[Federal Register: May 17, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 95)]
[Page 27839-27840]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Construction of a Health Center in Brevard County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: receipt of application for an incidental take permit; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an incidental take permit (ITP) application and Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). Parrish Medical Center (applicant) requests an 
incidental take permit (ITP) for a duration of 2 years pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). The applicant anticipates taking approximately 6.93 acre (ac) of 
Florida scrub-jay (Alphelocoma coerulescens)--occupied habitat 
incidental to constructing a health center in Brevard County, Florida 
(project). The applicant's HCP describes the mitigation and 
minimization measures the applicant proposes to address the effects of 
the project to the scrub-jay.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP application and 
HCP on or before June 18, 2007.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the application and HCP, 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 erin_gawera@fws.gov. For more information on 
reviewing documents and public comments and submitting comments, see 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Gawera, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 904/
232-2580, ext. 121.


Public Review and Comment

    Please reference permit number TE151083-0 for Parrish Medical 
Center 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. 
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. 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.


    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.

Applicant's Proposal

    The applicant is requesting take of approximately 6.93 ac of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat incidental to the construction of a health 
center. The project is located within Section 26 and 27, Township 23 
South, Range 35 East, Port St. John, Brevard County, Florida, on the 
south side of the Port St. John Interchange, west of Grissom Parkway.
    Development of the project, including infrastructure, parking areas 
and landscaping, preclude retention of scrub-jay habitat onsite. 
Therefore, the applicant proposes to mitigate for the loss of 6.93 ac 
of occupied scrub-jay habitat by donating $254,051 to the Florida 
Scrub-jay 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. The applicant also proposed to preserve and manage 6 ac of 
scrub habitat for scrub-jays on site as described in their HCP.
    We have determined that the applicant's proposal, including the 
proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or 
negligible effects on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the 
ITP is a ``low-effect'' project and qualifies 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. A low-effect HCP is one 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 
    We 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 we determine that the 
application meets those requirements, we will issue the ITP for 
incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay. We 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. We will use 
the results of this consultation, in combination with the above 
findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue 
the ITP.

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

[[Page 27840]]

    Dated:April 17, 2007.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E7-9481 Filed 5-16-07; 8:45 am]