[Federal Register: July 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 135)]
[Page 40359-40360]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWSR8-2008-N0148; 1120-0008-0221-F2]

Incidental Take Permit for the Regency Centers Project in the 
City of Highland, San Bernardino County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Regency Centers (Applicant) has applied to the Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as 
amended. The Service is considering issuing a 3-year permit to the 
Applicant that would authorize take of the federally endangered San 
Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys Merriami parvus; ``SBKR''). The 
proposed permit would authorize the take of an individual SBKR. The 
Applicant needs the permit because take of SBKR could occur during the 
proposed construction of a commercial development on an 8.4-acre site 
in the City of Highland, San Bernardino County, California. The permit 
application includes the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan), 
which describes the proposed action and the measures that the Applicant 
would undertake to minimize and mitigate take of the SBKR.

DATES: Submit written comments on or before September 12, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Mr. Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, 
California 92011. You also may send comments by facsimile to (760) 918-

[[Page 40360]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field 
Supervisor [see ADDRESSES] or call (760) 431-9440.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of these documents for review by contacting 
the above office. Documents also will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 
address and at the San Bernardino County Libraries. Addresses for the 
San Bernardino County Libraries are: (1) 27167 Base Line, Highland, CA 
92346; (2) 25581 Barton Rd, Loma Linda, CA 92354; (3) 1870 Mentone 
Boulevard, Mentone, CA 92359; and (4) 104 West Fourth Street, San 
Bernardino, CA 92415.


    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulations prohibit the ``take'' 
of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take 
of federally listed fish and wildlife is defined under the Act to 
include ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, 
capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.'' The 
Service may, under limited circumstances, issue permits to authorize 
incidental take (i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity). Regulations 
governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species 
are found in 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22.
    The Applicant is proposing development of commercial facilities on 
an 8.4-acre site. The site is located southeast of the intersection of 
State Route 30 and Fifth Street (State Route 330) in the City of 
Highland, San Bernardino County, California. The proposed project site 
is bordered on the west by vacant land that has been permitted for 
construction of commercial facilities, on the north by 5th Street, on 
the east by vacant land and a public storage facility, and on the south 
by a berm separating the site from the Plunge Creek flood control 
basins, aggregate operations, and the Santa Ana Wash.
    Based on focused surveys and habitat assessments, 4.5 acres of the 
site are considered occupied by the SBKR. The Service has determined 
that the proposed development would result in incidental take of the 
SBKR. No other federally listed species are known to occupy the site.
    To mitigate take of SBKR on the project site, the Applicant has 
purchased credits towards conservation in-perpetuity of thirteen (13) 
acres of conservation credits from the Cajon Creek Conservation Bank in 
eastern San Bernardino Valley. The conservation bank collects fees that 
fund a management endowment to ensure the permanent management and 
monitoring of sensitive species and habitats, including the SBKR.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Proposed permit issuance triggers the need for compliance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, a draft NEPA 
document has been prepared. The Service is the Lead Agency responsible 
for compliance under NEPA. As NEPA lead agency, the Service is 
providing notice of the availability and is making available for public 
review the Environmental Assessment.
    The Service's Environmental Assessment considers the environmental 
consequences of three alternatives, including: (1) The Proposed Project 
Alternative, which consists of issuance of the incidental take permit 
and implementation of the Plan; (2) the Alternate Site Layout 
Alternative, which consists of a reduced project footprint and 
conservation of SBKR within the proposed project site; and (3) the No 
Action Alternative, which would result in no impacts to SBKR and no 

Public Review

    The Service invites the public to review the Plan and Environmental 
Assessment during a 60-day public comment period (see DATES). 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.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Act and 
the regulations for implementing NEPA, as amended (40 CFR 1506.6). We 
will evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments 
submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of NEPA regulations and section 10(a) of the Act. If we 
determine that those requirements are met, we will issue a permit to 
the Applicant for the incidental take of the SBKR. We will make our 
final permit decision no sooner than 60 days from the date of this 

    Dated: July 8, 2008.
Richard F. Kearney,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, California and Nevada Region, 
Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. E8-16040 Filed 7-11-08; 8:45 am]