[Federal Register: May 16, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 95)]
[Page 31185]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Receipt of Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit for the Construction and Operation of a Mixed-Use Development on 
a Portion of the 201.7-Acre Crossings Property, Travis County, Texas

SUMMARY: Kenneth Beck (Applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit pursuant to 
Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The Applicant has 
been assigned permit number TE-024619-0. The requested permit, which is 
for a period of 30 years, would authorize the incidental take of the 
endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia). The proposed 
take would occur as a result of the construction and operation of a 
conference and retreat complex on a portion of the 201.7-acre Crossings 
property, Travis County, Texas.
    The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A 
determination of jeopardy to the species or a Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI) will not be made until at least 30 days from the date of 
publication of this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to Section 
10(c) of the Act and National Environment Policy Act regulations (40 
CFR 1506.6).

DATES: Written comments on the application and the EA/HCP should be 
received on or before June 15, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review 
the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by written or telephone request to Scott 
Rowin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Office, 
10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0063). 
Documents will be available for public inspection by written request or 
by appointment only during normal business hours (8:00 to 4:30) at the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, Texas. Data or comments 
concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted in writing to 
the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, 
Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit number TE-024619-0 
when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Rowin, at the above U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, TX.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the golden-cheeked warbler. 
However, the Service, under limited circumstances, may issue permits to 
take endangered wildlife species incidental to, and not the purpose of, 
otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for 
endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.


    Kenneth Beck plans to construct and operate a private conference 
and retreat complex on 26.05 acres of the 201.7-acre Crossings 
property, Travis County, Texas. This action will eliminate 
approximately 26.05 acres of habitat and indirectly impact 36.65 
additional acres of golden-cheeked warbler habitat. The Applicant 
proposes to compensate for this incidental take of golden-cheeked 
warbler habitat by donating through fee simple or conservation easement 
to Travis County the remaining 175.7 acres of the Crossings property, 
which includes approximately 128 acres of golden-cheeked warbler 
habitat. This land is adjacent to existing Balconies Canyonlands 
Preserve land and will be managed by Travis County as such.
    Alternatives to this action were rejected because not developing 
the subject property with federally listed species present was not 
economically feasible, no mitigation or preservation of habitat in 
perpetuity would take place, and alteration of the project design would 
increase the level of impacts to the warbler.

Frank S. Shoemaker, Jr.,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-12245 Filed 5-15-00; 8:45 am]