[Federal Register: November 2, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 213)]
[Page 65877-65878]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of Applications for Incidental Take Permits for the Delhi 
Sands Flower-Loving Fly and Availability of an Environmental Assessment 
Associated With the Development of Five Sites in the Cities of Rialto 
and Colton, San Bernardino County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of applications.


SUMMARY: John J. Reichel, Serenata LLC, West San Bernardino County 
Water District, Richard A. Steidl, and Brigitta M. Steidl (Applicants) 
have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service for the approval of a 
Habitat Conservation Plan and issuance of incidental take permits 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act, 1973, as 
amended (Act). The Applicants propose to independently develop a 
municipal well, commercial/retail development, two residential 
developments, and one project that will either be residential and/or 
commercial/retail on five different sites in the cities of Colton and 
Rialto. The Applicants seek permits for a period of 20 years that would 
authorize incidental take of the endangered Delhi Sands flower-loving 
fly (Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis) associated with the 
development and use of an approximately 32.8-acre area of which 29.9 
acres is appropriate Delhi soils.
    The Service seeks public comment on the permit applications, which 
include a Habitat Conservation Plan and the Implementation Agreement 
that defines the responsibilities of the parties under the Habitat 
Conservation Plan. We also seek comment on an Environmental Assessment 
for our proposed permit actions. All comments will become part of the 
administrative record and may be released to the public.

DATES: We must receive your written comments on or before January 2, 

ADDRESSES: Please address comments to Mr. Ken Berg, Field Supervisor, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, California 
92008. You may send comments by facsimile to telephone (760) 930-0846.

Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Service Office, at the above 
address or call (760) 431-9440.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of the documents for review by calling the 
Service's Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at the above referenced 
telephone number. Documents also are available for public inspection, 
by appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.


    Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations prohibit the 
``take'' of threatened or endangered species. That is, no one may 
harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or 
collect listed animal species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 
U.S.C. 1538). Harm may include significant habitat modification where 
it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing 
essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and 
sheltering [50 CFR 17.3(c)]. The Service, however, may issue permits to 
take endangered and/or threatened wildlife species incidental to, and 
not the purpose of otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing 
permits for endangered and/or threatened species are found at 50 CFR 
17.22 and 17.32.
    We propose to authorize incidental take of the Delhi Sands flower-
loving fly from the Applicants' proposed activities, on the five sites, 
as described in the Habitat Conservation Plan. The Habitat Conservation 
Plan describes alternatives to the proposed action and provisions for 
minimization, mitigation, and monitoring of impacts.
    The Applicants propose to develop up to 32.8 acres, of which, 
approximately 29.9 acres consists of Delhi soils. The majority of the 
29.9 acres proposed for development consists of compacted soils with 
invasive weed species. Approximately 11 acres of Delhi Sands flower-
loving fly habitat is proposed to be transferred in fee title to the 
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be preserved and managed in 
perpetuity for the conservation of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly. 
The proposed conservation area is comprised of Delhi soils, contiguous 
to other known occupied habitat. Prior to ground disturbance, the 
Applicants and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation propose to 
provide funding for the management of the conservation area. This 
action would compensate for the loss of habitat resulting from the 
project and would benefit the long-term conservation of the Delhi Sands 
flower-loving fly.
    The Habitat Conservation Plan and the Environmental Assessment

[[Page 65878]]

considered three alternatives to the proposed Project: (1) No permits 
issued (the ``No Project'' alternative), (2) revising the project by 
decreasing the size of the developable area, and (3) revising the 
project by increasing the size of the conservation area.
    Under the ``No Project'' alternative the permits would not be 
issued to each individual landowner. The landowners would be 
independently responsible for their respective projects and would 
pursue local approvals and individual incidental take permits where 
necessary. It is likely that some of the projects would receive local 
approvals to proceed and some of the projects would be denied approvals 
by their local jurisdictions until they either conducted focused Delhi 
Sands flower-loving fly surveys to determine presence or absence or 
received individual incidental take permits. Although this alternative 
would likely result in no impact by development of some of the Project 
sites immediately, the Applicants would not collectively secure, 
enhance, or restore the conservation area for recovery or conservation 
of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly currently being proposed under the 
Proposed Action. If individual project sites are determined to be 
occupied by the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, then an incidental take 
permit will be necessary for those project proponents who wish to 
proceed with development.
    Under the second alternative, some of the parcels would be 
eliminated from the developable area while maintaining the conservation 
measures that are part of the Proposed Action. This would result in 
fewer Delhi soils being developed and the size of the proposed 
conservation area for the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly would remain 
the same as under the Proposed Action.
    Under the third alternative, there would be a 1-acre (12 acres 
total) increase in the size of land being conserved while maintaining 
the same area proposed for development that is part of the Proposed 
Action. Compared to the Proposed Action, this alternative would result 
in an additional acre being conserved for the Delhi Sands flower-loving 
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act and Service regulations for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (40 CFR 1506.6). We will evaluate the 
permit applications, the Habitat Conservation Plan, Environmental 
Assessment, the associated documents and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Endangered Species Act. If we determine that the 
requirements are met, we will issue permits for the incidental take of 
the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly to the Applicants. We will make a 
final decision on these permit actions no sooner than 60 days from the 
date of this notice.

    Dated: October 26, 2000.
John Engbring,
Acting Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 00-28071 Filed 11-1-00; 8:45 am]