[Federal Register: March 8, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 45)]
[Page 10546-10547]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Construction of Six Single-Family Homes in Volusia County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:  Notice: receipt of applications for five incidental take 
permits; request for comments.


SUMMARY:  We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of five Incidental Take Permit (ITP) Applications and 
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) from the following four applicants: 
Formosa Homes, Inc., LaPalma Construction, Inc., Vincent Scorpio, and 
Today Homes Development, Inc. Each requests one or more ITPs for a 
duration of 2 years under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicants collectively anticipate 
taking a total of approximately 1.5 acres (ac) of Florida scrub-jay 
(Alphelocoma coerulescens)--occupied habitat incidental to constructing 
six single-family homes in Volusia County, Florida (Projects). The 
applicants' HCPs describe the mitigation and minimization measures the 
applicants propose to address the effects of the Projects to the scrub-

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP applications and 
HCPs on or before April 9, 2007.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the applications and HCPs, you may 
write the Field Supervisor at our Jacksonville Field Office, 6620 
Southpoint Drive, South, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32216, or make an 
appointment to visit during normal business hours. If you wish to 
comment, you may mail or hand deliver comments to the Jacksonville 
Field Office, or you may e-mail comments to paula_sisson@fws.gov. For 
more information on reviewing documents and public comments and 
submitting comments, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula Sisson, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 904/
232-2580, ext. 126.


Public Review and Comment

    Please reference permit numbers TE135675-0 for Formosa Homes, Inc.; 
TE145181-0 for LaPalma Construction, Inc.; TE143409-0 for Victor 
Scorpio; and TE143407-0 and TE143408-0 for Today Homes Development, 
Inc., in all requests or comments. Please include your name and return 
address in your e-mail message. If you do not receive a confirmation 
from us that we have received your e-mail message, contact us directly 
at the telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 
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 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 

[[Page 10547]]


    The Florida scrub-jay (scrub-jay) is found exclusively in 
peninsular Florida and is restricted to xeric uplands (predominately in 
oak-dominated scrub). Increasing urban and agricultural development has 
resulted in habitat loss and fragmentation, which have adversely 
affected the distribution and numbers of scrub-jays.
    The total estimated population is between 7,000 and 11,000 
individuals. The decline in the number and distribution of scrub-jays 
in east-central Florida has been exacerbated by tremendous urban growth 
in the past 50 years. Much of the historic commercial and residential 
development has occurred on the dry soils which previously supported 
scrub-jay habitat. Much of this area of Florida was settled early 
because few wetlands restricted urban and agricultural development. Due 
to the effects of urban and agricultural development over the past 100 
years, much of the remaining scrub-jay habitat is now relatively small 
and isolated. What remains is largely degraded due to the exclusion of 
fire, which is needed to maintain xeric uplands in conditions suitable 
for scrub-jays.

Applicants' Proposals

    The four (4) applicants are requesting take of approximately 1.5 ac 
of combined occupied scrub-jay habitat incidental to the construction 
of six single-family homes in Volusia County, Florida. Residential 
construction for one single-family home for Formosa Homes, Inc., is 
located within parcel 8115-00-00-0204, in Deltona, Florida. 
Residential construction for two single-family homes for LaPalma 
Construction, Inc., would occur within parcel 8009-05-04-0010; 
one single-family home for Vincent Scorpio would be located within 
parcel 8009-05-19-0400; and two single-family homes for Today 
Homes, Inc., would be located within parcels 8009-02-15-0190 
and 8009-02-14-0340. All are located in Orange City, Florida.
    The lots combined encompass about 1.5 ac, and the footprint of the 
homes,infrastructure, and landscaping preclude retention of scrub-jay 
habitat. In order to minimize take on site, the applicants propose to 
mitigate for the loss of 1.5 ac of scrub-jay habitat by contributing a 
total of $70,974 ($12,045 from Formosa Homes, Inc.; $22,726 from 
LaPalma Construction, Inc.; $11,363 from Scorpio; and $24,840 from 
Today Homes, Inc.) to the Florida Scrub-jay Conservation Fund 
administered by The Nature Conservancy. Funds in this account are 
earmarked for use in the conservation and recovery of scrub-jays and 
may include habitat acquisition, restoration, and/or management.
    We have determined that the applicants' proposals, including the 
proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or 
negligible effects on the species covered in the HCPs. Therefore, the 
ITPs are ``low-effect'' projects and qualify for categorical exclusions 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the 
Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 
Appendix 1). This preliminary information may be revised based on our 
review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice. 
Low-effect HCPs are those involving (1) minor or negligible effects on 
federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor 
or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources.
    We will evaluate the HCPs and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the 
applications meet those requirements, we will issue the ITPs for 
incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay. We will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITPs complies with section 7 of the 
Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. We will use 
the results of this consultation, in combination with the above 
findings, in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue 
the ITPs.

    Authority: We provide this notice under Section 10 of the 
Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: February 28, 2007.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E7-4135 Filed 3-7-07; 8:45 am]