[Federal Register: May 7, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 89)]
[Page 25764-25765]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Low-Effect Safe Harbor Agreement for the Southwestern 
Willow Flycatcher for Landowners Restoring, Enhancing, or Managing 
Riparian Habitats in Washington, Iron, Garfield, Kane, Emery, Grand, 
Wayne, and San Juan Counties, Utah

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Color Country Resource 
Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (Applicant) has applied to 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of 
survival permit (permit) for the Southwestern willow flycatcher 
(flycatcher) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This permit application includes a 
Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) between the Applicant 
and the Service. The Service requests information, views, and opinions 
from the public via this notice. Further, the Service is soliciting 
information regarding the adequacy of the Programmatic Agreement as 
measured against the Service's Safe Harbor Policy and the regulations 
that implement it.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application must be received on 
or before June 6, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Laura Romin, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, 
Utah 84119. Written comments may be sent by facsimile to (801) 975-

Assistant Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES), telephone (801) 975-3330.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of the documents for review by contacting the 
individual named above. You also may make an appointment to view the 
documents at the above address during normal business hours.

Public Availability of Comments

    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.


    Under a Safe Harbor Agreement, participating landowners voluntarily 
undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, 
or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the Act. Safe 
Harbor Agreements, and the subsequent permits that are issued pursuant 
to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), encourage 
private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation 
efforts for listed species by assuring property owners that they will 
not be subjected to increased land use restrictions as a result of 
efforts to attract or increase the numbers or distribution of a listed 
species on their property. Application requirements and issuance 
criteria for permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in 50 CFR 
    We have worked with the Applicant to develop this proposed 
Programmatic Agreement for the conservation of the flycatcher in 
Washington, Iron, Garfield, Kane, Emery, Garfield, Wayne, and San Juan 
Counties, Utah. Within the 25,661,861 hectares (63,411,840 acres) of 
land within the above-named counties, landowners will be able to enroll 
non-Federal properties on which habitat for flycatcher will be 
restored, enhanced, and managed pursuant to a written agreement between 
the Applicant and a property owner. We have made a preliminary 
determination that the Agreement qualifies as a low-effect plan.
    This Agreement provides for the creation of a Program in which 
private landowners (Program Participants) enter into written 
cooperative agreements with the Applicant pursuant to the terms of the 
Agreement, to restore, enhance, and maintain riparian habitat in ways 
beneficial to the flycatcher. Such cooperative agreements will be for a 
term of at least 15 years. The proposed duration of the Agreement and 
permit is 50 years. The Agreement fully describes the proposed 
management activities to be undertaken by Program Participants and the 
conservation benefits expected to be gained for the flycatcher.
    Upon approval of this Agreement, and consistent with the Service's 
Safe Harbor Policy published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 
(64 FR 32717), the Service would issue a permit to the applicant 
authorizing take of flycatcher by Program Participants incidental to 
the implementation of the management

[[Page 25765]]

activities specified in the cooperative agreements, incidental to other 
lawful uses of the properties, including normal routine land management 
activities, and/or to return to pre-Agreement conditions. To benefit 
the flycatcher, Program Participants will agree to undertake site-
specific management activities, which will be specified in their 
written cooperative agreements.
    Management activities that could be included in the Cooperative 
Agreements will provide for the restoration, enhancement and management 
of native riparian habitats in the range of the flycatcher in Utah. The 
object of such activities is to enhance populations of flycatchers by 
increasing the amount and quality of suitable habitat on the enrolled 
properties. Take of flycatchers incidental to the aforementioned 
activities is unlikely; however, it is possible that in the course of 
such activities or other lawful activities on the enrolled property, a 
Program Participant could incidentally take flycatcher thereby 
necessitating take authority under the permit.
    Pre-Agreement conditions (baseline), consisting of survey for 
flycatchers and documentation on the extent of habitat shall be 
determined for each enrolled property as provided in the Agreement. In 
order to receive the above assurances regarding incidental take of 
flycatchers, a Program Participant must maintain baseline on the 
enrolled property. The Agreement and requested permit would allow each 
Program Participant to return to baseline conditions after the end of 
the term of the cooperative agreement (minimum of 15 years) and prior 
to the expiration of the 50-year permit, if so desired by the 

Public Review and Comments

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed 
Agreement and permit application are eligible for categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). We explain 
the basis for this determination in an Environmental Action Statement, 
which also is available for public review.
    Individuals wishing copies of the permit application, copies of our 
draft Environmental Action Statement, and/or copies of the Agreement, 
including a map of the proposed permit area and references, should 
contact the office and personnel listed in the ADDRESSES section above.
    If you wish to comment on the permit application or the Agreement, 
you may submit your comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES 
section of this document. Comments and materials received, including 
names and addresses of respondents, will be available for public 
review, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address in 
the ADDRESSES section above and will become part of the public record, 
pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. Individual respondents may 
request that we withhold their home address from the record, which we 
will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be 
circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name 
and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of 
your comment. Anonymous comments will not be considered. All 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, are available for public inspection in their entirety.
    We will evaluate this permit application, associated documents, and 
comments submitted thereon to determine whether the permit application 
meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act and NEPA regulations 
at 40 CFR 1506.6. If we determine that the requirements are met, we 
will sign the proposed Agreement and issue a permit under section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to the Applicants for take of the flycatcher 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the terms 
of the Agreement. We will not make our final decision until after the 
end of the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all comments 
received during the comment period.
    The Service provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the 
Act and pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: March 6, 2008.
Larry Crist,
Field Supervisor, Utah Field Office, West Valley City, Utah.
 [FR Doc. E8-10055 Filed 5-6-08; 8:45 am]