[Federal Register: October 2, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 190)]
[Page 56082-56083]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of an Application for Extension of an Incidental Take 
Permit for the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker by the Woodlands Group, LLC, in 
Livingston Parish, LA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: On July 21, 2003, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
issued an incidental take permit (ITP) associated with a habitat 
conservation plan (HCP) under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1539), as amended, for the 
incidental take of the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker 
(Picoides borealis) (RCW) to the Woodlands Group, LLC (Permittee). The 
permit (TE037661-0) was for a period of four years and expired on July 
31, 2007. The requested permit extension by the Permittee will extend 
the permit expiration date nine years.

DATES: Written comments should be sent to the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's Regional Office (see ADDRESSES) and should be received on or 
before November 1, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Persons interested in reviewing the permit extension 
application or other related documents may obtain a copy by submitting 
a written request to James Boggs, Acting Field Office Supervisor, Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 646 Cajundome Boulevard, Suite 400, Lafayette, 
Louisiana 70506. Documents will be available for public inspection by 
appointment during normal business hours at the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, 
Georgia 30345 (Attn: Aaron Valenta).

Coordinator (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404/679-4144, or James Boggs 
(see ADDRESSES), telephone 337/291-3115.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We specifically request information, views, 
and opinions from the public via this notice on the Federal action, 
including the identification of any other aspects of the human 
environment not already identified in the Environmental Assessment 
(EA). Further, we specifically solicit information regarding the 
adequacy of the HCP as measured against our ITP issuance criteria found 
in 50 CFR parts 13 and 17.
    The permit authorizes take of RCWs on approximately 99 of 971 acres 
owned by the Permittee in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The proposed 
take would be incidental to otherwise lawful activities, including 
timber harvest and typical forest management activities on the 
Permittee's property. The extension request covers the same activities 
covered by the HCP and existing permit. There will be no increase in 
take beyond that anticipated in the original permit.
    The previously prepared HCP specifies the impacts that are likely 
to result from the taking and the measures the Permittee has taken to 
minimize and mitigate such impacts. The ITP authorized take of three 
RCW groups on the Permittee's property incidental to timber management 
activities. The mitigation and minimization measures in the HCP 
include: No take of RCWs during the breeding season; establishment of 
three replacement groups on Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge 
by provisioning recruitment territories; translocating juveniles 
fledged on the Permittee's property; monitoring the formation of 
breeding pairs; funding an endowment for habitat management (prescribed 
burning); and, translocating adult RCWs from the Permittee's property 
to Fort Polk Military Reservation in Louisiana prior to harvesting 
timber. The Permittee successfully completed the required minimization 
and mitigation measures outlined in the HCP by July 2004.
    RCW nesting and foraging habitat were removed in one cluster 
incidental to the timber harvest that was completed in that cluster. 
Due to poor market conditions, the Permittee had not harvested timber 
in the remaining two RCW clusters by the time the ITP expired and thus 
requests extension of the ITP. If renewed, annual reporting will no 
longer be required because the Permittee has completed the specified 
minimization and mitigation requirements. However, all other permit 
terms and conditions will remain the same, and no additional take will 
be authorized. The existing HCP satisfies all statutory issuance 
criteria and is therefore applicable to the extension of this ITP.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of 
several methods. Please reference permit number TE037661-0, The 
Woodlands Group, LLC, in such comments. You may mail comments to the 
Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office (see ADDRESSES). You may 
also comment via the internet to aaron_valenta@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 
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either Fish and Wildlife 
Service office listed (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

[[Page 56083]]

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.
    We will evaluate whether the extension of the section 10(a)(1)(B) 
ITP complies with section 7 of the Act by reviewing our previously 
prepared intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results of the 
biological opinion, in combination with the above findings, will be 
used in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue an 
extension of this ITP.

    Dated: August 30, 2007.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.
 [FR Doc. E7-19402 Filed 10-1-07; 8:45 am]