[Federal Register: November 22, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 226)]
[Page 70359-70360]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment and 
Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Harding 
Property, Douglas County, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that Susan K. Harding 
(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. The Service proposes to 
issue a 3-year permit to the Applicant that would authorize the 
incidental take of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Preble's) (Zapus 
hudsonius preblei), federally listed as threatened, and loss and 
modification of its habitat associated with construction of a single-
family residence in Douglas County, Colorado. Construction of the 
single family residence will result in the loss of up to 0.294 acres of 
grassland that provides potential foraging and hibernation habitat for 
the mouse. The permit application includes a combined Environmental 
Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan (EA/HCP), which is available for 
public review and comment. The HCP fully describes the proposed project 
and the measures the Applicant would undertake to minimize and mitigate 
project impacts to the Preble's.
    The Service requests comments on the EA/HCP for the proposed 
issuance of the incidental take permit. We provide this notice pursuant 
to section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act and National 
Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). All comments on 
the EA and permit application will become part of the administrative 
record and will be available to the public.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application and EA/HCP should be 
received on or before December 22, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application or the EA/HCP, or 
requests for the documents, should be addressed to LeRoy Carlson, Field 
Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Field Office, 755 
Parfet Street, Suite 361, Lakewood, Colorado 80215. Comments may be 
sent by facsimile to (303) 275-2371. Please reference permit number 
PRT-TE035844-0 in any comments submitted.

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 EA/HCP 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 above address.


    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act and Federal regulation 
prohibit the ``take'' of a species listed as endangered or threatened 
(take is defined under the Endangered Species Act as to harass, harm, 
pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or to 
attempt to engage in any such conduct). However, the Service may issue 
permits to authorize ``incidental take'' (defined by the Endangered 
Species Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the 
carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity) of listed species under 
limited circumstances. Regulations governing permits for threatened 
species are promulgated in 50 CFR 17.32. Regulations governing permits 
for endangered species are promulgated in 50 CFR 17.22.
    The proposed action is the issuance of a permit under section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act to allow the incidental take 
of Preble's during the construction of a single family residence at the 
site. The proposed project will directly affect approximately 0.294 
acres of potential habitat for Preble's. An HCP has been developed as 
part of the preferred alternative. The proposed HCP will allow for the 
incidental take of the Preble's by permitting a single family residence 
to be constructed in an area that may be periodically used as foraging 
or hibernation habitat. Construction will result in about 0.12 acres of 
permanent habitat loss and another 0.18 acres of temporary effects to 
the habitat associated with this localized disturbance.
    Alternatives considered in addition to the proposed action were; 
building at an alternate location, waiting for the

[[Page 70360]]

Douglas County Regional 10(a)(1)(B) Permit, and no action. The draft EA 
analyzes the onsite, offsite, and cumulative impacts of the proposed 
project and all associated development and construction activities and 
mitigation activities on the Preble's, other threatened or endangered 
species, vegetation, wildlife, wetlands, geology/soils, land use, water 
resources, air and water quality, or cultural resources. None of the 
proposed impacts occur within the riparian corridor. All of the 
proposed impacts are in upland areas outside of the 100-year 
floodplain. The Applicant, using the Service's definition of Preble's 
habitat, has determined that the proposed project would impact 
approximately 0.294 acres of potential Preble's habitat. The mitigation 
for the identified impacts may provide a net benefit to the Preble's 
and other wildlife by improving riparian habitat through planting of 
additional shrub vegetation.
    The Preble's is the only known federally listed species that occurs 
on site and has the potential to be directly affected by the proposed 
project. The Applicant has agreed to implement the following measures 
to minimize and mitigate impacts that may result from incidental take 
of Preble's:
    In order to compensate for the loss of Preble's habitat, a 0.59-
acre area in the northeast corner of the property will be preserved and 
enhanced at a ratio of 2.0 to 1 by planting shrubs.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Endangered 
Species Act. The Service will evaluate the permit application, the EA/
HCP, and comments submitted therein to determine whether the 
application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act. If it is determined that those requirements are met, a 
permit will be issued for the incidental take of Preble's. The final 
permit decision will be made no sooner than December 22, 2000.

    Dated: November 15, 2000.
Elliott Sutta,
Acting Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 00-29830 Filed 11-21-00; 8:45 am]