Conserving the Nature of America
Report
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Application for Permit Renewal for Kauai Island Utility Company

June 14, 2018

Contact(s):

Megan Nagel, 808-792-9530 or megan_nagel@fws.gov



HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has submitted an application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for renewal of their incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. The permit renewal is associated with KIUC’s Short-Term Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) which addresses the potential direct, indirect and cumulative effects caused by the applicant’s operation and maintenance of existing and anticipated electrical utility facilities on three threatened and endangered species on Kauai. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public review and comment on the application for the Short-Term HCP permit renewal from June 15 – July 15.   

The applicant’s permit would authorize the incidental take of the endangered Hawaiian Petrel, endangered band-rumped storm-petrel and threatened Newell’s shearwater for an indefinite period of time until it is replaced with a new permit.  KIUC’s long-term HCP and permit application is currently under development.   Under the proposed permit and current, short-term HCP, KIUC would take steps to reduce the impacts to petrels and shearwaters, improve habitat, control predators and other offset measures.

Under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, habitat conservation plans are voluntary agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company, or non-federal agency and ensure that harmful effects to threatened and endangered species are minimized or offset. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering species while supporting important economic activities.

Kauai is home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds in the main Hawaiian Islands. The island serves as a sanctuary for threatened Newell’s shearwaters and endangered band-rumped storm-petrels and Hawaiian petrels.  State agencies, Federal agencies, nonprofit, and local organizations have been partnering to implement conservation measures for Kauai’s seabirds.  Conservation measures include conducting predator control, installing predator-proof fences to protect seabird colonies, conducting seabird monitoring, translocating seabirds to establish new colonies, controlling invasive plant species, and rehabilitating and releasing downed seabirds.  As part of KIUC’s HCP, it has been a partner in these efforts and implemented many of the above conservation measures.

Comments on the KIUC permit renewal application may be submitted:

Electronically: KIUCShort-Termhcp@fws.gov - Include “KIUC Short-Term HCP” in the subject line of the message.

Mail: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3–122, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.  Include “KIUC Short-Term HCP” in the subject line of your request or comment.

Fax: 808-792-9580, Attn: Field Supervisor.  Include “KIUC Permit Renewal” on the cover page.

All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including an address, phone number or other personal identifying information in comments, the public should be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—might be made publicly available at any time.

More information can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/

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