[Federal Register: June 3, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 106)]
[Page 29873-29874]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of a Habitat Conservation Plan and Receipt of an 
Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Maytag Trail, Douglas 
County, Colorado

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that Douglas County has applied 
to the Fish and Wildlife Service for an incidental take permit pursuant 
to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. The proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zopos hudsonius prebei), federally 
listed as threatened, and loss and modification of its habitat 
associated with construction and use of a pedestrian and equestrian 
trail in Douglas County, Colorado. The permit would be in effect for 3 
    We announce the receipt of the County's incidental take permit 
application that includes a proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation 
Plan for the Peble's meadow jumping mouse for the Maytag trail project. 
The proposed Habitat Conservation Plan is available for public comment. 
It fully describes the proposed project and the measures the County 
would undertake to minimize and mitigate project impacts to the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse. We have made a preliminary determination 
that the County's Plan qualifies as a ``low-effect'' habitat 
conservation plan eligible for categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act. We explain the basis for this determination 
in an Environmental Action Statement, which is also available for 
public review. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10 (c) of 
the Act.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application and Plan should be 
received on or before July 6, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application or the plan should 
be addressed to LeRoy Carlson, Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Colorado Field Office, P.O. Box 25486, DFC, Denver, CO 80225-
0207. Comments may be sent by facsimile to (303) 275-2371.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Kathleen Linder, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Colorado Field Office, telephone (303) 275-2370.


[[Page 29874]]

Document Availability

    Individuals wishing copies of the habitat conservation plan and 
associated documents for review should immediately contact the above 
office. Documents also will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.


    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of a species listed as endangered or threatened, respectively (take is 
defined under the Act, in part, as to kill, harm, or harass a federally 
listed species). However, we may issue permits to authorize 
``incidental take'' (defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, 
and not the purposed of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful 
activity) of listed species under limited circumstances. Regulations 
governing permits for threatened species are promulgated in 50 CFR 
17.32; regulations governing permits for endangered species are 
promulgated in 50 CFR 17.22.
    The Maytag Trail would be located on Douglas County open space 
property. The Maytag Trail is a component of a regional trail system. 
The proposed trail and associated facilities will consist of:
    A main trail 8 feet wide and about 5,820 feet long;
    Two trail loops 4 feet wide and about 3,030 feet long;
    A trail overlook encompassing about 0.25 acres; and
    A trailhead consisting of about 1.4 acres.
    The trail surface will be soft (crusher fines or crushed recycled 
concrete) or native surface as appropriate for the trail segment 
considering use and drainage.
    Only one federally listed species, the threatened Preble's meadow 
jumping mouse occurs on site and has the potential to be adversely 
affected by the proposed trail project. To minimize and mitigate 
impacts that may result from incidental take of the mouse, the Country 
has agreed to: (1) coordinate with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to 
design and align the trail to minimize potential impacts to the mouse; 
(2) plant 20 gambel oaks (south gulch crossing) and 25 coyote willows 
(north gulch crossing) where the trail crosses mouse habitat to provide 
additional cover in the vicinity of the trail; (3) provide only in-kind 
services to the Colorado Division of Wildlife to assist them in 
determining the effects of the trail on the mouse; (4) manage the 
riparian areas of the property for mouse conservation; and (5) limit 
trail use and construction to daylight hours when the mouse is 
    We have made a preliminary determination that the County's Plan 
qualifies as a ``low-effect'' habitat conservation plan as defined by 
our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Low-effect 
habitat conservation plans are those involving: (1) minor or negligible 
effects on federally listed and candidate species and their habitats; 
and (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or 
resources. The Maytag Trail Plan qualifies as a low-effect habitat 
conservation plan for the following reasons:
    1. Approval of the Plan would result in minor or negligible effects 
on the mouse and its habitat. The County's management of the property 
as open space will likely have beneficial effects to the mouse. We do 
not anticipate significant direct or cumulative effects to the mouse 
resulting from construction or use of the trail.
    3. Approval of the Plan would not result in any cumulative or 
growth inducing impacts and, therefore, would not result in significant 
adverse effects on public health or safety.
    4. The Project does not require compliance with Executive Order 
11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive Order 11990 (Protection of 
Wetlands), or the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, nor does it 
threaten to violate a Federal, State, local, or Tribal law or 
requirement imposed for the protection of the environment.
    5. Approval of the Plan would not establish a precedent for future 
action or represent a decision in principle about future actions with 
potentially significant environmental effects.
    We, therefore, have preliminarily determined that approval of the 
Plan as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy 
Act, as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2, 
Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6, Appendix 1). Based upon this preliminary 
determination, we do not intend to prepare further National 
Environmental Policy Act documentation. We will consider public 
comments in making a final determination on whether to prepare such 
additional documentation.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. We 
will evaluate the permit application, the Plan, and comments submitted 
therein to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
section 10(a) of the Act. If it is determined that those requirements 
are met, a permit will be issued for the incidental take of the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse in conjunction with the construction and 
use of the Maytag Trail. The final permit decision will be made no 
sooner than 30 days from the date of this notice.

    Dated: May 26, 1999.
Terry T. Terrell,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 6.
[FR Doc. 99-14004 Filed 6-2-99; 8:45 am]