[Federal Register: February 16, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 30)]
[Page 7662-7664]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of an Application To Amend the Incidental Take Permit for 
the San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan, San Mateo County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the County of San Mateo 
and the cities of South San Francisco, Daly City, and Brisbane, 
California (Applicants), have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) for an amendment to the San Bruno Mountain incidental take 
permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act). The proposed amendment would add the callippe 
silverspot butterfly (Speyeria callippe callippe), listed as endangered 
under the Act on December 5, 1997, to the Applicants' existing 
incidental take permit (PRT 2-9818), and would authorize take of the 
callippe silverspot butterfly incidental to development activities on 
San Bruno Mountain, San Mateo County, California as described in the 
San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan). This permit was 
originally issued by the Service on March 4, 1983, and authorized 
incidental take of the federally endangered mission blue butterfly 
(Icaricia icarioides missionensis), federally endangered San Bruno 
elfin butterfly (Callophyrs mossii bayensis), and federally threatened 
San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) on San 
Bruno Mountain, California. This notice announces receipt of this 
permit amendment application and the availability of

[[Page 7663]]

associated documents, which include the original Plan, Environmental 
Assessment, and Implementing Agreement, and summary information 
provided by the Applicants regarding the current amendment request. All 
comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of 
the administrative record and may be made available to the public.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before March 18, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Mr. Wayne White, Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 3310 El Camino Avenue, Suite 130, 
Sacramento, California 95821-6340. Comments may be sent by facsimile to 
(916) 979-2744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lori Rinek or Mr. William Lehman, 
Fish and Wildlife Biologists, at the above address or call (916) 979-


Document Availability

    Individuals wishing copies of the documents mentioned above should 
immediately contact the Service's Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
at the above referenced address or by telephone at (916) 979-2710. 
Documents will also be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the above address.

Background Information

    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of species listed as endangered or threatened, respectively. Take is 
defined under the Act, in part, as to kill, harm, or harass a federally 
listed species. However, the Service may, under limited circumstances, 
issue permits to authorize ``incidental take'' of listed species. 
Incidental take is defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, 
and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful 
activity. Regulations governing permits for endangered species are 
found in 50 CFR 17.31. Regulations governing permits for threatened 
species are found in 50 CFR 17.32.
    On March 4, 1983, the Service issued the County of San Mateo and 
the cities of South San Francisco, Daly City, and Brisbane a permit 
(PRT 2-9818) for incidental take of the mission blue butterfly, San 
Bruno elfin butterfly, and San Francisco garter snake during 
development activities on San Bruno Mountain, San Mateo County, 
California. The Plan, on which issuance of PRT 2-9818 was based, listed 
the callippe silverspot butterfly as a ``Species of Concern,'' since it 
was then not listed and afforded protection under the Act, but 
nevertheless treated the callippe silverspot butterfly as if the 
species was listed under the Act. At the time of issuance of the permit 
in 1983, the Service did not identify species not listed under the Act 
on the face of an incidental take permit, even when such a species was 
treated in a habitat conservation plan as if listed and protected under 
the Act.
    The Plan was developed to implement a long-term strategy to 
conserve the three butterflies stated above, their host and larval 
plants, and the San Francisco garter snake on San Bruno Mountain and to 
minimize and mitigate the impact that development on San Bruno Mountain 
would have on these species. Conservation measures established by the 
Plan include: (1) Permanent preservation of butterfly habitat and 
ecological diversity through transfer of private lands on San Bruno 
Mountain to the public (the Plan protects 87 percent of the habitat of 
the mission blue butterfly, 93 percent of the habitat of the callippe 
silverspot butterfly and 100 percent of the habitat of the San Bruno 
elfin butterfly); (2) providing funding for the Plan through the 
assessment of development fees on the limited development allowed by 
the Plan on San Bruno Mountain; (3) protection and improvement of 
butterfly habitat through fencing, control of exotic plant species, and 
other measures; (4) regulation of construction activities to avoid 
unnecessary impacts to butterfly habitat; (5) ongoing monitoring and 
research of San Bruno Mountain's ecology and its associated Species of 
Concern; and (6) establishment of a manager to implement the Plan's 
conservation program. All of these measures applied to the callippe 
silverspot butterfly, which was then not listed under the Act, as well 
as to the federally listed species.
    The callippe silverspot butterfly was listed by the Service as 
endangered on December 5, 1997 (62 FR 64306). One of the primary 
reasons cited by the Service for listing the butterfly was over-
collection by insect collectors. Other factors cited include the 
threats of road and residential development, trampling of host plants 
by hikers and off-road vehicles, and application of herbicides and 
other chemical agents. Listing of the callippe silverspot butterfly 
under the Act provides the butterfly with regulatory protections 
against collecting and other threats.
    As a result of this listing, incidental take of the callippe 
silverspot butterfly is prohibited under the Act unless such take is 
otherwise authorized. As explained above, the Plan addressed the 
callippe silverspot butterfly as if it was listed under the Act; 
however, the species was not included in the list of species named on 
the incidental take permit. As a result, any taking of callippe 
silverspot butterflies on San Bruno Mountain Plan as a result of 
development activities would not be authorized under the Applicants' 
current permit. Consequently, the Applicants request this permit 
amendment to add the callippe silverspot butterfly to their incidental 
take permit. The Applicants also state in their permit application that 
the callippe silverspot butterfly was adequately addressed in the 
original Plan and that, consequently, amendments of the Plan and its 
supporting documents are unnecessary. In support of this, the 
Applicants cite statements from the Plan and Implementing Agreement 
that: (1) The Plan provides for the long-term reconciliation of the 
concerns of the parties regarding protection and enhancement of all the 
Plan's Species of Concern; (2) the Plan minimizes and mitigates the 
impacts of development on San Bruno Mountain's Species of Concern to 
the maximum extent practicable; and (3) no further mitigation or 
compensation will be required to provide for the conservation, 
protection, or enhancement of the San Bruno Mountain ecological 
community, including but not limited to its Species of Concern.
    However, the original Plan did not address the problem of butterfly 
collecting on San Bruno Mountain. In light of this and the fact that 
collecting of callippe silverspot butterflies was a primary reason 
cited by the Service for listing the species, the Applicants have 
agreed to a new condition to protect the callippe silverspot butterfly 
and other federally listed butterflies inhabiting San Bruno Mountain. 
The Applicants will post signs at all major trailheads and other public 
access points to San Bruno Mountain stating that: (1) Federal law 
prohibits the collection of the mission blue butterfly, San Bruno elfin 
butterfly, and callippe silverspot butterfly; (2) San Bruno Mountain 
provides habitat for these species; and (3) collecting or harming 
endangered butterflies could result in civil or criminal penalties 
under the Act. Placement of the signs will be made a condition of the 
amended permit and their design will be developed by the Applicants in 
consultation with the Service.
    In light of the above, the Service proposes to amend the 
Applicants' incidental take permit to add the callippe silverspot 
butterfly to the list of

[[Page 7664]]

covered species identified in the permit, and to authorize any take of 
the callippe silverspot butterfly that is incidental to development 
activities carried out in accordance with the Plan.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Endangered 
Species Act and Service regulations for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (40 CFR 1506.6). The Service will 
evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted 
thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
these laws. If the Service determines that the requirements are met, 
the existing permit (PRT 2-9818) will be amended for the incidental 
take of the callippe silverspot butterfly. A final decision on amending 
the permit will be made no sooner than 30 days from the date of this 

    Dated: February 9, 1999.
Elizabeth H. Stevens,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Region 1, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 99-3616 Filed 2-12-99; 8:45 am]