[Federal Register: July 8, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 130)]
[Page 45142-45143]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and 
Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for 
Construction of a Single-Family Residential Home Site on the Lefever 
Property, Black Forest, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that Thomas Lefever (Applicant) 
has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. The proposed permit 
would authorize the incidental take of the Preble's meadow jumping 
mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), federally-listed as threatened, 
through loss and modification of its habitat associated with 
construction and occupation of a residential home site at the Lefever 
Property, Black Forest, Colorado. The duration of the permit would be 5 
years from the date of issuance.
    We announce the receipt of the Applicant's incidental take permit 
application that includes a combined Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse 
(Preble's) for the Lefever Property. The proposed EA/HCP is available 
for public review and comment. It 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 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 September 6, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application and EA/HCP should 
be addressed to LeRoy Carlson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Colorado Field Office, 755 Parfet Street, Suite 361, Lakewood, 
Colorado 80215.

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 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 Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of a species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under 
the Act, in part, as to kill, harm, or harass a federally listed 
species. However, the Service may issue permits to authorize 
``incidental take'' of listed species under limited circumstances. 
Incidental take is defined under the Act as take of a listed species 
that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an 
otherwise lawful activity under limited circumstances. Regulations 
governing permits for threatened species are promulgated in 50 CFR 
    The Lefever Property is located at 12715 Kaibab Court, Abert 
Estates Lot 4, along Black Squirrel Creek, in the Town of Black Forest, 
El Paso County, State of Colorado. The project site is 5.4 acres, but 
the proposed project will directly impact a maximum of 0.56 acre that 
may result in incidental take of the Preble's. Of the total amount of 
impacted acreage, 0.215 acre will be temporarily disturbed and will be 
revegetated. 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 
    Alternatives considered in addition to the Proposed Action, 
included waiting for the approval of the El Paso County Regional 
Habitat Conservation Plan, 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 0.56 acre of potential Preble's habitat. The mitigation 
will likely provide a net benefit to the Preble's mouse and other 
wildlife by improving or creating new riparian areas, planting of 
native shrubs, and protecting existing habitat along Black Squirrel 
Creek from any future development.
    Only one federally listed species, the threatened Preble's, occurs 
on site and has the potential to be adversely affected by the project. 
To mitigate impacts that may result from incidental take, the HCP 
provides mitigation for the residential site by protection of the

[[Page 45143]]

Black Squirrel Creek corridor onsite and its associated riparian areas 
from all future development through the replanting of 0.215 acre of 
temporarily disturbed grassland and the protection of an additional 4.3 
acres on an existing conservation easement with enhancement of 0.89 
acre through native shrub planting. Measures will be taken during 
construction to minimize impact to the habitat, including the use of 
silt fencing to reduce the amount of sediment from construction 
activities that reaches the creek. All of the proposed mitigation area 
is within the boundaries of the Lefever property, all of which is 
included in the drainage basin of Black Squirrel Creek.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. We 
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 Act. If it is determined that 
those requirements are met, a permit will be issued for the incidental 
take of the Preble's in conjunction with the construction and 
occupation of a single-family residential lot on the Lefever Property. 
The final permit decision will be made no sooner than 60 days from the 
date of this notice.

    Dated: June 19, 2002.
John A. Blankenship,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 02-17072 Filed 7-5-02; 8:45 am]