[Federal Register: September 17, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 180)]
[Page 56077]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Receipt of Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit (Purcell)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: Purcell Investments, L.P., (Applicant) has applied to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit 
pursuant to Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The 
Applicant has been assigned permit number TE-838761-0. The requested 
permit, which is for a period of 30 years, would authorize incidental 
take of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia). 
The proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and 
operation of a commercial development on 19.3-acres (7.8-hectares) of 
the Horizon Center Development, Travis County, Texas.
    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 National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or 
before November 16, 2004.

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 written or telephone 
request to Sybil Vosler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758; 
(512) 490-0057. Documents will be available for public inspection by 
written request or by appointment only during normal business hours (8 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, 
Austin, Texas. Data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP 
should be submitted in writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Office, Austin, Texas at the 
above address. Please refer to permit number TE-838761-0 when 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sybil Vosler at U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Ecological Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, 
Austin, Texas 78758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the golden-cheeked warbler. 
However, the 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.
    Applicant: Purcell Investments, L.P., plans to construct a 
commercial development on 19.3-acres (7.8-hectares) of the Horizon 
Center Development, Travis County, Texas. This action would eliminate 
approximately 8.4 acres (3.4 hectares) of habitat and adversely affect 
25.5 acres (10.3 hectares) resulting in incidental take of the golden-
cheeked warbler. The Applicant proposes to compensate for this 
incidental take of the golden-cheeked warbler by preserving 32.5 acres 
(13.2 hectares) of habitat which will be managed in perpetuity for the 
benefit of the golden-cheeked warbler or purchasing 32.5 Participation 
Certificates in the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, a regional 
permit which will preserve 30,428 acres (12,314 hectares) of habitat.
    Pursuant to the June 10, 2004, order in Spirit of the Sage Council 
v. Norton, Civil Action No. 98-1873 (D. D.C.), the Service is enjoined 
from approving new section 10(a)(1)(B) permits or related documents 
containing ``No Surprises'' assurances until such time as the Service 
adopts new permit revocation rules specifically applicable to section 
10(a)(1)(B) permits in compliance with public notice and comment 
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. This notice concerns 
a step in the review and processing of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit and 
any subsequent permit issuance will be in accordance with the Court's 
order. Until such time as the Service's authority to issue permits with 
``No Surprises'' assurances has been reinstated, the Service will not 
approve any incidental take permits or related documents containing 
``No Surprises'' assurances.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq.

Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 04-20991 Filed 9-16-04; 8:45 am]