[Federal Register: June 2, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 107)]
[Page 35383-35384]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Reconsideration of an Environmental 
Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan for Issuance of an Incidental Take 
Permit for the Construction and Operation of a Mixed-Use Development on 
a Portion of the 216-Acre Hart Triangle Property, Travis County, Texas.

SUMMARY: GDF Realty Investments Ltd. and Purcell Investments, L.P. 
(Landowners; Applicants) had applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) for seven incidental take permits for the Hart 
Triangle Property pursuant to Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species 
Act (Act). These permits were denied because the applications did not 
meet the statutory criteria for issuance. The EA/HCP made available by 
this notice is a draft EA/HCP that encompasses the entire area that was 
covered by the seven original permit applications. This EA/HCP was 
prepared by the Service based on information provided by the Applicants 
and other information acquired by the Service. The Applicants have been 
assigned permit number TE-027690-0. The permit, which is for a period 
of 30 years, would authorize the incidental

[[Page 35384]]

take of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia), 
and five karst invertebrates: Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion (Tararocreagris 
texana), Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle (Texamaurops reddelli), Bone Cave 
harvestman (Texella reyesi), Tooth Cave spider (Neoleptoneta myopica), 
and Tooth Cave ground beetle (Rhadine persephone). The proposed take 
would occur as a result of the construction and operation of mixed-use 
development on a portion of the 216-acre Hart Triangle property, Travis 
County, Texas.
    The Service has prepared the Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for the incidental take application. A 
determination of jeopardy to the species or a Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI) will not be made until at least 30 days from the date of 
publication of this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to Section 
10(c) of the Act and National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 
CFR 1506.6).

DATES: Written comments on this draft EA/HCP should be received on or 
before July 3, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by 
written or telephone request to Sybil Vosler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Ecological Services Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, 
Austin, Texas 78758 (512/490-0057). Documents will be available for 
public inspection by written request or by appointment only during 
normal business hours (8:00 to 4:30) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Office, Austin, Texas. Data or comments concerning the EA/HCP 
should be submitted in writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service Office, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please 
refer to permit number TE-027690-0 when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sybil Vosler at the above U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service Office, Austin, TX.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the golden-cheeked warbler or 
the listed karst invertebrates. However, the Service, under limited 
circumstances, may issue permits to take endangered wildlife species 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. 
Regulations governing permits for endangered species are at 50 CFR 


    GDF Realty Investments Ltd. and Purcell Investments, L.P., plan to 
construct and operate a mixed-use development on the 216-acre Hart 
Triangle property. The Service, after denying the original seven 
applications, has developed the draft EA/HCP for the issuance of this 
permit. Two alternatives were developed. The Preferred Alternative 1 
has two Options A and B. Alternative 1, Option A, includes a 75-acre 
karst preserve, a 77-acre golden-cheeked warbler preserve, and 64 acres 
for residential and commercial development, roads, and utilities. 
Preferred Alternative 1, Option B, includes a 75-acre karst preserve, a 
36-acre golden-cheeked warbler preserve, and 105 acres for residential 
and commercial development, roads, and utilities. The action in 
Alternative 1, Option A, would eliminate approximately 16 acres of 
habitat and indirectly impact 23 additional acres of golden-cheeked 
warbler habitat. The action in Alternative 1, Option B, would eliminate 
approximately 55 acres of habitat and indirectly impact 45 additional 
acres of golden-cheeked warbler habitat.
    Since the preferred alternative Options were developed to promote 
the long-term viability of the karst ecosystems, there would be minimal 
impacts to the listed karst species. However, some take of endangered 
karst invertebrates could occur during construction activities in the 
development area if voids containing the listed species are encountered 
during construction. The draft EA/HCP proposes to compensate for the 
incidental take of golden-cheeked warbler habitat by donating through 
fee simple or conservation easement to Travis County or other approved 
management entity, 77 acres of the Hart Triangle property (Preferred 
Alternative 1, Option A) or donating 35 acres on-site and purchasing 
220 acres of golden-cheeked warbler habitat off-site (Preferred 
Alternative 1, Option B). This land is adjacent to the existing 
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and will be managed by Travis County, or 
another conservation entity approved by the Service, as a preserve. 
Although impacts to the listed karst invertebrates are expected to be 
minimal, the draft EA/HCP proposes that the Landowners will sell or 
donate a 75-acre karst preserve to Travis County or another entity 
approved by the Service that will preserve and manage the preserves in 
perpetuity for either Preferred Alternative 1, Option A or Preferred 
Alternative 1, Option B.
    Other alternatives to this action were rejected because not 
developing the subject property with federally listed species present 
was not economically feasible for the Landowners, and other alterations 
of the project design increased the level of impacts to the endangered 
species present on the property.

Nancy M. Kaufman,
Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-13933 Filed 5-31-00; 11:04 am]