News Release

August 20, 2012

Notice of Availability of SDS and Broughton Lumber Companies Safe Harbor Agreemment Documents and Request for Public Comments

Media Contacts:
Doug Zimmer, 360-753-4370

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability for public comment of a draft Safe Harbor Agreement (draft SHA), draft Implementing Agreement (draft IA) and a draft Environment Assessment (draft EA) for SDS Co. LLC (SDS) and the Broughton Lumber Company (BLC). The companies have applied to the Service for an Enhancement of Survival Permit (Permit) under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act. This Permit allows participating property owners to receive formal assurances from the Service that, if they fulfill the conditions of the SHA, the FWS will not require any additional or different management activities by the participants without their consent, in exchange for actions that contribute to the recovery of the listed species. In addition, at the end of the Permit agreement period, participants may return the enrolled property to agreed-upon baseline conditions.

The permit application includes the three documents named above. The 30-day comment period ends September 20, 2012.

Copies of the draft SHA, draft IA, and the draft EA, and other relevant documents addressing the Service’s proposed issuance of the Permit may be viewed on the internet at: http://www.fws.gov/westwafwo.  On the day of publication in the Federal Register the documents may also be viewed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/html/FR/todays_toc.html . Following that date they can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR . You may also request copies of the documents by contacting the Service’s Washington Fish and Wildlife Office at 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503; phone (360)753-9440. They will also be printed in the Federal Register for today’s date.

The Permit would authorize SDS and BLC to carry out habitat management measures to benefit the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) which is listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and would allow SDS and BLC to manage their lands under the SHA for the net benefit of the northern spotted owl. At the end of the Permit period, the Permit participants would be allowed to return their lands to agreed-upon baseline conditions of the SHA. The proposed term of the Permit and the SHA is 60 years.

The SHA covers approximately 81,587 acres in Skamania, Klickitat and Yakima Counties in Washington, and Hood River and Wasco Counties in Oregon.  BLC’s approximately 12,400 acres and SDS’ approximately 69,186 acres are within a 35-mile radius of the SDS Lumber Company’s mills located in Bingen, Washington. 

The USFWS requests public comments on the Permit application, draft SHA, draft IA, and the draft EA. To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by September 20, 2012. You can submit written comments concerning this notice by email to SDSBLCSHA@fws.gov. You may also submit written comments by mail to Mark Ostwald, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 510 Desmond Drive, Southeast, Suite 102, Lacey, Washington 98503 or via email at mark_ostwald@fws.gov.