[Federal Register: July 5, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 129)]
[Page 35451-35452]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Conduct Public Scoping and Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement Regarding the Lincoln County Multiple 
Species Habitat Conservation Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, this notice 
advises the public that the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) intends 
to gather information necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) regarding the proposed Lincoln County, Nevada, Multiple 
Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) and issuance of an incidental 
take permit (Permit) to take endangered and threatened species in 
accordance with section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). The possible Permit applicants include, but are not 
limited to: Lincoln County Commissioners, City of Caliente, City of 
Mesquite, Nevada Fish and Wildlife, Coyote Springs Investments, and 
Union Pacific Railroad (Applicants). The application is related to 
potential development activities in southern Lincoln County. The 
Applicants intend to request a Permit for federally listed threatened 
or endangered species and/or Evaluation List species. Evaluation List 
species include species that have been petitioned for listing, state 
listed species, species that have been nominated for inclusion by 
technical specialists, and other species of concern that co-occur with 
federally listed species. The Evaluation List is being refined as a 
part of the scoping process. In accordance with the Act, the Applicants 
will prepare a Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) for, among other 
things, minimizing and mitigating any such take that could occur 
incidental to the proposed Permit activities.
    The Service is furnishing this notice to: (1) Advise other Federal 
and State agencies, affected Tribes, and the public of our intentions; 
(2) announce the initiation of a 60-day public scoping period, and (3) 
obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to be 
included in the EIS.

DATES: Written comments from all interested parties must be received on 
or before September 4, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for information should be sent to 
Robert D. Williams, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, 
Reno, Nevada 89502, telephone 775-861-6300, facsimile 775-861-6301. 
Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed project area generally includes 
the area in southern Lincoln County, Nevada, north of the Clark County 
line, west of the Utah/Nevada state line, south of the southern 
Township 3 South line, east of the eastern Range 63 East

[[Page 35452]]

line (Mt. Diablo Meridian) and a small portion of lands in Clark 
County, Nevada, within the Coyote Springs Valley in the vicinity of 
Highways 168 and 93.
    Some of the Applicants' future activities have the potential to 
impact species subject to protection under the Act. Section 10(a)(1)(B) 
permits non-Federal landowners to take endangered and threatened 
species, provided the take is incidental to otherwise lawful activities 
and will not appreciably reduce the likelihood for the survival and 
recovery of the species in the wild, among other permit issuance 
criteria. An applicant for a Permit under section 10 of the Act must 
prepare and submit to the Service for approval a Plan containing, among 
other things, a strategy for minimizing and mitigating all take 
associated with the proposed activities to the maximum extent 
practicable. The applicant must also ensure that adequate funding for 
implementation of the Plan will be provided.
    The Applicants have initiated discussions with the Service 
regarding the possibility of a Permit and associated MSHCP for their 
activities on lands to be covered by a Permit. General activities 
proposed for Permit coverage include residential, commercial and 
industrial development, construction, and maintenance activities.
    The Service will conduct an environmental review of the Plan and 
prepare an EIS. The environmental review will analyze the Applicants' 
proposed plan as well as a full range of reasonable alternatives and 
the associated impacts of each. The Service is currently in the process 
of developing alternatives for analysis.
    Comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties to 
ensure that the full range of issues related to the permit request are 
addressed and that all significant issues are identified. Comments or 
questions concerning this proposed action and the EIS should be 
directed to the Service (see ADDRESSES).
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), and with other 
appropriate Federal laws and regulations, policies, and procedures of 
the Service for compliance with those regulations. It is estimated that 
the draft EIS will be available for public review in early or mid-2002.

    Dated: June 21, 2001.
Mary Ellen Mueller,
Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 01-16778 Filed 7-3-01; 8:45 am]