). These documents are also available for public inspection by 
appointment during normal business hours at the office below. Send your 
comments or

[[Page 12752]]

requests by any one of the following methods.
    E-mail: Trish_Adams@fws.gov. Use ``Attn.: Permit numbers TE35005A-
0 and TE35007A-0'' as your message subject line.
    Fax: Trish Adams, (772) 562-4288, Attn.: Permit numbers TE35005A-0 
and TE35007A-0.
    U.S. mail: Trish Adams, HCP Coordinator, South Florida Ecological 
Services Field Office, Attn: Permit numbers TE35005A-0 and TE35007A-0, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-
    In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular 
business hours at the above office address.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If you wish to submit comments or 
information, you may do so by any one of several methods. Please 
reference permit numbers TE35005A-0 and TE35007A-0 in such comments. 
You may mail comments to the Service's South Florida Ecological 
Services Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also submit comments 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 
    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 cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Applicants' Proposed Project: We received applications from the 
applicants for incidental take permits, along with a proposed habitat 
conservation plan. The applicants both request 5-year permits under 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (87 Stat. 884; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). 
If we approve the permits, the applicants anticipate taking a total of 
approximately 1.75 acres (0.71 hectares (ha)) of scrub-jay breeding, 
feeding, and sheltering habitat incidental to land preparation for the 
extension and paving of a road, the construction of a fellowship hall 
and storm water retention area, and the expansion and paving of a 
parking lot and supporting infrastructure (project) in Indian River 
County, Florida.
    Project construction would take place at latitude 27.7508, 
longitude -80.4451, Indian River County, Florida. The project includes 
Indian River County Parcels 31392800007000000001.0, 
31392800007000000002.0, 31392800007000000003.0, and 
31392800000500000023.0. These parcels are within scrub-jay-occupied 
habitat. The Service listed this species as threatened in 1987 (June 3, 
1987; 52 FR 20715). The listing became effective July 6, 1987.
    The applicants propose to mitigate the permanent alteration of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat by restoring, conserving, and managing a 
total of 3.81 acres (1.54 ha) of upland scrub in perpetuity. A separate 
endowment fund, in the amount of $4,572.00, will be established to 
ensure that the mitigation areas are properly managed in perpetuity.
    Our Preliminary Determination: The Service has made a preliminary 
determination that the applicants' project, including the proposed 
minimization and mitigation measures, will individually and 
cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered 
in the HCP. Therefore, issuance of the ITPs is a ``low-effect'' action 
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 issuance of 
the ITPs qualifies as a low-effect action 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 project, 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 applicants' 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 applications meet the 
requirements of section 10(a) of the Act. The Service will also 
evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITPs complies 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 ITPs. If it is determined that the requirements of 
the Act are met, the ITPs will be issued for the incidental take of the 
Florida scrub-jay.

    Authority:  This notice is provided pursuant to Section 10 of 
the Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: February 11, 2011.
Paul Souza,
Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-5160 Filed 3-7-11; 8:45 am]