[Federal Register: October 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 204)]
[Page 63089]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 63089]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) for Pima County, Arizona

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to extend the public comment period on scoping 
issues for preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
related to the SDCP.


SUMMARY: On September 7, 2000, pursuant to the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA), the public was advised that the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) intends to prepare an EIS to evaluate the 
impacts of and alternatives for the possible issuing of an incidental 
take permit, pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act), to Pima County. At public scoping 
meetings held on October 4, 2000 in Tucson, Arizona, the public 
requested additional time in which to respond. This notice provides an 
extension of 30 days to the public comment period.

DATES AND ADDRESSES: Written comments on conservation alternatives and 
issues to be addressed in the EIS are now requested by Friday, November 
24, 2000, and should be sent to Mr. David Harlow, Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, 
Phoenix, AZ, 85021 at 602/640-2720. For the information of the general 
public, names and addresses of anyone who comments may and can be 
disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Assistant Field Supervisor, Tucson Suboffice, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 300 West Congress, Room 6J, Tucson, AZ, 85701, at 520/670-
4617, or Mr. David Harlow, Field Supervisor, Arizona State Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, 
Phoenix, AZ, 85021 at 602/640-2720. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE 
SDCP, CONTACT: Mr. Paul Fromer, RECON, 1927 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, 
San Diego, California 92101-2358 at 619/308-9333. Information on the 
purpose, membership, meeting schedules, and documents associated with 
the SDCP may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.co.pima.az.us/

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice advises the public that the 
Service intends to extend the public scoping period through November 
24, 2000, for gathering of information necessary to determine impacts 
and formulate alternatives for an EIS related to the potential issuance 
of an incidental take permit to Pima County, Arizona, and the 
development and implementation of the SDCP, which will provide measures 
to minimize and mitigate the effects of the incidental take of 
federally listed species.
    Background: Following is a preliminary list for public scoping 
comments of probable environmental resources, effects, and issues 
associated with the proposed action. The public is requested to add 
items to this list, make suggestions for possible alternative actions 
regarding these resources, and/or comment on how these resources may be 
impacted by the development, implementation, and potential issuance of 
a permit for the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Biological resources, including listed species
Urban land uses, including residential, commercial, and industrial 
Water resources, including hydrology and water quality
Air resources
Cultural and historical resources
Ranching practices and livestock grazing
Mineral resources
Utility rights-of-way
Fire management
Social and economic resources
Environmental justice

    Comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties to 
ensure that a range of issues and alternatives related to the proposed 
action are identified. The review of this project will be conducted 
according to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), National Environmental 
Policy Act Regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508), and other appropriate 
Federal laws, regulations, policies and guidance.
    Related Project Documentation--It is anticipated that the EIS 
process will make full use (including incorporation by reference, as 
appropriate, pursuant to NEPA) of documents prepared by Pima County and 
other entities regarding the environmental and socioeconomic issues in 
the project area, copies of which will be available for public 
inspection at the Pima County Administrator's Office, 130 West 
Congress, 10th floor, Tucson AZ 85701.
    After the environmental review is completed, the Service will 
publish a notice of availability and a request for comment on the draft 
EIS and Pima County's permit application, which will include the SDCP.
    The draft EIS is expected to be completed by December, 2002.

Nancy M. Kaufman,
Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 00-27050 Filed 10-19-00; 8:45 am]