[Federal Register: November 27, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 227)]
[Page 62345-62346]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2009-N224; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Receipt of Application for Incidental Take Permit for Residential 
Development, Walton County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: receipt of application for incidental take permit (ITP) 
for a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP); availability of proposed HCP and 
environmental assessment (EA); request for comment.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of a proposed HCP, an accompanying ITP application, and an EA related 
to a proposed development that would take the Choctawhatchee beach 
mouse (Peromyscus polionotus allophrys) on Perdido Key in Walton 
County, Florida. The HCP analyzes the take of the federally endangered 
Choctawhatchee beach mouse incidental to construction and occupation of 
a 13-unit condominium (Project). Will and Sikes, Inc. (Applicant) 
requests an ITP under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as 
amended. The Applicant's HCP describes the mitigation and minimization 
measures proposed to address the effects on the species.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP application, EA, 
and HCP at our Regional Office (see ADDRESSES) on or before December 
28, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Documents will be available for public inspection by 
appointment during normal business hours at the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, 
GA 30345 (Attn: David Dell); or at the Fish and Wildlife Service Field 
Office, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405 (Attn: Field 

Coordinator (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404/679-7313; or Mr. Ben 
Frater, Field Office Project Manager, at the Panama City Field Office 
(see ADDRESSES), telephone: 850/769-0552, ext. 248.

[[Page 62346]]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of a proposed 
HCP, accompanying ITP application, and an EA, which analyzes the take 
of the Choctawhatchee beach mouse incidental to the Project. The 
applicant requests a 30-year ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as 
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public via this notice on our proposed Federal action, including 
identification of any other aspects of the human environment not 
already identified in the EA pursuant to NEPA regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6). Further, we specifically solicit information regarding the 
adequacy of the HCP per 50 CFR parts 13 and 17.
    An assessment of the likely environmental impacts associated with 
the implementation of the Project, the EA considers the environmental 
consequences of the no-action alternative and the proposed action. The 
proposed action alternative is issuance of the ITP and implementation 
of the HCP as submitted by the Applicant. The HCP covers activities 
associated with the construction and maintenance of a condominium. 
Avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures include a reduced 
design footprint, on-site land management to maintain use of the site 
by Choctawhatchee beach mice, and funding off-site habitat acquisition 
and management.

Public Comments

    If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of 
several methods. Please reference TE206010-0 in such comments. You may 
mail comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office (see 
ADDRESSES). You may also comment via the Internet to david_
dell@fws.gov. Please 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 either 
telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either of our offices 
listed under ADDRESSES. 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.

Covered Area

    The area encompassed under the HCP and ITP application is a 2.65-
acre tract of Gulf-front property containing 1.65 acres of suitable, 
currently undeveloped Choctawhatchee beach mouse habitat. The Project 
area is located in south-central Walton County, Florida, and includes 
300 linear feet of dunes and open beach. Choctawhatchee beach mice 
historically ranged throughout the Walton and Bay County coastline, but 
are now restricted to about 15 miles of coastline in the Topsail Hill 
area in Walton County and Shell Island in Bay County.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate these ITP applications, including the HCP and any 
comments we receive, to determine whether these applications meet the 
requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will also evaluate 
whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 
of the Endangered Species 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. If we determine that the requirements 
are met, we will issue the ITP for the incidental take of the 
Choctawhatchee beach mouse.


    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: October 5, 2009.
Mark Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E9-28369 Filed 11-25-09; 8:45 am]