[Federal Register: May 2, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 83)]
[Page 22681-22682]
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 for a Portion of the Cibolo Canyon Property (Master 
Phase II), Bexar County, TX

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and 60-day public comment period.


SUMMARY: The Applicant, Lumberman's Investment Corporation (LIC), has 
applied for an incidental take permit (TE-102437-0) pursuant to Section 
10(a) of the Endangered Species Act of

[[Page 22682]]

1973, as amended (Act). The requested permit would authorize incidental 
take of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. The proposed take would 
occur as a result of the construction and operation of a mixed-use 
community, including hotel-resort, golf, commercial, and residential 
development in the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or 
before July 1, 2005.

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 Dawn Whitehead, 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, 
Ecological Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 
78758. Data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should be 
submitted in writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Office, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to 
permit number TE-102437-0 when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dawn Whitehead, Ecological Services 
Office, 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 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.
    The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A 
determination of jeopardy to the species or a Finding of No Significant 
Impact 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).
    Applicants: As part of the preferred alternative, LIC has developed 
an HCP that specifies what steps the Applicant will take to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate the potential impacts to the golden-cheeked 
warbler associated with development, construction, and occupation of 
the Master Phase II, Bexar County, Texas, to the greatest extent 
    The preferred alternative is the issuance of a permit under section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Act to authorize the potential incidental take of 
the golden-cheeked warbler within the 1,609 acre permit area. The 
requested term of the permit is 30 years. Mitigation efforts under the 
proposed HCP would include, among other things, the perpetual 
dedication and management of approximately 760 acres (307.6 hectares) 
of the 1,609-acre permit area as a preserve for the golden-cheeked 
warbler. These 760 acres are considered to be the highest quality 
warbler habitat on the property. Much of this area is adjacent to a 331 
acre (134 hectares) block of contiguous warbler habitat that has been 
preserved in perpetuity for the golden-cheeked warbler under a separate 
consultation with the Service. The proposed preserve system is also 
adjacent to an even larger block of privately-owned potential warbler 
habitat to the east, most of which is considered relatively un-
developable due to topographic and other constraints.
    Three other alternatives to this action were rejected because the 
environmental impacts would be greater than, or similar to, the 
proposed action, but would not provide as great a conservation benefit 
as the proposed action, and/or were not economically viable.
    Background: LIC owns approximately 2,855 acres (1160 hectares) of 
property proposed for a mixed-use community that includes hotel-resort, 
golf, commercial, and residential development. The property is bordered 
to the south by Evans Road and to the west by Bulverde Road in the City 
of San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The 2,855 acres is comprised of 
three separately purchased tracts: the Evans Road Tract (1,812 acres 
(733.3 hectares) acquired in 1986); the Wolverton Tract (785 acres 
(317.7 hectares) acquired in 2000); and the nearby, but not contiguous, 
North Triangle Tract (258 acres (104.4 hectares) acquired in 2001). The 
combination of these three tracts is now called the Cibolo Canyon 
Property. The Cibolo Canyon Property was divided into two development 
phases: Master Phase I and Master Phase II. Master Phase I is located 
in the southern and western sections of the Cibolo Canyon Property and 
totals approximately 1,230 acres (497.8 hectares). Based upon available 
information, LIC determined there would be no impacts to threatened or 
endangered species that would occur as a result of developing Master 
Phase I and therefore elected not to pursue additional coverage under 
the Endangered Species Act. Master Phase II is located in the northern 
and eastern section of the Cibolo Canyon Property and totals 
approximately 1,609 acres (651 hectares). The requested section 
10(a)(1)(B) permit will cover impacts to the Golden-cheeked Warbler 
associated with Master Phase II only.

Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 05-8648 Filed 4-29-05; 8:45 am]