[Federal Register: July 31, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 147)]
[Page 39523-39525]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Receipt of an 
Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Dos Pueblos Golf 
Links, Santa Barbara County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: CPH Dos Pueblos Associates, L.L.C., and ARCO Environmental 
Remediation, L.L.C., (Applicants) have applied to the Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) for Incidental Take Permits (Permits) pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). The proposed Permits would authorize take of the California red-
legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii) and the tidewater goby 
(Eucyclogobius newberryi) incidental to otherwise lawful activities 
west of Goleta, Santa Barbara County, California. The proposed permit 
duration is 25 years for CPH Dos Pueblos Associates and 10 years for 
ARCO Environmental Remediation.

[[Page 39524]]

    The application includes: (1) The proposed Habitat Conservation 
Plan (Plan), which fully describes the proposed project and the 
measures that the Applicant would undertake to minimize and mitigate 
anticipated take of the California red-legged frog and tidewater goby, 
as required in section 10(a)(2)(B) of the Act; and (2) the proposed 
Implementing Agreement. The Service also announces the availability of 
an Environmental Assessment for the permit application.
    This notice is provided to section 10(a) of the Act and National 
Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). The Plan, 
Implementing Agreement, and the Environmental Assessment are available 
for review and comment by other agencies and the public. All comments 
received, including names and addresses, will become part of the public 
record and will be available for review pursuant to section 10(c) of 
the Act.

DATES: Written comments must be received no later than October 1, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Diane Noda, Field 
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, 
Ventura, California 93003. Comments may also be sent by facsimile to 
(805) 644-3958.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bridget Fahey, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above address or by calling (805) 644-1766.


Document Availability

    You may obtain copies of these documents by contacting the Ventura 
Fish and Wildlife Office at the above address and telephone number. 
Documents also will be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office.


    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened, 
respectively. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act 
to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, 
or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. However, the 
Service, under limited circumstances, may issue permits to authorize 
incidental take; i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations 
governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species 
are found at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively.
    The Applicants have proposed to construct a golf course on a 208-
acre parcel. The project site is located 5 miles west of Goleta, south 
of State Highway 101 between Dos Pueblos Canyon and Eagle Canyon in 
Santa Barbara County, California. Typical land uses in the area 
surrounding the project site include several residential developments, 
one commercial center, and undeveloped coastal sage scrub areas. The 
Pacific Ocean is south of the project site. The applicant proposes to 
construct, operate, and maintain an 18-hole links style golf course, a 
9-hole par-three golf course, driving range, putting green, turf farm, 
clubhouse, and other appurtenant facilities after removing contaminated 
soils from the site.
    Biologist surveyed the project site for special-status plants and 
wildlife in 1999 and 2000. Based on these surveys, the Service 
concluded that the project may result in the take of two federally 
listed species, the threatened California red-legged frog and the 
endangered tidewater goby.
    Activities covered by the requested Permits and addressed by the 
proposed Plan include the construction, operation, and maintenance of 
an 18-hole links style golf course, a 9-hole par-three golf course, 
driving range, putting green, turf farm, clubhouse, and other 
appurtenant facilities on a 208-acre site along the Pacific Coast in 
Santa Barbara County, California. This project would permanently alter 
115 acres of upland dispersal habitat for the California red-legged 
frog and could indirectly affect the 0.5 acres aquatic habitat for the 
California red-legged frog and tidewater goby.
    The Applicants propose to implement 60 measures to minimize and 
mitigate take of the California red-legged frog and tidewater goby, 
including: (1) Water quality monitoring in natural drainages and the 
one vernal pool on site to ensure that water quality is not being 
degraded; (2) conducting environmental training for construction and 
maintenance personnel to educate them concerning federal listed 
species; (3) placing restrictions pertaining to pets and using signs to 
educate the public and encourage protection of the adjacent biological 
resources; (4) seasonally closing public access to the beach at the 
mouth of Eagle Canyon from February 1 to May 31 to protect sensitive 
life stages (i.e., eggs and tadpoles) of California red-legged frogs; 
(5) implementing best management practices for erosion and sediment 
control during construction; requiring Service-approved biologists to 
monitor and relocate dispersing California red-legged frogs found 
within construction areas; (6) implementing a bullfrog monitoring and 
removal program for the life of the project; and (7) mitigating the 
take of California red-legged frogs and tidewater gobies by creating 
1.15 acres of southern willow scrub and permanently protecting 7.53 
acres of California red-legged frog breeding and dispersal habitat, and 
0.5 acres of tidewater goby habitat under a conservation easement. The 
Applicants would endow the management of the off-site mitigation area 
at either a cost of $2,500/acre or an amount determined by the easement 
holder, whichever is greater.
    The Environmental Assessment considers the environmental 
consequences of five alternatives in addition to the Proposed Project 
Alternative. The Proposed Project Alternative consists of the issuance 
of Permits and implementation of the Plan and its Implementing 
Agreement, which include measures to minimize and mitigate impacts of 
the project to the California red-legged frog and tidewater goby.
    Under the Reduced Project Alternative, the par-three golf course 
adjacent to Eagle Canyon would be eliminated, but coastal access would 
still be developed. This alternative would have similar impacts to 
listed species as the proposed action, although the potential for 
deleterious effects to water quality in Eagle Canyon Creek would be 
    Under the Alternative Sites Project Alternative, the golf course 
would be constructed at one of two other sites, the Naples Site or the 
Patterson Site. As the Naples Site could also contain habitat for the 
California red-legged frog and tidewater goby, effects to listed 
species would be similar to the effects of the proposed action. Effects 
to listed species would be reduced if the Patterson Site were chosen; 
however, due to restrictions on the conversion of the Patterson site 
from agriculture, this site is not a viable alternative.
    The No Eastern Vertical Access Alternative would allow for the 
construction and operation of the golf course, but no vertical access 
into Eagle Canyon Creek would be built. Without managed access, 
continued foot traffic through the drainage from trespassers could 
result in grater effects to listed species than the proposed project 
    The Eastern Vertical Access within Eagle Canyon Alternative would 
allow the construction of a foot path directly into Eagle Canyon, as 
was originally proposed by the Applicants, rather than down the cliff 
face to the mouth. This

[[Page 39525]]

alternative would result in increased effects to listed species, by 
effectively bringing people in direct contact with listed species 
    Under the No Action Alternative, the Service4 would not issue a 
permit and the project area would continue to remain in its present 
condition. As illegal trespass would likely continue within Eagle 
Canyon Creek, effects to California red-legged frogs and tidewater 
gobies would be likely.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Act and 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6). The Service will evaluate the application, associated 
documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the 
application meets the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act regulations and section 10(a) of the Act. If it is determined that 
the requirements are met, a permit will be issued to the Applicants for 
the incidental take of the California red-legged frog and tidewater 
goby. The final permit decision will be made no sooner than 60 days 
from the date of this notice.

    Dated: July 25, 2001.
John Engbring,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 01-18973 Filed 7-30dash;01; 8:45 am]