[Federal Register: July 2, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 127)]
[Page 34948]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Receipt of Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit for three karst cave invertebrates from a Residential and 
Commercial Development on approximately 1,000 acres in Bexar County, 

SUMMARY: La Cantera Development Company, Ltd. (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-044512-0. The 
requested permit, which is for a period of 30 years, would authorize 
the incidental take of Cicurina madla (Madla's Cave spider), Rhadine 
exilis and Rhadine infernalis (no common names). The proposed take 
would occur as a result of the construction of commercial developments 
on 1,000 acres in an area bounded by I-10 to the east, Loop 1604 to the 
south, Babcock Road to the west, and Camp Bullis Road to the north in 
the City of San Antonio, Bexar 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 60 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: August 31, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review 
the EA/HCPs may obtain a copy by contacting Christina Longacre, 
Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, 
Texas 78758 (512/490-0063). Documents will be available for public 
inspection by written request, by appointment only, during normal 
business hours (8:00 am to 4:30 pm), 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 Field 
Office, Austin, Texas at the above address. Please refer to permit 
number TE-044512-0 when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christina Longacre at the above Austin 
Ecological Service Field Office.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the Cicurina madla (Madla's 
Cave spider), Rhadine exilis and Rhadine infernalis (no common names). 
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.
    Applicant: La Cantera Development Company plans to construct a 
commercial and residential development on approximately 1,000 acres 
generally bounded by I-10 to the east, Loop 1604 to the south, Babcock 
Road to the west, and Camp Bullis Road to the north in the City of San 
Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. This action will occur on all portions of 
the property except those designated as necessary to protect on-site 
karst areas and will impact Caves #1 and #2, which contain the 
endangered Rhadine exilis and Cicurina madla, and Cave #3, which 
contains only Cicurina. No take of any other listed endangered species 
is expected to result from completion of the Proposed Alternative. 
However, since Rhadine infernalis is known from the general area and it 
has been adequately mitigated for within the proposed preserves, the 
Applicant will be covered for this species.
    The development will eliminate most of the habitat for these 
species on site, and will cause deterioration of the cave ecosystem by 
encouraging fire ants, altering the surface and subsurface moisture and 
temperature regimes and increasing human impacts. The applicant 
proposes to compensate for this incidental take of the three listed 
species by protecting seven karst preserves totaling 181 acres to be 
protected and managed in perpetuity. The karst preserves include one-
acre on-site preserves for La Cantera Caves 1 and 2, and five off-site 
preserves totaling approximately 179 acres. In addition, undeveloped 
portions of the property would be monitored and treated for introduced 
fire ants, use of pesticides and herbicides would be restricted, and 
use of the premises for businesses that have the potential to 
contaminate sub-surface karst and/or groundwater (i.e., gas stations 
and dry cleaners) would be prohibited.
    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 
increase the impacts.

Bryan Arroyo,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 01-16493 Filed 6-29-01; 8:45 am]