[Federal Register: April 6, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 66)]
[Page 17488]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Safe Harbor Agreement With Assurances and Application for 
an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the Houston Toad in Bastrop 
County, TX

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Small Family Investments, Ltd. (Applicant) has applied to the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival 
permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act 
(Act) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The requested 
permit, which is for a period of 12 years, includes a draft Safe Harbor 
Agreement (SHA) for the endangered Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis) in 
Bastrop County, Texas. We invite the public to review and comment on 
the permit application and the associated SHA.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or 
before May 8, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, P.O. Box 1306, Room 4102, 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87103. Persons wishing to review the draft SHA 
or other related documents may obtain a copy by written or telephone 
request to Paige Najvar, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet 
Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 (512-490-0057; Fax 512-490-0974). 
The documents will also be available for public inspection, by 
appointment only, during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at 
the Service's Austin office. The Draft Agreement may also be obtained 
from the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ifw2es /Documents/R2ES/Small--

SHA--for--notice.pdf. Comments concerning the draft SHA or other 
related documents should be submitted in writing to the Field 
Supervisor at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, 
Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758. Please refer to permit number TE-
120475-0 when submitting comments. All comments received will become a 
part of the official administrative record and may be made available to 
the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paige Najvar at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758 
(512-490-0057; Fax 512-490-0974), or Paige_Najvar@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Applicant has applied to the Service for 
a section 10(a)(1)(A) enhancement of survival permit for the endangered 
Houston toad in Bastrop County, Texas for a period of 12 years.
    The Applicant intends to work collaboratively with Environmental 
Defense and the Service to implement conservation measures that are 
expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the Houston toad and 
will improve the quality of Houston toad habitat on the 836-acre 
property in Bastrop County, Texas. The Applicant has agreed to 
undertake conservation measures such as prescribed burning and brush 
thinning activities in order to control invasive woody understory 
species and decrease existing fuel load. These conservation measures 
are expected to facilitate the establishment of native, herbaceous 
vegetation while expanding and enhancing potential breeding, foraging, 
and hibernating habitats for the Houston toad currently occupying the 
property and the adjacent Bastrop State Park.
    Incidental take of toads may occur on the property due to habitat 
management actions conducted in accordance with the conservation 
measures in the SHA, on-going ranch activities, and the possible 
cessation of management activities by the Applicant.
    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act, the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C 4371 et seq.), and its 
implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 [FR Doc. E6-4993 Filed 4-5-06; 8:45 am]