[Federal Register: June 6, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 108)]
[Page 31338-31339]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Walton Development LLC Residential Project, City of Redlands, San 
Bernardino County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of environmental assessment (EA) and 
receipt of an application for incidental take permit.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 
that Walton Development LLC (applicant) has applied for an incidental 
take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species 
Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. We are considering issuing a 5-year 
permit to the applicant that would authorize take of the federally 
endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus; 
``SBKR''). The proposed permit would authorize the take of individual 
SBKR. The applicant needs the permit because take of SBKR could occur 
during the applicant's proposed construction of a residential and light 
industrial development on a 42.5-acre site in the City of Redlands, San 
Bernardino County, California. The permit application includes a 
proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), which describes the proposed 
action and the measures that the applicant will undertake to mitigate 
take of the SBKR.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on or before August 6, 

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Mr. Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011. 
You also may send comments by facsimile to (760) 918-0638.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field 
Supervisor (see ADDRESSES), (760) 431-9440.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of these documents for review by contacting 
the above office. Documents also will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
address and at the San Bernardino County Libraries. Addresses for the 
San Bernardino County Libraries are: (1) 27167 Base Line, Highland, CA 
92346; (2) 25581 Barton Rd., Loma Linda, CA 92354; (3) 1870 Mentone 
Boulevard, Mentone, CA 92359; and (4) 104 West Fourth Street, San 
Bernardino, CA 92415.


    Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits the 
``take'' of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or 
threatened. Take of federally listed fish and wildlife is defined under 
the Act to include ``to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such 
conduct.'' We may, under limited circumstances, issue permits to 
authorize incidental take (i.e., take that is incidental to, and not 
the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity). 
Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and 
endangered species are found in 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively.
    The applicant is proposing development of residential and light 
industrial facilities on a 42.5-acre site. The site is located 
southwest and southeast of the intersection of Pioneer Avenue and 
Judson Street in the City of Redlands, San Bernardino County, 
California. The proposed project site is surrounded by a mix of active 
and abandoned citrus orchards, and an active municipal airport is 
located approximately 0.25 mile north of the project site.
    Based on focused surveys, 3.1 acres of the site are considered 
occupied by the SBKR. The Service has determined that the proposed 

development would result in incidental take of the SBKR. No other 
federally listed species are known to occupy the site.
    To mitigate take of SBKR on the project site, the applicant 
proposes to purchase credits towards conservation in perpetuity of nine 
(9) acres of

[[Page 31339]]

conservation credits from the Cajon Creek Conservation Bank in eastern 
San Bernardino Valley. The conservation bank collects fees that fund a 
management endowment to ensure the permanent management and monitoring 
of sensitive species and habitats, including the SBKR.
    Our EA considers the environmental consequences of three 
alternatives: (1) The Proposed Project Alternative, which consists of 
issuance of the incidental take permit and implementation of the HCP; 
(2) the On Site Conservation Alternative, which consists of a reduced 
project footprint and conservation of SBKR within the proposed project 
site; and (3) the No Action Alternative, which would result in no 
impacts to SBKR and no conservation.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Proposed permit issuance triggers the need for compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, a draft NEPA 
document has been prepared. We are the lead agency responsible for 
compliance under NEPA. As NEPA lead agency, we provide notice of the 
availability and make available for public review the EA.

Public Review

    We invite the public to review the HCP and EA during a 60-day 
public comment period (see DATES).
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying 
information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(a) of the Act and the 
regulations for implementing NEPA, as amended (40 CFR 1506.6). We will 
evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted 
thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
NEPA regulations and section 10(a) of the Act. If we determine that 
those requirements are met, we will issue a permit to the Applicant for 
the incidental take of the SBKR. We will make our final permit decision 
no sooner than 60 days after the date of this notice.

    Dated: May 31, 2007.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. E7-10881 Filed 6-5-07; 8:45 am]