[Federal Register: February 4, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 24)]
[Page 5653-5654]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan for Issuance of an Endangered Species Act Section 
10(a)(1)(B) Permit for the Incidental Take of the Houston Toad During 
Construction of a Single Family Residence on Two Lots in the Circle D 
Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas

SUMMARY: Cornerstone Construction (Applicant) has applied to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit 
pursuant to Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). The 
Applicant has been assigned permit number TE-021793. The requested 
permit, which is for a period of 5 years, would authorize the 
incidental take of the endangered Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis). The 
proposed take would occur as a result of the construction and 
occupation of one single family residence on Lot 17, Section 5 and Lot 
21, Section 6 in the Circle D Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop 
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 before 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 the application should be received on or 
before March 6, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. 
Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review the 
EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Tannika Engelhard, Ecological 
Services Field 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin, Texas. 
Written data or comments concerning the application and EA/HCP should 
be submitted to the Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, 
Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit number TE-
021793 when submitting comments.

[[Page 5654]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tannika Engelhard at the above Austin 
Ecological Service Field Office.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the Houston toad. 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 17.22.


    Cornerstone Construction plans to construct one single family 
residence each on Lot 17, Section 5 and Lot 21, Section 6 in the Circle 
D Country Acres Subdivision, Bastrop County, Texas. This action will 
eliminate less than one acre of habitat and result in an unquantifiable 
amount of indirect impact. The applicant proposes to compensate for 
this incidental take of the Houston Toad by contributing $3,000.00 
($1,500.00 for each homesite) to the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation for the specific purpose of land acquisition and management 
within Houston toad habitat, as identified by the Service.
    Alternatives to this action were rejected because not developing 
the subject property with federally listed species present was not 
economically feasible and alteration of the project design would not 
alter the level of impacts.

Thomas L. Bauer,
Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-2462 Filed 2-3-00; 8:45 am]