[Federal Register: October 10, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 195)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 57511-57512]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Eastern New York 
Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Enhancement of Survival Permit

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability and Receipt of Application; Request for 


SUMMARY: The Eastern New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 
has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
Enhancement of Survival Permit (ESP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. The requested 
permit, which is for a period of 50 years, includes a draft Safe Harbor 
Agreement (SHA) for the Karner blue butterfly in portions of Albany, 
Saratoga, Schenectady, and Warren Counties, New York.
    A draft Environmental Assessment (EA), pursuant to the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), is also available for public 
review. We are requesting comments on this application.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application, SHA, and EA must be 
received on or before November 9, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Please address comments to Field Office Supervisor, New York 
Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New York 13045; facsimile 607-
753-9699. Please refer to permit TE162713-0 when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Stilwell or Robyn Niver at the 
New York Field Office (see ADDRESSES above), telephone 607-753-9334; 
facsimile 607-753-9699, or Robyn_Niver@fws.gov.


Document Availability

    Individuals wishing copies of the permit application or the draft 
EA, or copies of the full text of the proposed SHA, should contact the 
office and personnel listed in the ADDRESSES section. Documents also 
will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal 
business hours at this office (see ADDRESSES).
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public on the proposed Federal action of issuing a permit. Further, we 
solicit information regarding the adequacy of the SHA as measured 
against our permit issuance criteria found in 50 CFR 17.22(c).
    Before including your address, telephone number, electronic mail 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be 
advised 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 from public review your personal 
identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do 


    TNC has applied to the Service for a section 10(a)(1)(A) ESP for 
the endangered Karner blue butterfly in portions of 4 eastern New York 
counties (Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Warren) for a period of 50 
    TNC plans to implement a programmatic SHA program on non-Federal 
and non-TNC lands in eastern New York to promote the recovery of the 
Karner blue butterfly on enrolled private lands located in the counties 
listed above. The conservation measures will improve and maintain pitch 
pine scrub oak barrens oak-pine savannahs, and tall grass prairie 
openings through mowing, tree clearing, and grubbing, removal of 
debris, prescribed burning, limited use of herbicides, and planting 
seeds or seedlings by hand or mechanical equipment. TNC may also employ 
captive-rearing and translocation methods to enhance butterfly 
colonization of sites. Due to the programmatic nature of the SHA, 
baseline conditions will be determined at the time of enrollment. 
Baseline conditions for most properties are anticipated to be zero. 
Where properties are determination to have an environmental baseline 
greater than zero, these areas shall be described in the cooperative 
agreement between TNC and the property owner, with detailed 
descriptions and maps showing the locations of existing habitat 
attached to the cooperative agreement.
    Under an SHA, a participating property owner voluntarily undertakes 
management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or 
maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the Act. Safe Harbor 
Agreements encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to 
implement conservation efforts for listed species by assuring property 
owners they will not be subject to increased property use restrictions 
if their efforts attract listed species to their property or increase 
the numbers or distribution of listed species already on their 

[[Page 57512]]

    The draft EA considers the environmental consequences of three 
alternatives, including a no-action alternative, the proposed action, 
and an alternative involving individual SHAs with the Service.


    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and 
pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6). We will 
evaluate the permit application, the proposed SHA, and comments 
submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a) of the Action and NEPA regulations. If 
the requirements are met, we will sign the proposed SHA and issue an 
enhancement of survival permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to 
TNC for take of Karner blue butterfly incidental to otherwise lawful 
activities of the project. We will not make a final decision until 
after the end of the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all 
comments received during the comment period.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.).

    Dated: August 24, 2007.
Thomas J. Healy,
Acting Regional Director, Region 5.
[FR Doc. E7-19882 Filed 10-9-07; 8:45 am]