[Federal Register: March 21, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 55)]
[Page 13184-13185]
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 
Strawberry Tierra, Inc., 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 Strawberry Tierra, Inc. 
(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 the construction of retail 
development in Parker, Douglas County, Colorado. Construction of the 
project will result in the permanent loss of up to 0.10 acres of willow 
copse that provides potential foraging and hibernation habitat for the 
mouse, and temporary loss of 5.37 acres of ruderal 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 May 20, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the permit application or the EA/
HCP, may obtain a copy by writing to LeRoy Carlson, Field Supervisor, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Field Office, 755 Parfet Street, 
Suite 361, Lakewood, Colorado 80215, or by calling (303) 275-

[[Page 13185]]

2370 to request a copy. Documents also will be available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address 
above. Written data or comments should be submitted to the above 
address. Comments also may be sent by facsimile to (303) 275-2371. 
Please reference permit number TE-053241 in any comments submitted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Kathleen Linder, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Colorado Field Office, telephone (303) 275-2370.



    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act and Federal regulations 
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 proposed retail development. 
The proposed project will permanently affect 0.10 acres and temporarily 
affect 5.37 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 
construction of a retail development in an area that may be 
periodically used as foraging or hibernation habitat. Proposed 
construction will result in about 0.10 acres of permanent habitat loss 
and another 5.37 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, 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. The majority of 
impacts are in upland areas outside the 100-year floodplain. The 
Applicant, using the Service's definition of Preble's habitat, has 
determined that the proposed project would impact approximately 5.47 
acres of potential Preble's habitat. The mitigation for the identified 
impacts will provide a net increase of 2.06 acres to the Preble's and 
other wildlife by improving potential mouse habitat through 
revegetation with native grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees.
    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 
total of 7.53 acres adjacent to the 100-year floodplain of Cherry Creek 
will be preserved and enhanced at a ratio of greater than 1.5:1 through 
seeding and planting native species.

    Dated: March 4, 2002.
John Blankenship,
Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 02-6809 Filed 3-20-02; 8:45 am]