[Federal Register: March 16, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 51)]
[Page 12631-12632]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for 
Construction of a Combination of Commercial Buildings and Residential 
Units in Palm Beach County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an incidental take permit (ITP) and Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). Royal Tequesta LLC (Applicant) requests an ITP 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). The Applicant anticipates taking about 2.24 acres of 
Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) foraging and 
sheltering habitat incidental to partial land clearing of their 6-acre 
lot and subsequent commercial and residential construction and 
supporting infrastructure in Palm Beach County, Florida (Project). The 
destruction of 2.24 acre of foraging and sheltering habitat is expected 
to result in the take of one family of scrub-jays. The Applicant's 
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) describes the mitigation and 
minimization measures proposed to address the effects of the Project to 
the Florida scrub-jay.

[[Page 12632]]

DATES: Written comments on the ITP applications and HCPs should be sent 
to the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) and 
should be received on or before April 16, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application and HCP may obtain 
a copy by writing the Service's South Florida Ecological Services 
Office. Please reference permit number TE 136147-0 in such requests. 
Documents will also be available for public inspection by appointment 
during normal business hours at the South Florida Ecological Services 
Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960-3559.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Trish Adams, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, South Florida Ecological Services Office, Vero Beach, 
Florida (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 772/562-3909, ext. 232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If you wish to comment, you may submit 
comments by any one of several methods. Please reference permit number 
TE 136147-0 in such requests. You may mail comments to the Service's 
South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also 
comment via the Internet to trish_adams@fws.gov. Please also 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 the telephone number listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Finally, you may hand deliver comments to 
the Service office listed under 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 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.
    Construction of the Project will take place within Section 30, 
Township 40 South, Range 43 East, Tequesta, Palm Beach County, Florida. 
The Project site is bounded by the Casa del Sol development project on 
the north, County Line Plaza on the south, U.S. Highway 1 on the east, 
and by the Village of Tequesta water treatment plant on the west. 
Scrub-jays occupy 3.58 acres of the 6-acre site.
    The Applicant proposes to minimize take of scrub-jays by avoiding 
land clearing activities during the breeding or nesting season (March 
through June) and by preserving, restoring, and maintaining 1.34 acres 
of scrub-jay habitat on their 6-acre lot in perpetuity. The Applicants 
propose to mitigate for the loss of 2.24 acres of occupied scrub-jay 
habitat by contributing a total of $384,017.78 to the Florida Scrub-jay 
Conservation Program Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy. Funds 
in this account are ear-marked for use in the conservation and recovery 
of scrub-jays and may include habitat acquisition, restoration, and 
    The Service has determined that the Applicant's proposal, including 
the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will have a minor or 
negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the ITP 
is for a ``low-effect'' project and qualifies as a categorical 
exclusion 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.
    The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.). If it is determined that 
those requirements are met, the ITP will be issued for the incidental 
take of the Florida scrub-jay. The Service will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the 
Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results 
of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be 
used in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the 

    Authority: This notice is provided pursuant to Section 10 of the 
Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: March 9, 2007.
Paul Souza,
Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.
 [FR Doc. E7-4853 Filed 3-15-07; 8:45 am]