[Federal Register: December 27, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 247)]
[Page 72318-72319]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Fish and Wildlife Service
[I.D. 121799C]

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
Regarding Proposed Issuance of an Incidental Take Permit to J. L. 
Storedahl & Sons, Inc. for Gravel Extraction and Processing and Habitat 
Enhancement Activities in Clark County, Washington.

AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (NEPA), NMFS and FWS (collectively, the Services) intend to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the proposed 
issuance of an incidental take permit (Permit) by the Services to J. L. 
Storedahl & Sons, Inc. (Storedahl) for their gravel extraction and 
processing and habitat enhancement activities on a portion of 
Storedahl's fee-owned lands in Clark County, Washington.
    The proposed Permit would authorize take of federally listed 
threatened and endangered species in accordance with the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), and other species should they 
become listed in the future. Storedahl intends to request a Permit that 
includes the following species:
    Listed as threatened: Lower Columbia River Evolutionarily 
Significant Unit (ESU) of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Lower 
Columbia River (LCR) ESU of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), 
Columbia River ESU of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), bull trout 
(Salvelinus confluentus).
    Proposed as threatened: Southwestern Washington/Columbia River DPS 
of coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki).
    Candidate species: LCR ESU of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), 
Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa).
    Species of concern: Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata), river 
lamprey (Lampetra ayresi).
    As required by the ESA, Storedahl is preparing a Habitat 
Conservation Plan (Plan). The Services are furnishing this notice to 
advise other agencies and the public of our intentions and to announce 
the initiation of a 30-day scoping period during which other agencies 
and the public are invited to provide written comments on the scope of 
issues and potential alternatives to be included in the EIS.

DATES: Written comments on this proposed action and the environmental 
review must be received at the appropriate address (See ADDRESSES) from 
interested parties no later than 5:00pm Pacific standard time on 
January 26, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Tim Romanski, FWS, 510 
Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, Washington 98503; or Sam Brenkman, 
NMFS, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 103, Lacey, Washington 98503. 
Comments will not be accepted if submitted via e-mail or the internet.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Romanski, FWS, telephone (360) 
753-5823, e-mail Tim_Romanski@mail.fws.gov; or Sam Brenkman, NMFS, 
telephone (360) 534-9338, e-mail Sam.Brenkman@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations 
prohibit ``take'' of species that are listed as endangered or 
threatened. The term ``take'' is defined under the ESA to mean to 
harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, 
or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. Harm is defined by FWS to 
include significant habitat modification or degradation where it 
actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing 
essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, sheltering, 
spawning, rearing and migrating. Harm is defined by NMFS as significant 
habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures 
fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral 
patterns, including breeding, spawning, rearing, feeding, and 
    The Services may issue permits, under limited circumstances, to 
take listed species incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise 
lawful activities. FWS regulations governing permits for endangered 
species are found in 50 CFR 17.22, and regulations governing permits 
for threatened species are found in 50 CFR 17.32. NMFS regulations 
governing permits for threatened and endangered species are found in 50 
CFR 222.307.


    Storedahl owns and manages approximately 300 acres of land in rural 
Clark County, Washington adjacent to the lower reaches of the East Fork 
Lewis River. The property is located approximately 4 miles southeast of 
La Center, and approximately 1 mile downstream of Clark County's 
Daybreak Park at 27140 NE 61st Avenue, Battle Ground, Washington. 
Storedahl proposes to mine and process aggregate on this land in 
accordance with a variety of conservation measures as specified in the 
    Some of Storedahl's management activities have the potential to 
impact species subject to protection under the ESA. Section 10(a)(2)(B) 
of the ESA contains provisions for the issuance of incidental take 
permits to non-Federal landowners for the take of endangered and 
threatened species, provided the take is incidental to otherwise lawful 
activities and will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the 
survival and recovery of the species in the wild. An applicant for a 
Permit under section 10 of the ESA must prepare and submit to the 
Services for approval a Plan containing a strategy for minimizing and 
mitigating the impacts of take on listed species associated with the 
proposed activities to the maximum extent practicable. The applicant 
must also ensure that adequate funding for the Plan will be provided.
    Storedahl initiated discussions with the Services regarding the 
development of a Plan and attaining a Permit for their activities. 
Activities proposed for Permit coverage include extraction of sand and 
gravel; transportation of sand and gravel to a processing area; 
processing of sand and gravel; all discharges regulated under a 
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit; construction 
and maintenance activities; site preparation; tree planting and 
fertilization; and stream and riparian restoration, rehabilitation and 
enhancement. The Plan and Permit would also cover certain monitoring 
activities and related adaptive

[[Page 72319]]

management measures set forth in the Plan.
    The Services will conduct an environmental review of the Plan and 
prepare an EIS. The environmental review will analyze the proposal as 
well as a full range of reasonable alternatives and the associated 
impacts of each. The Services are currently in the process of 
developing alternatives for analysis. Alternatives thus far include a 
No Action alternative and one Plan alternative. The scoping process 
will be used to identify additional alternatives.
    The Plan alternative proposes that the Services issue incidental 
take permits and that Storedahl implement the Plan on approximately 300 
acres. This action would apply various conservation measures and 
actions that meet or exceed the environmental and conservation 
standards and guidelines of the Washington Surface Mining Act, other 
state laws and regulations and applicable county regulations. In 
effect, the Services would issue a Permit and Storedahl would manage 
their lands in accordance with the conservation standards, guidelines 
and regime set forth in the Plan, including conveyance of lands to non-
profit organizations or granting of conservation easements, or both.
    Under the No Action alternative, a permit would not be issued by 
the Services and Storedahl would continue ongoing processing activities 
and undertake to resume mining at the site, implementing both so as to 
avoid take of federally listed species. However, such an alternative 
would likely not address long-term conservation measures, such as the 
granting of conservation easements or conveying real property to non-
profit organizations.
    Comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties to 
ensure that the full range of issues related to these proposed actions 
are addressed and that all significant issues are identified. Comments 
or questions concerning this proposed action and the environmental 
review should be directed to FWS or NMFS (see ADDRESSES).
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 
Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), 
other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and policies and 
procedures of the Services for compliance with those regulations. It is 
estimated that the draft EIS will be available for public review during 
the first quarter of calendar year 2000.

    Dated: December 13, 1999.
Anne Badgley,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, 

    Dated: December 17, 1999.
Wanda L. Cain,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 99-33512 Filed 12-23-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-F, 4310-55-F