meta name="Author" content="U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service">
[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 149 (Thursday, August 2, 2012)]
[Pages 46105-46106]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2012-18991]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2012-N065; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of 
Application for Incidental Take Permit; Availability of Proposed Low-
Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; Lee County, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment/information.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an incidental take permit (ITP) application and Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). The City of Cape Coral (applicant) requests an 
ITP under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The 
applicant anticipates taking about 75 acres of Florida scrub-jay 
habitat in Lee County, Florida, for the construction of a 215-acre 
multi-use recreational park, several nearby single-family residences, 
and associated infrastructure. The

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applicant's HCP describes the minimization and mitigation measures 
proposed to address the effects of the project on the scrub-jay.

DATES: Written comments on the ITP application and HCP should be sent 
to the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) and 
should be received on or before September 4, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may request documents by email, U.S. mail, or fax (see 
below). These documents are also available for public inspection by 
appointment during normal business hours at the office below. Send your 
comments or requests by any one of the following methods.
    Email: Use ``Attn: Permit number TE75891A-0'' 
as your message subject line.
    Fax: Trish Adams, 772-562-4288, Attn.: Permit number TE75891A-0.
    U.S. mail: Trish Adams, HCP Coordinator, South Florida Ecological 
Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE75891A-0, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559.
    In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular 
business hours at the above office address.

South Florida Ecological Services Office, Vero Beach, Florida (see 
ADDRESSES), telephone: 772-469-4232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The City of Cape Coral (applicant) 
anticipates taking 75 acres of habitat used for breeding, feeding, and 
sheltering by the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) in Lee 
County, Florida. The Service listed the scrub-jay as threatened on June 
3, 1987 (52 FR 20715). The listing became effective July 6, 1987.

Applicant's Proposed Project

    We received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP), 
along with a proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP). The applicant 
requests a 25-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (87 
Stat. 884; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we approve the permit, the 
applicant anticipates taking 75 acres of Florida scrub-jay habitat for 
construction of Festival Park (a 215-acre multi-use recreational park), 
single-family residences, and associated infrastructure. The project is 
located in the north-central part of the City of Cape Coral at latitude 
26.701016, longitude--81.999287, Lee County, Florida.
    The applicant proposes to mitigate for the loss of 75 acres of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat by restoring 125 acres of off-site scrub 
habitat to be managed by Lee County, and to establish a fund that will 
provide for the long-term management of the mitigation area.

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the 
applicant's project, including the proposed mitigation and minimization 
measures, will individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible 
effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, issuance of the 
ITP is a ``low-effect'' action and qualifies as a categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6), as 
provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 
and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1), and as defined in our Habitat Conservation 
Planning Handbook (November 1996).
    We base our determination that issuance of the ITP qualifies as a 
low-effect action on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation 
of the project would result in minor or negligible effects on federally 
listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) 
implementation of the project would result in minor or negligible 
effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of 
the plan, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, 
and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not 
result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or 
resources that would be considered significant. As more fully explained 
in our environmental action statement and associated Low-Effect 
Screening Form, the applicant's proposed project qualifies as a ``low-
effect'' project. This preliminary determination may be revised based 
on our review of public comments that we receive in response to this 

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act. The Service will also evaluate whether issuance of 
the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP would comply with section 7 of the Act by 
conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results of this 
consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be used in 
the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP. If it 
is determined that the requirements of the Act are met, the ITP will be 
issued for the incidental take of the scrub-jay.

Submitting Comments

    If you wish to submit comments or information, you may do so by any 
one of several methods. Please reference permit number TE75891A-0 in 
such comments. You may mail comments to the Service's South Florida 
Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also comment via 
email to Please also include your name and return 
address in your email message. If you do not receive a confirmation 
from us that we have received your email message, contact us directly 
at the telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 
Finally, you may hand deliver comments to the Service office listed 

Availability of Public Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comments, 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 of the Act and NEPA 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: July 26, 2012.
Larry Williams,
Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.
[FR Doc. 2012-18991 Filed 8-1-12; 8:45 am]