[Federal Register: December 14, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 239)]
[Page 69778-69779]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 69778]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit for Construction of Two Residential Home Sites on the Leonard 
Farm, Hygiene, Colorado

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that Tracy Leonard, has applied 
to the Fish and Wildlife Service for an incidental take permit pursuant 
to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. The proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of the 
Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), federally 
listed as threatened, and loss and modification of its habitat 
associated with construction and occupation of 2 residential home sites 
and a future orchard on the Leonard family farm. The duration of the 
permit would be 50 years from the date of issuance.

    We announce the receipt of the applicant's incidental take permit 
application that includes a combined proposed Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Preble's meadow jumping 
mouse for the Leonard farm. The proposed HCP/EA is available for public 
comment. It fully describes the proposed project and the measures the 
applicant would undertake to minimize and mitigate project impacts of 
the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. All comments on the EA/HCP and 
permit application will become part of the administrative record and 
will be available to the public.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application, Habitat Conservation 
Plan, and Environmental Assessment should be received on or before 
January 13, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the permit application and HCP/EA should 
be addressed to LeRoy Carlson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Colorado Field Office, 755 Parfet Street, Suite 361, Lakewood, 
Colorado 80215.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Linder, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Colorado Field Office, telephone (303) 275-2370. Individuals 
wishing copies of the HCP/EA and associated documents for review should 
immediately contact the above office. Documents also will be available 
for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at 
the above address.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation 
prohibit the ``take'' of a species listed as endangered or threatened. 
Take is defined under the Act, in part, as to kill, harm, or harass a 
federally listed species. However, the Service may issue permits to 
authorize ``incidental take'' of listed species under limited 
circumstances. Incidental Take is defined under the Act as take of a 
listed species that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the 
carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity under limited 
circumstances. Regulations governing permits for threatened species are 
promulgated in 50 CFR 17.32.
    The applicants plans to construct and occupy two residential home 
sites and a future orchard on their family farm. The Leonard family 
farm is located near the Town of Hygiene, in Boulder, Colorado. The 
projects will impact a maximum of 3.2 acres that may result in 
incidental take of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. This includes 1.7 
acres for the residential sites and 1.5 acres for the future orchard. 
Both sites will impact upland areas only.
    Alternatives considered in addition to the Proposed Action, were an 
alternate site location, alternate site design, and no action. None of 
these alternatives eliminated potential take of Preble's. The onsite, 
offsite, and cumulative impacts of the Projects and all associated 
development and construction activities and mitigation activities 
proposed by the HCP will have no significant impact on the Preble's 
mouse, other threatened or endangered species, vegetation, wildlife, 
wetlands, geology/soils, land use, water resources, air and water 
quality, or cultural resources. None of the proposed impacts occur 
within the riparsan corridor. All of the proposed impacts are in upland 
areas outside of the 100 year floodplain. Of the 3.2 acres proposed for 
residential development, 1.7 acres falls within 300 linear feet of the 
100 year floodplain (the building sites have been raised out of the 
floodplain). Utilizing the most extensive mouse protective habitat 
definition, the proposed development could impact up to 1.7 acres of 
potential mouse habit for the residential lots. In addition, the 
proposed orchard next to the St. Vrain Creek could potentially impact 
up to 1.5 acres of mouse habitat. The mitigation will likely provide a 
net benefit to the Preble's mouse and other wildlife by improving or 
creating new riparian areas and wetlands, planting of native grasses, 
and protecting existing mouse habitat along the St. Vrain Creek from 
any future development through a conservation easement.
    Only one federally listed species, the threatened Preble's meadow 
jumping mouse, occurs on site and has the potential to be adversely 
affected by the project. To mitigate impacts that may result from the 
residential sites and the future orchard, the HCP provides protection 
of the St. Vrain Creek corridor and its associated riparian areas, 
irrigated pastures, and grasslands from all future development through 
the conservation easement with Boulder County, creation of 3.1 acres of 
wetlands, and enhancement of 3.0 acres through native grass planting. 
The creation of 3.1 acres of wetland and riparian zone at a 3:1 ratio 
will provide 1.03 acres of compensation. The enhancement of 3.0 acres 
through native grass planting at a 2:1 mitigation will provide 1.5 
acres of compensation. The St. Vrain Creek corridor and its associated 
riparian areas, irrigated pastures, and grasslands will be protected 
from all future development through the conversation easement with 
Boulder County. This action preserves 8.4 acres of mouse habitat and 
will be applied to the conservation of the mouse which at a 10:1 
mitigation ratio provides 0.84 acres of compensation. Total mitigation 
for the 3.2 acres impacted is conservation of 8.4 acres of usable mouse 
habitat, 3.1 acres of created wetlands, and 3.0 acres of enhanced 
habitat. All of the proposed mitigation area is within the boundaries 
of the Leonard farm property, all of which is included in the drainage 
basin of S. Vrain Creek. The mitigation also includes planting of 
willows and grasses, livestock grazing management to protect Preble's 
meadow jumping mouse habitat and relocation of Crane Hollow Road and 
the proposed building sites farther away from mouse habitat than 
originally planned.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. We 
will evaluate the permit application, the Plan, and comments submitted 
therein to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
section 10(a) of the Act. If it is determined that those requirements 
are met, a permit will be issued for the incidental take of the Prebles 
meadow jumping mouse in conjunction with the construction and 
occupation of two residential lots on the Leonard farm and creation of 
a future orchard. The final permit decision will be made no sooner than 
January 13, 2000.

[[Page 69779]]

    Dated: December 8, 1999.
Ralph O. Morgenweck,
Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 99-32290 Filed 12-13-99; 8:45 am]