[Federal Register: December 9, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 236)]
[Page 69022-69023]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Receipt of 
Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Globenet/Worldcom 
Parking Lot Expansion in Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: MFS Globenet, Incorporated/Worldcom Network Services, 
Incorporated (Globenet/Worldcom) has applied for an incidental take 
permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. 
Globenet/Worldcom requests a 5-year permit to allow the incidental take 
of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta 
walkeriana) associated with construction of an expanded parking lot 
(0.4 acre) in the community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA. 
The permit application includes a Habitat Conservation Plan and an 
Implementation Agreement, both of which are available for public review 
and comment. The Service also announces the availability of an 
Environmental Assessment for the proposed issuance of the incidental 
take permit. All comments received will become part of the 
administrative record and may be released to the public.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before January 10, 

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Diane Noda, Field 
Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, 
Ventura, CA 93003; facsimile (805) 644-3958.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Hill or Heather Hollis, Fish and 
Wildlife Biologists, at (503) 231-6241.


Document Availability

    Individuals wishing copies of the documents for review should 
immediately contact the office listed above. Documents also will be 
available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours 
at the above address.


    Under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act and its implementing 
regulations, taking of threatened and endangered wildlife species is 
prohibited. Under the Act, the term ``take'' means to harass, harm, 
pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, capture or collect listed wildlife, 
or attempt to engage in such conduct. Harm includes habitat 
modification that kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing 
essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering. Under limited circumstances, the Service may issue permits 
to take threatened or endangered wildlife species if such taking is 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. 
Regulations governing permits for threatened and endangered species are 
found at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32.
    Globenet/Worldcom needs an incidental take permit to expand a 
parking lot at its telecommunication building located at 10th and Los 
Olivos Avenue in the city of Los Osos. To obtain a Certificate of 
Occupancy for the building, Globenet/Worldcom must expand the parking 
lot for fire truck access. Globenet/Wordlcom proposes to expand the 
parking lot in areas of occupied snail habitat that were previously 
avoided during siting of the building. Globenet/Worldcom may be able to 
avoid impacts to the Morro shoulderband snail during future 
construction and operation of a fiber optic cable originating at the 
telecommunication facility. If take of the snail can not be avoided 
during construction and operation of the cable, Globenet/Worldcom will 
apply for a permit amendment.
    The proposed construction of an expanded parking lot would result 
in the permanent loss of 0.4 acre of habitat that supports the 
endangered Morro shoulderband snail. The permit application includes a 
Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and an Implementation Agreement which 
define the responsibilities of all of the parties under the Plan. The 
Plan addresses impacts to the Morro shoulderband snail that are 
associated with the proposed parking lot expansion and the future cable 
project. The Plan provides for implementation of measures to minimize 
and mitigate adverse impacts to the Morro shoulderband snail.
    To minimize the effects of the parking lot expansion, the 
boundaries of the work area will be clearly marked and enforced by a 
Service approved

[[Page 69023]]

biological monitor. To compensate for unavoidable habitat loss from the 
parking lot expansion, and for future impacts from fiber optic cable 
construction should a permit amendment be needed, Globenet/Worldcom 
proposes to provide funds to acquire, restore, monitor and manage in 
perpetuity 3.78 acres of high quality, Morro shoulderband snail habitat 
off-site and adjacent to Montana de Oro State Park. This land would be 
deeded to and managed by the California Department of Parks and 
Recreation or another land manager approved by the Service.
    The Plan and the Environmental Assessment consider two alternatives 
to the proposed parking lot expansion project, as well as additional 
alternatives to the future cable project. Under the No Development 
Alternative, the parking lot would not be expanded, the 
telecommunications building would remain vacated, and the Service would 
not issue an incidental take permit. Non-native plants would recolonize 
the project site, human disturbances would likely continue, and off-
site high quality snail habitat would not be protected. Under the 
Alternate Site Alternative, the existing telecommunications building 
would remain vacated. Globenet/Worldcom would construct another 
building at another site that does not support listed species. The 
Service would not issue an incidental take permit. This alternative 
would result in greater impacts to the environment than the other 
alternatives and would not provide a substantial benefit to the snail.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act and Service regulations for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (40 CFR 1506.6). In determining 
whether the application meets the requirements of law, the Service will 
evaluate the application, its associated documents, and comments 
submitted by the public. If the Service determines that the 
requirements are met, a permit will be issued for the incidental take 
of the Morro shoulderband snail. A final decision on permit issuance 
will be made no sooner than 30 days from the date of this notice.

    Dated: December 1, 1999.
Elizabeth H. Stevens,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 99-31746 Filed 12-8-99; 8:45 am]