[Federal Register: April 4, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 65)]
[Page 16543-16544]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Environmental Assessment and Receipt of an Application for 
an Incidental Take Permit for the Mayhoffer/Singletree Trail, Boulder 
County, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department (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 (Act). The permit would authorize the 
incidental take of Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius 
preblei) (``Preble's''), Federally listed as threatened, and loss and 
modification of its habitat associated with the construction and use of 
a multiple use trail on the Mayhoffer/Singletree Property, located near 
the Town of Superior, in unincorporated Boulder County. The permit 
would be in effect for 10 years from the date of issuance, to allow for 
construction of the proposed project and all associated mitigation 
    We announce the receipt of the Applicant's Incidental Take Permit 
application that includes a combined proposed Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Preble's on the 
Mayhoffer/Singletree property. The proposed HCP/EA is available for 
public 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 HCP/EA for the proposed 
issuance of an 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 HCP and permit 
application will become part of the administrative record and will be 
available to the public.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application, HCP, and EA should 
be received on or before June 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application and HCP/EA 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/EA 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 Lakewood, Colorado, Field Office (see ADDRESSES 


    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 Applicant plans to develop a multiple-use trail on the 
Mayhoffer/Singletree property in the vicinity of Coal Creek near 
Superior, Boulder County, Colorado, within portions of the property 
that may constitute habitat for the Preble's. Of the 32 hectares (80 
acres) of potential Preble's habitat on the Mayhoffer/Singletree 
property, the project would impact a total of 0.27 hectare (0.67 acre) 
of potential Preble's habitat permanently and 0.34 hectare (0.85 acre) 
temporarily during construction. This reach of the Coal Creek corridor 
is considered to be viable Preble's habitat by the Service. Preble's 
have been found near this creek in 1999, approximately 0.8 kilometer 
(0.5 mile) upstream from the proposed project area, along the Hake 
Ditch running north of the creek. As discussed below, the Applicant 
proposes a number of measures to mitigate possible impacts of the 
proposed action.
    Alternatives considered were--no action; alternative trail 
alignment, which would have taken the trail through a large prairie dog 
colony and

[[Page 16544]]

an important raptor conservation area; and the preferred alternative, 
with the alignment and mitigation per the proposed HCP. None of these 
alternatives, except no action, eliminated potential take of Preble's.
    To mitigate impacts that may result from incidental take, the HCP 
provides for the following mitigation: All temporarily impacted areas 
resulting from trail construction will be mitigated onsite at a minimum 
of 1.5:1 ratio by replanting these areas into similar native vegetation 
to what existed prior to trail construction. Primarily, these areas are 
currently in weedy vegetation and will, instead, be planted back into 
native grasses. Shrub habitat will be replaced with identical native 
shrub species. Additional mitigation activities for temporary take will 
include weed control at a ratio of 8:1 onsite. Mitigation activities 
for permanent take will be in the form of weed control at a ratio of 
15:1 and also will occur onsite.
    The County is committed to providing the necessary staff time and 
resources to support the implementation of the HCP/EA and currently has 
adequate staff to do so.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. We 
will evaluate the permit application, the 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 use of the proposed 
trail. The final permit decision will be made no sooner than 60 days 
from the date of this notice.

    Dated: March 11, 2003.
John A. Blankenship,
Deputy Regional Director, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 03-8197 Filed 4-3-03; 8:45 am]