[Federal Register: November 2, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 212)]
[Page 64555-64556]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Conduct Public Scoping and Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement Regarding the Coyote Springs Investments 
Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, Lincoln County, NV

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 
U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) as the 
lead agency, advises the public that we intend to gather information 
necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding 
the proposed Coyote Springs Investment LLC (Applicant) Multiple Species 
Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) and issuance of an incidental take 
permit (Permit) for endangered and threatened species in accordance 
with section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). The Applicant proposes to develop a planned community in 
southern Lincoln County and implement conservation features (Project). 
The Applicant intends to request a Permit for incidental take of 
federally-listed threatened or endangered species, including desert 
tortoise (gopherus agassizii) as well as Evaluation List species. 
Evaluation List species include species that have been petitioned for 
listing; State-listed species; species that have been nominated for 
inclusion by technical specialists; and other species of concern that 
co-occur with federally listed species. The Service plans to refine the 
species list as a part of the scoping process. In accordance with the 
Act, the Applicant will prepare a MSHCP containing proposed measures to 
minimize and mitigate incidental take that could result from the 
    The Service provides this notice to: (1) Announce the opening of an 
additional 30-day public scoping period; (2) correct inaccurate contact 
information provided in the previous notice (71 FR 530704, September 
12, 2006); (3) describe the proposed action and possible alternatives; 
(4) advise other Federal and State agencies, affected tribes, and the 
public of our intent to prepare an EIS; (5) obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of issues to be included in the EIS. The 
proposed action is approval of the MSHCP and issuance of the Permit.

DATES: Written comments from all interested parties must be received on 
or before December 4, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for information related to the 
preparation of the EIS should be sent to Robert D. Williams, Field 
Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 
1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, Nevada 89502; or fax 775-
    Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeannie Stafford, Public Affairs 
Specialist, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, at 775-861-6300.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was 
published in the Federal Register for this project on December 4, 2001 
(66 FR 63065). A second notice was published on September 12, 2006 (71 
FR 53704) because the amount of land included in the proposed MSHCP was 
modified. The MSHCP described in the 2001 notice included privately-
owned, developable lands, and leased land in Lincoln County and Clark 
County, Nevada. The proposed MSHCP described in this, and the September 
12, 2006, notice include private, developable lands in Lincoln County 
only, and leased lands in both Lincoln and Clark Counties. This notice 
is being published to allow for an additional 30-day comment period and 
to correct inaccurate contact information provided in the September 12, 
2006 notice. In that notice, an invalid e-mail address was provided as 
a way to submit comments. For the purposes of this reopening of the 
scoping period, please submit comments in writing to the contact 
identified in the ADDRESSES section.
    The Applicant has initiated discussions with the Service regarding 
preparation of an MSHCP and issuance of a Permit for their activities, 
which include residential and commercial development, construction, and 
maintenance. The Applicant has also initiated discussions with the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding land leases, and with the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding project wetland permitting. Land 
leased and owned by the Applicant occupies most of the eastern portion 
of Coyote Springs Valley straddling the Pahranagat Wash and the Kane 
Springs Wash in Lincoln County. It consists of approximately 13,800 
acres of land leased from the BLM in Lincoln and Clark Counties, and 
approximately 22,140 acres of developable private land in Lincoln 
County. The area is bordered by the Delamar Mountains to the north, the 
Meadow Valley Mountains to the east, and U.S. 93 to the west. The 
development area extends approximately 9 miles (14.48 kilometers) north 
of the Lincoln County/Clark County line. Leased land is bordered by SR 
168 to the south in Clark County. Accordingly, BLM will be a 
cooperating agency for the environmental review. These lands are 
located in portions of Townships 11, 12, and 13 South and Ranges 63 and 
64 East. The surrounding land is primarily owned and managed by the BLM 
and the Service. South of the development area, the Applicant's lands 
are being developed in Clark County and are not covered under this 
    Some of the Applicant's future activities have the potential to 
impact species subject to protection under the Act. Section 9 of the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) and Federal regulations prohibit the ``take'' of a 
fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the 
Act, 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 Act, 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 otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing 

[[Page 64556]]

for threatened species and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 
50 CFR 17.22, respectively. An applicant for a Permit under section 10 
must prepare and submit to the Service for approval a Plan containing a 
multifaceted strategy for minimizing and mitigating all take associated 
with the proposed activities to the maximum extent practicable. The 
applicant must also ensure that adequate funding for the Plan will be 
    The Service will conduct an environmental review of the MSHCP and 
prepare an EIS. ENTRIX has been selected as the lead consultant to 
prepare the EIS under the supervision of the Service, which will be 
responsible for the scope and content of the NEPA document. NEPA 
requires that Federal agencies conduct an environmental analysis of 
their proposed actions to determine if the actions may significantly 
affect the human environment. Under NEPA, a reasonable range of 
alternatives to proposed projects is developed and considered in the 
environmental review. Alternatives considered for analysis in an EIS 
may include: variations in the scope of proposed activities; variations 
in the location, amount, and types of conservation measures; variations 
in activity duration; or, a combination of these elements. In addition, 
the EIS will identify potentially significant direct, indirect, and 
cumulative impacts on biological resources, land use, air quality, 
water quality, water resources, socioeconomic conditions, and other 
environmental issues that could occur with implementation of the 
proposed action and alternatives. For all potentially significant 
impacts, the EIS identifies avoidance, minimization, and mitigation 
measures to reduce these impacts, where feasible, to a level below 
    The EIS will consider the proposed action, no action, and a 
reasonable range of alternatives. A detailed description of the impacts 
of the proposed action and each alternative will be included in the 
EIS. The alternatives to be considered for analysis in the EIS may 
address combinations of covered species, different permit effective 
periods, or a combination of elements.
    Written comments from interested parties are welcome to ensure that 
the issues of public concern related to the proposed action are 
identified. Comments and materials received will be available for 
public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Our practice is 
to make comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, 
and email addresses of respondents, available for public review. 
Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and /or 
homes addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this 
information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your 
comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding 
this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would 
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported 
assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, 
documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will 
always make submissions from organization or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials 
of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in 
their entirety.
    The Service requests that comments be specific. In particular, the 
Service is requesting information regarding (1) potential direct, 
indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementation of the proposed 
action; (2) other possible alternatives that meet the purpose and need; 
(3) potential adaptive management and/or monitoring provisions; (4) 
existing environmental conditions in the area; (5) other plans or 
projects that might be relevant to this proposed project; and (6) 
potential minimization and mitigation efforts.
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the NEPA of 1969 as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), Council on the Environmental Quality Regulations 
(40 CFR parts 1500-1518), other applicable Federal laws and 
regulations, and applicable policies and procedures of the Service. 
This notice is being furnished in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 to 
obtain suggestions and information from other agencies and the public 
on the scope of issues and alternatives to be addressed in the EIS. It 
is estimated that the draft EIS will be available for public review 
during the first quarter of 2007.

    Dated: October 27, 2006.
Ken McDermond,
Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. E6-18463 Filed 11-1-06; 8:45 am]