[Federal Register: June 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 106)]
[Page 35117-35118]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Safe Harbor Agreement With Assurances 
and Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for 
Activities on Certain State Lands, by the Arizona Department of 

SUMMARY: The Arizona Department of Transportation (Applicant) has 
applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
enhancement of survival permit pursuant to Section 10(a) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act). The Applicant has been assigned permit 
number TE-026887-0. The requested permit, which is for a period of 10 
years, would authorize the incidental take of the endangered Gila 
topminnow (Poeciliopsis occidentalis) and the endangered desert 
pupufish (Cyprinodon macularius). The proposed take may occur on 
certain State Lands owned by the Arizona Department of Transportation 
in the State of Arizona.
    Non-federal landowners, who commit to implementing conservation for 
listed species through a Safe Harbor Agreement, will receive assurances 
from the Service. The assurances are that additional conservation 
measures will not be required and additional land, water, or resource 
use restrictions will not be imposed. The Service has prepared the 
Categorical Exclusion for the enhancement of survival permit 
application. A determination of whether jeopardy to the species would 
occur 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 Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 
CFR 1506.6).

Dates:  Written comments on the application should be received on or 
before July 3, 2000. The agreement, along with any supporting 
documentation, is available for public review, subject to the 
requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any 
party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents within 
the comment period to the address specified below.

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 Safe Harbor Agreement and Categorical Exclusion may obtain a copy 
by contacting Doug Duncan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services Tucson Sub Office, 300 West Congress, Room 6J, Tucson, AZ 
85701 (520/670-4860) or David Harlow, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, 
Suite 103, Phoenix, Arizona 85021 (602/640-2720; fax 602/640-2730). 
Documents will be available for public inspection by written request, 
by appointment only, during normal business hours (7:30 to 4:30) at the 
offices above. Written data or comments concerning the application, 
Safe Harbor Agreement, and Categorical Exclusion should be submitted to 
the Field

[[Page 35118]]

Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, Phoenix, AZ, (see address 
above). Please refer to permit number TE-026887-0 when submitting 
comments. All comments received, including names and addresses, will 
become part of the official administrative record and may be made 
available to the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Duncan at the above Tucson Sub 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of threatened and endangered species such as the Gila 
topminnow and desert pupfish. However, the Service, under limited 
circumstances, may issue permits to take threatened or 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.
    The proposed action is issuance of an enhancement of survival 
permit and implementation of the Safe Harbor Agreement as submitted by 
the Applicant. The Safe Harbor Agreement provides for actions that 
promote conservation and recovery of the Gila topminnow and desert 
pupfish by providing refugia sites. One refugium site in Tempe, 
Arizona, is proposed for release of Gila topminnow and desert pupfish. 
Other sites owned by the Arizona Department of Transportation within 
the natural ranges of the species may be used as refugia for either 
species. Sites will be determined mutually by the Service and the 
Arizona Department of Transportation. The Safe Harbor Agreement is 
designed to provide a net conservation benefit to the Gila topminnow 
and desert pupfish. The Safe Harbor Agreement has stipulations for 
monitoring of species populations and habitats and functioning of the 
Safe Harbor Agreement. The Safe Harbor Agreement also provides for 
funding the mitigation measures and monitoring.

APPLICANT:  The Arizona Department of Transportation intends to manage 
certain retention basins and other sites for Gila topminnow and desert 
pupfish. The incidental take of these fish may occur at the release 
sites during certain management activities. The Service anticipates 
that this Safe Harbor Agreement will provide a net conservation benefit 
for these two species of native Arizona fish.

Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-13691 Filed 5-31-00; 8:45 am]