[Federal Register: September 22, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 183)]
[Page 51333-51334]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Draft Habitat Conservation Plan, Receipt of 
Application for; and Intent To Issue, Incidental Take Permit for 
Installation of a 2,500-foot Television Coaxal Cable on Private 
Property in Garfield County, UT

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability, Receipt of Application for, and Intent 
to Issue Permit.


SUMMARY: South Central Utah Telephone Association (Applicant) has 
applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental 
take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Applicant has been assigned permit 
number TE-017010. The request permit, which is for a period of 1 year, 
would authorize incidental take of the threatened Utah prairie dog 
(Cynomys parvidens). The proposed take would occur as a result of 
installation of a 2,500-feet television coaxal cable on a privately-

[[Page 51334]]

parcel of land located within Garfield County, Utah.
    The Service has determined that issuance of the incidental take 
permit meets the criteria for a categorical exclusion under the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, and that there 
is consequently no necessity for the development of an Environmental 
Assessment. The Applicant has prepared a Habitat Conservation Plan as 
part of the incidental take permit application. A determination of 
whether jeopardy to the species will occur and/or issuance of the 
incidental take permit, will not be made before 30 days from the date 
of publication of this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to 
section 10(c) of the Act and National Environmental Policy Act 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

DATES: Written comments on the permit application must be received on 
or before October 22, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the permit application and/or 
Habitat Conservation Plan may obtain a copy by writing to the Assistant 
Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 145 East 1300 South Street, Suite 404, Salt Lake 
City, Utah 84115. Documents will be available for public inspection by 
written request, or by appointment only, during business hours (8:00 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at the above address.
    Written data or comments concerning the permit application should 
be submitted to the Assistant Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological 
Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Salt Lake City, 
Utah (see ADDRESSES above). Please refer to permit number TE-017010 in 
all correspondence regarding these documents.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David McGillivary, Assistant Field 
Supervisor or Ted Owens, Wildlife Biologist, at the above U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service office in Salt Lake City, Utah (see ADDRESSES above) 
(telephone: (801) 524-5001, facsimile: (801) 524-5021).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of any threatened or endangered species, such as the 
threatened Utah prairie dog. However, the Service, under limited 
circumstances, may issue permits to take threatened or endangered 
wildlife species when such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for 
threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.


    The Applicant plans to install a 2,500-foot television coaxal cable 
within a 10-foot right-of-way across private land parallel to State 
Route 12 near the junction of U.S. Highway 89 and State Route 12 (Red 
Canyon Junction), approximately 8 miles southeast of the town of 
Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah. The cable installation will provide 
television cable services to the local residents, motels, and 
recreational vehicle campgrounds located in the area. The installation 
will impact approximately 0.133 acre of occupied Utah prairie dog 
habitat, and the Applicant foresees an incidental take of a maximum of 
four (4) Utah prairie dogs as a result of direct mortality during 
installation. The Applicant proposes to minimize impacts to Utah 
prairie dogs through conducting a preconstruction information meeting 
for construction personnel and through minimization of the cable 
installation's footprint and the time spent working in occupied Utah 
prairie dog habitat. The Applicant proposes to compensate for the 
habitat disturbance resulting from cable installation by payment of 
$900 per care for each acre impacted, to be used for public land 
management actions for Utah prairie dog conservation and to implement 
recovery actions for conservation of the Utah prairie dog, through 
contribution to the Utah Prairie Dog Conservation Fund, managed by the 
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
    A no-action alternative to the proposed action was considered, 
consisting of foregoing the installation of the 2,500 television cable 
in Utah prairie dog habitat. The no-action alternative was rejected for 
reasons including loss of use of private property, resulting in 
significant economic loss to the Applicant.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq).

    Dated: September 9, 1999.
Terry Terrell,
Deputy Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-24684 Filed 9-21-99; 8:45 am]