[Federal Register: August 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 166)]
[Page 50941-50942]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for 
Construction of a Single-Family Residence in Sarasota County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Paul Athanas (Applicant) requests an incidental take permit 
(ITP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act). The Applicant anticipates taking about 0.275 
acre of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) 
foraging, sheltering, and possibly nesting habitat, incidental to lot 
preparation for the construction of a single-family residence and 
supporting infrastructure in Sarasota County, Florida (Project). The 
Applicant's Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) describes the mitigation 
and minimization measures proposed to address the effects of the 
Project to the Florida scrub-jay. These measures are outlined in the 

DATES: Written comments on the ITP application and HCP should be sent 
to the Service's Regional Office (see ADDRESSES) and should be received 
on or before September 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application and HCP may obtain 
a copy by writing the Service's Southeast Regional Office, 1875 Century 
Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, Georgia 30345 (Attn: Endangered Species 
Permits), or the Services's Vero Beach Field Office, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida, 32960-3559. Please 
reference permit number TE126176-0 in such requests. Documents will 
also be available for public inspection by appointment during normal 
business hours at the Regional Office or the Vero Beach field office.

Coordinator, (see ADDRESSES above), telephone: 404/679-7313, facsimile: 
404/679-7081; or Elizabeth Stafford, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, South 
Florida Ecological Services Office, Vero Beach, Florida (see ADDRESSES 
above), telephone: 772/562-3909, ext. 304.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If you wish to comment, you may submit 
comments by any one of several methods. Please reference permit number 
TE126176-0 in such comments. You may mail comments to the Service's 
Regional Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also comment via the Internet 
to david_dell@fws.gov. Please include your name and return address in 
your Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us 
that we have received your internet message, contact us directly at 
either telephone number listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT). Finally, you may hand deliver comments to either Service 
office listed below (see ADDRESSES). Our practice is to make comments, 
including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public 
review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may 
request that we withhold their home address from the administrative 
record. We will honor such requests to the extent allowable by law. 
There may also be other circumstances in which we would withhold from 
the administrative record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. 
If you wish us to withhold your name and address, you must state this 
prominently at the beginning of your comments. We will not, however, 
consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.
    The Florida scrub-jay is geographically isolated from other species 
of scrub-jays found in Mexico and the western United States. The scrub-
jay is found exclusively in peninsular Florida and is restricted to 
xeric uplands (predominately in oak-dominated scrub). Increasing urban 
and agricultural development has resulted in habitat loss and 
fragmentation which has adversely affected the distribution and numbers 
of scrub-jays. The total estimated population is between 7,000 and 
11,000 individuals.
    According to surveys accomplished in 1992-1993, 2000, and 2004, the 
Applicant's lot is within the territory of a family of scrub-jays. The 
scrub-jays using the Project area and adjacent properties are part of a 
larger complex of scrub-jays located in a matrix of urban and natural 
settings in southern Sarasota County. Construction of the Project's 
infrastructure and facilities will result in harm to scrub-jays, 
incidental to the carrying out of these otherwise lawful activities. 
Habitat alteration associated with the proposed residential 
construction will reduce the availability of foraging, sheltering, and 
possible nesting habitat for one family of scrub-jays.

[[Page 50942]]

    The Applicant proposes to mitigate the take of scrub-jays through 
contribution of $25,875 to the Sarasota County Scrub-jay Mitigation 
Plan Fund administered by Sarasota County. Funds in this account are 
earmarked for use in the conservation and recovery of scrub-jays and 
may include habitat acquisition, restoration, and management.
    The Service has determined that the Applicants' proposal, including 
the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will individually 
and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the species 
covered in the HCP. Therefore, the ITP is a ``low-effect'' project and 
qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the Department of Interior Manual 
(516 DM 2, Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6, Appendix 1). This preliminary 
information may be revised based on our review of public comments that 
we receive in response to this notice. Low-effect HCPs are those 
involving: (1) Minor or negligible effects on Federally listed or 
candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor or negligible 
effects on other environmental values or resources.
    The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If it is determined that 
those requirements are met, the ITPs will be issued for incidental take 
of the Florida scrub-jay. The Service will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the 
Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results 
of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be 
used in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the 
ITP. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10 of the Endangered 
Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 

    Dated: August 9, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.
 [FR Doc. E6-14244 Filed 8-25-06; 8:45 am]