[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 132 (Tuesday, July 10, 2012)]
[Pages 40628-40629]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16775]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[[FWS-R2-ES-2012-N129: FXES11130200000F5-123-FF02ENEH00]

Draft Safe Harbor Agreement and Application for an Enhancement of 
Survival Permit for the Tres Rios Project

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: The City of Phoenix (Applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit 
(TE75475A-0) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (Act), as amended. 
The requested permit, which is for a period of 50 years, would 
authorize incidental take of Yuma clapper rail (Rallus longirostris 
yumanensis) and southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii 
extimus) as a result of operation and maintenance activities associated 
with the Tres Rios Project, and a potential return to baseline 
conditions. We invite the public to review and comment on the permit 
application and the associated draft Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA).

DATES: Comment Period: To ensure consideration of your written 
comments, they must be received on or before close of business (4:30 
p.m. CST) August 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments or requests for copies or more 
information by any of the following methods. You may request hard 
copies or a CD-ROM of the documents.
     Email: Mike_Martinez@fws.gov. Include ``Arizona 
Ecological Services Field Office draft Tres Rios SHA'' in the subject 
line of the message.
     Fax: Attn: Field Supervisor, 602-242-2513.

[[Page 40629]]

     U.S. Mail: 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, 
AZ 85021-4951.
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 602-242-0210 
to make an appointment (necessary for view/pickup only) during regular 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Martinez, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, by mail at the address under ADDRESSES, by phone at 
602-242-0210 x224, or by email at Mike_Martinez@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under a Safe Harbor Agreement, participating 
property owners voluntarily undertake management activities to enhance, 
restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Safe Harbor Agreements encourage private and 
other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation efforts for 
listed species by assuring property owners, through enhancement of 
survival permits under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, that they will 
not be subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of 
increased target species abundance due to their efforts to improve 
conditions for listed species on their property. Application 
requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits 
through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32.
    The Applicant plans to conduct operation and maintenance activities 
associated with the Tres Rios Project, including, but not limited to, 
management of vegetation, roads, trails, water delivery systems, flood 
control capacity, and storm water facilities. The Tres Rios Project is 
a cooperative project between the Applicant and the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers to enhance and maintain 927 acres of Sonoran Desert and 
riparian biotic communities within and adjacent to the Salt River 
Channel from approximately 91st Avenue to the confluence with the Gila 
River, and within the Gila River Channel, from approximately the 
confluence with the Salt River to El Mirage Road, Phoenix, Arizona. The 
project area also includes the Hayfield Wetlands to the east.
    The draft SHA and permit application are eligible for categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.; NEPA), based upon completion of a NEPA 
screening form. Section 9 of the Act prohibits the ``taking'' of 
threatened or endangered species. However, the Service, under limited 
circumstances, may issue permits to take threatened and endangered 
wildlife species when such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, otherwise lawful activities. We provide this notice under section 
10(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR 17.22), and NEPA and its implementing regulations 
(40 CFR 1506.6).

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email 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 provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), its 
implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22), and the National Environmental 
Policy Act (42 CFR 4371 et seq.).

    Dated: June 4, 2012.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 2012-16775 Filed 7-9-12; 8:45 am]