[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 134 (Thursday, July 12, 2012)]
[Page 41168]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17052]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC103

Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comment.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has prepared a draft 
Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) of the potential effects of two direct take permits for 
hatchery operations in the Snake River basin involving Snake River fall 
Chinook salmon. The permit applicants are the Washington Department of 
Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on behalf of the Nez Perce Tribe (NPT). 
The proposed permits would expire on December 31, 2017. This document 
serves to notify the public of the draft EA for public review, comment, 
and submission of written data, views, arguments or other relevant 
information before a final decision on whether to issue a Finding of No 
Significant Impact is made by NMFS. All comments and other information 
received will become part of the public record and will be available 
for review pursuant to section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act 

DATES: Comments and other submissions must be received at the 
appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. 
Pacific time on July 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written responses to the environmental assessment should be 
sent to Brett Farman, National Marine Fisheries Services, Salmon 
Management Division, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 
97232. Comments may also be submitted by email to: 
SnakeFallEA.nwr@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email 
comment the following identifier: Comments on Snake Fall Chinook 
Hatchery Assessment. Comments may also be sent via facsimile (fax) to 
(503) 872-2737. Requests for copies of the draft environmental 
assessment should be directed to the National Marine Fisheries 
Services, Salmon Management Division, 1201 N.E. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 
1100, Portland, OR 97232. Comments received will also be available for 
public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by 
calling (503) 230-5418.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brett Farman at (503) 231-6222 or 
email: brett.farman@noaa.gov.


Species Covered in This Notice

    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened, naturally 
produced and artificially propagated Snake River fall-run.


    Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibit the 
``taking'' of a 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. NMFS may issue permits to take listed species for 
any act otherwise prohibited by section 9 for scientific purposes or to 
enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species, under 
section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. NMFS regulations governing permits for 
threatened and endangered species are promulgated at 50 CFR 222.307.
    The proposed action is to issue the two section 10(a)(1)(A) direct 
take permits. The receipt of the applications for the permits was 
previously noticed (76 FR 43986, July 22, 2011), and comments were 
invited. Hatchery operations to be permitted would be carried out at 
the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery, and at Lyons Ferry, Oxbow, and Irrigon 
Hatcheries, and associated facilities. The purpose of these programs is 
to mitigate for losses of Snake River fall Chinook salmon caused by the 
four lower Snake River dams, the Federal Columbia River Power System, 
and the Hells Canyon dam complex.


    NEPA requires Federal agencies to conduct an environmental analysis 
of their proposed actions to determine if the actions may affect the 
human environment. NMFS expects to take action on two ESA section 
10(a)(1)(A) permits. Therefore, NMFS is seeking public input on the 
scope of the required NEPA analysis, including the range of reasonable 
alternatives and associated impacts of any alternatives.

    Dated: July 9, 2012.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-17052 Filed 7-11-12; 8:45 am]