[Federal Register: July 31, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 146)]
[Page 43208-43209]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the City of Santee Multiple Species Conservation Program Subarea Plan, 
San Diego County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:  Notice of intent


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), advise the public that we intend 
to gather information necessary to prepare, in coordination with the 
City of Santee (Applicant), a joint Environmental Impact Statement/
Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the City of Santee's Subarea 
Plan (Subarea Plan) under the Multiple Species Conservation Program 
(MSCP) in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) and the State of California's Natural Community 
Conservation Planning Act.
    The Service provides this notice to: Describe the proposed actions 
and possible alternatives; (2) advise other Federal and State agencies, 
affected tribes, and the public of our intent to prepare an EIS/EIR; 
(3) announce the initiation of a public scoping period; and (4) obtain 
suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives to 
be included in the EIS/EIR.

DATES: One public meeting will be held on: Thursday, August 10, 2006, 6 
p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Santee, CA. Written comments should be received on 
or before August 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the City of Santee City 
Hall, Building 7 Meeting Room, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Santee, 
California, 92071.
    Information, written comments, or questions related to the 
preparation of the EIS/EIR and NEPA process should be submitted to 
Kathleen Brubaker, Division Chief, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 
6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, California 92011 (facsimile 760-431-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Brubaker, Division Chief, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, 
California 92011, (760) 431-9440.


Reasonable Accommodation

    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 
participate in the public meeting should contact Kathleen Brubaker as 
soon as possible (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). In order to 
allow sufficient time to process requests, please call no later than 
one week before the public meeting. Information regarding this proposed 
action is available in alternative formats upon request.


    Section 9 of the Federal ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538) and Federal 
regulations prohibit the ``take'' of a fish or wildlife species listed 
as endangered or threatened. Under the ESA, the following activities 
are defined as take: to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture or collect listed animal species, or to attempt to engage 
in such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under section 10(a) of the 
ESA, we may issue permits to authorize ``incidental take'' of listed 
species. ``Incidental take'' is defined by the ESA as take that is 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an

[[Page 43209]]

otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing permits for threatened 
species and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 50 CFR 17.22, 
    Take of listed plant species is not prohibited under the ESA and 
cannot be authorized under a section 10 permit. We propose to include 
plant species on the permit in recognition of the conservation benefits 
provided for them under the Subarea Plan. In 1997, the Service approved 
the San Diego MSCP, a conservation program that contemplated the 
development of subarea plans by local jurisdictions located in San 
Diego County to effectuate the conservation outlined in the MSCP. The 
1997 EIS/EIR, prepared for our decision to permit the San Diego MSCP, 
evaluated the City of Santee's draft Subarea Plan at the project level. 
We expect to tier off of the 1997 San Diego MSCP EIS, as appropriate, 
as we prepare this EIS/EIR on the City of Santee's revised draft 
Subarea Plan. The proposed Subarea Plan would comprehensively address 
how the City of Santee will manage its lands to conserve natural 
habitats and species while continuing to provide for development within 
the Subarea Plan.
    The proposed Subarea Plan consists of several key components 
including an implementation process and structure, habitat preserve 
management guidelines, and a covered species list. In total, 48 species 
(15 plants, 33 animals) are proposed for coverage under the Subarea 
Plan. The proposed Subarea Plan addresses the effects on biological 
resources of all covered activities over the next 75 years. The 
proposed covered activities include public and private, as well as 
planned and conceptual projects.
    The proposed Subarea Plan covers the corporate boundaries of the 
City of Santee (with the exception of the area covered by the Padre Dam 
Municipal Water District Plan) and includes approximately 10,300 acres. 
The Subarea Plan planning area is presently 55 percent developed and 45 
percent undeveloped. Of the 10,300 acres in the planning area, roughly 
9,020 acres are privately owned and are currently zoned or used for 
residential, commercial, industrial, or public/semi-public use. These 
privately owned lands represent the majority of the remaining natural 
habitats in the City of Santee and include the 2,589-acre Fanita Ranch. 
Another 510 acres are owned by the County of San Diego, mostly in the 
City of Santee's Town Center, which includes a segment of the San Diego 
River habitat corridor.
    The Service and the Applicant are now considering components of the 
proposed conservation program. These components include take avoidance 
and minimization measures, monitoring, adaptive management, and take 
mitigation measures consisting of preservation, restoration, and 
enhancement of habitat.

Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report

    The Service, the Applicant, and the California Department of Fish 
and Game (CDFG) have selected P&D Consultants to prepare the Draft EIS/
EIR. The joint document will be prepared in compliance with NEPA and 
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Although P&D 
Consultants will prepare the EIS/EIR, we will supervise the scope and 
content of the document for NEPA purposes, and the City of Santee will 
be responsible for the scope and content of the EIR for CEQA purposes.
    The EIS/EIR will consider the proposed action and a reasonable 
range of alternatives. A detailed description of the proposed action 
and alternatives will be included in the EIS/EIR. It is anticipated 
that several alternatives will be developed, which may vary by level of 
conservation, impacts caused by the proposed activities, permit area, 
covered species, or a combination of these factors. These alternatives 
will address alternative actions that can achieve some or all of the 
proposed action's purposes and needs. Additionally, we will evaluate a 
No-Action alternative. Under the No-Action alternative, we would not 
issue a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit.
    The EIS/EIR will also evaluate potentially significant impacts on 
biological resources, land use, and socioeconomic and other 
environmental issues that could occur directly or indirectly with 
implementation of the proposed action and alternatives. For all 
potential impacts, the EIS/EIR will identify mitigation measures, where 
feasible, to reduce these impacts to a level below significance.
    We will conduct an environmental review of the EIS/EIR in 
accordance with the requirements of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), its 
implementing regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508), other applicable 
regulations, and our procedures for compliance with those regulations. 
We are furnishing this notice in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 of the 
NEPA implementing regulations, to obtain suggestions and information 
from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues and 
alternatives to be addressed in the EIS/EIR. The primary purpose of the 
scoping process is to identify important issues raised by the public 
that are related to the proposed action. We invite written comments 
from interested parties to help us identify the full range of issues 
related to the proposed action. You may submit written comments by mail 
or facsimile transmission (see ADDRESSES). We will also accept written 
comments at the public meeting. All comments received, including names 
and addresses, will become part of the official administrative record, 
and may be made available to the public.

    Dated: July 25, 2006.
Ken McDermond,
Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 06-6585 Filed 7-28-06; 8:45 am]