[Federal Register: March 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 44)]
[Page 10065-10066]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2009-N0017; 81420-1113-0000-F3]

Safe Harbor Agreement for East Bay Municipal Utility District 
Lands in San Joaquin, Amador, and Calaveras Counties, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application and proposed 
safe harbor agreement.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that East Bay Municipal Utility 
District (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) for a Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) for three Federally 
threatened species: Valley elderberry longhorn beetle (Desmocerus 
californicus dimorphus), California red-legged frog (Rana aurora 
draytonii), and California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). 
The Agreement is available for public comment.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before April 8, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Mr. Rick Kuyper, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage 
Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825. Written comments may also be sent by 
facsimile to (916) 414-6713.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Rick Kuyper, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: (916) 414-6600.


Availability of Documents

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


    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 (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). Safe Harbor Agreements, and the subsequent enhancement 
of survival permit that is issued pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 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 property use restrictions as a result of their 
efforts to attract listed species to their property, or to increase the 
numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of 
survival permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in the Code 
of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(c).
    We have worked with the applicant to develop the proposed Agreement 
for the conservation of the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, the 
California red-legged frog, and the California tiger salamander on 
lands owned and managed by the applicant (Enrolled Property) in San 
Joaquin, Amador, and Calaveras Counties, California. The 28,000-acre 
Enrolled Property subject to this Agreement consists of about 19,115 
acres of land and 9,034 acres of water surface. The Enrolled Property 
borders and includes Camanche and Pardee dams and reservoirs. It also 
includes the lands adjacent to the lower Mokelumne River for 
approximately \1/2\ mile below Camanche Dam. Current and recent land 
use practices on the enrolled property include management for water 
supply, flood control, grazing, aquaculture, hydroelectric power, 
wastewater treatment, facility maintenance, residential use, and 
recreation. The applicant has proposed that the Agreement provide 
authorized incidental take of the three Federally listed species for 
the activities specified above, as well as for any future activities 
associated with raising the heights of any existing dams.
    In order to benefit the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, the 
California red-legged frog, and the California tiger salamander for the 
duration of this Agreement, the applicant proposes to create, restore, 
manage, and maintain suitable breeding and dispersal habitat for the 
three Federally listed species on the Enrolled Property. We expect that 
the proposed activities will result in an increase in dispersal 
opportunities throughout the Enrolled Property, thus resulting in a net 
conservation benefit for the three Federally listed species. The 
Enrolled Property has known occurrences of the valley elderberry 
longhorn beetle and the California tiger salamander. Although 
California red-legged frogs have not been detected within the Enrolled 
Property, there is suitable breeding habitat throughout the Enrolled 
Property, and there is a known occurrence of this species on privately 
owned property adjacent to the enrolled property. The Agreement 
includes a monitoring component that will aid the applicant in 
developing management strategies that will ensure the successful 
creation, restoration, enhancement, and management of breeding and 
dispersal habitat for the three Federally listed species.
    The proposed duration of the Agreement and the enhancement of 
survival permit is 30 years. When fully implemented, the Agreement and 
requested enhancement of survival permit will allow the applicant to 
return to baseline after the end of the 30-year term of the Agreement 
and prior to the expiration of the 30-year permit, if so desired by the 
applicant. The Agreement fully describes the management activities to 
be undertaken by the applicant, and the net conservation benefits 
expected to the three Federally listed species.
    Upon approval of this Agreement, and consistent with the our Safe 
Harbor Policy published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 
32717), we would issue a permit to the applicant authorizing take of 
the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, the California red-legged frog, 
and the California tiger salamander incidental to the implementation of 
the management activities specified in the Agreement, incidental to 
other lawful uses of the Enrolled Property including normal, routine 
land management activities, and to return to pre-Agreement conditions 

Public Review and Comments

    We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed 
Agreement and permit application are eligible for categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act

[[Page 10066]]

of 1969 (NEPA). We explain the basis for this determination in an 
Environmental Action Statement that is also available for public 
    Individuals wishing copies of our Environmental Action Statement, 
and/or copies of the full text of the Agreement, including a map of the 
proposed permit area, should contact the office and personnel listed in 
the ADDRESSES section above.
    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.
    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. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will 
sign the proposed Agreement and issue an enhancement of survival permit 
under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to the applicant for take of the 
valley elderberry longhorn beetle, the California red-legged frog, and 
the California tiger salamander 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 
    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and 
pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: March 2, 2009.
Susan K. Moore,
Field Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. E9-4944 Filed 3-6-09; 8:45 am]