[Federal Register: March 20, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 54)]
[Page 13718-13719]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of a Permit Application (Smoot) for Incidental Take of 
the Houston Toad

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: Ralph Smoot (Applicant) has applied for an incidental take 
permit (TE-068275-0) pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act (Act). The requested permit would exempt the applicant from 
Section 9 prohibitions. The proposed take would occur as a result of 
the construction and occupation of Earth-sheltered condominiums on a 
2.5-acre property on Highway 71, Bastrop County, Texas.

DATES:  Written comments on the application should be received within 
60 days of the date of this publication.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 1306, Room 4102, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons 
wishing to review the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Clayton 
Napier, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, 
Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057). Documents will be available for 
public inspection by written request, by appointment only,

[[Page 13719]]

during normal business hours (8 to 4:30) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Austin, Texas. Written data or comments concerning the 
application and EA/HCP should be submitted to the Supervisor, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 
Austin, Texas. Please refer to permit number TE-068275-0 when 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clayton Napier, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the Houston toad. However, the 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), under limited circumstances, may 
issue permits to take endangered wildlife species incidental to, and 
not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing 
permits for endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.
    The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A 
determination of jeopardy or non-jeopardy to the species and a decision 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will not be 
made until at least 60 days from the date of publication of this 
notice. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act 
and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).
    Applicant: Ralph Smoot plans to construct Earth-sheltered 
condominiums, within 5 years, on a 2.5-acre property on Highway 71, 
Bastrop County, Texas. This action will eliminate 2.5 acres or less of 
Houston toad habitat and result in indirect impacts to the toad within 
the property. The Applicant proposes to compensate for the loss of 
Houston toad habitat by providing $5,000.00 to the Houston Toad 
Conservation Fund at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the 
specific purpose of land acquisition and management within Houston toad 

Susan MacMullin,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 03-6675 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]