[Federal Register: October 5, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 192)]
[Page 54052-54053]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit for Construction of an Office Park and Business Center, Castle 
Rock, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Robert L. Heir and H.R. Gannon have 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 
applicant has been assigned permit number TE-017353. The permit would 
authorize the incidental take of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse 
(Zapus hudsonius preblei), federally listed as threatened, and loss and 
modification of its habitat associated with construction and use of 
Brookside Office Park and Brookside Business Center. The permit would

[[Page 54053]]

cover disturbances to areas at the Office Park and Business Center 
subsequent to May 13, 1998, the date of the listing of the Preble's 
mouse as a threatened species, including disturbances that occur prior 
to the date of issuance of the Proposed Permit, and it would be in 
effect for 11 years from the date of issuance.
    We announce the receipt of the applicants' incidental take permit 
application that includes a combined proposed Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Preble's meadow jumping 
mouse for the Brookside Office Park and Brookside Busines Center. The 
proposed HCP/EA is available for public comment. It fully describes the 
proposed project and the measures the applicants would undertake to 
minimize and mitigate project impacts to the Preble's meadow jumping 

DATES: Written comments on the permit application, Habitat Conservation 
Plan, and Environmental Assessment should be received on or before 
November 4, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application and HCP/EA should 
be addressed to LeRoy, Carlson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Colorado Field Office, 755 Parfet Street, Suite 361, 
Lakewood, Colorado 80215.

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


Document Availability

    Individuals wishing copies of the HCP/EA 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 Lakewood, Colorado field office (see ADDRESSES 


    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of a species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under 
the Act, in part, as to kill, harm, or harass a federally listed 
species. However, the Service may issue permits to authorize 
``incidental take'' of listed species under limited circumstances. 
Incidental Take is defined under the Act as take of a listed species 
that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an 
otherwise lawful activity under limited circumstances. Regulations 
governing permits for threatened species are promulgated in 50 CFR 
    The Brookside Office Park and Brookside Business Center are located 
in portions of Sections 11, 14, 15, and 23 of Township 8 South, Range 
67 West, Town of Castle Rock, Douglas County, State of Colorado. The 
projects will disturb a total of 7.28 acres of ground undisturbed as of 
the Listing Date that may result in incidental take. Completion of the 
Office Park project will impact 1.15 acres. The remaining 6.13 acres, 
yet to be disturbed, will be at the Business Center site. Both sites 
will impact upland areas only.
    Alternatives considered in addition to the Proposed Action, were an 
alternate site location, alternate site design, and no action. None of 
these alternatives eliminated potential take of Preble's. The onsite, 
offsite, and cumulative impacts of the Projects and all associated 
development and construction activities and mitigation activities 
proposed by the HCP will have no significant impact on the Preble's 
mouse, other threatened or endangered species, vegetation, wildlife, 
wetlands, geology/soils, land use, water resources, air and water 
quality, or cultural resources. The Projects will only disturb upland 
areas which are less biologically productive and include less 
significant potential Preble's mouse habitat than the riparian and 
ecotone areas undisturbed by the projects and the focus of the 
mitigation activities. The mitigation will likely provide a net benefit 
to the Preble's mouse and other wildlife by benefitting the more 
productive riparian and ecotone areas, which have more potential as 
habitat, more than the negative impacts of the disturbance of the 
upland areas on potential habitat areas.
    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 project. To mitigate impacts that may result from 
incidental take, the HCP provides that mitigation for the Office Park 
will be 0.69 acres of restoration and 5.19 acres of enhancement. 
Mitigation for the Business Center will be 18.39 acres of enhancement. 
All of the proposed mitigation area is within the boundaries of the 
Property, all of which is included in the drainage basin of East Plum 
Creek. The mitigation will focus on planting of willows and grasses in 
five units on the property. Russian knapweed, a noxious weed, would be 
removed as part of the plan.
    Success of mitigation efforts will be defined as 70 percent 
survival and establishment of plantings, and it will be monitored 
annually in the summer by the Applicants for the first 5-year period 
and every 2 years for the following 6 years, or until success is 
achieved if longer than 6 years. Success will be measured by the use of 
photo points analysis in each mitigation unit. The Applicants will be 
responsible for replanting if success is not achieved by the end of the 
first 5-year period. The Applicants are committed to provide the 
necessary funding to support the mitigation. The Applicants will place 
the necessary funds into an escrow or similar type account that will 
limit use of the funds for mitigation activities.
    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 Brookside Office Park and Brookside Business Center. The 
final permit decision will be made no sooner than November 4, 1999.

    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 22, 1999.
Terry Terrell,
Deputy Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-25534 Filed 10-4-99; 8:45 am]